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Steall falls wire bridge

Steall falls wire bridge


Postby cantabrigian » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:03 pm

A couple of questions about the famous (or notorious?) wire bridge at Steall Falls (prompted by a very wet walk there today - the falls were looking particularly spectacular):

1. When was it built, and by whom?

2. Who currently owns/is responsible for it?

3. Are there, or have there ever been, any plans to build a “proper” footbridge there?

Thanks for any enlightenment.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby jmarkb » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:32 pm

cantabrigian wrote:1. When was it built, and by whom?


Some info (but no date) here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Nevis

cantabrigian wrote:2. Who currently owns/is responsible for it?


The John Muir Trust own the land and repaired the bridge in 2010: https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2010/08/24/steall-bridge-reopens-to-walkers
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby jmarkb » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:16 pm

Plans in place for a new path on the south side of the river: https://www.nevispartnership.co.uk/news/paddys-bridge-to-steall-falls-a-new-nevis-path
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:32 pm

jmarkb wrote:Plans in place for a new path on the south side of the river: https://www.nevispartnership.co.uk/news/paddys-bridge-to-steall-falls-a-new-nevis-path

Great info jmarkb. That 2nd picture with the Steall hut was confusing me. It looks like they are building a path upstream also, but I take it that is the Allt coire a' Mhail (the burn from the Steall falls) in spate, not the Nevis? I hope they never replace the wire bridge with a normal one though a bridge across the Allt coire a' Mhail and a path navigating through the bogfest to An Gearanach would be welcome. (I nearly drowned in there. :shock: ) I know I'm asking for too much. :D
I think the mining company, it was Rio Tinto at the time, own the land on the south side of the Nevis and I thought they paid for the repairs to the wire bridge a few years back but could be wrong.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:06 pm

cantabrigian wrote:A couple of questions about the famous (or notorious?) wire bridge at Steall Falls (prompted by a very wet walk there today - the falls were looking particularly spectacular):

1. When was it built, and by whom?

2. Who currently owns/is responsible for it?

3. Are there, or have there ever been, any plans to build a “proper” footbridge there?

Thanks for any enlightenment.


Great questions cantabrigian.

1.No idea though I might be able to find out. I was first there in the early 80s and I guess it was long before that. On the south side of the river the lower wire rope is anchored by an old half shaft cemented into the rock. :shock: The white hut belongs to the Lochaber mountaineering club.

2. The land on the north side has been owned by the John Muir Trust for around 20 years. On the south side the land is owned by the mining company, it used to be Rio Tinto until fairly recently. I think the mining company owns the bridge but maybe wrong, it could be shared or it could be the John Muir trust, they acquired Ben Nevis along with the land.

3. I hope not. The Steall meadows is one of my favourite places and the wire bridge is part of the magic.

So I have no real answers to your questions but I reckon I visit there at least once a year. :roll:
Great info from jmarkb I hope others have more. :D
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby rodderss » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:22 pm

Anybody ever fallen off this bridge or seen anyone fall.

With my rubbish balance I don't fancy my chances of making it across.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:39 pm

A wire broke a few years ago when a load of Dutch folk overloaded it. A few fell in. :crazy:
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby madprof » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:46 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:though a bridge across the Allt coire a' Mhail and a path navigating through the bogfest to An Gearanach would be welcome. (I nearly drowned in there. :shock: ) I know I'm asking for too much. :D


Oh god seconded, no...thirded too! The path is a bit less boggy than it was, I think...comparing Feb '18 to Feb '14. But that isn't saying much.

A bridge or assistance of *any* sort would be amazing over the burn. I've er, had problems with the burn on a past walk. Not as bad as the poor person who fell in completely.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby cantabrigian » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:21 pm

Thanks all for the interesting info and comments. Glad to hear about the new path - I may be able to do the Ring of Steall some time after all...
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:25 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:A wire broke a few years ago when a load of Dutch folk overloaded it. A few fell in. :crazy:


Who's gonna say it first? Me? OK. ...

The wire snap resulted in soggy cloggies. Geddit? No? I'll get ma coat :roll:
.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:26 pm

rodderss wrote:Anybody ever fallen off this bridge or seen anyone fall.

With my rubbish balance I don't fancy my chances of making it across.



My eldest laddie (11yrs) crossed the wire bridge a couple of times earlier this year. He found it very easy. There were a couple of younger kids too who did it when we were there. It looks worse than it is.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby WalkWithWallace » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:34 pm

It's worth pointing out that you don't have to cross the wire bridge to do the Ring of Steall.

You can simply walk further up the path and cross the river (out with spate conditions), this also avoids the worst of the bog.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby vuirich » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:55 pm

cantabrigian wrote:When was it built, and by whom?

I don't know who built the bridge or when, but there was a wire bridge there in July 1970. Back then the side wires were a lot lower than in later reincarnations; as kids, we could hold on to both these wires with ease.
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:52 pm

WalkWithWallace wrote:It's worth pointing out that you don't have to cross the wire bridge to do the Ring of Steall.

You can simply walk further up the path and cross the river (out with spate conditions), this also avoids the worst of the bog.



Yip,that's correct,that's the way I went
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Re: Steall falls wire bridge

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 11:58 pm

The second time we did the Ring of Steall my mates reached the wire bridge first, and took an age carefully crossing it. If they'd looked 20 yards upstream they'd have noticed me striding easily across some boulders as the river was actually quite low. Annoyingly justice was swift as I fell into the river below Steall Falls about 4 minutes later :lol:
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