Rocky Mountain High

LETJOG – Day 46: Friday 2 July – BRIDGE OF ORCHY to KINLOCHLEVEN (23 miles)

Water spray from the hydro-electric pipes above Kinlochleven giving rise to a late afternoon rainbow!

Whilst on the subject of rainbows, I was in my own Land of Oz today. A truly wonderful day in the Highlands started early, in the chill air and with clear blue skies, as I set out from Bridge of Orchy, continuing on the West Highland Way. The course of much of this long-distance path follows an old military road and hence tends to stick to the lower ground, between the hills, where possible. This is not to say that the route has no significant climbs, as I was to find out this afternoon, but over the section across Rannoch Moor the Way does take the line of least height resistance whilst affording wonderful far-reaching views of the surrounding moorland, lochs and peaks.

Where to start with the pictures? Here are a few to enjoy from this morning:

Crossing the River Orchy in the cool of a fine Highland morning
Looking down across Loch Tulla after the climb up Mam Carraigh . . .
. . . and descending for a closer look!
The gate to the moors
Ascending the path onto the moorland
Looking northwards over the huge expanse of Rannoch Moor
Coming down into Glencoe – just look at that sky!

A couple of miles after passing the Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe, and after a short lunch stop, the big climb of the day commenced, up the scarily-named Devil’s Staircase. This ascent was worth every step for the views alone, looking back down over the moors beneath the peaks around Glencoe, increasingly moody now as the clouds built up around them. And from the panoramic path running northward from the top of this pass, some more wonderful vistas opened up, before the long and winding descent into Kinlochleven.

Looking back down into Glencoe . . .
. . . from the top of the Devil’s Staircase
The start of the descent into Kinlochleven . . .
. . . and an almost abstract view to the north

And so ends a run of seven walking days of 20-plus miles on some quite demanding terrain. I can’t pretend that I’m not feeling the effects, and perhaps my pace has slowed a little in the hills these last few days, but what a week it has been! I could not have hoped for better fortune with the weather, allowing such wonderful views and such a lasting experience of this most impressive of British regions.

8 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain High

  1. Wow more amazing views. Definitely makes me want to visit Scotland again. Hope the weather stays with you xx

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  2. Your photography and descriptions are wonderful, I am so enjoying following your adventure. Good luck with your the remainder of your walk.

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  3. Ah, yes. I remember a few years back, doing the West Highland Way, it was the descent into Kinlockleven that was the hardest stretch of the whole journey!

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