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Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin


Postby Gary_G » Mon May 14, 2012 11:35 pm

Route description: Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin

Munros included on this walk: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Stuc a'Chroin

Date walked: 12/05/2012

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 1145m

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My original plan for this weekend was to go up to Loch Awe and do the Cruachan horseshoe (scene of a previous failed attempt :( ) but the weather forecast was putting me off again. Friday night I was browsing the Munro map searching for my best options and these 2 Munros just called out to me! MWIS forecast was 80% chance of a cloud free Munro for this area, so that decided it. Alarm set for 6.30am.

6.20am I was awake and raring to go, everything was in the car, Foo Fighters on the CD player and the Sun was shining......Great! :D There is no traffic anywhere at that time in the morning so I was at Ardvorlich House by 7.40am. Only me, and a Father and Son fishing, so no competing for parking space. I could see some snow on top, but figured it would be soft so I left the heavy gear in the car.

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Lochearn


I can understand why this route up Ben Vorlich is popular as the path was excellent and without having to worry about path finding I could really appreciate the sunshine and the views. Ben Vorlich looked fantastic in the Sunshine and the views north to the Lawers and Tarmachan ranges were great.

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Ben Vorlich

Lochearn with Tarmachans & Ben Lawers Range.jpg
Looking north


I thought I was going to be the first up this morning, but as I passed the path that would be my return route I saw another chap on the way down, how keen is that?? Not to worry though, he'd just done a quick up and down of Ben Vorlich before going shopping. Not my idea of fun. About 20mins later I hit the snow line and no probs reaching the summit trig point by 10am.

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In the snow line heading to the 1st summit


The snow at the top was fresh and just waiting for me to leave a single line of foot prints marking my way towards the bealach on the way to Stuc A Chroin.

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Snow on Ben Vorlich

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Top of Ben Vorlich (Camera on trig)

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Stuc a'Chroin

Stuc a Chroin from Ben Vorlich.jpg
Stuc a'Chroin Panorama from Ben Vorlich


I quickly saw what I had been looking forward to i.e. the steep scrambly prow of Stuc A Chroin. There wasn't a lot of snow on it that I could see, though, I couldn't see the route up either until I was at the boulder field. I don't think at any point considered avoiding this in favour of the Scree path and I was also convinced that I would return via the same route, so I dumped my rucksack behind a rock to collect later.

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Stuc a'Chroin (Scrambly bit)


Un hampered by my rucksack I made quick progress and it felt good using my hands for a change. There were a few smatterings of snow here and there but nothing to worry about. I reached the first wee step and remember thinking "Gosh its steep" :shock: (censored for more sensitive viewers) when looking down. Once over that I thought, "maybe I’ll come back via the scree path" and walk back for my bag, no sense in putting myself at risk of falling when it’s not necessary (and on my own).

It became clear that there was more snow than I had thought from here on in. I kept losing the route and figured the easiest and safest route was to head up a small gully. The snow was quite slippy and wet and a few times I was on my knees (2 hand / 2 feet / 2 knees = 6 points of contact) thinking “I can't turn back!". To be honest though, by taking my time and making sure I had good hand holds, I did enjoy the rest of the climb and it was no bother which meant I was at the summit by midday. 2 Munros by noon, I was impressed with myself and felt the need to phone my Dad for some male appreciation!

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Summit cairn (Stuc a'Chroin)


As I said, I was definitely going down via the scree path and quickly because I was getting hungry and my lunch was in my bag (only a pack of extra strong mints to keep me going). On my way down I saw a few others just getting to the bottom of the scramble and wouldn’t have minded watching them make their way up, but somehow I couldn't see them by the time I collected my bag.

Time for a Ginsters Cornish Pasty and a sit in the sun admiring the view south. I had considered doing these 2 from Callander but thought the walk in would be to long and boring on my own. At least from here I could see the 2 ridges that would have been taken and was able to reflect that the popular route up Ben Vorlich and the on, was the best option for me.

The rest of the route from here on was just contouring round the 2 coires back to the main path to Ardvorlich Hse. As I said, a very popular route, as evidenced by the ant like string of walkers heading to the top of Ben Vorlich and the line of cars along the single track road.

Had I planned this better I might have considered continuing on from Stuc A'Chroin to bag a Corbett (Beinn Each) and then made my way up Glenample, but time was short as usual and I don't know how I would have got back to the car anyway, but I think it would have been an adventure all the same.

Again, another fantastic day out in the hills. Next up?? Well Ben More & Stob Binnien again looked enticing or maybe the Lawers 5? I will have to put a date in my diary and hope for good weather.
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Gary_G
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Postby Ranger » Tue May 15, 2012 9:54 am

Nice report and pics :D

I was close to doing these to but opted for Meall Ghaordaidh in the end, but stopped for a couple of pics as Vorlcih was looking gorgeous in the morning sunshine.

The snow melt during the day, as we noticed as we drove back, was dramatic :shock: :D
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Postby GillC » Tue May 15, 2012 10:10 am

What a smashing day, great pics and report. My avatar pic on here is taken on one of the cairns on Stuc,,no one could work out which was the top one lol. We could barely see anything on the way up BV or Stuc so nice to see your views. Fab. GillC
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GillC
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Postby simon-b » Tue May 15, 2012 7:36 pm

Thanks for the photos of those views, Gary. Like Gill I was in cloud when I did these two. Still a great walk though, especially scrambling up Stuc's prow.

Are you sure you did the right thing dumping your sack where you did? Like you, I did these on my own. I wouldn't have wanted to have an accident on Stuc a' Chroin without my emergency kit, or spare food if I got stranded. I'm not meaning to be critical, it's just something to think about.

I'm glad you had a good day, they're two fine hills.
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simon-b
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Postby Gary_G » Tue May 15, 2012 9:54 pm

Ranger wrote:The snow melt during the day, as we noticed as we drove back, was dramatic :shock: :D


Hi Ranger,

Yeh, i did stop to take a photo to compare with the earlier photo. Was it the glorious weather or the masses of people going up and down that melted the snow?? :lol:

Gary
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Gary_G
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 11
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Postby Gary_G » Tue May 15, 2012 10:14 pm

simon-b wrote:Thanks for the photos of those views, Gary. Like Gill I was in cloud when I did these two. Still a great walk though, especially scrambling up Stuc's prow.

Are you sure you did the right thing dumping your sack where you did? Like you, I did these on my own. I wouldn't have wanted to have an accident on Stuc a' Chroin without my emergency kit, or spare food if I got stranded. I'm not meaning to be critical, it's just something to think about.

I'm glad you had a good day, they're two fine hills.


No harm in being critical, especially when it is constructive.

I am not one for being flipant on the hills, especially on my own. Though you do only have yourself to consider when your on your own and who best to know your own abilities??

I agree with you though, maybe not the best idea. Had the weather been poor and the location a bit more remote, i would definatley have taken the pack with me, mainly for the food and extra layers though. I did have my whistle, mobile phone and pack of mints, could that be classed as an emergency kit??

Glad you liked the photos. I enjoyed the scramble the best and it has made me want more. I will be looking to do the Curved Ridge up the Buachaille later this year.

Cheer for the thought provokingness
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Gary_G
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Re: Ben Vorlich & Stuc A Chroin

Postby paddy_da_mighty_atom » Wed May 16, 2012 12:45 am

Nice report and pics :)

I also bagged those 2 on saturday, arrived at the lay-by at 12.00 and was mobbed, just one space left for me :)
Busiest hill ive seen yet.
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