Having been defeated by Ben Vorlich back in February, where James and I got to 2500 feet or so, only to turn back because of deep snow, poor visibility and gale force winds; we set off again at 9.15am on Sunday morning - the better day of the weekend. Although a bit grey, there was little threat of rain and temperature was about 7deg down at the road. We headed back up the hill from Ardvorlich, with a feeling of deja vu; determined to achieve Ben V, even if Stuc a'Chroin might be a Munro too far.
I had read Del246's recent report from Ben V (19 Oct) recording some of the first snow of the season, and was prepared for it to be a bit skitey near the top, and for Stuc a'Chroin to be out of reach.
Up we went, at a reasonable pace, with nobody else in sight. As we left the trees behind and started to climb above 1000 feet, we coud hear a stag rutting somewhere ahead of us. At times he sounded quite close, but we never saw him. At about 1800 feet we entered the cloud, and the views of Loch Earn disappeared behind us. . Temperature dropped, and the wind picked up a bit, but not as much as the previous day on Ben Ledi. The walk to the summit was relatively uneventful, with visibility of about 50 yards, and the occasional call from the stag.
We were disappointed to find all the snow Del246 had reported, now gone, with only a couple of sad patches remaining.
Although maybe we should have been grateful the snow had gone, - the going was relatively straight forward, and not at all slippy.
After a couple of pictures at the top(s), we took the decision that Stuc would have to wait for another day - I did not want to risk going on with the visibility so poor, and a very good chance we would struggle with the second Munro, even if we could find it. Maybe we will give it a try from Loch Lubnaig via Ben Each some time when the views can be enjoyed.
On the way down, we met a couple of groups who were heading up, and both groups were planning to get to Stuc too - I hope they made it OK - they looked well prepared. Other than these two groups (5 guys in total) we never saw another soul, all day.
All in all, a good walk - and we will be back some time to have a go at Stuc a'Chroin.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.