Cookin on the Ring of Steall

Route: The Ring of Steall, Mamores

Munros: Am Bodach, An Gearanach, Sgurr a'Mhaim, Stob Coire a'Chairn

Date walked: 25/05/2017

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 16km

On Friday 24th March 2017 I was standing on top of Stob Ban in the Grey Corries looking across at one of my favourite places.

View of the Mamores 24/03/17

Fast forward 2 months to thursday 25th May 2017 and I was there in totally different conditions

The Ring of Steall from Polldubh

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I set off from Polldubh on the riverside path alongside the Nevis

Soon I reached the footbridge for the first of two crossings of the River Nevis

I was now on the road for a short distance and got a low flypast down the glen from the search and rescue helicopter which was floating about the ben all day


An ominous sign :shock:

Clouds rolling down from Ben Nevis

I reached the end of the road and was soon through the Nevis Gorge "the best half mile in Scotland" I don't have the words to describe the gorge. The following is from WH Murray.

"Its distinctive character is not Alpine but Himalayan, this despite its relatively small scale. At its top end, on either side of the glen, Ben Nevis and Sgurr a'Mhaim project spurs of rock seeming to pinch off the higher from the lower reaches. Through this rock barrier the river Nevis has carved a deep and tortuous channel. Above the rampart it flows level, but now has burst through the gut, its white fury gouging pots and cauldrons out of the rock bed, churning past gigantic boulders in a fall of 400 feet. The gorge resounds to its thunder. The walls are wooded in old scots pines, rowans, birches and oak. Through them a footpath winds up the true right bank .It gives clear views of the wild river, of the natural wood on the far side, and in itself is a path of extraordinary interest and beauty. The throat of the gorge is v-shaped. Through its cleft can be seen the wide flash of the Steall waterfall

It was after reading those words over 30 years ago I first walked the gorge to visit the great falls.

An Steall Ban
20170525_112206 (1).jpg

I crossed the wire bridge but didn't take any photos (so here is an old one :shock: )

There may be finer places in Scotland than this but not many.

The climb up An Gearanach was on a good stalkers path but relentless in the heat.

On the ridge looking back to the first munro

The approach to An Garbhanach has fairly easy scrambling but care is needed and I reckon its safer on the crest than the bypass path
An Garbhanach on the right

From this point it was up and down the next two munros then the ex munro (I stopped taking pictures for a while because of the heat, my water situation, sunburn prevention etc :roll: ) onwards to the Devils ridge and Sgurr a'Mhaim.

The ridge is impressive and again care is needed at one point but there is a bypass path on the left
Looking back on the Devils Ridge
20170525_163510 (2).jpg

And again

The view across from Sgurr a'Mhaim showing the many dangers and traps on the southside of Ben Nevis. :shock:

I ran out of water at the summit cairn and I had been rationing it also. There is no water on the descent either. I was glad when I got to the road that I hadn't left it at the top car park as I now only had a few yards to crawl to the car for refreshments. :D

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Comments: 9

Wow! Its great to be Alive!

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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Sunset tripper

User avatar
Location: Inverness
Pub: The Clachaig
Place: Argyll
Gear: coca cola

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Joined: Nov 03, 2013
Last visited: Mar 19, 2018
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