Hours, hours and more hours into my drive from the south, there it suddenly was, the bold, dark outline of An Teallach looming miles upon miles to the west as my car crept up the valley towards it. It was an inviting and somewhat terrifying prospect all at once. Why terrifying? Mostly because I was supposed to be running up all 1,062 metres of it.
A saw-like long ridge, vertical drops – one that’s even past vertical, actually – and some equally spectacular surrounding mountains to view from its two summits; as far as UK mountains go, the pinnacles of An Teallach are often seen as the apex of UK hill climbing – bucket list stuff for those who like their Munros, Wainwrights, Nuttalls, etc.
It’s a very challenging route, one not to be taken lightly as a hillwalk let alone as a running route. Fortunately for me, however, I was meeting up with Brian Sharp, a Highlands-based mountain runner who knows the route well and who knows how to handle a bit of Torridonian Sandstone underfoot.
Here’s how the trip went…
Shenavall bothy, which is tucked down in the valley behind An Teallach, holds almost the same kind of legendary status as the mountain itself, so we made sure our trip included a stay there. This meant the most logical way to run the round was anti-clockwise, starting from a lay-by at Dundonnell where there’s free parking for five or six cars. We came in two cars, so we were able to leave one of them further down the road by the hostel at Corrie Hallie and this would cut out what would be a 3km road section back to Dundonnell at the end of the route.