walkhighlands

Beinn a' Chliabhain Night Walk & Summit Camp

Route: Three Beinns Walk, Glen Rosa

Date walked: 14/07/2019

Time taken: 7.58 hours

Distance: 12.3km

Ascent: 771m


Beinn-a-Chliabhain-summit-camp.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

A weekend of working hard gardening on Arran with Iain was planned to help out my Mum, along with moving boxes and sorting out stuff around the house. Naturally Iain and I would try and fit in a hill walk while we were down but a complication was that we would be heading to Glasgow on Sunday afternoon to watch the football. Not only that we had chosen Glasgow Fair weekend as it was the only one we could both manage.

Iain couldn't get the van booked on the ferry until the Saturday night and we were booked to return on the Sunday morning. We took Friday off and would head down in the morning, park, head to Brodick, work for 2 days and Iain would get the ferry to Ardrossan on Saturday night before returning with the van.

We got lots done on Friday and on Saturday afternoon spent a nice afternoon having lunch with Mum at the Heritage Museum Cafe before Iain went to get the ferry to Ardrossan to pick up the van and come back across on the next boat. He stopped off at the house at 11pm, got changed and we set off for Glen Rosa Campsite to park.

With it being half 11 at night when we set off, it was pretty dark compared to the norm when setting off up a hill:
ImageBaC summit camp (1) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Our destination would be Beinn a' Chliabhain, the Graham Top, Simm and Tump of Beinn Tarsuinn and very prominent from most of Brodick. I knew it would be the perfect choice for shelter from the wind, quick access compared to the other big peaks and most importantly one of the best viewpoints to take in the surrounding Corbett giants and sharktooth ridges of granite all around you.

We had toyed with the idea of camping over at Consolation Tor but would see how far we got and how the ground was for the tent before deciding where to pitch.

Looking up at Torr Breac, Tor Dubh and the stars:
ImageBaC summit camp (2) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Our destination just right of centre:
ImageBaC summit camp (3) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It took half an hour to reach the bridge over the Garbh Allt from the campsite where we got the usual view of Cir Mhor and Ceum na Caillich in slightly darker conditions than usual but the outline was unmistakable:
ImageBaC summit camp (4) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We now had to ascend the path up the side of the Garbh Allt towards Cnoc Breac. Beinn a' Chliabhain summit on the left, Goatfell summit on the right:
ImageBaC summit camp (5) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Behind us Brodick, Holy Isle and the Clyde:
ImageBaC summit camp (6) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reached Cnoc Breac at 12:45am about an hour and 15 minutes after we set off - Iain posing on the cairn illuminated by headtorch:
ImageBaC summit camp (7) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Despite both of us carrying heavy bags with the tent (cheers Iain) and other supplies we were making decent progress and walking by head torch was very enjoyable. You also spend a lot more time observing and memorising the path since their is no view to distract you as we found out when we recognised almost every twist, turn, boulder and bog on the way back down.

Parent peak Beinn Tarsuinn now in view to the left as we head up the steep section on the right towards Beinn a' Chliabhain:
ImageBaC summit camp (8) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Almost there, just a steep and rocky summit ridge to clamber up in the pitch black. Looking north the sun not really going away:
ImageBaC summit camp (9) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the south west a blood moon and Jupiter were keeping that section of the sky a bit brighter over the Mull of Kintyre and Spoon Island:
ImageBaC summit camp (10) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We were now scrambling over big slabs while our torches shined on infinite drops below us into the darkness of Glen Rosa. This isn't the best photo but should give an indication of what we had to deal with:
ImageBaC summit camp (12) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell to the east:
ImageBaC summit camp (13) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We touched the summit and headed down the north side where we found the perfect flat area of grass and pitched the tent, enjoying the view north to the outline of the ridges of the Corbetts and tops all around us against the night sky to the north:
ImageBaC summit camp (14) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell and the mainland:
ImageBaC summit camp (15) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn a' Chliabhain summit and Brodick:
ImageBaC summit camp (16) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Camp completed:
ImageBaC summit camp (18) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

It was all a bit surreal yet spectacular:
ImageBaC summit camp (19) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A night mode shot to try and show a little more detail:
ImageBaC summit camp (20) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Bein Tarsuinn to the west:
ImageBaC summit camp (21) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Elation - we should do this more often:
ImageBaC summit camp (22) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

With the tent set up we spent the next hour or more faffing about, taking photos, enjoying the view or having a break to blether. Iain heading up to the summit:
ImageBaC summit camp (24) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

To the south west the Moon was about to go behind Beinn Nuis:
ImageBaC summit camp (25) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I realised I had a night light painting mode on my phone so we tried a few shots with that but they were not very successful as only after did we realise that the camera flips the image around, saving us the need to try and write our name in reverse by torch.

As we had a lantern LED torch with a few detachable smaller torches we set up a few of them around the tent:
ImageBaC summit camp (28) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

After a while I realised that the tent was mirroring Goatfell in shape, unintentional but brilliant:
ImageBaC summit camp (29) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Nuis and Beinn Tarsuinn, this is a better indication of how dark it was without night mode or torches to provide more light:
ImageBaC summit camp (33) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain on the summit:
ImageBaC summit camp (37) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The same shot in night mode:
ImageBaC summit camp (38) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We were pretty tired by this point and thought it best to at least get some sleep so we retired to the tent. We had our down jackets on, it was actually quite mild but at that height and with Beinn Tarsuinn not being able to block all of the wind it was still a little chilly.

It wasn't long until our alarms went off. I looked out of the tent, Iain was up and admiring the view, so I asked him to set up my time-lapse while I got up. The view north east towards Bute, the Firth of Clyde and Ben Lomond was superb:
ImageBaC summit camp (41) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Arrochar hills directly north, Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond Grahams to the right, Suidhe Fhearghas in the foreground:
ImageBaC summit camp (43) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

North Goatell and Goatfell:
ImageBaC summit camp (44) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Brodick Bay, Holy Isle, the Clyde and our camping spot, we chose well:
ImageBaC summit camp (45) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A look at our surroundings now that we can see in a lot more detail - Beinn a' Chlibhain summit:
ImageBaC summit camp (46) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ar Bheinn and Shiskine to the south west:
ImageBaC summit camp (47) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Nuis:
ImageBaC summit camp (48) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Tarsuinn and Consolation Tor:
ImageBaC summit camp (49) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

That view north with Iain dead centre:
ImageBaC summit camp (50) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

An airy perch for breakfast, we agree that it's a good thing neither of us are prone to sleep walking:
ImageBaC summit camp (52) by djchrismac, on Flickr

The sunrise, although blocked by the bulk of Goatfell, Mullach Buidhe, North Goatfell and clouds, was still impressive:
ImageBaC summit camp (54) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageBaC summit camp (55) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view north wasn't too shabby either:
ImageBaC summit camp (58) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ridge heaven:
ImageBaC summit camp (64) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell from the west with the Rosa Slabs visible, definitely the most exhilirating way to the summit (https://cdn.ukc2.com/i/119831.jpg):
ImageBaC summit camp (67) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The southern half of Arran:
ImageBaC summit camp (68) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Nuis and Beinn Tarsuinn:
ImageBaC summit camp (70) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A zoom shot down to Shiskine Valley:
ImageBaC summit camp (71) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Brodick Bay:
ImageBaC summit camp (72) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Brodick:
ImageBaC summit camp (73) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain doing more summit posing:
ImageBaC summit camp (74) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lomond and the view north was even pinker now so the big lens came out for a closer look:
ImageBaC summit camp (75) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Distand Ben Ledi:
ImageBaC summit camp (76) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Venue:
ImageBaC summit camp (77) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lomond:
ImageBaC summit camp (78) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Luss Grahams:
ImageBaC summit camp (79) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Arthur, Beinn Narnain & A' Chrois:
ImageBaC summit camp (80) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Ime:
ImageBaC summit camp (81) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ben Lui and Suidhe Fhearghas:
ImageBaC summit camp (82) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Hills and isles to the west:
ImageBaC summit camp (83) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain still enjoying his summit view:
ImageBaC summit camp (88) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Sunlight hitting Beinn Bhreac and Ard Bheinn:
ImageBaC summit camp (95) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We wandered around some more, had a breakfast bar or two, took more photos then decided it was probably time to pack up the tent and think about heading back for the early ferry after we pack the van.

This would be our view on the right as we descended:
ImageBaC summit camp (104) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The sunset still looked impressive to the north east, it was a shame North Goatfell was covering most of it!
ImageBaC summit camp (106) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Tent now all packed up:
ImageBaC summit camp (109) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A few more shots for the album before we leave:
ImageBaC summit camp (114) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We headed back up to the summit of Beinn a' Chliabhain again as the morning light was getting brighter.

A'Chir, Caisteal Abhail, Cir Mhor and Suidhe Fhearghas:
ImageBaC summit camp (115) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cir Mhor with Ceum na Caillich peaking out on the right:
ImageBaC summit camp (116) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We clamboured over the summit boulders next to ledges dropping down 400m or so into Glen Rosa, didn't look quite so bad last night! :shock: :lol:
ImageBaC summit camp (118) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Ailsa Craig off the sooth end:
ImageBaC summit camp (120) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Nuis:
ImageBaC summit camp (122) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Another one of those drops:
ImageBaC summit camp (124) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Granite slabs:
ImageBaC summit camp (125) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The 653m top:
ImageBaC summit camp (129) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Since we never saw anything during the ascent please forgive me for posting a fair few photos on the way down. Rays of sunlight were hitting the hills, what a way to start the day:
ImageBaC summit camp (130) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Tarsuinn:
ImageBaC summit camp (131) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view was stunning all around and it was hard to stop looking back towards Bute:
ImageBaC summit camp (132) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageBaC summit camp (133) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Sunlight on Caisteal Abhail:
ImageBaC summit camp (135) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Our path down:
ImageBaC summit camp (136) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We noted at this point that we had a vivid memory of every single section of the path and figured it was due to the night ascent, no scenery to distract and your focus is always on the ground ahead that you are illuminating with your head torch.

On our right the Mull of Kintyre and Shiskine:
ImageBaC summit camp (138) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Nuis getting a morning bath of sunlight now:
ImageBaC summit camp (141) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Goatfell still hiding the sunrise to the east:
ImageBaC summit camp (142) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Brodick and Glen Rosa were also getting warmed up:
ImageBaC summit camp (143) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageBaC summit camp (145) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reach Cnoc Breac and stop for a daylight equivalent to last nights photo. Beinn Nuis and Beinn Tarsuinn first:
ImageBaC summit camp (147) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Iain, still carrying the tent, I did offer to have a shot but he insisted otherwise:
ImageBaC summit camp (149) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

From Cnoc Breac progress was fast, A' Chruach, the sponge-bog, in view as we descend:
ImageBaC summit camp (150) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The path turned muddier and boggier, somehow last night I took us off course slightly at the start and we missed the worst of it, no such luch on the way down though:
ImageBaC summit camp (151) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageBaC summit camp (153) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reach the deer fence, head through having to take off our rucksacks as there isn't much room in this one, before following the path down the Garbh Allt:
ImageBaC summit camp (155) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view on our left as we go down the newly upgraded path since we were last up here in 2015:
ImageBaC summit camp (156) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The Garbh Allt was in full flow:
ImageBaC summit camp (157) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Sunlight was now kissing the tops and I wished we had more time to spend the morning or more of the day up at our perfect summit camp spot:
ImageBaC summit camp (158) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Possibly my favourite ground level view on the island:
ImageBaC summit camp (159) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

All that was left now was to head back along the track out of Glen Rosa:
ImageBaC summit camp (160) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Around now I had a revelation as I realised I had forgotten completely that we had the van parked at the campsite! Nothing is better than realising you've got an even shorter walk out at the end of a big adventure! :clap:
ImageBaC summit camp (162) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back longingly at our nest to the right of Beinn a' Chliabhain's summit:
ImageBaC summit camp (163) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Enjoying the last of the views before we finish:
ImageBaC summit camp (165) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Beinn Nuis to finish:
ImageBaC summit camp (166) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageBaC summit camp (167) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Morning campers:
ImageBaC summit camp (168) by Chris Mac, on Flickr

We reached the van and dumped our bags, enjoying a change of footwear before heading to the house, packing boxes into the van then saying cheerio to Mum and heading for the ferry, on our way to watch the football in Glasgow in what would turn out to be an excellent end to the day as well.

Only after getting home did I remember about the time-lapse we took of the sunrise so here it is:
ImageBaC summit camp (169) by Chris Mac, on Flickr
>>> Watch on Flickr <<<

I found it difficult to write this report as my Mum took ill a few weeks later and passed away a month ago tomorrow. I even contemplated not writing this up, but the walk and camp along with the last proper weekend we got to spend with my Mum on Arran before she passed away, including a lovely afternoon at her favourite cafe, was very special.

I know things will get easier, hopefully having done this report and going back to read it on occasion will help me continue to process the events of the last month or so and remember with fondness our time spent with her during this trip.

To end on a happier note, both Iain and I thoroughly recommend Beinn a' Chliabhain as the perfect summit camp location on Arran, just make sure you remember to bring the coffee sachets for breakfast if you do! :D

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Comments: 1



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Chris Mac


User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Web
Interests: Walking, scrambling, mountains, nature, wildlife, history, Folklore and the locals, reading, driving, football.
Activity: Scrambler
Pub: The Ormidale
Mountain: Cir Mhor
Place: Isle of Arran
Gear: Lowe Alpine Rucksack
Member: Munro Meanderers, The Stray Cats
Camera: D5300 & Mate 20 Pro
Ideal day out: A long walk with great views, ridges, scrambling, lochs, forests, wildlife,
meeting people and dogs with some local legends or ancient ruins to investigate.
Ambition: More crazy scrambling.

Munros: 35
Corbetts: 17
Grahams: 7
Donalds: 8
Wainwrights: 10
Hewitts: 3
Sub 2000: 45
Long Distance routes: Three Lochs Way   



Filter reports


Statistics

2019

Trips: 20
Distance: 373.71 km
Ascent: 17286m
Munros: 9
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 7

2018

Trips: 46
Distance: 484.71 km
Ascent: 29352m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 6
Sub2000s: 21

2017

Trips: 33
Distance: 251.39 km
Ascent: 14104m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 10
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 6

2016

Trips: 18
Distance: 187.28 km
Ascent: 11052m
Munros: 7
Corbetts: 3
Sub2000s: 4
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 2

2015

Trips: 15
Distance: 170.3 km
Ascent: 9696m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 3
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 2

2014

Trips: 6
Distance: 47.27 km
Ascent: 1125m
Sub2000s: 2

2011

Trips: 2
Distance: 11.97 km
Ascent: 766m
Sub2000s: 1

2005

Trips: 2
Distance: 24.4 km
Ascent: 687m

2004

Trips: 1
Distance: 5.6 km
Ascent: 215m

1992

Trips: 1
Distance: 3.79 km
Ascent: 149m
Munros: 1


Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Last visited: Oct 16, 2019
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