WHW - Day 6 - Kinlocheven to Fort William
County/Area - Highland - Fort William Lochaber
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 15.0 miles / 24.4 km Ascent - 2200 feet / 667 metres
Time - 9 hours 40 minutes Grade - moderate
|Ordnance Survey Explorer 392
|Anquet OS Explorer 392
Walk Route Description
Click image to visit gallery of 3 images.
The houses of Kinlochleven nestle in a valley at the end of the loch with tree-clad slopes above, overlooked by the soaring peaks of the Mamores range.
Although this final stage (day 6 out of 6) passes along a valley amid the mountains of the impressive Mamores range, this is not the most scenic stretch of the WHW overall, The finish is also something of an anti-climax as it goes along the busy High Street in Fort William which is out of character with the majority of the route.
After a path up through woodland from Kinlochleven, a view opens out looking down on the village, Loch Leven, and across to the thimble-like prominence of the Pap of Glencoe. A little later on, the jagged ridge of the Aonach Eagach comes into view. It was an overcast but bright day with wisps of cloud drifting across the tops. However, the next stretch can seem interminably long as the path follows a bleak and remote valley for a few miles, passing a derelict building at one point with warning signs that it is not safe to go inside. On approaching what, in 2006, was an evergreen forest, in 2014, it was a scene of desolation after widespread tree-felling activities had left it a wasteland and an eyesore. Some petrified trees added to the sense of desolation. A remote lake is pleasing to the eye as the route leads off towards Glen Nevis. A mixture of forestry trails, open countryside and some up and downhill stretches with a couple of streams to cross leads within sight of the Glen Nevis valley via a downhill forestry trail. As is often the case, Ben Nevis was cloaked in swathes of cloud down as far as around the Half Way Lochan, revealing only the Red Burn (stream) and the meeting of the two paths going up, one from Achintee, and the other from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel, the reddish-brown building of the latter clearly seen in the valley below.
Once you hit the main road, the last couple of miles is a dull trudge along the main road to Fort William Unfortunately the sign next to the roundabout is for the original end of the WHW. How many WHW walkers have spotted this sign from a distance and thought initially, perhaps wishfully, that they were reading "the official end"? A nearby café offers refreshment options for those who need to find some extra energy to complete the final bit (a few fellow walkers did, by the look of it). The new end is about a mile further along via Fort William High Street where a statue of a seated walker makes a popular photo stop for those celebrating completion of the route.
Other walks nearby
|Binnein Mor from Kinlochleven
|Am Bodach and Stob Coire a' Chairn
|The Lost Valley, Glen Coe
|Bidean nam Bian via Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe
|Buachaille Etive Beag, Glen Coe
|Ridges & peaks of Bidean Nam Bian
|Stob na Broige, Buchaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe
|Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) from Altnafeadh
|The Munros of Buachaille Etive Mor
Recommended Books & eBooks
Great Mountain Days in Scotland
Inspirational guidebook to 50 challenging routes for mountaineers, scramblers, hillwalkers and fell runners, many long enough to backpack over 2 days, especially in winter (12 to 25 miles). A mix of classic routes and unsung gems across Scotland from Galloway to the Outer Hebrides in widely differing wild landscapes. With customised OS mapping.
Walking the Munros Vol 2 - Northern Highlands and the Cairngorms
Guidebook to walking the northern Munros, covering the northern Highlands, the Cairngorms and the Isle of Skye. 70 routes are described, including those up Ben Macdui, Braeriach and Cairn Gorm. Routes range from 7 to 46km, requiring a fair level of fitness. The second of two guidebooks to walking Scotland's Munros: peaks higher than 3000ft.