Well I had finished the West Highland Way and my intention was to go back to Glasgow and have a nice relaxing rest. I would be headed to Germany for a week of relaxation and good food and coffee and was really looking forward to it.
But I wasn't quite through with Scotland yet. Davie, who had picked me up in Ft William the day before had over-nighted at a hostel at the edge of town and I at my less than comfortable hotel (the Guisachan ~ if you can help it, don't ever stay there. The double rooms might have been fine, but as you might recall, I was stuck in a broom closet near the fire escape. Although I will admit, the breakfast was very tasty and the staff was nice enough to even bring me some towels, which they had forgotten to put in the room, when I asked for them).
I was looking forward to the drive back down along the A82 and reminiscing about the places I had seen over the last few days on foot. Davie, however, wanted to go hiking.
So as we passed through the area of Glencoe (or "the Glen") and looked at the peaks, I kept saying to Davie, "Well, I guess I could get out and stretch my legs for a bit." I was looking at the peaks and thinking to myself that none of them would be an easy jaunt. We filled up our water at the local climbers lodge and changed into hiking clothes. We proceeded down the highway and stopped not at the area where I had first scoped out a possible hike (I think the presence of the bagpiper drove Davie away from this location), but rather to the peak that I swore I would not climb.
|Bouchaille Etive Mor (the Great Heardsman) |
and Stob Dearg (Peak on Left)
But when Davie and I started out up the steep trail I somehow found my legs and my strength. The large stones in the trail were like stone steps: very consistent hiking and I soon found a nice groove. All my complaining about how tired my legs were after completing the 100 miles of the West Highland Way in the last 5 days seemed like sandbagging ~ I dusted Davie to the pass.
|At the pass.|
|Views to the southeast from the pass, Glen Etive lies below.|
|Self portrait on the pass.|
|Views to the north from the pass ~ the Devils Staircase|
and Ben Nevis clearly visible in the distance (center, left)
|View of Stob Dearg Peak from the pass.|
|View of the Rannoch Moor from the peak.|
|View out to the west, past Glencoe in the gap is the sea.|
The darkened hill in the middle I believe is Bouchaille Etive Beag ~
the Little Shepherd.
|Another view off to the north.|
|Me and Davie at the peak.|
We stopped at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel on the way back and I got a piece of cake and a coffee and I think Davie got a Shandy (never did Davie drink so many Shandies as when he traveled with me, I think... ). It was a nice little pick-me-up treat that held me over until dinner (anticipating with apprehension).
|Bridge of Orchy Hotel where we stopped for refreshments.|
Off to bed at a decent hour... because I would be traveling to Germany in the morning.
On the day ~ Bagged Munro Stob Dearg via Bouchaille Etive Mor (the Great Herdsman). 4.75 miles, 2,500 ft elevation gain, moving time 2hr 25 min (elapsed time nearly 4 hours to enjoy the views). Amazing day. Looking up the wiki on the peak, it is quite famous and I feel fortunate that Davie talked me into having the energy to climb it.