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Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall


Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:38 am

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: 28/08/2011

Time taken: 7.3 hours

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Today the weather wasn't the best and the views were mixed with no views at all from the summits, but in my opinion you didn't need views as there was enough interest in the ridge to keep your mind occupied. The ridge is narrow in places, rocky at times and damn good fun,if you enjoy the scrambling side of it but in no way dangerous. As with all narrow and rocky ridges you just take your time and watch your footing, we were also extra carefull due to it being wet.
The route we took was up the steep path to Sgurr a' mhaim, this is a steep ascent with a few faulse tops and as you gain height the path becomes stoney, with loose scree. It's a case of one step forward and half a step backwords once on the scree path.
After this initial ascent and you reach the summit of Sgurr a' Mhaim, the fun begins. From Sgurr a' Mhaim you take the narrow ridge, this was the narrowest section of the ridge and doesn't involve scrambling but is only a very short section, towards Sgorr an Lubar and round to Am Bodach. From Am Bodach, the descent is pretty steep and rocky with a bit of scree as well. You then head up towards Stob Coire a' Chairn with no "difficulties" at this section and onto The Devils Ridge towards An Gearanch, the rocky scrambling section and as i said great fun with no great danger. After The Devils Ridge is negotiated it's a short stoll to An Gearanach and down the well defined path to the Water of Nevis. The fun isn't quite over yet as you still have the wire bridge to cross, which poses no problems and is quite enjoyable, unless you're like Mo who decided to take the river option for fear of falling off the bridge.
On return to the Water of Nevis you get a stunning view of the spactacular waterfall running down of An Gearanach.The last bit of the walk is along the Water of Nevis and back to the car park. This section is full of tourists, not the friendliest bunch, with a polite hello being met with a stare as if you were a alien and not even a wave to say thanks for stepping onto the verge on the road section to allow them past in their cars. Thankfully very few of them climb hills.
The final part of this report is which is the best route to do this walk. People will have their own opinions, so here's mine. I say the way we went, purely because going up Sgurr a' Mhaim is probably easier than coming down and secondly once you get off An Gearanach it is extremely boggy getting over to the path towards the mountain rescue hut. All thats left to say now is, enjoy The Ring of Steall.

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Water of Nevis in full flow

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Sgurr a' Mhaim

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Glen Nevis

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Sgurr a' Mhaim summit with Jimmy

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Jimmy & Mo on The Devils Ridge i think

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A rocky section

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The narrowing ridge towards Sgorr an Lubhair, the demoted Munro.

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Am Bodach

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Alt Coire a' Mhail

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Am Bodach summit

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Coming off Am Bodach

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The next two Stob Coire a' Chairn & An Gearanach

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The route off Am Bodach

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The next section to Stob Coire a' Chairn

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The final climb to Stob Coire a' Chairn

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Sgorr an Lubhair

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Stob Coire a' Chairn summit

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An Garbhanach

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Binnien Beag

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The rocky ridge

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Mo & me on An Gearanach

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Glen Nevis

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More of Glen Nevis

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The waterfall

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Jimmy on the wire bridge
Last edited by Johnny Corbett on Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Alastair S » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:59 pm

Great stuff Johnny, despite the fine August weather.

Yet to do this classic - the advice about which way round to go is appreciated - although the wire bridge bit still looks the scariest bit to me so maybe I'd like to get this over with first :lol: That said I have done the walk up the glen and crossing the river a bit further up didn't look like it would be much of a problem.
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Steve B » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:24 pm

I would recommend doing the scramble onto Sgurr a' Mhaim and then doing the round. You do the wire bridge twice, I had a long think about going over to start with as the river was in full spate. But it's OK.
I did it a couple of years ago and the snow was starting to go so was in mixed condition. The last top was made more interesting by these conditions and due to snow starting to fall again.
The route is described in the Cicerone Lochaber Scrambles book.
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:42 pm

I'd agree with you Steve, wished i'd realised about taking that route up as it saves 2km of road walking with the added attraction of scrambling rather than the long slog up Sgurr a' Mhaim from Polldubh.

Alistair,the wire bridge looks worse than what it is, though in full spate it would be a different story.If you enjoy scrambling i'd look at Steves recommended route.
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Alan S » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:55 pm

Great report and pics johnny 8)
I am hoping that i will get this route done this year so thanks for the report
I also cannot wait to see gammy leg walker tackle that wire bridge, I know stretch will be waiting with the camera :lol:

Cheers
Alan
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby audreywaugh » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:49 pm

Great report and pictures Johnny, well done its a fantastic horseshoe, but can I just point out that the Devil's Ridge is actually that narrow section between Sgurr a'Mhaim and Sgorr an Lubhair the demoted munro, although I would say the ridge on An Gearanch is devilish too! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:04 pm

Ohh I loved this report JC. I would look forward to doing this walk just for the wire bridge- fantastic!

Your gloves are amazing- do they glow in the dark? :lol:
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:25 pm

Thanks Alan and thanks for pointing that out Audrey, that would be the Devils Ridge on Photo 5 then? I found that bit ok.

Thanks Polly, the gloves come in handy when we get lost, mountain rescue allways find me first :D
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:29 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Thanks Alan and thanks for pointing that out Audrey, that would be the Devils Ridge on Photo 5 then? I found that bit ok.

Thanks Polly, the gloves come in handy when we get lost, mountain rescue allways find me first :D


:lol: :lol: As long as they don't mistake you for an alternative mime act :D
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby morag1 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:05 pm

impressive stuff :thumbup:

Really racking up the Munro count Johnny, feel sure you will go on to compleat them all :D
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Bod » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:19 pm

Yet another great walk Johnny, looks like great fun was had by all. Interesting doing it the opposite way round to which we did it last summer....... :D
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby PeteR » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:38 pm

Not a bad way to finish off the Mamores :D But then, is there a bad way on these hills :D Pity about the weather, but you seem to have had a great day. Glad you enjoyed it :D
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:18 pm

Thanks guys and thankyou Morag, i hope you are right :D
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Graeme D » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:40 pm

Nice stuff Johnny. Lots of fine looking pointy peaks in that lot. Still not done these ones either (rained off in May the day I was planning them with Kev - it was an absolute howler!). Looking forward to them someday soon after this one. :thumbup:
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Re: Finishing off The Mamores with The Ring of Steall

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:46 pm

Thanks Graeme, you should be able to take your dog as well, i don't foresee any problems for her except getting over the wire bridge :D
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