Report on Cir Mhor and Witches Step
25 April 2009
The Craggy Clan - Dorothy, Phil, Michael, Lydia, Gail, Irene, Craig, Mark and Kevin.
We were staying at a cottage in Sannox, so we managed to start walking for nine o?clock. We only had to cross the road and through the gate at about 017455 and headed up Glen Sannox in nice warm sunshine but with some low clouds. We crossed the burn at 006452 and then kept to the north side and followed a track all the way up to the end of the glen. It was quite wet and muddy in places but nothing too bad. We then picked our way up the hillside to the saddle, although there was a path for most of the way. When we got to the saddle we headed NW for Cir Mhor. There is a path of sorts but also some fine wee scrambly bits.
There was a herd of deer grazing in the slopes that we would now ascend to get to the Castles. It didn?t take too long to get up and we walked along the path through the Castles and then continued on our way to the Witch?s Step.
There was a path all the way but there was some serious scrambling. The taller members of our party didn?t have any bother but some of us wee shorties needed a punt up now and again. Then we came to the really tricky bit; you have to drop a few feet onto a narrow exposed ledge, it certainly had the adrenalin flowing and it seems I was belting out a few ohs and ahs, but I was unaware of it at the time. Irene and I were wearing new trousers and were both surprised that we hadn?t ripped the knees and the backside out of them.
Eventually we got over the worst of it and we then had a decision to make; should we go up and over the next bit or down about 40 feet, round and then make our way back up again. The men chose to climb and the woman wimped out and went the easy way. Well, our arms and legs were aching from the scrambling we had just done. We all met up again on the ridge and together we headed towards Suidhe Fearglas.
Just as we were making our way up the path, we heard the first clap of thunder, this was followed shortly afterwards by a bolt of lightning. Well, no matter how tired we may have been feeling, we suddenly gained a new lease of life as we gained speed and fairly raced up to the top. By the time we got to the summit of Suidhe Fearghas, the thunder was getting closer and it echoed through the valley, but there was still no rain. We didn?t stop here to even take a picture, we just kept going. The track now became a horrible watery, scree trail and we slipped and slithered all the way down as fast as we could as it was really quite eerie with the thunder and lightning.
Finally, we got off the hill and on to the flat grass of Glen Sannox. We waited here for everyone to catch up and this is when the heavens opened and the torrential rain started. It rained solid for about fifteen minutes as we made our way along the path that would take us out through the old mines and out of the glen. So unfortunately I don?t have any photos of this part. The sun had come back out again and we were almost dry by the time we got to the pub. It had been a long day, nine hours to be exact, but a really enjoyable day. A lot harder than many munros I have done.