Kinlochleven to Bridge of Orchy - WHW conditions?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Judith, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Judith

    Judith Guest

    (This question also posted on TGO Challenge Message Board)

    As part of the TGO Challenge, I did have two easy days planned from
    Kinlochleven to King's House Hotel and then on to Bridge of Orchy, but
    now I am considering merging these two days together to make a day of
    approx 34 km.

    What is the West Highland Way like between Kinlochleven and Bridge of
    Orchy? I have no WHW experience. Is it slabbed/paved? Good walking?
    I'm assuming that since lots of people do the WHW it must be OK.......
    but I can remember what the Pennine Way was like in the short sections
    I have done.

    Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    on this section of the WHW?

    Judith
     
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  2. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    "Judith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > (This question also posted on TGO Challenge Message Board)
    >
    > As part of the TGO Challenge, I did have two easy days planned from
    > Kinlochleven to King's House Hotel and then on to Bridge of Orchy, but
    > now I am considering merging these two days together to make a day of
    > approx 34 km.
    >
    > What is the West Highland Way like between Kinlochleven and Bridge of
    > Orchy? I have no WHW experience. Is it slabbed/paved? Good walking?
    > I'm assuming that since lots of people do the WHW it must be OK.......
    > but I can remember what the Pennine Way was like in the short sections
    > I have done.
    >
    > Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    > on this section of the WHW?


    It's all along tracks or old roads, straight forward. Rather steep out of
    Kinlochleven but a decent track. If you are used to LDWalking no problem
    going light. but if you intend to take backpacking gear you may struggle.

    BTW what route are you doing? Seems as though the one you are planning is a
    bit suspect ;-)

    JS
     
  3. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 16:41:10 -0000, "John Smith" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >> Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    >> on this section of the WHW?

    >
    >It's all along tracks or old roads, straight forward. Rather steep out of
    >Kinlochleven but a decent track. If you are used to LDWalking no problem
    >going light. but if you intend to take backpacking gear you may struggle.
    >
    >BTW what route are you doing? Seems as though the one you are planning is a
    >bit suspect ;-)


    Suspect? In what way? Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    the plan but the fine detail is changing depending on where I can find
    accommodation.

    Judith
     
  4. Jiffy

    Jiffy Guest

    "Judith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <snip>
    > What is the West Highland Way like between Kinlochleven and Bridge of
    > Orchy? I have no WHW experience. Is it slabbed/paved? Good walking?


    I did the WHW in September last year and did Tyndrum to Kingshouse in one
    day. I thought it was by far the easiest walking of the whole trip. The path
    is not slabbed or paved (heaven forbid!) but is excellent. It's an old drove
    road and is well maintained.

    The Devil's Staircase is easy but the descent (or ascent for you) to
    Kinlochleven is a bit rough.

    > Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    > on this section of the WHW?


    Without knowing your fitness or what you're carrying, I'd say it shouldn't
    be a problem. I did the 20 miles from Tyndrum to Kingshouse in one day in
    good time and it took me under 4 hours the next day to do Kingshouse to
    Kinlochleven. That was in horrendous weather, with a dodgy ankle, carrying
    20kg, poor fitness and no real attempt to get fit before doing the walk!

    Cheers, Jiffy
     
  5. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 16:54:53 -0000, "Jiffy" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    >> on this section of the WHW?

    >
    >Without knowing your fitness or what you're carrying, I'd say it shouldn't
    >be a problem. I did the 20 miles from Tyndrum to Kingshouse in one day in
    >good time and it took me under 4 hours the next day to do Kingshouse to
    >Kinlochleven. That was in horrendous weather, with a dodgy ankle, carrying
    >20kg, poor fitness and no real attempt to get fit before doing the walk!


    Lol! That's encouraging.

    Cheers
    Judith
     
  6. Nigel Cliffe

    Nigel Cliffe Guest

    Judith wrote:
    > On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 16:41:10 -0000, "John Smith" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>> Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly
    >>> tough on this section of the WHW?

    >>
    >> It's all along tracks or old roads, straight forward. Rather steep
    >> out of Kinlochleven but a decent track. If you are used to LDWalking
    >> no problem going light. but if you intend to take backpacking gear
    >> you may struggle.
    >>
    >> BTW what route are you doing? Seems as though the one you are
    >> planning is a bit suspect ;-)


    I agree with the comments about the path surface; its firm, its not steep
    save for a longish slog out of Kinlochleven. Some is old paved military road
    surface. Fine to walk along so long as the load is light (and as you say
    you are planning without tent, that should be light). If you can get a
    decent start to the day, should be OK. There used to be a small hotel a few
    miles before Bridge of Orchy, where the WHW track becomes a public road
    again, which might be useful (sorry forgot the name).


    > Suspect? In what way? Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    > the plan but the fine detail is changing depending on where I can find
    > accommodation.


    Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map. I
    presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done the
    challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.


    - Nigel


    --
    Nigel Cliffe,
    Webmaster at http://www.2mm.org.uk/
     
  7. Roger

    Roger Guest

    The message <[email protected]>
    from Judith <[email protected]> contains these words:

    > As part of the TGO Challenge, I did have two easy days planned from
    > Kinlochleven to King's House Hotel and then on to Bridge of Orchy, but
    > now I am considering merging these two days together to make a day of
    > approx 34 km.


    I thought the idea of the TGO Challenge was to traverse Scotland from
    West to East. The legs above are much closer to North to South.

    > What is the West Highland Way like between Kinlochleven and Bridge of
    > Orchy? I have no WHW experience. Is it slabbed/paved? Good walking?
    > I'm assuming that since lots of people do the WHW it must be OK.......
    > but I can remember what the Pennine Way was like in the short sections
    > I have done.


    > Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    > on this section of the WHW?


    It depends to a large extent on the amount of ascent but IMO it is
    likely to be a hard day. When I did the Scottish 4000s mumble mumble
    years ago (the closest I have come to an across Scotland walk) the 2
    longest days (days 3 and 4) were 21.5 miles with 2350 feet of ascent and
    24 with just 800. Day 1 was just 1.7 miles and 1750 feet of ascent which
    should tell you what an exhausted state I was in when I set out but the
    others were reasonably respectable (10/5050. 14.7/4500, 15.3/3950).

    I had done the Pennine Way 2 years earlier (not backpacking) and only on
    6 of the 14 days did I exceed 20 miles and the maximum was only 25
    (these were Wainwright miles and possibly suspect as the PW was usually
    quoted at 250 miles and he made it 270).

    --
    Roger Chapman
     
  8. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 17:31:38 -0000, "Nigel Cliffe" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >> Suspect? In what way? Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    >> the plan but the fine detail is changing depending on where I can find
    >> accommodation.

    >
    >Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map. I
    >presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done the
    >challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.


    Yes, I suppose it does look a bit odd going south, and I did look at
    Fersit and Rannoch, but during the route-planning I kept hitting snags
    because of long days/no accommodation/glens running the wrong
    way!/stretches of water etc but I now have a basic route and am
    tweaking it as necessary.

    Judith
     
  9. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    <snip>
    >> Suspect? In what way? Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    >> the plan but the fine detail is changing depending on where I can find
    >> accommodation.

    >
    > Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map. I
    > presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done the
    > challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.


    That's what I thought, I've never done it myself (due to double standards of
    the TGO! that's another story!) but looking at it again, I assume the next
    leg would be thro' to Loch Lyon which is in the right direction ;-)

    JS
     
  10. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 17:49:50 -0000, "John Smith" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >> Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map. I
    >> presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done the
    >> challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.

    >
    >That's what I thought, I've never done it myself (due to double standards of
    >the TGO! that's another story!) but looking at it again, I assume the next
    >leg would be thro' to Loch Lyon which is in the right direction ;-)


    Almost. Bit further south then along Loch Tay.

    South should be easy cos it's all downhill, isn't it?

    ;-)

    Judith
     
  11. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    "Judith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 17:49:50 -0000, "John Smith" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>> Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map.
    >>> I
    >>> presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done the
    >>> challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.

    >>
    >>That's what I thought, I've never done it myself (due to double standards
    >>of
    >>the TGO! that's another story!) but looking at it again, I assume the next
    >>leg would be thro' to Loch Lyon which is in the right direction ;-)

    >
    > Almost. Bit further south then along Loch Tay.
    >
    > South should be easy cos it's all downhill, isn't it?


    No it's uphill! Then North East now! ;-)

    JS
     
  12. Rob Devereux

    Rob Devereux Guest

    "Judith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 17:31:38 -0000, "Nigel Cliffe" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >> Suspect? In what way? Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    > >> the plan but the fine detail is changing depending on where I can find
    > >> accommodation.

    > >
    > >Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map.

    I
    > >presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done the
    > >challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.

    >
    > Yes, I suppose it does look a bit odd going south, and I did look at
    > Fersit and Rannoch, but during the route-planning I kept hitting snags
    > because of long days/no accommodation/glens running the wrong
    > way!/stretches of water etc but I now have a basic route and am
    > tweaking it as necessary.


    Dont let them bother you! I walked the whole of loch Rannoch one year and
    it was the most God-forsaken road and trail - we all had blisters by the
    end. I am not sure of the Kinlochleven side but the Kingshouse side of the
    WHW was just a tedious trail bash along a cinder/gravel track - I'd really
    recommend a stay at Kingshouse, as it is the oddest hotel I've ever stayed
    but the food is good. However, if you arent going up over Rannoch, i'd
    think that Bridge of Orchy might be a better hotel.
     
  13. Rob Devereux

    Rob Devereux Guest

    "Judith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Sat, 25 Feb 2006 17:49:50 -0000, "John Smith" <[email protected]>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >> Looks a bit of a diversion south to me from a straight line on the map.

    I
    > >> presume you've looked at via Fersit or Rannoch ? Not that I've done

    the
    > >> challenge, purely a long-distance arm-chair map reading.

    > >
    > >That's what I thought, I've never done it myself (due to double standards

    of
    > >the TGO! that's another story!) but looking at it again, I assume the

    next
    > >leg would be thro' to Loch Lyon which is in the right direction ;-)

    >
    > Almost. Bit further south then along Loch Tay.


    Are you allowed as far south as Loch Tay? It may be that they have changed
    the rules but I seem to remember them stopping you at a southerly mark as
    well as a northerly one.
     
  14. Swello

    Swello Guest

    Judith wrote:
    > (This question also posted on TGO Challenge Message Board)
    >
    > As part of the TGO Challenge, I did have two easy days planned from
    > Kinlochleven to King's House Hotel and then on to Bridge of Orchy, but
    > now I am considering merging these two days together to make a day of
    > approx 34 km.
    >
    > What is the West Highland Way like between Kinlochleven and Bridge of
    > Orchy? I have no WHW experience. Is it slabbed/paved? Good walking?
    > I'm assuming that since lots of people do the WHW it must be OK.......
    > but I can remember what the Pennine Way was like in the short sections
    > I have done.
    >
    > Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    > on this section of the WHW?
    >
    > Judith


    I did Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven as part of a 4.5 day WHW walk a
    couple of years back - so I'd already had 3 reasonably long days by the
    time I did that section and I found it to be the easiest/best full day
    of the walk. I clearly remember gravity making me almost run down the
    hill into Kinlochleven and thinking "I'd hate to come up here" - but
    that would be the only issue. You can get the tough bit out of the way
    in the morning, have a bite of lunch in the Climbers Bar at the
    Kingshouse and then enjoy the walk via the old public road via Ba
    Bridge to Bridge of Orchy in the afternoon. If you want to shorten the
    walk by a couple of Km's - there is a hotel/bunkhouse at Inveroran....
     
  15. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Judith wrote:

    > Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    > the plan


    Lunan Bay's a nice place to finish, lovely sandy beach and often good
    surf. If you fancy a gastronomic pat on the back then a little South at
    Auchmithie is a very good eatery called the But 'n Ben which comes
    recommended.

    It's just up the road from us, so drop us a line nearer the time if you
    want to subside somewhere locally when you've done.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
    Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
    net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  16. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 14:44:04 +0000, Peter Clinch
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Lochailort to Lunan Bay (without a tent) is
    >> the plan

    >
    >Lunan Bay's a nice place to finish, lovely sandy beach and often good
    >surf. If you fancy a gastronomic pat on the back then a little South at
    >Auchmithie is a very good eatery called the But 'n Ben which comes
    >recommended.
    >
    >It's just up the road from us, so drop us a line nearer the time if you
    >want to subside somewhere locally when you've done.


    Cheers

    I have my final night's (ie the day I finish the walk) accommodation
    booked in Montrose. I'm not sure whether to head home next day or
    have a day off and explore that part of Scotland. Perhaps I'll have
    had my fill by then, though!

    Judith
     
  17. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On Tue, 28 Feb 2006 13:11:52 -0000, "Rob Devereux"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> .... so I couldn't get much further South!

    >
    >Exactly, that was what I was thinking but clearly it is ok, so dont worry.
    >I am just surprised that anyone would take a route that low but it might be
    >beneficial and you'll have empty space which could be great. People tend to
    >vary their routes on the way anyway depending on how they feel and how
    >difficult it is. Sometimes they meet up with other TGOC's and divert.
    >


    When I was planning the route I was completely overwhelmed by the size
    of the task. I was /definitely/ not taking a tent, so I had to plan
    days which would take me into civilisation and which I was guaranteed
    to finish. You can't really give up 3/4 of the way through if you've
    got a room booked and no shelter with you. This means that my route
    does look a bit "odd" as it drops down South and then works East.

    I've now decided I will take my tent (fly only) and am planning two
    nights camping. If I had known this beforehand then perhaps my route
    would be more to the North of the area?

    Anyway, it's all good fun!


    >Hope you enjoy it!


    Cheers, so do I!

    Judith
     
  18. Judith

    Judith Guest

    On 28 Feb 2006 06:27:40 -0800, "Swello" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    >> on this section of the WHW?
    >>
    >> Judith

    >
    >I did Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven as part of a 4.5 day WHW walk a
    >couple of years back - so I'd already had 3 reasonably long days by the
    >time I did that section and I found it to be the easiest/best full day
    >of the walk. I clearly remember gravity making me almost run down the
    >hill into Kinlochleven and thinking "I'd hate to come up here" - but
    >that would be the only issue.


    It does sound like a slog.

    >You can get the tough bit out of the way
    >in the morning, have a bite of lunch in the Climbers Bar at the
    >Kingshouse and then enjoy the walk via the old public road via Ba
    >Bridge to Bridge of Orchy in the afternoon.


    That's my plan; treat it like two 9-10 mile walks with a rest, lunch
    and maybe a pint in the middle.

    >If you want to shorten the
    >walk by a couple of Km's - there is a hotel/bunkhouse at Inveroran....


    Bunkhouse? I knew about the hotel but I didn't realise there was a
    bunkhouse. I'll check that out. I'm now intending to camp outside
    that hotel.

    Judith
     
  19. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    "Judith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On 28 Feb 2006 06:27:40 -0800, "Swello" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>> Any thoughts on whether 34km/22miles is going to be particularly tough
    >>> on this section of the WHW?
    >>>
    >>> Judith

    >>
    >>I did Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven as part of a 4.5 day WHW walk a
    >>couple of years back - so I'd already had 3 reasonably long days by the
    >>time I did that section and I found it to be the easiest/best full day
    >>of the walk. I clearly remember gravity making me almost run down the
    >>hill into Kinlochleven and thinking "I'd hate to come up here" - but
    >>that would be the only issue.

    >
    > It does sound like a slog.
    >
    >>You can get the tough bit out of the way
    >>in the morning, have a bite of lunch in the Climbers Bar at the
    >>Kingshouse and then enjoy the walk via the old public road via Ba
    >>Bridge to Bridge of Orchy in the afternoon.

    >
    > That's my plan; treat it like two 9-10 mile walks with a rest, lunch
    > and maybe a pint in the middle.
    >
    >>If you want to shorten the
    >>walk by a couple of Km's - there is a hotel/bunkhouse at Inveroran....

    >
    > Bunkhouse? I knew about the hotel but I didn't realise there was a
    > bunkhouse. I'll check that out. I'm now intending to camp outside
    > that hotel.


    "Bunkhouse?" Nor did I. Must be a newish one after 1987;-) Or maybe he is
    refering to the one at Bridge of Orchy.

    JS
     
  20. Swello

    Swello Guest

    My mistake - I was convinced there was a bunkhouse there - but it seems
    that there isn't - doh!
     
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