Ellenabeich – Fort William

Putting on Gina's Gaiters

Late-ish start, but who could blame us in such a lovely place. Drove up by the Stalker castle, which I finally got to see in the sun, we even had our morning coffee outside with a view. But then we wasted no time no more, and got to Glen Coe to do our first epic route over one of the Glen Coe ridges.

The clouds were low, which meant the views were mostly obscured, which was quite a pity as this route was named #3 most beautiful route by the Trail magazine (and that certainly does mean something :)!), but we still got a really nice walk out of it. Also the fogginess and occasional rain brought some good stuff with it, namely 1) the opportunity for me to put on my new fancy waterproof e-vent gaiters, and 2) there were no other people on the trail, which I assume otherwise in good weather turns into somewhat of a bloody tourist highway (I don’t count the unfortunate couple we met at the beginning, who decided to do the route with a rope, and who both looked so uncomfortable on the rock that it was quite scary to watch, and we can only hope they finished it ok).

The route goes over Meall Dearg and Sgorr nam Fiannaidh and a few lesser peaks, with some exposed scrambling parts (grade 3 whatever that means), and finishes with quite an unpleasant descent through a rockslide. One of the scrambling parts was responsible for Iestyn slipping and actually breaking our only compass on the trip (the liquid got out), much to Iest’s distress, as he really likes to play with it every couple hundred meters on any given trail, regardless of how obvious the trail direction is.

The whole thing took us about 7 hours, and we were quite happy that its final descent lead us right to Glen Coe’s legendary Clachaig pub, where we had a pint and a nibble before setting off on the road to walk the remaining couple of kilometres to our car. We were trying to hitch a ride unsuccessfully for a while, until finally we got an awesome lift from a Swiss couple in a proper VW campervan. Camped near Fort William and got our first shower for the trip.

The lovely camper van heading up the pass

Wildlife sightings:
one fat rabbit
the bird that goes Cronc

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