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Lochranza to Brodick "haute route"

As far as walks go, this has to be up there as one of our favourites.  It may be a long one, at least 21km whatever version you do, but it's a good one.  The joy of this route is you have multiple options for making your way back to Brodick.

Roll call at the 7am ferry saw Don, Eleanor, Gail, Gary, Lorraine, Steve, Marie and Caroline lining up in the breakfast queue to carb load in preparation for the days exertions.  Gillian was waiting for us at the bus. The weatherpeeps ensured us we would have a dry day though it was a wee bit on the cool side considering it's June.

The bus dropped us at the Lochranza Distillery and we made good progress up Gleann Easan due to the relatively good conditions underfoot from the recent dry spell.  Once we were over the river it was the first climb of the day up onto Sail an Im.

Ascending Sail an Im looking back down Gleann Easan
We were soon onto the ridge and drinking in the views before us.  Looking north, we could see the Paps of Jura but it was our route ahead which was getting our attention.

Heading towards Caisteal Abhail
It wasnae the warmest so we kept moving and the tors on the Castles were soon in sight.

The Holy Isle in between Goatfell & Cir Mhor from Caisteal Abhail
Cisteal Abhail ✅next stop Cir Mhor via the fresh water spring to top up the water bottles.  Don decided to sit back and enjoy the view.

We were making good time and soon on top of Cir Mhor for more summit shots.  
Don no longer a Cir Mhor virgin
After a well deserved lunch stop, it was down onto the A'Chir bypass path, where we met the only other people on our route that day - 2 fell runners and a very nice Swiss man doing a wee circuit of Glen Rosa. 

Caisteal Abhail, Cir Mhor and the Goatfell ridge behind
This was where the sun came out proper and we got a wee bit of heat though the wind still had a bite to it.  Discussions were had at the Bealach an Fhir-bhogha - to Tarsuinn & Nuis or Chlibhain???? Distance wise there isn't much in it but doing Tarsuinn & Nuis adds around another 300m of ascent.  We were all enjoying the day but decided Beinn a Chlibhain would be a more civilised end to the day while discussing when to come back and do the 3 Beinns route to get the other hills.  

It was a very pleasant decent in the now glorious sunshine and we were soon back down in Glen Rosa for the final leg out to Brodick and a celebratory refuelling stop at the Ormidale Hotel.  Boy those beef dripping chips were good!!


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