Ciste Dhubh

Summary for Ciste Dhubh

Ciste Dhubh is an munro in Scotand and is located in the area Glen Affric and Kintail as defined by SMC. (and lies in region known as Five Sisters of Kintail )

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HeightGrid Ref.PronunciationMeaning
979 metres / 3212 feetNH062166Keeshtyer GhooBlack chest
LocationAccess
Glen Affric and KintailCorrielair Estate, tel: 01738 828573
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Details for Ciste Dhubh

Ciste Dhubh is a mountain situated in the Scottish Highlands between Glen Shiel and Glen Affric. It is a long distance from any centres of population, with Kyle of Lochalsh being almost 30 kilometres away to the west north-west. The mountain reaches a height of 979 metres (3212 feet) and is classed as a Munro and a Marilyn hill. It is generally associated with the Glen Shiel mountains to the west, although it is the most isolated of that group and is often climbed separately. Ciste Dhubh translates from the Gaelic as “Black Chest”; one possible explanation of this is that the mountain's summit rocks often show as dark in colour when viewed from a distance even in good light conditions (see picture). The mountain should not be confused with another Munro, Sgurr na Ciste Dhuibhe, seven kilometres to the west.

Ciste Dhubh has a prominent pointed peak with flanks which are predominantly grassy with some craggy areas on its northern slopes. The summit is precipitous and rocky, and the southern ridge is steep and in places quite narrow, although it offers few dangers for walkers. The mountain also has ridges to the north west and north which descend to upper Glen Affric. There are two small corries on either side of the northern ridge. Ciste Dhubh falls to deep glens on all sides except to the south where the mountain is connected to the adjoining Munro of Aonach Meadhoin by a col with a height of 591 metres called the Bealach a’ Choinich (Pass of the Bog). This pass, which lives up to its translated name, is strategically important as it also connects to the adjacent Corbett of Am Bathach and is vital to the walker who wants to climb the mountain with either or both of these adjoining hills.

All drainage from Ciste Dhubh finds its way to the east coast of Scotland over 80 kilometres away. This is surprising for a mountain which stands only 15 kilometres from Loch Duich on the west coast. The mountains north, east and west flanks fall into deep valleys which contain the streams which form the head waters of the River Affric and takes water away north east to the Beauly Firth. Drainage from the southern slopes of the mountain goes south to Loch Cluanie and then east via the River Moriston and Loch Ness to the Moray Firth.

The most common ascent of Ciste Dhubh starts on the A87 road just east of the Cluanie Inn on the shores of Loch Cluanie at grid reference NH082118 . From here it is a four kilometre walk up the valley of the Allt a’ Chaorainn Bhig to reach the Bealach a’ Choinich; an alternative way of reaching this bealach is by climbing the Corbett of Am Bathach which stands to the east of the valley. From the bealach it is a steep ascent up grassy slopes until the southern ridge is reached which is followed to Ciste Dhubh’s rocky summit. It is possible to ascend the mountain from the Alltbeithe youth hostel in upper Glen Affric by climbing the northern ridge.

The return to Loch Cluanie can include the adjoining Munro of Aonach Meadhoin, which is a 400 metre ascent from the Bealach a’ Choinich. The view from the top of Ciste Dhubh is very good: the mountain is surrounded by higher peaks but none of them are too close (Ciste Dhubh has a prominence of 388 metres) and the nearby mountains of Mullach Fraoch-choire, A' Chràlaig and Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan are well seen in detail.

The number of registered munro-madness users who have climbed Ciste Dhubh is Twenty

Morag's picture
Morag marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Mon 22 Dec 2014
Simon Williamson's picture
Simon Williamson marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Sun 17 Aug 2014
stu's picture
stu marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Tue 10 Sep 2013
Scunner's picture
Scunner marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Sun 27 May 2012
soc079's picture
soc079 marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Tue 27 Mar 2012
BMrider's picture
BMrider marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Fri 21 Oct 2011
Brian's picture
Brian marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Wed 21 Sep 2011
billmyl's picture
billmyl marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Fri 26 Aug 2011
GRABOYLE@GMAIL.COM's picture
GRABOYLE@GMAIL.COM marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Sat 21 May 2011
ashog's picture
ashog marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Mon 27 Sep 2010
Chis's picture
Chis marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Mon 28 Jun 2010
reido_chris_@hotmail.com's picture
reido_chris_@ho... marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Sat 05 Jun 2010
Fhuaran's picture
Fhuaran marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Mon 19 Oct 2009
Tim Hawkes's picture
Tim Hawkes marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Thu 30 Jul 2009
grahammclaren's picture
grahammclaren marked Ciste Dhubh as bagged on Mon 13 Jul 2009