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Steall Falls to Dalwhinnie

Steall Falls to Dalwhinnie

Postby DavesDofE » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:55 pm

Route description: Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge

Munros included on this walk: Càrn Dearg (Loch Pattack), Geal-chàrn (Alder)

Date walked: 04/06/2016

Time taken: 33 hours

Distance: 70 km

Ascent: 1800m

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Day 0 (preparation)

We started the trip in the evening, from the car park at the foot of Ben Nevis (just ask the taxi driver to drive right to the end of the road C1162). A taxi from Fort William should cost about £21.


Take the path heading east from the car park. There is an easy, but mildly rocky path that follows the Waters of Nevis. After about 45 minutes walking, it opens up into a lovely flat, grassy area perfect for camping, next to the Steall Hut. There is the large Steall waterfall nearby, and if you want, you can venture across the wire bridge! We saw lots of other campers but also lots of midges, so bring lots of midge repellent!

Our first campsite.

Day 1

The first proper day of our walk! We started from the campsite where there was a very easy to follow path through the hills, however the path quickly disappeared. Although the walking was easy, it took much longer than we expected so we didn't make as great time as we could've.

The weather on the first day was really really hot, so make sure you drink lots of water throughout. The end of the day was very straightforward with an easy to follow path.

Day 2

The morning was horrible and full of midgs, so we ended up leaving early and having breakfast later. Along the route we passes Corrour station, which apparently has excellent food if you want breakfast there.

The next part was one of the hottest of the expedition, so we were relieved when we hit the cooler ground at the Loch. After following the Loch we followed there was a freshly paved path up to the river. We followed the river through a large valley, which was one of the most exhausting parts of the expedition.

Apart from a scramble up the side of the valley the walk was very straightforward, but quite long. We found a nice place to camp along the path just before Culra bothy.

Day 3 (munros)


On Tuesday we set off following a stream on a well worn path. Then we climbed the ridge up Sgor Luthran which involved a fair bit of scrambling and was more difficult in the summer heat. At the top of Sgor Luthran we could see for miles as it was a lovely clear day. From Sgor Luthran we easily navigated our way across to Geal-Charn and managed to squeeze in a little bit of snow!


To get to Carn Dearg we used compass bearings and found a path which was easy enough due to it being such a clear day. Some of the paths were a bit tricky to walk along, but easy enough to follow.


By the time we got to the top it was raining so we made for a quick decent back to our campsite. We went directly back down the side of the munro back to the campsite to get back quickly, but we didn't follow a path. Overall the route was easy to follow and large sections of it had paths. The accent was difficult and involved lots of light scrambling. The decent was tricky due to the boggy ground. Navigation was fair on the whole slightly difficult when finding the peak of Carn Dearg because the whether closed in.

View from the top of the munros

Day 4 (final day)

The final day is a walk in the park compared to the first couple, so take some time to take in the views and enjoy the stroll.

Setting out from the campsite, we followed the path alongside the river past Culra Bothy, we've been told that it could be a good space to camp here, although the bothy is closed due to asbestos. Just past the bothy there is a small bridge over the river, which leads to a slightly shorter route to the loch.


We chose to follow the double track since it was easy to walk on and we were making very good time on it. Occasional cars come down the road from the estate but it was clear most of the time.

The double track takes you all the way to Dalwhinnie, travelling alongside Loch Ericht, which has some nice spots for lunch on the stony beach. There were several interesting buildings we passed on the way as part of the estate with stone towers.


Once back in Dalwhinnie the train station has semi regular trains back to civilisation. We took a train back to Edinburgh the same evening.

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