An Teallach - Only One Queen(Sgurr) Fiona Reigns
by Fcfraser » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:39 pm
Route description: An Teallach, Dundonnell
Munros included on this walk: Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach), Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach)
Date walked: 26/07/2013
Time taken: 10.5 hours
Distance: 17 km2 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).
I was looking forward to this walk, I was going to save it for my 100th (munro, not birthday!!) However, it was a friends final munro, made a little bit special because it was his friend from Holland's final also. So not being one to miss out on a party.... Ill choose something else for my 100.
We stayed at the Sail Mhor Croft Hostel, which was nice, comfortable, lovely interesting garden, if anything, I guess it was on the small side, I would think a little cramped when full to capacity. We went to the Dundonnell Hotel for some food and refreshments, of the alcohol variety Food was very good I have to say. Staff very friendly, beautiful Spanish waitress, who Im sure could charm the birds from the trees!
So! up bright and early, cars parked at the hotel and Corrie Hallie, which was to be our start point.
Not too long into the land rover track the hill emerged, I suggested we did a photo of the two "Completists" before we went further, in case that was the last view of the mountain we saw.....ha ha.... she now says with a note of wryness!
Our plan was to go up and over the pinnicles, and as we struck up hill, the cloud begun to thicken a little, and then some.... then the thunder begun..... then a few drops of rain, mmmm jackets or not, jackets or not?....ok group decision, jackets!
Wandered up hill onto the ridge, the sky was getting ever darker, the rain heavier..... over trousers? or not??
Not... I decided personally. Then the lightening bolted through the evil black sky...... Group decision.... get off this ridge, so we took shelter about 30m below the Ridge, early lunch was called for, to ride out the storm, below Corrag Bhuidhe.
Little did we know at that time we would still be "riding out the storm" 1.5hrs later!! at various stages wet jackets were removed to put on more and more "reserve" clothing, of which wasnt exactly in abundance in my backpack!! After all, I was seared alive on the Two Brothers last weekend, the temperatures this weekend werent going to be so hot, and the odd thunder storm? I wasnt going to die from exposure was I?
I have done several outdoor courses in recent years, I have an extensive first aid kit, I always carry a Group Shelter, loads of extra clothing, winter or summer. So what in hell possessed me to leave the Group shelter & extra clothing at "base camp"? I guess the complacency of one nice day the week before!! the weight of my bag.... I will NEVER remove my Group shelter again!!
Even the local feral goats appeared and looked at us, as if to say you have nabbed our shelter spot! another thunder clap and they ran off....
So we sat, we ate lots of sandwiches, albeit a little soggy!! Then to add insult in injury? the hailstones began, pinged at from every angle, to the point of irritation! really sore! the ground was actually white! I would have loved a photo, its July for goodness sake!!! However, I couldnt bare to take my freezing hands out from the sleeves of my jacket, I did however, find a pair of gloves in my bag which I had to wring out several times as we sat there.
We then began to think about an escape route, which would have brought us down to Shenavall, which would have meant abandoning the hope of "Completion" for our two friends. Absolutely no wind meant the storm wasnt moving anywhere fast, however, wishful thinking, we did think perhaps it was a little further off. So as we were starting to shiver, and began to dance, disco dancing with a little singing, yes I think first signs of hypothermia for sure! We were even doing the twist! ..... no wonder my knee is sore!!
So off we went back up the hill.... sticking to the "goat track" I had been warned about it being tricky and exposed, however, we had little option now. As it was, the goat track was fine, only one bit was a little tricky, and I mean a little.... I'm not the bravest scrambler, so if I can do it.....
Soon we were up on Sgurr Fiona, I was last... and determined I was having my photo taken on my namesake!
So whilst the others barely took time to stand up straight, I went up for my photoshoot..... Whilst the others panicked and shouted get off there, I decided If I get struck by a lightening on "my" mountain.... its a fitting end! how many Fionas have died by lightening on Sgurr Fiona? Well as I smiled proud of my achievement.... the hugest clap of thunder and bolt of lightening struck, not on the mountain, but not far off!!! ok ..... Sgurr Fiona, you are indeed Queen. I succumb to the power of nature and the mountains.
Off we trotted to the boys final munro, Bidein a Ghlas Thuill, rain and thunder finally subsiding.
The champagne was cracked open, the Old Aberlour whisky poured and we partied!! Well done Graham and Theo, only the 11th Dutchman to complete the munros.
Meantime the cloud cleared off the ridge, and Sgurr Fiona peeped out, huh, no need to be demure now lady!! What a beautiful ridge that is, perhaps one day I will go back and do the pinnicles......
So all feeling the affects of the alcohol, we gaily made our way off the hill, a long trek back, midges a plenty, Cleggs too.
We had almost dried off when we had to crawl through a rhodedendrum forest! between the soaking wet branches all over the path, the very wet slippy roots, it was a real challenge, I was surprised this route was allowed to be overgrown by this "alien" plant. Growing over the proper path too! At one point, there is a fence with a barbed string at neck height! which is hard to spot because of the amount of overgrowth! Mmmm wonder if somebody doesnt want us using this path?
Anyway, that was an exciting walk, not the kind of excitement I would want to repeat in a hurry, but WOW a great day out!
by wilkiemurray » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:19 pm
Don't know if I'd fancy being on an tealllach in that weather - well done for sticking it out
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by The Rodmiester » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:43 pm
by Collaciotach » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:07 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:17 am
by BlackPanther » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:31 am
There's nothing better than happy, smiling faces on mountain tops. Well done, folks, especially in that weather. And a deserved celebration
I must go back to the Forge sometime, took the bypass path the first time, maybe I'll try the pinnacles now
by Hill-loving lady » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:51 am
A brilliant hill, one to savour for sure, and well done all of you
PS - Thought the feral goat's horns would perhaps make good lightning conductors???
by Bod » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:35 am
by rockhopper » Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:47 pm
by simon-b » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:03 pm