I spent today taking it easy and trying to get over the cold and cough but reflecting on a magic day on An Teallach with great friends. How do you explain about the mountains and the wild places that old question to those who have no understanding. Even from the road the views of An Teallach are stunning and a short walk along the path opens up a new world at every turn. This mountain has so many mysteries so many ridges and tops you will never understand all it’s secrets. Every year it’s buttresses and cliffs open up to a new generation of climbers making any visit a long mountain day and a special place to be the wild North West. It is a serious area to be especially in winter and in wild weather and is well served by the local Dundonnel Mountain Rescue Team.
It is the scene of a few tragic accidents and their incredible story in the story Duel with An Teallach by Hamish McInnes. This was a tragic accident when two climbers fell in winter on 18 April 1965 and involved an incredible attempt to save their lives by their friend Ian Ogilvy He was out on a far top Sgurr Creag Nan Eich when he saw his friends fall on the West side over 400 feet. Their rope held on an outcrop and one of the climbers was killed instantly the other badly injured. The rescue attempt by Ian is an incredible story involving the climbing doctor Tom Patey a few locals and the RAF Mountain Rescue Team from RAF Kinloss. Ian Ogilvie was awarded the M.B.E. For his efforts and Tom Patey a Queens commendation.
This area up in the North West of Scotland is an incredible place once you leave the road it is so quite and wonderful and means so much to those who love places like this. Add to this some great friends and a magic bothy and the world is still a great place. In the bothy was the old routes book where those using the hut put in there climbs walks during their stay. it is a great aid to the memory and a reminder of some incredible days in the past . In 1978 it was a busy weekend when 14 of the Team stayed in the Smiddy in winter. Pete McGowan was the Team Leader of Kinloss MRT was some guy and had made huge changes within the team. He had cut the Team down and was in the middle of a transformation. Pete drove the team hard and made massive changes one was all the team must climb especially in winter. An Teallach was the hill most of us went to in 1978 and all climbed routes and then completed the ridge incredible days. As a young new Party leader it was a wild day and we were tested to the limit especially at the end of the day. Climbing on this huge cliff was a great eye opener we were alone in the Corrie as is the norm in this part of Scotland. The long walk in and wild weather but the grandness of the huge cliffs draped in snow and ice were superb. We climbed a steep waterfall by the lochan and this added to the day then up onto the gully and the winter towers of An Teallach. The wind was up and the only way off was by the ridge I was glad I had been on this magnificent place on several occasions. The An Teallach ridge is some place in winter and a real test in gale force winds I remembered it vividly after a reminder from the old route book in the bothy the memories come flashing back. This was just one memory of this incredible place. When we got back in the dark Pete was more than happy with our day and the great experience gained. These are why these places are so special always no matter what you do?