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Ring of Steall - not!

Ring of Steall - not!


Postby AndrewP » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:16 pm

Route description: The Ring of Steall, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: An Gearanach

Date walked: 25/08/2009

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A mini-arc of the Ring of Steall, Mamores - or - Welcome to the Western Highlands!
25/8/2009
(edited 27/9/09 to link photos)

This was really an after-thought, to attach a munro walk to a visit to Glen Nevis, the naming-place of our first son (a beautiful picture of it out of a Scotsman Calendar was our inspiration). We even brought him along, now 22 years old and keen to see the place after which he was named. And as we found, Glen Nevis really is a beautiful place, and Steall Falls and the gorge of the Water of Nevis both quite spectacular.
Image
So the plan was to visit the Glen and then continue up onto An Gearanach, proceed clockwise down and up and exit north west off Sgurr a'Mhaim, with a potential bombing-out before the Devil's Ridge if required.
It was straightforward enough making our way from the carpark up along the gorge to the three-wires (I was going to ask why they weren't joined so as to be more stable, and then I realised you could possibly slide a carabiner along them as they are). Carefully sploshing through the mud either side of Steall Falls was fun and a fairly easy acent was made up the zig-zaggy stalkers path. A quick snack was had in the grassy spot below An Gearanach, enjoying the patchy (due to rain) view up the Glen, in the lee from the South Westerly that was getting stronger.
Image
By the time the snack was finished, rain had begun, and the wind had freshened. By the time we got to the top of An Gearanach, it had blown in fierce, and whilst visibility wasn't bad, being able to look up to actually see was problematic, due to the icy wind. Hadn't considered snow goggles for this trip!
Image
Even after the simple traverse to An Garbhanach, it had been so blustery and sleety that aforementioned son asked how much more we were going to do. Taking the hint, and realising that we had at least another hour of walking into the sleet if we continued, we decided to bail east and anti-clockwise, making our way north high above the Allt Coire na Gabhalach, sometimes on an old bench track, continuing on above some ten or so deer, and skirting above the An Cearcallach to join the original track as it dropped down to the Nevis valley again.
Passing below the Steall Falls this time was quite spectacular, as the volume had doubled, perhaps tripled on what we had passed only two or three hours earlier. Helen and I had to link arms on our crossing, and the stream bottom was only barely visible (we figure that if you can see the bottom, you're probably okay - that's a rule of thumb we've used in NZ before, anyway).
Image
The Water of Nevis thundered through the gorge, leaving us not disappointed, but impressed.
So the day was not what we - as naively optimistic Aussies - had hoped, but actually still had an interesting and beautiful trip, and learnt much about Highland weather.
More pics once I get home and can stitch together the panoramas...
Last edited by AndrewP on Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AndrewP
 
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Location: Hall Village, ACT, Australia

Re: Ring of Steall - not!

Postby mountain coward » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:03 am

Nice report and especially like the pic of the Garbhanach 'tent-ridge' as I call it - I had to turn back at An Garbhanach when I crossed from An Gearanach as I didn't like the last bit so it's not that simple! And yes, there's lots and lots to learn about Highland weather (or any British weather for that matter) - none of us can figure it out, especially how we never get summers any more! :(
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Re: Ring of Steall - not!

Postby Michelle » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:45 am

That's an impressive difference in the volume of the falls between the first and the last pic- I've never seen it quite like that! :shock:

That wire bridge is great fun!
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Re: Ring of Steall - not!

Postby AndrewP » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:16 am

A few more pics...
Panorama over Glen Nevis
Image
The Steall Falls catchment.
Image
The upper reaches of the Water of Nevis
Image
One of the few shots taken on our descent...
Image
The Nevis Gorge, Before and After
Image
Last edited by AndrewP on Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AndrewP
 
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Re: Ring of Steall - not! Route Map

Postby AndrewP » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:26 am

And here's the route we took...

Gearanach.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Just in case it helps anyone else bail out...!
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AndrewP
 
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Re: Ring of Steall - not!

Postby monarchming » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:46 am

Hard luck with the weather Andrew,it took me 3 visits to get the Ring of Steall done as the weather was so bad on the first 2 attempts! :thumbup:
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Re: Ring of Steall - not!

Postby AndrewP » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:56 pm

Yeah, well, I intend to come back some time.
It is a long way from Oz, though...
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Re: Ring of Steall - not!

Postby kinley » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:02 pm

Very impressive comparison in water flow there.

Amazing how fast it rises :shock:
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