A rutted surface and a swirling wind in Dingwall combined to make any sort of passing game a lottery as both sides struggled for rhythm.
Neil Lennon, who had made seven changes with Champions League qualifiers and a Scottish Cup Final on the horizon, saw his side take an early lead as they looked to break a run of five away games without a win.
Andre Hainault conceded a needless corner from which Kris Commons picked out Anthony Stokes (4) in the six-yard box and he had time and space to swivel and lash home his sixth of the season.
Steffen Wholfarth had a half chance while Tony Watt’s driven cross caused some panic in the home defence as Celtic forced the early pace.
Vigurs had Lukasz Zaluska at full stretch with a free-kick but the County man’s next meaningful contribution was more telling (41) as found the top corner from the angle after Richard Brittain had cleverly rolled a free-kick into his path.
Watt had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside before the interval while Stokes worked Michael Fraser and an Efe Ambrose header was hacked off the line by Brittain as Celtic looked for a response.
Wohlfarth planted a free header wide at the near post and the big German was inches away from getting a toe on a wicked delivery from Evangelos Ikonomou but County’s late flurry failed to reap any additional reward.