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An Teallach bypass

An Teallach bypass


Postby KC Pendragon » Tue Sep 07, 2021 2:41 pm

Hello. I’m walking An Teallach tomorrow, and fair looking forward to it. Definitely won’t be doing the ridge as I’m way too much of a fearty, but considering the bypass route rather than re-tracing my steps. How narrow and exposed is it? Thanks!
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby simon-b » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:15 pm

Hi KC
I did the bypass a while ago, in 2013, going east to west. So I walked below the crest before turning up to Sgurr Fiona. Being a bypass below the crest, it's not narrow (as in not on a knife edge). In places, as can happen with bypasses, there are places with more than one path parallel to each other. Some of these do encounter steep flanks. If you find yourself in an exposed situation, look for a more comfortable parallel option; that could involve a short bit of doubling back, but it worked for me. Other than that, you should be OK.
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby KC Pendragon » Tue Sep 07, 2021 3:49 pm

simon-b wrote:Hi KC
I did the bypass a while ago, in 2013, going east to west. So I walked below the crest before turning up to Sgurr Fiona. Being a bypass below the crest, it's not narrow (as in not on a knife edge). In places, as can happen with bypasses, there are places with more than one path parallel to each other. Some of these do encounter steep flanks. If you find yourself in an exposed situation, look for a more comfortable parallel option; that could involve a short bit of doubling back, but it worked for me. Other than that, you should be OK.


Thanks Simon, this is very helpful. I had planned west-east as I thought I could make the descent route decision once up there. Do you think there’s any advantage going east-west?
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby mproudfoot » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:05 pm

When you say walking An Teallach, are you committed to a full traverse, or is the primary goal to tick off the two munros? If the latter, you can avoid the ridge completely and still have an enjoyable day up on An Teallach. If committed to the ridge, you can make it as easy or challenging as you like - i, with a friend, did the full traverse (as well as all 7 tops) the weekend before last, and we started from Corrie Hallie up around to Sail Liath and started from there, taking on a few tops and the ridge before the munros. I quite enjoy a bit of scrambling but will admit we did not fancy the buttress ascent head-on, so went around to the left to ascend a Corrag Bhuidhe a little further on. However, after that, the optional scrambling on the pinnacles is really straight forward - barely grade 2 IMO, albeit with a few narrow sections with high levels of exposure.

We saw quite a number of people on the traverse taking the lower bypass paths and those looked like pretty good paths (in the dry at least). There is a bit of a drop off to one side, steeper in some places than others, but as long as you are careful not to trip, it's really just a path walk like any other. That said, I think I'd take my chances on the ridge rather than the path in winter conditions :)
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby KeithS » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:22 pm

Hi,
Like you, I was a bit of a chicken on An Teallach. I declined the pinnacles and took the bypass route. It is quite exposed with big drops but the path is good and there were no really tricky bits. One word of warning, I was concentrating so much on the views to the left that I failed to notice that I had passed Sgurr Fiona and ended up on the beallach after it. After a little confusion and map checking I had to make my way back up Sgurr Fiona from the other side. I have also climbed Sgurr Fiona from near Dundonnel and there are no tricky bits.
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby simon-b » Wed Sep 08, 2021 12:56 pm

KC Pendragon wrote:
simon-b wrote:Hi KC
I did the bypass a while ago, in 2013, going east to west. So I walked below the crest before turning up to Sgurr Fiona. Being a bypass below the crest, it's not narrow (as in not on a knife edge). In places, as can happen with bypasses, there are places with more than one path parallel to each other. Some of these do encounter steep flanks. If you find yourself in an exposed situation, look for a more comfortable parallel option; that could involve a short bit of doubling back, but it worked for me. Other than that, you should be OK.


Thanks Simon, this is very helpful. I had planned west-east as I thought I could make the descent route decision once up there. Do you think there’s any advantage going east-west?

Sorry, KC, this reply is probably too late!
The reason I went E to W was to have the option of taking on the crest, and research suggested the trickiest scramble on the ridge itself might be better taken that way. As it was, when I reached the ridge, conditions weren't ideal so I took the bypass. If your intention is to use the bypass anyway, you may as well stick with your original plan.
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby KC Pendragon » Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:15 am

mproudfoot wrote:When you say walking An Teallach, are you committed to a full traverse, or is the primary goal to tick off the two munros? If the latter, you can avoid the ridge completely and still have an enjoyable day up on An Teallach. If committed to the ridge, you can make it as easy or challenging as you like - i, with a friend, did the full traverse (as well as all 7 tops) the weekend before last, and we started from Corrie Hallie up around to Sail Liath and started from there, taking on a few tops and the ridge before the munros. I quite enjoy a bit of scrambling but will admit we did not fancy the buttress ascent head-on, so went around to the left to ascend a Corrag Bhuidhe a little further on. However, after that, the optional scrambling on the pinnacles is really straight forward - barely grade 2 IMO, albeit with a few narrow sections with high levels of exposure.

We saw quite a number of people on the traverse taking the lower bypass paths and those looked like pretty good paths (in the dry at least). There is a bit of a drop off to one side, steeper in some places than others, but as long as you are careful not to trip, it's really just a path walk like any other. That said, I think I'd take my chances on the ridge rather than the path in winter conditions :)

Thanks for this info. I always look to get the most from my walking experiences but really don’t like exposure, or being too scared to enjoy the walk. I decided on the day to return the same route but will definitely return for a circular route, using the bypass. Unless I acquire a head for exposure, the full traverse is unlikely to become an option unfortunately!
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby KC Pendragon » Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:20 am

KeithS wrote:Hi,
Like you, I was a bit of a chicken on An Teallach. I declined the pinnacles and took the bypass route. It is quite exposed with big drops but the path is good and there were no really tricky bits. One word of warning, I was concentrating so much on the views to the left that I failed to notice that I had passed Sgurr Fiona and ended up on the beallach after it. After a little confusion and map checking I had to make my way back up Sgurr Fiona from the other side. I have also climbed Sgurr Fiona from near Dundonnel and there are no tricky bits.
Keith

Thanks for this, really helpful. Good bit of advice re finding yourself on the bealach, I can see how that can easily happen. I decided to retrace my steps on this occasion, it felt right on the day, although will definitely return for the bypass route. Reassuring to know it’s a good path, will just need to try not to focus on the drop!
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Re: An Teallach bypass

Postby KC Pendragon » Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:25 am

simon-b wrote:
KC Pendragon wrote:
simon-b wrote:Hi KC
I did the bypass a while ago, in 2013, going east to west. So I walked below the crest before turning up to Sgurr Fiona. Being a bypass below the crest, it's not narrow (as in not on a knife edge). In places, as can happen with bypasses, there are places with more than one path parallel to each other. Some of these do encounter steep flanks. If you find yourself in an exposed situation, look for a more comfortable parallel option; that could involve a short bit of doubling back, but it worked for me. Other than that, you should be OK.


Thanks Simon, this is very helpful. I had planned west-east as I thought I could make the descent route decision once up there. Do you think there’s any advantage going east-west?

Sorry, KC, this reply is probably too late!
The reason I went E to W was to have the option of taking on the crest, and research suggested the trickiest scramble on the ridge itself might be better taken that way. As it was, when I reached the ridge, conditions weren't ideal so I took the bypass. If your intention is to use the bypass anyway, you may as well stick with your original plan.

Thanks again Simon. I returned via my outward route on this occasion but it was with a pang of regret at a missed experience. Having read your advice, and that of the others here, I’m definitely going to return and walk the bypass and now wondering whether east-west is a good idea as it may be easier to see where bypass paths lead on the ascent rather than descent? Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reply. Thoroughly enjoyed the day.
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