Date: Sunday 31st October 2010
Start: Brodick Bay
Weather: Sunny and blue skies, clouding over later
Distance: 19.7 km
Time taken: 8 Hours
Ascent: 972 metres
Accompanied by: Mike


fter the soaking at Corrour (see previous post) it was good to get to the YHA. Loch Lomond YHA is a pretty impressive building and we were glad to get our tents and other gear in the drying room. The next day we were greeted with mist but this soon disappeared as we drove across the Erskine Bridge and by the time we arrived at Ardrossan there was blue skies to the west. Great news! We were on our way to Goat Fell Isle of Arran and the weather was looking good.

We parked up, bought our tickets and embarked the ship. The journey was quick and pleasant and with blue skies it looked like it was going to be an epic. I had read that there was a bus service to the start of the walk but the sun was shining so we decided to follow the path through the golf course instead. We reached Cnocan Wood and followed the well-marked path that leads up the hillside. The path climbed gradually and we where able to make decent height with little effort. The views back to Brodick Bay where pretty impressive.

We skirted over Meall Breac and headed up the shoulder towards the summit. Although it was still sunny, the wind had picked up so it was coats and hats again. We passed a couple of people on the way down but we were fortunate to have the summit to ourselves. The views where amazing and the sharp pointed ridge leading off over North Goatfell and over the other Corbett’s was really impressive.

By this time it was 3pm and we headed off south from the summit to find somewhere to pitch the tents. There was plenty of reasonable places and within 30 minutes, I was settled down with a brew, looking south-west towards the Mull of Kintyre. After chilling out for a while and grabbing some food we headed back up to the summit. Unfortunately the cloud had drawn in but luck was on our side and just before darkness, the sun appeared and I witnessed an amazing sunset. We dropped back down and with nothing else to do we retired to our tents at 6pm. There was plenty of time to kill so I watched a film on my iPhone and read a magazine. At 8pm I drifted off to sleep and although I woke up a few times, I had a pretty decent nights sleep.

With the plan to set off at daybreak and try and do some more of the ridge we were up early. It was really cold and there was pockets of mist hugging the mountain below us. As the sun rose, it casted an orange shadow over the mountain side. The sunrise was equally impressive as the sunset the night before but as the day got lighter the clouds appeared and by the time we had packed up and hiked back up to the summit we were totally engulfed.

Pushing on we heading down from Goatfell and followed the path that leads over the top to North Goatfell. With heavy packs on our backs, the scrambling was cumbersome but also exhilarating. We dropped off the top and headed down towards The Saddle. By this time the wind had picked back up and dark clouds were gathering nearby. It would have been good to climb Cir Mhor and maybe complete the ridge but with time short and a ferry to catch back we decided to head back down the path through Glen Rosa instead. We walked back leisurely and headed for a café to grab lunch and chat about the weekend. Arran is an amazing place and I will definitely be paying this a visit again some time soon.

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