Monday, 24 February 2014

Kirstie Boot Camp

I've been concentrating far too much learning to ski this winter and I'm starting to feel a little soft, so I messaged my friend, photographer and fellow Arran MRT member Kirstie Smith, with a request that she and her energetic collie dog drag me round the hills today, to remind me of what it is all about.  Now, Kirstie is a small but perfectly formed powerhouse, someone that storms around the Arran hills whenever she gets the chance, so I knew I'd be in for a fun day.....Kirstie is an awsome photographer by the way- check out her website here.  for lots of stunning photos of Arran and mountain rescue training.

After a relaxed start we headed up Glen Rosa, easing ourselves in to the day and enjoying the views at the lower levels.  Crossing the Rosa Burn was unproblematic, despite heavy rain overnight (it often runs in spate and catches people out here).

Glen Rosa
We headed up on to the Saddle, the halfway point of our day, (the easy half).  We were treated to immense views down Glen Sannox, which we took time to enjoy, as we knew we'd soon be in the clouds.

Looking in to Glen Sannox

Before long we were sweating our way up on to North Goatfell.  Its a big pull up from the saddle, and the path, always eroded, is in a treacherous state after this winter's heavy rain. 

From North Goatfell, the fun began, with a traverse under the buttresses of Stacach, in deep snow.  It's steep ground here, and the snow was soft and wet.  It was slow going along here, working from memory of where the path is- there are some nasty rock slabs on this side of the hill that we did not want to stray on unwittingly!

Traversing under Stacach- photo by Kirstie Smith

The summit of Goatfell eventually loomed in to view- although views were as usual, elusive....

Finally, we began the descent down the "tourist path" from Goatfell to Brodick, although you will see from the photo below, its not very touristy at the moment.  It may be mild in the glens, but there are still full on winter conditions on The Goat.

No sign of the path today, and lots of steep ground!- by Kirstie Smith

No comments: