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Snakes on a Beinn

Snakes on a Beinn


Postby neilmckenzie » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:48 pm

Route description: Three Beinns Walk, Glen Rosa

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Tarsuinn

Date walked: 18/06/2014

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 949m

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I'm from Ayrshire and ever since I was 2 months old, the family had a 2 week holiday in Arran in the firth of Clyde. My attendance on these holidays petered out when I hit my teens, but my parents still try and go every year. I usually take advantage of the spare room in their holiday house and go a wee visit. This year I felt my hill legs were fit enough that I could climb some of the amazing hills that Arran has to offer. I climbed Goatfell with a bunch of mates when I was 16, so I decided to do this walk as it would promise great views and the impressive granite razors that have looked down on me my whole life. It was my intention to climb with a friend, but again I'm flying solo, which is not to be sniffed at on some of the Arran hills. As a result I'm super prepared, with maps, survival stuff and enough food and clothes to survive 3 days up the mountain in blizzard conditions.

Up early for the train to connect me to the ferry, it wasn't long before I was standing with the sea wind in my face looking for dolphins while Arran slowly got bigger. 90 mins previous I was in the centre of Glasgow.

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The ferry crossing takes about an hour and it links with a train from Glasgow central. I'm cheating a little, cos my parents are picking me up and running me to the start of the walk, but it's perfectly feasible to walk to the start of the walk yourself up Glen Rosa. I've done this lots of times and it's a lovely walk that passes surprisingly quickly. I have the luxury of a car on the island so I start just past the campsite on Glen Rosa. There are few nicer places in the world on a glorious day like this:

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After the bridge you head up along the line of the tributary river and the real climb starts. About 10 steps in I see a black adder on the path. I've only seen one snake in Scotland in my life before - it was a black adder in Glencoe!

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When I was about ten I saw one and asked a park ranger at Brodick castle what kind of snake it was - he told me and told me that while a bite was painful, it wasn't serious unless you left it untreated for days on end. This is only mildly reassuring as I have shorts on and I can no longer see my legs or the path because both are covered by ferns. I'm walking through snake infested ferns!

Lush snake infested ferns eventually give way to moorland via a couple of kissing gates. At one point I get wedged in a kissing gate between my chest and my backpack. It was scarier than the snake. I should write a book about embarrassing reasons I nearly called mountain rescue

Once you've crossed the river, Beinn Nuis is in view and the path turns from a lovely summer walk to some thigh burning big boys stuff. It's hot work, but you can see the ridges appearing on front of you, so it's head down and iPod on and just take it on the nose for a good 40 minutes.

Once you reach the summit of Beinn Nuis, you are greeted with views that stretch over to a very clear Northern Ireland via the bottom of kintyre to the east and Brodick bay and the ayrshire coast to the west. In between is the ridge that makes up the rest of this walk and Glencoe.

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From now on there's no major stretches of incline and you wander round the ridge across a relatively wide path until you get to the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn. It doesn't have any cairn, but the views continue on from those of Beinn Nuis:

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After this things get pretty interesting and you have to negotiate some pretty interesting boulders on the way down. It's an effort to descend through these so that you can then swing across to Coire a'Bhradain to get back down to the moorland.

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Coire a'Bhradain is surprisingly easy at this side given how impressive it looks at the other side. The path hugs the side of the Beinn and you are gifted with magnificent views of the ridge you've climbed earlier in the day. It gives you a real sense of achievement.

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From the peak of the final being of three, it's back to moorland. I add to my reptile spotters notebook by seeing another snake - it doesn't stay still long enough for me to know if it's grass snake, a non-black adder, or a slow-worm. It was kind of yellow and brown striped.

A wonderful walk, and I may do it again and continue onwards to Cir Mhor next time.
Last edited by neilmckenzie on Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
neilmckenzie
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 40
Munros:34   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 17, 2012
Location: Glasgow

Re: A sunny 3 Beinns

Postby neilmckenzie » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:49 pm

neilmckenzie
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 40
Munros:34   Corbetts:5
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 17, 2012
Location: Glasgow

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