Island in the Sun – Part 4   16 comments

All things must end and so 3 days of glorious sunshine came to and end as we woke up to this

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

It had been a wild night with strong winds tearing at the tent in booming gusts. We knew it was coming so the tent was well battened down and was solid, although sleep was harder to come by. We had a long walk out so we were up early, breakfasted, packed an away sharpish. No views to detain us on this morning

 

It was a wild day and the wind was strong enough to blow you off balance, accentuated by the still heavy packs

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

At the col below Cir Mhor we lingered briefly to try standing up in the wind and then pressed on around the path that traverses the western flank. The wind from here to the point of descent into Glen Rosa was ferocious and picking through the bouldery path with a heavy pack was arduous. We had talked of walking out over the ridge of Beinn a Chliabhain but we plunged into Glen Rosa without a pause. Once down the first steep section the wind dropped and suddenly all was calm again. There were even signs that it might clear

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

Glen Rosa was a superb walk. Broad and wide open with a gorgeous clear stream and plenty of wild swimming pools for warmer weather. The sun became more visible with each step

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

Slowly but surely all the tops appeared except Cir Mhor which stubbornly refused to show itself

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

By the time we reached the corner to turn towards Brodick we were in full sun again and it was warm and balmy as it had been on the first day. Glen Rosa needs another visit

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

In my dreams I’d imagined that Brodick harbour was just down the road but this was a cruel deception. There followed 3 miles of slog down an admittedly stunning valley on tracks and Tarmac and I was feeling the heat and the pain in my knees from 4 days walking and heavy pack on hard roads. GM left me trailing as we walked, or in my case, limped into Brodick under a now cloudless sky

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

The seafront in Brodick is rather pleasant and we found a cracking spot to wait for the next ferry having just missed one. Several bottles of fizzy pop and a healthy portion of fish and chips from an excellent and well hidden chippy restored our spirits and we sat and whiled away a few hours ready for the boat home

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

Arran 4

8 Miles

The folly of just missing the previous ferry became apparent. The reason we had just missed it was that it was the earlier ferry that was now an hour late. Problems with docking in Ardrossan meant it couldn’t use it’s normal berth. By the time it had turned around a come back it was well over an hour late and the queue was enormous. We rather sneakily just slipped into the head of the queue, found a spot to sit on the sacks for a swift exit and departed the jewelled Isle

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

a chir, ailsa craig, Ardrossan, Arran, Beinn Nuis, beinn Tarsuinn, Brodick, Caisteal Abhail, ceum na Caillich, Cir Mhor, glen rosa, Goat Fell, Loch na Davie, rosa pinnacle, Beinn a Chliabhain

More messing about at Ardrossan meant we were pushing 2 hours late leaving and we had a long drive home. Still, after 4 days of amazing walking the journey seemed to fly by and I was back home in Hereford not long after midnight. Last years trip to Glen Scaddle was unbelievable but I think this year topped it. A long held dream to climb Arrans rocky summits fulfilled under perfect skies. Sensational stuff! 🙂

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16 responses to “Island in the Sun – Part 4

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  1. Lovely stuff Andy. Really enjoyed these posts.

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  2. Glen Rosa looks rather nice!

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    • Quite popular as it’s close to Brodick and on the route to the mountains, but very pleasant nonetheless. I wasn’t at my best after a restless night so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have done. A walk through and over the saddle and down Glen Sannox would be a fine low level walk

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  3. I like the moody cloud shots and the progression of the weather clearly improving. Your pain was our gain!
    Glen Rosa looks superb – I can see why you’d want to go back – the first photo with the bright foreground against the brooding mountain behind is a cracker.
    Re the huge tunnel tent – I’m looking at something of that ilk (but even bigger I suspect) for taking the kids for a wild-camp (or two if the first one goes well). I’ve wondered – does a long footprint make it considerably harder to find a reasonable pitch?
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/quickhiker-ultralight-4-man-hiking-tent-grey-id_8243148.html

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    beatingthebounds
    • Glen Rosa was a cracker and it was good to see it revealed slowly. It really was pretty wild for the first few hours of the day.
      That tent is pretty big and heavy. You’d probably find somewhere to put a tent that size up but you’d really be limiting your options. Not ideal but I’d look at two smaller tents. The other option would be a tarp tent but I think they are pretty expensive

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      • I was looking at a sort of tarp tent thing that Backpacking Light have heavily reduced, but I’m not sure that single skin tents are ideal if I’m trying to win the kids over to wild-camping – potentially a bit cold and also prone to insect infestation I’d have thought. 3.9 kg is heavy, but I can’t see a way around that given how much room I would need. Two tents with the same capacity would weigh more, or be out of my price bracket.

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        beatingthebounds
        • Must be a better, lighter, cost effective answer. I think Chrissie had a larger Terra Nova tent for sale a few weeks back that might have done the job but she might have sold it by now. My Lightwave tent would sleep 4 if one person slept in the porch (its big enough for an adult) but it does cost £500

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          • Our tent (Terra Nova Hyperspace) is still for sale, but at 5.3kg it’s certainly no backpacking tent I’m afraid! I know people use them on Everest etc but they must have porters to carry them 🙂

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          • The Terra Nova is 5.3kg. I don’t think 3.9kg is heavy, given the size. Even yours is 2.25kg, which is pretty stunning, but it is priced accordingly. I think all 5 of us could sleep in the Quechua, with me in the porch. Yes, TBH, in a moment of weakness has volunteered to join us!

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            beatingthebounds
  4. Been having a big catch-up Andy. That was a marvellous trip, what fantastic weather you had. Arran is a cracking Island, one I really enjoyed visiting. Have been eying it up for a backpack. The nearest proper bit of Scottish Mountains if you live south of the border.

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    backpackingbongos
    • I was wondering if you were going to drop by 🙂

      Superb island and the western side is pretty much deserted. One of my best trips that even just beat last years delights. I can’t recommend that high level campsite we found enough if you can find it. The higher the better seems to be best to avoid the heather, tussocks and bog. Always great to start a trip with a boat ride as well.

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