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Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:44 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: 29/03/2015

Time taken: 7.35 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1138m

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Another weekend where Laura was working Sat and Sunday so I was free to roam the hills both days. I got in touch with Spiderwebb to see if he fancied anything; the weather was not looking to be up for the cup so plans were rather sketchy. Saturday was ruled out and as I had a bit of man flu I lazed all day. Spider informed me he was meeting with some of his mates from another Facebook thread that were also on WH on the Sunday and asked if I was up for it, hell yeah as the trip they had planned included two new hills for me.
I had to remember the clocks were going forward at Midnight on the Saturday night, cripes this meant an even earlier start. Therefore I packed the car the night before and aimed to pick up Spider at 6am ish. The roads were real quiet so I made good time and collected him and we were on our way to Kintail for Am Bathach and Ciste Dhubh. We parked at the layby around 1km East of the Cluanie Inn and waited for the others. Introductions were done and the team consisted of: me, Dave (Spiderwebb), Willie (Gammy leg walker), Wullie (not sure on avatar name), Davie (not sure on avatar name), Pauline (Pollyh33), Theresa (Mountain tyme) & Jonny (Jonny616). I hope that’s correct!!

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


We set off East along the road towards the rusty gate that let us enter the glen and we started the slight climb up the Corbett Am Bathach following the path alongside the deer fence.
photo 2.JPG
Looking up to our route, Am Bathach (right) Start of the brothers ridge (left) from the road

photo 3.JPG
The route ahead following the fence

Ahead the snow line was visible and once we got to there it was clear this was fresh snow as it was soft and made the ground beneath slippy.
photo 4.JPG
The snow line ahead

The views back to the South Glenshiel ridge and the start of the brother’s ridge were brilliant.
photo 5.JPG
Over to the South Glenshiel Ridge

photo 6.JPG
The team heading up

After a couple of up’s and downs we made the summit.
photo 7.JPG
First top of Am Bathach

photo 8.JPG
Second top of Am Bathach, then summit then Ciste Dhubh in background

photo 9.JPG
The girls heading up

photo 10.JPG
Am Bathach summit ahead, Ciste Dhubh summit to the right of it

photo 12.JPG
Am Bathach

This was my tenth Corbett and now into double figures.
photo 13.JPG
Summit dogs before I moved on so the team got peace from the dogs begging for food

The views over to Ciste Dhubh (The Black Chest) were fantastic, the clouds opened and revealed the extreme South-East face and it looked stunning. It was like a wee whales fin poking up from the bulk of the mountain. Am Bathach really did hold the Key to the Black Chest as the views it offered to the summit of Ciste Dhubh really made the Corbett worth it.
photo 14.JPG
Ciste Dhubh (the Black Chest) through a break in the clouds

photo 15.JPG
Zoomed

photo 16.JPG
The Black Chest looking awesome

photo 17.JPG
And again, Am Bathach offered great views to the mountains best side

photo 18.JPG
Our route up would follow the pinnacles

We set off from the Corbett into the bealach below; we had a laugh on the way down with people sinking and slipping in the deep fresh snow, Jonny got on his safety bag to attempt to break a record he already holds of the fastest snow line descent. The snow was too fresh to get up to much speed today. We stopped for lunch on a slab of rock in the bealach, I had read reports of it being a bit of a bog fest but the snow made it seem not too bad.
photo 19.JPG
Lunch stop on this slab of rock

After our stop where plenty sweets and treats were distributed, we set off up towards Ciste Dhubh. The thin layer of snow on the grass made for hard going so we decided to head up the edge of a snow field as underfoot it was more stable. Davie and Theresa broke trail.
photo 20.JPG
Davie and Theresa heading for the snow field on the left

photo 21.JPG
Dogs following on

As we gained height the snow showers became heavier but visibility was still good for a couple of hundred feet, my jacket was on/off a few times till we reached An Cnapach and it stayed on from there.
photo 11.JPG
Snow shower

The dogs went on leads from here onwards as the cornices to our right (the east) were severe.
photo 22.JPG
Looking back on the guys heading up

photo 23.JPG
Am Bathach

This would have been a nice ridge to walk along on a clear winter’s day and even today but I stayed to the West with the dogs and followed a line just below the crest of the ridge up to Ciste Dhubh.
photo 24.JPG
Looking back on the team passing An Cnapach

Wow, it was a bonnie summit, the sun came out and we got a few snaps, my camera gave up the ghost a few times due to the cold so I didn’t get any. We spent a good few minutes enjoying the views before deciding on our descent route. The path outward in the glen to the east looked best but the descent off to the East looked dodgy, Dave and Theresa went ahead to scout the route and found it was doable, the mist made it look worse than it actually was, the snow was stable and we made good time on this part, a few bum slides were done and some fun was had.
photo 25.JPG
Our route down to the glen after negotiating the steeper section

We descended all the way down to the glen to meet the path that would take you into Altbeithe. It was a decent enough path, boggy but we all had the winter gear on so we trudged through. Eventually the path becomes a land rover track which we followed all the way out to the road to the short section along the road back to the cars. Personally I had a great day, met new people that were a great laugh. Roll on the next adventure. Cheers Dave, Willie, Wullie, Davie, Jonny and the Girls Pauline and Theresa.
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Beaner001
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby martin.h » Mon Mar 30, 2015 5:56 pm

Hey Matthew that looked like a good day out, suprising how those two look almost Alpine in snowy conditions, good on yer for getting out. I like the title for this post as well.
Its good to see people using this forum getting together, putting faces to avatars and having a grand day out, long may it continue.
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martin.h
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:35 pm

Enjoyed reading your report, having seen the photo's on FB, I kind of knew what to expect :lol:

Was also interested especially as we were right next door on Sgurr nan Conbhairean last week :wink: Were there any icy patches on the higher slopes?

Out of interest what time did you leave home?
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:42 pm

martin.h wrote:Hey Matthew that looked like a good day out, suprising how those two look almost Alpine in snowy conditions, good on yer for getting out. I like the title for this post as well.
Its good to see people using this forum getting together, putting faces to avatars and having a grand day out, long may it continue.


Defo Martin, all like minded soles that were defo up for a laugh at the same time, great day :D
Cheers

Fife Flyer wrote:Enjoyed reading your report, having seen the photo's on FB, I kind of knew what to expect :lol:

Was also interested especially as we were right next door on Sgurr nan Conbhairean last week :wink: Were there any icy patches on the higher slopes?

Out of interest what time did you leave home?


Hey Martin, no I never came across any ice, a lot of fresh snow and some crusty bits but got good purchase on it. I left at 4.50am but with the clocks going forward my body still thought it was 3.50am, that on top of the fact I never sleep well the night before an early departure for a hill day :lol: :lol:
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:01 pm

Nice one a bhalaich weather was crap over here :crazy:
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby mountain thyme » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Nice one Matt. Turned out a cracking day. Was good to meet you :)

CisteD1.jpg

CisteD2.jpg

CisteD4.jpg
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:38 am

Hellooooo Matt,

Cracking report of a top day on the hills :clap: :clap:


Great to meet you and the dogs on Sunday, they definitely seemed to have the best time of all- well maybe apart from Jonny! :D :D

Hope to see you again soon X
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:17 pm

Collaciotach wrote:Nice one a bhalaich weather was crap over here :crazy:


Cheers Colla, im heading over your way this weekend to the brother in laws so im hoping the weather plays ball on Sat or Sun for a wee jaunt 8)

Same Theresa, great to meet you and thanks for adding the pics :D
If your ever up this way in search of Corbetts giz a shout :D

pollyh33 wrote:Hellooooo Matt,

Cracking report of a top day on the hills :clap: :clap:


Great to meet you and the dogs on Sunday, they definitely seemed to have the best time of all- well maybe apart from Jonny! :D :D

Hope to see you again soon X


hey Polly, yeah it was a belter oh a day like. The dogs were in their element. Aye Jonny, fit can I say, what a man :lol:
Yep, sure we'll all catch up soon, i'll keep an eye on FB and will possibly try to attend a meet eventually :lol:
Cheers
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:18 pm

Kinda brings back memories from last year, though we had much more snow on this duo and lots of overhangs to avoid. But it's a great winter route - well done WH members :D :D
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby IreneM » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:04 pm

Smashing set of pics for a great day out!

Looks and sounds like you all had a fantastic time!
:D
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby ceaser » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:14 pm

a fine day out , good to meet you , and your mad dogs Matt ( Davie ) :D
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby dogplodder » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:12 pm

Nice to see some kent faces out together. Looks cold though! :D
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:34 am

That looks like a great day out on a couple of lovely mountains. Loved some of your atmospheric photos :D
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Re: Am Bathach, the key to the Black Chest

Postby Beaner001 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:10 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Kinda brings back memories from last year, though we had much more snow on this duo and lots of overhangs to avoid. But it's a great winter route - well done WH members :D :D


Just checked your TR and you had much more snow, a nicer day for views though 8)
Cheers

IreneM wrote:Smashing set of pics for a great day out!

Looks and sounds like you all had a fantastic time!
:D


Sure did Irene, it was a fantastic winter route :D

ceaser wrote:a fine day out , good to meet you , and your mad dogs Matt ( Davie ) :D


Aritey Davie, great to meet you, the dogs sure are daft as brushes :lol:
Now you better get cracking with this compleation pal!! :D :lol: :lol:

dogplodder wrote:Nice to see some kent faces out together. Looks cold though! :D


It was cold at times when we stopped but the good thing about the extra effort in winter is that you stay warm when moving. Lovely bunch of loonies to spend a hill day with :lol:

Huff_n_Puff wrote:That looks like a great day out on a couple of lovely mountains. Loved some of your atmospheric photos :D


Cheers HnP, the colours in your TR are complete contrast, that's the great thing about the seasons :D
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