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Steall Ring with extra sting

Steall Ring with extra sting


Postby simon-b » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:27 pm

Munros included on this walk: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Mullach nan Coirean, Sgurr a'Mhaim, Stob Ban (Mamores), Stob Coire a'Chairn

Date walked: 03/07/2015

Time taken: 11.2 hours

Distance: 23 km

Ascent: 2293m

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The last day of my fortnight's stay in Glencoe turned out to be a warm, dry, sunny Friday. Two days earlier I'd climbed the 4 eastern Mamores, and an improved forecast on the Thursday meant no excuse for my anticipated rest. So the last 4 days of my trip were spent alternating between the West Black Mount and the Mamores. Like the longest two other walks on this trip, there was a bailout option: to be content with the Ring of Steall. But the weather was forecast to hold all day. So it was mainly a question of my own performance, on the 5th successive day of hill waking, and my 6th hike in 7 days.

At Ghlasdruim B and B I got a 7:00 am breakfast, then I drove to the car park at the end of the road in Glen Nevis. It was already warm as I walked through the Eas an Tuill gorge, with memories of the Aonachs 4 years earlier during my first ever week of Munro climbing. I reached the cable bridge. Crossing the Water of Nevis this way was quite an adventure, to add to those I'd already had this holiday on both Aonach Eagachs, the snow-covered descent from Bidean nam Bian and the Binnein Mor NE ridge scramble. What a couple of weeks! Soon I was crossing the burn below the An Steall waterfall.

P7030425.JPG
Steall Falls


There was a bit of flat, boggy ground to cross, before I began climbing onto what was, from that point, a pretty dry route underfoot. It was quite tiring to ascend in the warm, still conditions, but I was spurred on, knowing things should feel fresher higher up. By the time I reached An Gearanach, I felt comfortable.

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The Grey Corries from An Gearanach


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Binnein Beag and Binnein Mor from An Gearanach


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Stob Coire a' Chairn and Am Bodach from An Gearanach


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Sgurr a' Mhaim from An Gearanach


A Glaswegian arrived at the summit from the opposite direction. He seemed to be moving easily and looked like a bit of an athlete. So when I asked him, "How many Mamores are you doing today?" it was no surprise when he answered, "10". This was already his 6th Munro of the day; he'd started at 5:00 am and only had the eastern 4 left to do. He looked well on schedule to beat Steven Fallon's estimated time of 14 hours. I'd like to have taken my hat off to him, but the sun made sure the Tilley stayed where it was.

Then I moved on over An Garbhanach. There was a bit of exposure on that section, with a little scrambling needed.

P7030438.JPG
Moving towards An Garbhanach


Duly I reached Stob Coire a' Chairn. This 2nd Munro felt rather dominated by its higher neighbours. Two Englishmen caught me up. They were also doing the Ring, and thinking of extending it. I set off for Am Bodach...

P7030442.JPG
Heading for Am Bodach from Stob Coire a' Chairn


...and there was quite a steep ascent to reach the summit of Munro number 3.

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Loch Leven from Am Bodach


P7030447.JPG
Sgurr an Iubhair from Am Bodach


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Sgurr a' Mhaim and Ben Nevis from Am Bodach


The two English walkers overtook me here and headed for the top, Sgurr an Iubhair. I followed.

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Stob Choire a' Mhail and Sgurr a' Mhaim from Sgurr an Iubhair


There were quite a few other walkers on Sgurr and Iubhair, including a Scotsman doing the Ring of Steall. I set off for Stob Choire a' Mhail and looked left towards Stob Ban. My thoughts were, "That looks impressive, I want to go there!" rather than, "Do I have to go all that way after getting to Sgurr a' Mhaim and back?" Things were looking good :D.

Moving on a little further I looked down left to Lochan Coire nam Miseach and its outlet. If heading for Stob Ban later, this would be the last chance for an emergency water top-up.

P7030456.JPG
Lochan Coire nam Miseach


Moving on over Stob Choire a' Mhail, I came to the Devil's Ridge. When I reached a notch blocked by some awkward boulders, I took the bypass on the east side, with the intention of following the crest should I return.

P7030459.JPG
The Devil's Ridge and Sgurr a' Mhaim


Then I pulled myself onto the 4th Munro, Sgurr a' Mhaim, and met the two Englishmen once more. They set off back towards the ridge, going for the two western Mamore Munros. The Scotsman from Sgurr an Iubhair then joined me. He was happy to complete the Ring, and would be descending NW.

P7030463.JPG
Stab Ban and Mullach nan Coirean from Sgurr a' Mhaim


My mind had already been made up; I was going back over the Devil's Ridge to take on Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean.

P7030465.JPG
Moving back towards the Devil's Ridge and Stob Choire a' Mhail


On the ridge again, I followed the crest for the most part, but dodged the awkward boulders on the west side.

P7030466.JPG
On the Devil's Ridge


After Stob Choire a' Mhail, I dropped down right to Lochan Coire nam Miseach, and began to ascend Stob Ban.

P7030469.JPG
Ascending towards Stob Ban


The two English walkers were now well ahead. Those boys were fit, like the Glaswegian I'd met on An Gearanach. But I made it onto Munro number 5 in my own time.

P7030475.JPG
Central and eastern Mamores from Stob Ban


I lingered on the summit a while, taking in the view. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it was a sign I was starting to tire. Then it was time to move on again.

P7030482.JPG
Descending from Stob Ban


The walk to Mullach nan Coirean was quite long, but the ascents relatively easy. I was in no way out of breath, and my legs were still working just fine. But I was starting to feel a little tired in myself.

P7030485.JPG
Moving towards Mullach nan Coirean


P7030486.JPG
Looking back along the route from Stob Ban


The last Munro of the day was reached, with some great views towards the west coast.

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Beinn a' Bheithir, Loch Linnhe and Mull (in the far distance) from Mullach nan Coirean


Then it was time to go down.

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Coming down from Mullach nan Coirean


I descended along the NE ridge, then down into the forestry and onto the tracks. The path short-cutting the tracks through the last bit of forest was found and I walked down. I'd nearly reached the lower track when, on some bare ground below the trees, I strayed from the path. "No problem", I thought, "Just a few more metres through the trees". But I tripped on some forest debris, and fell flat on my face :oops: :lol: .

No injuries, so I was quickly back on my feet. Soon I was onto the track and then the road at Achriabhach. Finally, I was walking back along Glen Nevis heading for the car park.

P7030504.JPG
Walking back along Glen Nevis, Meall Cumhann in front


I drove back to the B and B with just enough time to get to the Glencoe Gathering to order some food. There was no time for a shower, just a quick wash and change. After eating, I went downstairs to the bar for a couple of drams of single malt to see out my last night in Scotland. A Dalwhinnie first, followed by a peaty Jura. Carli, a lady from Australia who was working in the restaurant, had just finished her shift and was in the bar too. We shared a table for the last drink. Why do things like that seem to happen when you haven't had time for a shower?!!
Last edited by simon-b on Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby rockhopper » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:34 pm

Excellent, simon - another very productive trip - think you deserve a rest now !
Have enjoyed reading all your reports - feeling exhausted just doing that ! - cheers :)
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby jamesb63 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:48 pm

Another great walk and report Simon :clap:
10 in one day :crazy:
Can you tell me is this walk would be ok with the dog in tow
How many did you bag in total on your holiday ?
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby ancancha » Sat Jul 11, 2015 11:31 pm

Excellent photos and report :clap:
Pity about the personal hygene issue :oops:
Sais la vie :roll:
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:55 am

Thats a long day you had there Simon. I once got dropped off in Kinlochleven and walked to Fort william across the 3 munros then down the steep path into Glen Nevis and across the wire bridge. I did the hills with no problem but the long walk on the tarmac to the fort nearly killed me :roll:
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby skuk007 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:45 pm

Great report Simon, well done for carrying on to bag those extra two. I was two tired to do them when I did the Ring.
Good walk to end your trip with.

Just the one whisky to celebrate? Must be worth a few more than that :)
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:10 pm

Well done Simon, enjoyed reading all your reports, another monster day out :clap: :clap:
You certainly made the most of your visit :wink:
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby simon-b » Sun Jul 12, 2015 8:56 pm

Cheers rockhopper. If it took you 18.4 hours to do all 10, I knew I'd have no chance of doing them all in a day given B and B times, even in early July. So two walks became the plan.

jamesb63 wrote:Another great walk and report Simon :clap:
Can you tell me is this walk would be ok with the dog in tow
How many did you bag in total on your holiday ?

Thanks, James. A dog owner would be able to advise you better. But something like a Border Collie should be fine, and I've seen Westies and Jack Russells on the Lake District Edges, so those dogs should be OK on the Ring of Steall. I didn't see any cattle on the route. At the end of the 2 weeks I'd climbed 30 Munros and 1 Graham.

Thank you, ancancha. The views were great.

Sunset tripper wrote:Thats a long day you had there Simon. I once got dropped off in Kinlochleven and walked to Fort william across the 3 munros then down the steep path into Glen Nevis and across the wire bridge. I did the hills with no problem but the long walk on the tarmac to the fort nearly killed me

Cheers, ST. Which 3 Munros were those?

Thanks skuk. It was a pint and 2 whiskies actually. No more than that - going home next day there was a deluge coming down on Rannoch Moor, not something you want to drive through with a hangover.

Thank you Martin. Let's see you returning to some big ones yourself when you're fully back to speed.
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby malky_c » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:08 pm

Looks like a fine day - you were probably glad of one eventually - the weather seems to have been particularly perverse this June :roll: . I remember seeing the forecast and cursing being at work :lol: . That's a decent length of walk - there are endless combinations you can do in the Mamores :)
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:23 pm

Nice one Simon - might give that a try myself - I have decided 10 in a day is out for me as I'm too old now :wink:
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby simon-b » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:46 pm

Thanks Malky, the last day of the 2 weeks was the best. No complaints thought; I got plenty done .

weaselmaster wrote:Nice one Simon - might give that a try myself - I have decided 10 in a day is out for me

Cheers WM. I reckon you could go for the 10, but I guess you're in no rush for that having just done the other 4. You would enjoy these 6. Along the Devil's Ridge and back is fun.
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:54 am

simon-b wrote:
Sunset tripper wrote:Thats a long day you had there Simon. I once got dropped off in Kinlochleven and walked to Fort william across the 3 munros then down the steep path into Glen Nevis and across the wire bridge. I did the hills with no problem but the long walk on the tarmac to the fort nearly killed me

Cheers, ST. Which 3 Munros were those?



They were Am Bodach, Stob Coire a Chairn and An Gearanach. Its a fairly direct route from Kinlochleven to Fort William far more so than the road or even the WHW (though it has its ups and downs :lol: ). Going over the Devils ridge would possibly be shorter but i preferred this route, i met a few people doing the Ring of Steall all were doing it clockwise. I like the wire bridge too. Its a breeze doing it in this direction because of the slope of the bridge. Hope to get up there again this summer cheers.
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby AJNicholls » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:41 am

Looks like a good day out, thanks for sharing Simon. Might pass by there next month.
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:52 pm

simon-b wrote: I was in no way out of breath, and my legs were still working just fine. But I was starting to feel a little tired in myself.


I just love this feeling - truly the sign of a great day! 8)

Looks like you had a great couple of weeks up here Simon and what an epic finale there! I love these hills and you did them proud! :clap:
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Re: Steall Ring with extra sting

Postby simon-b » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:19 pm

Cheers, Andy...
AJNicholls wrote:Might pass by there next month.

...it's a wonderful range, and you'll really enjoy it here if you get the views.

Graeme D wrote:
simon-b wrote: I was in no way out of breath, and my legs were still working just fine. But I was starting to feel a little tired in myself.


I just love this feeling - truly the sign of a great day! 8)


Thanks, Graeme - truly the sign of two great weeks!
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