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1 post • Page 1 of 1
Return to Goatfell
by tomyboy73 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:21 pm
Route description: Goatfell, from Brodick Castle
Corbetts included on this walk: Goat Fell
Date walked: 15/03/2014
Distance: 18 km
Ascent: 892m2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I first climbed Goatfell as a daft 16 year old one crazy summer with some of my school friends some 20 odd years ago, i`ve already stated this before in an Arran report, but it wasn`t until i returned on sunday with my son , Tom, 17, that i realised how crazy it was. I could only remember that we didn`t use a path, a map , compass, spare clothes or indeed food or water. It was when Goatfell first came in to view on this walk that i remembered what we done, straight off the path from about 350m heading west straight onto the slopes of the hill climbing up and over granite rocks to the summit. It must have took us hours ! The path that we took on sunday was very easy and much quicker than i thought , but that may have been down to the wind and rain which meant we kept our heads down and marched on instead of taking scenery breaks, not much use of the camera today ! As it is I`ve been "stuck" in the house the past six weeks or so helping my wife back to full fitness after an operation and been dieing to get out. So with Jim unable to go I asked Tom if he fancied it. The saturday night before i had to pack two bags instead of one and also had to fit Tom into my boots. This meant i had to go out into the veranda to retrieve my old boots , which have been housing some pansies since september. Once i yanked them out and emptied the soil from them, which subsequently blew into my downstairs neighbour`s veranda, , I tried them on to find that they were still wearable and surprisingly dry, good old Brasher`s.
Next morning it was an early start, bus, train, boat all in by 10 am, Tom didn`t know what hit him , he`s never saw 8oclock on a sunday morning since he was born ! But he was fine once he was on the boat marvelling at the winchmen in there flourescent vests haul in their thick rope, he`s hoping to start a naval engineering course at Strathclyde uni, next term.
We were leaving the grey skies of the mainland behind and Arran, although the peaks were covered in cloud, looked slightly more promising.
But when we arrived the wind had picked up significantly. it was raining slightly and Goatfell was covered in cloud. I told Tom we could just do a low level walk, but he insisted that we go for it, that`s my boy . We took the http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/arran/brodick-bay.shtml Fisherman`s walk along the beach and golf course to the car park at the bottom of Brodick Castle, and also Arran Brewery, which was closed, , damn, i could have gone with a nice Arran Blonde. We walked up through the forrest path and onto the open grassland and were battered with the wind , it was only light rain but with the wind it was pretty wet.
We followed the path up onto the ridge of Meall Breac , which gave us shelter from the west wind and Tom enjoyed climbing through the granite rocks.
We stopped up here for a bite to eat and it wasn`t long before we reached the top, just a small snowfield to negotiate then we were there.
We didn`t stay on top for long as it was so windy and there wasn`t a thing to be seen . We had to hold onto the cairns to stay upright as we took summit photos of each other.
We headed off quickly and wre out of the wind in an instant, amazing, but it was a valuable lesson for Tom , in how weather can change so quickly on the hills. We made our way down quickly so that we could catch the 4.30 ferry home . Maybe not the best day on the hills but a test of mettle for my boy and he came through it with flying colours even if his old dad was blowing through his arse for most of it .
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