I wish I was fit!

Route: Ben Vorlich via Loch Sloy

Munros: Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond)

Date walked: 14/04/2016

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 13.5km

Ascent: 945m

Had a wee peruse of the Walk Highlands website and decided to have a stab at Ben Vorlich with my husband and teenager. It's been a wee while since we've climbed anything substantial. I think the last Munro was Sheihallion two years ago though we've ticked off a few smaller hills. The day before we'd had a wee amble from Milngavie to The Beech Tree and back, so that was our training done.
As usual it took quite some time to get out of the house and we didn't arrive at the car park till about 1.30pm. Par for the course really.
The weather seemed settled so we were reasonably confident we'd manage the walk in daylight. So off we set along the pleasant tarmac path, waving at the west coast train as it sped past across the railway bridge.
Waving at the train

Further on at the electricity substation we continued to follow the tarmac path in a horseshoe curve before realising our error and retracing our steps to continue on the correct route.
As we approached the dam we puzzled over the tiny cairn. It was more a haphazard pile of boulders and I wondered if it was a prank cairn but sure enough this was the start of our climb.
Tiny cairn
Beginning the climb

True to the walk description it was a pretty steep climb and we had numerous stops in the early stages.
A wee rest

On and on we climbed. The teenager was not one bit happy despite having youth on her side.
We met some jokers on their way down who told us we had 15 mins to the top. They then added 'Well 15 mins to 2 hours". They did warn us there were a few false tops so at least we were forewarned.
Fording every stream

On and on we climbed hoping that the more gradual incline was just around the next corner.
Eventually we seemed to gain a bit of height and the foreground got a bit more interesting with nice big boulders and wee patches of snow.
Nice boulders
A wee bit of snow

Before too long the climb got easier and the view opened up nicely.

Passing the trig point we made our way to the cairn where chocolate and tea were enjoyed in reasonably temperate conditions.
Tea with a view

Visibility was pretty good with the sun shining on some distant snow peaked mountains making them positively glow. Across to the west we could see the setting sun turning the sea to liquid gold.
As we prepared to descend tiny wee flakes of snow started to fall and the hands began to freeze.
Initially the descent was pleasant with cheery snaps taken.
Obligatory selfie
The descent

Before long things became more tricky and this is where age and lack of fitness really began to tell on the knees, big toe and thigh muscles. It was agony. Then I slipped in a bog and covered my misery in a layer of wet, peaty mud.
Coming to my aid, my husband made the same error and ended up prostrate in the same bog. The teenager laughed and became much more cheery.
After a long, slow, painful and tentative descent we reached the lovely tarmac and gave it a kiss. As we arrived back at the car it was pretty dark but we were buoyed up by our achievement and with the promise of a curry and a beer at the end of the road.
Two days later I am still sore all over but planning the next ascent-maybe a more gradual one will suffice.

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Comments: 1


Activity: Walker
Mountain: Ben More
Place: Skye
Gear: Boots

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Trips: 1
Distance: 13.5 km
Ascent: 945m
Munros: 1

Joined: Feb 02, 2014
Last visited: Mar 20, 2019
Total posts: 3 | Search posts