THE festival activity not to be missed for those who relish some serious rock clambering and have a head for heights! The A'Chir is a superb mountain ridge, easily providing one of the most exciting and challenging days out in the Arran hills.
However, it is not to be underestimated: This adventurous activity will expose participants to vertical drops and hands-on rock clambering. Participants will be roped for safety during the traverse.
Highest Point Gained 745m – A’Chir
Total Ascent 830m
Walk Duration 9hrs
Terrain Very narrow and exposed ridge with steep drops, rated as a ‘moderate’ rock climb.
Hands-on rock clambering and climbing, for which a head for heights and good balance is required. Steep ascents and descents on rough mountain paths.
Technical Rating Extreme
Endurance Rating 3
Date Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th May 2024
Meeting Time 07:45
Meeting Place Glen Rosa
There is plenty of time to warm up before the going gets tough: The walk into Glen Rosa makes for a relatively gentle start. After crossing the bridge over the Garbh Allt, the route turns uphill following the water course at first and then the ridge to the summit of Beinn a'Chliabhain (653m). Its flanks and lofty heights afford fabulous views to the A’Chir ridge and beyond. Glen Rosa stretches out below. The ridge itself is a wee bit scrambly, giving a foretaste of things to come.
Continuing to the Bowman’s Pass, A’Chir is getting closer and the awesome walls of Coire Daingean should be in full view. After the pass, the traverse of A’Chir’s ridge starts in earnest and it is time to get the harnesses and ropes out - the A’Chir ridge truly packs a punch. Seriously steep and exposed scrambling up and over steep slabs leads to the summit, where luckily the leaders are on hand to provide extra help to counter gravity which will be much appreciated when attempting to scale the airy summit boulder. But the real difficulties still lie ahead! Soon after the summit, participants will be ‘roped up’ on certain downward steps and slabs, leading to the famed Mauvais Pas, or “bad step”, which requires scramblers to gingerly step across an airy sequence of rocks. Once across, a larger roped vertical ‘abseil’ descent awaits, to pass the “bicycle step” after which an awkwardly slanting climb forms the last of the ‘tricky’ bits and soon after, the saddle between A’Chir & Cir Mhor is reached.
The descent in to Fionn Choire allows views back to the difficulties just traversed and leads back down in to Glen Rosa and a ‘relaxing’ walk back out the start.
This activity will be led by local Mountain Leaders specifically trained and assessed to guide on the A’Chir ridge.
Participants MUST have a good level of fitness, a head for heights, be surefooted and ideally have some previous scrambling experience.
A full traverse of the A'Chir ridge is dependent on good conditions on the day. In the interests of group safety, the route may be adapted accordingly. In bad weather, one option can be to bypass the more technical section north of the summit.
This walk is organised by the Arran Mountain Festival, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation SC 052229, supported by Auchrannie Leisure Ltd.