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Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin with Dad ft. "The Mirror Man"

Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin with Dad ft. "The Mirror Man"


Postby andygunn23 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:20 pm

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

Date walked: 09/08/2015

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 16.75 km

Ascent: 1425m

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Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin with Dad - 9th August 2015

Following the genuinely unexpected success and apparent popularity from my first post (Lochnagar Sunrise - http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=55721) I have decided to write a brief summary of my second adventure in the Scottish mountains.

Clearly unfazed by my ever growing blister collection, growing pile of laundry and lack of food in the flat - Lochnagar had me addicted! I spent the next week using my lunch times at work furiously planning where I'd venture to next - I apologies to the girls in the office for my boring chat! Still with no car I decided to rope my dad into this adventure.

Friday was over, the standard "phone, keys, wallet" check transformed into my new found weekend check of "map, socks, blister plasters". The adventure began slightly more pleasurably than the 201 Stagecoach, with the last (cheapskate) Scotrail train from Aberdeen to Stirling.

We drove from Stirling to the middle south side of Loch Earn to begin the popular walk up Ben Vorlich. When I say "we drove", what I meant to say is, Dad drove (very kind of him) and I took in the stunning scenery that surrounds the Trossachs.

In typical Scottish fashion it rained on an off the whole journey there, it is summer after all - what else do you expect! Just as we arrived the clouds parted and looked like it could be a beautiful day.

Nice day at Loch level! Surely it would stay clear now...
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As we began the ascent up Ben Vorlich the next three photos were taken with the space of 15(ish) minutes. The clouds in Scotland clearly don't hang about - a bit like bottles of Buckfast on numerous Scotrail rains!

Truthfully I had never heard of Loch Earn. Now I am sure I won't forget it!
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And now the clouds began to roll in. Mesmerising as it is to watch you know your views are very short-lived.
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Seeing as Loch Earn was a distant memory - here is Dad making swift progress up Ben Vorlich...
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Passing a few people coming down the hill it became clear I shouldn't expect great / any views at the top. This view was reiterated by the two young(ish) lads from Glasgow who'd got lost trying to find Stuc a'Chroin. They wished us luck and they continued down (or at least that is what we thought they were doing).

I feel obliged to take a photo of all the cairns / summits / trig points I reach over the course of my munro bagging adventure, and since I had a "photographer" no selfies were required! Feeling a bit like Gandalf here..
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Next up was a stop for a trusty roast beef sandwich with cheese & onion crisps followed by a fine desert of a packet of Jelly Babies. Not that what I had for lunch was of any importance, but mid mouthful the two Glaswegian lads who were lost decided they would try again and swiftly moved on past us. As I am sure if often the case over the day you bump into certain groups over and over again - this was definitely the case!

My "well described" lunch was done and I let "Marathon Steve" lead the way towards Stuc a'Chroin - and no the visibility did not improve.
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When I said the visibility didn't improve - I should maybe have said it got worse! Incredible how easy it is to get disorientated in this weather.
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Now we had made it to the bottom of the scramble up Stuc a'Chroin - or at least that was what the map was showing, all we could see was rock and cloud. Up popped the couple from Glasgow again. They had made it nearly to the top but decided against the scramble. They headed off to find an alternative way up...

We didn't - here is Dad scrambling hard in his *insert swear word of your choice* slippy shoes.
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Not sure if it was more intimidating not knowing how far you had to go or a relief you couldn't see how far you could fall. Nevertheless we made it to the top.

This one was literally a case of "oh hello cairn *take photo*, lets head out of these *insert similar adjective to that of Dad's shoes* clouds!"
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By now the lack of visibility made you realise how much you missed being able to see further than ten foot in front of you! Within 5 minutes of beginning the route down we again bumped into our fellow walkers who were only minutes away from successfully reaching the top. We congratulated them on their achievement, felt sorry for the guy with no waterproofs, and descended as quickly as possible.

Before we knew it we were out of the clouds and the incredible views were well and truly back! Here are a few of the photos from the descent and walk back towards Loch Earn. I don't think we took any recognised track for the vast majority (at least not recognised by humans), but I guess avoiding the boggy parts with the occasional near lost boot is all part of the fun!

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This was probably my joint favourite photo of the day. I try not to moan in such beautiful scenery but the only reason I got this photo was down to a quick break to relieve the blister pain.
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Far from an expert photographer - but you will have to trust me the rainbow did look impressive in person!
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The rest of the decline followed the same route we took on the way up, just wetter, thirstier, more blistered, and two more munros in the bag!

All the remains of this journey was a trip to see the "Mirror Man". Who is the Mirror Man you ask?

I found the Mirror Man by accident on Google when trying to read up about Loch Earn. In honesty I didn't know if he was still there, or if he had joined the fate of his fellow Mirror Men and Mirror Women and been removed. Either way I told Dad (taxi driver for the day) I was confident he was still there (I wasn't).

I had hoped for a bright clear sky to see this Mirror Man but by the time we drove around to the East Side of Loch Earn the weather was far from bright or sunny, as this shows!
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Would this ruin the chance of seeing the Mirror Man???

Absolutely not! In fact I think the Scottish summer has really made the Mirror Man more impressive than I had imagined - and resulted in my other favourite photo of the day!
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And on that note the journey back north to Aberdeen began where I had already began to plan my next adventure!

Thanks to Dad for joining, driving, making the lunch, being my photographer for the day and putting up with the moans about my blisters. Lastly but not least - thanks to the Mirror Man for being such a well photographed model.

For anyone who is reading this prior to doing either Ben Vorlich or Stuc a'Chroin - make sure the Mirror Man is part of your trip!

Over and Out - Stay Safe,
Andy

3 down - 279 to go (I'm still not counting).
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andygunn23
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 83
Munros:160   Corbetts:2
Joined: Jul 30, 2015
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin with Dad ft. "The Mirror Man

Postby ancancha » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:14 pm

Didn't know about the mirror man, interesting :!:
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ancancha
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 985
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc a'Chroin with Dad ft. "The Mirror Man

Postby thward » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:58 pm

MY SON AND MYSELF ARE OFF THIS SUNDAY TO START A WEEK OF WALKING SO THESE TWO COULD DEFFINATLY BE ONTHE CARDS AND THE MIRROR MAN CHEERS
thward
Walker
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 19, 2015

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