So after bagging my first munro, Ben Lomond last Sunday, I was keen to get back out and walk up a hill!
We had been undecided between Ben Vorlich and Shiehallion, but since there was the chance to bag two munros on the same day Vorlich won out.
We left a sunny Stenhousemuir behind at about 9.30am and after a quick pit stop in Stirling to pick up some sandwiches and fill up on petrol, we were on Loch Earn side about 10.45am, fighting the fisherman for a car parking space on the narrow roadside verge parking on the South Loch Earn road.
Our day got off to a in auspicious start as we initally walked the wrong way down the road... heading away from Ardvorlich house and halfway to St Filans before it dawned on us... "Err whaurs the mountain?"
Mistake corrected we headed up the slightly rocky path up past Ardvorlich House.
Soon after we passed a delightful little waterfall that the path forded on it's way to the foot of the Ben and a pretty tree sitting in a hollow near by. (We knicknamed it the White Tree of Gondor! Sad I know!)
Strangely though the higher we climbed the views of the loch below seemed to become more limited, but that was more than compensated for by the magnificent Ben Lawers appearing in the distance over Creach Each on the north shore of Loch Earn.
Soon after we reached a big erratic rock and opportunity for a bit of posing couldn't be ignored.... much to the amusement of several groups, who took this opportunity to overtake the slow coaches in front of them.
After that we decided we'd better get a move on and made our way higher and higher up the path. I was actually shocked to see how erroded the path is higher up, lots of large stones teetering on edge, ready just to give way under an unassuming boot. After a wee breather and bite of our customary Oaty Flapjacks by a fairly large cairn we started to run into the white stuff. It wasn't deep, but it was quite slippy where others had trodden before us. The view up the hill was impressive however, with the sun shining on the snow from behind the ridge it was an impressive sight.
As we neared the summit, the view to west finally opened up to dramatic views.
I think that's Ben More and Stob Bienn you can see with the snow on top, over Loch Voil.
Soon after we were at the summit.
and the unwritten law is that a cup of tea must be had at the summit.... mmmmm
Fantastic views were to be had in all directions, but I particularly liked looking north, with the wee lochan on Meall Na Fearna shimmering in the sun and the afore mentioned Ben Lawers rising high in the distance.
At this point we had planned to make the trek across to the fearsome Stuc a'Chroin, we were weary of the mountain's infamous reputation and as we looked across we could see it had a fair amount of snow on it.
Being a newbie to hillwalking and therefore inexperienced in those conditions, we were thinking twice about it. Then the cherry on the cake was when the diabetic in our party realised he'd forgotten his insulin, so munro number two bagged and a satisfied group headed back to the car by the same route we climbed up.
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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.