My 1st report on the 1st of 21st

Route: Ciste Dhubh and Am Bathach, Cluanie

Corbetts: Am Bathach

Date walked: 01/01/2021

Time taken: 4.75 hours

My first report on WH just has to start with a fantastic snowy walk on the 1st day of the new year :wink:
I've been following the website for just over a year and I'm so grateful to everyone for fabulous ideas and recommendations. I'm not very confident at writing and English being my second language doesn't make it easier. However, since I do all walks on my own I often feel the need to share my thoughts, sightings and beautiful experiences; otherwise they'll just stay inside me forever.

Being a fair weather walker made me take forecasters' advice to follow the sunshine in Kintail area. We've been blessed with heaps of fresh snow before the New Year's so I decided to stick to something lower - Am Bathach it is. Plus, there was a possibility of extending to Ciste Dhubh if it stays out of clouds and if I'm fast enough. None of which happened :wink:

Early drive on icy roads paid off with sightings of deer, a pine marten and a fox and with a view over bright full moon above the Brothers of Kintail. I was walking on fresh white powder from the first step. Having the privilege (and the hard work!) of being the first one on the hill I only followed the footprints of mountain hares. Some led me zig-zag and some straight up the steep ridge; I wonder what they were heading for? :think:
I experienced a wonderful misty first sunrise of 2021 reflecting on the clouds and Loch Cluanie. Happy New Year, beautiful world!

The ground was getting steeper and the snow deeper. I enjoyed the challenge of thinking about every next step and how deep my feet are going to sink :) As demanding as walking in the snow can be, I love the endurance and there's also something very relaxing and mind clearing about it. Just what we need after a tough year.
The cloud came over me for a while with gentle light snow. Skiing goggles on and I could see clearly again. As soon as I reached the ridge the clouds started lifting and the views over neighbouring mountains were breath-taking. Pure white munros of Glen Shiel everywhere I looked made me feel like being in Scottish Himalayas :D
However, Ciste Dhubh was still in clouds and by that point I knew I'll have enough snow walking for the day so I'll save it for another time. I took my time on the ridge trying to take in the beauty and peace of whiteness. The ascent onto the true summit of Am Bathach was steep and the edge of the ridge was covered with a very thick layer of wind blown snow so I walked just slightly on the eastern side of it. There was no real need for an ice axe as the snow was anything from icy, however, I wanted to have a little play with my new piece of gear. It sure helped me pull myself out of deep snow several times where the long hiking poles would be just too awkward.
Windy summit and quick photos while admiring views in all directions.
I absolutely love running down a steep snowy slope so I was on the col in no time. The rest of the way down into An Caorann Mor was quite slow going due to soft snow and bushy heather underneath. It just made me stop and look back and up Ciste Dhubh which was now clearing up. Its sharp ridge looked impressive and once again I felt like I was transported to the Himalayas.
I stopped by the still stream for lunch before making my way onto the first track of the day, although even that only showed animal footprints for most of the way. I kept on looking back, up and all around this fairy-tale land. I reached the road way too soon.

There were only three other cars parked at the lay-by. I met a friendly guy who followed my footsteps up the corbett.
I was in no rush leaving Glen Shiel but the scenic way back towards Beauly wasn't too bad after all. Besides, I spotted a bird which I've decided was a golden eagle (or the biggest buzzard I've ever seen) :D

What a fantastic adventure! Snow, wildlife, peace, unforgettable views and feelings of joy.
They say that the year is going to be a reflection of one's New Year's day. In that case, I'm ready.

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Comments: 5

Up the one I've been looking at every day

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn a' Bha'ach Ard
Date walked: 28/12/2020
Comments: 2
Views: 1635

Cloud race and Brocken spectre above Glen Feshie

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgòr Gaoith
Date walked: 29/11/2020
Views: 891


User avatar
Location: Beauly
Activity: Mountain Walker
Place: Torridon and Assynt

Munros: 44
Corbetts: 14
Fionas: 11
Wainwrights: 61
Hewitts: 44
Sub 2000: 14

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Trips: 1
Corbetts: 1


Trips: 2
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Joined: Jun 30, 2019
Last visited: Mar 24, 2024
Total posts: 5 | Search posts