Getting Ready for the West Highland Way

12-4-17

It’s just over a week now until we head off to trek the West Highland Way. We’ve done a decent few training hikes, bought a few bits of kit and dusted off some of the older ones buried away in the back of the flat (including my gorilla walking stick from Rwanda!). There’s just a shortish walk or two this weekend – at least one of them is agreed to be to the pub for a Sunday lunch – and then we’re off!

Forth Rail Bridge
Prep hike under the old Forth Rail Bridge

We’re aiming to do it over seven days, lugging stuff in backpacks, but sleeping in guesthouses, inns, small little shed-like ‘hobbit houses’ and the like, and eating across a combination of a pub a day and food picked up in the shops. So at least we don’t need to carry tents or cooking gear or much food which should keep the weight down to something nice and carry-able.

We’ll head out on the Friday with a nice early start to get the train across from Edinburgh to Milngavie, and trot on through the morning (and probably a bit more) up to Drymen. On day two the plan is to get to Rowardennan, and then onto Inverarnan the next day. Around this point is where I’m the most nervous – it’s roughly the half-way point, both time and distance-wise, and mentally probably the hardest to keep it all moving. That, combined with sore muscles and probably a blister or two and it’ll be a fun little phase to fight through.

Getting past that bit and up and away from Loch Lomond, I like to think it’ll start to get a bit [mentally] easier…I’m sure I’ll be proved nicely wrong though in a week and a half’s time. The next couple of days, we plan to work between Tyndrum, Kingshouse, and Kinlochleven before we finally stumble into Fort William at the end for as many pints as we can possibly find in the town.

There’s a part of me that has grandiose plans of even tacking Ben Nevis on to the end of this little jaunt up the side of Scotland, but lets face it, The West Highland Way is probably going to be just a touch trickier than that, and the Ben isn’t the most forgiving of the hill options in Britain!

Prepping for the West Highland Way in the Pentlands
Getting a training hike in through the Pentland hills

So, there’s a plan, we’ve got all of the kit, and we’ve got our stops booked. All we need to do is actually manage to put one foot in front of the other for a week-long, 96 mile slog, and we’ll have the West Highland Way sorted! I have an odd feeling it will be awesome to be going to do it, horrendous to actually do, and incredible to be able to look back and say that we’ve done it…but I suppose I’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.

 

Day 1: Milngavie to Drymen on the West Highland Way

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