Walk: The Brack... and beyond

[The Brack]

The Brack is an craggy peak steeply overlooking Glen Croe and the Rest and Be Thankful road pass. After an easy start on gentle forest tracks, the absurdly steep qualifying scramble at the start of the hill path proper is a brutal reminder that you're in the jagged Arrochar Alps. Beyond the summit lies a partly pathless but attractively undulating ridge to the south west. This conveniently intersects with the Cowal Way for a straightforward return route. Three kilometres of road walking at the end can be varied by using scenic (but less direct) forest paths beside Loch Long and the River Croe.

[View over Glen Croe from the steep ascent path]

Name: Walk: The Brack... and beyond ★★★
Length: 13 km / 8 miles
Ascent: 940 metres
Main summits: The Brack (787 metres, Corbett)
Points of interest: Loch Long; Croe Water
Start / finish: Car park on the A83 just north of Ardgartan, G.R.: NN 270037 / drag supported harp

Route: Car park - start of hill path at NN 253040 - The Brack - south west ridge (or similar route) - Cowal Way at NN 234018 - Coilessan Glen by Cowal Way - Coilessan Cottage - beach just before Ardgartan Hotel by lochside path - footbridge over River Croe at NN 275031 - return to start by east bank.
Terrain: Wide forestry tracks then steep and rough hill path for ascent which may require hands right at the start, and boggy in places. Descent to Cowal Way on intermittent grassy trods, then good path and track down Coilessan Glen. Minor road then woodland paths for return stretch.
Wildlife today: Ravens and a few sheep high up; birds and ducks on the loch and in Glen Croe.
Weather today: Sunny, but a few snow showers on surrounding hills. Just below freezing on the summit and windy where exposed. Frozen ground high up helped with boggy parts.

[Return along the River Croe]


Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

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