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Ring of Steall - A fool falls in

Ring of Steall - A fool falls in

Postby Verylatestarter » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:02 pm

Route description: The Ring of Steall, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Sgùrr a' Mhàim, Stob Coire a' Chàirn

Date walked: 05/09/2020

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1676m

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This being one of the great set-piece walks, we had added it to our to-do list last year. Having driven down from Torridon on the 4th and stopping at the Glen Nevis Hostel we could get a full days walking in. As we took almost exactly the WH routes I will only stick to a few notes.
1 - man on a wire 2005.jpg
Man on a wire 2005

2 - i think we should cross here in 2020.jpg
"i think this is where we should cross in 2020"

3 - fool on a wire 2020.JPG
Fool on a wire 2020

5 - ben crosses in 2020.JPG
Ben crosses in 2020

The weather dry and cool with cloud base at about 1100m. We parked at lower falls and walked along road to upper car park. There were a lot of wild campers in the Glen, just waking up. Up the Nevis gorge, into flat open valley which always comes as a surprise and over the wire bridge; past the hut and then approach to the Steall falls. The whole area around the falls was wet and we picked our way across the boggy area. The falls were not is spate but just enough water to wet the rocks. Ben got across fine but I went in up to my knees sliding off a rounded rock. My boots eventually dried out about 2;00 o’clock.
6 - Steall falls just as i was about to fall in.JPG
Steall falls just before the fool falls in

7 - the dark geen areas to the left of the river are bog.JPG
The dark green are to the left of the river Nevis is bog

The area beyond the falls was even more of a quagmire so I decided to run for it, being soaked already, it certainly didn't make me any wetter. In retrospect we should have waded the river beyond the wire bridge as two scramblers on our route did (one had previously fallen in so knew better this time). I usually carry beach shoes for such a necessity, but the bridge seemed so tempting, having crossed it on trips in the 90’s and 00’s but gone no further than the falls, this time it would be different.
8 - path up An Gearanach.JPG
The path up An Gearanach

9 - looking back from An Gearanach.JPG
Looking back North from An Gearanach

The zig zag route up the North side of A Gearanach was on a poor quality eroded path, one of the most difficult stretches of the walk. Given the popularity of the walk and the fact we make a voluntary contribution to the car parking I would have hoped some money could be found to improve the paths at both ends of this walk. Still the rest of the walk was superb; the scramble over An Garbhanach was straightforward, the Munro’s we walked up without incident, the Devil’s Ridge exposed but comfortable (clearly the Devil was having an off day), the worst bit an obstructive vertical slab that could be climbed or bypassed, depending on your capability . A lot of ascent but nicely spread out over the six hills. Stob ban looked magnificent (one more for the list). The long slope down Sron Gurr a Mhain was gruelling the upper sections quartzite rubble and the lower section boggy but we got back to the car in time for dinner (always our main priority) and were in a fit enough state to drive home the next day.
10 - looking forward to An Garbhanach.JPG
Looking South the An Garbhanach

11 - Start of scrambling.JPG
Start of the scramble

12 - scrambling.JPG

13 - Stob Coire a Chairn.JPG
Stob Corie a Chaim from the North

14 An Gearanach.JPG
An Gearanach from the South

15 - Sgurr a Mhain, Devils ridge, Sgorr an Lubhair.JPG
Sgorr an Iubhair, Devil's Ridge and Sgurr a Mhaim

16 - Devils ridge.JPG
Devil's Ridge, notch at right end is the tricky bit

17 - Sgorr an Lubhair - not quiet a Munro.JPG
Sgorr an Iubhair - not quiet a Munro

18 - Am Bodach, the steep bit.JPG
Am Bodach - the steep bit is to the right side of cliffs - rough and blocky.

19 - Old man on the Old Man.JPG
Old man on the Old Man aka Fool on the Hill

20 - young man on the Old man.JPG
Young man on the Old Man

21 - Stob Ban - the steep bit.JPG
Stob Ban - the steep bit

22 - The Devils Ridge from Lubhair.JPG
The Devil's Ridge from Iubhair

24 - starting up the Devils ridge.JPG
Starting up the Devil's Ridge,

25 - along the top.JPG
along the top

26 - a bit of scrambling.JPG
and a bit of scrambling.

27 - bypass on West side of the tricky bit.JPG
Bypass on West side of the tricky bit

28 - more bypass.JPG
and more bypass

29 - Ben takes the direct route.JPG
Ben takes the direct route ...

30 - over the top.JPG
over the top

31 - looking back to the tricky bit.JPG
Looking back to the tricky bit

32 - last part of Devils.JPG
Last part of the Devil's ridge

34 - Devils Ridge veiwed from North.JPG
The Devil's Ridge viewed from the North

35 - South spur of Sgurr a Mhaim, belach to Stob ban on right.JPG
South spur of Sgurr a Mhaim with the bealach to Stob Ban on right

36 - Northwest spur of Sgurr a Mhaim.JPG
Northwest spur of Sgurr a Mhaim

37 - Quartzite.JPG

38 - Sgurr a Mhaim from NW.JPG
Sgurr a Mhaim from the Northwest

39 - The long way dwon.JPG
The long way down into Glen Nevis

40 - The path.JPG
'The Path'

For the whole week we had totalled 9 Munros and ascended 5546m; my 2 year old boots were wrecked but, all in all, it was a great week. We’ll be back for more, and have now added the rest of the Mamores to our list.

Has anyone tried the route from Waters of Nevis to Binnien Bearg as an approach to the Eastern round 4?
33 - Panorama - An Gearanach, Stob Corie a Chaim, Am Bodach & Sgorr an Lubhair.JPG
Panorama (l to r) - An Gearanach, Stob Corie a Chaim, Am Bodach. Sgorr an Iubhair and The Devil's Ridge from Sgurr a Mhaim
23 - Stob Ban - hopefully next year.JPG
Stob Ban - hopefully next year!
Mountain Walker
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Re: Ring of Steall - A fool falls in

Postby Grisu » Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:42 pm

Thanks for the report and escpecially the pictures bringing back the memories of a great summer's day when I was doing the Ring of Steall, but oh the descent was so awfully looooong, I'll never forget!
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Re: Ring of Steall - A fool falls in

Postby Graeme D » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:55 pm

Brilliant photos from a classic hillwalking circuit. That shot across to Stob Ban is one of my favourite sights in the Scottish mountains. Absolutely awe inspiring. :D
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Graeme D
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Re: Ring of Steall - A fool falls in

Postby Verylatestarter » Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:03 pm

I agree about Stob Ban Graeme, All the better for being totally unexpected; it's now on my to-do list for this year (fingers crossed).
Mountain Walker
Posts: 70
Munros:26   Corbetts:4
Joined: Oct 14, 2020
Location: East Anglia

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