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2011 Highlands Tour III - Redemption on Vrackie

2011 Highlands Tour III - Redemption on Vrackie

Postby Craiging619 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:54 pm

Route description: Ben Vrackie, near Pitlochry

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Vrackie

Date walked: 22/09/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 885m

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The previous day of my Highlands & Islands tour had seen me endure two of the worst hours of my life traipsing to Cruach Thairbeirt and back in flash floods. I retreated to Glasgow for my girlfriend's birthday celebrations, and returned North the next morning on the train to Pitlochry. I had booked in at the big hostel on the hill, and hoped for better weather today. I wasn't disappointed, as the great path up Vrackie made for quick progress, with the summit boasting fine views of Schiehallion and Beinn a'Ghlo.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 010 by Craiging619, on Flickr
The fine town of Pitlochry.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 012 by Craiging619, on Flickr
The path from Moulin heads up gently through the forest.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 013 by Craiging619, on Flickr
Aye, well it can't be worse than yesterday.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 014 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 017 by Craiging619, on Flickr

In well under an hour I was at the lochan, due to the ease and quality of the path. Vrackie is a popular hill, and crowds of people sat at the boulders contemplating the final steep climb up the Cobbler-esque staircase to the summit.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 018 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 019 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 020 by Craiging619, on Flickr
Take the right here for the summit.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 021 by Craiging619, on Flickr

Immediately the views opened out to the half-way lochan and the lower top of Meall na h-Aodainn Moire.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 022 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 024 by Craiging619, on Flickr
Finally the path turned left to head for the trig point on the pointed summit.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 026 by Craiging619, on Flickr
Schiehallion is somewhere over there, above Loch Tummel.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 033 by Craiging619, on Flickr
Pitlochry and the valley leading down to Dunkeld and the Lowlands.

Vrackie actually appeared to have three summits once I arrived there, so I made sure to visit each one. The view was great towards Beinn a'Ghlo and the Cairngorms, a world I've still yet to explore.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 034 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 046 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 047 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 049 by Craiging619, on Flickr

On the way back I made a detour to climb Meall na h-Aodainn Moire. I knew I would probably regret the extra ascent later in the week, but it looked particularly inviting from the descent of Vrackie.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 052 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 053 by Craiging619, on Flickr

HillwalksSep2011PartII 057 by Craiging619, on Flickr

The paths became very faint at this point, so after scarting about on the summit I cut through the undergrowth and located the Bealach na Searmoin path back to Moulin.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 058 by Craiging619, on Flickr

All in all a fun afternoon, and it was a huge relief to climb such a straightforward mountain after the previous day's nightmare at Loch Lomond. In reality, the whole week (including Monday's trip to Arran) had been building up to the big conclusion - a jaunt to Corrour to try and scale Beinn na Lap and Leum Uilleim, before heading West over a Graham towards Kinlochleven and the sea. It seemed like too ambitious a plan, and I was almost relieved when I called the Hillphones service in Fort William to hear that deer stalking would be taking place between Kinlochleven and Corrour that week. A brief rethink led me to the conclusion that there would hopefully be time for the Graham of Creag Ghuanach on Loch Treig, before climbing the Munro and Corbett on Saturday with a stop at Corrour Station for lunch. Fingers crossed Creag Ghuanach would cause no major problems, as it always sounded like a good climb from the Grahams guidebook...

HillwalksSep2011PartII 065 by Craiging619, on Flickr

After a great dinner at Cafe Biba I took a stroll down to the Faskally Dam and Visitor Centre. The sun was setting now, after a calm day weather-wise in the midst of a very mixed week.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 068 by Craiging619, on Flickr
Yeah, I know.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 070 by Craiging619, on Flickr
That's a lot of fish.

HillwalksSep2011PartII 073 by Craiging619, on Flickr

I passed the Festival Theatre before heading back up to Co-Op and getting some supplies for the next two days. I would need some pasta for tomorrow's dinner, as I didn't fancy cooking a curry without knowing if there was a fridge to drop the chicken in. A stay at the Loch Ossian Hostel, for all its brilliance, does require some pre-planning. It struck me that in this part of the world, Pitlochry must seem like a heaving metropolis. It has shops, restaurants, banks, accommodation, culture and great transport links to the rest of Scotland. In my next destination of Corrour, there would be no such thing as infrastructure once the train dumped me and headed North. In fact, there's no such thing as a local accent. I knew it would be a wild end to the week, and was glad for the gentle warm-up...
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Re: 2011 Highlands Tour III - Redemption on Vrackie

Postby litljortindan » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:27 pm

Looks a good walk. I wonder what happens after Corrour...
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