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The waiting is finally over

The waiting is finally over

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:04 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: 08/01/2016

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 985m

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At long last a favourable weather forecast, after checking the forecast religiously since my last outing almost a month ago, I decided to head back to Kintail for the last time, until my goal has been accomplished 8)
As we all know the rain and wind has been a daily feature and to say that I was getting fed up not escaping to the hills is an under statement :(
It was midweek that I made the "executive" decision and advertised the fact on the 'meets' section to see if anyone fancied a day out in Kintail. To prove that posting on the forum is productive, I managed to pursuade 2 folk to join me :wink:
Daniel (larusso) and Evie (Sunny Speyside), were to be my companions for the day. Arrangements were made and Daniel (who had never posted on WH before) was going to catch the train from Edinburgh and I would uplift him from the station in Inverkeithing at 5.47am.
Alarm was set, not that I needed it as I hardly slept (as usual) and I met Daniel at the agreed time and after brief introductions we set off 8)
The journey north was uneventful, no sign of any of the flooding that had been affecting Perthshire. As Daniel is from Germany we had plenty of subjects to discuss and we arrived at the start point to be met by Evie - who was early as usual :lol: After introductions, we kitted up and set off in pursuit of 3 youngsters :lol: :lol: :lol: (Evie's description, as she watched them depart). We would follow the 3 youngsters all day and finally meet up on the summit, we have to thank them for "trailblazing" as I know from experience it isn't easy being the first to cross untrodden snow and ice.

Image Parking area

Image Loch Cluanie early shot

Image Looking towards the S Glen Shiel Ridge

Image Evie and Daniel

Image Loch Cluanie from slightly higher up

As you can see from the photo's there is a bit of low cloud hovering over the water, but apart from that there is hardly a cloud in the sky 8) The air had a definite wintery chill in it, but I was just so happy to actually be out walking. A few stops on the initial ascent were needed. to take photo's and get our breath back. We were doing the route anti-clockwise and taking in the Corbett Am Bathach first. The path was well trodden and a bit damp underfoot, but that was hardly surprising after the daily dose of rain :(
As we gained height the ground became firmer and crisper, it was a constant slog with hardly any flat sections until we reached the summit of Am Bathach :lol:

Image Looking down on the Cluanie Inn

Image The big yellow thing in the sky about to make a shock appearance :lol:

Image The 3 youngsters ahead

Image Looking across to A'Chralaigh

Image Low level cloud covering Loch Cluanie

Image Looking towards S Glen Shiel Ridge

Image Another brief stop

Image Looking west towards 'The Brothers"

Image Loch Cluanie with no cloud now :o

Image A'Chralaigh again

Image Evie leading the way, snow a bit deeper

Image Summit cairn of Am Bathach with Ciste Dhubh in the background

Image Daniel & Evie approaching the summit

Image Ciste Dhubh looking pretty special

The descent off Am Bathach came as a surprise a descent of over 200m is never welcome, but as the north side of the hill hardly see's the sun, there were some icy patches where great care was needed. We knew the group on front had already put their crampons on, as the footprints in the snow indicated. It wasn't until we started the ascent of Ciste Dhubh that we made the executive decision, sorry that should be Evie made the decision :lol: :lol:
The conditions underfoot were very unpredictable, at times the snow was very soft varying in depth from an inch to 18 inches, other area's had icy patches and snow covering icy patches, so great care was needed :wink:

Image The 3 youngsters in the distance having negotiated the peat hags

Image Looking back to Am Bathach

Image Going up again, so a quick stop for a photo

Image One of the youngsters lagging behind

Image Looking across to A'Chralaigh from a different angle

Image Action shot on the ascent

Image The zig-zag ascent through the snow clearly visible

Image Looking back

Image Looking NW

Image Another stop

It wasn't too long before we reached the 'top' An Cnapach and the views were amazing 8)

Image The trailblazers on/approaching the summit of An Cnapach

Image As above but zoomed

Image Fantastic shot across to Ciste Dhubh

Image Looking back towards the Brothers

Image Another pit stop

Image Looking back to An Cnapach

Image Looking Sw towards the Brothers

Image Nice little snow features

Image Daniel trudging uphill

Image Looking north towards Torridon in the distance

Image Looking across to the impressive Mullach Fraoch-choire

Image Looking north zoomed

The final push up to the summit of Ciste Dhubh was quite a struggle, the snow was deeper which meant more energy had to be used and I could feel my thighs starting to cramp up - but I soldiered on :lol: :lol:
On the summit we spent quite a bit of time chatting to the 'trailblazers', who consisted of Tom, Andy and a very chatty South African guy (sorry forgot your name and probably couldn't spell it :lol: ). They all live on Skye, so I was curious as to what they all do workwise :roll:
Due to the interesting conversation I forgot to take the usual summit shots :( I also forgot to take a selfie with my phone, that I usually send home, so I had to stop on the way down and carry out that task. It didn't really matter as there was no phone signal :lol:
Time to descend we set off a minute or two ahead but when I stopped to take my selfie, we were overtaken :lol: The initial part of the descent was tricky, as descending on ice is far more difficult than ascending and after about 5 minutes or so of descending we met 2 young ladies who were heading uphill.

Image Descending and what fabulous views

Image What a view

Image Follow the leaders zoomed

Image Daniel approaching a deep patch


Image The descent down into the glen

Image Looking back up towards the bealach, impressive cliffs

Image The way ahead

Image This shot highlights how soft the snow was :wink:

The final section of the walk which we were expecting to be a bit of a bogfest, wasn't too bad due to the light covering of snow and frost. As we got further down the glen we would team up with the guys from Skye and had a good chat. They are all lurkers on Walk Highlands and perhaps after a bit of pursuasion they may even take part in the fun :wink:
To sum up, a cracking day in what turned out to be ideal weather. A huge thanks to my companions for the day :clap:
Regular viewers will know I try and end with a 'what's next', that as usual is subject to the weather, but the next Munro will probably be Fionn Bheinn. However before that I may be tempted south into the Borders to pay a Corbett or two a visit 8)
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby dav2930 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:14 pm

Stunning :clap:
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby jacob » Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:16 pm

These are some high quality pictures of a region that I'm hoping to visit myself from my basecamp on Skye coming May. Thank you.
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby katyhills » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:42 pm

Quite magnificent :D
What a glorious day you had weatherwise. Hard work in the snow though!
Thanks for that lovely report and photos :)
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby Collaciotach » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:23 pm

Grand pics :D
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby ancancha » Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:58 pm

Fabulous scenery, nothing like blue sky and snow to make everything look and feel good :clap:
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby laconic surf » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:29 am

Wow, what a day you got 8)
Fantastic photos as usual :clap:
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:21 am

Great stuff there Martin, and superb photographs, well worth the wait eh :wink: :D :D :clap:
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby Petr Dakota » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:50 am

Your 1st Munro this year in Kintail like mine :D
I did The Saddle on monday 4.1.2016, a little bit more snow on the hills there in yours trip - 4 days later 8)
Good to have a company there... :wink: Some nice shots :clap: :clap:
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby tomyboy73 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:47 am

Brilliant Martin, what a day you all had
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby Jaxter » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:59 pm

Wow amazing pictures!! :D :D Looks like you had a really good day :thumbup:
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby malky_c » Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:20 pm

Saturday was reasonable but I'd love to have been able to ditch work and go out on Friday instead :lol: . Looked like a great day out - some lovely photos 8)
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:48 am

Ohh brings back memories :D :D :D :D This is the very route that won me Webtogs vouchers once :wink: Always great in winter conditions, my fav views of Corie nan Eun, the river flowing down in the snow and the Brothers ridge behind. Glad you all enjoyed it! At last winter is giving us a chance for hill adventures.
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:25 pm

Oh, that looks good.

I'd love to get on to some snowy hills at the moment, fed up with waterlogged ground, mud, and river levels too high for much canoeing.
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Re: The waiting is finally over

Postby Tomsie » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:15 pm

Looked a great day out, great photo's. :)
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