The Brothers Gonna Work It Out

Brief Moments in your lives!!! Also, show us your Pets Thread!!!

Started by Bosco, Feb 13, 2021, 11:19

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So, on to the next day. Quite early in planning my journey I got the idea of hiking up Ben Nevis, UKs tallest mountain, which is conveniently located right next to Fort William. As somebody who grew up surronded by mountains with summits at around 2000ish meters, Ben Nevis' peak at 1345 meters might not look that spectacutlar at first glance, until you think about that you walk up there basically from sea level. The easiest route is ~8km (16km in total, because of course you have to walk back), so that's an average gradient of 16%, which is absolutely no joke. But doable for me, my main worry was the wheather, since it's already autumn and it can get really cold and wet up there. There also aren't any shelters along the route. Good hiking gear from head to toes is a must!
Fortunately, the weather forecast for today was good enough (and pretty much what I prepared for) to attempt the hike (I had also planned some alternative easier routes in the area should the weather be bad): Cloudy, ~10 °C in the valley and ~0° with fog and rain up the summit, but no snow.
While the route doesn't require any climbing, it certainly is not easy. On the lower part you're basically traversing a very steep flank on stone steps (think about climbing up irregular, steep stairs for kilometers on end), before reaching a plateau that's about in the middle of the route and offers a bit of easier walking for a short time. The final part zig-zags very steeply up again, with coarse pebbles, small rocks where you always should pay attention where you place your step. As expected, the last third or so was covered in dense fog and it rained, but fortunately the path is not difficult to find. The upper parts of the climb where also incredibly windy, sow much that I saw quite some people (including myself) stumble for a little bit when hit by a heavy gust. In the final few hundred meters the gradient eases up a bit, but the terrain remains strenuous to walk.
Reaching the summit was incredibly rewarding, and despite the cold, wet and windy weather I saw a lot of happy faces. Needless to say, the tallest moutain in the UK offers spectacular views, in this case a 360° view of the famous dense scottish fog.
Jokes aside, on the way up and down I was treated with stunnig views of the Glen Nevis and Loch Linhe.


this trip looks amazing! The photos and scenes look stupendous. Thank you for the play-by-play!

On Saturday, I took a bus heading south into the valley of Glen Coe. You might know this location from the scenic road in the James Bond Skyfall movie. The starting point for my hike today was a place called Kingshouse (a Hotel/Restaurant and Bunkhouse) and the route would take me along Glen Coe for the first part, then head north out of the valley to a little village called Kinlochleven. This route is a section of the long-distance West Highland Way. Compared to the climb of Ben Nevis the day before, it was a relatively easy, well-trodden mountain path. The first kilometers are more or less flat, until you reach a short, very steep climb called "Devil's Staircase" leading out of Glen Coe. When you reach the summit, that's about the halfway point of this route, from there you continue on a winding path gently sloping down to Kinlochleven and are treated with stunning views of the Mamores mountain range including Binnein Mòr and the Blackwater Reservoir. The final descent towards the village is very steep, but it's a wide gravel road, so easy walking. The hike was in almost perfect solitude, as I've seen only 7 other people and one dog during all of the 14 km.

Quote from: Stefan on Oct 30, 2023, 22:06
On Saturday, I took a bus heading south into the valley of Glen Coe. You might know this location from the scenic road in the James Bond Skyfall movie.
I was wondering if you were going to do this part. I drove the motorway alongside back in 2018. It was one of the most unique and memorable drives I've ever taken. Seeing the hikers along the path gave me inspiration to eventually do the same trek you just did.   
That would have blown my mind. If I had a mind.
"We going up!" and then pogo for the stars
"why yes, yes you are crazy and I love you for it!" Whirly

I didn't actually drive through the famous road itself, as the bus line doesn't go there, though. But I can imagine that it must be an absolute stunning ride, and I hope that I can explore it in some future trip, when I maybe rent a car myself. I did search for hiking routes that go directly into the mountains south of Glen Coe, and while there are many, none were really accessible at start/end by bus for me. I think there is a route which starts and ends at Kingshouse, but I decided that the West Highland Section was a better option for me.

On Sunday, I left Fort William and took the West Highland Train back south, to a place I probably looked forward to the most. Remember when I wrote a few posts ago that there are railway stations with platforms too short for the 2-carriage Highland Train? Well, the station is called Corrour, and it's this routes highest at 411 m altitude (and I think the second highest station in the UK). It's also the most remote, being accessible only by train, bike and foot (all gravel roads leading there are private). It's basically just the station, a restaurant/cafe and a small extra building which features 3 B&B rooms.
When I read about this place in summer and saw that they had one room for one night still available at a suitable date for me, I immediately booked it. The combination of remoteness while at the same time being easily accessible by train is quite unique!
For a change, I was treated with clear skies this day and decided to hike a route going up the nearby hill called Leum Uilleim. The route starts immediately and the station, and right from the get-go I could check another item from my bucket list: the Genuine Scottish Bog Experience ® ™ (shout-out to my hiking boots for keeping my feet dry the whole time). What looks like grasslands is actually bog, where solid ground isn't easy to find. Think of it like walking on a plant-covered sponge. It also makes exactly the slurping sounds you can imagine while walking across. There isn't any track to follow, you have to find your own path, the recommended GPS route just gives you a general idea of the direction to take. Luckily, and also due to the good view, the ridge leading up to the summit provides a good target to follow.
Around halfway into the climb, the bog changes to rocky grasslands with solid ground and the gradient gets very steep for a bit, then opening up on a plateau leading to the summit, with very easy and pleasant walking. On the way up, the views into the valley and the nearby Loch Ossian and Loch Treig were excellent. I even cought the Jacobite Steam Train chugging its way up the tracks, and at one time a fighter jet from the British Air Force flew very low through the valley (it was so quick that I couldn't catch in on my camera).
From the summit, the hike continues on a ridge swooping back towards Corrour, with the terrain changing to boggy again. Arriving back a the Station house I also decided to add a short walk to Loch Ossian. And to add, the stay at Corrour Station and the food there was excellent!

Quick edit: I've read that Corrour is also the location of a famous scene in the movie Trainspotting, but I haven't seen it so can't really say anything about it.

Stefan! just breathtaking pics man. I'm definitely a mountain and fogs guy (The Ben Nevis shots are spectacular) Just those 2 elements would put me at peace if I encountered those things. The Glen Coe pics look doable for me If I ever attempted such a hike.

Have you always hiked in your life? Did your family or friends get you into the outdoors or was it self discovery?

Definitely want to get a camera and shoot in the outdoors for the post New Years resolution. I have some HDL to lower down a bit and get out of the city.
This is up there. Like, Star Guitar up there.

Went to Disney Fist for the October fest. Got on all the big rides on short standby times. Tickets are always going up, but at least parking is a little easier to get in the park faster. (bitterly bites on a churro )
We got on ROTR in 25 minutes! (New Record)

This is up there. Like, Star Guitar up there.

@inchemwetrust : Thanks! Afaik there's no shortage of breathtaking mountains near LA, but it might take some luck to find them in fog ;D
I haven't been that much of a hiking type. Of course, growing up surrounded by mountains I did go on the occasional hike with my parents or on school trips, but it wasn't until when I was a teenager when I learned to really appreciate nature, and that was when I discovered that I really like cycling (my dad took me on some cycling rides and it was the first sport/activity which I really had fun at).
For my Scotland trip, I decided that hiking was simply one of the best ways to experience the stunning landscapes.

And I'd love to see the Star Wars parks in Disneyland/world one day, they haven't been open when I was in Orlando back in 2017.

Travel Log update: On October 31st, I left Corrour and went via train and then bus to the village of Luss on Loch Lomond, my last stop in the Highlands. It's really just a tiny village, but very scenic! Instead of doing another extensive hike (which the area certainly offers), after three intensive days, I only went for a short walk through Luss on the evening I arrived to get some Halloween vibes and then, the next morning, a relaxing walk through the surrounding forests.

Nov. 1st I went from Luss to Edinburgh, here are some pics from my walk through the city that evening. Didn't do anything else exciting that day exept to get some delicious Haggis for dinner ;D

Having already been to Edinburgh a few years ago, on the next day I visited some places which I haven't seen so far, namely the Royal Botanic Gardens, a park where plants from all over the world grow. I never knew such a thing as black gras even existed ;D
Next stop was Calton Hill, which offers great views over the city.
After that, it was just enogh time to spend one hour at the National Museum Of Scotland. I was there extensively at my last visit, but one thing that's great of many British Museums is that they're admission free, so you can just pop in, even if you don't have the time for a full visit.


I used to live just to the right of where you took this picture, up the stairs 

OK, wow, that's right next to the Royal Mile. Pretty exclusive address :o
But I guess as a resident you grow tired pretty fast of those pesky tourists taking pictures

it was student housing but yeah prime location. yeah the tourists got tiresome (especially posing in the phone booth on the corner of the block haha). but during peak tourist hours I was usually locked away in the computer lab so it wasn't too annoying. 

it was an amazing spot to be, one of those places where in hindsight I feel like I didn't properly appreciate at the time. 


Thank you so much for documenting your travels through Scotland. I only hope one day I can have a similar journey.

And is there a better time to travel than Autumn? I don't think so.

I've been meaning to post this - somewhat Chems related, more so Chems forum related! My son Connor ventured to Ireland over the new year and met up with forum folks chem'dup and Foxboy along the way. How freakin cool is that?? And they were soooo kind and welcoming to him, making memories that will last him a lifetime. I've been tripping on this like you wouldn't believe :D 🤯 It's amazing and cool this network of people we have because of these two guys that make music we really dig! I've yet to meet chem'd and Foxboy  - yet here's my son out there in the world meeting Chems fans! LOL!! Then it gets me thinking, my son was practically raised on Chemicals and the people here have been a village in ways that go beyond the screen. Aaaaand now I'm all nostalgic and mushy inside on this dreary January day...
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Foxboy is a great and welcoming lad. Finding him with a broken ankle at SW6 in 2016 and the subsequent post-chems adventure to a club in a motorcycle repair shop is a cherished memory.

Glad Connor got to meet him and chem'dup.
That would have blown my mind. If I had a mind.
"We going up!" and then pogo for the stars
"why yes, yes you are crazy and I love you for it!" Whirly

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