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The Ring of Steall

The Ring of Steall


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:27 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: 16/08/2015

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1676m

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I have a couple of weeks off before I start a new job so I was chuffed when Eric (electricfly) and his pack were up for joining me on a trip. Eric has done the Ring of Steall but his youngest Springer - Tarsuinn has not and he felt it be a good option considering the recent wet spells and I hadn't done it :D

We met at the car park at the far end of Glen Nevis at the back of ten and arranged gear and dogs and got going for 10.30. I must admit I was a little worried with my lack of fitness as I hadn't been out in around a month and in that time had eaten a whole heap of unhealthy food, but nothing like flinging yourself back in at the deep end. The walk up the gorge alongside the Water of Nevis was pleasant and the dogs were tearing about enjoying seeing eachother again.

photo 1.JPG
Eric Leading the way up the gorge


The erosion in the gorge is unbelievable, some massive boulders have come tumbling down there and you can see how one could become lost forever in any of the pockets of air below some of these. Soon we reached the wire bridge over the water of Nevis, we opted to cross it and the dogs enjoyed a swim in the water. It was fairly wobbly nearer the far side but no real problems, apart from the bloomin Midges which were attacking meaning you had to take one hand off the wire to swat them away off your eyes, mouth, ears etc :lol:

photo 3.JPG
Eric crossing the wire bridge, notice dogs below wondering where he's going and how they can follow


Once over we walked upstream and called the dogs over where they could cross as the bank was too steep for them to follow below the wire bridge although it didn't stop Tarsuinn trying as he got nearly half way up the rocks. We passed the wee bothy and then came across the beautiful Steall Waterfall, it was tricky to cross and care should be taken here as rocks were slippy and water fast.

photo 4.JPG
The Steall Falls


Once over this we came to the only boggy part of the day but we managed to hop over this and get on with the ascent.

photo 5.JPG
The Ben from the zig zags below An Gearanach

photo 6.JPG
Aonach Beag from same spot


Eric pointed out the route for the Aonachs for when I come to do these, it's good when you have a mate that's already done the hills you have to do :lol: Ahead we could see two guys climbing up the zig zags.

I started to struggle with the ascent, I kinda knew this would happen, I took frequent rests, my dog Roy found some human excrement and tissue just at the side of the path and tried to pick up the tissue :shock: , the smell was horrendous, we couldn't believe that someone would do this so close to the path, disgusting, Roy was called poo pace for the rest of the day. Once up I quickly touched the cairn of An Gearanach and we set off as two guys in front of us had stopped and we didn't want the dogs bothering them while they had lunch, plus Eric knew the route so thought it best we push to the next summit before we stopped, correct decision.

photo 8.JPG
The ridge ahead

photo 9.JPG
Eric heading to An Garbhanach after summiting An Gearanach

photo 11.JPG
By pass round the side of An Garbanach


We came to An Garbhanach and took the path to the left avoiding the tip of the ridge, the route ahead all the way round the Ring of Steall could be seen, it looked a long way but looked great.

photo 12.JPG
The route ahead with second Munro Stob Coire a'Chairn in foreground

photo 13.JPG
Looking right round the Ring to last Munro Sgurr a'Mhaim

photo 14.JPG
Looking back to An Gearanach from where we'd come


We pushed on to the second Munro and the two guys caught me on the ascent while I took a rest, I really felt I was struggling with the ascent but plodded on, soon I reached the summit which Eric had been joined on by the two guys. We all had a chat and then they took off while we ate some lunch.

photo 15.JPG
Kinlochleven below and the Big Buachaille centre of pic

photo 16.JPG
Bidean nam Bian in the distance

photo 18.JPG
Roy with the route ahead

photo 19.JPG
Eric, Alfie and Roy summit Stob Choire a'Chairn

photo 20.JPG
The Ben again

photo 21.JPG
The last Munro of the day Sgurr a'Mhaim and the Ben in the background


We set off and soon caught up with the two guys and overtook them prior to the ascent up to Am Bodach, I had taken 2 litres of water with me today and was getting through it quickly, I had also finished my bottle of Lucozade :shock: a thirsty plodder today :shock: The mist was coming and going and it got dark all of a sudden, the threat of rain was in the air and it spat drops for a minute but soon the clouds parted and I made the top of the third Munro, having been overtaken by the two guys again, while Eric was ahead by a fair bit. We all sat at the top and spoke, they are about six weeks back from a trip in the Alps where they climbed Mont Blanc and also went to Italy to climb Grand Paradiso, wow, they hope to go to the Atlas Mountains next, all the best.

photo 22.JPG
All the mutts on Am Bodach summit

photo 23.JPG
Looking back along the Ring of Steall with the first Munro An Gearanach far left


This was the last we saw of them as Eric upped the pace. Next we came across the small top of Sgurr an Lubhair and we met a couple there that were basking in the now lovely sunshine, we had a quick stop and continued over to the Devils ridge and negotiated this neatly, we used the path to the left or West of the ridge.

photo 24.JPG
Approaching the Devils Ridge

photo 25.JPG
The tough step on the Devils Ridge

photo 26.JPG
Looking back to the two fellas we spoke to throughout the day


All that was left was the steep ascent to the highest Mountain of the day, Eric ahead shouted back to encourage me on and soon I staggered to the top to be greeted by his mutts and a guy and his dad. They kindly took our photo and we had a wee stop before the descent down the scree towards Glen Nevis.

photo 27.JPG
The Usual Suspects line up on Sgurr a'Mhaim


We passed a few people coming up with huge packs, I reckon they were wild camping out on the ridge as they had tents etc in the packs.

photo 28.JPG
The route back into Glen Nevis, we'd have to follow the road back right along to the car park at the end


We soon reached the foot of the hill after a few stops to rest my knees and we hit the road for the trek back to the car park, we let the dogs have a wee dook in the river a couple of times and made the cars at 18.24, a little under 8 hours for the day and what a day it had been, no ill effects today so hopefully out tomoz too :D :D
Cheers
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby litljortindan » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:17 pm

You all seem to have got a very decent day though on first glance I thought you'd had a population explosion too.

Went up Sgur a Mhaim twiice in 24 hours in 1995 either because I ran out of camera film or because of flat batteries. First up from Glen Nevis and then down to a shop at Kinlochleven and back up. Glad I don't have the energy for that sort of thing now but a more conventional return to the Mamores would be good. Thanks for the reminder!
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby martin.h » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:12 pm

Nice one Matt, it's a good day out and well worth the effort, the views of the mountains around you from the Mamores are special, Scotland at its best. :D
Thanks.
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:45 pm

litljortindan wrote:You all seem to have got a very decent day though on first glance I thought you'd had a population explosion too.

Went up Sgur a Mhaim twiice in 24 hours in 1995 either because I ran out of camera film or because of flat batteries. First up from Glen Nevis and then down to a shop at Kinlochleven and back up. Glad I don't have the energy for that sort of thing now but a more conventional return to the Mamores would be good. Thanks for the reminder!


Cheers, jeez that's some walk it's rough ground too :clap:


martin.h wrote:Nice one Matt, it's a good day out and well worth the effort, the views of the mountains around you from the Mamores are special, Scotland at its best. :D
Thanks.


First time in the Mamores for me and had only been as far as the visitor centre in Glen Nevis so a couple of firsts too :lol:
Cheers
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:56 pm

Great walk that one Matt, Few years since I did it but can still recall how sharp that ridge is on Garbhanach, enough to slice your trousers :lol:
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby electricfly » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:57 pm

Aye, twas a right guid day...

...except for "sh*te-gate". :lol:
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby ancancha » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:20 am

I will need too be a lot fitter before I attempt this :roll:
Guess the ridge is eezy peezy if you are a quadruped :lol:
Nice photos and report :clap:
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby Petr Dakota » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:26 pm

Well done and you managed with dogs :clap: :clap: :clap:
Brought my memories from there - one year ago 8) :D I love the ridge walk...Glad you had a good weather conditions and views :D Some nice photos :clap:
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:43 pm

Nice one Matt, enjoyed that, brought back memories :wink:
Some great photo's love the ones of the dogs, the ridge is a superb viewing spot & surrounded by fabulous hills 8)
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:08 pm

Really enjoyed reading that and looking at the photies - great effort (by you and the dogs).
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby rockhopper » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:53 pm

That did look enjoyable - good day for it too. :thumbup: These are some of the hills to which I need to return some time having seen nothing first time round in the clag and rain - did have its benefits though as it meant I couldn't see how steep the drops were :crazy: - cheers :)
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby Beaner001 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:29 am

spiderwebb wrote:Great walk that one Matt, Few years since I did it but can still recall how sharp that ridge is on Garbhanach, enough to slice your trousers :lol:


Haha, yep dave! take a slip there and it'll cut you in half right up the middle :shock:

electricfly wrote:Aye, twas a right guid day...

...except for "sh*te-gate". :lol:


Ah sh*te-gate, little devil hasn't had a decent ruffle since :lol:

ancancha wrote:I will need too be a lot fitter before I attempt this :roll:
Guess the ridge is eezy peezy if you are a quadruped :lol:
Nice photos and report :clap:


It's not too bad once your up, the views hold your attention, cheers :D

Petr Dakota wrote:Well done and you managed with dogs :clap: :clap: :clap:
Brought my memories from there - one year ago 8) :D I love the ridge walk...Glad you had a good weather conditions and views :D Some nice photos :clap:


I read your report Petr, great stuff, me too, I love a fine ridge walk :D The dogs are actually more competent than most humans :lol:

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice one Matt, enjoyed that, brought back memories :wink:
Some great photo's love the ones of the dogs, the ridge is a superb viewing spot & surrounded by fabulous hills 8)


Cheers Martin! your bang on there! what great 360 deg views :D

Gordie12 wrote:Really enjoyed reading that and looking at the photies - great effort (by you and the dogs).


Cheers Gordie, it certainly felt some effort at the time, feeling fitter now after another long day out, may regain some fitness in time for winter :lol:

rockhopper wrote:That did look enjoyable - good day for it too. :thumbup: These are some of the hills to which I need to return some time having seen nothing first time round in the clag and rain - did have its benefits though as it meant I couldn't see how steep the drops were :crazy: - cheers :)


Aye I read your report RH, I think I'm a long way off a Mamores traverse that was some trip from you. Wonderful mountains these :D
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby mountain thyme » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:42 pm

Nice one Matt. One id like to go back and do but took me forever to get across that wire rope bridge :(

Like the one of the dogs at the summit :)
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:06 pm

mountain thyme wrote:Nice one Matt. One id like to go back and do but took me forever to get across that wire rope bridge :(

Like the one of the dogs at the summit :)


Cheers Theresa, I think it took me ages too, got really wobbly nearer the far side :shock:
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Re: The Ring of Steall

Postby teaandpies » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:07 pm

What's the options for getting off the Ring of Steall if something goes wrong and/or if you feel you can't complete it?

I'm looking at my map, Stob Ban doesn't seem to be that massive a detour, can anybody put a estimated time on the walk based on their experience?

Cheers
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