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A couple of weeks ago, myself and Cameron got our first hillwalk of the year in. We decided to head to the Isle of Arran and climb Goatfell. This time we chose the route from Corrie up to North Goatfell, then the ascent along the Stacach Ridge and finally up to Goatfell itself.
Goatfell is 874m or 2867ft for us oldies. The last time we climbed Goatfell was later on in the year, so this would be our first time with some snow at the top.
The mountain forecast was for some low lying cloud with a chance of cloud inversion at the top and light winds. Perfect conditions. We got the first ferry at 7am and the day looked very cloudy and dull. The first glimpse of Goatfell as the boat was heading into Brodick didn’t look good, totally covered in cloud but we hoped that we would climb above it once we reached the summit. We got the bus round to Corrie and started the climb. Once we made Coire lan, the cloud started to move in and we encountered our first pockets of snow. From there on, up to North Goatfell we climbed in plunging temperatures and poor visibility.
This image is of Cameron on North Goatfell. What the picture can’t convey is the wind that had started to pick up and we had to seek shelter between the rocks for a bite to eat. The wind was so bitingly cold that ice crystals started to form on my jacket and waterproof trousers. Suitably refreshed and after heating up my cold hands with a handwarmer, it was time to head along Stacach ridge and continue the climb.
The higher we got, we saw gaps in the cloud every now and then, with tantalising glimpses of blue sky.
We sat down here and waited for the cloud to lift.
The wait was worth it! In front of us the clouds parted and started rolling over the hills behind the Stacach Ridge. The wind also died away and it turned into a lovely afternoon.
Looking to my left, I could now see Cir Mhor and the Witches Step above the clouds too.
I then decided to head for the summit. By the time I reached the top, the clouds had moved on even more and there was some cloud inversion. Looking South-West from the trig point all you could see was a big blanket of cloud.
The next image is looking across Glen Rosa to Beinn Tarsuinn.
We then started our descent along the tourist route which was a bit tricky in places with hardened snow being a bit slippy. Luckily some other hardy soul had been up here and left footprints on the way down which we followed and used. Once we got to the top of Meall Breac we veered left and followed the path down to rejoin the original path back to Corrie. We managed our timings not too badly too, with only a 30 minute wait for the bus back to Brodick. I took one last picture of the ferry bathed in the late afternoon sun with Goatfell behind, before embarking and heading for home.
A very enjoyable day. The total length was just about 6 miles due to us going back to Corrie for the return instead of following the tourist route back down towards Brodick castle. The tourist route can be a bit of a slog so we were happy to try this alternate return route.
I was hoping for a decent sunset tonight, so I headed out to Stevenston on the off-chance that it would turn out okay. I have been meaning to visit these groynes for a long time but never got round to it till now. I spent a bitterly cold hour on the beach taking a few images. It wasn’t the best sunset I’ve ever seen but I did manage to get a shot I was happy with.
Early December and another trip to Glencoe. After a few days of cold weather we were hoping for plenty of snow. The morning started promisingly enough. The further north we drove the lower the temperature went. We arrived at Lochan na H-Achlaise around 8am with forty five minutes till sunrise and the temperature gauge on the car showing -7c. The snow cover wasn’t as much as we had hoped but there will still a pretty decent amount on the hills and sporadic patches at lower level.
Once we parked the car we saw that another couple of hardy souls had ventured out to capture the sunrise too. We quickly looked around and myself and Cameron split up and headed for the spots we thought were the best for the sunrise. When I say sunrise, I don’t really mean capturing the sun rising, as looking across Lochan na H-Achlaise towards the Black Mount is the wrong direction for a sunrise. We were more interested in the first rays of the sun clearing the hills behind us and lighting up the Black Mount.
The pre-dawn light was a bit special though with pink tinged clouds swirling over the top of the black mount. There was just enough of Lochan na H-Achlaise ice free to cast a lovely reflection too.
Once the sun started to light up the peaks of the black mount, it was as if the mountains themselves were glowing.
Once we had exhausted all possibilities here we headed for the Devils Staircase to hopefully get a few new shots of Glencoe from a different angle.
We were in New York during Veterans Day. We took in the parade and as usual I managed to take a couple of pictures.
New York has it’s fair share of street artists and people willing to dress up in costumes for tourists to take their picture. New Yorkers must need cheering up though as I saw a couple of these people wanting money to tell you some jokes and make you laugh.