Island in the Sun – Part 3   8 comments

Another day, another beautiful morning.

 

Low clouds clung to the ridges but everywhere else was deep blue. A chilly start with a brisk wind but it promised to be another memorable day and so it turned out

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We decided on a more easy paced day and packed light for a stroll across the nearby hills of Beinn Bhreac and Beinn Tarsuinn. The views across to Cir Mhor drifting in and out of cloud were majestic

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

They may not look much on the map but an crisp clear day they were a delight. The lower slopes are layered with deep heather and boulders but picking a grassy route through them was easy, enlivened by regular rodent sightings. One on the top the grassy summits make for grand walking. A summit camp in settled weather would be superb if you can haul water up!

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

It was a chill wind but with judicious positioning and sitting (a skill I’m justly proud of) we managed to find shelter and soaked up the views. The west was especially inspiring and the long ridge of Beinn Bharrain, Mullach Buidhe, Beinn Bhreac and Meall nam Damh just ached for a route. A walk across those tops is high on my agenda

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

With time on our side and a glorious day we took in Beinn Tarsuinn as well. Rough ground again on the slopes but the summit again a broad expanse of soft grass

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We got our long awaited view of the Paps of Jura into the bargain

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We were also paid a visit by a low flying Hercules Transport. Alas I wasn’t quite quick enough to set up the camera with the best settings so this is the best I could do

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

After a long laze on the summit the underwear insects were active again and we headed off back to the tent for lunch

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

Down at the tent it was windy but after more sitting expertise involving well placed rucksacks and rocks a warm and sunny lunch was enjoyed. It took a huge effort to follow up on the plan to pack up and move to another site to shorten the walk out the next day

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

I’d spotted what looked like a cracking site the previous day a flat patch of grass on the hillside just before the col between Cir Mhor and Caisteal Abhail. It took no more than a hour to pack and wander up there and in deed it was a magnificent spot

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

Still a liitle damp although nothing like the previous site it had a small bank to perch on to cook and make tea. A great supply of fresh running water a couple of hundred yards away and views to die for. The best wild site I’ve found for a long while. I got a little carried away with the photos but the tableau was just so magnificent that it was hard not to

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

With camp set up and bellies full it was time for an evening stroll across the col.

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

The weather forecast was for a spell of windy and cloudy conditions. Whilst we lost the clear skies we gained something better in the form of an ever changing light show from the setting sun

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

It was absolutely amazing. Dark mountains and shafts of sunlight, first orange and then deep red played on the western islands. Jura in particular was enlivened by natures own firework display

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

We both wandered about in a kind of happy daze, lost in our own world yet sharing this display of wonder and pleased that we had this to ourselves and that we’d made the decision to move up high. I’m not sure if I’ve picked the best of the shots but all the photos are in the slideshow at the start of the post

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

a chir, Arran, Beinn Bharrain, beinn bhreac, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, Goat Fell, jura, Loch na Davie, Meall nam Damh, Mullach Buidhe, paps of jura, The Witches Step

It was sad to see the sun finally go down and the lights go out, especially knowing we were likely to be in for a rough night. A short day from a walking perspective but a fine one

4.5 Miles, 2,000 feet of ascent

4.5 Miles, 2,000 feet of ascent

Another amazing day to live long in the memory. I’m surely going to pay for this good fortune sometime 🙂

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8 responses to “Island in the Sun – Part 3

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  1. Magnificent pictures again, especially the fading light and mountain silhouettes, days like that show the best in mountain backpacking. That pitch looks great, the map contours certainly don’t suggest it.
    You’re right about the Beinn Bharrain to Meall nam Damh ridge to the west, a fine route that we did a few years back approaching from Loch Tanna and Dubh Loch, hardly any people there.

    Like

    • Thanks Geoff! We only found that site when we walked past it on the way to Cir Mhor but it was perfectly sited and with water nearby running from a boggy patch into a clear fast flowing stream. There also looked to be some potential just below the col between A Chir and Beinn Tarsuinn on the western side

      It was the perfect day. Glorious sunshine followed by that dramatic sunset. Had we stayed where we were or the skies stayed clear I don’t think we have got that light show. It really was a mouth agape sort of evening. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sunset quite like it.

      Like

  2. What amazing photos! There’s just a touch of envy creeping in here…….

    Like

    • Making people feel jealous and purveying an overall sense of smugness – isn’t that what writing a blog is all about? 🙂

      It was a cracking day and we made some good judgement calls. Moving pitch in the middle of the day proved to be an inspired idea. A great site and a fabulous sunset thrown in. I’m sure I’ll get my come-uppance, Scotland weather will always win in the end

      Like

  3. Smugness – surely not? It is all inducing a slightly green hue over here. Superb pictures again. Good stuff!

    Like

    beatingthebounds

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