Archive for November 10th, 2013

November 10, 2013

Postcards from Arran part two – Moorland

by backpackingbongos

A large chunk of Arran is covered in moorland, this rising to high rocky mountains in the north.  Rough, rugged and empty it provided a welcome alternative to climbing up high during a sustained period of windy weather.

Sail Chalmadale – 480 metres

I spent the night in the van, metres from the sea at the mouth of Lorsa Water.  A windy spot where I did not risk raising the roof of the Bongo for fear of it being damaged.  It was a high tide in the morning and I was surprised at just how close the waves were.

The owners of Dougarie Lodge are keen to keep the public away from their country pile.  A path takes a circuitous route to avoid the buildings, depositing you further along the track that runs to Loch Lorsa.  Here I met a shooting party, who although polite did not appear overwhelmingly pleased to see me.  They were showing great skill in bringing down pheasants, possibly the dumbest creature on earth.

Tweed and gunshots were left behind for the march up the glen, first along a good track to the loch and then a boggy squelch through tussocky grass.  On the long steady plod towards the summit Reuben gave me cause for concern as he was lagging behind.  This soon dissipated once the wind got under his sails on the summit ridge.  For a lowly 480 metres Sail Chalmadale is a pretty fine viewpoint, mountains to one side, the sea to the other.

The trek down the south west ridge was hard going.  Steep and rocky at first, bog and vegetation lower down.  A great walk and the only day when it did not rain.

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Tighvein – 458 metres

Tighvein is the highest point on the southern part of the island.  It was worthy destination for a quick leg stretcher before wind and rain once again swept in from the west.

There is a way marked trail from the car park at Dyemill to Urie Loch.  This is not marked on my 1:25,000 map, a little bit disconcerting when Reuben and I plunged into the forest.  It was a steady plod through a rather dark plantation before a final steep pull onto the moors.  The small loch sits in a hollow, a boulder providing shelter to get out the sandwiches.

The final walk to the freshly painted trig point is short but tough, the deep tangled heather making the going rather slow.

As expected the view was extensive across the surrounding bleak moors.  Within minutes of arrival the clouds started to shroud the summit, it was raining heavily by the time we got back to the Bongo.

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