06 May 2018

Sannox Horseshoe - Change is gonna come.......

Day 3 on Arran and after the fog and mist of yesterday we woke today to a promise of brilliant sunshine breaking through at some point in the morning which was a great start since today we were going to attempt the Sannox Horseshoe.  A walk full of scrambles, ridges, high peaks and right up my street. 

We parked at the designated car park and the fog and mist was still low but undeterred we made our way up the path, through the Sannox valley with the path getting gradually steeper. Trees loomed in the mist and it was all very dark and gloomy. 

As we made our way up the side of the first hill we could almost feel the cloud lifting and by the time we'd reached the scramble part the skies were blue and the cloud was receding as the sun shone and provided some much needed warmth of the day. 

The first scramble bit was fantastic and really was a good logistical challenge.  There were parts that at first looked impossible and then with a bit of thinking and choosing the route carefully we navigated our way through the steep rocks. 

Once we'd reached the top of the first part of the hill the ridge before us was jagged and a little bit exposed in some areas but looked amazing. 
It was here we could see the full horseshoe and the ridges and peaks that waited for us later in the day including the witches step which looked a bit ominous. 

The ridge would take us up and over the next hill leading us to North Goat Fell which is the sister peak of Goat Fell which we did yesterday and the we'd follow the path down to the saddle away from North Goat Fell and onto the remaining peaks in the horseshoe. 

Looking behind us we could see the scramble bit that we'd just come over and most of the initial ridge.  The views really were magnificent and totally made up for yesterday's lack of visibility. 
Over all of the initial scrambles we popped out near the path that we took yesterday up onto Goat Fell but took another direction and since it was around lunchtime we hunkered down behind a rock to eat something before heading down to the saddle and across to the other peaks. 
It was as we were eating our sandwiches the cloud started to drop again and visibility became non existent.  We made our way down off North Goat Fell onto the path which we believed would take us over to the saddle but visibility now made it practically impossible to see what direction we should be taking.  We got out our map and could see the path we should be taking but felt that due to the weather closing in it would be sensible to retrace our steps back to North Goat Fell and then back down the path we took yesterday. 

Disappointing we had to call the walk off short as when we got back to ground level the sun was once again out and skies were clear.  It was just not to be today but I think we'll be back on Arran and we'll give this a go again, definitely.  

Date walked: 06/05/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1032m

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