Saturday, 13 December 2014

First Snows

This title is all wrong of course, because Goatfell has been looking wintry for at least a week, but these are my first snows, and I've been enjoying them since the recent "Weather Bomb" storm abated.

This was Goatfell yesterday.  The wild spindrift was fun, I'd forgotten what a proper winter maelstrom feels like.  We didn't go to the top, because near the summit buttress it quickly turned less fun...

Today I was on my own and after a late start wandered in to Glen Rosa and up to The Saddle. The weather seemed comparatively quiet, and I enjoyed watching the Sea King from HMS Gannet training in the Glen. She attracted the attention of a Golden Eagle, and to my surprise, the eagle chased her over Goatfell and out of its territory.

HMS Gannet training in Glen Rosa

From The Saddle, I took the new path up to the summit of Cir Mhor (I think). The path was mostly buried, especially near the top so I ended up taking the turfiest line I could find between the drifts and the slabs. The snow was very fluffy and unconsolidated, and by the time I passed behind the Rosetta Stone I was wading above the knee. I did get some stunning views and for a change it was not too windy so I could enjoy playing with my new camera.... If anyone is wondering whether there is any winter climbing to be had one Arran I'd say... not yet.  Lots of powder, and turf frozen where exposed, but soft under all that snow, with no ice to be seen.

The Witches Step as seen from The Saddle

Big views down Glen Sannox

Gully behind the Rosetta Stone

The Western Hills from the west flank of Cir Mhor

Looking back towards Goatfell

Tracks left by one badass bunny rabbit on the summit.

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