Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Day 38 - Kingshouse Hotel to Kinlochleven (9 miles)

Today may only have been 9 miles and done in 3 hours but the weather was a wild animal.

Walkers are the main business of hotels along the WHW so you find you meet a lot of the same people and generally travel, unintentionally together.

Everyone that left the Kingshouse Hotel was dressed for the extreme weather that was obvious all around us. I was one of the last to leave as my kit is not waterproof and I wanted to see if it was going to ease up. It didn't. I was going to get wet!

My game plan for the day was to go as fast as I could so my body heat would stabilise at a good temperature. As long as the wind didn't get to me I'd be okay. I set off.

Within a minute I was soaked to the skin. The rain was coming down side ways. It was crazy! I caught up with some walkers and we struggled across a raging flood. The day before this had been a trickling stream. It now roared down the side of the mountain. I'd been trying to keep my feet as dry as possible. The only way to cross this 'stream' was to wade across. I ended up knee deep in icy water, my feet actually appreciated the cooling effect. Nature was now in my shoes.

I left the other walkers behind and attacked the Devils Staircase. Wind howled, rain fell, visibility shortened. I was approaching the top and just as I crested the top of the Devils Staircase the wind nearly knocked me over. I was using sticks just to keep myself upright. I've never felt so alive! I stood at the top and raised my arms laughing. I wanted more. I pushed on.

All the way was a total challenge but by the end I was struggling with the cold. I recommend waterproof clothing rather than doing what I did. Not very clever. My gamble had payed off but only just.

I'm now in for a long rest. One of the walkers I Ieft with is here in the same B&B. We'd met at lunch last night and got chatting. We're now going to celebrate surviving the day with some food!

Tomorrow, all being well, I'm off to Fort William and the end of the West Highland Way.


  1. Hi Daimon

    It's a long way too go to have a party, Nessie is on the horizon so keep your head down. Are you sure your ging back to work after all this?

  2. Hi Daimon, your blog has become addictive and inspirational to read.
    I wish the weather had been better for you to enjoy Scotland's stunning scenery.
    Enjoy your rest and good luck for tomorrow.

  3. going well there m8..... but i have to ask, was waterproof clothing not a pre-requisite when ya went shopping?... lol

  4. Hi Daimon, you,re a complete inspirational [NUTTER}ha ha but an amazing one, we could just see you at the top of devils staircase, arms outstretched and laughing, it just gets better eh? have a good chillout evening in prep for yet another awesome day tomorrow. Happy walking.

  5. Well Daimon you were deffinately in the lap of the Gods today. What a change in the weather. Seriously when you get the next opportunity you need to buy some wet weather gear or a WET SUIT ha ha! You can't afford to take any chances now that you are so close to that all important GOAL. KEEP SMILING AND WALKING SAFELY.We can picture your face when you reached the top of the devils staircase, shame no one around to take your picture, it would told it's own story. All the best.

  6. Oh my word what a day it sounds so dangerous rather than a walk !! Fort william is just amazing and your very lucky to be walking that area rather than drive as you will always remember the scenery up there. Not sure if your walk will take you pass a massive monument that is there overlooking fort william and on top of a hill. It is a monument to remember the royal marine comandoes that have been killed in action. It has to be the most amazing monuments i have ever seen. It is three men and their faces are perfect and it really makes you think. I shall get the name of it good luck today cindy

  7. it is called the "comando monument at Splean Bridge, Glen Spean" x

  8. Daimo,

    This sounds like the Oscar scene of the movie. Can Ben Affleck really win an Oscar though?!!