The Ring of Steall (in reverse)
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Are you looking for a real adventure? Then let Outdoorlads take you up the Ring of Steall!
The Ring of Steall is one of the greatest, most exciting, and most exposed ridge walks in the UK! Our plan is to follow the WalkHighlands route in the reverse direction. We will climb steeply up into the Mamore mountains, and spend the day traversing along a roller-coaster of four Munros, several Munro tops, knife-edge ridges and exhilarating scrambles. The highlight of the day comes as we cross the Devil’s Ridge, the crux of the route and a wild and airy scramble. We complete the circuit by descending back down into Glen Nevis by the spectacular Steall Falls (which Harry Potter fans will recognise as the dramatic backdrop to several scenes from the films) and cross the famous wire cable bridge over the roaring Water of Nevis to complete our loop.
Please note that this is a long day in the hills with 5500 feet of ascent, so a good level of fitness is required (for comparison, the standard route on Ben Nevis is around 4400 feet of ascent). The route also has stretches of exposed Grade 1 scrambling. You should have a good head for heights – if you have done Striding Edge, or similar, you will be fine! If in doubt, message the event leader.
We also have another classic ridge traverse planned for Saturday 16th July - Ben Nevis via the CMD Arête - why not make a weekend of it and join us for both? If doing so, you should make your own accommodation arrangements. There are various accommodation options in and around Fort William, including Glen Nevis YH, Independent Hostels and AirBnbs. Nav will be staying at the Alex MacIntyre Memorial Hut in North Ballachulish and there is also the highly recommended Corran Bunkhouse nearby.
Photo Credits: -
All photos were taken by either Douglas or Nav and are free for others to use
IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement
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Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who has recently tested positive for Covid-19, is asked not to attend.
What to bring
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: Walking socks are often overshadowed by those new to hiking, with many novices failing to invest in proper socks. Good walking socks are essential in regards to keeping the feet dry, and in turn stopping the development of blisters. Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking will often become waterlogged, or damaged which will in turn blister feet.
Gators: Gators attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping the feet dry.
Walking Trousers: Walking trousers should be of a windproof design and made of a rip stop material, that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth. They should also ideally be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet. Jeans are therefore to be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall. Walker’s should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable, in order to avoid being soaked with sweat.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton T-Shirt is sufficient.
Mid Layer: A Mid Layer goes on top of the base layer and should consist of a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby typed thick shirt. The layering system is important as it allows walkers to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature.
Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. This is the final layer and walkers should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. The best hats are those of a fleece design, with wool also being acceptable.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months as walkers will require the usage of their fingers for various activities such as map reading. Windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Day sacks should have a capacity of around 30 litres with equipment being placed in water proof bags inside.
Emergency Equipment: A number of items should be taken in case problems occur whilst walking in the hills. Emergency equipment becomes of greater importance the further from civilisation walkers are. Equipment should include spare food stuffs of high energy, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire, either storm proof matches or a firelighter.
Food & Water: At least two litres of water should be brought for each day hiking, with more being taken if cooking is required. Enough food for the duration of a walk should also be taken. Food should be of the high energy variety, with hot food being able to be eaten raw if necessary.
Map & Compass: A map of the area being walked in is essential as well as a compass. The map should be in a waterproof bag or be of a waterproof design.
Mobile Phone: A mobile phone should also be brought and kept in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies.
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch and ensure you also have plenty of water - you will need at least 2 litres for this walk. Also bring plenty of snacks and spare food to keep you going throughout the day.