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Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:23 am

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

Corbetts included on this walk: Sail Mhor

Date walked: 21/06/2014

Time taken: 11.5 hours

Distance: 22.3 km

Ascent: 2106m

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...or "It's a long way from Beinn Narnian to Bidean a Ghlas Thuill"

And so, it comes to the last one. I didn't think, when we set out on our first hillwalk to Goatfell in August 2012 that I'd ever be getting ready to compleat the Munros. I did enjoy the day however, and set off the next weekend to tackle our first Munros - Beinn Narnian & Ime. That day was full of clag, getting lost, finding our way and getting lost again and it sparked off a sense of challenge and enjoyment of the outdoors that had been missing in my life. It wasn't long until it became every weekend that we were heading off for the hills, through the superb winter of 12/13. Allison fell behind in her numbers due to a variety of aches and pains (hence the Sick Kid moniker) but it was rare for me not to be out there at every opportunity. Over the months I felt my skills and knowledge gradually increase - I became able to use a compass, pick out a likely (though Allison would say usually a mental :lol: ) route up a hill, start to do longer days, a wee bit of a scramble here and there. Last Spring saw us starting to take a tent at the weekend, to enable us to maximise time on the hill and not sitting driving. Milestones came and went - the Big Bookil, the Ring of Steall, the Forcan Ridge, the Aonach...setting foot on Skye's mighty Cuillin for the first time. Each outing taught us a little bit more about how to hillwalk, about the wonders in the countryside and about ourselves. I remember reading a line - I think from Edward Thomas - about the outward exploration of the mountain landscape being accompanied by a matching inner exploration of one's own psyche. And for me, that's been very true - I've discovered things about myself and what i can do that I'd not have done without spending long hours immersed in the mountains.

Beinn Narnian, Sept 2012 - same clag, more (facial hair :lol: )
ImageP1010045 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Over the last couple of months we have gone full tilt to get to the last of our Munros. Trips to the less accessible corners - Loch Carron, Knoydart, Fisherfileds and the real crux for me- climbing the Cuillin - have come and gone. We've gone over the hills that Allison had fallen behind on, leaving us with one mountain, the mighty An Teallach, to end this chapter of our adventures on. We had planned to leave it for a good clear day, but after finishing all the remaining hills last weekend there was never much doubt that I'd go for the finish line at the first opportunity. It would have taken gales and blizzards to keep me from the pinnacles of Corrag Bhuidhe this weekend :lol:

We watched in dismay over the week as the weather forecast got steadily worse...but the decision had been made and clag & rain were not going to stop us. Scoob & Fi had kindly offered to come along and video our big day and we were more than happy to have them along for a bit of moral support on the scrambly bits we suspected we were going to meet. I was quite anxious about the Pinnacles and actually spent more time thinking about them than about getting into Club 282. Finished up early at work on Friday afternoon and set off - choosing to go up the A82 for some reason, which took us through Inverness, Beauly, Muir of Ord then a narrow twisty single track road from Dundonnell before we arrived at the pretty little campsite at Badrallach. The journey had taken over 6 hours and I was well done in! Pitched for the night, having arranged to meet with Scoob and Fi the following morning at 8.30 outside the Dundonnel Hotel. I noticed we were in Pitch 13 and it rained all night - not the best of omens for the day to come :lol:

Campsite - An Teallach shrouded behind
ImageP1020313 by 23weasels, on Flickr


Saturday morning arrived - cloud down, showery rain. Oh well - maybe it will improve. Drove to the Hotel and met up with the interepid pair who were inside having a pot of tea. We'd originally planned to tag a Corbett onto the Munros - Sail Mhor at the very end of the northern ridge of An Teallach, so we left my car at Ardessie and drove down to Corrie Hallie. Damp morning walk in along the Shenavall track then turning off to the right past Lochan na Brathan - path becoming lost in the boggy terrain. We could see the bulky outline of Sail Liath ahead of us, top shrouded in mist. To our left lay the wonders of Beinn Dearg Mhor & Beag, Beinn a'Chlamaidh etc - all hidden away behind clag :( . We pressed on, making for a path we could see cutting its way through a scree run. This was pretty unpleasant - steep, very mobile scree that was difficult to walk on, so I kept to the grassy edges, leaving the rest of the group behind. Reaching the top of Sail Liath I enjoyed the quiet, watching the clouds scurry across and hoping for some glimpses into the wilds of Fisherfield, but alas, t'was not to be. After a very long time the others appeared - I assumed they'd slid to the bottom of the slope and had to start all over again :wink: we gathered ourselves for the next section of the ascent.

The walk in
ImageP1020316 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sail Liath
ImageP1020317 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lochan na Brathan
ImageP1020322 by 23weasels, on Flickr

C'mon you slow people - scree on Sail Liath
ImageP1020324 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View (sic) to Fisherfields
ImageP1020326 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The path skirts round the corrie edge revealing some impressive drops to Loch Toll an Lochain which were revealed then concealed by the swirling mist. On to the rockier second top of Stob Cadha Gobhlach - it seemed to have taken forever to have reached this far - it was lunchtime already and we hadn't even come in sight of the Pinnacles. We stopped for a bite to eat in the shelter of some giant sandstone blocks. Every so often we'd get a tantalising glimpse of something rocky and jaggy up ahead, waiting for us. Fortified by coffee we set off to attempt the Pinnacles...

View to the corrie from Sail Liath
ImageP1020328 by 23weasels, on Flickr

On your marks....
ImageP1020329 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Gobhlach
ImageP1020331 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Toll an Lochain
ImageP1020333 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020334 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Spooky in the mist
ImageP1020338 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020340 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Marble pavement behing Scoob & Fi
ImageP1020342 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020346 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Shelter spot for lunch
ImageP1020348 by 23weasels, on Flickr


We passed the chockstone that looks like a giant petrified foot lodged in a cleft. We knew this marked the start of the Corrag Bhuidhe. There's a multitude of paths that scurry this way and that, making route finding - particularly in clag- a bit of a challenge. We knew the bypass route ran on our left, so we made the choice that is usually the best - follow the crampon scratches and keep to the crest. This was OK for now - no problems with exposure, cos we couldn't see the drops. We came to the start of the first pinnacle. Knowing this was perhaps the trickiest bit we found a way up round to the left of the buttress and scrambled up - helped by some slings that Scoob had brought along for a bit of extra grip at the very start of the ascent. Onto better hand and footholds above, the polished sandstone giving the route away - but I wouldn't fancy trying to come down this particular section. A bit more up and down and along edges and we passed the small cairn marking the Corrag Bhuidhe top. I reckoned that was the hardest bits over. There's a descent before coming to Lord Berkeley's seat that we took by descending a gully on our left - bit slidy over wet mud, but no great problems there. A small section of narrow crest brought us up to what we assumed might be the Lord's chair, but in the clag it was hard to tell. Up we went, good holds in the sandstone assisting us with only one slippy part that lacked in holds - again Scoob's slings came in handy for extra purchase. We sat atop something that seemed that it might be the Seat - after descending and looking at it from the north side I confirmed it was and scrambled back up to have another perch. To be honest, I'm not sure if I'd have done that if there had been good visibility for the drop below :lol:

Chockstone
ImageP1020353 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020354 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Gobhlach
ImageP1020357 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Let the fun begin
ImageP1020359 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Start of the ascent of 1st pinnacle
ImageP1020360 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020361 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Thank heavens for clag :lol:
ImageP1020362 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Fi with the wee gully descent behind her
ImageP1020365 by 23weasels, on Flickr

"Is that Lord B's Seat??"
ImageP1020366 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Going up
ImageP1020367 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020369 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020370 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020371 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The Lord's seat from the South
ImageP1020373 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020374 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020376 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Great fun, this!!
ImageP1020377 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lord Scoob's Seat
ImageP1020380 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020382 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Swarming all over it
ImageP1020384 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Me on the Seat
ImageP1020383 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020385 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bit more scary from this angle
ImageP1020390 by 23weasels, on Flickr

On then to the first Summit of the day - Sgurr Fiona, which would be quite easy to walk past, particularly in mist - now wouldn't that be embarrasing. Again we got brief glimpses of the outline of the mountain down to the loch, but the moment of clarity I'd hoped for didn't arrive. One to go now... Walking on, I spotted a fossilized fern in one of the rocks by the path. Superb. We met a couple of blokes heading the other direction and chatted a bit - they weren't planning on the pinnacles. Scoob had been having problems with his chest from the start of the walk and was now turning a bit of a funny colour as we neared the top of Bidean a Ghlas Thuill - didn't look like he wsa going to be able to manage the Corbett...not that he was overly bothered as his plans to film each of the Corbetts is not well served if there's clag dominating the day. He got up to the summit before us and recorded our arrival at the trig point. Touching the concrete I realised that was indeed it - I'd done it; we'd done it. We took some photos and Allison got quite excited, sitting atop the trig. We shared a small swallow of Scapa that I'd brought along then prepared to go on. A brief sense of deflation followed. The route initially is quite rough and rocky and I was glad I'd only had a mouthful of whisky :roll: We parted company with Scoob & Fi just before Sron a'Choire - they were off to the NE. whilst we still had Corbett duties. Navigation was a bit tricky in the featureless mist, but every so often an outline of the way ahead would appear to help us.

Summit Sgurr Fiona
ImageP1020391 by 23weasels, on Flickr

About as much as we could see of the views
ImageP1020393 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Fossilized fern
ImageP1020395 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Approaching 282
ImageP1020398 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Compleaters :D :D
ImageP1020399 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020401 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Someone's quite pleased :roll:
ImageP1020403 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Yeah, OK, it's just another hill...
ImageP1020405 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I'd planned to go over the most northern eastern shoulder of An Teallach and head into the valley before ascending somewhere between Ruigh Mheallain and Sail Mhor. We came off the shoulder to the north, before the final craggy section and contoured round towards the Allt Airdeasaidh. Crossing wasn't much of a problem and we set off in a generally NW direction with views over Little Loch Broom and The Minch to salve our eyes. Cloud sat atop Sail Mhor, but the surrounding landscape was quite clear. The final section was a little stony then we saw the summit cairn ahead. From Sail Liath - the Grey Heel, to Sail Mhor - the Big Heel, we'd had a day to remember. We cut down much the same way, nipping across the river and following a very boggy track alongside the river, punctuated by frequent watefalls. Allison would probably have preferred to head straight for the pub after compleating - I was feeling fine and much the better for continuing on to Sail Mhor - the feeling of deflation I'd had immediately on finishing had left me as we set off for our next hill, and that was just it - nothing has ended, there's just more hills to keep on enjoying. We made it back to the car just after 8 - it had been a long day. We'd hoped to meet with Scoob and Fi for a pint in the Dundonnell Hotel, but they'd had to leave as unlike us they were heading back down that night. We went to the cheerless bar of said hotel, devoid of atmosphere as is the way with so many hotels up here that exist on coach parties - at least the Red Cuillin was good. Back to the tent and a wee feast of noodles ended the day.

Over the shoulder of An Teallach
ImageP1020408 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sail Mhor
ImageP1020410 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Out to the Minch
ImageP1020412 by 23weasels, on Flickr

River crossing
ImageP1020417 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Sail Mhor
ImageP1020421 by 23weasels, on Flickr

End of Sgurr Creag an Eich
ImageP1020424 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020427 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Northern aspect of Sail Mhor
ImageP1020430 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020431 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020433 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Avenue of old oaks on road to campsite
ImageP1020436 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back on the day, it was the excitement of scrambling over the pinnacles that stayed with me - yes - it was nice to have finished the Munros - but it's much more about what I've learned/enjoyed/experienced than having put 282 summits in the bag. Yes, I do want to keep ticking hills off - now it's Tops, Corbetts and Grahams (not to mention Furths) which should keep me going for a bit - but we've both really enjoyed the bits of scrambling and climbs we've done in the last wee while and I think we might continue to develop ourselves in that direction. A big thank you to Fi and Scoob for their support and company - not to mention filming duties.

Video - thanks Scoob

Last edited by weaselmaster on Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby SuperMillie » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:17 pm

Congratulations on your compleations Weasel and SK.

The end of one adventure and the beginning of another!!
Another epic adventure and great TR

Good luck to you both in your future travels
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:40 pm

Congratulations both of you - brilliant achievement! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:43 pm

Thought this is what you might be up to at the weekend :roll: Congratulations to both of you - a great way to finish - well done ! Pity about the weather....but I guess it's not in your nature to hold off eh ? :wink: - cheers :)
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:48 pm

Great stuff and many congratulations to you both, and welcome to the club. Pity about the flag but maybe it's just as well not seeing the drops. Now your both spoilt for choice, what with Corbetts, Graham's, fourths etc and oops forgot the tops, but no doubt you have obtained a few already getting to the munros, whatever enjoy your time on the hills and stay safe, hope to catch up soon, Arabest Rod
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby goth_angel » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:50 pm

Cracking report! Shame you didn't get the views but you look very happy to be there nonetheless. Well Allison does anyway, you just look nonchalant! :lol:

Corbetts next I take it? Or a well earned rest? :lol:

Bloody fast round too, at this rate it will take me 20 years, mind you living in the South of England doesn't help!
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:37 pm

Félicitations, mes amis :clap: ! Cracking effort from you both, especially Allison after you left her to catch up :wink: .
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:00 pm

Well done to you both, have really enjoyed following your story and look forward to hearing about your next adventures :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby gman » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:00 pm

Bumped into you both recently on a claggy Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, congrats on the 282 :clap:
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:01 pm

Ooooh, fantastic - you did it! Many, many congratulations to you both. I was wondering if you would attempt An T as the forecast for the whole west coast was so bad, but I should have known better. You two are so inspirational.

Maybe meet you on a Corbett some day!
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby ceaser » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:07 pm

Congratulations to both of you , really did think you would have held off for better weather .....but I should have known better :lol:
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby yellowbelly » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:16 pm

Many congratulations to you both. I've very much enjoyed following your progress on here for the past couple of years. Thanks for sharing your "journey" with superb photos and route descriptions.
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:16 pm

ceaser wrote:Congratulations to both of you , really did think you would have held off for better weather .....but I should have known better :lol:


Ah, you missed yourself Davie!
Anyway, will be back up there when I go to get the Tops we didn't do on Saturday - can choose a sunny (or maybe even an icy and sunny) day for that :lol:
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby IreneM » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:40 pm

Congratulations to you both on your joint Compleation! :clap: :clap: :clap:

I've really enjoyed all your trip reports........so keep 'em coming for Tops, Corbys, Grahams, Furths.........or anything else you climb! :lol:

Thanks again for sharing your journey! :D
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Re: Forging a joint Compleation on An Teallach

Postby ceaser » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:27 pm

weaselmaster wrote:
ceaser wrote:Congratulations to both of you , really did think you would have held off for better weather .....but I should have known better :lol:


Ah, you missed yourself Davie!
Anyway, will be back up there when I go to get the Tops we didn't do on Saturday - can choose a sunny (or maybe even an icy and sunny) day for that :lol:



that's good to know , we will be going up on a good day , will give you a shout and you can lead us over the pinnacles, since you will know the route :lol:
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