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Beinn Bhreac Arran getting used to the isolation

Beinn Bhreac Arran getting used to the isolation

Postby desmondo1 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:55 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Beinn Bhreac (Arran)

Date walked: 08/08/2018

Time taken: 3.39 hours

Distance: 10.91 km

Ascent: 579m

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I decided to tick off one of my outstanding Arran hills. After the bedlam of the ferry and the bus it was nice to start my walk just outside Arran distillery in Lochranza. I didn’t expect to see anyone on this walk today and I wasn’t far wrong.
The route I chose looked straightforward, a 3 mile walk through the tranquil and isolated Gleann Easan Biorach to Loch na Davie, then pick a spot to my right and go uphill to the summit. More on that later.
The bus was late arriving in Lochranza so my tight trip was even tighter to get my bus back.
The route through the glen has a burn all the way on your left so no excuses for getting lost here. To begin cut in at the bridge, there is a sign and now there is a straightforward but steep track which leads to a deep gorge which can be bypassed before it opens out into the moorland.

Past the gorge heading out onto the moor up the glen
For the first mile the track is obvious and in good condition but deteriorates after about a mile when you reach the waterfall.

Lots of small waterfalls
Now the rising track comes and goes, it is very stony and boggy, lots of boulder hopping and wet boots, gaiters on. The rains of the last fortnight have made this very wet, did we have a dry summer?

Marker stones, this snap is looking back taken on the descent
I reach a small stone cairn, indicating a turn off? From the map this would take you between Beinn Bhiorach and Bhreac. In retrospect I would have taken this and made the ascent an easier gradient.
After the 3 miles I reach the lochan which despite its small size is important. Its run back to Lochranza feeds the distillery and its fine malts. At the other side it descends into Glen Iorsa and its waters.
loch davie.jpg

Loch na Davie down below, Caisteal Abhail behind
I have climbed to 360 metres with just under 200 metres of direct ascent. The first section was okay but the final 100 is rough and rugged heather moorland with plenty of holes hidden underfoot.

Castail, Cir Mhor & Tarsuinn in shot
I was glad to reach the plateau and headed towards the cairn just as a stag and 5 hinds spotted me and ran off. It looks slightly higher further across but not according to GPS but there are good views down Glen Iorsa.

Glen Iorsa
Despite the low grey clouds there are still great views from the top. Arran’s Corbett’s showing their moody best. Looking west Beinn Tarsuinn looks dark and foreboding. Towards Catacol, Meall nan Damh, another sub2k to be climbed soon.
Time is not on my side so off I went descending further along the ridge before cutting down to the track, slow but sure as still lots of holes. I disturbed another group of hinds, certainly plenty of fresh poo around, there are lots of deer here.
Walking down the track I spot a Merlin flying low over the heather, stopping on a boulder and I get a grainy long distance snap confirming it. Maybe looking for one of these?

Meadow Pipit
Also a golden eagle appears above, getting lucky today but again the advantage of solo walking.
About half way down I meet a family with a young kid, tourists it turns out. I am asked if they are near the village, what village? Map out they were heading to Catacol and were dismayed when I showed them how far away they were from it, the rough terrain already getting to them and the kid not equipped. Thankfully they heeded my advice and followed me back to Lochranza.

Scotch Argus
On the descent I was also lucky enough to spot this Scotch Argus butterfly near the gorge, getting better identifying these now.

Lochranza in sight
Back at the bus stop with 10 minutes to spare but no time to browse for a bottle of malt, there will be another day.
An excellent short walk, I am getting used to this isolation and solitude walking lark. The constant backdrop of running water helps the mind.
Wildlife: Red deer, Golden Eagle, Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, Merlin, Scotch Argus.

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Posts: 191
Munros:80   Corbetts:45
Grahams:42   Donalds:66
Sub 2000:125   
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