Vrackie - Pitlochry's local ice rink!

Route: Ben Vrackie, near Pitlochry

Corbetts: Ben Vrackie

Date walked: 17/12/2017

Time taken: 5.07 hours

Distance: 11.08km

Ascent: 1016m

With the weather to improve later, we opted for a nice late start and even stopped at Tiso at Perth on the way. Colin was confident in his forecast and was sure that it would clear in time for sunset. It was raining most of the way up the road and as we arrived at the car park we negotiated a fairly serious ice rink to rest safely on the less icy side.


As we waited for the rain to stop Colin did his civic duty and scattered some salt on the car park and we watched as the owners of the red car drove in, got stuck and then required more salt :lol:

The entertainment over, we got boots on and headed up the path. It was very icy despite being marginally above freezing and we carefully stuck to the side of the path where the leaves gave a little more traction.

It was easy walking and we overtook the people ahead of us and met several coming the other way. The route was obvious (and often signposted too!) and although it was spitting with rain on and off it never became any more serious.

Jaxter Weir

Eventually we had gained enough height to get a view down the valley without the power lines being in the way

Although we were in the clag Colin was still confident in his weather forecast (I was beginning to have serious doubts :lol: ) and he was even wondering if there was an inversion in the works… :shock:


Due to my hatred of out-and-back walks I had suggested a wee circuit which would take us up the ridge towards the summit and take us back down the usual route. So we broke off from the icy path onto a less trodden path towards Killircrankie.


However…. We had never actually looked at the map together and it turned out we had had a fairly major misunderstanding, as well as a navigational ****-up :lol: Long story short, we decided we couldn’t be bothered correcting ourselves as it was cold, snowy, claggy and windy so we headed for the lochan where we met up with the original path after taking a completely unnecessary loop :lol:

Whoops…. :roll: :lol:

However, now at the lochan the skies appeared to be clearing. Possibly Colin was right after all :shock:

Loch a’Choire & Ben Vrackie

Passing the lochan, we crossed a burn (managed not to slip off the icy rock 8) ) and began the climb upwards. Although there were a couple of moments where rain started spitting at us, eventually it stopped for good and it really was clearing :D




It was super icy and quite hard going (or maybe I was just being a wuss :roll: ) and with a quick look at the time we realised we were a bit ahead of time. We tried to slow down but we were excited to get to the top and it didn’t go well….

Finally we were at the final few metres to the summit when the wind hit us. I mean, really hit us! Freeing my hands to hold onto my hat, I lost the use of my poles and managed to faceplant onto some slippery icy grass :lol:

I’m pretty sure Colin laughed (and to be fair I would have done had it been the other way around :lol: ) Picking myself up I staggered the last few metres to the summit and held onto the memorial for dear life :lol:

Bracing myself against the trig point I tried to take some photos and hoped that the shutter speed was fast enough as there was no way the camera was remotely steady :lol:

Beinn a’Ghlo

Ben Vrackie’s other wee tops

The ridge that we should have come up :roll: :lol:

Light breaking through onto Creag Bhreac

Towards the Cairngorms

Very shaky video :lol:

Very wobbly Jaxter

As we were struggling to stand (well I was, Colin seemed to have maintained some sense of balance :lol: ) there was no way that we could wait out the sunset there. We headed towards the other cairns, partly to keep moving and also in search of some shelter as we had an hour to kill.

Looking back towards the summit

Towards the Drumochter hills. All credit to Colin, wind aside his forecast had come good :thumbup:

We found a snowy gully which provided some shelter. Clothes were added and I got very annoyed with Jura when she tried to run off with my hat :lol: We had some food, Colin enjoyed his cup of tea while I wished I’d thought of that :roll: and I tried to keep warm. We could see that there was too much low cloud for a good sunset but as the light started to drop it was worth a quick run up to the top of the gully for a quick photo before returning to regain feeling in fingers and toes… :shock:

Beinn a’Ghlo

Previous conquest, Ben Vurich


Eventually we decided that it was all over for the sunset. The sun was disappearing into the cloud and although it was pretty it wasn’t quite what we had hoped.


Cairn, sun and summit



Eskimos 8)

I thought Colin looked like he was wearing a knight helmet…except for the orange :lol:

We made a quick bid for a few more photos at the summit... where the weather was definitely closing in



Looking back to the summit

Time to go!

And we were off down….carefully….. :shock: Once we had dropped a few metres the wind became much more bearable and we were able to concentrate on not slipping. There was already a crust on the snow!

Looking back

Back at Loch a’Choire

View from the large rocks

As we made our way down the track there was a wee bit of colour in the sky 8)

We were quickly losing light and the path was very icy so we carefully made our way down. There was only one faceplant (guess who :lol: ) but plenty of near misses. Back at the car we were very relieved to be back in one piece (well two pieces, three if you count the dug :wink: )

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Comments: 2

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User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Musician, adrenaline junkie and baker
Interests: Walking, running, skiing, playing good music with good people, baking cakes and snuggling.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Star Wars Cantina
Mountain: Garbh Bheinn
Place: Anywhere with a view
Gear: Rab jacket

Munros: 170
Corbetts: 55
Grahams: 30
Donalds: 43
Wainwrights: 53
Hewitts: 39
Sub 2000: 15

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Trips: 57
Distance: 3300.44 km
Ascent: 73828m
Munros: 46
Corbetts: 48
Grahams: 23
Donalds: 36
Sub2000s: 9
Hewitts: 9
Wainwrights 12


Trips: 46
Distance: 756.5 km
Ascent: 51428m
Munros: 100
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 4
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 12
Distance: 203.15 km
Ascent: 12086m
Munros: 27

Joined: Aug 08, 2011
Last visited: Jan 17, 2018
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