10th March, 2012
Crossing a corner of Rannoch Moor at the foot of the majestic Black Mount range, this stage is one of the best bits of the WHW. For the first time on the trail (for those heading north) the wild surroundings give the impression of really entering the west Highlands proper. The moor is uniquely impressive, a desolate expanse of peat ringed (at a distance) by mountains. The WHW follows the course of an old military road here, a long leg where the lack of shelter will be noticed on a windswept day. Fast teams might combine this leg with stage 6 to Kinlochleven, but pub fans will probably want to break the route with an evening in the Kingshouse.
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Distance: 12.15 miles (19.55 km)
Total ascent: 491m
Steepest Gradient: 12% (1 in 8)
Time: 4 – 6 hours (Walking)
Additional InformationStart Bridge of Orchy Hotel, NN297396; Finish Kings House Hotel, NN259546
Oban or Fort William
Easy paths and gravel tracks, with even a little bit of tarmac now and then. A couple of climbs but nothing major.
It can be extra bleak on Rannoch Moor in the winter, and obviously deep snow here is going to slow progress a bit.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: West Highlands – Met Office: West Highlands
Bus or train to Bridge of Orchy, but from here the WHW and railway part company and a bus on the A82 is your only option.
West Highland Way, Dan Bailey, pb. Pocket Mountains http://www.pocketmountains.com/product/w...
OS Explorer 377 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 384 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 385 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Ben Nevis (1:40,000), OS Landranger 41 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 50 (1:50,000)
Bridge of Orchy Hotel (and bunkhouse) 01838 400208 Inveroran Hotel 01838 400 220 Kings House Hotel 01855 851259 - 'wild' camping is also welcomed here, though some tolerance for midges is required in season.
Tyndrum (08452 255 121)
by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
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