Adventures In Scotland · Blog

Botched attempt at the Ring of Steall

My brother, his friend Will, and I set off this weekend to try to hike the Ring of Steall; a trail covering 4 Monro’s around Glen Nevis just outside of Fort William. The weather said it was to be clear so we drove up the night before with the intention of camping and getting an early start the next day as the route is supposed to take around 9-12 hours.

Things did not go to plan, as we closed in on Fort William we encountered a lot of heavy showers, it was pitch black when we got to the car park that’s the start of the route. There was nowhere dry enough to setup the tent so we opted to sleep in the car. Sleep did not come easy for any of us and we all woke the next morning with a few stiff muscles from sleeping in the car seats.

Just after 06:30 the rain let up and it started to look like it was going to clear up, so we started to get ready, a quick breakfast of sausage and beans, a cup of tea, and we were ready to go.

So we headed off, the route was very wet, and it didn’t take long for the showers to start up again. There are some interesting features of this route, including a “bridge” that’s nothing more than three cables over the river.

Chris, swinging off a rope bridge #scotland #highlands

A post shared by Will Stolton (@wazmeister05) on

After about an our or so we came across a waterfall that we had to cross. With all the rain recently it was flowing quite heavily.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We paced up and down the river trying to find a part we could cross, we didn’t want to wade through as we just wouldn’t dry out and it was going to be a long cold hike with snow on all the peaks. Eventually we identified some larger rocks that looked like you could hop across them. Using a walking pole for support my brother went first, the rocks were just too wet and my brother couldn’t get a good footing and fell into the river, Will quickly voiced his concern for the walking pole as it slid down the river rapids. Thankfully he was able to use my ice axe to fish it out.

At that point we decided that we couldn’t complete this hike, I think we’ll definitely give it another go in the summer when the waterfall isn’t quite as strong and hopefully be easier to cross.

Although nothing went to plan, it was still an enjoyable trip and it’s a beautiful area that I think I’ll visit often. I only took a few photos and below I’ve also embedded a video of the area taken from my brother’s drone.

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