Day 7 - Friday 27/10/06, 9 miles
Kings House to Kinlochleven

To start breakfast, Helen tried Kings House porridge but she preferred her own milkier recipe to the genuine Scottish stuff. Next was a filling fry-up, the person we talked to last night thought we’d struggle to finish the "Full Climber’s" option. He doesn’t know our boys well. By now the wind had dropped leaving our faithful companion, the rain, to stay with us, Tuesday’s shower was lasting a long time. Over the last week the rain had been steadily coming down from the sky to meet us, this time we went up into the clouds to meet the rain. Views from tops are exceptional on a clear day, looking across the hills of Glencoe and north to the Mamores; we could only see more rain which fell all day but didn’t dampen our spirits. Following the path out of Glencoe

From the Kings House, the Way starts through Glencoe before turning north to ascend General Wade's Military road before a long descent back down to sea level at Kinlochleven. This rough track ascends the Devil's Staircase, which at over 1600ft it is the highest point of the whole walk.

Following the path out of Glencoe Climbing the Devil’s Staircase was much easier than the name would have us believe, drovers and heavily laden soldiers may have had a harder time in the past to give it such a dramatic name. After six days of walking, we must all be a lot fitter than when we set off from Milngavie. We had a lovely walk over the tops meeting two ambitious cyclists carrying their mountain bikes in the opposite direction. “Is it far to the top?” they queried, we asked them if they wanted us to say yes or give them a truthful answer. Rusty coloured bracken and yellow, green and brown grasses made the scenery particularly pretty. Large black pipes laid in a row down the hillside were the first sign that we were approaching industrial Kinlochleven.

Following the path out of Glencoe Pipes fed water to a hydroelectric plant that until recently was used to power the town’s aluminium smelter. The town is now trying to reinvent itself as a tourist destination, B&B signs nailed to trees and a graffitied sign for a campsite welcomed walkers descending the long track into town. Entering Kinlochleven, we stopped off for a coffee in to the Ice Factor, an indoor climbing wall that has an ice wall section. From there, we found our clean and comfortable hotel which was situated on the Way and close to a very canoeable looking white water river. In our hotel room, TV was a novelty and something we hadn’t missed over the previous week. Watching the evening news we heard all about the floods and devastation that had hit Scotland and that tomorrow’s weather would get progressively stormier through the day. Wet boots and clothing were left by a radiator in the en-suite to dry. We had a longer walk tomorrow and had a deadline to meet if we wanted to get the train back to our car. This called for an early breakfast and an early night, not helped by the noisy Halloween disco downstairs that went on until late. We had been warned when booking the room.



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