Easter in Scotland over the last couple of years has given us some exceptional weather and with the hope that the trend would continue, seventeen of us made the ferry journey from Ardrossan on the Scottish mainland for Easter at Lochranza at the north end of the Isle of Arran.
The northern half of Arran is dominated by rugged mountains of granite, similar in some respects to the Cullin mountains on the isle of Skye as they offer some quite serious scrambling in many places. On Saturday a group of us took the bus down to North Glen Sannox for walk over Caisteal Abhail, while a smaller group decided to climb Goat Fell – the highest hill on the island, by the so called tourist route from the island's capital - Brodick.
The climb up Caisteal Abhail involves crossing the ‘Witches Step’ – a notch in the mountain’s north-east ridge and it took us a while to work out the best way to cross it safely. A complex ridge then took us up to the two granite tors on the summit of the mountain. With the sun trying to burn through the cloud that had troubled is throughout the day, we continued our traverse of the hill, descending the mountain’s north ridge to join a valley path back to our accommodation in Lochranza.
Easter Sunday was a much better day with warm sunshine and some headed south to climb Goat Fell by the tourist route from Brodick, descending down to Corrie in time to (just) catch the local café for tea before it closed. Others took a linear coastal walk around the headland of the ‘Cock of Arran’.
Easter Monday was equally fine (the firth of Clyde was blanketed in Fog, which was delaying the ferries, but the mountains were above this in warm sunshine.) Two of us had time to walk the horseshoe of Beinn Tarsuinn and Beinn Nuis before we had to catch our ferry back to the mainland.