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An Teallach

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:50 am
by andrewdoggett
I'm late; in my heart of hearts as I set off at 01:30 I know I've missed the best light. I've the best part of a 200 mile drive and an ascent of 1,060 metres over 6 km to make before sunrise which is scheduled for 05:34. Hmmm; 4 hours; that's just not going to happen!! Todays trip isn't just about what is arguably Scotlands' finest mountain; I'm after an image looking south along the main ridge; and the best light at this time of year will be inside an hour after sunrise.

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I'm cursing the snooze button on my alarm as I'm halfway up the mountain (which I started the ascent of in the dark) when the sun peeps over the horizon. At around 06:15 the light is at it's best; the mountain is glowing orange. I'm just half an hour late to the summit to catch the best of it. Not to worry though; the scene is still stunning; one of the most famous landscapes in the United Kingdom opens out before me; one instantly recognisable to mountain lovers... An Teallach.

The imposing sight of the main ridge of the mighty An Teallach seen in early morning light from the northern summit, Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill (1062 masl).

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The camera gear... Weight kept to a minimum by use of a carbon fibre tripod.

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Me with the ridge to come behind me; I had to take this shot to send off to my colleagues that were working - apparently I have a smug grin - never!! :?

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After breakfast on the northern summit time to move along; the ascent of Sgùrr Fiona looks decently steep and there's a little trepidation as I descend to the col.

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As is often the case though, it turns out not to be as steep as it looks; and I'm comfortable enough on the ascent to stop and take a picture looking back to the northern munro...

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Another view back from the summit of Sgùrr Fiona; a rest from carrying the pack with camera gear!

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The scenery in all directions is breathtaking; I'm spending most of my time sat down absorbing it; today isn't a day for a fast walk. My strategy of saving the finest hills for the finest days is coming good I think to myself. And I feel like I'm owed this after some winter trudges in blizzards and knee deep snow. Best of all though; this early in the morning I have the mountain to myself; not a soul in sight; I can feel the stress leaving me; there is nowhere I'd rather be...

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Looking toward Lord Berkeley's Seat. As it happens I'll take the bypass path; mainly because I'm worried about the descent on the far side of the Corrag Bhuidhe buttress which is described in the books as a graded rock climb; something I've not done any of, and the words 'several fatalaties' are ringing in my ears... Sometimes its best to get to know a mountain slowly I'm thinking... I'll probably come back and traverse the top some time. Still, leaving my pack on the summit of Sgùrr Fiona I couldn't resist a little explore along the main ridge; this section certainly holds no problems, but I'm aware the difficulties are later on and conscious there is no one else here.

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View back to the northern munro from just below the summit of Sgurr Fiona.

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A couple of pictures from the bypass path; personally I found no issues at all with this path; and the drop to the side of the path isn't too sheer; easy walking... Some pictures so you can make your own mind up whether or not it's for you.

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Still I hadn't seen a soul; perfect. How many people can say they have this traverse to themselves on a day like today I wonder; definitely worth the early start. As I find a table like plateau with a near sheer drop I can't resist setting the 'proper' camera up on the tripod... To steal a phrase from The Lion King; Everything the light touches is our Kingdom... And today; with the mountain completely to myself; it really does feel like it is mine...


Anyway, enough of that, all too soon it's over and you find yourself looking back. The descent from the Corrag Bhuidhe Buttress before the ascent of Stob Cadha Gobhlach is fairly steep but there is nothing that poses any technical difficulty; just be careful on those knees!! Looking back north, the main An Teallach ridge is seen here from the summit of Stob Cadha Gobhlach at 960 masl...

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Stitched panoramic form the summit of Sàil Liath showing the ridge from the south; most people seemed to be tackling it in this direction and this is where I saw my first people. Some had stayed overnight in the Shenavall Bothy; I'm not sure that's necessary this isn't a particularly long walk, but hey camping out is fun...

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Me on the summit of Sàil Liath after a successful traverse, and a walk that will live long in the memory; not my favourite walk to date though, this comes in at number 2; I'll reveal my number 1 in my century post to follow...

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My route using Satmap...

2011 - 04 - 27 - An Teallach.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The stats... By my count, a full 4.5 hours spent gazing across my kingdom. ;)

An incredible mountain; reaffirming my view that Scotland is the worlds most stunning country...

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Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:10 am
by monty
Tremendous Andrew. Great photos. Great report. You had the mountain to yourself in glorious sunshine. :D

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:34 am
by tango
Andy excellent snaps, im looking at doing a similar route in the summer so thanks for the photo recce.. :D

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:25 pm
by Alastair S
Stunning stuff there Andrew. Showing true dedication too. Looking forward to the #100 TR :D

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 12:16 pm
by kevsbald
This one escaped me. Fantastic stuff.

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 8:32 pm
by LeithySuburbs
You're racking them up at a fair rate Andrew :) - what a cracking looking day. I often get the hills to myself as well due to my very late starts :lol: .

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 8:58 pm
by ChrisW
fantastic Andrew, that first pic was worth the effort - brilliant, I confess to being with Leithysuburbs though - lay in late, set off at 10.30 / 11 get the place to yourself (not the best light though) ....... give us a hint at that No.1 :lol:

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 7:15 pm
by andrewdoggett
LeithySuburbs wrote:You're racking them up at a fair rate Andrew :)

Yep loving the hills have some reports I haven't got round to yet; think I'm on 39 for the 2011 to date :)

ChrisW wrote:give us a hint at that No.1 :lol:

The information is there if you look hard enough in my ton up report... But to save you the trouble; The Ring of Steall in the Mamores gets my vote...

But that's since been equalled at worst and at best overtaken by Liathach...

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 10:19 pm
by GraemeMac
like kevsbald I completely missed this one, Fantastic stuff :D . Great photos looking towards Beinn Dearg Mor. I start nearly all of my walks these days at ridiculous o'clock to get that feeling when the mountain is all yours

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:37 pm
by goth_angel
Wow 8)

Re: An Teallach

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 9:48 pm
by andrewdoggett
goth_angel wrote:Wow 8)

I can only assume you're talking about me and not the mountain... :lol: