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Ben Vorlich via the SE ridge from Inveruglas

Ben Vorlich via the SE ridge from Inveruglas

Postby Philwalker » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Date walked: 04/05/2012

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10 km

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I had driven from Cornwall to the Scottish border after work the previous evening, and endured an almost sleepless night in the car. The consequence was that I arrived at Inveruglas at 10:00 a.m., so decided I had time to 'bag' a Munro before continuing north.
The walk starts by heading back along the road towards Tarbet to take the hydro service road up to the right. I followed it past a junction to reach a power station area containing large transformers, with pylons going off in several directions - hardly what I had come to Scotland for, but I suppose these things are intended to help the environment!
I left the road here to climb up through numerous crags and rock to gain the Southeast spur of Ben Vorlich. What a stunning view of Loch Lomond there is from here - definitely worth the effort - with miles of loch stretching away past Ben Lomond to the south.
Ben Vorlich Southeast Spur.jpg
The ascent of the Southeast spur

Ben Vane fm Vorlich ascent.jpg
Ben Vane

I eventually managed to drag myself away from the panorama and set off along this undulating ridge. The ups and downs are quite severe at times, but then you get one of those amazing views down a gully to the loch and beyond to Loch Arklet, providing the inspiration to sustain the endeavour.
Loch Lomond Panorama.jpg
Loch Lomond panorama, Loch Arklet beyond

Glimpses of Loch Sloy in the deep glen below to the west, with that gorgeous outline of Ben Vane rising almost sheer on the other side, also provided scenic sustenance, although the cloud was now approaching from that direction.
Loch Sloy & Ben Vane.jpg
Loch Sloy and Ben Vane

The final ascent climbed more steadily to the first top that, because it had the trig pillar on it, made me think it was the main summit. The view west included Beinn Ime, Beinn Narnane, and even The Cobbler through the gap between them.
The Arochar Alps from Ben Vorlich First Top.jpg
The Arochar Alps from the first top

Ben Vorlich Summit from first top.jpg
Ben Vorlich summit from the first top

A quick check of the map revealed that the next lump just a couple of hundred metres away was 2m higher. When I got there, I was delighted to find shelter from the now fierce easterly beneath the cairn, with a dramatic drop straight into Loch Sloy below - an ideal spot for an early lunch. By the time I had eaten my pasty, it had started to snow. The banana still went down well, with added ice, and then the sun decided to put in another appearance to cheer me up again.
The Cobbler from Ben Vorlich.jpg
The Cobbler (Ben Arthur) from Ben Vorlich summit

Loch Sloy from Ben Vorlich summit.jpg
Loch Sloy from my luchtime perch (after the snow)

It was tempting to go out to the north top, but the lack of sleep was now getting to me, so I made my way back to join the path down to the Loch Sloy dam. I was so pleased that I had not used this path in ascent. It is interminably steep and getting quite badly eroded in places - and there are no views of Loch Lomond to enjoy.
By the time I reached the service road, my knees were buckling beneath me, so I sat down for a 5 minute rest before strolling back along the tarmac to Inveruglas. If I had had more time and energy, I would have attempted to do Ben Vane as well by dropping northwest to the far end of Loch Sloy and taking the gentler-looking northern spur of the mountain over the top of Beinn Dubh, but I knew that dead feeling in the legs was a good warning. Besides, I had to drive many more miles eastwards to the Cairngorms. This had been a cracking warm-up though for the fortnight to come.
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Re: Ben Vorlich via the SE ridge from Inveruglas

Postby Frigate » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:29 pm

I hope the pasty was an Ivor Dewdney, reminder of my days in Guzzle. Good walk by the way.
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Re: Ben Vorlich via the SE ridge from Inveruglas

Postby welshwalker » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:16 pm

you have some great photos for the day :-)
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