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Ratagan summer meet part 2 - summits and sweating

Ratagan summer meet part 2 - summits and sweating


Postby malky_c » Sat Jul 27, 2019 12:36 pm

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Meadhoin, Ciste Dhubh

Corbetts included on this walk: Am Bathach, Meall Dubh

Date walked: 15/07/2019

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 25.5 km

Ascent: 2330m

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Munros: Ciste Dubh, Aonach Mheadhoin.
Corbetts: Am Bathach, Meall Dubh.
Date: 14-15/07/2019.
Distance: 15 + 10.5 km.
Ascent: 1640 + 690 m.
Time: 8 hours + 4 hours.
Weather: Hot, sunny and clear

Day 2 of the meet proper, and we manage to get up late again :roll: . However with no quiz to be back for, we decided that it was time to do something a bit more substantial. While not massive by either of our standards, a circuit of Am Bathach, Ciste Dubh and Aonach Meadhoin would be a step up in ascent for Jackie in recent months, and a test of her recovering fitness. Sunday was warm and sunny, and after comparing hangovers (none for me!) and saying goodbye to folk, we were on our leisurely way. We parked at the head of Loch Cluanie and finally set off at around 12:30pm with a wander along the road and a straightforward climb up Am Bathach.


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South Glen Shiel Ridge

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Loch Cluanie

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An Caorann Mor

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Am Bathach ridge

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On the ridge

It was hot work so we stopped for a break on the summit, before the steep descent to Bealach a' Choinich. The initial slopes up onto Ciste Dubh look fairly insignificant until they are towering right over you with the sun beating down :lol: .

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A Chralaig

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Ciste Dubh

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There is a fairly obvious path here, but even after fairly dry weather it is a bit mushy in places. Still, once on the Ciste Dubh summit ridge, the prospect is much better - an easy stroll along a narrow grassy ridge with the various pinnacles and crags pulling you onwards.

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Aonach Mheadhoin

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5 Sisters (4 of)

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Beinn Fhada

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North to Ciste Dubh

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Pinnacle on the Ciste Dubh ridge

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5 Sisters

The summit was another place for a long stop. It was nice to be reminded how good these hills are - I have definitely developed a preference for coastal hills over these endless green ridges in recent years, despite this being one of my favourite areas when I started coming here 20 years ago.

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Beinn Fhada from Ciste Dubh

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Ciste Dubh

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Jackie on the ridge

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South along the Ciste Dubh summit ridge

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Mam Sodhail

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Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan

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Am Bathach

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Black Cuillin beyond

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Mullach Fraoch-choire

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Southern top of Ciste Dubh

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Back to Ciste Dubh

I diverted over the southern bump on the ridgeline on the way back before we descended back to Bealach Choinich, first by the path we came up, then heading more directly to Sgurr an Fhuarail. Some interesting strata in the slabs in this direction.

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Jackie descending

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Slabs

Then decision time for Jackie - a third hill for the day? We had plenty of time so decided to go for it, despite the initial ascent looking oppressively steep in the late afternoon heat. It was hard work lower down, but higher up the angle eased a bit and traces of a path led us around the easiest line. Finally the cairn of Sgurr an Fhuarail, from where it was a short out and back to Aonach Mheadhoin itself.

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Ciste Dubh from Sgurr an Fhurail

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Loch Cluanie from Sgurr an Fhurail

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Aonach Air-chrith

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Aonach Air-chrith

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West down Glen Shiel

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Sgurr an Fhurail from Aonach Mheadhoin

Returning to Sgurr an Fhuarail, we thought there might be a way to contour around it, but there was no obvious route that would be worthwhile, so we went back up it again, passing another person heading in the opposite direction on the way back. Less than 10 people encountered today - quieter than expected. Perhaps the sunshine and heat was keeping them away!

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SE top of Sgurr an Fhuarail

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Ciste Dubh and Mullach Fraoch-choire

The descent to the Cluanie had a minor sting in the tail of 50m of re-ascent (something I must've been up/down at least a couple of times before, but had no recollection of :roll: ), at which point I managed to lose the path for a bit. Around about now, we decided that a meal in the Cluanie Inn was well deserved, and a much better option than cooking in the midges. We weren't sure how late they would serve, so I took off at speed in the hope that they would still be doing food up to 20:30 at least. Made it with 10 minutes to spare, to discover that they actually served until 21:45 - always handy to know! Slightly posher surroundings since the refurb, but the food was good and they were welcoming to sweaty filthy hillwalkers 8) .

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Across Am Bathach to A Chralaig

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Creag a Mhaim and Druim Shionnach

Then back to the car to pitch our tent near the head of Loch Cluanie. The midges were not too bad at first, rapidly moving on to horrendous by the time the tent was half-pitched. A rather claustrophobic, sweaty night was endured :? .

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The midges were no better in the morning so we skipped breakfast and got on the road as fast as possible. I had to be on a train south this evening for a meeting in Penrith the next day; initially Jackie had considered staying out a couple more days, dropping me at a convenient bus stop, but she was pretty worn out from the weekend, and in the end we decided we just wanted a short walk followed by a shower and change of clothes at home. It looked to be even hotter than yesterday.

I misjudged the walk - we probably should have headed back to Morvich and picked a hill with a reasonably-defined path on it, but instead I decided that Meall Dubh would be a handy quickie on our way home. It may well have a good track 1/3 of the way up, but the other 2/3 through bog and heather was not to Jackie's taste today :lol: .


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Parking by the main road at the foot of the windfarm track, we headed up in the almost unbearable heat, enjoying the brief excursion through a plantation. We soon reached the high point on the track, from where we had to break away and crash through heather. A slight error led to us crossing the Allt an Eoin at a waterfall - more awkward, but quite attractive - before being left with further heathery wastes to cross to reach the summit.

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Glen Moriston and Ben Loinne

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Carn Ghlusaid across Glen Moriston

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Waterfall on Allt an Eoin

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Meall Fuar-mhonaidh and Glen Moriston

Meall Dubh doesn't make for an overly exciting ascent (I think I preferred my previous route across Beinn an Eoin, but there isn't much in it), but it certainly has good views west from the summit, looking directly down Loch Loyne and Loch Claunie. We decided that this deserved a good long sit just as the sun went in and the breeze increased, meaning I had to get my jacket out :roll: .

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South to the Aonachs and Ben Tee

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Jackie on Meall Dubh

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West to Knoydart

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Loch Loinne and Ben Loinne

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Carn Ghlusaid

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Ben Loinne and Loch Cluanie

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Summit shenanigans

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Success!

We partly retraced our steps, following traces of path here and there which kept disappearing. Largely our route back was never more than 100m from our route of ascent, although it felt different. Eventually at the car, we headed for home and a good wash!

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Carn Ghlusaid

A great extended weekend, much aided by the meet that was in the middle if it. Cheers to Jonathan for organising, and to Graeme for running a quiz that we could win :lol: .
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malky_c
 
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Re: Ratagan summer meet part 2 - summits and sweating

Postby past my sell by date » Sat Jul 27, 2019 1:27 pm

I quite like wind farms on flat boring moorland, but allowing one in Glen Moriston - shocking :( :( :(
past my sell by date
Mountaineer
 
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