Finally Arran became a reality for us, when it was announced that foot and mouth was no longer keeping all the paths shut and that most of Goatfell and the surrounding area should be open. We took the ferry from Ardrossen to Brodick arriving at the campsite in Lochranza on the Friday and others arrived on Saturday. It was a good campsite situated on the north of the island, adjacent to the golf course. Apparently there are 7 of them on Arran. We were not bothered by midges; showers and loos got 8 out of 10; but it was quite a long walk to the pub.
On arrival we were told by the owner of the campsite that most of the island was open to walkers but the mountainside behind the campsite us perhaps should be out of bounds as deer were on them. However, we noted with interest that some of the said deer were actually grazing in the campsite itself so we felt free to interpret the owner's comments using a bit of reasoned argument in our favour!
It rained quite hard on the Friday afternoon, but this did not deter the hardier amongst us. Jonathan went up North Glen Sannox onto the ridge and back over Suidhe Ehearghas. Simon, Carmen, and Pauline set off to climb Sou'Wester Slab, but had to turn back when the heavens opened near the foot of the climb (a mere 5 mile walk-in!). Other activities were confined to the distillery over the road!
On Saturday Margaret Sinclair, Maryse, Silvia, Phil, Jonathan and Jennifer went up and over Goatfell, North Goatfell, Mullach Buidhe and Cioch na h-Oighe where we descended to the road and back to High Corrie where we had left the car. It was a superb walk with perfect sunny weather and a few fair weather clouds to make the back drop more interesting. Interesting but easy scrambling (even for Jennifer!) along much of the ridge and superb views made it a very memorable and enjoyable day. We arrived back (having had what we considered a well earned drink at the hotel at Corrie) at about 6 o'clock.
Simon, Debra, Simon and Carmen however arrived back four and a half hours
later having (with the benefit of two cars) traversed the A'Chir ridge starting
from the campsite to the NW of Brodick and finishing on the main road at
of Glen Sannox. Simon F walked round the exposed part of the ridge and during
his hour and half wait for the others had the pleasure of watching Peter
and Pauline negotiating an excellent looking V.Diff on the SW side of Cir
During this time Phil had managed to cycle round the entire and was enjoying a couple of beers while the four of us scrambled around looking for some takeaway food!
On the Sunday Silvia, Phil, Margaret Sinclair, Maryse, Jonathan and Jennifer took the path that heads NW from the campsite up onto the Creag Ghias Cuithe, Creag Ghlas Laggen and came down to the sea near Laggan. Simon, Debra, Simon and Carmen cycled round the north half of the island. The others spent the afternoon enjoying the walk back along the seashore playing hide and seek with the seals, and eider ducks.
Several people were able to stay on a few days longer but Jennifer and Jonathan, Maryse and Margaret Sinclair headed back home on Monday morning.