Tuesday, 27 November 2012

West Highland Way - Lundrava to Kinlochleven

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 27 November 2012
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith, David Boother, Wendy Boother, Joss Johnson
Accommodation - Laurel Bank Lodge, Fort William
Refreshments - Tailrace Inn, Kinlochleven
Start Point - Lundavra (GR NN10038 66507)
Start Time - 10:23
Finish Point - Kinlochleven (GR NN18698 62063)
Finish Time - 14:56
Duration - 4hrs 33mins
Average pace - 1.76mph
Distance Walked - 8.01miles
Height Ascended - 450.93metres
Height Descended - 616.37metres

Peaks visited


Walk Summary

We are committed to the days walk
as the taxi disappears
after dropping us off at Lundavra
Following yesterdays exertions climbing Meall nan Clèireach Gina only wanted to do about 8 miles today so the £12.50 paid for the taxi with Nevis Taxis to take us the first 4½ miles down the Old Military Road to Lundavra was money well spent.
There was not too much opposition from Joss & Wendy either so I guess this suited them as well.
It also made sense to reverse the direction of walking, primarily so we would end up where we could go to a pub while waiting for the bus, rather than finishing in Lundavra, then having to walk further to receive a mobile signal to call the taxi. It also meant there was more descent than ascent overall. In particular avoiding the steep ascent out of Kinlochleven which would have been at the beginning of the walk rather than the easier descent we actually had into Kinlochleven.
From my point of view there was an element of disappointment that there were not any hills to bag, but on the other hand acquired great satisfaction that every one enjoyed the experience of a sample day on the West Highland Way with more than their fair share of spectacular views in a single days walking.
From my early experience of walking in the Scottish Highlands I suspect this is not a unique occurrence.

Walk Description
1.) Walk the short distance from the road to the West Highland Way and turn left ignoring the unmarked forest track going straight on.
2.) The path heads directly towards the Marilyn Doire Bàn through the coniferous wood marked on the map which has now been harvested.

West Highland Way heads for 
Doire Bàn then turns left
around base of

Mullach nan Coirean - Meall a'Chaorain
3.) As the path gently turns left around the Corbett Top Mullach nan Coirean - Meall a'Chaorainn pass the cairn on you right marking the spot where the MacDonalds broke off the chase after the fleeing Campbells following the Battle of Invelochy in February 1635.
Clach nan Caimbeulach
(Stone of the Campbells)
4.) Continue through the harvested forest to the boundary and go through the gate. The Corbett Mam na Gualainn will be straight ahead.
The Corbett Mam na Gualainn
5.) Follow the path for 1km heading directly towards Mam na Gualainn until the path veers to the left into the Allt na Lairige Mòire and Allt Nathrach valley.
6.) To your right will be the ridge between Mam na Gualainn and Beinn na Caillich the other side of which will be Loch Leven and Glencoe.
7.) On your left is the Momore ridge with it's nine Munros including the distinctive pyramid of Stob Bàn.
The Munro Stob Bàn
8.) Stay on path and cross Allt a' Choire Charaich at the abandoned settlement of Lairigmòr.
9.) From Lairigmòr and with Allt na Lairige Moire still on your left carry on along path to the next abandoned settlement of Tigh-na-sleubhaich.
Tigh-na-sleubhaich - Great place
to stop for lunch,
or spend the night at a push
10.) After maybe a rest and/or snack at Tigh-na-sleubhaich all there is left to do now is follow the well defined path and just enjoy the views to the left, right and straight ahead as they unfold. Don't forget to look back occasionally as the views are pretty good behind as well.
11.) The next point of reference will be the path off to your right across Allt na Nathrach and up the Corbett Mam na Gualainn. Look beyond this for fantastic views of the Aonach Eagach ridge.
12.) Somewhere between this path and Mam Beag you will notice some flat rocks rubbed smooth apart from score marks caused by the ice age 10,000 years earlier.
Great place for a geography lesson
showing how rock was scraped smooth
by previous ice-age
13.) At Mam Beag take the right fork downhill.
14.) Follow the path as the rate of descent increases and chicanes through the wood taking extra care on the rough ground under foot.
15.) Cross the private road to Mamore Lodge Hotel and continue descent into Kinlochleven, 
16.) Take care as you cross the ford oveAllt Coire an Eich after which you will soon reach the B863 road.
Crossing Allt Coire an Eich
17.) Turn right on the road towards Kinlochleven and follow the road round to the bus stop for the return journey to Fort William on the No44 bus. 

More Photographs
Happy days in the hills with the Corbett Mam na Gualainn behind
Click on photograph to view slide-show

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