walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Date with fair Fiona after five year break


Postby dogplodder » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:14 pm

Route description: An Teallach, Dundonnell

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

Date walked: 07/06/2014

15 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).

In June 2009 Moira and I climbed Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill but had to make a choice between going on to climb Sgurr Fiona or having food at the Aultguish - and on that occasion French Onion Soup and Sticky Toffee Pudding won! A more altruistic reason was knowing a couple of friends who would probably be keen to come back with us, so we were happy to defer to another day. Then in 2010 Moira broke her ankle while climbing Beinn Mheadhoin and there followed almost two years of recuperation before further surgery to correct an on going problem. So with one thing and another we never got back.

Then last Wednesday we were up Beinn Enaiglair with such compelling views of An Teallach that when MWIS predicted near 100% cloud free summits for NW on Saturday we knew we had to go whether anyone else was free to come or not.

We parked in the layby off the A832 just east of the Dundonnell Hotel, crossed the road, dived into bushes, hopped over a burn on stepping stones and followed the well worn path up behind the two bungalows.

Starting at sea level you have all the work to do yourself for these two!
DSC_1194-large.JPG


We intended going up the old path over Meall Garbh but missed the turn to the right (considering how many cairns mark the old path higher up maybe a bit more could be done to mark the point the paths divide?) and ended up on the new path by the Allt a Mhuillin, which was the one we took 5 years ago. It was boggy in places which made me annoyed we weren't up on the ridge, but after returning by Meall Garbh we concluded that for us it was probably an easier ascent going up by the corrie. :wink:

Near the top of the corrie I came upon a ptarmigan and her newly hatched chicks, hearing their cheeps before I saw them. The adult immediately went into defensive distraction mode, spreading and flapping her wings as if injured while her tiny fluff balls scooted off in different directions. I got some photos of them but didn't want to stress them by going too close so they aren't all that clear.

Looking back down the corrie (Moira's pic)
10465448_10152446855433788_1167442598949140958_o-large.jpg


Hills north of Ullapool from Sron a' Choire
DSC_1204-largec.JPG


View west from path leading to col below Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill
DSC_1205-large.JPG


Hills of Harris visible in haze
DSC_1206-largec.JPG


North again
DSC_1213-largec.JPG


The last time we came we didn't have time to include Fiona so she was our main target for today.

That wow moment when you reach the viewpoint and first see Sgurr Fiona and the Corrag Bhuidhe ridge :D
DSC_1217-large.JPG


Loch Toll an Lochain
DSC_1219-large.JPG


From here it's just a short climb to the trig point of Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill, but we didn't delay to do that as Sgurr Fiona was looking so intimidatingly steep we wanted to crack on before we lost our nerve!

Bidein a Ghlas Thuill summit 5 years ago. Who's aged more - us or the dogs? :lol:
Hillwalks 2009 080-larges.jpg


About to take the plunge (Moira's pic)
10272504_10152446869098788_3886131967239914040_o-largec.jpg


On our way
DSC_1220-large.JPG


The wind was gusting strongly so we decided to use the path away from the corrie edge which rises more gradually over the scree. We found it to be a better path than the one traversing BGT, which was loose and indistinct in places.

Moira climbing Fiona
DSC_1224-large.JPG


We were glad we came this way as there was another breath-taking moment when you first see Loch na Sealga and the Fisherfield wilderness to the south. It was a nostalgic moment for me because the last time I saw Loch na Sealga was after walking in from Corrie Hallie to Shenavall Bothy with sons David and Doug, who were then 10 and 8. David hits 40 next month so that's 30 years ago. :shifty:

Loch na Sealga and Fisherfields
DSC_1229-large.JPG


Where we came from on Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill
DSC_1230-largec.JPG


From the south side various zig zag paths take you up to Fiona's airy summit. That was a fun part of the climb as you can't see the top and then suddenly you're there - with fabulous views all round. :thumbup:

Corrag Buidhe ridge from summit
DSC_1231-large.JPG


Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill and Glas Mheall Liath
DSC_1235-largec.JPG


Vertigo inducing shot of Loch Toll na Lochan from top of Fiona
DSC_1233-large.JPG


Moira arriving at summit. The wind was so strong we could hardly stand :shock:
DSC_1234-large.JPG


There's not much space at the top so it's good that we had it to ourselves. We spent a wee while soaking in the views and feeling very pleased to have finally got here after the 5 year gap. Then we saw a group of young guys bounding over from the Corrag Buidhe ridge so started our descent so the summit wasn't cluttered up with old biddies when they arrived. :lol:

The descent
DSC_1242-large.JPG


We saw large numbers of goats in three herds with several small kids - all on the upper slopes - the kids skipping about at the col regardless of the long drop into Loch Toll an Lochain below. They seemed unfazed by us and as we made our way back up and over Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill they moved along at our pace (heads down and munching) and we wished we were half as nimble and sure-footed as them. 8)

DSC_1238-large.JPG


To vary the return we carried on walking past the cairn at the head of the corrie and headed north then east along the wide ridge leading to Meall Garbh, which was easy walking over grass and flat stones. It was definitely a better route for taking in the views. A couple of deer hinds stood and watched us for a while - much warier than the goats were.

Summer Isles under rain clouds
DSC_1245-largec.JPG


Gruinard Bay
DSC_1246-largec.JPG


Deargs from ridge
DSC_1251-largec.JPG


Fannichs from ridge
DSC_1253-largec.JPG


Little Loch Broom from Meall Garbh
DSC_1252-largec.JPG


If there was a path on the ridge we didn't find it until we dropped down before climbing to the rocky top of Meall Garbh, then we saw it. After that you couldn't miss the path as cairns popped up at regular intervals which proved very useful for navigating ourselves down the excellent zig zag path. As we walked down from the ridge a search and rescue helicopter went overhead. At these points I always have to restrain an urge to give a friendly wave - not a good idea! When it came over a second time about half an hour later I said to Moira they must have clocked us and are just checking the old dears are still making progress in the right direction. :lol:

We arrived back at the car just as the rain started - perfect timing after a perfect day on this iconic mountain. :D
Last edited by dogplodder on Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:41 pm

Brilliant walk :clap: :clap: - full of admiration and envy :sick:
Moira is amazing to have recovered so well from the complications of her broken ankle to tackle An Teallach. Glad you got such great weather and thanks for the photos.
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 874
Munros:228   Corbetts:14
Grahams:8   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:17   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby MunroMadMen » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:56 am

Great report and some beautiful pictures, looks like you had a brill day :)

G
User avatar
MunroMadMen
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 441
Munros:168   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Jun 8, 2014
Location: Cumbernauld

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:57 am

Well done, ladies, fantastic day and the Forge looks just as scary as I recall from my own experience :D :D :D And remember - we don't age, we just... gain experience :wink:

I keep saying I must do AT again at some point - I missed the pinnacles the first time, maybe because I was a climbing rookie back then and not too keen on exposed scrambling. The other hills around look just as interesting, especially Beinn Dearg Mor. If only I had more time to spend hillwalking... Cheers :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3035
Munros:246   Corbetts:147
Grahams:108   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby PeteR » Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:47 pm

Superb :clap: :D You had such great weather for it too. Definitely a hill which deserves to be done when the sun is shining and the views were as you had them :D

AT is simply a stunning hill, set in a stunning position with stunning views :D
User avatar
PeteR
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1913
Munros:279   Corbetts:140
Grahams:81   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:145   Hewitts:3
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby rockhopper » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:19 pm

Cracking day for it and as informative as ever ! Yet to get here but hopefully not too long - this'll be useful - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6148
Munros:282   Corbetts:181
Grahams:58   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby AnnieMacD » Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:57 pm

Great read and photos. Great detail too - you have a knack for tying in the pictures with the text. Were you tempted to do the circuit but bypass the Pinnacles? (I'm asking 'cause I am!)

PS are the dogs OK?
User avatar
AnnieMacD
Walker
 
Posts: 789
Munros:25   Corbetts:15
Grahams:13   
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Jun 25, 2013
Location: Applecross

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:16 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Brilliant walk :clap: :clap: - full of admiration and envy :sick:
Moira is amazing to have recovered so well from the complications of her broken ankle to tackle An Teallach. Glad you got such great weather and thanks for the photos.


I'm sure there was a day she doubted she'd be back there but she made it! :clap:
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:50 pm

MunroMadMen wrote:Great report and some beautiful pictures, looks like you had a brill day :)

G


Thanks MMM, it was amazing. :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby dogplodder » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:25 am

BlackPanther wrote:Well done, ladies, fantastic day and the Forge looks just as scary as I recall from my own experience :D :D :D And remember - we don't age, we just... gain experience :wink:



Keep telling my knees that but don't think they're listening. :wink:
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:57 am

PeteR wrote:Superb :clap: :D You had such great weather for it too. Definitely a hill which deserves to be done when the sun is shining and the views were as you had them :D

AT is simply a stunning hill, set in a stunning position with stunning views :D


Totally agree - a magnificent hill. :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:59 am

Never tire looking at pics of this mountain, thanks for sharing :D
User avatar
spiderwebb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1476
Munros:92   Corbetts:15
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:68   
Joined: May 18, 2011
Location: Miltonduff, Elgin

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:13 pm

rockhopper wrote:Cracking day for it and as informative as ever ! Yet to get here but hopefully not too long - this'll be useful - cheers :)


You'll love it when you do. :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:18 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:Great read and photos. Great detail too - you have a knack for tying in the pictures with the text. Were you tempted to do the circuit but bypass the Pinnacles? (I'm asking 'cause I am!)

PS are the dogs OK?


We decided because of M's ankle to do it the easiest way which is up and back but I'm sure if there was no other way we'd have done the circuit and managed fine using bypass path. But hey I'm an optimist! :wink:

Decided not to take the dogs on An Teallach because they were pretty wiped out after the Affric three and didn't ask for a walk for the next three days! But they're fine now - thanks for asking! :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3359
Munros:218   Corbetts:51
Grahams:15   
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Date with fair Fiona after five year break

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:06 pm

What a mountain; what a day; what fabulous weather; and what inspiring pics :clap: - I definitely think you've got some PotM candidates there!!

I think this comes just after Knoydart on my "to do" list for this year...
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2504
Munros:165   Corbetts:28
Hewitts:195
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

15 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).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chasmcc, hammledoddie, harpysta and 48 guests