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Arran, island of hidden mountains

Arran, island of hidden mountains

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:56 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Tarsuinn, Goat Fell

Date walked: 08/10/2017

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 29 km

Ascent: 2075m

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Some weeks ago my son asked if we could head off for a few days and do some hills. The original plan had been to go up to Torridon and introduce him to some of the big boys up there, maybe meet up with Allison and Craig too, but the weather was not co-operative. I finally decided on Arran, which has fantastic hills. Schools week meant that all the crossings from Ardrossan were full, so a drive up to Claonaig on Saturday morning was required. I thought we'd do Goatfell from Corrie on Saturday, Tarsuinn & Cir Mhor from Rosa on Sunday and maybe Abhail from Sannox on Monday.

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

Waiting for the ferry, Arran appeared then disappeared from view behind banks of cloud. This didn't augur particularly well for a good climb. We drove round to Corrie and set off up the path to Goatfell. Rain descended and winds at first caressed then berated. The Corrie Burn flowed fast and white - although crossing it was not a major problem, fortunately. We entered clag about 600m so were spared the sight of ascending Goatfell's shoulder. Reaching the summit we were alone until a group of runners joined us - I believe there had been a running event planned for the weekend (going by the small route marking flags) but canceled due to the weather. I showed the boy the rudiments of compass navigation at the summit, sheltered behind the cairn, as we made for North Goatfell and Mullach Buidhe. All that could be seen were vague shapes of boulders - nothing of the grand views to Cir Mhor unfortunately. We made it to the top of North Goatfell and pressed on along the ridge to Mullach Buidhe - the boy was not being spared Simm bagging! A tiny cairn of stones perches on the highest boulder. We retreated to the path and began to descend, wet and blustered.

ImageP1170706 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170708 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170709 by Al, on Flickr

To North Goatfell
ImageP1170710 by Al, on Flickr

Oh such fun!!
ImageP1170711 by Al, on Flickr

Mullach Buidhe
ImageP1170713 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170716 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the car we removed wet clothes and set off for the campsite at Lochranza. The rain had finally abated and we pitched the tent - only one other tent there so plenty of choices. A wee walk along to the castle after tea, serenaded by the roaring of stags, something that was to continue over the weekend. Stags don't seem to sleep much - given their continued roaring through the night...

Watching the stags at Lochranza
ImageP1170718 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170720 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170721 by Al, on Flickr

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

Sunday was meant to be the best day weatherwise and I was hopeful as we drove to Glen Rosa that we'd see a bit more. The tops were clear as we drove around - a fabulous view of the Witches Step greeted us driving past Sannox. Parking at the campsite, who should we meet but the Rodmeister, heading off to do Caisteal Abhail. We kitted up and set off along the path, through the Highland coos and the gate in the deer fence. Up the steepish path beside the Garbh Allt then across the river. Sadly the clag was descending - the tops now concealed from view. The ground became boggier as we laboriously made our way towards Beinn Nuis. No sightings of plane wreckage today. Onwards to Tarsuinn, no views at all now and rain greeting us. The descent was slippy and time consuming. Continuing to Cir Mhor seemed rather pointless in the clag. I had intended to take the track from Bealach an Fhir- Bhogha to include Beinn a Chliabhain and we set off down what appeared to be the start of the path - this did not look promising as it descended very steeply over wet grass initially then onto slabs. I could see what I took to be a path winding round Consolation Tor, so we did seem to be in the right area, but there was no way I was leading my boy any further down this track in the current conditions. We returned to the bealach and decided to skirt round A'Chir to take the path into Coire Buidhe. Met another walker who had come from there and was planning to descend the way we'd started - we wished him luck.

Start of Glen Rosa
ImageP1170723 by Al, on Flickr

See - there are hills up there
ImageP1170724 by Al, on Flickr

Garbh Allt
ImageP1170725 by Al, on Flickr

Crossing like a pro
ImageP1170728 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170730 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Tarsuinn
ImageP1170731 by Al, on Flickr

Under A'Chir
ImageP1170732 by Al, on Flickr

I had hoped to reconnoitre A'Chir to see if it was possible to climb up from the middle of the peak to the summit (a simm), avoiding the ridge itself. However, it seemed far too slabby to consider this, particularly in clag. We reached the cairn-marked path at the head of Glen Rosa and started down - A'Chir looks much more climbable from this side - one for another day. The rain lessened as we walked down into the glen, the day improved generally as we moved down out of the clag. Ally mentioned to me that he prefers the idea of climbing hills more than he likes the actual process of doing so, and admitted he didn't possess my determination in all weathers. I was sorry that he'd seen none of the wonders of these hills. We both enjoyed the afternoon meander along Glen Rosa, talking away. It had taken us over 7 hours to nab one hill.

Descent into Glen Rosa
ImageP1170734 by Al, on Flickr

Cir Mhor remains steadfastly clagbound
ImageP1170735 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170737 by Al, on Flickr

The forecast for Monday was more of the same. I left the choice of what we did to Ally - he wasn't overly keen to go up another clag rouded hill so instead we drove down to the standing stones at Machrie Moor then around to Glenashdale to walk up to the Falls and the Giant's Graves. At Machrie Moor Ally had brought his drone, which he sent up for some ariel views. I watched a Peregrine start towards the drone, then swoop off in pursuit of another bird. It was even sunny, although clag continued to adhere to anything over 400m. We did watch a pair of eagles rise from the trees below and soar in ever expanding circles out over the sea, when we paused for lunch at the top of Glenashdale. Managed a pint in the PHT then the mid-afternoon ferry home.

ImageP1170738 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170739 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170747 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170748 by Al, on Flickr

Glenashdale falls
ImageP1170750 by Al, on Flickr

Holy Isle
ImageP1170752 by Al, on Flickr

Giants' Graves
ImageP1170754 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170756 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170757 by Al, on Flickr
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Hill Bagger
Posts: 2102
Munros:264   Corbetts:137
Grahams:154   Donalds:86
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Location: Greenock

Re: Arran, island of hidden mountains

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:43 pm

Nice to meet you up at the start, glad you enjoyed your day, superb hills and my first visit to Arran, must go back soon. Pity about not getting many summit views though, but so much to see and do, and the first noises from the stags this year :D
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The Rodmiester
Posts: 3396
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:17
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Newbigging

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