There are some great trip reports here on scottishhills.com. You can avoid pretty much all the exposure by taking the skirting path.
As others have indicated there is a lot of exposure especially on the north-east side where the drops are around 400 metres.
The direct ascent involves a steep scramble which can be avoided by going left (if heading from south to north). There are lots of wee paths made by walkers looking for a suitable bypass route but not all are any good.
If you only want to climb the Munros you can do so from Dundonnell without walking the main ridge although you will miss most of the excitement.
If you want to do the ridge go with someone who has scrambling skills or hire a guide. NW Frontiers work out of nearby Ullapool.
This page on my web site while give you details of my trip reports to An Teallach which includes some photos.
I did An Teallach in June of this year starting from the Sail Liath end. The pinnacles look extremely daunting from the summit of Sail Liath but they lost some of their menace the nearer I got to them. Mind you, it was a gloriously sunny day and things have a tendency to look better in the sun rather than surrounded by mist.
It's not easy to judge the difficulty level as everyone has a different threshold with regards to difficulty and also exposure. I live in Devon and have climbed most of the Dartmoor Tors. Although made of a different type of rock the An Teallach pinnacles are very similar in structure to the Dartmoot Tors - flat sections of rock laid on top of each other - and I found them much easier to climb than some of the Tors. In saying that, the pinnacles are perched on top of three thousand foot of mountain, which doesn't half get the adrenalin going.
I have heard that they are slightly easier to negotiate starting at Sail Liath, although this is probably due to the down climb on the first pinnacle (or last if you're traversing them the other way). I tackled them end to end and that first pinnacle is not easy head on. I remember shuffling across a narrow ledge half way up trying to find some decent hand-holds and I was pleased I was climbing up rather than down. The path actually avoids this on the left hand side and comes up between the first and second pinnacles, so there is no need to attempt it if you don't like the look of it. After that, the other pinnacles are relatively easy scrambling, although you most definitely need a head for heights. I scrambled up and down Stannage Edge as a kid and exposure doesn't bother me. Normally, I don't even think about it but during my traverse of the pinnacles I stepped up onto one of the tops and, out of the corner of my eye, I caught the drop on the right hand side into Coire Toll an Lochain. It was a very sobering experience.
One more thing, Lord Berkley's Seat is a big disappointment if you traverse from Sail Liath. You step onto it at the end of the pinnacles and you get no sensation of being perched up there on an overhang. I didn't even realise I'd been on it until I looked back from halfway up Bidein a'Ghlas Thuill and saw where I'd recently been standing.
Cameron McNeish said that doing Ben Nevis by the tourist path and not seeing that great rock face is like going to the beach and not seeing the sea. I think An Tealloch is like that. You have to traverse the pinnacles, otherwise why go all that way? I still wish I had turned round and reversed back over them the day I was there. It could be a long time before I get that chance again.
Only too pleased to be of some help, Milano, as I am not normally of any help in these sort of situations. I was in Snowdonia in May and the wind was so violent people were getting blown over on top of Snowdon. I went up on Crib Goch and ran along the very top of the ridge with a ridiculously strong tail wind. It was a fantastic experience but I'm sure the majority of people up there (many of whom were virtually lying down on the ridge and clinging on for dear life) thought I was bonkers. Anyway, this probably explains why I am no use at guaging anyone else's exposure threshold. I should really know better at my age!!
Im of to Dundonnell and surrounding areas from September 11-30th and thats one of the Munros im looking to do ,so if you wanted the reasurrance of some company plus man with rope.Like the other guys say its not a case of having to use the rope but knowing you have it there helps.
No probs, anytime
I had a great day out on An Teallach in early May this year – glorious day to start off with, snow line from about 600/650m. Wasn’t going to bother with the pinnacles as I was on my own, but in the end it was a shame to miss them out – so I didn’t, great fun. The rain came along just as I reached the long walk out at low level.
Think I did the route the opposite way to most (path being on my right as I traversed), on the final pinnacle I slightly reversed my route as the path was about 40mtrs lower and although snow was on the ground it was a little too soft for crampons (just as well as I left em in the car).
If it was me and I was in a group (even better if you can be roped up if you’re a little unsure) I’d give it a go, but that’s just down to personal preference – but then again I’ve been scrambling for quite some time and climbing for a few years now so it all comes down to perspective.
Whichever you decide to do have a great time and enjoy the views.
And if you haven’t sorted any accommodation yet drop me a line, I know of a great place less than 30mins away.
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