Wonderful Glen Rosa and Goatfell on Arran

Corbetts: Goat Fell

Date walked: 28/12/2018

Time taken: 6 hours

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A first trip to the Isle of Arran between Christmas and New year, we drove up from the Christmas day festivities with family in Cheshire on Christmas day and after a hotel stop in Carlisle made it to Ardrossan harbour for the only ferry crossing on boxing day and to an excellent hotel stay in Lamlash,

An aim for the few days if the weather was good enough was a climb of Goat fell which dominates the island as you approach on the ferry


and the weather was forecast great with the best day to be friday.

I'd selected the route from Paddy Dillon's cicerone guide, "Walking on Arran" and was the Eastern Glen Rosa route. which looked good following a route up Glen Rosa to the saddle then east up the ridge to north Goat fell then traverse a ridge to Goatfell summit and then descend the "tourist route" down to the grounds of Brodick castle.
It also had two geocaches on the route as a little bonus.

I was dropped off at the castle drive exit and was soon on my way along the minor road into Glen Rosa and had a quick chat with an old fella outside his house, who had just collected his morning paper and he said it was windy up in the Glen and it was a little bit as i walked around the corner past the deserted camp site and the mountain rescue helicopter landing pad and into the Glen proper and the low winter sun was rising illuminating the ridge of Conc Breac.


Then further up the peak of Beinn a Chliabhain came into view, a target for a revisit i hope.


then on reaching the river crossing, where the Garbh Allt cascades down the side of the Glen to meet the Glenrosa water, the beautiful Cir Mhor at the head of glen Rosa with the huge cut in the ridge on Caisteal Abhail behind, stopped me in my tracks. What a sight!
As the South pennine moors around west yorkshire are my home walking ground and the lake district, these dramatic mountains are outside my usual hill viewing and climbing and no photos had prepared me for the rock and pinnacles that i could see ahead of me, Just Wow. :)


That is the image i'm going to keep with me from this visit and the view of Goatfell from the ferry as we crossed the sea.

A quick side trip up the side of the falls of Garbh Allt to grab the nearby geocache then it was up the glen along the excellent path climbing to the Saddle below Cir Mhor. the views kept opening out on the west side with two hanging valleys hidden in shadow from the low sun, such a great walk up the glen

Imagecascades of the Garbh Allt

the target of the Saddle below Cir Mhor is in view


Coire Daingean on the west side of Glen Rosa opens up as i climb towards the saddle

And Coire Buidhe below Cir Mhor as well


looking back down the glen was a superb view as well with the low sun

As I climbed up to the saddle the onwards route up the ridge to Goatfell became more evident and looked daunting, but as the path under foot was excellent i thought that the description of a bit of scrambling wouldnt be to bad.


and the I reached the saddle and Glen Sannox opened up far below, the exposed rock all around and the steep side of Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail were revealed close too, the wind had dropped and it was just perfect, could have stayed here drinking in the views out to sea and the mountains around me and the silence, again wow.

Image Glen Sannox from the Saddle


Bargee at the Saddle

But the ridge had to be tackles and a clear path headed along the Saddle and upwards towards North Goatfell, but the ascent took a lot longer and took me out of my comfort zone twice as i scrambled up the grippy rock. At one point the exposure froze me in place and i was shaking and had to carefully step back down, its strange how the mind plays tricks on you and on other days and maybe with company and a bit of reassurance i would have moved onwards but today the realization of a slip and the consequences overwhelmed me and i seriously considered turning around and heading back down Glen Rosa but once i stepped down several paces to what i felt was a safer spot i reassesd and chose a slightly different route up the rock and completed the scramble up the ridge up to the top of North Goatfell. Got the heart racing for a few minutes.

reading reports on here makes it sound easy, and i suppose it will be for me if i become use to it but today, in near perfect conditions i was uncomfortable, i am so glad it wasnt wet or windy. Hats off to you guys and girls who take this in your stride.

some pics from the ridge from the Saddle to North Goatfell







and onto the top of north Goatfell and a good feeling of exhiliration and thankfully found an easy bypass path along the ridge towards Goatfell summit, met the first pair of walkers of the day here and could see several on the summit.



looking west across Glen Rosa to Beinn a Chliabhain


along the ridge to Goatfell

Image and the view across the Firth of Clyde and Glen Corrie


Final pull up to the summit

the busy summit of Goatfell.

The ridge was good with great views both east and west and on reaching the summit found it full of people around a dozen so got the info for the geocache and descended to retrieve it away from the summit.


Cal Mac Ferry heading for Ardrossan


Southwards with Holy isle and Brodick bay


North from the summit with North Goatfell and Caisteal Abhail

after grabbing the geocache i started the descent down the main path to Brodick castle and met this young mountain biker carrying his bike upwards. he said he was only climbing to get one photo and would then carry his bike back down to the easier ground to ride back down. It takes all sorts



the route down



looking back at the summit from the decsent

crossing Mill beck


and into the birch woods at lower levels

an easy decent form here into Brodick Castle grounds and i was collected by Cath at the castle drive entrance,

Superb walk, outside my comfort zone on the scramble but i loved it.
the route description said 5 hours but it took me 6.5 hours for the 11.5 miles

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Location: Huddersfield, west yorks
Activity: Mountaineer
Place: glen clova
Gear: gaiters
Member: None
Ideal day out: Long ridge walk. Geocaching

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Donalds: 3
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Hewitts: 68
Sub 2000: 2
Islands: 2
Long Distance routes: Moray Coastal Trail    Southern Upland Way   

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