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7 and 8, and third time lucky on Stuc a' Chroin!

7 and 8, and third time lucky on Stuc a' Chroin!

Postby budvarone » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:26 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich and Stùc a' Chròin

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stùc a' Chròin

Date walked: 14/10/2012

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 1145m

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I'd been at work for 12 days in a row (my own fault for not being able to say "no!") so when my day off finally arrived, I was desperate to get out! I'd been checking the forecast for this area for a few days beforehand, and it looked good, that was to change tho! Neil had suggested Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin as I hadn't been there before, and he'd tried for SaC twice before and been beaten back both times by poor weather. So we set off from the Borders and arrived at Ardvorlich 2 and a half hours later. We had a quick bite to eat and set off.
The forecast had changed for the worse, we couldn't see Ben Vorlich for low cloud, and the rain varied from a light drizzle to quite heavy, it did occasionally stop, but not long enough for us to dry out!
The path up BV is okay, a bit steep in parts, and also pretty badly eroded, by flooding, I guessed, rather than feet! Other than the usual puffing and panting (on my part!) the climb to the summit was pretty non eventful, and we reached the trig point in a little over 2 hours, that was no.7 for me!
The "car park" with Loch Earn on the right.
Neil with Ben Vorlich behind shrouded in cloud.
Looking back across Loch Earn.
At the trig point.

The views were non existent, as they have been on most of our recent walks, so after a few pics, and a chat to a very helpful chap at the top, we decided to have a go on Stuc a' Chroin, and we quickly headed down to the bealach, and onwards to the foot of the famous prow!
Heading off Ben Vorlich.

The path down was in good nick, requiring a wee bit of scrambling but nothing serious, I slipped and landed on my arse just the once! We took our time and in about half an hour we were looking up at the prow which we were supposed to scramble up! I'm pretty much a novice at hill walking so I've not much experience of scrambling, and as the advice we were given at the top of Ben Vorlich was to take care on the prow as the rain will have made the rocks really slippy....we decided to opt for the "easy" route off to the right, up the steep grass/scree path, this wasn't easy! It was, for me at least, a tough slog which resulted in much muttering, swearing and cramps in my legs (any suggestions to help with these?) Neil seemed to take it in his stride tho! I was SO glad to reach the top, and have a breather!
On the bealach.
We've to go up there???

The path from here to the summit was again, quite straightforward, and soon I had managed to reach summit no.8....YAY! Neil had also succeeded on his third attempt!
To be honest, we'd actually gone to the wrong summit cairn first, had a well earned, late lunch, and took our summit pics, then started our descent, I suggested we should maybe go to the other cairn, just in case THAT was the real summit, so we quickly headed over, took a few more pics and then made our way back to the top of the grass/scree path.
Third time lucky!

The cloud disappeared at this point and we had some pretty good views on our descent. The return path from the bealach, round to the corrie was in pretty bad nick ("like porridge" as the guy on Ben Vorlich had told us!) and this slowed us down considerably, making things worse for my aching, cramping legs. The sun broke through the clouds, and put in a brief, warming appearance, this lifted our spirits and dried us slightly!
"Where's the cloud gone?"
Looking across to Ben Lawers (?) in the cloud.
The return path!

I'd left my binoculars behind again, but wildlife-wise we were treated to several Raven, a Jay beside the loch, a flock of 15 or so Snow Bunting on the top of Stuc a' Chroin, and several baying/grunting/rutting Red (?) Deer which were heard but not seen!
The "looking back" shot!

We reached the car at just after 5 oclock, the days walk had taken us a wee bit over 7 hours, although we'd moaned and cursed and puffed and panted, we both agreed it had been a great day, the emotional cycle of hill walking according to Neil!
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Re: 7 and 8, and third time lucky on Stuc a' Chroin!

Postby gordon l » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:53 am

cracking report there; you have earned yourself an awesome clag-free day now. :)
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gordon l
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