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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.

Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby Bruadair » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:18 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Date walked: 13/11/2010

Distance: 10.2 km

Ascent: 891m

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I wasn't sure about a walk out this weekend due to my father's being terminal illness and we (the family) having spent most part of the week his bedside. I desided a walk would do me some good and joined freinds Ian Hill and his son Riis from Stirling on their outing and after picking them up enroute headed for Lochearnhead.
We could see snow covered tops on the drive up to the normal start point at Ardvorlich and parked again at suggested offroad parking area. Once suited up we set off up the track and it wasn't lond before we got our first sight of what lay ahead.
Ian & Riis with Ben Vorlich rising behind
Once up into the white stuff the track got a bit dodgy with ice covering boulders and some deep pockets of snow and being cramponless an off track route was chosen in order to gain some height and have a bit more substance underfoot.
Off track on the hillside
We picked up the track again as it turned SE and wound it's way up onto the first shoulder where with being a little exposed we took some shelter just off the flat for approx' 15 minutes as there was some snow fall and a cutting wind from the west which was making the snow sting our faces.
Ready to go again the way ahead was surveyed
Still a bit to go then

Again with neither of us having crampons, the route to the summit was slow and tricky as we had to kick in footholds or and where possible utilise footholds that had been made previously. By the time we reached the top, the wind was howling and we took some shelter behind the trig point until it eased off a little.
Riis firmly settled whilst Ian tucks in
When the wind eased a little I took a stroll over to the 2nd top to survey whether or not we could tackle Stuc a Chroin, but without crampon or ice axe and facing high winds along with snow flurries we desided against it and set off back down off the summit.
Yours truely taking a walk over to 2nd top

Remembering the struggle up, we looked for an alternative route down and noticed some footprints in the snow heading off in a North Westerly direction, where the slope was a bit more gradual, so we desided we would follow them for a bit and at times were thigh deep in snow. Whilst keeping an eye on the previously laid footprints we took advantage where we could to gain some ground by bum sliding down the slope....the longest slide being approx' 100 metres as we were reaching the end of the snow cap.....and then it was a trek across some boggy ground before catching the track again.

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I know some of the more experienced walkers and climbers out there will be calling us all sorts of idiots.... but we had a ball, and it certainly helped take the previous few days off my mind for a bit.

Once back home it was a rush back down to Ayr to share the experience with my father and the family after which a few hours later he sadly passed away....so this walk is dedicated to him.
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Re: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby dooterbang » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:58 pm

Fitting tribute to your departed father.

Well done on having the strength to get out and enjoy yourself under such circumstances.

Hey bum sliding is awesome :D , i slid down a piste at Glenshee . . . .quickest i've ever descended a Munro :lol:
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Re: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby Merry-walker » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:50 pm

Looked a good walk, lovely pictures.

Sorry for your loss...
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Re: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby mountain coward » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:10 am

Yeah sorry for your loss - I always find going out walking helps at times like that so I hope that and your future walks help you. Haven't done that hill yet but am looking forward to it (although I'm probably going to do it from the south from the Callander end) - it looks a superb hill!
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Re: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby doogz » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:39 am

Sorry to hear your sad news....my regards to your family

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Re: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby monty » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:34 am

Nice report and a nice couple of pictures Bruadair. If the snow is soft then there is no need for crampons but its not a hill I would do in winter without them in my pack :D Enough said :lol:

Re: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:10 pm

Fine tribute to your father, on a fine looking hill, another on the 2011 "to do" list, along with Stuc
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