Friday 25 April 2014

Weather window

Two weeks it's been, since Andy's diligent Friday weather forecast trawling revealed that there was the possibility that a trip to Arran would result in clearish skies after (remarkably specifically) 11am. The weather everywhere else in Scotland was to be unremittingly atrocious. In truth, we've cast dies based on much less, so a leisurely start to the day saw us arrive at the ferry for Brodick around 9:30.

It's prohibitively expensive to take the car across, at least when you're only going for a walk that "officially" starts a mile from the ferry terminal, so we parked up and started to change boots, heft rucksacks and...don full winter gear in the ferociously wet, wintry maelstrom that was Ardrossan.

For some reason - well, it was the start of the Easter school holidays - the boat was teeming. The chap serving the (jolly welcome) breakfast sausages said he'd never seen it as busy in the nine years he'd worked there, so despite the choppy seas and stiff maritime breeze we - and, I assume, the hunners of other passengers - held out a wee bit of hope that things would, as forecast, improve.

And they did.

There's a bus runs from the ferry up to the Castle, which passes the start of the walk, but purists that we are (other than not taking the canoe, as opposed to the ferry) we elected to have a pleasant warm-up for the hill proper by following the "Fisherman's Path" over the beach, across the golf course and thence to the Cladach Visitor Centre. The route, once you're there, is signposted and pretty much unmissable. It's perfectly described on Walkhighlands anyway, so as a result of that combination we never got lost even once. The decent visibility did no harm, of course.

Once you're over that wee rise, things open out somewhat. There's a definite change in the landscape.

Excellent views notwithstanding, sooner or later you have to hang a left, and start climbing again!

Her tail doesn't always look quite that long.

I'll not claim the last couple of hundred feet weren't something of a trial, but we made it. :)

Modesty forbids me to mention that despite the fact this had been the first hill we'd attempted together for months, and months...and months; we beat the book time no bother. Although the desire to reach the ferry home probably added a spring to our normally weary steps. Also - boats that are licensed to sell intoxicating liquor. That's a cracking concept too!

A memorable day out, altogether.


  1. Great looking day out and well done finding the window amongst the horror!

    I like Arran and despite having walked all along the ridge line in the second last photo there, I've never yet been on the summit of Goatfell!

  2. Well, given me and my exposure issues, I doubt I'd swop. ;)

  3. It's really not that bad. From memory there's a little (optional) scrambling but I don't remember anything feeling very exposed or hairy.

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  5. Actually, scrap that. I've just looked at my pics and there's some impressively knife edged ridges!

  6. Hmm - I think I'll stick with the big flat granite summits. :)