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Goatfell during the Goatfell Race

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 1:23 pm
by Chris Mac

GoatFell from Brodick WH.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I was surprised when the group had said they wanted to climb Goatfell as part of their training as that made it convenient for me to pop back home for the weekend of the walk.

What I wasn't prepared for was them choosing a date for the walk that coincided with the Goatfell Race and Arran Mountain Festival! :crazy:

With low cloud on the tops forecast for the day it would turn out to be a blessing in disguise and provide some more entertainment for the standard walk up the tourist route from Brodick. The group made the early ferry and met me along the road in Brodick and we set off, heading down the beach via Fisherman's Walk to Cladach, the scenic route, since the hills were in clouds and there was none of them to see yet.

Cutting through Brodick golf course and crossing the Rosa Burn it was surprisingly scenic with a high tide and still water creating reflections:
ImageIMG_20190518_111821 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Rosa Burn and Brodick:
ImageIMG_20190518_111826 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As we were cutting through the golf course this of course led to lots of golf related puns from Craig, par for the course for him! :lol:

Brodick, normally the Sub-Marilyn Clauchland Hills can be seen behind it here but even it's 260m bulk was invisible, not great for walking!
ImageIMG_20190518_111910 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It was a bit drizzly but as we reached the Wine Port we were all feeling the heat and lost a layer or two.

At Cladach we followed the main path up past the brewery, Beinn Nuis up Glen Rosa hiding in the clouds today:
ImageIMG_20190518_114001 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We passed a few other walkers who in turn passed us and the switching would continue with a few of the groups that started around the same time. Goatfell was now coming into view but shrouded in clouds:
ImageIMG_20190518_121213 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Janice and Craig ahead on the path, luckily as we ascended the clouds were lifting a little:
ImageIMG_20190518_121543 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After continuing up the excellent path alongside Concan Burn we reached the bridge at the deer fence. A friend and their dog were there to meet me and I introduced them to the group as we had a quick snack and water break.

Looking down to Brodick, not the best visibility for a walk today:
ImageIMG_20190518_122007 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Just after the deer fence the first of the runners appeared, they had set off at 12pm from Ormidale Park and just 20-30 minutes later were already around the 340m mark on the map: :clap:
ImageIMG_20190518_122957 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Arran Mountain Rescue Team were out in force today assisting the runners with the event, here they are ahead of us:
ImageIMG_20190518_123005 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The clouds were still lifting slightly as runners continued to fly past us and we walked at the sides of the path to give them room:
ImageIMG_20190518_123243 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20190518_123649 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell, officially Windy Hill in Gaelic (Gaoithe Bheinn) but corrupted to the more Norse 'Goat' over the centuries. Anyone that has been up it will surely agree that HIll of the Wind is more appropriate than hill of the goat, i've never seen on on it! :wink:
ImageIMG_20190518_123654 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Meanwhile the runners were continuing on their way uphill:
ImageIMG_20190518_123708 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The steady stream:
ImageIMG_20190518_124126 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Janice and Craig enjoying a break further up the path where a group of school kids descending were shouting all kinds of encouragement to the passing runners:]
ImageIMG_20190518_124219 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A few stragglers left now at the back of the pack as we pass a couple of guys coming down the path on their mountain bikes, everyone is out on the hill today!
ImageIMG_20190518_125919 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As the cyclists flew downhill and stopped roughly where we were I overheard them saying what a thrill ride the cycle down had been so far but I don't think they expected quite so many obstacles today:
ImageIMG_20190518_130006 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The first few runners were now passing us on the way back down which was impressive. We approached the shoulder where the cloud wasn't budging:
ImageIMG_20190518_130041 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We were now also going at a similar pace to some of the stragglers at the end! :lol:
ImageIMG_20190518_130220 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As the path steepens and gets more rocky it veers left and a cairn marks the path to Meall Breac and the route up from Corrie:
ImageIMG_20190518_131709 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

On the way back down now:
ImageIMG_20190518_131720 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A fair few skint knees had passed us by now and we also heard a guy come a cropper not long after passing us but he was ok to continue.

Passing another AMRT checkpoint shown here, I stop to chat and we overheard them say on the radio that the first runner was already approaching the finish in Brodick, good going! :clap:
ImageIMG_20190518_132238 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Oot the way! Fell runners are very thankful when you give them right of way on the path but on the way down a nod is sufficient as it sounded like even saying thanks as they ran past was quite an effort! :lol:
ImageIMG_20190518_132501 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Craig as runners continue on their descent:
ImageIMG_20190518_132607 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We decided to stop just before the minimal view vanished so we could enjoy an early lunch snack (I've noticed this is a trend now! :D ) in amongst the large boulders and just after the cairn to Meall Breac on the final ascent path.

We sat off the main path and enjoyed a break with sandwiches, soup, tea the whole works. A passing dog became our best friend quite quickly! :lol:

After a quick-ish break we set off uphill again and I said to the gang to follow the main path as I was going to detour to attempt to find the rucksack Detrimentalist had lost up there a few weeks back, to no avail unfortunately, the visibility certainly didn't help!
ImageIMG_20190518_134217 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I followed an older, more exposed path up the ridge, quite exciting in the mist when you suddenly see a massive cliff dropping off not far away from you:
ImageIMG_20190518_134221 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The path then heads left and starts to rejoin the newer path:
ImageIMG_20190518_134419 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Janice and the others, in visibility like this a bright yellow jacket is great for identification: 8)
ImageIMG_20190518_134517 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I love the steep final section to the summit of Goatfell, it gets really bouldery and you can make the ascent as easy as difficult as you want so of course I got to enjoy some minor scrambling up large slabs just to make things interesting. The others never joined in though! :( :lol:
ImageIMG_20190518_135421 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

You're doing well gang, not long to go now and in this visibility you'll just have to trust me! :D
ImageIMG_20190518_135628 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Slab hopping time!
ImageIMG_20190518_135632 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Now at the final ascent to the summit:
ImageIMG_20190518_140004 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Here comes Janice:
ImageIMG_20190518_140202 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell summit ahead and there's a tent on the far right, summit camping today?!
ImageIMG_20190518_140715 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It turned out the tent was the final AMRT checkpoint. We reach the trig point at the summit where the view is...
ImageIMG_20190518_141152 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Tent getting packed up now and here comes Rosie for her first summit of Goatfell!
ImageIMG_20190518_141208 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20190518_141213 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20190518_141225 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Success, well done everyone! :clap:
ImageIMG_20190518_141325 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We assure Rosie that the view is incredible from here but as there is no chance of even a brief clearing we hang around for a few minutes then set off down the path again. As we do I bump into the AMRT members that were in the tent and I finally meet Caileag, one of Arran's SARDA dogs, a wee cracker!

Rosie scrambling her way down now:
ImageIMG_20190518_142829 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The descent was fairly fast but not quite fell runner pace!
ImageIMG_20190518_143139 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking down the shoulder into the mist:
ImageIMG_20190518_143155 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A bit lower down and the cloud base is lifting just to tease us:
ImageIMG_20190518_143310 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The last of the runners were long gone now so it was a much quieter walk back down:
ImageIMG_20190518_144930 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the south west Ard Bheinn is now in view as visibility improves:
ImageIMG_20190518_145053 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Mull of Kintyre can also be seen so Rosie at least got a glimpse of what could be seen from this high up:
ImageIMG_20190518_145056 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Brodick Bay, Clauchland Hills and Mullach Mor (Holy Isle) can now be seen to the south:
ImageIMG_20190518_145323 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageIMG_20190518_145330 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As almost everyone else descends the hill a group of three guys all wearing jeans and inappropriate footwear pass us, you always get some! :roll:
ImageIMG_20190518_150712 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cloud base lifting but it was just toying with us and wouldn't clear at all today:
ImageIMG_20190518_151511 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A' Chruach now in view back right:
ImageIMG_20190518_151531 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking over to Beinn Nuis and Beinn a' Chliabhain, both still refusing to say hello:
ImageIMG_20190518_151852 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell and the path up to the shoulder:
ImageIMG_20190518_151904 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Brodick edging ever closer:
ImageIMG_20190518_152203 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

AMRT making sure everyone gets home safely: :clap:
ImageIMG_20190518_152232 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Right everyone, home time! :D
ImageIMG_20190518_152244 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We approach the bridge just after the deer fence and settle down for a final break:
ImageIMG_20190518_152428 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I surprise the group with some cakes supplied by Mr Kipling which go down very well, the least I could do after a birthday cake surprise on our last walk! :)

ImageIMG_20190518_152438 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Dun Fionn and Holy Isle:
ImageIMG_20190518_152445 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cheerio big yin, until next time:
ImageIMG_20190518_153535 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It's now an easy descent back the way we came, stopping off to take a photo and measure this giant tree for the Woodland Trust, it's a beauty!
ImageIMG_20190518_155949 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reach the Castle Drive and I take us down it so I can show the standing stones to the group. Before that Janice and Rosie decide to sing a song to some Highland Cows who didn't bat an eyelid at the screeching! :lol: :wink:
ImageIMG_20190518_160918 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back at Goatfell from the Castle Drive:
ImageIMG_20190518_162419 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reach the main road and take a left then right to cut through the golf course then across the Rosa Burn:
ImageIMG_20190518_163801 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We arrive back in Brodick and I say cheerio to the group who are now heading along the village for a drink and to wait for the 6pm ferry, while I head home to stay another night. Despite not having any summit views everyone loved their day out on Arran and climbing Goatfell during the Goatfell Race definitely made things interesting.

Next time we all have a personal best of 5 and a half hours to beat, a fair bit off the record time of 1:12:11!! :lol:

Re: Goatfell during the Goatfell Race

PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:05 pm
by EmmaKTunskeen
Just back from walking Goatfell on Saturday (15th June), also in low cloud and also with a race going on!

Re: Goatfell during the Goatfell Race

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:53 am
by kevsbald
Stragglers at the back of a hill race would usually finish that type of race in about 2 hours. I have the utmost respect for hill runners. I think my best time was 1 hour 45 but in stark contrast, I once walked up with by brother in law and had a beer at the top watching the sun set. I preferred the latter approach. Hope you'll get back for a better day -it's one of our best hills and deserving a slow approach.