walkhighlands

An Teallach, not quite the way intended.

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

Date walked: 02/06/2022

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 1346m

An Teallach has been on my to do list since the summer of 1978 when a friend and I stayed in Ullapool for a week to do some of the Assynt mountains, I remember him pointing it out to me when we were on the summit of
Ben Mor Coigach, as far away from it as we were, it stirred thoughts of getting to grips with it and exploring the interesting bits. In 1982 Denise and I spent a week of our honeymoon in Ullapool, I looked at An Teallach again thinking we're going to do that one day, unknown as it was back then it was going to be another 40 years before we'd set foot on it, why its taken so long I just don't know.

Back to 2022, we had a family holiday booked in Leckmelm over the Springbank week and both Denise and I put
An Teallach high on the agenda, hoping for a good day to do it justice, we watched the forecast for the week very closely.
It wasn't looking brilliant at the start of the holiday :( but as the days passed the forecast for the latter half of the week was getting better and better, Thursday looked like the day to give it a go so that was going to be our chance to put 44 years of waiting behind me :D

Thursday dawned, we were up early, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, brilliant :D Louise our daughter said she'd drop us off by the Dundonnel hotel on her way to Inverewe gardens and Gairloch then we'd arrange for her to pick us up when we'd finished, that was good too, we didn't have to worry about finding somewhere to park :wink:

We were in Dundonnel by 08:10 and on our way 10 minutes later, the sun was already warm, hardly a cloud in the sky, we couldn't have asked for better :D

The start of the path goes through a rhododendron bush and drops down to cross a small burn then climbs to a gate, from there on the path is well worn and easy to follow. It climbs steadily leaving the road far behind. It's a bit of a trudge so it was a case of just keep going.

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We were getting higher and higher stopping once or twice to have a rest, apply sunscreen :shock: and take photies,

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it wasn't until the ground started to level off a bit that I thought we'd missed something, a quick look at the map proved this to be the case, we'd done exactly what the WH walk description warned to be careful not to do, we'd missed the path junction that starts the climb up Meall Garbh, we were now following the path along side the Allt a' Mhuilinn, we thought about turning back to find the junction but decided we'd gone too far for that to be an option so carried on knowing we'd end up in the right place eventually.

It's not a bad way up to be honest, a bit squelchy in parts, the higher and further we went the better the path became. The views were lacking but it was easy going, the sun was out, it was warm, we were on An Teallach, we weren't worried about our navigational error :D

The burn has some nice water features

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and the path is steady away

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We eventually arrived at the top of Sron a' Choire and got our first real look at Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill, it towered above us, we also got our first glimpse of Sgurr Fiona, that looked to tower even more probably because it's an epic looking mountain, we were really looking forward to this.

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We could see the path leading up and across the bouldery flanks of Bidein, we descended slightly off Sron a' Choire to start the climb.

We could even see the sea :D

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the views mmm nice

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it was on this section that my right knee started to give way every now and again when I stepped up, mmm, I'd had this problem on Sgor na h-Ulaidh in 2020, it began to bother me.

We arrived at the trig point on the summit, my knee was feeling okay especially when we got a view like this, I think it's fair to say this would take your mind off anything bad :D

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After taking many photo's,

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I couldn't stop pointing the camera in this direction :D

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we had a sit down, a snack and I shoved an Ibuprofen down my gullet we then set off for
Sgurr Fiona.

The descent to the bealach was a bit tricky on the old knee, the view across to Sgurr Fiona helped to take my
mind off it

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and Toll an Lochain

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we had slowed down a touch, we decided not to do the direct route so set off from the bealach on the path that cuts across the mountain to turn left to the summit, nice views on the way up

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I got up this ok, when we got to the point where the path starts its final climb to the top we got fantastic views across to the Fisherfeilds.

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There's a small cairn on the top but all eyes were drawn to the ridge and the view to Lord Berkleys Seat.

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Bidein a' Ghlas Thuill

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Fisherfields

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The sea

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We were going to continue along the bypass path to do the full traverse (for softies, I know :lol: ) but when we set off my knee gave way and caused me to stumble, it was then we thought it may be tempting fate if we continued, we'd a long way to go to get back to the road, not knowing what lay ahead we decided to return the way we'd come, better the devil you know and all that, we didn't want to put ourselves in a trickier situation, what we'd done already was going to be interesting should my knee pack up, we set off back the way we'd come :(

There's all manner of paths leaving the summit of Sgurr Fiona so we just took the ones that looked less knee bendy, we soon got to the ascent path and were on our way back to the bealach. From the bealach we did a rising traverse to avoid going back to the summit of Bidein, this was on a path that came and went as we travelled across the boulders, we eventually landed on the ascent path well below the summit.

We were thinking of descending on the path we should have come up on,

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I wasn't too keen on the idea, the map suggests it's bit steep in parts so we set off back down alongside the
Allt a'Mhuilinn, I wasn't feeling very adventurous.

We took our time descending, we had a nice long sit down to have something to eat and enjoy our surroundings.

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I found the descent much easier than I thought I would which made us think maybe we could have done the traverse, ah well, good excuse for a re-run :lol:

We messaged Louise about an hour away from the road and arrived at the layby seconds apart, how's that for timing.
We had a wonderful day out on An Teallach, not quite what we wanted but the experience and the views were well worth any negatives we felt. We've got the two munro's :D but we still want to experience the whole mountain, one thing is for sure, we can't wait another 40 years :lol:

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Comments: 1



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martin.h


User avatar
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Occupation: Employed
Interests: Mountaineering, Photography, History, Historic Buildings and sites, all of Scotland
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Helwith Bridge Inn
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Isle of Harris
Gear: Paramo Windproof
Member: National Trust
Camera: Olympus/sony compact
Ideal day out: A good long walk taking in several summits,varied terrain and brilliant views.
Ambition: Compleat the Munros
Walk wishlist

Munros: 216
Corbetts: 20
Grahams: 12
Donalds: 8
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 150
Sub 2000: 2
Islands: 24



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Statistics

2022

Trips: 9
Distance: 141.95 km
Ascent: 6205m
Munros: 3
Hewitts: 3

2021

Trips: 17
Distance: 230.4 km
Ascent: 12544m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 2
Hewitts: 2

2020

Trips: 14
Distance: 190.45 km
Ascent: 11745m
Munros: 4
Hewitts: 2
Wainwrights 1

2019

Trips: 19
Distance: 283.5 km
Ascent: 19806m
Munros: 14
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 12
Wainwrights 20

2018

Trips: 23
Distance: 361.05 km
Ascent: 24526m
Munros: 26
Hewitts: 20
Wainwrights 35

2017

Trips: 25
Distance: 347.5 km
Ascent: 25223m
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 5
Hewitts: 18
Wainwrights 43

2016

Trips: 21
Distance: 448.7 km
Ascent: 27019m
Munros: 42
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 9
Wainwrights 26

2015

Trips: 31
Distance: 468.95 km
Ascent: 32049m
Munros: 42
Corbetts: 2
Donalds: 4
Hewitts: 12
Wainwrights 25

2014

Trips: 28
Distance: 395 km
Ascent: 27479m
Munros: 44
Corbetts: 1
Donalds: 3
Hewitts: 15
Wainwrights 26

2013

Trips: 7
Distance: 72.7 km
Ascent: 3243m
Munros: 13
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 6
Wainwrights 10


Joined: Jul 31, 2011
Last visited: Jul 04, 2022
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