For the bank holiday weekend we had booked to stay in Pitlochry which would mean a first Corbett for Y to climb and a catch up with local lad Big Lachie who I hadn't seen in ages.
We originally planned to walk up Ben Vrackie on the saturday but with the weather so nice and an old friend to catch up with we got sidetracked and ended up in beer gardens... being entertained by the big man and his stories of hanging out with John Snow (post GoT season 1 filming) in India, leading him astray and taking him up a mountain!
Fast forward to Sunday morning after multiple rum cocktails and a late night and there was only one option.... get up, have breakfast at the B&B, get a quick power nap then head to the hill (which we could see out of our room window) to walk off the hangover, perfect.
The plan happened as stated with brekkie one of the best I have had in ages and after a quick nap and pack we set off towards Moulin with Ben Vrackie in view for almost the whole way:
We reached Moulin in no time from the Guest House, veered left and passed the field with the standing stone:
The paths are well signposted and we head up through the woods, passing the squinty tree, bench and be prepared warning sign:
We are prepared and we are pretty sure we don't need winter gear today!
In no time we exit the woods and begin the easy ascent up the excellent path:
Strath Tay and the view south:
It certainly is a popular hill and i'm surprised to meet a wee Maltese Terrier, Monty, leading a pack of humans on the way... not good as my previous excuse that the Maltese isn't a hillwalking dog will now fall on deaf ears... meaning pressure to get one will increase!
We have a quick break at the bench and enjoy the view down Strath Tay towards Dunkeld:
So far it's an easy and enjoyable walk and the hangover is completely forgotten, we continue on...
...heading around Meall na h-Aodainn Moire reaching Loch a Choire just before the final steep section;
Loch a Choire and Ben Vrackie:
The summit is busy already:
Up we go...
Behind us Schiehallion makes an appearance as we gain altitude, as does Glencoe, looking grand at the other side of Rannoch Moor. We have a wee break on a grassy outcrop just off the main path then proceed, the path behind us stretching out down to Pitlochry:
Schiehallion and Glencoe:
To the west and slightly south the unmistakable outline of Ben More and Stob Binnein is now visible behind Farragon Hill and Ben Lawers:
I had already made my mind up to drive home via the Queens View at Loch Tummel, Kenmore at Loch Tay then down Strathyre to Callander and home and these views were a great preview of the route.
We continue climbing, chatting to a couple of experienced walkers from Stirling, almost there:
A nice final stairway:
On reaching the summit cairn/viewpoint indicator and the trig point, we soak in the 360 degree vista all around us, simply stunning.
Pitlochry down below:
Mountains galore to the west:
Glencoe, Ben Nevis and much Mor in the distance!
We relax on the summit, blown away by both the views and stronger breeze, it's busy but the atmosphere is jolly with everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves. We chat to a few people and dogs and I find my gaze keeps on returning to Beinn a' Ghlo to the north, looking well impressive and reminding me of a bigger version of Beinn Bharrain/Mullach Buidhe & Beinn Bhreac on Arran's west coast:
Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain:
Airgiod Bheinn & Carn nan Gabhar:
Well that's another range of hills to add to the 'must visit' list!
Ben Vrackie summit:
I can't resist more zoom shots of the distant hills...
Creise & co.:
Buchaille Etive Mor & Bidean Nam Bian:
Once again, you can't beat this for a lunch spot... until the next hill you visit!
The view east towards the southern Cairngorms and Ben Vrackie's minor tops which we'll visit after our summit lunch break:
First a few panorama's are required...
And more zoom shots, there is just so much to take in:
Beinn a' Ghlo:
After thoroughly enjoying our time at the top, we head to minor top 1 of Ben Vrackie and top 2 at Creag Tharsuinn:
View from the cairn back towards the summit:
From there we pop down to the next one, minor top 2 cairn and large boulder:
I always enjoy a few different angles from tops:
Beinn a' Ghlo and Y at the cairn:
Schiehallion and Ben Vrackie summit:
Satisfied with our adventure and Y bagging her first Corbett, we follow the grassy path back to the main path and through a patch of boggy ground:
We head back down the steps and path, Y making good use of her poles which she's happy she bought a while back as they have helped with her recovery from torn ankle ligaments, giving her a bit more confidence:
We return via the same route and enjoy the rock faces on the way:
Although a busy hill in places it was still quiet enough to enjoy time on your own, a nice mix of socialising and silently soaking in the scenery, which was top drawer. We make fast progress on the return to Pitlochry via the path down to the woods and back through Moulin to the Guest House:
At the graveyard there is a shortcut path past a house and trees next to a burn which will take you back to the main road:
We arrive back, get changed and before you know it are in the pub beer garden again with Lachie for well earned refreshments and dinner... what hangover?
We share more tales of walking, dj'ing and more and the big man says he's planning the South Glen Shiel ridge sometime soon so it's the perfect end to a perfect day. Bravo Pitlochry and cheers for your hospitality big man, see you again soon before winter comes...
More pics on Flickr.
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