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castle in the air

castle in the air


Postby litljortindan » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:07 pm

Route description: Caisteal Abhail, via North Glen Sannox

Corbetts included on this walk: Caisteal Abhail

Date walked: 19/04/2014

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 800m

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Drawn south west by the weather forecast and a desire to try out a trip via train, I decided on Caisteal Abhail with its back friendly, gently inclined north west ridge, not to mention the fantastic summit views. The train journey there was a bit on the long side but I picked up a book to read at the station and that helped pass the time. Plus it was interesting to see the various landmarks along the way from a less familiar viewpoint.
Just the one station change between Aberdeen and Ardrossan; exit south from Glasgow Queen Street and turn right at the beconed horse.
I do like the transport integration between Glasgow and Arran. Alight at Ardrossan and stroll over to the ferry office, albeit in a throng of hundreds. Then straight on to a bus on Arran at the other end of the ferry crossing. Maybe a mistake in retrospect as there are hire cars to be had but I had none and neither did I have any accommodation booked, trusting instead to my plan A of carrying my sleeping bag a short distance along the way (don't feel like I can carry too much just now without getting back pain).
Bus dropped me off at North Sannox Bridge car park and I set off west south west along the excellent path there. I hid my sleeping bag at the end of the forest (with some amount of relief) and probably made an error in following the path all the way past the second gorge indicated on the OS map. This then necessitated crossing said gorge, though at a relatively easy point. My new walking poles greatly assisted here and I managed my way across with only a little discomfort. This route does take you a bit away in the wrong direction though so can't recommend it -better probably to cross the stream earlier on.
I cut west and briefly considered going for the north ridge, having been up there in the past. I have to rethink everything at the moment though as I'm just not up to steep terrain. So not a difficult decision really to stick to the planned easy route. Despite. my problem back I'd say walking five miles a day has maintained if not improved my fitness and as long as I'm not on tricky ground I move reasonably well.
Once onto that curving north west ridge the rest of the walk was very easy.
Of course the other reason for choosing Casteal Abhail is that the views are sublime. This helped to propel me along the ridge. A bit of a worry towards the top that it might cloud over but only a temporary downturn in the conditions.
I spent as long as I could soaking in the views but it wasn't warm enough to linger too long so I about turned probably after half an hour.
I made it back to the car park before dark and decided to try to hitch a lift before resorting to the sleeping bag and then decided that I could try walking to Sannox to see if the hotel there had a room. Good fortune smiled on me though as I ended up with a free taxi journey to Brodick, dropped off on the doorstep of a hotel that just happened to have a single room available.
Glorious weather again the next day but I was duty bound to return home Twenty years ago I would have been up Goatfell for the sunrise....possibly.
All in all a good trip that has given me new found hope for more recovery of fitness and has shown me that I can still get to the west coast.
Caisteal Abhail holds many memories for me and it felt good to return there though also a little sad as I recalled various visits and friends I associate with the place.
DSCN2852v2.jpg
one of the gorges and a view beyond to the witch's step
DSCN2919v2.jpg
looking north towards Lochranza
DSCN2899v2.jpg
looking south from the summit




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Last edited by litljortindan on Fri May 02, 2014 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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litljortindan
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Re: castle in the air

Postby basscadet » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:16 pm

Looked like a brilliant trip :D Must get over to Arran sometime, although the list of braw looking places is affy long when you bide in Scotland :? :lol:
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Re: castle in the air

Postby litljortindan » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:19 pm

basscadet wrote:Looked like a brilliant trip :D Must get over to Arran sometime, although the list of braw looking places is affy long when you bide in Scotland :? :lol:


Well worth a visit.
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litljortindan
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Re: castle in the air

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:59 pm

Enjoyed that - have never been to Arran. Good to see that your back is getting stronger. Nothing like exercise for keeping us healthy!
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Re: castle in the air

Postby litljortindan » Thu May 15, 2014 6:44 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:Enjoyed that - have never been to Arran. Good to see that your back is getting stronger. Nothing like exercise for keeping us healthy!


Arran is a lovely place to visit -as well as the more prominent eastern hills there are the Pirnmills I the west and lots of interesting coastline. Easy to get around by bus too if you don't want to take a car over.
Was offered surgery but declined and the physios agree slow improvement is likely to be permanent improvement. A narrow disc is causing nerves to be irritated and compressed plus I have a couple of disc bulges. So just doing exercises to improve strength and flexibility and hoping disc bulges recede.
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