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Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:25 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Glen Spean), Beinn Teallach, Meall na Teanga, Sron a'Choire Ghairbh

Date walked: 22/06/2013

Time taken: 13 hours

Distance: 38 km

Ascent: 2719m

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Glen Etive ridgewalk had been scheduled for this weekend, but an unfavourable weather forecast made trying to do seven peaks and a high level camp untenable, so alternatives were called for. We had a couple to finish off up near Creag Meagaidh and then there were the 2 Loch Lochy hills nearby - that would make for a reasonable wet-weekend choice. Decided to head off from work on Friday rather than have a crack-of-dawn start on Saturday and was pleasantly surprised that the A9 was flowing smoothly allowing us to reach Loch Laggan at about 19.30. I had selected a probable campspot near houses at Roughburn on the map, but the reality was that my "probably suitable spot" on the map was anything but suitable in reality! So we drove back east to a layby before Roughburn and headed a couple hundred metres into the trees which proved OK. OK, that is, apart from The Midge which was out in swarms and made for an early retreat into the tent after cooking a pasta meal that was definately not vegan given the numbers of midges that ended up in the pot :lol:
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P1020653 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Next morning I woke with a headache and nausea. I sometimes get migraines and normally a pill and half an hour's walking takes them away, but today it was all I could do to get through my porridge before we set off, later than intended, through the forestry path at Drochaid. To accompany how wretched I was feeling, it was a rainswept claggy morning. Midsummer? I think someone's joking.
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P1020654 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The initial stage through the forest was reasonable apart from a short stretch of deep bog which put me in mind of the approach to Ben Lui and led to much squelching and cursing. Then up the hillside of Meall Clachaig.
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P1020657 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020658 by 23weasels, on Flickr

This must have been my slowest ever ascent - I felt terrible, legs like lead, no energy and waves of nausea getting worse. At one point I lay down in the wet grass to shut my eyes for 5 minutes and didn't feel much like getting up. Allison was all for abandoning the walk and returning to the car, but my view was - either I'd feel better in a bit, or even if I didn't, I'd still feel better for having climbed the hills than having gone back to the car and sat in the rain. So we went on. A bit further on, up Coire Clachaig I said hello to my breakfast porridge again and felt a little better for 15 minutes. However, by the time we'd made the first top on Beinn a'Chaorainn I was worse and was feeling really cold. It had been raining steadily, but I had my skins on and it was mid-June, for heaven's sake - but there I was chittering and shaking and becoming more delirious than usual :crazy: I asked Allison what she'd do if i dropped down dead and she gave the correct bagger's answer - "get the second hill of the day done then decide what to do with your body " :lol:
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P1020660 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking healthy!
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P1020663 by 23weasels, on Flickr

By the time we got to the summit of BaC I knew I had to try something. So a couple of painkillers, some food (tentatively consumed) and a cup of hot coffee combined with the warmth from my trusty belay jacket did the trick, and in 10 minutes I was fair skipping along. Still delirious, mind, but feeling much better :wink: Indeed felt on a bit of a sugar rush - if you've seen the episode(s) of Beavis & Butthead where Beavis hits the sugar and becomes Cornholio you get an idea of what I was like :D
We walked on to the third, diminutive cairn on BaC, catching glimpes of scenery through the clag including impressive drops down to the coire

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P1020661 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020664 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020665 by 23weasels, on Flickr
and turning west towards Tom Mor and Coireachan Garbh. Beinn Teallach was in sight.
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P1020667 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020668 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020669 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I was musing on whether it was a happier mountain when it used to be the tallest Corbett or now, being one of the tiniest Munros. A hard call, that one. Heading down to the bealach there was a profusion of wildflowers and frogs leapt acrobatically from underfoot.
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P1020671 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020672 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020673 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We walked up the shoulder of Beinn Teallach to be greeted by some blue sky and an improvement in the temperature.
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P1020676 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Nearing the top we passed a mummy ptarmigan with a brood of 6 chicks, doing the "running off pretending I've got a broken wing" trick. There's a fairly substantial cairn to the west of the first one you come to and this afforded views over to the Mamores and Loch Trieg, when the clag permitted.
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P1020677 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020679 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020682 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020684 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I was feeling much better by this point :D

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P1020680 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The walk down was straightforward, following Allt a'Chaorainn, crossing a deer fence and heading back into the trees to rejoin the outbound path. Stopped to fill up our water supplies in the river before returning to the car, feeling much restored :D

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P1020681 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020686 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed off along towards Loch Lochy, via a pint and grub in the Stronlossit Hotel in Roy Bridge, which was ok and better than the camping option of rehydrated noodles. I'd planned to park in the parking spot on the east side of Laggan Locks, walk over and camp somewhere on the west side, but we decided to drive down the wee road west of the lochside. This was a narrow little number with some of the most dramatic "I can't see anything over the bonnet" moments this side of Drumbeg. We parked near Kilfinnan Farm in some trees alongside Kilfinnan Burn, with some sheep for company. This gave good views over Laggan Locks.
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P1020688 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Of course - The Midge was here too. Not quite as intensively as the night before, but enoough to render the ideas of sitting out for an hour and listening to the birdsong and the water rushing by in the stream a pipe dream. Anyway, we could still hear these things from inside the tent.
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P1020689 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Pitching had been a bit awkward since the pegs would only go in an inch or two - I thought it'll be OK if it doesn't rain overnight - but of course it did, and heavily. Fortunately even the slack pitching didn't let the rain pour through. Did see a couple of large black slugs creeping over the ceiling of the tent overnight with all the speed of the moon moving in the night sky.

Wakened early but the rain drumming on the tent made me delay the inevitable for a bit longer in the hope that it would subside, which it did eventually do - for a short while. Breakfasted and packed up ready to set off at just after 9.30. By this time the rain had restarted. We passed by the farm which seemed to have amassed a considerable collection of ancient farm machinery.
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P1020713 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We headed down along the Great Glen Way on good track
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P1020690 by 23weasels, on Flickr

before turning up right at a boulder into a steep stony path towards Cam Bhealach.
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P1020691 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020692 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Meall na Teanga
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P1020697 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I'd originally planned to climb Meall na Teanga first and return along the ridge from Sron a Choire Garbh but poor visibility and increasingly strong winds made that unwise, so we decided to do SaCG first of all, meeting another couple of guys on the way up. There's a pronounced zig-zag stalkers' path up the side of SaCG which made the going easier
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P1020704 by 23weasels, on Flickr

and in a little while we'd made it to the peak. We passed by the ridge, moving in and out of sight in the clag, and it did look quite impressive.
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P1020700 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Again it was cold and wet, the wind not helping. Views were extensive - clag left, right and in front :roll: We didn't hang about and retraced our steps.

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P1020699 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I decided to go up the peak at the beginning of the ridge, but halfway up changed my mind as the blasts of wind almost knocked me off my feet. :shock: Back down at the bealach it was belay jacket time agin - indeed we both kept these on under our 'proofs for most of the remainder of the day.

The path up Meall na Teanga starts in a bog, but improves and is just over a Km up from the bealach, curving round Meall Dubh.
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P1020702 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Sron a Coire Garbh
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P1020705 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The wind was blowing in gusts, making the clouds scud by and irritating the hell out of me - I'd spy a view in a clearing in the clag, go to get my camera, have to clean the lens from rain/condensation then by the time i'm ready to shooot the view has disappeared back behind clag again :roll: Given the strength of the wind at parts of the ascent, I was surprised not to be buffeted about on the summit. I could just catch a glimpse of the head of Loch Ness at intervals and guessed this must be quite a viewpoint on days that there's a view to, well, view. :think:
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P1020706 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020707 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020709 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The return path was uneventful and accomplished quite quickly and we warmed up as we got down nearer sea level.
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P1020710 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020711 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020712 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Rain subsided and we were able to shed the layers of clothing. Back at the car and off by 4 - could see the hills we'd climbed as we drove down the east side of Loch Lochy
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P1020714 by 23weasels, on Flickr
and then down via Fort William and a wee stop off at the Clachaig for a pint. Highly irritating to find the bar has at least 10 new-to-me ales on draught and I can only have one :( Down the road in time for a (late) tea and happy to have added another 4 hills to the bag and reached 100 for the year so far :thumbup: .
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weaselmaster
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby mrssanta » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:53 pm

Wow, 100 so far this year is bordering on fanatical, very impressive! Hope the weather improves soon, walking in your belay jacket in June is a bit desperate!
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:04 pm

mrssanta wrote:Wow, 100 so far this year is bordering on fanatical, very impressive! Hope the weather improves soon, walking in your belay jacket in June is a bit desperate!


Yeah, have crossed the border into "fanatical" i think :lol:
Hoping to add a chunk more next week in Kintail, although the forecast suggests its gonna be cold and wet every day :(
When are you coming up this way?
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weaselmaster
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby malky_c » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:16 pm

Mixed bag of weather (and midges) just now. I've managed to avoid the worst by sticking to lower hills over the weekend. Was up Meall na Teanga earlier today and it was a fair bit nicer, despite a small shower on the top.
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby PeteR » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:18 pm

I read all your reports with interest WM, and have concluded that you are both "hillwalking headcases" :lol: In the nicest possible way of course :thumbup: 100 for the year so far is some effort - kind of "men-in-white-coats" territory some might say :lol:

Another epic report though, despite what the weather had to throw at you and the attack of "the midge" over that weekend. I'd had Teallach and its neighbour down for the Sunday, but ditched the plans due to the weather. Quite glad I did now, else I might have "discovered" your breakfast :sick:
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:45 pm

PeteR wrote:I read all your reports with interest WM, and have concluded that you are both "hillwalking headcases" :lol: In the nicest possible way of course :thumbup: 100 for the year so far is some effort - kind of "men-in-white-coats" territory some might say :lol:

Another epic report though, despite what the weather had to throw at you and the attack of "the midge" over that weekend. I'd had Teallach and its neighbour down for the Sunday, but ditched the plans due to the weather. Quite glad I did now, else I might have "discovered" your breakfast :sick:


Thanks, Pete!
As my dayjob is deep within the "men-in-white-coats" territory I think I've managed to slip thru the net - so far :lol: But quite happy to be considered a headcase of that particular type :crazy:

As for discovering my breakfast - I suspect The Midge gobbled that up - they have to be useful for something :wink:
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby mrssanta » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:07 am

weaselmaster wrote:
mrssanta wrote:Wow, 100 so far this year is bordering on fanatical, very impressive! Hope the weather improves soon, walking in your belay jacket in June is a bit desperate!


Yeah, have crossed the border into "fanatical" i think :lol:
Hoping to add a chunk more next week in Kintail, although the forecast suggests its gonna be cold and wet every day :(
When are you coming up this way?

Arriving in Kintail on Sunday 7th July for the week. Can't wait!
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:54 am

mrssanta wrote:Arriving in Kintail on Sunday 7th July for the week. Can't wait!

Ooh we'll just miss you then - we head back down on sun the 7th - hopefully after tackling the Saddle...
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby Graeme D » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:45 pm

mrssanta wrote:
weaselmaster wrote:
mrssanta wrote:Wow, 100 so far this year is bordering on fanatical, very impressive! Hope the weather improves soon, walking in your belay jacket in June is a bit desperate!


Yeah, have crossed the border into "fanatical" i think :lol:
Hoping to add a chunk more next week in Kintail, although the forecast suggests its gonna be cold and wet every day :(
When are you coming up this way?

Arriving in Kintail on Sunday 7th July for the week. Can't wait!


100 this year so far! And there's me done THREE this year so far, albeit with a dozen or so lesser hills thrown in too. Crossed the border into "pathetic" I think.

Anyway, great report and a sterling efort in those conditions and circumstances. However, I have to say that first camping spot looks like it would have been crawling with ticks if you ask me! :shock:
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:47 pm

Graeme D wrote:Anyway, great report and a sterling efort in those conditions and circumstances. However, I have to say that first camping spot looks like it would have been crawling with ticks if you ask me! :shock:


Nope - not a single tick sighted
Only had the one experience of tick invasion up by Stac Polliadh this summer - so far :roll:
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Re: Chucking it down & Chucking it up - Teallach to Teanga

Postby mrssanta » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:21 pm

Graeme D wrote: And there's me done THREE this year so far, albeit with a dozen or so lesser hills thrown in too. Crossed the border into "pathetic" I think.
:

Aye but you have a little one. We stopped climbing munros for well over 10 years when our children were small.
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