An Teallach wandering a few tips? Navigation and low level ice – winter ridge walking. The Scottish Mountain Trust and path repair?

Yesterday on the way back from the Munro’s on An Teallach I met my mate Ray and we had a wander over the neglected land to the West of the main path. When you leave the beleach you just head over to the high ground.

Ray on the plateau.

It’s a lovely area and a place I would take the new members of Mountain Rescue team members navigating. It’s pretty barren an ideal as it has few features. After a long day on the hill it kept the brain going as navigation is the key skill in the mountains especially in winter top tip. This area has a bleak look but is so interesting the geology of the plateau has lots of interest. There are loadss of sandstone about and loads of the effect of weathering.

Also in places lots of pebbles from the sandstone strewn in various locations. It’s like someone has been working on the rocks it’s just weathering. Its amazing to come across several metres of just pebbles.

We also located this structure I thought it must be for taking bearings etc. I received this last night . Its a “Base for supporting a Stevenson screen for housing meteorological instruments – thermometers etc.” That must have been a long plod to get the readings anyone got any tales of this up here?


On the way off An Teallach I had noticed in my early days some good climbing on the small cliffs pf Glas Mheal Mhor and had climbed here with my mate Mark Sinclair. In these days the 70’s you rarely put your new climbs in as the North West was at that time going to be an area where you could explore with limited information. It was to be left for future generations. I think it was due to the rise of the climbing guides that were getting popular. Anyway attitudes changed and lots of routes were reported. The RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team had been climbing since the 50’s on many of the crags in the summer and winter.

The crag on Glas Mheall Mor.

They rarely reported their routes so a few routes were never in the guides. We had climbed on the main cliffs on An Teallach fairly often in the winter these were long hard days and usually completed with the ridge traverse. This cliff with a short walk in was a bit easier and after a hard weekend we had some fun on the ice. Despite the crag being low when the temperature drops the ice forms in the wind.

I was Chairman of the Mountain Rescue Committee at the time.

From the SMC Northern Highlands Central Glas Mheall Mor -NH080 860 Page 274.

This is a good option with easy access when the winds are high and you are getting old. If Cold enough, ice forms readily producing various ice falls on the cliff. The cliffs are spring fed giving water ice when the higher cliffs may not be in condition.” A good tip if Fain Falls is there as you drive about 3 ks from Dundonnell NH 132837 Carn A’ Bhiorain – Coill A’ Bhun another grand climb 105 metres grade 4 two star. Its a classic and the team put up another route nearby Goat Falls grade 3 – 100 metres.

A great climbing guide well worth buying and the profits go to the Scottish Mountain Trust. (SMT)

The Trust’s revenue is derived in the main from two main sources:

  • Publishing guidebooks and other publications on behalf of the Scottish Mountaineering Club and other books connected with the Scottish Hills. The Trust’s publication activity is carried on by a wholly owned subsidiary company, Scottish Mountaineering Trust (Publications) Limited. The whole operating surplus of the company is covenanted to the Trust and forms the overwhelming majority of the Trust’s income. The trust is also responsible for the administration of the legacy known as Mrs Snart’s Bequest, which is solely for assisting mountains safety.
  • Donations. These are always most welcome and can be of any amount. If a donation is made to us without any conditions it will go into the general fund. If you would like to discuss specifics in connection with a donation then please do contact us. Any donation can be kept confidential, if so wished.

Examples of the work of the trust

Below are shown the approximate totals of the grants made by the Trust in its major areas of activity in the period 1990-2017.

Footpath Construction and Maintenance £419,000
Core Funding of Mountaineering Scotland £215,000
Land Purchase £68,500
Mountaineering Education and Training £31,500
Mountain Rescue Equipment and Facilities £65,000
Support of Expeditions £32,500
Renovation of Club Huts £189,000
Other £277,000
TOTAL £1,297,500

The huge corries of An Teallach make a great wander in winter as in snow and ice they excel. The various ridges are wonderful and the views in the Corries make this a place of wonderment to me. I will leave you to explore this mountain don’t just chase the Munros look into this mountain and its wildness.

A view I love the snow and ice sculptured Corrie and the knife edge ridge.

When I was ill after 3 years of operations I left early and headed into the corrie I only made the lochan but what views. In winter its incredible the gullies and winter lines, the snow and ice make this place unique. It was long hard trip home but how good I felt in the wild, with wind and snow. The best type of medicine you can get?

A grand way up in winter Glas Mheall Liath.takes you onto the summits.

Top Tips: It was great to be out on the hill again, I see the Cairngorms have snow now so the first blast of winter is with us. I have put some more gear in my bag, extra gloves so important drop a glove and you can be in trouble always carry a spare. Its time for a bit more clothing and bothy bag is a great idea in an emergency. Head torches are vital and must be checked every time you go out. Plan your day accordingly to the weather and your fitness. Learn to navigate carry a map and compass practise every time your out. There are no paths in a white out ensure you have a fun day. Winter is wonderful.

The wonder of winter – top tip carry some spare gear If out tell folk where your going..

The Munro Society is another great way to support great causes in the mountains so if you have completed the Munros and want to give something back why not?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, People, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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