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A’Chir Ridge Scramble

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.

 | Overview

Distance
15km

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  
Ropework, extreme exposure, head for heights essential.

Endurance Rating
3  
Sustained steep ascents and descents, long-distance, stamina required, suitable for fit walkers. Have you had recent experience of walking for 6-8 hours? Have you recently walked up (and down) a mountain of over 1000m (3000ft) in height without physical distress? Do you regularly play an aerobic sport pretty much every week? If your answer is "No", we'd guess you'd be happier doing a walk rated a level lower than the one you’ve just read! As noted previously, we're into FUN so we don't want you to miss out by overdoing it.

Cost
£55

Date
Saturday 14 May 2022
Sunday 15 May 2022

Meeting Time
7:45am

Meeting Place

Glen Rosa (exact location will be confirmed upon booking)


 | Photo Gallery

 | Walk description

There is plenty of time to warm up before the going gets tough: The walk deep into Glen Rosa makes for a relatively gentle start. After passing through the National Trust for Scotland’s woodland exclosure, soon a left-hand fork in the path is taken to clamber steeply into Fionn Choire. Once in the corrie, Cir Mhor impressively towers to the north, and the craggy A’Chir ridge grows ever more imposing.

Shortly after the col at the head of Fionn Choire is gained, it is time to get the harnesses and ropes out – the A’Chir ridge truly packs a punch and is seriously steep and exposed right from the start.

Following an awkwardly slanting downclimb, one of the main obstacles of the day awaits. Participants will appreciate how the “bicycle step” got its name whilst trying to manoeuvre themselves onto a narrow ledge. Once this airy shelf is gained a short vertical clamber onto a hulking granite tor poses the next challenge. Reassurance from our experienced guides and the safety of a rope will be much appreciated for this section!

There is no let up during this adrenaline rush-inducing traverse – the next obstacle is the Mauvais Pas, or “bad step”, which requires scramblers to gingerly step across an airy sequence of rocks. More awkward and exposed but exhilarating clambering follows. Luckily the leaders are on hand to provide extra help to counter gravity. This assistance will be much appreciated when attempting to scale the airy summit boulder.

After a wee breather at the summit, the southern half of the ridge provides a few more challenging sections, but not quite on the same scale as the northern half already negotiated. Following another clamber up a short chimney and some controlled sliding down some slabs, the A’Chir ridge is conquered!

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.


Route Profile


 | Advised Kit List

Essential hill gear

  • NO jeans – anyone wearing jeans will not be allowed to start the walk, and no refund will be possible
  • Stout hill walking boots
  • Appropriate walking trousers, top layers and fleece – preferably no cotton layers
  • Waterproof (not showerproof) trousers
  • Waterproof (not showerproof) jacket
  • Spare layers
  • Woollen or fleece hat
  • Gloves
  • Packed lunch and drink - please consider the use of re-useable water bottles and food wrapping.
  • Any personal medicines

Other recommended kit

  • Sun cream and insect repellent
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Spare socks
  • Blister plasters


Bookings for the 2022 Arran Mountain Festival will open soon. Please sign up to our newsletter for updates.