The Isle of Arran why is it so special to me?
It is a huge honour to be asked to speak in Arran about some of my adventures at the Arran Mountain Festival Lecture in August please come along and support it.
This wonderful Island means so much to me I was born in Ayr and most days I could see Arran and those incredible peaks in all seasons My father as a Minister used to bring us all over for a working holidays every year! We would climb the great Arran peaks from an early age as a family, we had no gear and lots of fun. There were 5 kids and Mum and Dad. What adventures we had on these great hills and I grew to love this special Island
Arran gave me so much in these formative years and I have been so privileged to walk climb and carry our rescues for over 50 years. I was involved in Mountain Rescue for 40′ years and have climbed all over the World yet Arran ,this Island the people the mountains are so special to me .
As a Mountain Rescue team member troop in the early 70’s we managed a great winter crossing of the ridge, it was a huge undertaking and I will never forget the walking off as the sunset after a huge day. Ice axe and crampons all day in Arran was a rare occurrence and this was one of my finest adventures. I even managed a few winter climbs over the years, was I lucky? For many years I was to rock climb on Cir Mor and other great cliffs and experience the wonderful Arran and rough granite and the blankness of some of the slab climbs they are great experiences over so many years.
I can never forget when I am coming down Glen Rosa having a swim as we did with Mum and Dad in the early 60’s and the long walk back via the chippy in Brodick. The deep granite pools and the clear water still the same after so many years. My Dad showing me the climber on Cir Mor and me being lucky enough to climb there so many times. I loved the classic climbs Souwester Slab, South Ridge Direct and Blank and others.
As my Dad said Arran “is in our hearts in more ways than one”