walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:57 pm

Route description: Ciste Dhubh and Am Bathach, Cluanie

Munros included on this walk: Ciste Dhubh

Corbetts included on this walk: Am Bathach

Date walked: 28/09/2011

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 13.1 km

Ascent: 1093m

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

It's been almost two weeks since we climbed Ciste Dhubh and looking through my window I can hardly believe it's the same time of the year. We definitely had a few good days at the end of September!
It was a windy Wednesday but at last, after long waiting, the western side of Highlands was forecast to be cloud-free. We considered tackling the Five Sisters for a moment but as I still wasn't sure how my injured knee recovered, we finally picked a shorter route in Glen Shiel, which nevertheless included one Munro and one Corbett.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


I have done Am Batchach before. In September 2008, to be precise. I was a hillwalking rookie back then, a bit too heavy and not the fittest person in the world. I struggled up the steep side of the Corbett and when I reached the summit I was so exhausted I called it a day. Even though the rocky top of Ciste Dhubh looked appetizing...
So I promised myself that I'll be back one day, stronger and more determined :lol: :lol: :lol:
Image
And the day has finally arrived! We packed our rucksacks and went for it :D
There are a few things one should be aware of before tackling this pair of mountains. First, the lower ground is pretty wet and boggy (goretex boots recommended :lol: ). Second, the steepness may be intimidating, especially for beginners. Third, allow more time than guides suggest (naismith's 4.5 hrs). I can guarantee, if you catch a good day you will stop every five minutes to take pictures! This route's like visiting an art gallery - so much to discover and every corner you turn offers another splendid view.
The scenery is fantastic from the very beginning as Glen Shiel itself's a great spot to admire and photograph - one doesn't have to climb anything to see the true Scotland!
The best place to park for this route is in the layby on the north side of the A87, just by the Glenshiel Forest (or what's left of it, as the vast majority of trees have been recently cut down :( ). We even left our Japanese girl facing the grand pano of Loch Cluanie, so she was not bored while we were tackling the hills :lol: :lol:
Image
A few relatively big patches of cloud covered the south side of Glen Shiel just as the ridge of A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire, but the summit of Ciste Dhubh was clear. We hoped it would stay clear for the rest of the day...
Ready to go! To the right, sad remains of what once was Glenshiel Forest:
Image
The ground was wet and squelchy on the path up Am Bathach:
Image
Still, even at this stage it's worth every effort. Just look at Loch Cluanie below:
Image
Cloudy A'Chralaig:
Image
I was so happy to be out on the hills again and so preoccupied by the unforgettable views around that I didn't even notice how I walked up the Corbett and found myself on its narrow ridge:
Image
The wind was strong (MetOffice forecast gusts up to 90 mph :shock: ) but surprisingly, very warm. Just as well it blew all the nasty cloud away! To the west, Sgurr an Fhuarail was already fluff-free:
Image
And the continuation of our route looked just as good:
Image
Oh please, please, let's stay here... just a little bit longer...
Image
Cloud and sunshine working together to create a perfect view:
Image
We continued along the ridge of Am Bathach...
Image
...and every glimpse back was like discovering a new perspective:
Image
It felt so different, so much better compare to my first visit to Am Bathach. Yes, I must admit I worked hard for the last three years and it's such a wonderful feeling to achieve something - even if it's just boosting up your fitness levels! Needless to say, I beat my previous time by far, arriving at the summit in just over an hour (and that included all photo-breaks). So I thought, I deserved a break, and there couldn't be a better view to admire while taking some rest...
Image
Close-up to the distinctive face of Ciste Dhubh:
Image
The tops of other mountains around us were clearing up now and the day couldn't look any better:
Image
Image
As we began descending the steep slope down to the bealach between the two hills (Bealach a'Choinich), my knee sent me first warning messages. If I was a sane person, I'd have read these symptoms and finished my walking day, but come on... Again I decided to ignore logic and carry on.
Image
The initial way down is steep and because it had rained the previous day, careful descending required some dancing and balancing skills (Strictly Come Dancing on a muddy mountain slope???)
Finding way across the bealach with its countless puddles and lochan was a wee bit tricky, too...
Image
...but the slopes of Ciste Dhubh were so tempting...
Image
...that we couldn't resist them. With my knee feeling slightly uncomfortable now, I tried the old and checked method of zigzagging up the wet, grassy ground. Soon I forgot about the pain - and just having a look around was enough to forget. Am Bathach now showed us its almost perfectly traingular northern face:
Image
The Three Brothers were now showing up:
Image
From Bealach a'Choinich it's about 200m of steep and pathless climbing until one arrives at more level ridge, with the pointy top of An Cnapach dominating the view:
Image
Me with Mullach Fraoch-choire in the background:
Image
To the west we were welcome by the familiar yet always stunning view of the Five Sisters:
Image
Ben Fhada was also there, smiling in the sunshine (another hill on my to-do list):
Image
Simply amazing! Wherever you turn, you'll encounter another fantastic pano...
Image
Kevin and the sisters:
Image
At some point, a path showed up and it took us along the slope of An Cnapach (skipping its main summit):
Image
An amazing lost valley between two of the brothers (Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg and Aonach Meadhoin):
Image
An Cnapach seen from just below the main summit of the Black Chest:
Image
A thin, lonely cloud lingered around the top of our target Munro...
Image
The Black Chest in its full glory:
Image
There's a final little descent just before reaching the summit - and for a countless time that day I felt overwhelmed:
Image
Unfortunately, as we narrowed the top, my knee gave me a really bad time. I started limping slightly...
Image
... but turning back was out of question now!
Image
Especially with the encouraging views around!
Image
The summit itself is small, with a practically vertical drop on one side and a tiny cairn:
Image
We took our well deserved lunch break at the top, waiting patiently for the annoying little cloud to go away.Well, eventually our patience was awarded:
Image
Image
The sisters again:
Image
Grand pano to the west:
Image
Getting down should be the easier part of the day, but not for me. After twenty minutes of sitting by the summit cairn my injured knee went stiff and as I started walking down I discovered that the only way I could move without pain was to keep my right leg as straight as possible. Ended up trying not to bend it at all which gave Kevin a good laugh as he concluded:
" Congratulations on your 54th Munro, Herr Flick!"
"Be careful" I replied "If you're not nice to me I'll unpack my little Gestapo whip and smack your bottom"
At least we kept our sense of humor, but the first 15 min of descending were a real pain:
Image
Instead of returning the way we came, we went down the steep mountain side, where a sheep path leaves the main one just past the rocks of The Chest. I discovered that descending with a stiff leg was actually easier on a very steep slope than more even ground :lol: :lol: An additional bonus of this choice was the opportunity to see The Chest from just below - so impressive:
Image
Carrying on despite obstacles:
Image
A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire ridge in front of us:
Image
It actually looks worse than it is, and I guess it would be possible to ascend this way as well:
Image
Herr Flick and Ciste Dhubh :lol: :lol: :lol: :
Image
Am Bathach and Loch Cluanie behind it:
Image
Once down in the glen we had a last look at our conquest...
Image
Weather was even better now, with blue sky all around:
Image
One of many streams to cross:
Image
The walk back to A87 was the boggiest part of the day (ha ha try to jump over streams and puddles with a stiff knee!) but still, despite all the problems, we kept our smiles on and arrived back on the road 6 hours after starting our adventure. Considering the circumstances, I think I did a pretty good job with the Black Chest :D
Before we left, we waved good-bye to Am Bathach:
Image
Sure it wasn't our last visit to Glen Shiel. As I had written in one of my previous reports, my greatest adventure has just begun. I'll carry on walking with one important change to my habits: I'll be more careful, use logical thinking and avoid silly bravery, don't want to cause myself a permanent leg injury... I'd rather be Mr Spock than Herr Flick, that's for certain!
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3695
Munros:260   Corbetts:172
Grahams:123   
Sub 2000:56   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby kevsbald » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:06 pm

Hope the knee isn't going to keep you off the hills for long - lovely report.
User avatar
kevsbald
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2188
Munros:267   Corbetts:125
Grahams:79   Donalds:52
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby monty » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:02 pm

Nice report with some great photos despite the weather. Its a nice little walk this one. Damn boggy walking out down the valley though. Some great views all round from the top. :D
monty
 

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby morag1 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Another superb report with great photos

BlackPanther wrote:my greatest adventure has just begun

Good luck with the rest of your journey and i hope your knee gives you no further problems
morag1
 

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:22 pm

Nice :D . You could spend all day taking pictures in that area, cheers :) .
User avatar
LeithySuburbs
Ambler
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:259   Corbetts:55
Grahams:29   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:23   Islands:13
Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby Jock McJock » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:25 pm

Enjoyed that, and loved the pics. Lots of reports lately from that area, can't get enough of them as it looks such a beautiful place :D
Jock McJock
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 450
Munros:173   Corbetts:5
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Feb 5, 2010
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby ChrisW » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:00 pm

Great report BP with some stunning photo's, I love the reports from that side of the country, so very different from here in the East :D
User avatar
ChrisW
Rambler
 
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby ndhudson » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:26 pm

Another good one, BP! Your reports always put a smile my face. Take care of that knee. :D
User avatar
ndhudson
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 266
Corbetts:1
Joined: May 16, 2011
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:18 pm

Cracking report and stunning photos. Fantastic stuff :D
User avatar
pollyh33
Walker
 
Posts: 2577
Munros:282   Corbetts:18
Grahams:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby MarilynMunro » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:29 am

Well Done Panther, loved the pics and very good commentary, hope the knee gets better soon.
User avatar
MarilynMunro
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 307
Munros:43   Corbetts:3
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jun 18, 2011
Location: West Lothian

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby davetherave » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:20 am

Lovely report,looks like you guys got a near perfect day for it.

Your right about the steep drop off ciste dubh summit. When we reached the summit wilson plonked his hairy bum right on its grassy edge. Very scary indeed.
User avatar
davetherave
 
Posts: 717
Munros:220   Corbetts:88
Grahams:26   Donalds:5
Joined: Apr 25, 2009
Location: Brechin

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby Johnny Corbett » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:11 pm

Great report and fantastic set of photos. I saw very little of Am Bathach and Ciste Dhubh when i did them in June so good to see what it actually looked like up there :D
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2968
Munros:25   Corbetts:210
Grahams:166   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:293   Hewitts:1
Islands:14
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby Scotjamie » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:22 pm

A great report and pics, BP. We did ascend the descent route as suggested in your report (coming off A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire) and it is a pain uphill as well as downhill. Very well done
User avatar
Scotjamie
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1168
Munros:148   
Joined: Jul 27, 2009
Location: north berwick

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby hillmaster » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:45 pm

Hello, I am a former compleatist, finishing on Slioch in 2005. I am currently in the process of updating my log and accounts of summits etc, and stumbled upon your input to the site, which I think is absolutely great! Your use of photographs throughout your blog is brilliant and would ask is it a digital camera you use and if so which one?
Please reply when you can and PLEASE take care of that knee! I am currently waiting (albeit somewhat apprehensively) for a replacement and as soon as it is up and running I intend to put it through its paces by getting back on the hill. Once again many thanks for a great blog and photos.
hillmaster
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1
Munros:282   Corbetts:6
Joined: Apr 20, 2013

Re: Herr Flick up on Ciste Dhubh

Postby hutchy1 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:23 pm

Stunning pics and a great report
hutchy1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 325
Munros:266   Corbetts:18
Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Mar 3, 2013

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Radelist and 23 guests