Heading into Autumn I’m excited to confirm that Harvey the RV is now fully converted and ready to hit the open road. The first destination on the list being munro bagging to Glen Coe in the Scottish highlands. Huge thanks to John over at Revolution Vans for all his hard work on the VW T6 camper conversion project. With John no ask was too big and I’ve been massively impressed by the quality and workmanship of the final product Be sure to check out John and Revolution Vans for all your VW Transporter work in Scotland. He has a wealth of knowledge to help you with all stages of your van project or VW accessory fitting.
Glen Coe bound
Since picking up my fully converted T6 transporter from Revolution Vans I’ve been like a kid at Christmas. The weekend couldn’t come soon enough to try out everything for the first time. On Saturday I left Glasgow far behind and drove up the A82 towards Glen Coe. The plan was to complete the remaining munros in the area, getting me closer to the half way point for year end. Bidean Nam Bian and its adjacent munro summit were the final peaks in the area I had still to visit. With the weather looking excellent for the following day it was the perfect opportunity to get some climbing done.
Room with a view
Leaving later in the day I opted to make an overnight stay at Glen Coe ski centre. It has good facilities to accommodate van life, containing everything from electric hook up, to a cafe and toilets. For those looking for a more adventurous stay, you can hire mountain bikes or take the ski lift up to hit the nearby slopes. There isn’t a shortage of things to do and see around here.
Although a wet and blustery day, I was able to make full use of the pop up roof in the new van conversion. I was blown away by the extra amount of space the new roof installation provided and can now sleep 4 adults if required. Basic things like cooking and getting changed are made so much easier with the ability to stand fully up right. If you don’t have one already, you need a pop up roof in your VW Transporter life!
Hiking Bidean Nam Bian
After a comfy nights sleep in my new fold down bed, I woke fully refreshed ready to hike. The goals for the day were the two munro summits of Bidean Nam Bian. Parking is available about 10 minutes drive from the Glen Coe ski centre just up the A82, with space available to fit even larger coaches. Van space is no issue at all but do try to arrive early as the area is very popular with tourists and can fill up occasionally.
The hike follows up a route of steep ascent towards a hanging valley, making for an excellent rest stop. Terrain is fairly similar to the other munro walks in the area. Wet rocky ground that can be fairly eroded and loose in places, making careful route finding and general positional awareness essential. I found this outing to be the most enjoyable of my adventures out in Glen Coe due to the more complex terrain and mild scrambling across minor boulder fields.
I ain’t afraid of no ghost
I’d heard tales of mysterious sights from other munro baggers during their time outdoors in the mountains. One of which is the infamous Brocken Spectre. It appears like a visit from an alien or divine being, you decide which. The vision certainly adds drama to a day out in the hills and could terrify some who are unfamiliar with the natural phenomena.
I stumbled across my visit of the ghost like Brocken Spectre after completing almost half the munros in Scotland so its a truly unique experience. Coming into view just after the final summit of the day it was an experience worth waiting for. Created from sun light shining from behind a walker, who is looking down a ridge into cloudy mist. An optical illusion magnifies the size and shape of the persons shadow to cause a truly breath taking scene that won’t be forgotten.
The lost Valley
Progress to the munro summit was without problem due to the excellent visibility on the day. These would however be challenging mountains to climb during winter due to the steep terrain and narrow rocky ridges. The tops provide excellent views up to Kinlochleven, Ben Nevis and the wider Fort William area. Ben Nevis looked particularly impressive from this angle and is one of the few times I’ve seen it cloud free.
Approaching the final summit around 4pm it was time to make descent before nightfall. Autumn days bring shorter day light hours so its important to manage your time effectively to avoid being caught out unprepared. The return route descends into the lost valley. This is a fascinating area full of history, previously used during the Jacobite uprising in Scotland and by cattle drovers on way to market. The flat open terrain, protected on all sides by the mountains, would make for an excellent camp site. An abundance of fresh flowing water would allow you to stay here for as long as necessary.
Dark night rises
Forging a river crossing just before night fall I was closing in on my starting point in Glen Coe. Total darkness had began to fall by 7pm making head torches an essential item to return safely. During my final approach through the glen I reflected on a truly fantastic day out, definitely the finest I experienced in the area to date. The comfort of knowing I was returning to the complete luxury of my newly converted VW Transporter was also a huge positive to relieve tired legs.
I eagerly look forward to more adventures in Harvey the RV and enjoying van life. Massive thanks again to John over at Revolution Vans for making dreams into reality! Like our photography? Check out our shop to take home one of our best for your wall.