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An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:17 pm

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

Date walked: 04/07/2017

Distance: 14.4 km

Ascent: 1115m

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An Teallach is a mountain that inspires dreams and we spend a lot of time An Teallach dreaming 8), but, reality tells us that we will find the traverse over the pinnacles a tough challenge :( although we may manage it if we can shorten the overall route :think:.
With this end in mind set out to explore Bidean a Ghlas Thuill from Corrie Hallie. To make the day more interesting we approached Bidean a Ghlas Thuill along the ridge from Glas Meall Liath, then checked out the descent down Glas Tholl to Corrie Hallie on the way back. If viable this would give us a saving of 5km on the normal Dundonnell route when we came to do the full traverse, with the added bonus that we would be familiar with the route. :D
IMG_3254.JPG
The route with Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill at the edge of the map

We parked near the start of the the track up to Sail Liath and, by 07:45 were walking the 1km (approx) down the road to the bridge to find our path through the Rhododendron forest.
IMG_3255.JPG
The path went along a wall and across a stream, then through the thicket of rhododendrons until we reached a clearing.

The clearing is marked by a blob on our map as we walked round in circles trying to find our way out of it by a route that did not require swimming lessons or a machete :lol: :lol: . As is so often the case, the false paths all appeared well trodden :lol: with no obvious foot prints leading in the right direction. Eventually we found a good path hidden under a low arch in the bushes diagonally across from where we entered the clearing. :roll:
IMG_3256.JPG
Once through the arch the path was obvious

There was a bit more squeezing through Rhododendrons and before the path led up onto the open hillside, following the line of the river, until we reached a beautiful waterfall cascading into a small pool.
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The Waterfall

We crossed the stream by the waterfall, and could clearly see the broad triangular face of Glas Mheall Liath in front of us so headed straight towards it.
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Glas Meall Liath

We has been intending to go up by a gully on its northern flank but it looked just as easy to head for its broad front. There were some ups and down but nothing too overgrown. As usual when we change our route, we almost forgot to fill the water bottles and there were lots of boggy pools but nothing very appealing. With less than a litre of water between us for the ascent we starting to feel concerned when we came across a stream pumping clear fresh water out of the side of the hill before disappearing underground again. :D . That little problem solved we could concentrate on finding a route through a line of steep crags that seemed to encircle the lower slopes :?
IMG_3259.JPG
A Break in the crags behind the large rectangular boulder

Having found our way through past the crags we continued up steep, vegetated ground, in places it was loose and slippery, but nothing too horrendous :lol: . Then it levelled out of for a short while, until we reached the large quartzite boulder field that stretched up to Glas Meall Liath .
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Boulder Field with a view
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12:15 After several false summits the top of Glas Meall Liath

The ridge between Glas Meall Liath to Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill gave some great views across to the Corrag Bhuide Pinnacles, but also had some fine rocky features of its own had and I am sure it would be far more popular if it wasn't overshadowed by its impressive neighbour. It is given a grade 2 in the scrambling guide books but is mainly walking and most of the difficulties can be avoided. We did it at about grade one, enjoying the easy and in places exposed scrambling.
IMG_3265.JPG
The Ridge Leading to Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill

The initial rock is mostly quartz, quite bouldery with some easy rocky steps.
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Easy Scrambling

Then it changes very abruptly to Sandstone and there are a number of Sandstone Pinnacles which you can clamber over or walk around.
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Abrupt change in the rock to Sandstone
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Some Impressive drops
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Amazing views of Corrag Bhuide Pinnacles. (We will be over there one day)
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Sandstone Pinnacles
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Looking towards ridge between Sgurr Fiona and Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill
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One we missed out but now regret

Having walked past this last pinnacle, it was an easy walk to the summit, where a couple were very surprised to see us arrive from such a strange direction :lol: . The couple were just leaving so we had the summit to ourselves. It was 14:10, we were in great need of sustenance and Jeremy was happy to oblige :lol:
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Jeremy Jetboil steaming on the summit.
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Looking toward Glas Meall Liath
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And out across the Minch
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An Teallach dreaming, but then the clouds drifted in or Jeremy over did the steam

The time had come to find out if the descent to Corrie Hallie was a viable option for tired legs and minds. We left the summit in the direction of Glas Mheall Mor, and when we reached the bealach looked for a path down the Coire walls of Glas Tholl. It was not long before we came across a shoot of dusty soil and loose stones between the crags. We were not sure if it was a path, but it made a reasonable descent route.
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The way down from the bealach

As we were making our down some people appeared below us and soon after this our route joined up with an old, very eroded, path that must have started further along the bealach.
IMG_3281.JPG
The old path leading down into the coire
As we were descending into the coire there was a large herd grazing on the steep grass, they were not behaving like deer and didn't look like sheep, it was only as we got closer we realised they were goats. I have seen goats in the north west, but never so many at once.
We met up with the stream that we were intending to follow back to the Rhododendron woods and road. The path also followed the stream, it was faint where it crossed boggy ground and the stream wandered around a lot so some care was required to ensure we stayed on the right track. It could be a bit tricky in the dark but once past the initial bog it was a good path and very reasonable route.
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Enjoying a break by the stream
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A final look back

The path and stream let back to the waterfall and from there back into the woods.
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The way back out of the Rhododendrons

A short walk down the road and we were back at the car at 18:40.
No excuses left now, it's time to stop dreaming and look for some action at Corrag Bhuide.
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

Postby BobMcBob » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:51 pm

I used that descent route when I did An Teallach, looks even more overgrown now :D I got lucky in that clearing, only went the wrong way twice :D

I remember looking at that ridge from Glas Meall Liath from the top and wondering about it. Thanks for that, it's yet another reason to go back.
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Re: An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:48 pm

Cairngorm creeper wrote:An Teallach is a mountain that inspires dreams.


It certainly does/did that :D your route shows another side to a spectacular mountain, full of promise :D
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spiderwebb
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Re: An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:08 am

BobMcBob wrote:I used that descent route when I did An Teallach, looks even more overgrown now :D I got lucky in that clearing, only went the wrong way twice :D

I remember looking at that ridge from Glas Meall Liath from the top and wondering about it. Thanks for that, it's yet another reason to go back.


I think all the paths leading to dead ends in the Rhododendrons suggest we were not the people to have problems there :lol: the proper path is a squeeze in places but passable.
The ridge from Glas Meall Liath is definately worth a visit and could be combined with the traverse if you have energy to spare. :D
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:33 am

spiderwebb wrote:
Cairngorm creeper wrote:An Teallach is a mountain that inspires dreams.


It certainly does/did that :D your route shows another side to a spectacular mountain, full of promise :D


It has to be one of the most spectacular and daunting mountains in Scotland. We need to go back and do the pinnacles justice but its other ridge is also a worthwhile outing :D
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Cairngorm creeper
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Re: An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

Postby litljortindan » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:02 am

Interesting but not a very appealing way up to me. Closest I've been to your ascent was from Loch Toll an Lochain (via Corrie Hallie) to the mid point of that ridge -all namby-pamby dry-shod relatively boulderless walking if I get the choice. Mind you I have been over Sail Liath a few times. I'm sure you'll have tremendous fun when you do the full traverse.
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Re: An Teallach Dreaming: Looking for Shortcuts

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:38 am

litljortindan wrote:Interesting but not a very appealing way up to me. Closest I've been to your ascent was from Loch Toll an Lochain (via Corrie Hallie) to the mid point of that ridge -all namby-pamby dry-shod relatively boulderless walking if I get the choice. Mind you I have been over Sail Liath a few times. I'm sure you'll have tremendous fun when you do the full traverse.

I admit we have a taste for somewhat eccentric routes :lol: :lol: and your route from Loch Toll sounds interesting :think: . Very jealous of you being over Sail Liath a few times .
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