Looking East Along Glen Coe,
Lochaber, Scotland

Looking East Along Glen Coe, Lochaber, Scotland

For more years than really was fair even if looking out through coach windows left me gobsmacked, I passed through Glen Coe in the sunshine. As if to repay that slight, my initial walking trips that took in the glen were under cloudy skies. My most visit was very different: clear blue skies with scarcely a cloud around and in sweltering summer heat too. It was hardly the best for walking and I felt the effects of my exertions more keenly than if I had been out on a cooler day. There was an April visit to Glencoe village that also enjoyed sunshine, so this wasn't the first time, and I am left hoping that the most recent visit won't be the last either for there is much to see, explore and savour.

My suspicion is that most who ascend the Devil's Staircase path that is part of the West Highland Way miss this scene. My first trot along this section drew me south from Kinlochleven it was laid out before me. Cloudy conditions on that August day in 2002 have had me wishing to see the same vista with more in the way of sun and a chance in July 2013 was what granted me the audience during which the above photo was captured.

On the left is Stob Beinn a' Chrùlaiste, whose steep flank I descended not long before I witnessed the above scene. Any designs on continuing to Kinlochleven were put on hold though it would have been a magical evening experience if I were able to continue that far. However, my ascent of Beinn a' Chrùlaiste had granted me much the same views, so I was far from disappointed with having to finish my walking when I did.

Across the glen from Stob Beinn a' Chrùlaiste is one of the mountain tops that make up Buachaille Etive Mor: Stob Dearg. Behind that, there's Sròn na Creise and Creag Dhubh with Glen Etive between them. This is big countryside, and it was its appearing like a giant upturned egg carton with the mountains sprouting out of the ground that amazed me on my first encounter in May 1998. In a way, it amazes me that it's only more recently that I finally am getting to explore much more of the area and there are further proposals for continuing that should opportunities arise that make use of them.

See more photos from this album (West Highland Way)