Two hill days on the trot is normally enough for my ageing legs so, when a weather window stretches away for three, and coincides with the July walkhighlands meet in Kintail, it’s going to be about conserving energy.
“Enjoy, don’t endure” is a hill maxim I try to live by. Sandwiching a big day between a pair of supposedly shorter ones was therefore going to be the obvious strategy: Am Bathach would be the starting solution.
Although it’s straightforward, short and uncomplicated, it’s still a hill well worth putting the effort into; a sample of the surroundings on offer.
Once resting peacefully on the close-cropped grass of the summit, temptation winked. It revealed just enough, as if beckoning with an alluring “come-on.” After all, Ciste Dubh is one of my favourite Munros. With a child-like simplicity, it’s pointy. Perched between Affric and Kintail, where better to sit and test your knowledge and memory of the surrounding hills.
But I resisted. There were more miles to go over the weekend - more plans afoot - Friday night burn-out is not a good sign.
With a view down Loch Cluanie, the walk ends gently and the long, low ridge of Beinn Loine fills the horizon. If day two isn't too punishing, maybe …
Now, where are the midges?
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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.