Date: Saturday-Sunday 28th-29th June 2014
Weather: Mixed bag.
Distance: 17.5 + 12.8km
Ascent: 1660 + 250m
A rather reasonable weekend forecast had us packing the bags for a camping trip – the forecast details were a bit difficult to pin down but the SW looked a good bet…..so off we went to Ardrossan.
Off the ferry to catch the Service 324 around the north of the island to Catacol.
The plan was to head up over Meall nan Damh and on towards Beinn Bharrain, then head cross country to ascend the Corbett ridge and a summit camp.
….and our first cleg bites of the year mean it must be nearly July. 😦
Relatively decent terrain on the pull up to first Lochan a Mhill and then Meall nan Damh – a cooling breeze was welcome after the lochan.
Had lunch on Beinn Bhreac before descending to the bealach with Mullach Buidhe (the Graham summit of Beinn Bharrain). On this occasion we didn’t visit the summit – boulder-hopped SE from the bealach towards Dubh Loch (we would have been better to ascend about 70m as a path heads up a grassy rake to the ridge).
From here we headed over Beinn Tarsuinn towards Beinn Bhreac, the sunshine faded with high cloud, as some forecasts had predicted.
I had planned on ascending from Loch na Davie up to the NW ridge of Caisteal however the descent to the 700m spring on the S ridge followed by the 170m reascent didn’t appeal to my unfit legs so we instead took what proved to be a fairly easy traverse from NR 950 454 across Leac an Tobair to the 700m mark of the S ridge.
Very pleased to see running water here to collect 2L for cooking overnight.
As we neared the summit we were rather deflated to see rain and cloud edging in from the east….not in the plan.
It is a superb camping summit though – I reckon there are upwards of 6 flat grassy pitches around. On our
*********Guy Fawkes night camp we’d pitched on the east of the summit castle to watch the fireworks in the Central Belt. This time we pitched just west of the summit to see if we could get a seaward view.
With the cloud coming and going we were still hopeful we might get a local gap and a sunset off to the west. As 2200 came along we were rewarded.
The showers closed back in soon after and persisted overnight. Got up in a lull to look out and could see the odd lighthouse in a still rather bright night.
Up at 0415 to look out into grey mist.
Up at 0530 to look out into grey mist.
Up at 0630 to look out into grey mist. 🙄
Packed up and headed downhill at 1000 – still not sure how the day would go.
I was interested to see that the lower spring marked on the 1:25000 map at about 630m was dry. Very glad I had aimed for the 700m one as this would have caused some consternation.
Headed up Cir Mhor – the day was improving quickly, if a bit late.
It’s an easy enough walk up Cir Mhor from this side – despite its bad boy looks. A good view from what is a spectacular eyrie.
Headed down to the bealach with A’Chir – knew that with our unfit legs that continuing past A’Chir and over Beinn Tarsuinn would almost certainly mean the last ferry home. Decided to walk out along Glen Rosa instead.
The path from the A’Chir/Cir Mhor bealach into Glen Rosa has been completely reconstructed and is excellent. Nice to see our NTS path subs at work.
Seems a long way down – it’s an excess of descent when you start at 850m.
Bimbled along the river – lots of time to spare.
Got going after an hour to ensure we got to Brodick with enough time to grab something to eat.
Still plenty of time to look for wildlife and enjoy the views.
A cracking walk – a bit let down by the summit conditions for once, although sunset was worth it. Caisteal Abhail is our first repeat summit camp and I can see it being repeated again….well worth the effort.