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Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the snow

Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the snow


Postby weaselmaster » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:17 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stuc a'Chroin

Date walked: 27/12/2012

Time taken: 5.35 hours

Distance: 14.9 km

Ascent: 1239m

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I'd hoped to go up here last Saturday - but the weather was not permitting. Then I tried yesterday but my car malfunctioned on the road up, so it seemed like there was some kind of force preventing me getting to climb these hills. I'd also been a bit anxious about how to get up Stuc a'Chroin in the snow - that prow thing looked a little fearsome to a novice like me...did read through the various reports on here and didn't have the best of night's sleep thinking about it :shock:

Anyway - forecast was reasonable - a little fresh snow in the morning and moderate winds, so I got going about 7.30 and made it along to the parking beside Ardvorlich Estate just after nine. There were a few others there setting off to, so at least there would be other souls out and about if anything did happen :eh: :eh:

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File1039 by 23weasels, on Flickr

After walking through the Estate path the hills all around, and the path were covered in 1-2 inches of new snow. My legs were a bit sore from my exertions up Binnien an Fhidhlier yesterday, but pressed on. Began to see the outline of Vorlich against the heavy sky.

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File1043 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Met a woman who told me she was waiting for a party coming up, two of whom were going to get married at the top of Vorlich! Nice day for a white wedding, anyway :D Not that far after the path splits it became increasingly icy under the snow and by the time I was about two thirds of the way up had to put the crampons on. There were good views back to the hills up to the North

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File1051 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1053 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1055 by 23weasels, on Flickr



and it was good to see a lack of clag at the top for a change, although the sky was leaden coloured. As I reached the last haul up Vorlich, met one of these runner blokes coming down - amazing :wink:

Made the summit of Vorlich in 2 hours and had a wee look round - didn't want to cool down too much.

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File1069 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1071 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Looking over to SaC...

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File1076 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Cairn to N of Vorlich top

At this point I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to attempt SaC, but did decide to walk down to the bealach to have a closer inspection. It's quite a drop in height, following the metal fence posts.

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File1080 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1082 by 23weasels, on Flickr



Stopped to have a roll and consider what to do in a sheltered spot near the base, with a good look onto "the Prow".

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File1084 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Plus a wee look back up at Vorlich
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File1088 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I did have a route up on my GPS, but I reckoned it would be quite hard to follow in the snow - I also thought about going off round the WSW and climbing up the steepish route out of the corrie, but from the way the wind had been blowing I was worried that there was going to be quite a bit of cornicing at the top. So I thought I'd give the prow route a go - what's the worst that could happen :crazy:

It looked a bit steeper from the bottom than when I'd been looking over at it on the way down Vorlich. Initially I did try and see where the GPS route was going to take me, but I found that too challenging to look at whilst I was going up, and I wasn't keen on heading for the rocks that were sticking out of the snow as there was no telling how difficult they were going to be to get around - I didn't fancy scrambling over the rocks in crampons. So I thought the direct route was called for and decided to front point it straight up. The snow was well frozen and was taking my weight well - this was the first time I'd been out in my G12 crampons and thought I'd see how they fared. Pretty tiring, but didn't feel too scared unless I looked down :lol:

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File1092 by 23weasels, on Flickr
Most of the way up...

Think it was actually easier to go up in this kind of snow than in non-snow conditions.

By the time I pulled myself over the edge and could walk on horizontal as opposed to what felt like nearly vertical stuff in bits I was exhilarated and did let out a small squeak of joy at getting up there :o
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File1094 by 23weasels, on Flickr


Again great views back to Vorlich and down the steep North side of SaC.

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File1096 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1098 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed over to the cairns along the ridge -
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File1100 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1116 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1102 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1106 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1110 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1119 by 23weasels, on Flickr

another walker was just leaving as I was arriving, having presumably come up the south route, so I had the top to myself.

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File1109 by 23weasels, on Flickr

To put the icing on the cake, got a double raven flyover as I walked from the North to the South cairn - yay!
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File1114 by 23weasels, on Flickr


Headed along to the descent route which heads down a steep gully (marked with a cairn at the top) from the West aspect of SaC. This gave me plenty of practice about how to walk steep downhill with crampons on - truly a day of learning for me!.

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File1126 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Side of the prow of SaC
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File1118 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1119 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Another view of Prow of SaC
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File1127 by 23weasels, on Flickr

And the full length:
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File1131 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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File1133 by 23weasels, on Flickr
The WH route contours round a NW outcrop of Vorlich which does save on distance compared with going down into the flat areas nearer Glen Ample, but was hard going on the legs in a mixture of powdery and hard frozen snow - seemed to go on for miles! Finally got back in sight of the return path, with a few walkers heading down. Trek back to the car was uneventful if a bit slippy in places - had to resort to eating snow as my reservoir tube had frozen solid :wtf: and I was quite thirsty after that walk. Snow was starting to fall (lightly) as I got back to the car for just before 3pm.

Gates out to the road
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File1137 by 23weasels, on Flickr

{ I did have some pics of the adventure, but gutted to find that they're corrupted on the SD card after I viewed them once :evil: :cry: - if anyone has any tips for trying to restore such things, I'd be most grateful, otherwise imagination will have to suffice - Ha - downloaded some fancy software that fixed that problem}.

Felt really good about today - one of these times when you know you've tested yourself a little by doing something that challenged you a bit and it went OK :lol:
Last edited by weaselmaster on Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Photo disaster! - Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the sn

Postby Graeme D » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:31 pm

I was on Creag Garbh on the south side of Loch Tay today and these two were looking mighty fine under a good covering of the white stuff! :D
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Re: Photo disaster! - Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the sn

Postby Fudgie » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:51 pm

An excellent read and that prow is great fun :lol:

Unlike Graeme I couldn't see those two today as I was a bit further north at Glenshee and the view South looked very dark and ominous. I'm glad it wasn't like that where you were :D
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Re: Photo disaster! - Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the sn

Postby Scotjamie » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:38 pm

A great report wm - well done on a learning day - very enjoyable reading. Shame about the photos - no idea how to help with the SD card, except to provide a photo of your prow from earlier this year...though I suspect it won't help... :wink:

The Prow - SaC.jpg
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Scotjamie
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Re: Photo disaster! - Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the sn

Postby weaselmaster » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:34 am

Scotjamie wrote:A great report wm - well done on a learning day - very enjoyable reading. Shame about the photos - no idea how to help with the SD card, except to provide a photo of your prow from earlier this year...though I suspect it won't help... :wink:

The Prow - SaC.jpg

Woo - it's GREEN!!

Thanks anyway - as you can see I managed to get a fix (CardRecovery in case anyone is in a similar fix, though it isn't free - tried a couple of shareware/freeware ones that didn't work first)
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weaselmaster
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin in the snow

Postby IndoorMunroist » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:25 pm

Terrific photos, I really like the grey skies, really atmospheric. Double raven flyover - great phrase.
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