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Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.


Postby teaandpies » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:47 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin

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

Date walked: 22/06/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1145m

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This walk is much covered here on walkhighlands so I'll spare you the step for step details but I just want to give a shout out to my good friend and new member of this site (so new in fact I don't even know his user name :?) for getting his first Munros under his belt.

We hired a car (sorry Basscadet) and set off from Glasgow just after 8am and having not driven for 6 months and not being a very experienced driver I was a bit nervous about the journey, that topped with my lack of knowledge of the roads around here was going to make for a fun start to our day I reckon. Sure enough we weren't even out of Bearsden yet and I was already taking the wrong road, a quick turn around in a garage then back along the to the right turn off :lol: Later I would end up doing a couple of circles of a round-a-bout but after that the drive was a doddle. The roads were empty.

We arrived at Ardvorlich House bang on time the sat-nav said we would around 9:30. We found plenty of parking available which was a concern of mine while planning this walk but thanks to all who took the time to reply to my questions about this walk in the 'General Discussion' section of the site, I was assured that there is ample and obvious parking.

We got ready in the shadow of Ben Vorlich and we were getting kitted out we could hear a lot of shouting cursing coming from somewhere, more on that in a bit.

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Ben Vorlich

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Ready for his first Munro


We got across the wee bridge, then through the gates and almost at the first buildings when Matthew asked if I locked the car. I was pretty sure I had but you know that way when somebody puts doubt in your mind? Well, I had to go back to be sure...Thanks for that Mathew!

The route was sign posted, I guess the locals must have gotten fed up of people walking around their holms :lol: It wasn't long before I was puffing like an old steam train, so I stopped to take a breath and took the change to snap a wee shot of that lonely tree.
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Tree


The walk up the road is kinda steep and the sun was blazing at this point and still peeling from my day out in the Arrochar Alps 13 days ago (http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=53156) I kept my light fleece on. The ATV road goes on for a good while all up hill and there are a few stiles to negotiate. We also ran into a flock of sheep and a very angry sounding shepherd, he was giving his dog 'what for' that's for sure and as my friend jokingly pointed out the shepherds on 'One Man and His Dog' don't sound like that :lol: So this was the shouting we could hear from the road then. This man has some set of lungs on him I can tell ya!

After a wee while, we found ourselves at a small dam just before we needed to leave the road to start the walk proper. Here we (I) stopped to have a little bite to eat as I hadn't had breakfast. I took this chance to take my fleece of as I was roasting. I dried my sweaty arms and neck and applied ample amounts of factor 50+ sun-cream. I don't care if I look like a Geisha I don't want to be burnt badly again.

We got going again and the path is obvious but is in need of a little TLC, I found it tough going at parts but it's generally a straight forward walk. We stopped to have our breakfast proper and as soon as we got settled a cloud and I mean a cloud of midges engulfed us. We got half a sandwich eaten before we decided to move on from here, that was rough...I'm still scratching 2 days later.
A bit further up the hill I took a wee look behind me to check our progress, whenever I feel myself struggling I like to look back at the progress I've made to give myself a little boost.
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Looking back to Loch Earn and the handsome Munros above Loch Tay


Looking up we the top is always in view which can be a little disheartening as it never seems to get any closer!
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Getting there


Come on, kick on...get your arse in gear! After a final push at the steepest part of the walk up to Ben Vorlich we were there. We got there is just under 2 hours.
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The last few metres are steep

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Ben Vorlich Tripoint looking to Stuc a' Chroin

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Great views from the top


Matthew and I both grew up in the Cairngorms. He went to Kingussie High School and I went to Grantown Grammar School, we were local rivals and even played rugby against each other in our school days. We didn't actually meet until we were both housed in the same block in the Halls of Residence of James Watt College Greenock...crazy. What's even more remarkable was the fact we didn't get along in the block and very nearly came to blows on a couple of occasions. Who would have predicted we would become flat mates in our late teens and for most of our early 20s to conquering mountains together 14 years after first meeting.
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Congratulations Matthew


We visited the other cairn and finished our breakfast there, the breeze helping to keep the midges away for now. We weren't in any rush so we took our time and let the food hit our stomachs before setting off to do Stuc a' Chrion. A very impressive looking hill indeed.
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Is that what we're doing next?

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Stuc a' Chroin


The path from Ben Vorlich to Stuc a' Chroin was steep but we knew it would be so no surprise there.
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The steep climb down from the Ben Vorlich summit


It's a fairly enjoyable walk between the 2 hills, it's a tad boggy in bits but you make progress easily and as you get closer to the prow it seems like a massive impossible undertaking and I was starting to have second thoughts about it.
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Approaching Stuc a' Chroin

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How the hell are we getting up this?


We got to the bottom of the prow and were faced with a the narrow boulder field, we were looking up at the face to see if we could spot the route but I'm not sure if it was the light but we couldn't see any signs of a path or any marker cairns which I felt was a bit odd. We walked to the left for a good bit following a muddy path and as we done this we spotted a couple of walkers on the prow so we thought we were heading in the right direction. We still couldn't spot the path so we just decided to hop over the boulders and see what we could find. Once across I announced I was in need of more food, my breakfast wasn't enough. So we sat at the bottom of the prow for a bit to have a munch. I took the chance to snap a couple of pictures.
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Looking back at Ben Vorlich

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Looking down the Glen


The midges found us again and I found my balls so it was time to be making progress. We started up a grassy bank and straight into a gap that involved a hands on scramble, after getting clear of this we were right into another...I wasn't scared but I was feeling like we had made the wrong decision now but we got over this next scramble and off to our right we could see the path, we had started to far over:roll:
Once on the zigzag path we really made good progress here but of course we were conscious it wasn't a safe place to be and we were aware of walking so close together or directly below one another to avoid the chance of being hit by falling rocks.
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Scrambling

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It's pretty steep

I was really enjoying the scramble, my favourite part of the whole walk. I was excited properly and when you reach the top you feel like a beast.
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The end of Scramble cairn, a welcome sight

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The scramble up with the bypass route far below


It would be irresponsible of me to say it is an easy thing to do, but I found it easy. Now up and over the prow the walk is effectively over, it's just a case of nipping across to the summit cairns to make it official.
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The approach to the real summit of Stuc a' Chroin


Making it official...
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The first cairn with Ben Vorlich in the background

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The top of Stuc


We cut down the grassy slope to avoid the boulders and cut across to the bealach where we just followed the standard boggy path all the way back until we caught up with main path...It was murder on the ankles.
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Looking at the route back


It is very wet and very boggy in parts, ma boots are clarted and I'll be scrubbing the gutters of them and re applying their waterproof coating then...

We took about 7 hours to get up and back. It was an excellent day out and I can see why these hills are so popular.


Me @teaandpies on instagram. Mathew @pieplough on instagram



(walked with Matthew)
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14 (690x388).jpg
The summit seems so close at this point but it was still some way off
teaandpies
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby skuk007 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 4:24 pm

Looks like you had a good day for these two. Brings back some memories :)

I don't think there is a definitive route up that prow. I veered to the right on approach to it and was lucky to quickly find a zig zag path which was relatively straight forward.
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby trederdog 100 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:06 pm

Looks like a fun scramble on that last part... been up it once but can't remember it being that steep! Good photos
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby Silverhill » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:12 pm

Well done, two more in the bag. :D I will return to Stuc a’ Chroin one day to climb the prow. It looks like great fun. 8) Unfortunately it was very windy when I first tried. You had amazing weather though!
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby teaandpies » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:32 pm

I don't think there is a definitive route up that prow.


There doesn't seem to be but it does feel like you end up getting funnelled to the zig zags and from then on it's pretty straight forward but you wouldn't want to fall :shock:

Silverhill wrote:Well done, two more in the bag. :D I will return to Stuc a’ Chroin one day to climb the prow. It looks like great fun. 8) Unfortunately it was very windy when I first tried. You had amazing weather though!


Another couple indeed, pretty chuffed with this walk. I find it hard getting out so always good to get a couple in the bag. I choose to do my walks on nice now, I just enjoy it more.

I think I'd be happy to visit these hills again, I can't say that about some of the others I've done :lol:
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby Fife Flyer » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Nice one, enjoyed reading that :clap: :clap:

Been up the pair of them a few times & I have always headed left when going up the Stuc, there is a path and it is as you would expect, quite steep :lol:
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby teaandpies » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:38 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Nice one, enjoyed reading that :clap: :clap:

Been up the pair of them a few times & I have always headed left when going up the Stuc, there is a path and it is as you would expect, quite steep :lol:


Cheers :wave:

These are hills I'd visit again.

My friend is significantly fitter than me and I spent the whole walking looking at his heels but the scrambling part I reckon I had the making of him :lol:

I wish the prow was twice the size, really enjoyed that part of the walk once I got over the worry. Taking that route must really cut the walk time down because it felt like it took us ages to get down to the return route where the bypass comes up.
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin...Standard.

Postby pieplough » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:29 pm

Great report teaandpies, really enjoyed getting my first 2 Munros done! Sorry for making you go back to check if you locked the car... It was funny though :lol:

Really enjoyed the scrambling, and yes.... you flew up that section! Looking forward to doing more walks soon.

Think your photos covered the walk well but here are a few that I liked.

Image
teaandpies surveying Stuc a Chroin from Ben Vorlich

Image
Close to the top of the scramble, it was pretty steep!

Image
Summit of Stuc a' Chroin looking towards Ben Vorlich
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