Saturday, 20 February 2010

Arran - Goatfell - 20-02-2010

With this recent spell of blue skies I knew I wanted to get out this weekend and today was the only day I could get out but with the Scotrail stikes the west highland railway was not running so I had a think of different options and Goatfell on Arran was my decision.

Left the house at half seven and got the train to Glasgow and then another train straight to Ardrossan Harbour, and on the Ferry across to Arran.

It was a bit of a misty start to the day so the view across to Arran was a little obscured with only the tops of the mountains poking out the top.

Leaving the mainland behind in the same mist. Feels like open sea.

Beautiful blue skies and clear waters make for a pleasent sailing across.

Getting closer and Goatfell can be seen poking out the mist.

Arriving in Brodick.

On landing at port a bus was sitting waiting, and five minutes later I was dropped off at Cladach near Brodick Castle, which is the start of the trail.

A little great tit.

The way to Goatfell is clearly signposted through the plantations.

Where I am going comes into view going through the forrest.

Leaving the bay behind.

Getting closer.

The sky has started to fill up with some clouds and obscuring the summit. There is very little wind and the clouds are moving slowly so I hope they clear off by the time I get there.

Above the snow line now the only sign of a path is footprints in the snow, which is fresh and powdery so I follow on in the stead. The ridge to the summit is visible.

Brodick bay below the snow line.

The slope is steep and very slippery, but I make the decision not to put on my crampons and rely on step kicking and my ice axe to get me up and while making my way up the slope the peace was disturbed by a group of guys coming down in jeans and wellies and I wonder how they managed to get up.

At the top and the sky has pockets of cloud everywhere spoiling the views to Ireland and the Islands.

The bay far below.

The view point table. Not much use though.

Looking down to the bealach known as "the saddle" between North Goatfell and the neighbouring corbett Cir Mhor.

Over to the mainland.

Dont fall!

Peaceful waters.

Across to Beinn Tarsuinn, another fine Corbett which I plan on coming back to climb.

A fine ridge between Cir Mhor and Beinn Tarsuinn.

Across North Goatfell to its most northely top. I dont have a lot of time today to catch the ferry back so the tops will stay for another day.

Down the Coire-Lan which ends at the village called Corrie.

Leaving the summit behind.

Heading back down the harbour.

Sunset from the top deck of the ferry.

A well deserved beer.

A fine day outside the highlands and further proof that there is more to the hills than the Munros, and that the obsessive baggers are missing out on good days out.

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