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A Quick Walk Before The Rain Arrives

A Quick Walk Before The Rain Arrives


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:34 pm

Route description: Meall na Fearna, from Loch Earn

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall na Fearna

Date walked: 26/06/2016

Time taken: 4.25 hours

Distance: 12.6 km

Ascent: 782m

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The forecast for this afternoon didn't seem that good so I was looking for something fairly quick and local so plumped for Meall na Fearna from the south Loch Earn road.

Left the house at 5.30am and I was about a mile from Comrie when I drove out of the mist in to a beautiful blue sky morning. I'm not sure what I was thinking about when I drove in to St Fillans but it definitely wasn't hill walking and I was 3 miles further along the road when I realised I was on the wrong side of the loch. No problem, drove on to Lochearnhead and picked up the minor road from there.

Arriving at the parking area at 7.15am there was a guy geared up and heading off so we had a quick chat and he was on his way. Seemed to be a few tents around so a few cars parked up nearby.

1.jpg
Loch Earn from the parking area


I walked over the hump backed bridge and took the track on the east side of the river to walk towards Ardvorlich House then followed a couple of obvious signs to get me on to the main track that climbs up into Glen Vorlich.

After about 1.5km I reached a fork on the track and took the grassy left option.

2.jpg
Ben Vorlich summit hidden in cloud


3.jpg
Left turn ahead


The grassy track is the first level ground since the walk up the driveway at the start but it doesn't last long as the grass gives way to a stone track that crosses a burn and a very shallow ford before climbing higher up the glen and ending close to a couple of very small hydro dams.

4.jpg
Looking up the track towards Beinn Domhnuill


5.jpg
Looking back down Glen Vorlich


6.jpg
The track ends


Although the track comes to an abrupt end there is an obvious grassy route through the heather that can be followed for a further few hundred yards before it swings left and seems to head directly towards Beinn Domhnuill so this is my departure point and time to head uphill through the heather/wet grass.

The gradient is by no means steep but a combination of the underfoot conditions and probably the flat calm warm conditions mean that it's harder going than it really should be and there were a few stops before reaching the peat hags.

7.jpg
Looking down the glen to Loch Earn


8.jpg
Ben Vorlich still with a bit of cloud around


I chose to stay a little higher higher (on the lower slopes of Beinn Domhnuill) which was fine until the peat hags came in to view when I realised I wanted to cross over to the far side to again take advantage of the higher ground. Luckily the hags weren't too bad, a bit of meandering involved and a couple of dodgy steps resulted in wet feet but nothing to be bothered about.

9.jpg
Nearly past the worst of the peat hags


Once I gained the high ground again low cloud came in and the top of Meall na Fearna disappeared. I decided to have a seat on a rock and wait for the mist to clear as I wasn't sure what route I wanted to take up the final climb. As I was sitting there with the sun out (but the top still in cloud) a couple of deer wandered round the hill just below me. I thought that was it but a few seconds later there was a group arrived with several calves. I just sat stock still and didn't make a move for the camera in case I spooked them, as a result I watched about 30 deer from about 40 yards away for 15 minutes - made my day, just brilliant.

10.jpg
The top is up there somewhere


11.jpg
There it is!


Eventually the deer moved on and the low cloud blew through and I could see my route ahead of me - basically I was going to cut diagonally across the hill and head for the northern shoulder then head up to the summit from there.

12.jpg


13.jpg
Eastern slopes of Ben Vorlich through the clouds


It didn't take long to reach the shoulder and from there to the summit which was now back in the clouds. The final climb is mainly on grass but quite firm and a good walking surface.

14.jpg
Looking down to Beinn Domhnuill


15.jpg
View north with cloud swirling about


16.jpg
The summit of Ben Vorlich says hello


On the summit I could hear a lot of shouting, initially I wondered if someone was in trouble but quickly realised it was shepherds herding sheep through the glen.

I had to wait about 20 minutes to grab a quick shot of Ben Vorlich before the clouds rolled in again so it was time to head back down the hill.

17.jpg
Back to the peat hags


By the time I was passing the peat hags the sound of the shepherds shouting was getting louder and as I started to head in to the glen I saw two guys about 100 yards to my left with a collie just ahead of me so I stopped by a rock so I didn't get between the shepherd and his dog. The dog rounded up half a dozen sheep and pushed them down to the lower slopes of the glen so I moved on.

18.jpg
Looking down the glen to Loch Earn


19.jpg
The clouds lift of Ben Vorlich


By now I can see two shepherds in the glen, one on Ben Vorlich and I can hear shouting on Beinn Domhnuill (to my right) as well so they seem to be rounding up all the sheep from the surrounding hills. Worried that I am going to get in the way I move down the glen as quickly as possible to get in front of everybody.

20.jpg
Another shot looking down to Loch Earn


21.jpg
A line of sheep below Ben Vorlich


22.jpg
Heather bashing over for another day


Once back on the main track it was just a case of dropping down to the loch side. At least now there is a cooling breeze blowing - definitely could have used this on the way up.

23.jpg
Loch Earn getting closer


24.jpg
The Big Hoose


Back at the car I was able to take my time getting changed. Both at the start and at the end the loch side was a midge free area.

The drive back to St Fillans was a surprise, assume the last few times I've been on the south road it has been midweek (or winter). Passing places full with parked cars, motorhomes, tents and just about anything else you can think of so every time I met a car coming the other way we had to work hard to find a way of passing safely. Had the window down as well so all I could smell was barbecues so I was starving by the time I got home.
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Gordie12
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Re: A Quick Walk Before The Rain Arrives

Postby teaandpies » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:10 pm

A decent jaunt.

I'm on an 8 day week now so I won't get out for a while :cry:
teaandpies
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Re: A Quick Walk Before The Rain Arrives

Postby dogplodder » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:26 pm

Nice one. Looks like you get a better day for weather than it was in Dunfermline (where I'm staying with daughter just now) and it rained all afternoon so I couldn't take the grandkids out! :o
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dogplodder
 
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Re: A Quick Walk Before The Rain Arrives

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:54 pm

teaandpies wrote:A decent jaunt.

I'm on an 8 day week now so I won't get out for a while :cry:


Probably best I don't mention I'm starting my 3rd and final week of holidays then :wink:
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Gordie12
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1907
Munros:112   Corbetts:63
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: A Quick Walk Before The Rain Arrives

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:57 pm

dogplodder wrote:Nice one. Looks like you get a better day for weather than it was in Dunfermline (where I'm staying with daughter just now) and it rained all afternoon so I couldn't take the grandkids out! :o


Finished just after 11.30am dogplodder. I was home doing the photos when the rain came on and we had heavy showers most of the afternoon.

Sometimes it pays to get up at 4.30am and sometimes it doesn't - this time I guess it did.
User avatar
Gordie12
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1907
Munros:112   Corbetts:63
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

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