Looked at the possibility of walking 2 munros from the ring of Steall from Kinlochleven and Am Bodach was definitely possible in the time and Stob Coire a' Chairn was a potential add on. It would depend on time and track as I only wanted to climb Am Bodach once. Parked at the Grey Mare's Tail car park at 11:15am. Took a bit longer to drive from Edinburgh than anticipated due to roadworks and big long convoys of traffic caused by them. Weather was beautiful, with a light breeze and scorching sun. Set off at 11:30am once suntan applied, repellent, light walking shoes for a change, banking on it being pretty dry and sunglasses. Walked along the road to the start of the West Highland Way route up the hill. Nice shade in the trees but humid. Didn't take long to work up a sweat. A few wet bits to avoid but decent walking for bits, munro path bits too, scree etc. Warning notices along the way about building a hydro dam but the path was still open, so reassured. Out into the open at the top of the climb, although for how much longer if the rhododendrons are allowed to spread any more.
Soon hit a brand new track built for lorries and diggers, the dam works. Came to a bridge over the burn they are working on. There is a temporary footbridge below the track bridge, but didn't use it as the diggers etc, are now well up the burn from the track. No lorries in sight. Had to keep a sharp lookout for the track up to the corrie as there are a lot of new earthworks all along the track. Spotted it and headed up. It is a well used path and it is clear all the way to the bealach. A few wet patches to avoid again but very few. My main problem was the heat, I could feel it coming up from the ground as well as burning my back. There was no breeze at all to cool me down. Stopped a couple of times for drinks and at the first ford I stopped and had my lunch where I could refill my water bottle from the burn. Got the hydration back up and stopped a grumbling stomach. Thankfully, the sun disappeared behind clouds while I was eating. Walking from here was now much more pleasant and I felt that I'd be able to reach the top. Passed a dead sheep, not a pretty sight. Reached the bealach and a great view, the ring of Steall, Ben Nevis, Grey Corries etc, I could see two paths going into the Coire a' Mhail but they disappeared into a huge scree slope coming off Am Bodach. It was 1:30pm and my return time was 3pm, so I didn't have a chance of going for the Stob. I walked up the ridge to the top of Am Bodach, a scramble up boulders for a bit but I like these things as they are easy walking, beats a scree covered path any day. Got to the top to be greeted by a stone scuplture of what looked like a hen. Thanks Amelia (she left a blue stone calling card), not sure when you did it or how long it will last. I could see it from the climb and did wonder what it was.
I could see the weather was going to clear again and it was already warming up. Was joined by a European lady walking the ring and who was already 6 hours into it. We talked and compared hills and then I walked back down. Met a Belgian family of 3 on the way up. They asked if the view was good at the top of the bealach. I assured them they would not be disappointed. Talked about the hills they could walk if inclined and then compared notes with Skye and the Alps as they are avid walkers. We wished each other a good day and I continued my descent back down the corrie. I stopped at my lunch spot for a further drink before continuing down to the track. The sun came back out before I got there and so I was toasted all the way back to the car park. Got there at 5:15pm, not bad timing. A long drive back to Edinburgh ahead of me, hopefully the traffic would be better, surely, plus I'll miss rush 'hour', a great day all round.
Kinlochleven from West Highland Way by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Beinn na Chaillich by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Coire na h-Eighre by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Ring of Steall by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Am Bodach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Am Bodach rock sculpure by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Loch Leven from Am Bodach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Ben Nevis from Am Bodach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Ridge walk to Sgurr an Lubhair by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Bens above Loch Leven by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Am Bodach from track by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
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