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In the heart of Arrans mountains – Cir Mhor

In the heart of Arrans mountains – Cir Mhor


Postby Mountainlove » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:07 am

Route description: Cir Mhor and Beinn Tarsuinn

Corbetts included on this walk: Cir Mhor

Date walked: 10/09/2016

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 16.5 km

Ascent: 882m

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A bit more than 20 years ago I climbed Goatfell for the first time. It somehow became tradition for me to climb the mountain once a year. Its such a great mountain and the 30min drive to the ferry port is hard to beat when it comes to wanting a day trip in the mountains.
With my 20 year in Scotland anniversary just a few days away, a trip up Goatfell would have been matching…but maybe it was a chance to break the habit? 8)

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20 years ago on my first mountain. Cir Mhor is just behind me

Looking back at some old photos, I noticed Cir Mhor in the heart of the mountains on Arran. It looked impressive and looking at my map I knew that Goatfell would have to wait…it was time to explore the island. :thumbup:
I read a few different reports and checking the map I decided that the approach from Glen Sannox would be the most logical one.

I took the 9:45am ferry and an hour later sat on the bus towards Sannox, a 20 min journey. As usual most walkers got off at the 2 main starting points of Goatfell, but I continued until the bus dropped me off right at the gate towards Glen Sannox (great service)
I crossed the gate and soon the mountains came into view. I was well impressed with Glen Sannox…it is simply beautiful.

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The sleeping warrier aka Caisteal Abhail

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The start of the walk

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Cir Mhor towards the left

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Looking ahead

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Looking back

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Cir Mhor close up


The path followed Sannox burn and to my left Cioch na h-Oighe was rising steeply and on my left Caisteal Abhail was looking lovely and rather tempting.
The path literally continues all the way towards Cir Mhor, so getting lost was pretty impossible. I think even for non hill walkers the path would be lovely and I was surprised by the lack of people. Once I reached the end of the valley, the path continued steeply up towards the Saddle. It is a lovely and easy scramble with a good path, which only frizzes out close to the top and made me attempt some rather dodgy scrambles.

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The path slopes to the left here

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Invisible, but the path slopes up the mountain from here

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The great path

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Looking towards the witches step on Caisteal Abhail

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Close up of the witches step

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Caisteal Abhail - the castle its easy to see how the mountain got its name

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The way up


Once I stood on the saddle Goatfell looked massive in comparison. From the saddle the top of Cir Mhor is only 400 m away, but it is also a 370m climb in height. I followed the path and my legs certainly felt the burn. Close to the top that path looped around the mountain until I reached the small top.



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The saddle and Goatfell towards the right

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Glen Sannox

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Glen Rosa

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Panorama of the two glens and Goatfell in the middle

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The last climb

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Beinn Tarsuinn


It is an amazing view point, as all the other Corbetts surround this great wee mountain of 799 meters. Topping it was the fact that for the first time in my life stood on an Arran mountain alone, something which is pretty impossible on Goatfell. Enjoying the views I stayed for some time and considered my return journey.
I had briefly played with the idea to climb Goatfell (it’s a hard to break habit lol) but on my map Glen Rosa looked like a good alternative. Leaving the top I was able to see a path in the distance and the decision was made…Glen Rosa it would be.

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Views from the top towards Caisteal Abhail

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Towards Goatfell

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Cumbrae and Largs in the distance

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Myself

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Cir Mhor from the other side

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Glen Rosa and Cir Mhor

The path from Coire Buidhe is lovely and far less steep than the approach from Glen Sannox. Enjoying the walk I noticed a couple of walkers ahead of me. I slowly got closer mainly due to the time one of them took in taking photos. When I was only about a hundred meters away they stopped and looked at me (weird I thought) but that passed when one shouted out my name and said he thought he recognized me. It was Dean and Campbell a couple of Walkhighlanders who were on their return journey from Goatfell. :thumbup: :wave: Chatting away we continued the way back to the ferry together, which I was glad for…always nice to have company :D

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Looking back


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Mountainlove
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Re: In the heart of Arrans mountains – Cir Mhor

Postby dav2930 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:59 pm

Very nice report ML. Some superb photos there and the heather being in bloom is a real bonus. :clap:
What a great idea doing a linear route up Glen Sannox and down Glen Rosa, two lovely glens. :clap:

Cir Mhor is my favourite Arran peak; it's so shapely and has some fabulous crags. Last time I went up (two years ago) we went via the South Ridge Direct of the Rosa Pinnacle, a really enjoyable climb if you like that sort of thing. Your photo of 'Cir Mhor from the other side' captures the Rosa Pinnacle (and the line of South Ridge Direct up the front of it) very nicely. I took a very similar one:
Aran Sept 2013 023.JPG
The Rosa Pinnacle, Cir Mhor
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dav2930
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Re: In the heart of Arrans mountains – Cir Mhor

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:43 pm

Arran: Scotland in miniature! I absolutely love the pic of Cir Mhor with the heather in the foreground towards the end of the report :clap: :clap: :clap: .
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Alteknacker
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Re: In the heart of Arrans mountains – Cir Mhor

Postby Chris Mac » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:05 pm

Some cracking shots of my favourite hill, nice route too up and over via the saddle. A top report and great photos, I especially like the ones heading up Glen Sannox and the zoom shot of Caisteal Abhail's summits. :clap:

Mountainlove wrote:Topping it was the fact that for the first time in my life stood on an Arran mountain alone, something which is pretty impossible on Goatfell

Haha yeah Goatfell is always busy but Cir Mhor summit is so small it's tricky having more than a couple of people on it so probably a good thing it was just you! I agree what a view point, it may be the smallest of the four Corbetts but the view of the other peaks from there is outstanding, bettered perhaps only by the view from Caisteal Abhail as Cir Mhor looks amazing from there, definitely earning it's nickname of the Matterhorn of Arran.
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Re: In the heart of Arrans mountains – Cir Mhor

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:28 am

A brilliant report with some superb photos.

It was also nice, for me, to see all these hills which I visited only once, way back in 1990. I climbed them all but did not see a single one of them - rain and mist all week!

My other memory of Arran is a spring visit, a couple of years ago, to Port Carlisle in England, on the Solway Firth. Looking across the Firth I could see, rising above the moors and rounded hills of the Southern Uplands, something faraway, snowy, spiky and slightly unreal - the Arran peaks. Must have been 80 miles away at least...

Tim
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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