Monday 20th August
Kingshouse is an amazing place to stay. The well trodden carpet mended with gaffer tape, the mis-matched furniture & the yellowed wallpaper at first glance might seem shabby but the whole place holds the ghosts and memories of decades of walkers and climbers.
On the walls are pictures of groups of walkers clad in hand-knitted jumpers & dedications to long lost past patrons. Old wooden ski’s, a butter churn, a deers head and antlers on the wall complete the ambiance.
Food is ordered and served in the bar. It is fantastic, the best I’ve eaten along the way. I recomend the haggis and colcannon mash but all the food including the venison caserole looked good coming out of the kitchen. The staff are efficient and deal well with the multi-cultural cliental.
After yet another big Scottish breakfast (which fantastic as it was is likely to be my last this week. Even I have my limit when it comes to a greasy spoon breakfast, I think thats six days in a row now), we headed off into the misty morning prepared to tackle the devil’s staircase!
The cloud hung low over the surrounding peaks with the early morning sun broke through. The route continues directly from the door of Kingshouse hotel and runs parallel to the road.
Once you reach the first wooded area the path begins to climb towards the devils staircase. It’s not as steep or deadly as it sounds & was a pleasant climb. It’s so named because of the many Aluminium workers who lost their lives walking up to Kingshouse for a drink from Kinlochleven. Their bodies, it is said, would not be discovered till spring!
As we reached the top of the ridge, there in the distance was the badboy himself, ben nevis, beckonning seductively to us. Would have v much liked to have taken an extra & revisit ben nevis as it’s such a fantastic climb.
Very soon, the little white houses of Kinlochleven came into view. We were fooled into thinking we were nearly there but there’s quite a lengthy descent which is hard on tired knees & sore feet.
We stumbled into Kinlochleven just as the heavens opened. We had a few hours to kill so had sandwiches & chips. Our b&b for the night is absolutely beautiful. There’s a big basket of packets of biscuits and the bathroom is full of sweet smelling unduants. Our landlady knows what walkers want!