Date: Saturday – Sunday 12th-13th May 2018
Distance: 12 + 8km
Ascent: 1250 + 600m
We’d been planning on a ferry-camp trip with a good looking forecast. For one reason or another we ended up on a different ferry from planned.
Off at Brodick for 1040, then took the bus to the Glen Rosa turn.
No rush, a long day ahead to allow a wander to our camp site.
Headed up Glen Rosa, it’s a great time of year with vibrant greens emerging. House Martins are working the river.
We took the path up Beinn Nuis – a bit of reconstruction work done, although still a bit soupy in its upper reaches.
It’s a simple enough plod up Beinn Nuis, watched a couple of buzzards circling above. Soon after agitated raven calls signalled a solitary Golden Eagle which whipped up over the ridge line and then headed away south, mobbed by 2 ravens.
We decided to carry on to Beinn Tarsuinn to have lunch. Passed by a number of walkers and runners on the way – Arran is pretty busy.
We did this route in reverse in November 2011. Getting up Tarsuinn with the camping packs had been a little steep. Our memories were correct – the route down is not technical, but is easier done without big packs. Took a little while to get safely to the bealach with A’Chir.
Carried on towards our camp site – the summit of Caisteal Abhail. Took the route across the west side of Cir Mhor, we planned to head up this one the following day. This quickly bypasses the incredibly spiky looking Corbett.
Ascended Caisteal Abhail – there are 2 springs on this route, the higher at 700m. Filled up our reservoirs for the night and headed up the last 160m with the extra weight.
Stuck the tent up in our usual spot. This was our 4th summit camp on Caisteal Abhail……some pitches are worth repeating.
Although we had put the new tent up in the house, getting it pitched on a hill with a variably brisk breeze proved more of a fankle than imagined. There was a bit of swearing, loss of karma and about 60 minutes invoved.
We could see north to Mull, Ardgour and even Sgurr Thuilm at Glenfinnan.
Flaked out at 2230, having watched the lighthouses of Ailsa Craig and Rathlin Island. The town lights across on Northern Island and the Republic were easily visible.
I set an alarm for 0100…….but we both slept right through to 0430 as it was getting light. Can’t even remember turning over once.
Looked out to see a grey looking sky – high cloud but confluent and no chance of a clear dawn.
Went back to sleep.
Had a look out at 0600 – skies clearing to the west, but grey overhead and to the east.
Went back to sleep.
The sun hit the tent at 0730 and the morning cleared from there. Opened the door of the tent and snoozed in the sunshine for another hour. Although the air temp was cool, inside the tent was toasty and hot.
Got going at 1030. We’d debated the route out – there are routes to drop into Glen Rosa, or round into North Glen Sannox which would be easy. We fancied heading over to the Goatfell side of the range though so we dropped down towards Cir Mhor. Passed a couple who’d been camping on Cir Mhor on the way.
On the south side of the summit, about 30m below the top, there’s the start of a path down to The Saddle.
Plodded our way uphill, one of those days where the perceived temperature varies from chilly out of the sun in the wind to hot in the sun in a lull. Lovely to be out though.
As we got to the last 100m of ascent the ridge steepens significantly. We’d managed down this with camping packs in Nov 2011. Picked a few poor lines in ascent, but managed to the top OK.
Had lunch on North Goatfell, with plenty of time in the bag to get down to Corrie for the bus.
Didn’t bother with Goatfell’s summit – too busy. We headed at a stroll down to pick up the path into Coire Lan.
The path down to Corrie is a very good one and rapid progress is easy. Just an amble required down through the lovely new greenery above Corrie before spending a while sitting on the rocks in the sunshine waiting for the bus.
The bus-ferry link up on Arran is great – a quick bus ride back to Brodick and then straight on the ferry.
Sat out on the ferry deck for the sail back to the mainland. Another good island camping weekend.