The scramble on Stuc A'Chroin has been on my tick list for a while now. I ticked of the summit a few years ago approaching from the Beinn Each (south-west) side, although I highly recommend that route you do miss the scramble. In addition, I have approached via the longer south-east trudge and another time Vorlich's main route and was thwarted due to rolling my ankle and thick clag respectively. Today, however, I had no excuses, the sun was shining, the visibility was great and the wind had settled into a gentle breeze.
To make the route more interesting I decided to ascend the route via Ben Our. This not only allows for some exciting route finding but also makes the route circular picking off Ben Our, Stuc A'Chroin and Ben Vorlich.
For a video report and a more detailed view of the scramble you can checkout a short video at:
We started from Ardvorlich House and left the main path after walking past the final gate at approx NN6304 22029. Identifying the approach to Ben Our was straightforward, the hill rises steeply to the west, however finding the top was elusive. The climb was very steep as we picked the best route between grassy tussocks and small boulders, each time you reach a blind summit you can only chuckle to yourself when the next false summit appears. By the time we reached the summit cairn we were ready for some gentler gradients.
The top of Ben Our offers a panoramic of the route with the prow of Stuc clearly visible. From Ben Our we picked up a well trodden path which makes a bee line for Vorlich then contours south to the bealach between Vorlich and Stuc. At this point Stuc's scramble is becoming more defined although picking out the route appears tricky. However, as you approach the path emerges somewhat like the mountain pass in Lord of the Rings.
The path up the prow is well trodden and zig zags up the incline with the occasional need for hands. In the dry and with a reasonable head for heights the scramble does not pose that big a challenge. As our objective was the scramble and we needed to get back to pick up the kids we missed the summit proper, went back down the scramble and then walked to the top of Vorlich.
Surprisingly, there were several pockets of snow still lying on the ground at the top which provided a welcome cooling down. Following the main path back down to Ardvorlich we finished the day in high spirits with another scramble ticked of the list.
A few photos
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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.