A mutually free day for Jamie and I – Easter Day – and the forecast was for sunshine I missed the hills as it had been many months since my previous expedition so I planned a day out for us. Due to my new acquisition, a car, I had my pick of the southern highlands and selected Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin. We set out as early as I could drag Jamie out the house (he was still cranky and slept most of the way) and finally arrived at Ardvorlich about 10. Not a very early start after all….
The sun was shining and it looked like a perfect day as we headed off up the track, past Ardvorlich house and onto the mountain. The route was easy and we plodded on in the heat – definitely a day to have got out early We saw other people with ice axes…not having any winter experience it hadn’t occurred to me that there might be issues, but I reckoned we could just turn back if it got dodgy.
Stopping to lose some clothes, we had a wee photo too. It was a perfect day to be out and I felt amazing
Continuing, the final pull to the summit of Ben Vorlich was quite snowy but passing people on the way down we were told that it was fine without winter gear if we stuck to the path. Jamie sensibly did so, while I accidentally went off-piste and ended up scrambling up a slightly more exposed snowy face to pull myself out onto the top. Fortunately I didn’t look down until I’d reached the top
The views were fabulous; we could see for miles in every direction. My new phone had a panorama function which I put to good use, before realising it was absolutely freezing and frantically adding layers, including my super duper new waterproof (for once I was almost sad it wasn’t raining…..haha who am I kidding!!)
Wee bit of an inversion!
Looking across to Stuc a’Chroin, it looked very very snowy… other people were headed that way, so I figured we may as well go and have a look. Jamie didn’t get a say in the matter…
Formidable looking Stuc
Off we went down towards the bealach. We discussed choices of routes with other people along the way; we were aiming for the scramble up the right hand side of the prow – I thought it should be easily doable so long as we could get to it.
Looking up the prow
Looking back to Ben Vorlich
However, it wasn’t to be. It was snowy and icy and we struggled along for a bit before a bit of slip made up realise that it wasn’t worth it. I’d come back another time, either without snow or with better gear.
Stuc – a mountain for another day
We retreated and headed back towards Ben Vorlich and the route down, following the advice to avoid the erosion making our way across a lot of snow which was soft and easy enough to traverse. We arrived back at the car after a fantastic day in the hills!
Lovely Loch Earn
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.