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Arran 3: The Goat and the Virgin's Breast
by Phil the Hill » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:58 pm
Date walked: 30/05/2012
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 10.9 km
Ascent: 1099mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The others had finished their geology trip (see my earlier trip reports) and the whole team were now ready to tackle the Arran Corbetts. The obvious one to start with was Goat Fell. As we had two cars, we decided to do a linear walk from Sannox to Brodick Castle, going up by the Cioch na h-Oighe (Virgin's Breast) and East Glen Sannox ridge, and coming down by the Tourist Path.
We left one car in the Brodick Castle car park (as both drivers were National Trust or NTS members, there were no parking charges) and drove round to Sannox in the other car. The cloud was down on the tops as we headed up Glen Sannox and soon turned up the ridge towards the Cioch.
093 Glen Sannox by prwild, on Flickr
After the initial climb the ridge flattened out before rising ahead of us in a rocky cliff face. We picked up a path which tranversed to the right below the crags, climbing steadily.
094 Snack Break by prwild, on Flickr
095 The path up by prwild, on Flickr
Eventually we succumbed to temptation and started scrambling up the slabs.
096 Scrambling up slabs by prwild, on Flickr
After scrambling up for a while we emerged on the summit of the Cioch and could see the pinnacles of the ridge ahead emerging from the mist.
097 Cioch na h-Oighe by prwild, on Flickr
098 The team on the Cioch summit by prwild, on Flickr
101 The ridge ahead by prwild, on Flickr
As we were to find, there are some impressive pinnacles on the ridges of Arran, but also good clear paths which bypass most of the difficulties.
102 Path along the ridge by prwild, on Flickr
We got the odd glimpse of Glen Sannox from the ridge.
103 Glen Sannox Panorama by prwild, on Flickr
There were some impressive pinnacles on this section.
104 Pinnacles in the mist by prwild, on Flickr
105 Phil on the ridge by prwild, on Flickr
106 Andy on the ridge by prwild, on Flickr
107 Misty ridge by prwild, on Flickr
The top of Mullach Buidhe was a ridge with various bumps which might be the high point. I took care to visit all of these, even though (according to my Hill Lists app) it is only a Corbett Top.
108 Snack break on Mullach Buidhe by prwild, on Flickr
Descending from Mullach Buidhe towards North Goatfell, a navigational dispute broke out as the path became less clear and opinions differed as to whether we were bearing too far round to the right. But by sticking to the path and trusting the compass we eventually reached the bealach and glimpsed North Goatfell ahead.
109 Are we at the bealach? by prwild, on Flickr
110 North Goatfell by prwild, on Flickr
We could now see the ridge of Mullach Buidhe behind us and the path down into Coire Lan (which we had almost taken).
111 Mullach Buidhe by prwild, on Flickr
Another pinnacled section followed, again with a clear path.
112 Pinnacles on the ridge by prwild, on Flickr
113 The team on the ridge by prwild, on Flickr
We emerged on a cloud-covered Goat Fell summit. We had still to encounter anyone else, even at this popular spot.
114 Phil at Goatfell summit by prwild, on Flickr
The tourist path was easy to follow, complete with steps in places and we soon emerged form the clag and could see our route down.
115 Goatfell Tourist Path Panorama by prwild, on Flickr
We could also glimpse the ridge we had come along.
116 Head of Coire Lan by prwild, on Flickr
Keith and I sped ahead, thinking Carol and Andy were delayed looking at "interesting" rocks. But when we turned back to see what was keeping them, we found Carol had slipped and hurt her ankle. It's the easy descents that lull you into a false sense of security after the scrambly ridges.
Holy Island could be seen ahead, beyond Brodick Bay.
117 Brodick Bay by prwild, on Flickr
118 Coming down the Tourist Path by prwild, on Flickr
Keith and I had a further navigational difficulty in the grounds of Brodick Castle, failing to consult the map and missing our turning onto the driveway back to the car park, resulting in our having to backtrack and catch up with Carol and Andy again.
119 Highland Coos at Brodick Castle by prwild, on Flickr
120 Brodick Castle by prwild, on Flickr
121 Azaleas by prwild, on Flickr
Returning to Keith's car, we drove back up to Sannox to retrieve mine. The Cioch could now be seen from the road.
122 The Cioch from Sannox by prwild, on Flickr
If you have two cars available, this is an excellent route over Goat Fell. No doubt it could also be done by using the bus.
by The Rodmiester » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:10 pm
by Steven001 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:19 pm
We were planning on getting the bus and leaving the cars at home.
Great pictures as well!
by Phil the Hill » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:28 pm
do you happen to have this route available on an online map? Just to make sure we don't get lost
I just created the route in Memory Map, saved it as a GPX and uploaded it to WH. It isn't saved from a GPS as I went along so is only approximate. It's easy enough to follow on the ground by taking the paths. The only tricky bit in the mist is descending from Mullach Buidhe towards North Goatfell, but if you stick by the most obvious path and trust in your compass you should be alright.
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