My Kintail Adventures Pt IV – Am Bathach & Ciste Dubh
by PeteR » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:30 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: 06/11/20111 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I’d also had it in my mind to attempt the Brothers Ridge as part of the same day (via Sgurr an Fhuarail), but for reasons which will I’ll explain later on I decided to kick that plan into touch. And in retrospect I’m glad I did. Rather than rushing around like a blue bottomed you-know-what trying to get the hills ticked off and down before losing the light I was able to relax a bit and take it easy. And despite the reason the Brothers got dingied I had a great day on two good hills.
Not that the trip up had been that pleasant. Thick fog on the way up had made it slow progress at times with visibility as good as to the end of my nose And the wildlife were doing their bit too to slow me up. Jonny-the-fox playing chicken, young stags not following the Tufty code and some flapping thing flying out the darkness and straight at the car veering off at the final second over the roof (I ducked for some unknown reason ). Oh, and a fair way into my journey I’d remembered my lithium battery was still in the charger at home, so my camera was out of action. I had a reserve that took AA batteries, but it’s not as good so before I’d even started I was feeling a bit peeved with myself
But eventually I arrived and parked up. Time for the usual Sunday breakfast of porridge, get myself suited and booted and then head off back along the main road a short distance to the old metal gate in the fence and the start of the excellent path that winds its way up the steep slopes of the Corbett.
Fair to say this path was boggy in places. When have I said that before? Oh, yeah.....on pretty much every walk I’ve been on recently, and I’d be saying it again on this walk too. And oh, how I’d be saying it. I just didn’t realise it yet I had one rather spectacular sip on the way up (which I’d probably score 10 for artistic interpretation but only about 3 for technical ability), but I managed to spare myself from getting too filthy
Anyway, back to the ascent up Am Bathach. As well as its boggy patches it also seemed pretty steep too. Nothing technical, just energy sapping steep. I got caught by a young chap who had been parking up just as I was heading off and stopped for a few minutes chin-wag about the hills, other hills and even more hills. He then left me for dust and I didn’t see him again until I was huffing and puffing up Ciste Dubh and he was heading down to attempt at least Aonach Meadhoin of the Brothers.
Back to Am Bathach, again Soon enough I was on the ridge itself, enjoying a pleasant stroll along the easy grassy path to the Corbett summit. Despite being a diminutive hill amongst such illustrious company the views from the summit were spectacular
Back down the ridge to Loch Cluanie
Ahead to the big bulk of Ciste Dubh
And also to the bealach between Ciste Dubh and the Brothers
After a short break it was a steep descent down to the Bealach a Choinich and onward to Ciste Dubh. And here is the reason why I decided to ditch any plans of attempting the Brothers Ridge on this walk and instead concentrating on the circuit of Am Bathach and Ciste Dubh only. You see, the bealach is an undulating and increasing boggy place, which to be fair I didn’t mind despite another impressive slip which saw me execute a partial bum slide (I managed to graze the bog rather than go for the full blown sit down protest ). Scores of 10 all round for that one
But it was when I started the steep climb up onto the main ridge and the intriguing summit of An Cnapach that my love affair with the bog ended. It was awful A perfect hideous mixture of steep, extremely boggy wet ground on what felt like a vertical incline made for very slow going. My energy levels just seemed to be drained from me And the thought of a return trip down this muck and across the bog fest of the Bealach a Choinich didn’t appeal. No, the Brother’s Ridge was definitely for my next instalment of Kintail Adventures, when I could approach them from the main road and avoid that bog.
For now I was content to continue at a leisurely pace to the summit of Ciste Dubh and then descend via it’s east ridge into An Caorann Mor and back to the car that way.
Once past the bog the path was actually excellent. I enjoyed the diversion of the route up onto An Cnapach, rather than the bypass path.
And the summit views from Ciste Dubh itself were pretty cool too
Stopped here for a while and just enjoyed the peace and quiet. I was joined for a short while by a chap who had been up in Torridon and was heading back to Glasgow and had stopped off to tick this hill off. We had a good chat about hills, as you’d expect. He was heading back via the bog land we had both endured on the way up, by I was sticking to my chosen descent route.
The initial descent is steep, on grassy slopes. It feels almost vertical, but wasn’t difficult. I just picked a route down finding footing on grassy ledges.
Soon enough I was on leveller ground, but rather than head almost immediately right on gentle slopes I decided to carry on along the ridge. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing isn’t it? Basically I was on more steep ground descending off the ridge, which slowed me down a bit, but eventually I was down and heading back to the car through An Caorann Mor. Rather than make my way to the path I initially stuck close to the Allt a Chaorainn Mhoir, which gave some good views back to Ciste Dubh. It got a bit boggy in places, but nothing like as bad as earlier and I was able to motor along.
Eventually hit the landrover track and made quick time back to the road.
All in all, this was a great day out. The weather wasn’t as good as some had had elsewhere at the weekend, but I was happy enough. Can’t wait for my next Kintail Adventure......
by Johnny Corbett » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:20 am
by soulminer » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:01 am
We had been across the Brothers' and decided to cross the bealach to Ciste Dubh- glad we did, magic.
Cheers for the reminder
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- Joined: Mar 18, 2010
- Location: Johnstone
by ChrisW » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:06 am
by BlackPanther » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:31 am
The 3 Brothers don't take that much time, I managed to do them in 7.5 hours, climbing from Bealach an Lapain, and that allowing plenty of time for breaks and taking pictures
You have produced a score of reports lately all good.
by pollyh33 » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:52 pm
Have you considered moving up there
by pigeon » Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:02 am
by Graeme D » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:22 pm
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