Remote rambling

By James Carron

An Teallach is considered one of Scotland's finest mountains and while this walk does not venture on to its high peaks, it does provide a glimpse of the spectacle and drama of the dark craggy tops that make up the bulky massif.

Our route skirts round the southern slopes before dropping into remote Strath na Sealga, a wide glen dominated by high hills and steep rocky slopes. Cattle and deer graze here and if you're lucky you'll spot both as you make your way to the head of beautiful Loch na Sealga.

The climb out from the tiny cottage at Shenavall is hard work but, as you gain height, turn occasionally to admire the view back over the loch.

This is a walk best done on a fine spring, summer or autumn day and avoid in poor weather or if there is a lot of snow on the ground as this part of the country can become very inhospitable on a bad day.

From the layby at Corrie Hallie, cross the A832 and on the other side a track rises up over the hillside, turning back on itself after a short distance before striking a course south up through mixed woodland of birch and alder with the Allt Gleann Chaorachain snaking down through a gorge to the right. The track is fairly rough and it climbs steadily with views up to An Teallach on the right before flattening out briefly to cross the burn.

Ahead the way rises more steeply over the hillside and to the left there are a series of small waterfalls to look at as you climb. The track eventually reaches its summit where a cairn marks the high point. A few yards on the track arrives at a junction with a path coming in from the right. This is marked by two cairns. Stay with the track, though, and follow it out over the open hillside, skirting round above Loch Coire Chaorachain and then a series of smaller, reedy lochans to the left. The way begins to descend, dropping down into Strath na Sealga with views opening out over the glen and surrounding craggy peaks.

The track runs left along the hillside before curving right to fall into the bottom of the valley. As it runs over a grassy plain the way becomes less distinct but follow the river north and then west through a patch of trees to pick it up again. It takes you on to Achneigie, an abandoned cottage a kilometre on. This is now used as a makeshift bothy by walkers and climbers.

Beyond the dilapidated cottage an obvious path crosses a burn and heads west down Strath na Sealga. It is initially a bit boggy but soon improves as it gains a little height. Cattle graze in this glen but keep your eyes peeled for red deer too, particularly on the flat grassy banks of the river.

The path arrives at a small cottage at Shenavall, about a kilometre short of the loch. This is an open bothy cared for by the Mountain Bothies Association and popular with mountaineers. Make a detour down to the water's edge then return to Shenavall from where a path rises over the hillside, climbing by a small burn. It cuts through a valley between the south facing slope of Sail Liath to the left and a small outlying knoll on your right before running out over the open hillside to meet up with the track three kilometres on at the 'two cairn' junction. From there, take the track back to the start.


Distance 12 miles/19km.
Map OS Landranger 1:50,000 sheet 19.
Start A832 road at Corrie Hallie, near Dundonnell House (grid ref NH 114851).
Parking Roadside parking at start.
Grading Track and path over open moorland rising to 400 metres and through isolated glen. Suitable for fit walkers who enjoy a sense of remoteness.

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