M242 | 934 m. | 3065 ft.
Translation: Obscure, but probably NOT the executioner
Pronuncation: am bastar

After our delightful excursion to Knoydart, Inverie and Meall Buidhe we took the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale and arrived at the Sligachan Hotel around midday. We were definitely not the only people there :-). But soon we left the hustle and bustle of the hotel’s surroundings and the road intersection behind us and climbed the path beside the Allt Dearg Beag.

The going was easy, the path was obvious and the weather was okay with only one stiff shower accompanying our progress. After three kilometres we reached the steep and rocky hillside that blocks easy entrance into Corrie a’Basteir and forms the left side of the Basteir Gorge (orographically, that is). Frank and I followed the more or less obvious path first through scree and then over some ledges in the rocks. Soon the path passed above the Basteir Gorge and took us into beautiful Corrie a’Basteir. We paused for ten minutes in the corrie and took in the views of Pinnacle Ridge, Am Basteir and the Basteir Tooth. A great place to be in the sunshine which we were lucky enough to have on this Saturday afternoon.

You can never get enough of such views but we finally tore ourselves away from them and embarked on the steep climb towards Bealach a’Basteir which we reached just as heavy rain set in. Rats! I was a little slower than Frank so that when I reached the Bad Step in the ridge of Am Basteir Frank was already coming back and I decided that I would not continue to the summit in view of the very slippery surface of the basalt rocks.

Instead we returned to Bealach a’Basteir, contoured around the foot of Am Basteir, gained Bealach na Lice and continued to Bruach na Frithe which Frank climbed in thick clouds while I waited for him on the ridge. With the second Munro of this walk bagged by Frank we returned to Bealach na Lice and followed the well-cairned and easy path leading down into Fionn Choire and towards the Allt Dearg Mor. We continued on the path beside the burn until we reached Alltdearg House and then strolled along the A863 towards our car parked at Sligachan Hotel. From Sligachan it was but a short drive to Sconser Lodge Hotel where we spent a very agreeable evening at the bar.

This day was a short excursion into one of the most dramatic corries of the Cuillins. No views from the summits and some exposed scrambling on slippery rock on the ridge. A rather typical day for the Cuillins as far as our experience with these island hills goes!

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Total distance: 16508 m
Max elevation: 960 m
Min elevation: 6 m
Total climbing: 1483 m
Total descent: -1509 m
Total time: 06:55:30

2000 Am Basteir and Bruach na Frithe. I decided to climb them in one go in order to explore as much as possible of the features of Corrie a’ Basteir. From Sligachan Hotel I followed the path up the Allt Dearg Beag to where it forks at the waterfalls and this time did not continue on the path to Sgurr nan Gillean but went up the left bank of the Allt to a spot 2km further on where it meets a wall of rock and scree which guards the Basteir Gorge. I climbed up scree and bands of rock to find myself above the Gorge and below the Pinnacle Ridge of Sgurr nan Gillean which is a very impressive view from there. Following the Allt Dearg Beag to the Lochan in Corrie a’ Basteir I continued along the path which winds its way through the scree on the north eastern wall of the Corrie a’ Basteir to a place where it forks blow the awesome northern wall of Am Basteir. I continued up the left fork and climbed up to the Bealach a’ Basteir where I rested. Soon I embarked on climbing the east ridge of Am Basteir and made my way to about the middle of the ridge where an awkward vertical drop of about 2m blocks the way. I detoured and outflanked it on the southern side on some bands of rock which took me back to the crest and then to the summit of the hill. The wind freshening and some rain clouds comming in from the west I soon went back along the crest of the ridge to the vertical step which I climbed and made my way back to the Bealach a’ Basteir – not without some additional scrambling on the ridge. From there I returned down the scree to the fork below Am Basteir’s northern wall and followed the path to the Bealach nan Lice at the head of the Fionn Choire. On I went to Bruach na Frithe where the wind was so strong that I quickly returned to the Bealach nan Lice where I met a party of three hill walkers on their way up to the ridge. When light rain set in I made sure that I got down into the green Fionn Choire before it got too heavy. Further down the corrie the rain subsided and I strolled back on the grass to the path along the Allt Dearg Mor which after another hour and a half brought me back to Sligachan. To me the Corrie a’ Basteir and its three hills – Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir and Sgurr a’ Basteir – is a Cuillin gem and certainly worth another visit.

Description In the view from Sligachan, Am Basteir is the lower peak to the right of Sgurr nan Gillean with a prominent cleft and tower, The Bhasteir Tooth, to its right. It stands at the head of Coire a' Bhasteir and forms a narrow peak on the Main Ridge, its north face almost vertical and its south face above Lota Corrie only slightly less steep. The easiest route to Am Basteir is the east ridge, which is its left-hand ridge as seen from Sligachan, but a recent rockfall on the crest of this ridge has left a difficult gap to be crossed and a rope should be taken to safeguard this passage.From Sligachan follow the path, which is also the route to Sgurr nan Gillean, southwards across the moor for about 3½ kilometres. Before reaching Coire Riabhach climb south-west onto the low rounded ridge which overlooks the Bhasteir Gorge and go up it towards the foot of the Pinnacle Ridge. Before reaching the lower rocks of this ridge, bear rightwards to make a rising traverse across scree, grass and slabby rocks to the Bealach a' Bhasteir. From this col scramble up the east ridge of Am Basteir, which becomes narrower and more exposed until a gap is reached where recent rockfall has left a difficult descent. Go down a sloping ledge on the south side of the ridge until it is possible to climb down to a lower ledge from which it is easy to return to the crest. The summit is a short distance further.