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Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Our

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:43 pm
by GillC
Munros 9 & 10 - Check!

Long day on the hills,,,Been looking forward to this walk/climb all week,, weather was fab as the weekend approached,,,and then..............Saturday, smirry rain, low cloud WHERES THE LOVELY WEATHER IVE BEEN LOOKING OUT AT ALL WEEK?????

Anyway,,,whats weather,,,just a change in clothes really innit!

So, off we went,,heading out to meet up with party number 3 then off up to Loch Earn. Arrived,,booted up and ready for the hills by 9:50am. Loch side was busy with fishermen,,well, men with fishing rods and large carry outs of beer! Very sporting.

The approach to Ben Vorlich from the North starts climbing almost immediately, you dont realise how much and how quickly though, until you're seeing it on the way down. Visibility was very poor, constant smirry, wet, misty rain which turned to actual big drops fairly quickly. Quite a few folk out on the path at this point. Didnt take long before we had to get all the waterproofs out , looked like it was on for the day.

We headed up the side of the shoulder then up on to the top,,it all made so much more sense on the way down again, looking at it from Ben Our! Reached the top in around 2 hrs,,headed over to the cairn after the trig point where the wind suddenly dropped and it was pretty mild,,so we settled there for a spot of lunch and a cuppa.
Just making sure I actually reached the top!!
Hanging on to the old saltire,,,,FREEEDOOOOMMMMMM
Headed off the summit for what we thought was the path over to Stuc A'Chroin, apparently doing what at least 4 others had done too,,gone off to the east, instead of the west, bit annoying,,,just as the cloud and mist cleared to give us a tantalising glimpse of what we THOUGHT was Stuc. Kindly put right by someone coming back from the same wrong route. We took what we assumed would be an easer way than retracing our steps, bit of a sideways scramble back to the Trig point then straight off the other, correct path.
This was GOOD visibility about half way through,,TROPICAL

Visibility was still pretty poor, so you would get little glimpses of the rocky way ahead. Down into the Beallach an Dubh Chorein, lots of rocky covered hill sides, having to maintain 3-4 points of contact for much of the way down, and up. The path is really bitty,,,better seen from a distance and much of the ascent was simply finding the next, non wobbly rock, to hang on to. With varying heights and leg lengths in the party, this sometimes meant slightly different routes.

This is described on most articles as a scramble,,its definitely that, and almost vertical, but really good fun, challenging in the wet conditions as the rocks were pretty slippy underfoot.

Got to the wee cairn, with a memorial plaque to Donald Stuart, founder of Falkirk Mountaineering Club which was erected in his memory in 1958, Unfortunately,,turned out to be a nice wee false peak, so despite our picture taking etc,,,we then scarpered off to the real summit which, to be honest,,if the cloud hadnt lifted again for a brief spell, we wouldnt even have known was there.
Stucs false peak....and 3 soggy climbers

Up to the 2 cairns, hard to tell which was the highest so touched on both, just in case. We then decided to take the slightly longer route down via Ben Our. Problem with this was, to get to the top of Our, you had to drop down a looonggg way, so, Johns bright idea was to skirt round a rocky face and join what looked like a path, half way up the side of Vorlich and heading over to Ben Our. This "decision" took us across and down the north face of Stuc, which to be honest, is not clever. Very steep, very rocky and on looking back up at it from below,,,very stupid. But,,we did it,,made it across and stepped out along the sloping hillside to Ben Our, had 2 peaks, second being Sron Mhor, brief stop and great views of both Vorlich and Stuc on what was now a fine, sunny and pretty mild day. Waterproofs were off and even the fleeces came off soon after.
Sun coming out, clear views and all this is mine!

Cracking view up to the two peaks from the shoulder of Ben Our

Saw what looked like an Arctic hare, huge thing, grey white, so probably losing its winter coat a bit now.

The descent from Ben Our was long and we didnt seem to lose height at any rate but it gave us a fantastic opportunity to see the route we had taken on the way up, viewing it from the West and seeing the whole path/shoulder up Vorlich,,with the HUGE boulder that is Stuc A'Chroin looming dark behind it.
Vorlich and Stuc (hiding behind me) at the Sron Mhor cairn..

Down through some boggy areas with some lovely old trees, and down to the road, John, bless him, had gone ahead, got the car and drove about 200 yrds up the track to collect us. Much appreciated.
3 Amigos,,,silhouettes, sun on our backs at last

All in all, an 8 hour day, 2 Munros, taking me to 10 in total and a cheeky wee 3rd peak for good measure.
Great day,,fab company and would thoroughly recommend the hills,,(if not our choice of route at times)

Re: Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Our

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:46 pm
by Labdad77
Done Ben Our also when doing these two Munros. Started up the wrong glen (mental note to self, have both Landranger maps when required and don't try to make do with just the one :? ) and decided to go over Ben Our, onto Stuc, then Vorlich and down the way you came up. Had to walk along the Loch Earn road back to the car (man that roads long). I think I must have added at least 2 hours onto the day!!

Nothing worse than looking at good weather all week and getting duped on the weekend :( . Glad the weather turned out okay later in the day for you.

Re: Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Our

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:18 am
by LeithySuburbs
Nive variation on the usual route :D . Was the photographer a wee bit drunk though :lol: ?

Re: Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Our

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:04 am
by GillC
She may well have had something in the old camel pack that I didnt know about,,,but she certainly wasnt sharing it lol :lol:

Re: Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Our

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:14 am
by pollyh33
Smashing report Gill. Loved your photos too especially the shadows one.

So pleased you had a great time. I'm heading up to Loch Earn in a few weeks time and will hopefully be retracing your steps (well maybe not all of them!!! :D )- so thanks for very helpful hints,

Cheers!! XX

Re: Ben Vorlich, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Our

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:51 pm
by gymman47
Well done and next time I attempt the Stuc(since I failed twice this year already) I could try same route as you guys. Thanks for nice report and pics. :clap: