The West Highland Way & Great Glen Way

Walked in August 2010

Day 7 - Saturday 21st August

Fort William
4 Miles

 We were up between 8 and 8.30 and had coffee and breakfast in Darryl’s tent. We washed and dried a few things since we didn’t know when we’d have another opportunity to do so. I bought some biscuits from the camp shop, then we both walked down the road to the Glen Nevis visitor centre for a look around. There was a lot of nice gear in the shop so we had a browse then asked the man there what conditions would be like on Ben Nevis the next day. My intention had always been to climb to the summit of Ben Nevis via the Carn Mor Dearg arête. On a clear day with no wind, this is hard work, but not too dangerous. The conditions for the next day however were not favourable. There would be very fast winds up there and a lot of mist which would make the final scramble up the scree slope potentially risky. Although I was still holding onto the hope of climbing the ben via this route, Darryl managed to changed my mind and instead make the climb via the regular tourist route, starting from the steep path that began by the main road near the youth hostel.

We walked along the main road for a couple more miles to Fort William where we stopped at the Highland Centre to have a look around.

It was seriously busy so we didn’t stay long, and there wasn’t a great deal of interest there besides souvenirs and whiskey. We left and walked on to Morrisons where we stopped to have a large Scottish breakfast each which included oat cakes and haggis. Not bad. We then carried on to the high street where we browsed in a few shops at camping gear and different types of whiskey. Darryl used the internet for half an hour at the tourist information centre while I looked around a few more shops, then we found the official end to the West Highland Way at the top of the high street and took a couple of photographs.

We saw a Canadian trio we recognised who were just finishing the walk (a day after us). We had seen them a couple of times previously. The three of them seemed to walk at completely different speeds to each other, so spent most of each day on their own. The woman in particular seemed to get quite frustrated on occasion with one of her companions.

We asked them to take a photo of both of us then walked back, this time along Loch Eil, and when we got back to Morrisons we went in to do some food shopping, before walking the four miles or so back to camp. By the time we got back my legs were killing me and I just wanted to collapse. I was surprised to find that as I was going for my shower, Darryl was going for a run. He made pretty good progress up the side of Ben Nevis. His knees are obviously made of steel.

 

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