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An Teallach mayday for Peter

An Teallach mayday for Peter


Postby jwramsay » Mon May 07, 2012 11:10 pm

Route description: An Teallach, Dundonnell

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

Date walked: 06/05/2012

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1062m

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Sunday 6th May 2012, Peter and I had camped close by to An Teallach, so rose early and were on the hill for 5:30am, starting from well sign posted layby beside the Dundonnell Hotel. We followed the Walk Highlands route up past the 2 bungalows, but followed the river rather than hitting the ridge.

Sunrise appears on the upper slopes of An Teallach:
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Wildlife abound! On the way to the carpark, a stag came out in front of us and walked along the road, later on a wild goat was on the road too. Not far after the bungalows, a cuckoo took turns to sign his song with another deeper in the valley. We then encountered the herd of mountain goats - boy do they stink! We also disturbed three deer and caught a wheatear at this point.

Feral goats watch us:
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The sun came up and the views over to the Fannichs were immense. The sky was dark blue, the sun was up - the day looked great!

Looking upwards again:
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And then ... a big cloud moved in and the white stuff began and gave us a good pounding for around 30 mins. So, everything was white by this stage and we followed those little cairns (thanks to whoever makes these BTW!!) until higher up from where what should have been the path up beside the stream became clearer.

Cloud rolled in from the Atlantic:
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Here comes the white stuff:
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After the storm we have some nice cloud inversion:
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It'd fair dumped on us and there was no visible path up:
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The snow really added to the views though:
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This big rock looked like a Wall's Vienetta:
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On the way up a pair of ptarmigan decided to pay us a visit and we got up quite close to these dudes before they decided enough was enough and flew away.

The obligatory ptarmigan shot:
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We reached the Bealach and got our first view of the two munro summits and only a fleeting glimpse of a pinnacle.

These are the two munro peaks, Bidean a Ghlas Tuill (3484 ft) left and Sgurr Fiona (3478ft) right:
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A glimpse down from the bealach:
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After this you need to drop down a bit and get a glimpse into the valley, before tackling the climb up to the first munro - Bidean a Ghlas Thuill. We were the first on the hill, so no tracks to follow. I took the lead. We were unsure whether we could make this ascent without the ice-axe and crampons that should have been worn in these conditions.

The steep ascent to the summit:
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Almost there:
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Peter takes a shot:
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Don't go too close to the cornice:
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Height was gained rapidly and it was not until near the summit that Peter lost confidence and dropped to all fours. I went back and assisted hi up to the ridge, literally stopping him from sliding down the hill (not the steep side mind - that'd have been more of a FALL!). We managed to hit the summit where we got what can only be described as the WAW moment - the money shot of An Teallach! Amazing, superb, unsurpassable, the view of Sgurr Fiona (the 2nd munro) and those Pinnacles in the snow - magical!

The pinnacles of An Teallach:
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Sgurr Fiona (left) and An Teallach's pinnacles closeup:
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Not long behind us were a couple from Newcastle area (we never did get your names!) who like us, were ill equiped for the conditions. We all agreed that tackling the 2nd munro of Sgurr Fiona would be far beyond our capabilities, so took our time descending back to the first bealach.

The 2nd party arrive just after us:
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Me (Jim) atop Bidean a Ghlas Thuill (3484 feet):
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Peter on the summit of the first An Teallach munro - Bidean a Ghlas Thuill:
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Peter and our new friends on the summit:
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More Pinnacles and Sgurr Fiona:
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Someone atop that tallest pinnacle:
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A closeup of the 2nd munro Sgurr Fiona shows that with no crampons/ice axe there is no way up:
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Closeup of Sgurr Fiona's (impossible) ascent:
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Amazingly on the descent, a lot of the white stuff had disappeared due to the may sunshine. It took us a while, and I saw my first Golden eagle on the descent.

Snow disappearing fast now:
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Going going gone ...
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The views over to the Fannichs were superb, and eventually we were back down to sea level and the car. What a climb!

View over to Fannichs:
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Close up:
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Extremely close up:
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And finally a view down to Little Loch Broom:
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All of my photos of the trip, including the famous sights we passed on the drive up from Glasgow:


And the video of the same:


And the Director's Cut Video:
Last edited by jwramsay on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
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jwramsay
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby 2dalmatians » Tue May 08, 2012 6:36 am

What a day you had there JW. Goats, ptarmigans, golden eagles and giant viennetta's!! Plus of course the stunning views too and cloud inversion. If Carlsberg did hill walking.... :lol:
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby dooterbang » Tue May 08, 2012 10:27 am

Fantastic report.

Loved the wild goat photo.

5.30am start - thats the way to go.
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby monty » Tue May 08, 2012 10:37 am

Fantastic views in the snow. Looks severley butt clenching though :lol: :lol: Still to do these but i will wait till the snow goes I think. :D
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby Alastair S » Tue May 08, 2012 1:01 pm

Great stuff there JW. The extra coating of snow makes for some stunning photos but does make things a lot more challenging. We had less snow a few weeks ago but an ice axe was essential on the steep ascent of Sgurr Fiona so there's no doubt you made the right call.

And I'm now feeling a lot better (i.e. smugger!) about my 8.5hrs for 16km :lol: No doubt Monty will knock these off before breakfast and then do the Fisherfield 5/6!!
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby PeteR » Tue May 08, 2012 1:12 pm

Great report and excellent pictures of a magnificent mountain :D

I was up on AT just over a week ago and there was a fair degree of snow on the hill then, but less than you had after thaty snow shower. I did the route in reverse to you and so had to descend Sgurr Fiona on soft, slippy snow. I can confirm......it is steep :lol: But great fun too (I can say that now that my shattered nerves are repaired :lol:)

I'll eventually get my report written up and my pictures posted, at which point you, AlastairS and I can compare notes - no reports in weeks on AT and now they come thick and fast :D

I hope you make it back on a fine. sunny day to complete the circuit :D
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby jwramsay » Wed May 09, 2012 6:35 am

Added a link to an HD Video of the adventure.
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby quoman » Wed May 09, 2012 8:57 am

That looks superb up there Jim, you did the right thing by coming back down.
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby jwramsay » Sat May 12, 2012 7:37 pm

I'd like to link this excellent trip report to mine to show exactly why we called it right by turning back...

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=21167
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Re: An Teallach mayday for Peter

Postby morag1 » Sun May 13, 2012 4:57 pm

Great stuff, well done guys :thumbup:
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