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Arran Trip
31 October - 2 November 2003

(At the Air Na Creagan Home for Retired Mountaineers!)

The Club's second trip to Arran took place over the Halloween weekend. Following lunch in the Hip Flasksix of us caught the 3.15 ferry. Irene was already on the island and nine others came across on the evening ferry. Friday evening was spent eating the excellent lasagne, chilli and other assorted dishes followed by a sing along session that included a rendition of "Yellow Submarine" and culminated in a "Guess the Intro" competition.

Saturday saw us split into three groups:

Alan, Kathryn, Andy, Chris, Michael and Carol-Ann set off for Corrie from where they climbed North Goat Fell before walking to Brodick. Pat, Gillian, Jacqui, Irene, Anne and Kenneth travelled to the west of the island to walk around Coire Fhion Lochain.

Meanwhile Linda, Peter, Kevin, Alison and myself set off for Caisteal Abhail via Glen Sannox. The first part was fairly easy going as we walked up the glen on the right hand side of the stream. Just before we reached the Saddle we veered off to head for the ridge between Cir Mhor and Casteal Abhail. Linda, Alison and myself headed for the lowest point of the ridge. Kenny, Peter and Kevin meanwhile headed further north.

Kenny did his usual mountain goat impression and arrived on the ridge just ahead of us. Kevin and Peter arrived a little later after using a confidence rope to get Kevin out of a "sticky" situation!From here we climbed up on to the "castles" of Casteal Abhail and then on to Ceum na Caillich. An interesting descent of the Witch's Step, which briefly brought back memories of the Aonach Eagach, followed. A fairly straightforward walk towards Suidhe Fhearghas followed although the final descent was quite tricky. By this time Kevin was struggling with an injury to his leg that was slowing his progress considerably. Kenny and Linda by this time were well ahead and Alison and myself followed in the fading light that made finding the path very difficult. It was almost dark by the time the four of us managed to navigate our way back to the Glen Sannox track.

By the time Peter and Kevin had descended Suidhe Fhearghas it was completely dark and raining. They made the decision to take a bearing north-east towards the main road from where they managed to hitch a lift back to our accommodation arriving at just after 6 o'clock. Meantime we had ventured to a local hostelry forgetting the advice other members had given is about their experiences back in May. Looking forward to some liquid refreshment we were surprised at the interrogation we encountered regarding what we had been doing - of course we had been walking - what else did they think we had been doing dressed as we were! Eventually we persuaded the owner that we were dry enough to ensure that we would not leave any wet patches in his bar!

On returning to the centre we settled down to an excellent Chinese takeaway. Many thanks must go to Irene for again organising the weekend's accommodation as well as providing transport on the island.

On Sunday morning Kevin found an uncannily accurate paragraph in the book he was reading that is reproduced below - is this really us?!!

Mamie worried. She was getting old. "Getting", she called out loud. "Forget getting. I am old. Old is not good." She had no pension. No savings. Face frozen in horror, she stared blankly ahead. She imagined she would end up in an old folk's home, sitting in the corner of a cavernous room called the lounge. She'd be on a green plastic chair, wooden arms joining in painful singalongs led by hearty do-goody people in dungarees, reluctantly mouthing Yellow Submarine, a slow drool spilling unchecked from the corner of her mouth. "Jesus Christ", she hissed. "I hate old." Old was scary. Very old was terrifying.

From "It Could Happen To You" - by Isla Dewar (p169)

For fear of retribution I will leave it your own imagination to decide who the do-goody people in dungarees, the drooler, the scary old and the terrifyingly very old are!

Steve M

Miss Arran 2003
Miss Pinky
Miss Slever
Missing Troosers
Read Michael's Report    Read Kenny's Report
All too much!!
Mr November 2003

Photos Steve Morley & Irene Cahill

Affiliated to:

Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Scottish Youth Hostels Association

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