An Teallach – a new route up and down
by Mountainlove » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:33 pm
Route description: An Teallach, Dundonnell
Munros included on this walk: Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach), Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach)
Date walked: 17/09/2011
Time taken: 9 hours
Distance: 15 km10 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The night was challenging, as strong gusty gale force winds can make a hell of a noise, especially when you are in a tent and the noise kept me awake for most of the night (perfect conditions for hillwalking the next day) . Getting up the next morning after a few short hours of interrupted sleep was hard going, but porridge, coffee and a hot shower did work wonders.
We finally arrived at the car park close to Corrie Hallie and set off at 10:30. With 4 guidebooks, and 2 maps between us we were well equipped and set off with one guidebook and 2 maps. The starting point was 400m down the road, through some trees and up to the open moorland along an easy to follow path up the burn Coir’ a’ Ghiubhsachain. It was an obvious path to follow along the burn, so we put the guidebooks away and carried on towards to the mountain. What we didn’t realized at the time was, that we followed the wrong path to the left, which lead us towards Sail Liath (book said to walk up path to the right towards Glas Mheall Liath)
Well I have to admit that I didn’t really pay attention to the book and the path description…after all a clear path towards the mountain you want to climb, does not leave any doubt.
Along the way and up the gully to Sail Liath:
The path along the valley was lovely and a nice hike towards An Teallach. To our left we had a natural wall of rocks leading all the way towards the mountain and the path was great at times.
We came to a bit where a river crossing was required, but as the water was shallow so it was pretty easy to cross. We reached the the bottom of Sail Liath about 1.5h after setting off from the car and by that time the path continued towards Loch toil an Lochain.
I think by that time we became rather confused. After all we had to go up and not walk to the loch. By that time we checked the map and realized our mistake. Reading the map and looking up the cliffs, I spotted a very faint path* up a gully, which looked like gullies I have scrambled up before hand. Easy! Convincing Lee to go up the gully was a wee bit harder, but he finally agreed to go up with me.
*The faith path was maybe used by some mad deer in the past, but definitely not by any walkers!
The gully was a really steep climb. The first part was a mix between big boulders, grass, heather and blueberry bushes. Taking my time I walked up and picked blueberries on the way (biggest ones I have found this year)…distraction when doing something hard is the best thing! About half way up the path became even steeper and consisted only of rocks and grass. By that time it started to rain, but I was sweating buckets anyway so it didn’t bother me. The last 1/3 of the gully involved a lot of scrambling over rocks and had some sections of small loose rocks, which all started to move downhill while I tried to walk uphill ( walking steadily and slowly is the way to overcome these) But all in all great fun.
By that time I have chosen a different route from Lee, as his ascent send a few stone flying down my way, so it made sense to keep away. The left route up the gully seemed to be the easier one, while the right side involved more scrambling and loose rocks…I enjoyed that part, but I should really recommend the left hand site up
We reached the top of the gully and from there you have to follow a boulder field up to top of Sail Liath. I didn’t check the time but from the bottom of the valley to the top of Sail Liath, I guess you need to calculate between 1 – 1.5h (with breaks)
When we had lunch and compared our experiences up the gully (Great fun) to (That’s the hardest I have done so far), we looked towards the peaks we still had to climb…incredible!!!
Towards Sgurr Fiona:
As the gully took us longer than expected and left Lee a wee bit shaken, he didn’t wanted to do the scrambling part ahead, so we decided to follow the path around the worst parts. It was a good idea at the time, as it started to rain and left us with no visibility at that part of the way anyway. The path was really easy and we managed to make it in good time.
Towards Bidein a’ Ghlas Thuill and down Glas Mheall Liath:
The walk to the last Munro was fun and easy and up Bidein a’ Ghlas Thuill we had a well earned pint. The views you get from Bidein a’ Ghlas Thuill to Glas Mheall Liath are the most spectacular ones and the path again is easy to follow. Reaching the top of Glas Mheall Liath, we decided to head straight down towards the burn we followed up. Bad idea!!!
The walk down is longer than you can imagine from the top. The first 1/3 of the hill is covered by loose boulders and walking down the boulders which felt like hours was no fun at all. When we reached the end of the boulder field the heavens opened, standing under a shower at home, while being fully dressed, would not have made any different. The visibility was reduced to 15m and within 10 min the mountain slope was transformed to a river…I have never seen anything like it! Because the slope consists of lots of terraces the water just poured down them and walking down at the same time was a challenge. I was really glad at that time that I had my walking poles. Walking down the terraces was sometimes impossible, so you had to slide down most of them…they are not long…but it takes ages (also due to the soggy ground) and it gets frustrating as hell. As Lee pointed out horrible is far to nice…it was f….ing horrible. By the time we reached the burn at the bottom of the valley, it finally stopped raining, but the crossing of the burn proved a bit more challenging.
The nice wee stream turned into a monster and walking along it, is was difficult to find a save bit to cross. The crossing had to be done in knee deep water and yet again I was glad I had my poles, as the current was very strong. After 8.30h we finally came to the path we followed up the hill and were back at the car 9h after setting off.
I enjoyed the walk in and the scramble up the ‘Blueberry Gully’ up Sail Liath. I guess that anyone who enjoys going up gully would like it as well. The ridge walk from the south to the north was also great. But I would not recommend walking down Glas Mheall Liath. I guess next time I would try to walk down between Glas Mheall Liath and Glas Mheall More as described in one of my books.
YouTube video of the walk...[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIY_idj62Qw[/youtube]
our_route.gpx Open full screen NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts
by magicdin » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:15 pm
interested to know is your gully the one to left on this photo ?
by Mountainlove » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:33 pm
by magicdin » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:10 pm
Mountainlove wrote:It isnt that one it was even further to the left-before you reached the loch just below Sail Liath...your gully looks like the one below Cadha Gobhlach.
Cheers - your gully does look a bit narrower in the photos
by Alastair S » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:12 pm
by rocket-ron » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:21 pm
by Yipyipcoyote » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:49 pm
by kw1980 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:34 pm
by lomondwalkers » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:33 pm
by mgmt! » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:00 pm
- Posts: 540
- Joined: Oct 18, 2010
by JOHNGG » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:18 pm
PS - Glenmore Lodge does a good map & compass reading courses - may be worth checking out ?
by Bonzo » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:34 am
- A slightly easier route?
Still, it probably made a nice change
by Mountainlove » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:50 am
Munros at some point
@mgmt! Cant believe someone actually likes that route!
@ Bonzo: Good to know for the next time!
All: Many thanks for your comment...the Youtube video is also available now (see above)
by skuk007 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:38 pm