The Hitchhikers Guide to Reality.The Ring of Steall #71,72,73 & 74

9 05 2017

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I saw them too late as I came around the bend on the Glen Coe road. Wally and Ollie, standing at the roadside, thumbs out on arms outstretched in hope of a lift , I was past them before I could do a thing. What to do? I drove further down the glen. I had to go back, my conscience¬† wouldn’t allow me otherwise. If I was to continue on up to the Glen Nevis car park, I knew that guilt would keep sleep at a distance. I turned the Land Rover around at the lay by next to the Clachaig turning and drove back up the glen. They were still there. I flashed as I passed indicating that I was turning round, I heard them cheer.

Wally and Ollie were from Cornwall and Bristol. They had left their car at the B road in Glencoe just down from the Red Squirrell Camp Site. They had just spent a glorious day on taking in the Pap of Glencoe and the Aggy Ridge. They were shot. We chatted briefly on the short trip to their car. I dropped them off and we said our goodbyes.

“You are a superstar Bobby, thanks so much” said Wally as she jumped out the back of the Land Rover.

“Remember to pick up all you gear guys” I said “phones, wallets…. don’t want you losing anything now”

“Really appreciate it mate, thanks so much” said Ollie, and he shook my hand.

I waved goodbye and headed toward Glen Coe village, pleased that I had saved a torturous walk for them and glad to just have been helpful. It crossed my mind that I may be in the same boat and need a similar favour tomorrow on my way back up Glen Nevis.

I arrived at the high car park at the road end in Glen Nevis at around 10:30pm. It was getting dark but the clear sky indicated that a moonlit night was on the cards. I had a beer, had a read and bedded down for the night.

I woke three times during the night. I was cold, not too cold to be uncomfortable but enough to waken me. In the end, it was a blessing. I got up at 5:00am dressed, ate and left at 6:00am.

My plan was to do the Ring of Steall, four munros in stunning scenery. I knew it would be a long day so I carried plenty of water and food for the trip. Almost immediately on the path into Steall Meadow I was stopped in my tracks by two deer watching me. They were just below me, about 20feet away and they watched as I fiddled with my Gopro to film them. I turned around and there on the path, six foot in front of me, was another one staring straight at me. We looked at each other before he lifted his head and jumped down off the path to join the others. What a start to the day!

Minutes later I was in the Glen Nevis meadow with the rope bridge approaching and Steall Hut – a site of many a good night in the past – sitting spectacularly below the Steall Waterfall. The river was easily cross-able, but the rope bridge was far too tempting. I climbed up and tic tac toed across the single wire. Great fun!

From this moment on, it was a day of glorious views and wonderful walking. Here are some photos.

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It appeared that I had the hills to myself for almost the entire day. It wasn’t until just before the Devils Ridge that I met my first walker. By the time I had finished the last one and began my descent into the glen, I was meeting them regularly.

“Christ you must have been up early today mate” said one young guy heading up as I was going down.

“Six O’Clock bud, I’m knackered”

With David MacInness’s words ringing in my ears “The descent is a knee buster”, I began my drop. He was right, after about 20 minutes of steep descent, I went over badly on my ankle. Cursing the clear blue skies, I sat for ten minutes to see if the pain would subside. It did gradually and I began my descent once more.

I reached the low car park in Glen Coe and turned right to head back up the road past the Poldubh crags toward the high car park. As I stepped onto the road, I immediately thought of Wally and Ollie and how they must have felt last night, my feet were sore, my ankle was extremely tender and my knees were creaking. on top of all that, the sun had shone all day and I was burning up. I could imagine how they must have felt, hoping for a lift, a good Samaritan,some respite from their efforts……

I felt good about myself, I had done a good thing last night, I helped a couple out like anyone else would do. I heard a car approaching. I stuck out my thumb. It drove past.

“Surely one will stop” I thought “The car park is a dead end, they can’t be going anywhere else”.

Not one did. Not one. Is that Karma?

The MunroBlagger

 

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