End of a few days in Arran Cir Mhor via the Saddle and a “dook “ in Glen Rosa.

Glen Rosa camp site

This was our last full day on Arran we were away early to Glen Rosa for a wander up Cir Mhor a grand hill from the Saddle.

Glen Rosa

It was very warm and Glen Rosa means so much to both of us. I spent many great holidays here with my family usually ending up in Glen Rosa after a hill day with a dook (swim). From the age of 5 I can remember great days with my Dad Mum and family on all the peaks.

Starting off in Glen Rosa a place of so many memories for both of us.

The campsite at Glen Rosa was not too busy and we left the car there. I had memories of walking into Glen Rosa in the past on a boggy path but it’s well looked after now. After the bridge you leave the track to the path and you spot the great swimming pools on the Granite worn slabs.

The views are great and the centre piece is the great cliffs of Cir Mhor what a mountain. My Dad took me here and I remember wanting to climb on this cliff. We met some “real” climbers and I was amazed by them!

Since these early days I have been so fortunate to have climbed here in the past so often there’s some superb routes on the granite here. We met a family going for a climb on the classic Sou’wester slabs. Today we would wander up to the Saddle and on to Cir Mhor . We went slow even Islay Kallies Collie was feeling the heat. On route we passed the Goatfell slabs with the classic named “Blank and Blankist” that put a few off climbing here.

Kalie near the top of the Saddke with the Witches Step in view.

The clegs were about and were bitting once we used some spray it was not too bad. We had lunch on the Saddle and met another lassie coming up from Glen Sannox. The views here are magical of Glen Sannox and Cir Mhor looks pretty steep and rocky from here. I climbed on the slabs here as well on the Sannox side we had fun in my RAF Valley days on a trip from North Wales. Climbing from dawn till dusk when we were young !

The mist was coming and going.

The route up Cir Mhor is hard to spot but it’s there. It can be tricky in bad weather or winter so care is needed.

Cir Mhor

It follows another good path to the summit a pull of 1000 feet through granite crags. We stopped a bit Kalie and Islay in front and me a bit behind. I felt the heat today and drank a lot of water.

Into the mist.

This can be a tricky descent in winter and near the top the path goes round to the main cliffs. I remember climbs here great days in the past with so many companions. It was then a wee scramble to the airy summit no views a bit more food and a look at the map.

On the way of the mist clears and the great cliffs open up.

The path to the beleach rather than go back the same way was followed and again great work on the path has been done here.

Looking at the cliffs Souwester Slabs, featured in the Classic Rock book is a 100-m VD climb on Cir Mhor, Arran. Featuring slab and crack climbing on superb mountain granite, it was first climbed by G H Townsend, G C Curtis, M J H Hawkins and H Hore on 03 September 1944.

It was here I wandered over to the cliff edge and saw the family we met on Sou’wester Slabs. They were high up below the overhang and I shouted they answered and were having fun. We headed down into the Fionn Corrie. Islay and us all needing water to cool down.

The dooking pool.

Kalie is a water lass and could not wait to cool off at the pools in the way off. In between when we could Islay who is not a fan of water was getting cooled down in the burn.

Dooking !

At last we reached the pools before the bridge there were a few folk we met on the way down but had the “ dook” to ourselves. The water was so warm and we could have stayed there but the clegs were back.

The swim is invigorating another lassie arrived and enjoyed the respite from the heat. I had so many memories going back over 60 years of being here.

It was a short wander back to the car and we chatted about the how the Glen had changed. There were no sheep, lots of new trees planted bringing back life to a great Glen. It was so lush apart from the clegs and the dragon flies we saw eagles soaring and so many wild flowers. It’s a stunning place in weather like this.

We reached the car drove back to Catacol and showered then an lovely evening meal in the Lighthouse at Pirnmill.

The end of a grand day, great company and memories of family and friends. Sadly most of my family now gone but what a day.

Thanks Kalie and Islay for a superb day out. Thanks to Arran for giving us such great weather and so many memories. I love this place and it’s folk yet away from the crowds it’s so peaceful.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Equipment, Family, Flora, Friends, Health, Islands, Local area and events to see, Mountain Biking, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Other hills Grahams & Donalds, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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