Saturday, 25 June 2011

Twenty Reasons

We know what you are thinking: you’re looking for the…

…Ten Top Reasons to Visit Arran’s Mountains

1. No Munro baggers
The baggers are all off looking for high altitude peatbogs in the Cairngorms, which means the spiky little ‘uns are kept for the connoisseurs.

2. Ridges
From the Three Beinns ridge (steady) to Midnight Ridge Direct (a bit poky) there’s a magnificent edge for everybody. If you don’t like ridges, there’s a shop in Brodick that has fridges for everyone. It’s win/win!

3. Cool rock climbing
From the whispered-of boulder field of Fionn Coire to the sizzling quality of the Rosa Pinnacle, the coarse granite of north Arran is worth a day or two of any discerning climber’s time.

4. Cir Mhor
It’s really good! The best mountain on Arran(?) and up there with the best of hills in Scotland.

5. Classic mountain topography
In the spring time, the Brodick Co-op is packed with geography/geology students. They’re presumably on the island for the funky glacial features and not the fine bargains and friendly staff (or maybe they are!) – cavernous corries and lofty ridges abound.

6. The Arran Mountain Festival
20 events packed into four days, with good craic in the evenings. Get booking now! (Plug over…)

7. Multi-storey mountains
Whether you like to potter around in the bottom of wildlife-packed valleys, stamp over windy passes or scramble to lofty summits, Arran has accessible pleasure at every altitude.

8. The weather
“Holy moly! It was fine on the way up and now it’s raining upwards.” The complete experience!

9. Eagles and seagulls
Arran’s a bit of a stronghold for nature. On an average day out in the hills you might see gannets (you start by the sea), red squirrels (through the woods), and then butterflies, golden eagle, roseroot, adder etc. It’s all very jolly.

10. Accessibility
Arran’s two hours from the middle of Glasgow, it’s the southernmost bit of the highlands and the mountains are within walking distance of the ferry port at Brodick (just head towards the Co-op and keep going).

But we have to be balanced. So here’s our best attempt at the…

…Ten Top Reasons not to Visit Arran’s Mountains

1. No Munros
Okay, so they’re not the biggest mountains in Scotland. (But since when did height matter?)

2. Fear
With all those serrated ridges and lofty summits, fear is a common reason to sack it off and go to the Beach (or the Co-op). Those in the know should sign up for a Mountain Festival guided walk and let someone else do the worrying.

3. Dodgy rock climbs
Back in the 1890s, the rock climbing in Arran’s hills had a reputation for being damp, dirty and vegetated, so if you’re a Victorian that’s stuck in time then you may not be that keen to give the crags a try.

4. They’re mountains
Some folk are fat, unfit, old, and their joints aren’t the ones they were born with… for whatever reason, some people can’t or don’t want to climb mountains. This website has some high quality alternatives.

5. Midges
Scotland’s own airborne piranhas love to hang out in the still, warm glens of Arran.

6. The weather
“Holy moly! It was fine on the way up and now it’s raining upwards.” Nightmare.

7. They’re in Scotland
Look; It’s hard to think of ten reasons… but if you live in Basingstoke or Newton Abbott then Arran probably doesn’t seem the closest place to visit. If this applies to you, you could always leave your job/school/family and move up here… they’re recruiting in the Brodick Co-op.

8. Allergies?!
This is getting harder. Maybe you have an allergy to heather?!

9. Okay. I give up. There probably aren’t ten reasons. Get up there.

These are not the opinions of the AMF Board, and may not even be those of the author.
Other supermarkets are available (‘though not on Arran).