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Surprise Mountain Goats and a Walk to Remember

Surprise Mountain Goats and a Walk to Remember

Postby rebeccamcquillan1 » Wed Sep 02, 2020 4:10 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich and Stùc a' Chròin

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stùc a' Chròin

Date walked: 31/08/2020

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 1145m

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Set off from Glasgow just after 5am for our second day in a row of double munro bagging, after a lovely (if a little boggy) experience with Ben More and Stob Binnein on Sunday.
Plenty carbs had been consumed, and we were armed with jelly tots, percy pigs, and some more substantial food.
We set off just before 7am as the sun was rising over Loch Earn - absolutely stunning views.

The weather was pretty perfect - cool and clear(ish)!

The walk up Ben Vorlich was very enjoyable - easy terrain, and a long gradual ascent for most before a steep climb to the summit (apologies to the poor lady that asked us on the way back down if it flattened out...whilst she was on the flat section :shock: ).

After a short wander around the summit, we set off for Stuc a'Chroin.

Now, I had done a moderate amount of research, and knew this was not going to be an easy task. It was only my 6th munro, and my other half's 5th, however we are both reasonably fit, young people so thought why not give it a bash... :)

After descending a couple of hundred metres from Vorlich we came across a mountain goat...then another, then another, then discovered an entire herd directly beneath us! Can confirm, the smell was...not the best!
The goats cleared off to the side as we descended, and 2 ended up locking horns over a young female. Standard Monday morning I guess.

On we went to fresher air, and crossed the bealach to what was about to become my mortal enemy. Armed with the Walkhighlands route on both a smartphone and notebook, we confidently crossed the boulder field and continued following the path, until the slight scramble began.

Now, in my mind we took a wrong turn and ended up stranded on the side of the mountain facing near imminent death. My boyfriend, and the confident fell runner that passed us (seriously - wow), tell a different story. However, the path apparently running out in a precarious location coupled with a slight amount of vertigo triggered a slightly larger panic attack, and clinging on to the side of the Stuc for dear life (with one hand and reaching for the jelly tots with the other).
In the end my wonderful other half found a different path and I just about managed to get my wits together - we were no more than 5/6 minutes from the top, so to be fair to me we were quite high up when my head started spinning :lol:

On safer ground we pottered the 1/2km to the true summit. I read a walk report from this weekend that described the first cairn as more a "congratulations you survived" marker and I could not agree more!!

We then began the long descent back to Loch Earn, congratulating every person we passed heading up Stuc a'Chroin that way for making better life choices than us. Very steep but manageable descent. The bog at the bottom is actually fairly easily avoided, which was an excellent discovery seeing as my boots started letting in water the day before.

As we returned to the Vorlich path just after 1pm it was pretty busy, so I imagine on a sunny weekend day it would be mobbed!

I'd never been so happy to see my car, and have valued every moment of my time on solid ground since.
(Yes, I'm being over-dramatic :wink: )

My boyfriend took great delight in discovering in the car on the way home that the apparent translation of Stuc a'Chroin is "peak of harm or danger", and the fact that I had, in all of my research, managed to overlook that little nugget. Seen some conflicting translations that say peak of the sheepfold - would welcome clarification but I know which seems more likely!

All in all an unforgettable day out. Really keen to get a few more munros under my belt before the winter comes this year!
Snapseed 2.jpg
Staying close to the ground, but confirming that despite my many requests to go back my other half did indeed manage to drag me (think he almost literally considered this at one point) to the summit, featuring a rather dramatic edit.
View from the Stuc a'Chroin summit that I was still almost in tears of joy that we made it to
Nightmare fuel. I jest, it was actually a very enjoyable climb!
The majestic goats!
Vorlich summit
About halfway up Vorlich...would have been a better view if not for the prominent...addition to the step
Sun rising over Loch Earn
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