walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)

Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)


Postby GillC » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:34 pm

Route description: The Brack and Cnoc Coinnich, Ardgartan

Corbetts included on this walk: The Brack

Date walked: 14/09/2013

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 7.75 km

Ascent: 931m

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Having rifled my folder containing hills on my radar, and those missed in the past, I suggested to Margaret that we retry The Brack. We ventured out on this climb last year but we had started out by heading south along the Coilessan road beside the loch, a long haul round, trudge up through the trees, only to get knee deep in bog with thick low cloud cover the hill,,,we decided enough was enough, had lunch sitting on the stile by the trees, then marched back to the car lol
1  Last years trip, same jacket,,different day  lol.JPG
Last years trip,,same jacket lol


This time, we decided to head round to the North and straight up!

Neither of us was too worried about time, in fact,,for us, this was a late start, leaving Glasgow well after 10am.

Parking up at the Ardgarten Visitor Centre, we headed off not much before 12noon, a good forest track for the first few kilometres with smashing sunny views up to the South of the Cobbler, which took on a whole new personality from this angle, and also the looming North face of The Brack itself.
2 Views to the Cobbler.JPG
views up to the Cobbler from the forest track

3 First views of the North face.JPG
Early glimpse of the North face


After the switchback and joining of another track from the left (the Cat Crag loop) it's not far on until you come to the white pole and marker post for the hill route to The Brack itself.
4, ITS A SIGN!.JPG
ITS A SIIIGGGNNNN!


You immediately scramble up a steep rocky section but it only last for 2 small pushes before relaxing a bit but continuing to wind upwards under the jaggy pines and round and over rocks and tree roots. My knees have been playing up since the very steep descent off Stuc an lochain a few weeks back,,so I decided to use poles for this today. Had to put them aside once or twice to use hands instead.

With the end of the trees in site, the upper crags showed their face again. We didn't bother with the stile,,its seriously high off the ground,,bad enough for me but poor Margarets wee legs,,easier to take a step or two to the right and step over the wire fence.
5 The stile at the top of the trees.JPG
The stile at the treeline


The path climbs steadily and crosses the burn at a level just above a waterfall. The burn cascades down from above and must be a wonderful site in spate,,not sure how this would affect the crossing,,its fairly narrow and a few boulders around to help you over.
6, the stream crossing point , above the waterfall.JPG
Crossing point on the burn, above the waterfall


Continuing the climb up, it's advised to stay to the left of the crags above,,these sit below the huge North face of The Brack and are covered in Rowan trees growing out of what appears to be solid rock. A crow sitting somewhere up there, calling out to his pals, they must have know there was food coming lol
8 A girl on the up!.JPG
A girl on the up


Some parts of the climb up were a bit wet and boggy, but nothing we couldn't skirt round a bit or hop over. The views back to the Cobbler, with Narnain appearing when we got higher up were fantastic. Ime however didn't show face much at all until later. North up the Rest and Be Thankful, you could see various weather fronts moving in, some drifting past with only a misty residue of the rain hitting us, while others came closer and over, meaning we had to don our waterproof jackets for a bit.
16 Ime, Cobbler and Narnain from The Brack.jpg
Ime The Cobbler and Narnain, looking back

7 View up the Rest and Be Thankful.JPG
Views up the Rest and Be Thankful


The road below is never really out of earshot, todays lovely sunny weather had brought the bikes out and we heard the roars and screams of different engines hurtling up or down.

We stopped often, just to take in the view, with the cloud moving so quickly, the light changed constantly. Ben Lomond in full sun and changing to black shade within seconds. The climb is not a tough one, especially as we just took it easy and we were soon at the shoulder. The views from here down over Loch Long, Gareloch, the Clyde estuary and Firth of Clyde, Ailsa Craig and even the Arran hills, amazing. We carried on across the shoulder, passing a sizeable and fairly deep wee lochan with some interesting reed formations and reflections. We could see a small cross shape at the top of the hill against the skyline, an aerial or something? don't know,,but never saw it when we got to the top.

On reaching the shoulder, The WH guide simply states "From here, the path becomes obvious and the last final ascent leads to the OS trig point of The Brack" However, the obvious path passes the lochan and only on looking back and up at a gap in the rock, do you see the path, footsteps cut into the slope, some 75 to 100yards behind us. ( you should note,,the path up is just BEFORE the lochan, at a big rock)
9 Mirror.JPG
Like a mill pond

10 smashing reflections on the lochan at the shoulder.JPG
Smashing reflections

11 The view up to the top from the lochan.JPG
Up to the top from the lochan


We retraced our steps back a bit but ended up just heading across, on the South West of the lochan, straight over to the upward path. This was a great wee slog up the hill, and just as I was recounting someone elses glee at seeing the trig point simply appear as they peeked of the rocks,,,same happened here. Just as you climb up to the level,,you are THERE! lol

The moving cloud and drizzly rain had settled over the hill so we couldn't see much over 50yards so we decided to have lunch first, knowing the cloud would pass quickly and save our summit pics until it cleared a bit. Sure enough,, didn't take long and with pics taken, we had a wander round, taking in the views.
12 can see the Firth of Clyde and beyond.JPG
Over the Firth of Clyde to the Arran hills

13 The obligatory trig shot.JPG
The obligatory trig shot

14 nice to have time to wander the summit for a while.JPG
nice to have time to wander the summit for a while


I wanted to wander over the top to see the route we would have taken last year, if we'd bothered lol, Although we couldn't see where we had broken the treeline, we could see more or less where we reached and what was in between, just wasn't worth the risk at the time, had read of others getting lost and coming off the wrong way, besides, here we were enjoying another visit.

We opted to return by our ascent and headed off, keeping in mind the apparent "obvious path" from the shoulder we followed down to the East side of the lochan, maybe it was the grass etc but the path up is far from obvious, but no biggy really, just worth noting,,you should really turn uphill BEFORE the lochan (even the lochan doesn't get a mention on the WH guide) The muddier sections of the path were fairly high up so we squelched our way through them and down the path. As we continued down, we reached a point, still on the path, that just didn't seem familiar to either of us,, although not particularly high, we were above a sheer drop to the burn, couldn't remember being that steep on the way up, so, we decided to head slightly NW, but the ground cover showed no sign of a path at all and some very heavy ground cover. No problems with visibility, just couldn't see the path,,so we continued over a bit, realising there was a sharp drop in front, we sneaked a wee look over the top and could see the point at the trees where we had crossed the burn and stile on the way up. We carried on round and decided to head down to the rocky gully. We were now under the North face of the hill and above us, the crow from earlier, was still sending up his call, which was beginning to sound like maniacal laughter lol

I went ahead with the poles as there was no way of knowing what was under our feet, big gaps, rocks etc,, tricky footing. After getting down a bit, we cut across the ground under the lower crags which we should have kept to the right of on the way down!!!

This section was very hard on the ankles, and Margarets sore toe as we were walking across a steep slope with a lot of rocks, coupled with the grass covered gaps around them it was decidedly fiddly.
15 Margaret pointing out the error of our ways  lol or is that the way of our error.JPG
Margaret point out the error of our ways, or the way of our error


Eventually, we caught sight of the path running up beside the burn and we could then continue down. Its funny how some of the rocky steps here seemed so much bigger on the way down,,again,,my old knees were feeling it but we soon reached the burn, crossed over and back down to the trees.

The path down through the trees is great, fiddly, rocky and scrambly. Many of the trees have been trimmed back a bit to keep it clear enough to pass, but not overly so as to make it seem too open. The poles had to be put to the side or handed down a bit more hear,,hands and bum required on some bits. Soon back down to the forest track and our stroll back down to the car (and loo)

We had a fab day, our kind of scrambly climb for the most part, our 'alternative' route down marred it slightly but hey,,should we just view this as adding to the challenge? (prob wouldn't have said that on Saturday lol)

Still, had a smashing day. :clap: :clap:
Attachments

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

User avatar
GillC
Walker
 
Posts: 1525
Munros:282   Corbetts:42
Grahams:31   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)

Postby Bod » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:48 pm

Great summit shot there GillC, and nice photos. ....you sure had a crackin' day :D :D :D
User avatar
Bod
Walker
 
Posts: 1527
Munros:282   Corbetts:51
Grahams:30   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:24
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

Re: Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)

Postby PeteR » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:48 pm

This was one of my very earliest hills. Did it in the p*****g rain , with no views whatsoever :lol: Still, that hasn't put me off at all :D

I'm glad you got some sun and the views too :D

Like you I missed the obvious path for that final climb. I do remember though standing by that lochan in the mist for a few moments just soaking up the eerie silence :D
User avatar
PeteR
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2048
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:176   Hewitts:3
Islands:9
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)

Postby GillC » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:01 am

Ha ha PeteR,,all we heard at the lochan was the eerie sound of us "I cant see a path, can you see a path? this isn't obvious" lol Still,,we had a wander there to see the amazing views.
User avatar
GillC
Walker
 
Posts: 1525
Munros:282   Corbetts:42
Grahams:31   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)

Postby JimboJim » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:11 pm

GillC wrote:Ha ha PeteR,,all we heard at the lochan was the eerie sound of us "I cant see a path, can you see a path? this isn't obvious" lol Still,,we had a wander there to see the amazing views.


Nearly a year later, but agree entirely with your observation re the "clear path," having found it the same way as you!
Was none too sure what the large "Bivi Boulder" was either.

Also, is the 'lochan' what I have heard refered to as "Argyll's Bowling Green," anyone?

Jimmy
User avatar
JimboJim
Walker
 
Posts: 619
Munros:236   Corbetts:38
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: Good Craic on The Brack (a hill a year in the taking)

Postby JimboJim » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:18 pm

Also, is the 'lochan' what I have heard refered to as "Argyll's Bowling Green," anyone?

Jimmy[/quote]

Ah, found answer via google! Silly me.
User avatar
JimboJim
Walker
 
Posts: 619
Munros:236   Corbetts:38
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:22
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alan MacRae, dansound, Graeme D, MCraig, PeteR, snjennings, Sunset tripper and 71 guests