The photo above is of the impressive ridge seen enclosing the opposite side of the Luchd Choire leading up to Creag an Duine makes a fine and challenging scramble, approached from the walkers car park (outside stalking season only) at Corriemulzie Lodge in Strath Mulzie. There is also an easier approach to the hill from the same start point which reaches the summit from the north and can be used as a descent by scramblers. It’s a great way up and missed by many in winter it’s airy in places. Yet well worth a visit !
I cannot mention ridges without the classic Angels Peak in the Cairngorms.
It’s a fair walk in but what views of the Larig Gru . If you visit you will not forget the wonderful An Garbh Coire where the 1000 feet/ 300 metres scramble up the North East ridge of Angels peak.
From the bothy its a steep climb up to the lochan. This wee climb is a lot more serious in winter if you take in the waterfall on the way up to Loch Uaine at 900 metres, From here its a scramble to the summit first on big granite boulders and then the last 100 metres on the airy ridge. The views are spectacular all around and spend time on this ridge its easy and not a place to to rush. I wonder if I will get back this year. I love this place for its remoteness and the adventures I had had here. Plus a few call – outs, where you feel its a wild but stunning place.
An Teallach – Paul Taterhall the local guide says:
“There’s no doubt that An Teallach is a solid Grade 3 when taken directly. Unlike some other classic ridge scrambles, though, most of the difficulties are avoidable.”
“There are bypass paths that run along the south west side of the mountain, and a lot of people walk the ridge while avoiding the pinnacles,” explains Paul Tattersall, who regularly guides the ridge through his company Go Further Scotland. “To experience An Teallach at its best, you have to make an effort to stay on the crest and go off the front of each little sandstone pinnacle.”
He recommends parking at Corrie Hallie and starting with an ascent of Sail Liath, leaving the two Munros to the end. The bonus of doing the ridge in this direction is that you won’t have to downclimb the Bad Step – an extremely tricky pitch that often catches scramblers out.
As ‘bad’ as all that?
After the 954m summit of Sail Liath, there’s a brief stretch of airy walking with fabulous views on towards the ridge before your path is suddenly blocked by the Bad Step. This, like most of An Teallach’s challenges, can be avoided by banking left – but where would be the fun in that? Instead, Paul recommends you rope up and approach it directly.
“There are two shortish pitches here that can be tackled and protected using a basic scramblers rack,” he says. “The first is around 12 metres of buttress scrambling on rounded holds up and on to a ledge. Then another 12 metre pitch which follows a curving weakness to another ledge with just a little bit of rock above you to get up and over before you’re on the ridge line.”
Don’t be tempted to go ropeless unless you’re as experienced as they come. When the Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team is called out to An Teallach, it’s almost always because scramblers have come unstuck in this extremely exposed spot. If in doubt, of course, bypass the Bad Step and go up the first gully to regain the ridge and get back onto the pinnacles.
This is the really fun bit. Between the Bad Step and Lord Berkeley’s Seat is the sharpest point of this spiky ridge – a series of pinnacles whittled out of Torridonian sandstone that give around 600 metres of heady scrambling.
“Stick to the crest as much as you can here, making your way up and down the little sandstone teeth,” says Paul. “This section isn’t as technical as the one before it, but many people will still appreciate a rope for the exposure. The sandstone can be blocky and fractured, sometimes liable to break off due to natural weathering processes. Another reason to stay roped up.”
At the end of the pinnacular scrambling is a particular feature known as Lord Berkeley’s Seat. Legend has it that Lord Berkeley used to sit up here and smoke his pipe, dangling his feet over the edge and taking in the views. He certainly couldn’t have chosen a more scenic spot.
“The whole face of An Teallach is undercut at this point, so this exposure is massive,” says Paul. “There are also fantastic views over the ridge.”
Others include Aonach Eagach, Liathach, Beinn Alligin and the Horns, Beinn Eighe and the Black Carlin’s, The Forcan Ridge on the Saddle, Beinn Alder and the Short and long Leachas and of course Skye has so many.
What’s your favourite ?