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Arran recce - don't recce a place like I did

Arran recce - don't recce a place like I did


Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:56 pm

Route description: Goatfell, from Corrie

Corbetts included on this walk: Goat Fell

Date walked: 15/06/2019

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 848m

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A belated post, playing catch-up...

I'd intended to visit Arran over 20 years ago but never got round to it, so this lightning trip was a recce. The drive up was uneventful (good) and it was a treat not to have to do the Glasgow bit.

An increasing niggle was my back. It was really stiff, and getting worse, but I have no idea why (and it improved after a couple of weeks equally inexplicably). So, as I sat in the rain at Ardrossan ferry at 8pm, I wondered if I was going to be stuck in my tent come morning, unable to move... Good humour, that's what I needed.

At Glen Rosa the rain abated enough to get the tent up dry, in full midge-armour, have some scran and go to bed. As I snuggled down with my book, "Grief is the Thing with Feathers", it just started to patter on the tent, then set in for the night and morning. By 7.45am everything was covered in cloud as I set off - able, just about, to move. A heron flew over to settle on Glen Rosa Water. I couldn't stand up straight or walk properly upright, so the heron was a solace. Uphill in this pain is ok. Downhill is agony.

Image001 Morning coffee at Glenrosa by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

From Glenrosa I headed to Cladach to walk through the Merkland Wood, behind the castle and up from Corrie.

Image001b Glenshant Hill from Cladach by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image001c Hypericum - St Johns Wort by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

I was trying to find a good place to turn right through the wood, when I heard footsteps shuffling behind me. Lots of footsteps shuffling... I looked round.
Bullocks, doing their curious thing.
In the end, they helped me decide where I wanted to turn right through the woods...

Image001d Bullocks by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image001e Goatfell sign at Cladach by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

I found myself at a little dark cemetery with the graves of the Duke of Hamilton and his family.

Image001f Hamilton graves by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image001g Eleventh Duke of Hamilton 19C by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image001h President of local Red Cross grave missing that out by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Heading on, I stopped on a little footbridge and peered up to a small waterfall.

Image003 Waterfall zoom by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

There had been a small group of walkers at Cladach heading up that way, and no one else wanted to walk through the woods for four miles before heading uphill, so I had the woods to myself. Not only that, but a sign after the footbridge said that it was closed. :-?

After some icky signage...

Image004 Toads Trail in the woods by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

...the woods finally spat me out on a timber road. What an eyesore. But even here in the spoil banks at the side of the track, life was trying to break through in the form of tiny conifers and foxgloves.

Image005 Timber forest track - eyesore by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image006 Life against the odds by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

At last the sea came back into view, and the pointy peak of Mulloch Mor on Holy Island to the south...

Image010 Mullach Mor on Holy Island by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

...together with a chemicals tanker.

Image011 Bro Nibe - Chemical or Oil Products Tanker by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

2 1/2 more miles to Corrie. What more delights awaited me?

Oh, chemical spraying..

Image014 Mans dominion by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

and a creepy wood with a spooky, gauzy haze...

Image017 Creepy wood by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

but on the upside, tadpoles, chiffchaff and pockets of more natural growth.

Image016 Tadpoles by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

And a water cricket amongst the pondskaters.

Image020 Water cricket - Microvelia reticulata by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

At Corrie I was welcomed with open arms,

Image022 Welcome to Maol Donn tree by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

and an obvious, signposted track lifted me up to the claggy hills of Goatfell at last. Ahead I could see the Corrie Burn, but not the tops above.

Image027 The Corrie Burn but no tops by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image028 Goat Fell sign on Corrie track by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image029 Wet bracken path up by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image030 Beside the Corrie Burn by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Three lads, Dutch I think, caught up with me, and I stood aside to let them pass. The last one was very slow, and really didn't look into this hillwalking lark at all. At the top of the burn they paused and decided to head on NW to North Goatfell rather than cross the burn to Goatfell's summit. That was my plan too, but the combination of cloud cover and my very painful back was giving me second thoughts.

Image033 Meall Breac with Goatfell and N Goatfell drawn in by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

On reaching the same point, I set off for North Goatfell too, but after a few yards just felt, what's the point. The cloud wasn't going to clear and I really wanted the views, so putting NG in my pocket for another day, I crossed the burn, nearly over-balancing into it (but no one saw :wink:) and headed on up to Goatfell's top.

Image034 Crossing the Corrie Burn by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image035 Why I abandoned North Goatfell by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image037 Bute - Little Cumbrae Island - Ayrshire Coast by Emma Kendon, on Flickr


And into the clag.

Image041 Curling above Coire Lan by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Peering down into the corrie as I rose I could just make out the floor, and then to my left I heard voices. My route was converging with the main route from Cladach, which was going to be my route back.

And suddenly, there were runners (I didn't photograph them). Apparently there were two races on, the main one coming up from Cladach and returning via Glen Rosa, which meant a long road run-out. There were also more walkers, and bits of rubbish started to appear. I picked bits up here and there, stuffing them in the side pockets of my daysack, and at the trig point was quite a crowd.

Image044 Summit trig by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Suddenly, a woman who seemed to have something to do with the race turned on me haranguing me about banana skins, cheeky harpie. I just pointed to my bulging daysack pockets and decided to get the hell out of there. Even the cheery "haggis" from various folks' WH reports was gurning.

Image045 Haggis looking menacing by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

As I descended, there was a bloke up my **** like an Audi driver. I stood back to let him pass and he said it was fine. I had to insist. In the event he was quickly knackered, so I passed him again a little lower and thankfully didn't see him again after that. Instead, a couple of girls and I struck up a good conversation as we dropped down out of the clag.

Image046 Big cairn where paths converge - and nice gals by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Back below the cloud, the sea looked deceptively close and it was a painful trudge back to the woods. When I came to the path I'd taken through the woods, it was blocked off with a birch branch. Because the footbridge is 'closed'?

Image047 Sea looking deceptively close by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image050 Brodick and Mullach Mor by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image051 My morning path is closed by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Past rhododendrons, saying hellooo to the coos, and I'm afraid I was too peopled out to stop at the Wineport.

Image054 Feeling of tropics by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Image053 How now by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

Back at my tent I grabbed a nap.

And didn't wake up til 7.30 the next morning!

Pretty glad to see the back of Saturday, I headed to Lochranza on Sunday, in a downpour and with a forecast of more low cloud. The more delightful inner hills would have to wait another day too. But, rats, in the event, the conditions turned gorgeous.

Image137 Beinns on left - Goatfell on right from road to Brodick by Emma Kendon, on Flickr

One day I'll go back and do Arran more justice.
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EmmaKTunskeen
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 196
Munros:27   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:2   Hewitts:51
Wainwrights:41   Islands:12
Joined: Aug 19, 2016
Location: West Sussex

Re: Arran recce - don't recce a place like I did

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:49 pm

Arran's a wonderful place!

Loved the water cricket pick - I've never seen one, sadly. It joins the puss moth in the list of insects I'd like to see!
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Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2914
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:227
Wainwrights:90   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

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