Thursday, 3 May 2012

Ring of Steall, May'12

Richard Kermode lead a couple of days in Lochaber. In superb weather he tackled the Ring of Steall on May 1, then the Aonach Eagach on the following day. Here's his report on the Ring of Steall.

After changing the plan for the day due to the large amount of snow on the Carn Mor Dearg Arete we headed out through Glen Nevis to walk around the Ring of Steall one of the classic ridge walks in Scotland. It was already scorching hot as we reached the wire bridge that is in good working order after being repaired last year and provided Chris, Allen and David with their first challenge of the day!

We were slow climbing up An Gearanach in the heat, but the snowy views of Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg and the Aonachs behind us were inspiring and when we reached our first summit in some thawing wet snow we enjoyed the views of our route spread out before us basking in the sunshine!

It wasn't long before we had scrambled over the ridge and up to Stob Coire a'Chairn before the tough wet snow covered scree and boulders that lead up to Am Bodach where we enjoyed more great views in all directions as well as some well earned food and drink. It was a challenge to drink enough really and we talked about taking on plenty of fluids that evening to recover for tomorrow. The walking was easy from here as the ridge sweeps round to Sgorr an Iubhair to take in the views of the Devils ridge over to Sgurr a'Mhaim.

Time was flying an it was already late but after a discussion about evening meals, energy levels and the stunning scorching weather we decided to go for it and enjoyed a quiet hot traverse of the ridge with some sporting scrambling on the teeth of the ridge before reaching our final summit of the day a little after 6pm to take in the breath-taking vistas all around.

We made short work of the descent back to the cars passing a friendly snowman high on the ridge before heading our separate ways to find some food and showers. What a cracking day!