Kinlochleven Adventures

The last time we stayed at Bob and Chris’s B&B they told us that they were going to visit friends in San Francisco in September and very kindly said we could “house sit” for a few days if we wanted to.  We jumped at the chance!

We didn’t get away from Glasgow until about 6.30pm on Friday but we made good progress up the A82 and of course we had a break at The Real Food Cafe for the customary fish supper.  We eventually arrived at Kinlochleven just after 10pm.  Kate was also joining us and arrived not much later.

We knew the forecast for Saturday was bad so didn’t even attempt to do anything so just had a lazy day watching the rain pour off the hills!  And watching Scotland maintain their slim chances of World Cup qualification by beating Macedonia 2-0.  We did eventually leave the house…to go to the Clachaig Inn for dinner!  In there we met up with Seona who was celebrating compleating her round of the Munros with friends from the Jacobites Mountaineering Club and scottishhills.com.  Given the weather conditions that day that really was an impressive effort!  We also won 2nd and 3rd prizes in a raffle the prizes being 4 and then 2 bottle of AnTeallach ale!

Sunday saw much better conditions so we decided to do Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban at the western end of the Mamores.   We parked at the lower falls car park in Glen Nevis and took the forest track before eventually hitting the open hillside via a very dodgy stile.

Stile on way to Mullach nan Coiean

Stile on way to Mullach nan Coiean

We were soon on the summit which was Elaina’s 100th Munro so a celebratory drink of last night’s winnings was enjoyed!

Elaina celebrating 100 Munros!

Elaina celebrating 100 Munros!

Elaina celebrates 100 Munros

Elaina celebrates 100 Munros

As can be seen from the photos it was a bit clagged in so we sensibly took a bearing and headed on towards Stob Ban.

Towards Stob Ban

Towards Stob Ban

We then wandered off Stob Ban on a good path but it was only when we were half way down the ridge and saw a very well defined path below us that we realised it was the West Highland Way!  Oops!  We could have gone back up to Stob Ban but we decided that we might as well walk back to Kinlochleven then take Kate’s car back round to Glen Nevis to pick up mine.  So off we went down a bit further until Kate asked where the house key was as her car keys were in the house.  Oops again!  It was in my car (in Glen Nevis)!  We really were too far down now to go back up especially as the weather wasn’t great back on the summit.  So we resigned ourselves to somehow getting back to Fort William.  We did consider walking back along the West Highland Way but realised it was a bit too far so just headed back to the MacDonald Hotel in Kinlochleven which we arrived at at 6.30pm.  Daft question time…is there a bus to Fort William on a Sunday night?  Yes there was…at 6.05pm!  So there was only one thing for it, a taxi!  So thanks to Ali’s Taxis from Ballachulish we eventually got back to the car at 7.45pm.  Thankfully the MacDonald Hotel do meals until 9.30pm so at just before 9pm we sat down to steak and chips times 3!  Lesson of the day…take a bearing on every summit!

We decided to have an easier day on Sunday and headed up Glenoce to the Lost Valley with the aim of possibly doing Stob Coire Sgreamhach.  We made good progress up the narrowing gorge until we got to the point where you have to cross the Allt Coire Gabhail.  We decided to avoid this crossing and take an alternative route by heading up hill on the southern slopes of Gearr Aonach.  I took a route through some large solid rocks while Elaina and Kate took a more tortuous route up a scree slope.  Now there was a path of sorts and others had definitely used the route before us but I don’t think any of us realised just how high we had climbed until we found ourselves looking down on the Lost Valley from a height of about 450m.  Still, it made a lovely high perch for lunch!

Lunch above the Lost Valley

Lunch above the Lost Valley

Having spent so much time we decided to call it a day and leave Stob Coire Sgreamhach for another day.  We took the normal route out and of course had to cross the burn that we had avoided on the way up!

Elaina crossing the Allt Coire Gabhail

Elaina crossing the Allt Coire Gabhail

That night we enjoyed an excellent meal at the Loch Leven Seafood Cafe before waking to anther very wet day.  Kate and Elaina were staying for another couple of days but I had to head back so left at about 12 for a very wet drive home.  I don’t think I have ever seen as much water coming off the hills especially in Glencoe!  I just hope it has subsided a bit for Elaina and Kate tomorrow!

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One Response to “Kinlochleven Adventures”

  1. Metric Kate Says:

    There are loads of photos on the internet of the Lost Valley, but virtually none from this high above it – worth the effort for an interesting photo 😉

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