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Fab day around Loch Earn

Fab day around Loch Earn


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:22 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall na Fearna

Date walked: 23/03/2014

Time taken: 6.38 hours

Distance: 15.5 km

Ascent: 1360m

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A sunny day! What an unusual experience this winter. had decided to keep to the east of the country given the weather forecast and this seemed a good opportunity for Sick Kid to get Ben Vorlich and maybe either Stuc a'Chroin or Meall na Fearna. Up and away just after 7 and a pleasant drive up Lochlomondside. Road was a bit icy at Crianlarich but the sun made short work of the residual snow on the road. Got along to the parking spot by the banks of Loch Earn, with quite a few other walkers arriving around the same time. Vorlich looked beautiful, swathed in white. The sun was really warm where you were sheltered from the wind and several layers of clothing were discarded on the track up. By around 400m the snow was taking over, but it was a bit crustier and easier to walk on than the freshly fallen variety yesterday. Also, a couple of folk had gone up ahead, so there was a trail already broken, always good!

Looking up to Vorlich from Ardvorlich House
Image
P1000439 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000441 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000444 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking over to the flank of Stuc a'Chroin I didn't much like the amount of snow lying on the return route. When I'd done these hills last winter it had been in perfect snow conditions for the Stuc and I was aware that today's snow fell well short of that. Over to our left we could see the rounded knobbly hill of Meall na Fearna - I'd paid it no attention last time, but now Corbetts are on the radar, so it was a desirable place to go. Pressing on up Vorlich there were places the snow deepened, but generally it was an easy walk up. We stood on the corrie edge looking at the final pull to the summit - snow was icy enough here to warrant crampons for the last 100m. And then there was the trig point straight ahead.

Looking to the route down from SaC
Image
P1000445 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View South
Image
P1000448 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View North with MnF
Image
P1000449 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View from the corrie
Image
P1000450 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit
Image
P1000452 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We drank in the snowy views which were expanisve, and tried to decide what to do. It did look possible to go up the Stuc, but I was wary given the patches of soft slippy snow and the concerns about the avalanche potential of the descent route. Decided this was better left for another day - maybe a summer scramble - and headed off along the south-eastern shoulder of Vorlich. I'd not been able to find my map for these hills and had got the rough geography of where to go up Meall na Fearna from Walkhighlands last night, so using that and the map on my GPS we followed the the line of fence posts down, stopping to have lunch behind the shelter of some big rocks, as the wind was quite fierce in gusts, blasting us with spindrift. As we sat and ate, a snow shower came on, with big flakes drifting down, then replaced by hailstones. The visibility completely disappeared- one moment we were looking at the hills all around, next we were enclosed in our own white world where nothing else existed but the rocks we sat on. Then, just as suddenly, the shower passed and the hills were restored, blue sky and sun re-asserted themselves.

Sick Kid with SaC behind
Image
P1000455 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Weasel
Image
P1000456 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Descent
Image
P1000460 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000461 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Vorlich, with weather closing in
Image
P1000464 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000465 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stuc a'Chroin
Image
P1000467 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Localised weather
Image
P1000469 by 23weasels, on Flickr

SaC again
Image
P1000470 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking down into the valley between Vorlich and MnF I could see a stream winding through the snow - hopefully not too challenging to get across! We decided to head up the hill from the southern side, rather than walk up the valley and ascend by the WH route, as this looked harder than our one. We sauntered down to the stream and found that it was easy enough, although the rocks that i'd chosen to stand on did not prove stable enough to stop my boots ending up in the water - fortunately not deep. Then it was up the gradual slope of MnF - snow had largely been drifted elsewhere and the going was, in the main, quite easy although there were a few areas of deep snow that needed wading through. There were several false summits heading up from this direction, but the views of Vorlich standing immense, with a trail of spindrift rising from the summit, compensated for any effort. Finally we came to the short craggy section up to the cairn and enjoyed some fantastic views.

Stream
Image
P1000471 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Vorlich
Image
P1000473 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up to one of many false summits
Image
P1000475 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000477 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Vorlich
Image
P1000478 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Yay - the real summit of MnF
Image
P1000480 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Vorlich from summit MnF
Image
P1000482 by 23weasels, on Flickr

weasel
Image
P1000484 by 23weasels, on Flickr

As we prepared to move on, a guy came wandering up from the west side, hands in pockets. He was planning to do the same route as us, in reverse, and therefore we'd each left the other a trail to follow through the snow - which I found helpful as the route down from MnF wound in and out of crags and peat hags. Headed down keeping the stream in the valley to our left and enjoying the sight of Loch Earn coming into view, with the yellow/brown vegetation and the white hills of the Lawers range in the distance. Eventually we hit an ATV track which we followed until it came to a proper track, crossing a bridge we then rejoined the ascent path from Ardvorlich and strolled down to the car. A lovely day out with spectacular views. Really glad we did this circuit.

Image
P1000485 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Descent
Image
P1000487 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000489 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Vorlich again
Image
P1000489 by 23weasels, on Flickr

looking back to MnF
Image
P1000491 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000492 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back along the valley
Image
P1000493 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking to Loch Earn
Image
P1000494 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lawers hills
Image
P1000496 by 23weasels, on Flickr

track
Image
P1000497 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000500 by 23weasels, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1897
Munros:214   Corbetts:44
Grahams:76   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:353   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby PeteR » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:11 pm

It certainly was a great day today :D

I was over the way from you both picking off the Corbett of Benvane. Stunning views all round :D Makes up for the rubbish weekends recently
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PeteR
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Posts: 2054
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Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby simon-b » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:57 pm

It was a great day for views in the S and E Highlands today, WM. SaC and B Vorlich looked very impressive from the road near Stirling today. It looks like you chose an interesting route.
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simon-b
Munro compleatist
 
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Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby scoob999 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:30 am

Nice :D

Looking to do the 2 corbetts with the 2 munros this summer so good to have an idea of the route :D
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scoob999
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Location: Birnam/Dunkeld. i think?

Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby Sarah86 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:21 pm

Cracking set of photos, what wonderful views you had. Love the shot you labelled localised weather.
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Sarah86
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Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby macq23 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:37 pm

loving the photos :)
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macq23
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Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby IndoorMunroist » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:26 am

Simply stunning photographs.
IndoorMunroist
Walker
 
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Re: Fab day around Loch Earn

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:44 pm

Wow, looks absolutely brilliant! What a day.

I have a few days planned shortly, and now I just can't wait. May the weather gods look benignly upon our plan.....
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Alteknacker
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Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

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