Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Arran re-visited, part five

Well, this was the last day we walked (Saturday). The day broke like this, a bit angry-looking, but with promise. I had to nip into Brodick before we left, and I got this lovely shot of Holy Island on the way.

Goat Fell looked pretty impressive too with the sun on it. The sea was nice and calm too, but that was to change dramatically soon!

With the weather still fair, we set off for North Glen Sannox. The burn was, understandably, in full spate and made for good pictures. The first part of this walk was really pleasant and easy, with a good path underfoot. It REALLY lifted our spirits to be walking in fair weather for a change.

Many, many waterfalls were seen in the walk up this Glen, we particularly earmarked this one as a fab' place to skinny dip (but not today - BRRRRR!)

We climbed higher and higher up the glen, the path getting thinner and less easy, but we pressed on, enjoying the atmosphere. Ahead, we saw the drawing witches step. This place was pulling at us, as we wanted badly to 'do' it, but weather and time had so far prevented us. We kept looking at it today though, and thinking; so near.......so near.

This waterfall was thundering, as the burn was squeezed into a thin chasm and was bursting through it.

The path now deteriorated, and was pretty hard going at times, and VERY wet underfoot.
That ridge though, it WAS close. Could we get up there? Would we have time?

Here's the answer, we decided to go for it! This photo doesn't really do justice to how steep the climb up to the ridge was, but I think Sue's posture helps to show it.

NOW it looks steep, but even though Sue was a bit below par with the start of a cold, she was game to press on to the top. We were already watching the clock, and although we could see the witches step very near, I estimated it would take at least an hour to get to it and come back (as come back, we had to) to walk the ridge back towards the car.

We arrived at the top, breathless with exertion and amazement at the views. Although there was a little low cloud and mist, these were still the best views so far on this holiday. This is the view from Coirre Fhearghas, across Glen Sannox (where we'd been a couple of days previous) to Cioch na h-Oige, The Bastion. Viewed from the road, this mountain looks fearsome, and looks like it's a stand-alone thing, but from here, you can see the connecting ridge.

The view forward, now getting a bit murky, to Suidhe Fhearghas, where the path drops down. I said to Sue that if we could maintain about 2 KPH, that would see us with time to get down before dark. Not a hard pace, but we didn't realise how difficult the path down would be, and how much it would slow our pace.

A longing look back to the witches step. If only...........
On the left, you can see the saddle, where we were yesterday.

Here's a better view of it, and the ridge (left) to North Goat Fell.

Looking down into Glen Sannox. We followed that burn all the way up to the chimney, from where we retreated a couple of days ago.

Coming to the end of the ridge, with lower Glen Sannox in full view now, and the sea beyond.

A look back to the saddle, and murky weather closing in on us.

Me at the summit of the ridge. After this, we made the hard descent to the car. There was a lot of rough ground at the end and I trod awkwardly, and 'popped' out my cartilage! Luckily, we were only about 100 yards from the car, as it would have been a rescue job otherwise. I couldn't walk, but managed to hop the final bit. JUST after we reached the car, the heavens opened, and the rain LASHED down. How glad was I that we weren't stuck up there with a bad leg???
I couldn't put any weight on my leg for a few days after that, and even now, I can't walk fully. It will be a long process, as the knee is really swollen, but I'll work it back to full strength and be walking again soon. Luckily, driving wasn't a problem, just walking.

As we had one day left on Arran, but I couldn't walk, we decided to do a round-island drive - something we'd been wanting and meaning to do. Now, it was the only choice. Thank goodness I did my leg on the next to last day, and not at the beginning of the holiday! There are just a few more pics of that drive, which ironically was probably the best day we'd had, weather-wise! I'll post those next.


  1. It was very fortunate that your leg injury happened at the end of a walk, at the end of your holiday! Hope it's all better now!

    What beautiful views. I think landscapes like that look fantastic whatever the weather.

  2. Thanks Louise, one last set to come, and that's it for this Arran visit :-(