Hee-haw but the Corrag Buidhe (and a sea eagle)

Route: An Teallach, Dundonnell

Munros: Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill (An Teallach), Sgurr Fiona (An Teallach)

Date walked: 19/04/2019

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 21km

Ascent: 1475m

With conditions so good on Good Friday I grabbed the chance to walk An Teallach, having looked at it from Coigach and Torridon on other occasions. I parked up in the layby by the Dundonnell MR base, booted up and started up the gentle path towards the Meall Garbh ridge.

A delightful start: the sun was shining, the breeze was gentle and pipit and weatear were abundant, busy with their chack-chack calls.

Wheatear territorial games

I made sure to head for the ridge, picking the cairns of reassurance selectively so I didn't get too close to the burn. The sound of its waterfalls were a joy, complementing the birdsong, and I had all the time in the world to drink it all in (metaphorically speaking - I didn't drain the Allt...). Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill came into view, with tiny patches of snow. I had B2 boots and and spikes in case, though I wasn't expecting to need them.

Little Loch Broom and littler cairn

First view of Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill

Allt a Mhuillin waterfalls

Just beyond the 609m point at Meall Garbh I spotted a handy seat. No thing of beauty, this rock, but extremely comfortable for a coffee.

Sedimentary chair design

After my coffee, Sgurr Fiona and An Teallach's other tops and ridges started to reveal themselves. Someone was coming up the boggy route as I headed up to Sron a Choire, and if the haze over Little Loch Broom hadn't driven home the message that our views beyond Corrag Buidhe itself were going to be pretty compromised (hence the title - a nod to John McGrath), the haze over the west ridge to Sgurr Ruadh certainly did.

First view of Sgurr Fiona

Two tops and person for scale

West ridge - Sgurr Creag an Eich to Sgurr Ruadh

Haze over the snow-filled Allt a Mhuillin

As for snow, there was just a patch to cross on Sron a Choire. It was a shame there wasn't more - this was lovely to walk on, soft and thin.

My tracks across Sron a Choire

And there, a first proper look at An Teallach's pinnacles. Isn't she lovely, fair Fiona!

Fiona pano

As I was walking up I thought it was surprising I hadn't heard or seen any ravens yet. Then as I rose, heading for Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill, a big bird appeared out of the corrie to my right, Coire Mor an Teallaich. But the sun caught its wings and they looked golden. Wow. Really? It soared up to Sgurr Fiona's jagged peak and once I was at the col between Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill and Sgurr Fiona it seemed to be closer to Sgurr Fiona but still enormous. Double wow - this was sea eagle.

Sea eagle soaring round Sgurr Fiona


..and again.

After some competitive upstaging by this majestic, elegant bird, Fiona soon reestablished pride of place, and I nipped up the easy last few metres to the trigpoint on Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill.

Lovely Corrag Bhuidhe ridge and Great Wilderness beyond

Hazy trig view from Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill summit

Fiona to Sgurr Creag an Eaich - Beinn Dearg Bheag behind trig

East to Glas Mheall Liath top

Yet another pinnacles photo

As I dropped back down to the col and up to Sgurr Fiona, Loch Toll an Lochain was shimmering below like cross-woven shot silk - the photo doesn't do it justice.

Shimmering Loch Toll an Lochain

Lochan Ruadh was bluah...

NW to Sgurr Ruadh and Lochan Ruadh

...and it was just all too summery for the Summer Isles.

They're over there somewhere under that haze

But over towards the Fisherfields, it was all pretty atmospheric.

Beinn a Chlaidhaimh and Fisherfield friends



Right, that's enough of that... I wasn't going to be pinnacling. The last proper scramble I'd done was Tryfan in October so I didn't feel in practice enough. It was round, up and on to the bypass path round the back for me.

Sandstone tors on Fiona

Loose sandstone on W side of Fiona

Ever wondered what the view is from beneath the seat of a lord?

Below the Corrag Bhuidhe pinnacles

I'm not mad for bypass tracks - not fancied the Liathach one, for example, and the Horns on Alligin were definitely preferable for me, but this one was yet another pleasant walk. I wasn't expecting An Teallach to offer up so many 'pleasant walks'! At least, on this rainless, not very windy day it was a breeze - so to speak. It's a steep drop to Loch na Sealga below, but the path's pretty wide and the only bit where you might scratch your head and knit your brow is coming round towards the last buttress.

Loch na Sealga

Beinn Dearg Mor still in its shroud

Approaching the last corner

Looking back up to Corrag Buidhe

Going widdershins round An Teallach, as I was, the bypass track is pretty obvious. If you were coming the other way, I suppose the key is to aim higher than your instincts might say - diagonally up to the right (not the edge - left of the edge), not what looks like it might a lower path.

The only downer was that I couldn't really take my eyes of a fire around Airig an Easain. Muirburn? Large-scale? Late? :?:

Fire in the Fisherfields

Fire zoom

That fire from Stob Gadha Gobhlach ascent

It was a quick and easy ascent to Stob Gadha Gobhlach's top, and I liked this little viewpoint a lot.

View back to Munros - with handy person for scale

Haze, fire and Fisherfield atmosphere

Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Fannich friends behind Sail Liath

The descent from Sail Liath looked benign, but it was brutal - bouldery scree and I managed to smash my finger on a slip. Then just the long walk out, stopping to sup from the Allt Glean Caorachain (delicious!), and passing twelve people on their way to Shenavall bothy/camp, some tadpoles and a couple of goats.


Goat 1

Goat 2 - good face

And finally the last couple of miles of (ugh) road. With a woodpecker to make it cheerier. And boots off - aaaaah.


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Comments: 4

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User avatar
Location: West Sussex
Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Ben Mor Coigach
Place: Assynt
Gear: Knee-strapping
Ideal day out: Epic ridge-walk with humbling history and a falcon, osprey or an eagle

Munros: 23
Corbetts: 14
Grahams: 8
Donalds: 4
Wainwrights: 41
Hewitts: 41
Sub 2000: 2

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Trips: 3
Distance: 44 km
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Trips: 6
Distance: 79.4 km
Ascent: 3471m
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Trips: 8
Distance: 118.45 km
Ascent: 6818m
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Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Last visited: May 15, 2019
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