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.