Monday, 26 April 2010

Spring on the West Highland Way

I seem to have a bit of luck with the West Highland Way. Having done it twice now, I have only had 2 days of rain out of 14 which is pretty good going for Scotland in April!  This years trip for Macsadventure, was marred at the beginning by the fact that we were missing some team members- thanks to Eyjafjallajokull, the icelandic volcano, three were stuck at home, and one unlucky person, Elaine, stranded for 5 days in Amsterdam whilst in transit from Canada!  What follows are the best images from the 95 miles from the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William.
Day 1: Milngavie-Drymen
Laura and Jan enjoying the walk over the moor on the outskirts of Mugdock.

Day 2: Drymen to Rowardennan
Coming over Conic Hill- the first big climb of the week.

Views of Loch Lomondside between Balmaha and Rowardennan.


Day 3: Rowardennan to Inverarnan 
The group enjoying the view above the Loch on the way to Inversnaid. 

The stuning views  just keep on coming!

Wild goats roam the shores of Loch Lomond

Descending to Doune Bothy

The final view looking south from the head of Loch Lomond

The world famous Drovers Inn at Inverarnan. Home for the night and reputedly haunted! (We all slept soundly having walked 14 miles....)

Day 4: Inverarnan to Tyndrum
The Way climbs up from the loch and into the highlands. 

Fantastic views of Ben More from the hills above Crianlarich.

And some nice views of Ben More from Strathfillan.... We enjoyed a welcome ice cream at Strathfillan Farm wigwams...

The last mile is always the hardest no matter how long the day.  Here we are heading in to Tyndrum with Ben Lui in the distance.

Day 5: Tyndrum to Kingshouse
This is one of the tougher days- at 20 miles. Most of us had found our stride by this point but Elaine impressed us all by arriving from her extended stay in Amsterdam airport and marching the legs off us!
The view below is west from Victoria Bridge at Inveroran.

The stomp over Rannoch Moor has some very big views.

Day 6: Kingshouse to Kinolochleven
This was our only full day of rain. As we couldn't see a hand in front of our faces most of the day there were no photos!! Sorry. The climb up from Glencoe over the Devil's Staircase is not as hard as you would expect.  By now West Highland Way walkers are feeling fit....

Day 7: Kinlochleven to Fort William
The final push is a glorious climb up from Kinlochleven- probably the hardest climb of the week, but worth it for the views of the Pap of Glencoe and the back of the Aonach Eagach ridge. 

The Way goes through the Lairig Mor, an ancient drovers pass through the mountains
And at last we were treated to stunning views of a snow-capped Ben Nevis before the final descent in to Fort William!

You can also find information about the West Highland Way on my earlier trip report from 2009, and I recommend visiting the Macsadventure website if you are interested in doing either a guided or self guided expedition if you plan to stay in b&bs. The logistics can also then be taken care of with baggage transport between your nightly stops so that you only have to walk with a small day sack.

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