Stacy Rowan
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High Hopes Hike: a guide to this year's route

Stacy Rowan
Posted by
02 Jan 2018

In May, we're once again holding the High Hopes Hike, a 10-mile trek across the Glencoe mountains to help beat blood cancer. Here's a guide to this year's route.

The Glencoe mountains in Scotland

On 26 May 2018, Bloodwise Scotland will lead a scenic trek through some of the Highlands' most distinctive terrain.

The 10-mile trek will set off from the Glencoe Mountain Resort and head towards Glencoe, with Buachaille Etive Mor visible ahead. The route then follows the line of Wade's military road.

We’ll then continue down the glen to the house at Altnafeadh. From here Buachaille Etive Mor looks awe-inspiring, and hikers will begin to be able to see the route upwards.

Next, we’ll follow the West Highland Way across a bridge and begin the steep climb to the highest point on the entire route. Turning north, away from the road, we’ll follow the line of the old military road to climb the Devil's Staircase. Despite the ominous name, the path is very clear and zig zags makes the hike easier going!

Two cairns mark the summit at 550m, a climb of 305m in height from the Kings House. There are amazing views of the Glencoe mountains as well as the rough terrain ahead.

Part of the Glencoe mountain range in Scotland

The path continues north descending to cross a burn on stepping stones and soon the Blackwater Reservoir can be seen to the right. Historically, the nearest pub was Kings House, and a number of men perished trying to return to the camp battling the combination of bad weather and inebriation, therefore given the name Devil's Staircase.

The peaks of the Mamores beyond Kinlochleven come into view ahead with Ben Nevis emerging as the backdrop. The route descends to a bridge over Allt a' Choire Odhair-mhoir and undulates until it heads down to the top of the pipeline to Kinlochleven. Here the route heads left onto a track. Soon there is an almost vertical view down to the village at the head of Loch Leven.

We will then follow the stony path which descends to a bridge over the River Leven. A final short walk will lead us to the Ice Factor, where there will be ample opportunity to rest and relax with lunch, drinks and receive your Bloodwise medal.

Read more and sign up to take part in the High Hopes Hike for Bloodwise.