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The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!


Postby JimboJim » Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:50 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: 09/07/2015

Time taken: 7.2 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1676m

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And, so it came to pass..... the day when Big Jasper and wee Jimbo could get out on the hills and make it to 100 Munro's. We had talked many times about doing the Ring of Steall and the weather just about looked favourable for it, rather than Creag Meagaidh, so of we went, heading for Glen Nevis, with CM as plan B.
Not many folk about as we set off from the car park at Polldubh falls, getting the mile and a half walk uphill, out the way first, rather than later. As stated, it is a fine walk through the gorge, to the open, green pasture and tumbling water of the Falls of Steall, which truly takes the breath away.
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First view of the falls, with An Gearanach rising behind.
Getting closer we could see a rather nervy attempt by someone to cross the wire bridge. After a few yards, the lady had enough and wisely turned back, heading off up stream to make the crossing. Would we do any better? Meantime, an older couple strode up and crossed without hesitation, so there was no chickening out for us. I quickly crossed over, while Jaf slowly inched across to the other side. Had to laugh at the warning sign, or rather about it’s position, on the far bank!
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Older couple show us they way. No turning back now!
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Wise words - on the far bank!
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Max concentration!
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Big Jesper about to fall, beneath the falls!

The path from here is rather ill defined and mucky and finding a way across the falls, equally tricky, but thrilling. Having done so, Charles the bog finder, soon found the bog, as he dived up to his knees in the muck. Once I managed to stop laughing, I made a long detour round, which made me think the group, now well in front, might have made the better choice?
From here, the path up An Gearanach becomes much better defined and steeper. Very much steeper, so wasn’t long before Jesper was striding out well ahead of me, as I wilted in a sweaty heap, as usual. Fortunately, the zig-zagging track, lessens the pain and we gradually caught up with the two ladies, who stopped for a wee breather, though their former companion, whom we had seen at the bridge, was continuing up the hill at great pace.
Already the views were opening up, with spectacular scenery emerging in all directions, giving me good excuse for many photo stops. A good tip for any slow coaches, always take a camera, even if you only pretend to take photo’s! Eventually, I got up near the summit cairn and could hear Jasper talk to someone else at the top. It transpired to be the person we’d seen making good speed up the hill before us, a rather petite young woman, who asked if she could tag along, as she was a bit nervy about the prospect of some of the walk?
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Jim n Jaf at the first top, An Gearanach.
We chatted a little and I remarked about the speed which she had advanced up An Gearanach, saying she ‘must have some motor to have been so fast.’ Despite this she said she hoped she wouldn’t slow us down!
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Making toward the airy ridge of An Garbhanach.

We had a further chat and photo, or two, before moving off along the ridge of An Garbhanach. I stopped to take a few photo’s, then found myself having to get a shift on to catch up with Mischa and Jaf. Before I knew it, I was following Mischa along a sloping slab, which appeared to drop off, for hundreds of feet. Enough of that, I thought, as I quickly made for the safer looking track, taken by Big Jasper. There were a couple of other somewhat awkward, airy bits, requiring a bit of hands on work, but thankfully we made it across, without any further palpitations, before a steep drop down to the bealach. Bealach a’Chadha Riabhaich, if you know your garlic!
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Steep climb up Stob Coire a'Chairn, the second Munro.
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Looking back at An Gearanach and An Garbhanach.

Again, Mischa pressed on up the steep, rocky slopes of Stob Coire a'Chairn, with Jasper in hot pursuit. It was about this point it hit me, that there was never any danger of Mischa holding us up. In fact, I was going to be the one who would hold her back and she must indeed, have a hidden, turbo charged motor somewhere. Time for more photo’s!
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Yours truly, exhausted and bedraggled, after chasing two greyhounds, Jasper and Mischa, up Stob Coire a'Chairn!
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Mischa having a quiet smile, having near burned me out, after racing up Stob Coire a'Chairn. An Garbhanach and CMD ridge behind.
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Heading up Am Bodach. The bodach lagging behind!

Before long, we were beyond the summit and on our way to Am Bodach. How appropriate, I thought, the Old Man, my hill, named after me. Again, quite rocky and steep, requiring plenty effort and a bit of care, here and there. Yahoo! The third Munro of the day and the ton up for Charles and me. Well done us. A few years ago, I had never even done one! I remarked that it was a great acheivement, but it paled in comparison to the day before, when I climbed the Buachaille Etive Beag, with my daughter and son in law, Tommy, who has cystic fibrosis. Now, that really was a great achievement and humbling experience!
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Looking back to first two Munro's, Grey Corries, Binnein Mor and Beag.
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The hills of Bidean, with the Aonach Eagach Ridge in the foreground.
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Big Jasper on our 100th, Am Bodach, with the ridge heading west to Sgurr an Iubhair.

Anyway, we continued along the ridge, enjoying the banter with our charming friend, from South Africa, working in Switzerland, but walking in Scotland and the UK. Despite barely reaching the five foot mark, Mischa had done extensive walking, cycling and other sports and is super fit. My occasional hike, bike, fish suppers, multi beers and extra 32 years seemed to be proving a handicap, though Mischa kindly lagged behind now and again, to keep me company, as we crossed, the former Munro of Sgurr an Iubhair and becoming more preoccupied with the approaching Devil’s Ridge.
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Jaf points out the "bad step."

It is mostly no bother, aside from one well documented, difficult rocky bit, which we by-passed to the right, though I think there is also a by-pass to the left. (I also noticed that part of the by-pass path appears to be undermining here and one day, might give way under someone’s step, but hopefully, I’m wrong in my judgement.)
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Devil's Ridge towards Sgurr an Iubhair.
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A wee speck on the Devil's Ridge, at the "bad step."
By now I was feeling pretty jiggered, but glad to know the worst of the scary stuff was out the way, I found the energy to make it to the top of Sgurr a'Mhaim. Time for more photo’s and a bit of cairn building. Well, actually just Mischa re-adjusting a stone or two, placed there by a chap who had been eagerly building a pile, on top of the pile!
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Allt Coire Eoghainn Waterfall, Ben Nevis and CMD arete.
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Big Jesper with Devils Ridge behind, Aonach Eagach and Bidean beyond.

I think we were all quite relieved the hard work was done, but in fact, were soon to find this to be a false assumption. At first the descent path gently curves downwards around the spectacular, white quartz stone covered, edge of the corrie, but as it steepens, one has to rely on quick footwork, as the scree slides beneath one’s feet. Once on the grass, the steep path demands full concentration and effort on already tired legs, to prevent a trip, or stumble and it is a great relief to make it on to the level ground by the Allt Coire a Mhusgain.
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Hard work done, so I thought!
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Heading off Sgurr a'Mhaim.

Back to the car, taking just under the 7 and a quarter hours, which was about 7 and a quarter hours less than I would have taken had Mischa with the magic motor, not slowed me down! Just kidding, Mischa. Thanks for letting us join you and being great company along the way. Best wishes wherever your travels may take you.
At this point me and Jaf were more than greatful, not to have to walk back up to to top car park and equally pleased to have the pleasure of giving Mischa a run up to her car, in my magic motor, before winding our way home, with a customary stop for a wee celebratory pint for Charles, at least! All in all, another fantastic day on the hills and a memorable way to reach 100!
Attachments
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The Great Houdini?
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Me, posing beneath the falls.
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Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean.
Last edited by JimboJim on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby Big Jesper » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:30 am

Excellent day jimmy and glad to get over the first hurdle of 100. Looking forward to the next.
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby ancancha » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:55 am

Congratulations on making the 100 :clap:
Nice photos, someday I will be following in your footsteps 8)
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:41 am

Well done on the 100 up Jim :clap: a nice round to do it on by the looks of it :D
P.S either that mischa is tiny or your big and yer mate is huge :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby JimboJim » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:52 pm

Beaner001 wrote:Well done on the 100 up Jim :clap: a nice round to do it on by the looks of it :D
P.S either that mischa is tiny or your big and yer mate is huge :lol: :lol:

ancancha wrote:Congratulations on making the 100 :clap:
Nice photos, someday I will be following in your footsteps 8)


Thanks, all. Truly a great walk, on a great day. Wouldn't be so keen in bad weather though.
Yes, Big Jasper is tall, while Mischa isn't the tallest, like myself, but it would be a bold person to claim they could beat her round the hills - and she is a smashing lass, too :)

Here's a few other pics from our day.

Jimmy
Attachments
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Mischa's slightly redesigned cairn.
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A small RAF flying through the glen, towards Sgurr a'Mhaim.
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looking down on Achriabhach/Polldubh.
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Glen Nevis.
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Ben Nevis - and me.
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Towards Stob Ban, Mullach nan Coirean, Beinn a'Bheithir and Loch Linnhe.
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Another good view of Stob Ban.
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Eastern Mamores and RoS.
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Fine view of Eastern Mamores.
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Jaf plays at mountaineers, while Mischa goes single-handed!
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We by-passed on the right. Jaf going for a look to see what all the fuss is about.
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Heading towards the 'bad step.'
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Some folks on top of Stob Ban.
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Couple of walker's and their dogs approach on the ridge.
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Looking back down on Devil's Ridge
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Leaving Sgurr an Iubhair for the Devil's Ridge.
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Binnein Mor.
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Sgurr a'Mhaim from An Gearanach.
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Looking back down Am Bodach.
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Looking down on Steall from An Gearanach.
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Big Jasper making it look easy. Aye, right!
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Unbeknown to us, this was Mischa and her group, trying to cross just above the wire bridge, but they had to move further upstream, eventually crossing in bare feet.
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Another view of Steall Falls
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With Mischa and Big Jasper on top of Sgurr a'Mhaim. Note how I chose a hidden stone to elevate myself to Jaf's height :)
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby mrssanta » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:49 pm

Very nice and well done on the 100. We christened the last munro "scar and maim" because of the looong steep descent.
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:31 pm

Enjoyed reading that. Sgurr a Mhaim is a brutal descent on the old knees! :wink:
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby JimboJim » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:29 pm

Thank you all for kind comments and congrats on our 100! The RoS was certainly a memorable route to reach the ton - and fully concur with comments re sore knees coming down "scar and maim!" :)

I should also publicly thank my mentor (mental), guide, companion, fellow driver, mud diver and joker, Big Jasper, for getting me into this lark and helping me get lost a few times! :lol:

Jimmy
Last edited by JimboJim on Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:04 pm

Great report, pics (+ vid). You had smashing weather for it too.
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Re: The Ring of Steall - or Mischa and the Magic Motor!

Postby Wanderlust7 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:42 pm

Gentlemen very well done on reaching treble figures, looks like you had a fabulous day out. Great pictures too, a rare day to see all of the Ben. Only 182 more to go lol
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