West Highland Way | Day 9

West Highland Way | Day 9

Today didn’t quite go as planned. We knew it was going to be wet, but what we didn’t expect was a blizzard and total white out! It’s April 14th and just a few days ago we were hiking in shorts!

Living in Scotland we know the weather is predictably unpredictable and you can always rely on it to be unreliable. But I have to be honest that it caught us a little by surprise.

We always carry enough warm layers if we get caught out. But what we don’t routinely carry are things like microspikes as they’re not usually needed on the West Highland Way in April.

Anyway we got kitted out and headed off from the campervan where we stayed the night after our epic meal at the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum.

Our idea was to walk from the campsite to Tyndrum meeting again with Sarah at the Green Welly Stop for some breakfast and to grab our backpacks out the van.

We headed off into the snow to walk the 1 mile into Tyndrum. We forded a wee river with water coming up to our mid calves, it was cold!

It wasn’t long before we reached Tyndrum with the snow settling and flakes getting bigger and the clumps turning into golf ball sizes. We struggled to see the trees on the opposite side of the road!

We set up a temporary camp in the Green Welly Stop and ordered some scrambled egg on toast for breakfast to wait and see what would happen, check the met office and have a discussion.

Sarah had already said as she walked in after driving the van to the cafe that she was considering using her veto as the snow was now laying thick outside.

We felt positive that we could still walk, be safe and manage the risk. We had planned to wild camp somewhere this evening.

After a discussion (and slight feeling of failure) we decided that we would delay walking today and carry on again tomorrow.

We made the decision together based on a number of factors but mainly to not take unnecessary risk. The route of the West Highland Way at this point heads uphill quite considerably so the snow would only get worse. Plus Eve still has tonsillitis and we didn’t want her battling another infection from getting cold and wet.

The cats had a vet appointment today and Eve being Eve was keen to go with them. This made the decision to stay off the trail for the day easier as it provided a good distraction.

So… we took a very slow drive back to Aberfoyle making the most of the time at home to wash our clothes, check food and try to get a plan for the next few days.

The annoying thing is that down the road only a few miles there was no snow and a bit further on there was even some blue sky!

It obviously didn’t make us question our decision, but rather annoyed us as I think, from what I can gather the snow was only on the area that we were going to walk and was going to be snowing until lunchtime.

This afternoon we all headed off to the vets. The cats are okay which we are all relieved about. We were starting to get a little bit worried so it’s always good when we get told not to worry.

We also popped to Cotswold as one thing this morning did do, is made me realise I need new gloves. I really struggle with cold hands when on a relatively warm day. Eve is fine and usually helps to keep my hands warm by holding my hands! I love my daughter!!!!

Not much more to say really. Bag is packed and ready for tomorrow and Eve has packed herself a few more snacks to take with her.

So, sleep well and we will see you all in the morning when we are hopefully back to hiking on the West Highland Way.

Take care

Ian, Sarah and Eve