Passing beneath the dramatic crags of The Buachaille, up the zigzags of the Devil's Staircase and over a high pass with views of the magnificent Mamores range; then down into the deep wooded glen of Kinlochleven, a small town with a fascinating industrial past, hidden away at the head of a fjord-like sea loch - there's a lot to be said for this fairly short stage of the WHW. For a more challenging day it can easily be run together with stages 5 or 7.
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Distance: 8.85 miles (14.25 km)
Total ascent: 433m
Steepest Gradient: 21% (1 in 5)
Time: 4 – 6 hours (Walking)
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Additional InformationStart Kingshouse Hotel, NN259546; Finish The Ice Factor climbing wall in Kinlochleven is as good a place as any to finish (bar, decent food...), NN187619
The route is a mix of hill trail and Landrover track, a little stony underfoot in places but basically pretty easy. The ascent of the Devil's Staircase seems to have gained an undeserved reputation for toughness among some WHW walkers; it's really quite tame.
With a high point of about 550m this stage of the WHW could be hard going in heavy winter conditions.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Northwest Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
Glasgow-Ft.William buses on the A82 pass close by the Kings House Hotel. Local buses run between Kinlochleven and Ft.William.
West Highland Way, Dan Bailey, pb. Pocket Mountains http://www.pocketmountains.com/product/west-highland-way
OS Explorer 384 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 392 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Ben Nevis (1:40,000), OS Landranger 41 (1:50,000)
Kings House Hotel 01855 851259 - 'wild' camping is also welcomed here, though some tolerance for midges is required in season. Blackwater Hostel & campsite, Kinlochleven http://www.blackwaterhostel.co.uk/ Tailrace Inn, Kinlochleven http://www.tailraceinn.com/
Find more Listings near this route
Ballachulish (08452 255 121)
by Dan Bailey UKH