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Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:26 pm
by snodland

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There are few reasons I would ever be found at such an early time (8.15a.m.) on a Saturday morning at Glasgow central station. Aside from the possibility of being on my way home after a Friday night out that ended in the Bridal Suite of the Central Hotel next to several lines of Peruvian Flake, a three quarter empty brandy bottle and a lady from Airdrie who had first aroused my suspicion when she sang the Tenor part of “Nessun Dorma” on the Karaoke......(but enough about the plans for my mate’s Stag Night next week) it was actually because I was on my way to Arran.
Fortunately I go walking with a group. A good one too! GHMC. No Meet up Group enormous number of walkers catastrophe. No money down. No profit motive. Just Enthusiastic amateurs who just love to pass on their great experiences in the hills of Scotland and further afield. And so my early arrival at the train station was indeed in anticipation of my first ever trip to Arran.
21 years in this province and despite seeing the Manhattan Skyline profile of Arran from various points along the West of Scotland, both North and South of Glasgow I had never...ever..been there. So I was especially glad when the next walk on the programme was Goatfell.
It looked so good from the Ferry
Goatfell, Arran from ferry (1280x960).jpg

Holy Island in Lamlash Bay from the Arran Ferry (2) (1280x960).jpg

We opted to walk from Brodick all the way up and down. It didn’t half look a long way away.
Goatfell from Brodick (2) (1280x960).jpg

We passed the Arran Brewery, making a mental note to return there if time allowed. The path is easy to follow....or would be if it wasn’t for a “danger – logging operations” sign on the main path pretty soon after the start. We followed the diversion sign up to the right and after passing the little Hydro dam ran into ......logging operations. Though the one geezer with the chainsaw was very pleasant and assured us we would join the main path. I would suggest that at Grid Reference NS007384 you ignore the “logging operation” sign and just carry straight on. (though as long as follow the estate track and don’t go through the gate at NS014387 you come back to the main path anyway)
The path gains height quite quickly (that sound better than “the path is dead steep”). Eventually you break out onto Moorland, though still with a good but hard work path. This takes you to a ridge at about the 600m contour at which point you turn west and start to pick your way along a path but through boulders. Scrambling is not quite the word as the path is still recognisable but A bit of hand on rock stuff is needed from here on in though it is never, never dangerous......we were fortunate to have dry rocks, I wouldn’t like to be heading down them after rain or snow.
At the top there is a wonderful vista back down into Brodick
Brodick Bay and Holy Island in Lamlash Bay from summit of Goatfell (4).JPG

I was so, so and I really mean so impressed with the beautiful looking ridge to the North Summit and across to Caisteal Abhail. I have to say Cir Mhor looks good too!
Cir Mhor (l) and Caisteal Abhail (centre) from summit of Goatfell (2) (1280x960).jpg

Caisteal Abhail from Goatfell summit (2) (1280x960).jpg
Beinn Tarsuinn on Arran, in distance Mullach Buidhe from Goatfell (1280x960).jpg

I would say it was like Argyle Street in Glasgow to try and convey how busy the path and the summit were. However this was the weekend of T in the Park so all the NEDS you normally see in Argyle Street of a Saturday were away at Kinross mixing with the students and Middle Class kids from Bearsden who couldn’t afford to get to Glastonbury....and so it was probably busier than Argyle Street.
However if you have climbed the path up Goatfell you basically want to sit there, enjoy your lunch and take in the view.
Looking out to Firth of Clyde from Goatfell summit (1280x960).jpg

So it was a bit disconcerting that even at 876 metres up an unwelcome guest suddenly poked his head above the parapet.
Hello - I think I sense some pickings! (1280x960).jpg

There was only one thing on this geezer’s mind
Gimme your lunch, all your food c'mon Now (1280x960).jpg

And beejesus he didn’t half look nasty
Hand Over all the Food you have and Noone get's hurt or crapped on (1280x960).jpg

We had stopped a bit more than was necessary on the way up so we knew the return trip was going to be tight in order for us to get the 16.40 return ferry...don’t worry there is a later one.
I have to own up to my own involvement in delaying us here. At the head of the group I inadvertently missed the main path down and started leading us towards the Corrie path, which comes rather steeply into a little hamlet called Corrie. We lost about 5-10 minutes getting back to the main path across some peaty, bog and tussock. Getting to the Arran Brewery at about 16.00 we thought the extra time it would take us to walk into Brodick Ferry Terminal would make things too tight and so opted to take on some drink – it is a brewery for gawd’s sake!). It was only later that we found out that on Saturdays a bus leaves the bus stop on the road near the brewery at 16.10 so we could have abandoned our fine principles of walking all the way and got back to get the 16.40 ferry as planned.
No matter. I walked solo into Brodick
I saw a lovely view of Beinn Nuis...I wouldn't half like to walk that one day
Beinn Nuis from Brodick (3) (960x1280).jpg

and some more wonderful views of Goatfell
The worst attempt to hide a mountain....ever. Goatfell from Brodick (3) (960x1280).jpg

7th hole at Brodick Golf Course...and er...Goatfell in background (1280x960).jpg

and wound up in the Douglas Hotel. It’s sole attraction is not due to the prices (£4.00 for a bottle of Corona, I think I would have had to get a mortgage to order a pint of Peroni – but then anywhere that sells Peroni on draught these days is generally not worth bothering about.No the main reason was that they were the only bar I plucked up the courage to ask if I could have the England v Sri Lanka cricket game on the widescreen telly.....I don’t know, the greatest game that God invented and one at which Scotland is punching above its weight and yet they continue to think football is worth following around these parts.

On the ferry home, Ailsa Craig peeked around the corner of Holy Island.
Ailsa Craig appears from around Holy Island. Photo from the Arran ferry (1280x960).jpg
It looked good. What a day. I can’t wait to get back to Arran and have a go at some of the other ridges or do some trekking along Glen Rosa, coastal walks etc....

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:11 am
by kevsbald
Great stuff! If you loved Goatfell, you will love Glen Rosa and Beinn Nuis, Cir Mhor. I am saving Caisteal Abhail for another day. Jings, that seagull looked like he had stepped out of an alley in Glasgow.

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:41 pm
by alfredo143
Good pictures. need to do that walk sometime. Like your sense of humour. :lol:

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:15 am
by milly
That is one cheeky seagull indeed!

Looked like a great day - Arran def worth a visit soon

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:49 am
by Johnny Corbett
Enjoyed that, funny and informative. I too will be making my first trip to Arran next week so it's good to read a report on one of the hills i hope to climb.

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:58 am
by Dunfie
Good report - very entertaining. I am heading over to Arran in October so will be up Goat Fell.

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:22 pm
by mikej1962
A great report. Can I ask, do you think it would be "sensible" to use this route with a very lively cocker spaniel? I'm thinking if the weathers fine I'd like to try it with my wife and dog. I don't want her running off cliff edges at high speed.(Thats my dog, not my wife :lol: )

Re: Goatfell, Arran

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:06 am
by Johnny Corbett
mikej1962 wrote:Hi,
A great report. Can I ask, do you think it would be "sensible" to use this route with a very lively cocker spaniel? I'm thinking if the weathers fine I'd like to try it with my wife and dog. I don't want her running off cliff edges at high speed.(Thats my dog, not my wife :lol: )
This route is fine for a dog, it's a path all the way up. You might want to leash the dog up once you get to the summit though.