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Postby oldsnail » Fri May 11, 2018 3:46 pm

Route description: Arkle

Corbetts included on this walk: Arkle

Date walked: 09/05/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 780m

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We had walked in awe around Arkle whilst doing the Cape Wrath trail and wanted to see it from the top. We followed the route in Cicerone's Scotland's Far North. We found the parking OK and set off on the good track to Lone. Then took the left hand path and could see the broken Boulder, then a quick walk through the small plantation and on to sight the cairn. We turned left and on up to the south summit at 758m. This part was not a steep gradient as can be seen from the map. The plateau is large and blasted and we went to the summit cairn. It was rather windy and I was concerned about how windy the ridge would be. The way down to the bealach is marked with a cairn and I think the descent has been improved by a definite path. it is still steep but organised although the wind didn't help. Not surprisingly the bealach was very windy but it eased going up the other side and onto the ridge.
I have to say I don't like exposure but with the help of H I crossed it step by step. I had expected the pavement to have crevasse like fissures but no,it was a joy to walk on and then we were at the north summit and eating sandwiches at the cairn.
Now, we don't like to return the way we came so we took an alternative described in the book as descending by the NW face.
From the spot height I would say we went just W of N. To me,looking down it looked like it became even steeper but that wasn't the case. Until we were quite low down we aimed for the stepping stones between two lochs.
I would not like to do this in poor visibility as we had to keep on making adjustments favouring grassy bits and avoiding small scree. Slowly I made my way down to a wide ledge. We went more left there and hit the path further along than the stepping stones. The track is good and clear to Lockstack lodge and the road, but along way.
What to do about the 5km road walk, we hitched a lift and a wonderful German man in a kilt gave us a lift all the way to our car door. What a champion!
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