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Ring of Steall (Mostly)

Ring of Steall (Mostly)

Postby seamus0 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:57 pm

Route description: The Ring of Steall, Mamores

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

Date walked: 27/10/2012

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 16 km

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This route was one that was high up on my tick list, and was waiting for the opportunity to arise. This opportunity arose when our club hired out the Steall Hut for the weekend. We arrived friday evening, in the dark, crossing the notorious wire bridge in the dark with full packs on, which was a novelty :D (here's a pic of it in the daylight!)
The wire 'bridge'

Steall Hut

After some good whiskey, some good banter, and a good kip in the hut, we decided to head off earlish on Sat Morning, in the knowledge that a front was moving in from the North for the afternoon. We set off around 8.30, and came to the first obstacle of the day, the river under the falls. I can imagine this being rather difficult to cross in full flow, but we maanged to keep our feet dry...just!
River Crossing

The Steall Falls were an impressive sight.
Under the Steall Falls

The next obstacle was crossing the extensive midden after the river. We elected to keep high'igh and traverse the 'shrubbery' swinging from bushes and trees...not sure if this is the right approach or not! Anyhow, eventually we got back to the track again.
The weather was superb, and we got some great views of the Ben, the Aonachs and the Grey Corries.
The Grey Corries

A view up the Glen

Ben Nevis

The track was excellent, and zig-zagged up the first munro "An Gearanach". We took plenty of photo stops enjoying the vistas behind us. Eventually we reached the top 2 hrs after starting (could have done it alot sooner if not for the photo stops).
Top of An Gearanach

At this point we had full view of our intented route, and again surrounded with great views.
Route ahead of us

The ridge became smaller as we approached the top, An Garbhanach.
Ridge to An Garbhanach

Negotiating this hill required a bit of due care and attention. There is a wee tricky scrambly section which is exposed, but easy. The hand holds, and steps are good, so just take your time.
Tricky section

After some of the finest mountaineering bum sliding coming down (Im not ashamed :-), we made it down and glad that the trickest bit of the walk was behind us.
The track up to the second Munro, Stob Coire a Chairn, was easy, and made it up in no time.
Top of Stob Coire a Chairn

After chatting to some folk at the top, we all agreed a front was coming in soon from the north, so was best to motor on.
At this point the ridge broadened out, and we could see the track to Am Bodach.
Route to Am Bodach

There is a track which contours around the hill, if required, however we plodded on up. Although it looked steep, it wasnt exposed, and more of a calf burner more than anything! A good track led us to the top.
Close-up of Am Bodach

We got to the top around 2ish, 5 hrs after starting and had a bite to eat.
Top of Am Bodach

At this point the weather was taking a turn, and visibility was becoming poor as predicted. We both decided not to carry on to the Devil's ridge and the final Munro. I wasnt fussed, as had done it before. So instead, we went up Sgor an Lubhair.
Top of Sgor an Lubhair

Weather closing in

We headed north and came off the ridge at the northerly saddle in the knowledge there was a good track that zig-zagged down to the wee lochan. Once at the locan we met a group who had just came off Stob Ban. By this time it was snowing and starting to blow a hooley. Without hanging around we made our decent to the car park at Achriabhach, down the good track. En route a waterfall was starting to freeze.
First signs of winter

Track back to car park

Eventually we made it back to the car park 9hrs after the start. After a wee walk up the road, we headed back to Steall Hut to meet up with the rest of the crew. This again involved more walking over the wire 'bridge' (again in the dark)....I thought I was getting used to it now! At least we wernt carring full packs this time!
I very much enjoyed this walk, the views were superb, and it had a few trickey bits to raise the excitement levels.
Its definatley one you should reserve for good weather to make the most of it. I might even try it again in winter!
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Re: Ring of Steall (Mostly)

Postby tomyboy73 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:00 am

great photos, might be going up there soon, it looks a great walk
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Re: Ring of Steall (Mostly)

Postby seamus0 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:14 am

yup, Id highly recommend it, its one of those classics!
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Re: Ring of Steall (Mostly)

Postby LeithySuburbs » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:31 pm

Looks cold but it's such an enjoyable walk :D . Some lovely clear pics :)
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Re: Ring of Steall (Mostly)

Postby Paula Hubens » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:22 pm

Enjoyed reading your report!
Crossing the wire bridge in the dark with a full pack! 8) Perhaps a bit too cool for me.… :lol:
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