Monday, 16 June 2014

Ring o'Steall, Mamores, Jun'14

John was leading the Ring o'Steall - a great hike with some easy rock-scrambling. Here's his tale of the day....

Despite a little confusion caused by my inadequate texting capabilities, the group met on time at Poldubh Lower Falls car park, and the midges were pleased to see us! We quickly all jumped into my car and nipped up to the glen-end car park, and wasted no time in getting moving, due to the noxious melange of still air, drizzle and June, which can mean only one thing – Scourge!

Steall bridge was the first treat of the day, and I must say I think they have tightened the cables recently, as it was easy to cross. Waiting to take photos, I attracted the other billion varmints related to those lower down the glen, and that set a pattern for the day – ‘Stop if you will, but be sharp, as hell awaits he who lingers....’ There was one nutcase in a hammock by Steall Falls – A wonderful spot, but he/she must have had either the World’s best mozzy net, or a gallon of DEET!

The boggy meadows dispatched, we plodded steadily up the shallow coire on the excellent path, soon arriving onto the ridge proper, and a blessed breeze to allow a short break. It was there I commenced to bore my party about the plethora of old stalkers paths that abound in the Mamores, with some seemingly leading to and from nowhere as well as the ones which have stayed in use. I am particularly fond of the one that circumnavigates Sgurr a’Mhaim, and must walk it one day. I did rattle on about them and persisted in pointing them out, so to Steve, Iain and Nigel, I apologise for my fetish!

On the scramble across the ridge, the party progressed steadily and confidently, even doing some good impromptu down-scrambling as we endeavoured to stick to the crest. We were soon over the two Munro summits and on the steep path up to Am Bodach, where we could watch other fairly large parties on all the ridges around. They added a nice perspective, and it seems the Mamores were a popular choice today!

The weather gradually improved, never really being sunny, but with some great views ESE to Schiehallion, W to Skye and Rum, SW to the Paps of Jura, and of course all the delights in between. Only the Ben refused to fully shake it’s manteaux of cloud all day.

The Devil’s Ridge was in a tame mood today, with no wind and dry rock, so was a pleasant bimble really. Nigel and I had a pop at sticking to the crest across the crux niche, but after a few attempts, we decided discretion had the better part of valour, and scrambled back down again. If you don’t try, you’ll never know!

We really wanted to linger on the summit, as the views were lovely, but our flying friends soon put paid to that, so after the final sandwich, it was the knee-jarring Route One back down to the Lower Falls.

A very pleasant day on a great route. What more can you say?

More photos are on our Flickr page !