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A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall


Postby erin_niamh » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:05 pm

Route description: The Ring of Steall, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Sgurr a'Mhaim, Stob Coire a'Chairn

Date walked: 20/04/2012

Time taken: 15 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1676m

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Along with 4 friends, I completed this walk on Friday and what a day it turned out to be. I had initially planned on keeping this as a summer walk but after reading the route description, looking at the photos and reading other reports, (and the fact I didnt want to miss out as my friends were doing it anyway :lol:) I decided to join them.

We agreed to camp the night before in order to get an early start as we knew it would be a long day, we couldnt leave until later though due to work commitments.

We pass Glencoe just before10pm and there are hundreds and hundreds of deer in the fields near the road. Good start im thinking, always enjoy seeing the wild life.

We then pass under the Aonach Eagach ridge and stare in awe, next time we all agree (well nearly us all :lol: )

We arrive at the car park at the end of the road in Glen Nevis not long before 11pm, find a suitable (well in the dark it seemed suitable) place to pitch the tent and then get the food, lovely tin of Irish stew mmm :D

The night sky is full of stars and looks tremendous. I look at the shadows of the mountains surrounding us, wondering how they will look in the morning. There is a total peace that you just dont get anywhere else. "I love this" im thinking.

A quick bottle of ale (to help me get a sleep obviously :lol: ) before we get the head down at 1am.

What feels like 5 minutes later and a bright light shining into my tent (cheers David :-p) ensures im awake as well, 4am..time to get up.

There are many good reports already, so I will let the photos do the talking for the rest....
1. 4.30am and i'm cooking a fry up before we set off.JPG
4.30am and i'm cooking a fry up before we set off.


2. Not a bad effort if I do say so myself.JPG
Not a bad effort if I do say so myself.


3. 6.45am we're kitted up and we're ready to go.JPG
6.45am we're kitted up and we're ready to go.


4. After a short walk, we are soon treated to some stunning views in the open glen.JPG
After a short walk, we are soon treated to some stunning views in the open glen.


5. we were soon crossing the wire bridge.JPG
we were soon crossing the wire bridge.


6. Tony at the Steall Falls.JPG
Tony at the Steall Falls.


7. I was first to negotiate the rocks at the base of Steall Fall's so i had a wee laugh watching the other 4 attempting it.JPG
I was first to negotiate the rocks at the base of Steall Fall's so i had a wee laugh watching the other 4 attempting it


8. 4 hours and a slog later and we have reached the 1st summit of the day..JPG
4 hours and a slog later and we have reached the 1st summit of the day. An Gearanach


Some of the group were not as fit as others and this would delay us by some time but we knew we had lots of daylight so this did not worry us too much. If anything it gave us more of a chance to take in some of the stunning views as we waited at each summit.

I dont think any of us realised how tricky the next section would be. In hindsight there was plenty of holds and with care it wasnt difficult but Anton had a wee slip which had all our hearts in our mouth and I did consider turning back. Probably the only thing that stopped me turning back was i knew it was a long slog back and I would regret it later. Im glad I carried on, the walk got easier....well until the devils ridge that is... :lol:

9. Tony had a nasty knock on a rock which resulted in a cut knee and required a little first aid.JPG
Tony had a nasty knock on a rock which resulted in a cut knee and required a little first aid.


10. the ridge towards An Garbhanach.JPG
the ridge towards An Garbhanach.


11. it was a  tough but straight forward climb to Munro No.2 Stob Coire a'Chairn.JPG
it was a tough but straight forward climb to Munro No.2 Stob Coire a'Chairn.


12. less than 2 hours after leaving the 1st summit and we were on the summit of Munro No.2 Stob Coire a'Chairn.JPG
less than 2 hours after leaving the 1st summit and we were on the summit of Munro No.2 Stob Coire a'Chairn.


13. leaving the summit of Stob Coire a'Chairn and on our way to Am Bodach.JPG
leaving the summit of Stob Coire a'Chairn and on our way to Am Bodach.


14. Most of the clag had gone and we had tremendous panoramic views, here Tony is losing layers just before the final climb to Am Bodach. Sgor an Iubhair is on the right.JPG
Most of the clag had gone and we had tremendous panoramic views, here Tony is losing layers just before the final climb to Am Bodach. Sgor an Iubhair is on the right.


15. stunning view of The Devils Ridge with Sgor an Iubhair to the left and to the Sgorr a'Mhaim right..JPG
stunning view of The Devils Ridge with Sgor an Iubhair to the left and to the Sgorr a'Mhaim right.


16. with David on the summit of Munro No.3 Am Bodach.JPG
with David on the summit of Munro No.3 Am Bodach.


After some debate we all decided to tackle the devils ridge, we had plenty of daylight left and we were not sure how clever the conditions were on the ground if we cut the walk short. There is no denying it, for the most part we were all scared stiff. I was terrified! :shock: I don't mind heights if I know i'm safe but I did not feel safe, i knew with each step the snow made it very possible to slide and I also knew with the steepness there would be no time for a recovery with my ice axe. I was clear in my mind, slip and im dead :shock:

We all took our time and crossed the devil's ridge with extreme care, with no slips so we all survived :lol:

17. looking back to The Devils Ridge.JPG
looking back to The Devils Ridge.


18. The North Face of Ben Nevis.JPG
The North Face of Ben Nevis.


19. at last, on the summit of Munro No.4 Sgurr a'Mhaim.JPG
at last, on the summit of Munro No.4 Sgurr a'Mhaim.


20. The Descent to Glen Nevis with David & Ryan in the distance.JPG
The Descent to Glen Nevis with David & Ryan in the distance.


The snow made the descent easy, well easier. We got off the hill and back to the road at 9pm and then approximately a 40 minute walk to the car park. It was a long day but really enjoyable day. Really scary at times but in the end that all added to the fun. It has not put me off ridge walks but i doubt I will be rushing out to do any in the winter when the ground is snow covered. I reckon walking with some 'less fit friends' :lol: probably held us up approximately 4 hours in total. We stopped for a good while at each summit waiting on the group to get back together and also stopped frequently at each steep ascent.

Im well on target to have climbed 50 before the end of the year, where next?
erin_niamh
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby Banditman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:33 pm

Great report,
Did this about 20 years ago in the summer and I was knackered! Fantastic effort to go round in the conditions you had. Does look at bit scary on the devil's ridge. great photo of The Ben as well.

Well Done.
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby erin_niamh » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:40 pm

Banditman wrote:Great report,
Did this about 20 years ago in the summer and I was knackered! Fantastic effort to go round in the conditions you had. Does look at bit scary on the devil's ridge. great photo of The Ben as well.

Well Done.


thanks :D

tbh i think the conditions helped for the majority of the walk, from photos from other reports it looks like there is a lot of scree and boulders to cross and climb, the snow made this particularly easy. Descending each top was pretty easy as well, it just hindered when it came to the ridges as we all knew we could not afford to slip. There was very little and often no wind so I suppose it could have been worse. In hindsight it was probably silly to do the devils ridge with the conditions underfoot but when you start its kinda too late to stop. Outwith being terrified, lol I felt really fit but as always glad to get back to the car.
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby quoman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:51 pm

Quality report and excellent photo's i liked the pic of the fryup :lol:
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby erin_niamh » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:06 pm

quoman wrote:Quality report and excellent photo's i liked the pic of the fryup :lol:


cheers wullie :D

I was well impressed with the fry up, just as well the good lady doesnt see the photos or id be forced to cook in the house ...cant cook...wont cook :lol:
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby dooterbang » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:37 pm

That tattie scone looks awesome...couldnt eat the rest though as veggie!!

Looked a great day out.

You'll be glad you did it whilst still snow on the hills as adds a different dimension and experience to the walk.

Well done all of you.
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby erin_niamh » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:08 pm

dooterbang wrote:That tattie scone looks awesome...couldnt eat the rest though as veggie!!

Looked a great day out.

You'll be glad you did it whilst still snow on the hills as adds a different dimension and experience to the walk.

Well done all of you.


the tattie scone was cooked to absolute perfection :lol: it was a thick sunblest only the best :lol:

ive done 25 munros now and i think 20 of them have been in winter conditions, forgot what the hills look like without the snow, im sure this walk would have been tougher without the snow

thanks again :D
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby Fudgie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:22 pm

Great report and after reading that I now want a fry up :D
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby audreywaugh » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:32 pm

Great report and photos, as I've not had my dinner yet I'm liking the fry up photo best :lol: the tattie scone does look good!
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby monty » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:12 pm

Great report Erin. Fantastic views when the clag cleared up. Certainly a walk you will never forget. :D
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby Klaasloopt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:50 pm

The close-up of the fry up is just great, I love it. It sums up what we will do to get an early start. Looks tasty!
(the other pics are good too!)
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby yokehead » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:09 pm

Oh yes a cracking report. Pleased for you that you did it, and also got some marvellous weather - great photos. 8)
The breakfast looks just fine, and as for Anton baring (almost) all - well, some people.... :lol:
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby Alan S » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:24 pm

Great report there 8) I cant wait to get this done, Your pictures are cracking :D
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby adamarchie » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:57 pm

"Looking back to the Devil's Ridge": great photo!

Suggestions for "where next?"... Looking at your Munros map, you haven't been along the Tarmachan Ridge yet, right? That's a cracking wee ridge walk and very accessible. Best way to do it is clockwise, starting with the south aspect of Creag na Caillich (some nice optional scrambling here). Done clockwise, you then have a straightforward but enjoyable scramble leading up to Meall Garbh, rather than a tricky descent down it. Enjoy!
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Re: A wee bit scared at The Ring of Steall

Postby erin_niamh » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:34 am

Fudgie wrote:Great report and after reading that I now want a fry up :D


audreywaugh wrote:Great report and photos, as I've not had my dinner yet I'm liking the fry up photo best :lol: the tattie scone does look good!


Klaasloopt wrote:The close-up of the fry up is just great, I love it. It sums up what we will do to get an early start. Looks tasty!
(the other pics are good too!)


yokehead wrote:Oh yes a cracking report. Pleased for you that you did it, and also got some marvellous weather - great photos. 8)
The breakfast looks just fine, and as for Anton baring (almost) all - well, some people.... :lol:


monty wrote:Great report Erin. Fantastic views when the clag cleared up. Certainly a walk you will never forget. :D


alan s wrote:Great report there 8) I cant wait to get this done, Your pictures are cracking :D


adamarchie wrote:"Looking back to the Devil's Ridge": great photo!

Suggestions for "where next?"... Looking at your Munros map, you haven't been along the Tarmachan Ridge yet, right? That's a cracking wee ridge walk and very accessible. Best way to do it is clockwise, starting with the south aspect of Creag na Caillich (some nice optional scrambling here). Done clockwise, you then have a straightforward but enjoyable scramble leading up to Meall Garbh, rather than a tricky descent down it. Enjoy!


thanks everybody :D seems like the fry up was the main talking point & favourite photo :lol:

i have done beinn ghlas & ben lawers but still got the rest to do in that area so the tarmachan ridge is a good shout, cheers :D

Considering there was a chance of lightening we were lucky with the weather, best conditions for waking in i think, just not on a ridge with such a sheer drop either side :lol:
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