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Arran - West Side of the 'H' (Mainly Photo Report)

Arran - West Side of the 'H' (Mainly Photo Report)

Postby mountain coward » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:57 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, Cìr Mhòr

Date walked: 18/08/2007

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Again on the first trip I took with Richard to Arran - this was the first walk we decided to do. We'd obtained a bus timetable on arrival and noted that we could set off in a morning from Brodick to walk from Ben Nuis along the west side of the 'H' of the main mountains and end at Caisteal Abhail. From there we had a choice of descents back to the bus route round the east side of the island. We could either descend the normal route along to Suidhe Fearghas and get the bus from there or keep heading north to Lochranza. We delayed the decision until we were on Caisteal Abhail where we eventually decided to do a variation of the normal Suidhe Fearghas route as we found we couldn't do 'The Witches Step'.

Glen Rosa bend.JPG

At the main bend in Glen Rosa there is a little bridge over a burn coming down the mountainside on the left. For our route, we crossed the bridge but then turned directly up the hillside on our left. After a short, steepish climb there is a huge, long area of bog which takes you, after another mile or so, to the foot of the climb up Ben Nuis. The climb up onto Ben Nuis is easy up a fairly slabby route with a good path onto the shoulder when you then turn right to head north up the steep pull to the summit. The route then basically heads north all the way from there to Caisteal Abhail.

Ben Nuis.jpg
Richard soldiering up the final steep ascent of Ben Nuis
Ben Tarsuinn.jpg

From there the pleasantly narrow ridge wends its way to Beinn Tarsuinn - an absolutely cracking route. There is then a steep, slabby descent past the superb 'Consolation Tor' to the col before A' Chir.

Consolation Tor.jpg
Beinn Tarsuinn to Casteal Abhail.jpg
Goat Fell-Rosa Slabs.jpg
Looking across Glen Rosa
Tarsuinn fm under A Chir.jpg
Traverse under A' Chir

After Richard had tried to ascend onto the initial ridge of A' Chir with no success, he joined me for the traverse under the west side of the peak. We then headed for my favourite peak - the very spectacular Cir Mhor :D

Cir Mhor.jpg

The ascent up the back of Cir Mhor is straightforward but steep and the summit is small but superb with great views down Glen Sannox. After a break and a good look at the views, we then descended equally easy ground to the next col before Caisteal Abhail.

Glen Sannox fm Cir Mhor.jpg
Witches Step on left
Goatfells &saddle.jpg
Caisteal Abhail - the route ahead.jpg

The ascent of Caisteal Abhail is yet more straightforward walking round the edge of a scoop with further great views across Glen Sannox. The summit 'Castles' looked very daunting on approach but it soon transpired that, by passing them, there was another easy route up onto them.

Sweeping ridges.jpg
Goatfells&saddle fm Castles.jpg

The route then takes a turn to the right along the ridge towards the famous and daunting 'Witches Step'. This ridge was pretty scrambly and rocky but I didn't find anything to perturb me unduly... that is until we reached the step. I sent Richard down to scout it out but he ended up coming back up after being marooned above a drop he couldn't see any way of reversing if it didn't work out below that. A little way back along the ridge, I'd noticed there was an escape route to the north on grass so we ended up taking that. We came off the ridge just below the 'Step' but didn't bother climbing back up onto the ridge to do Suidhe Fearghas but just continued out to where we found a good track leading back to the road and the bus.

Witches Step.jpg
Last edited by mountain coward on Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
mountain coward

Re: Arran - West Side of the 'H' (Mainly Photo Report)

Postby rockhopper » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:02 am

mc - similar to my comment on your other arran trip - I really must get back to Arran and walk more than just Goatfell after this report ! :D
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Re: Arran - West Side of the 'H' (Mainly Photo Report)

Postby mountain coward » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:22 pm

Any combination of the main peaks is great and there are lots of interesting rounds. We were lucky both times we went that the weather was perfect apart from one day of one trip :D That must be a record for me and Richard - we normally get clag most days!
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