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An Teallach in winter

An Teallach in winter


Postby Benaden887 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:32 pm

Munros included on this walk: Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach), Sgùrr Fiona (An Teallach)

Date walked: 04/03/1995

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 16.5 km

Ascent: 1780m

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An Teallach in winter. 16.5km 1780m 12h. 04/03/1995
The KMC are having a winter w/e @ Sail Mhor croft with the queen of Scottish mountains in our sights. A previous club visit to Shenaval bothy for the Fisherfield six gave my first closeup of the task ahead. The red glow of a setting sun highlighted the ridges and spiked peaks dictating this could only be done in good weather and preferably summer. That was then this is a more wiser now.
An Teallach is the collective name for a twisted pinnacled ridge of Torridonian sandstone covering an area boasting of 11 tops over 3000 ft. they are in climb order, Glas Mheall Mor (3176 ft) the only top visible from Dundonnald some 3 miles distant. The unnamed top (3001ft) Bidein a`Ghlas Thuill (3483ft) Glas Mheall Liath (3150ft) contour. Sgurr Creag an Eich (3350ft) Sgurr Fiona Fiona (3474ft) Lord Berkeley`s Seat (3325ft) Corrag Buidhe (3425ft) North top with three lower pinnacles. Corrag Buidhe South Buttress(3050ft) Top above Cadha Ghobhlach(3150ft) contour and Sail liath (3150ft) contour.
So to beat the forecast, Andy, Alan and I hae an early start to park at Corrie Hallie layby. We gather our gear in the dark, then follow head torch beams up a snowy glen to cross the Allt Gleann Chaorachain. Lamplight bounces off the water not showing its true depth but we splash across it anyway. Leave the track where it levels for a path then again as the gray bulk of Liath appears in the gloom. Pass a frozen lochan as the sun rises behind us, whitening the snowy E face of Sail Liath. I`ve left my plastic Asolos at home being it`s a fair walk in/out, so sporting new Scarpa Sls, strap Salewa classics on, button up, goggles an dachstein mitts and I`m good to go. My 30inch Bae built ice axe, an item of derision by climbing partners until it pulled us out of a number of jams, serves as a pole as I follow Alan up the slope. The snow is firm and the big man kicks in steps with ease a steeper section requires the axe pick for support I glance down at Andy, he's copying my moves and as the angle eases we join up as a team and reach the covered cairn of Sail Liath @ 954m. Some view. The sun now up shows a white covered Fisherfield, Beinn Dearg group lookin good and ice on Loch na Sealga. A break then on to view a 50m drop to a col with gully drops either side. I climb down so far then jump the rest. Wow I`m in to my waist in snow but safe. I lean forward and swim to the wall of Gobhlach, firm snow here, I kick my way up and top out. Facing my team again Alan's already on the climb out, when Andy shouts, its no fur me. After assurance that he can get back down OK Alan and I reach then cross the top of Stob Cadha Ghobhlach @959m. The snow still calf deep till we rise again over a narrow neck, yet another gully falling to Toll an Lochain. Cross a small lump then reach the towering iced wall of the Corrag Bhuidhe Buttress. I've read of this being a problem in summer. Check the bypass path above Loch na Sealga, its plastered with snow. Weighing up the possibles when two English guys shout from the top - can we get down that side. I wave my arms then check on the Tol an Lochain side and yell - over here. The boys set up a rope belay and one swings down. Completely iced up there he says thought we`de need to go back. Nearly our thoughts too I reply. We make use their rope then drop it down to them wi thanks on both side. A walk to Corrag Bhuidhe South Buttress(929m) confirms very icy. Then three lower pinnacles to Corrag Buidhe North top (1036m) give dramatic viewing an a wee bit o climbing. The wind picks up as our weather window starts to close. The small pinnacle of Lord Berkeley`s Seat (1041m) with its awesome drop to a frozen lochan and sheer walls, a bit lost because of the smothering snow. A climb to Sgurr Fiona(1059m) meets a snell wind and the clag. Mapchk gives a careful descent NNE to a deep snowed col with a massive cornice overhanging the gully. Just magic. Sheltered here beneath the mist wind and snow we mapck, take on fuel and rest. Its taking longer than I thought. Moving again we follow rapidly disappearing footprints up to a hidden Bidein a`Ghlas Thuill (1062m) Due N to a hump in the snow hints at The unnamed top (915m) then NE for Glas Mheall Mhor (981m) We drop off the N side, the snow being more compact here. Come to crags as we dip below the clag an here a nigh vertical wall of hard pact snow. I swing the axe pick into it – it holds. My mitts made from wool, when rubbed stick to the iced snow. My Ultrafleece outfit does the same so gives balance when leaning into the slope for kicking steps. Thus we are able to front point our way down some 100m `till we can face out and run the rest. Then followed a long plough out thro deep snow to reach the road and safety. The walk to the car was quiet a dram at the pub the same and a great welcome at the croft, all pleased we made it back.
Long twelve hour day, but we made it so we did and worth it. Thanks Alan.
On a later stay at the Croft Andy would do the An Tealach Munros as he put it – sanely.
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Benaden887
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Re: An Teallach in winter

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:14 pm

I enjoyed reading that. Took me back to winter days around that period, mostly in Torridon and the surrounding areas, though An Teallach we only did in summer. I think it was possibly the same year.

I loved my ME Ultrafleece top, and the "purple dungarees" Ultrafleece bottoms that my mates took the **** out of but they kept me warm and as you describe, they stuck to firm snow and ice.
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Mal Grey
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Re: An Teallach in winter

Postby Benaden887 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:41 am

Glad u liked it, I`d upped my gear by then forgoing the older Helly hansons.
Benaden887
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 162
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:153   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:46
Wainwrights:39   
Joined: Apr 8, 2012

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