Ben Vorlich

Ben Vorlich is one of two Munros, the other being Stuc a’Chroin. They are adjacent to each other and situated in the southern part of the Highlands of Scotland.

Ben Vorlich from South Loch Earn Road

Ben Vorlich is located just south of Loch Earn and the two of these mountains (or one in our case) make for a fantastic day out walking / climbing.

Folks, you know that I love to share my passions with you. Not only does that include hundreds of healthy recipes but also our hillwalking expeditions in Scotland. Everything I share here is all part of the balanced, positive and active lifestyle that both Lady Lynne and I embrace and advocate.

And you know, I think it’s nice to break from the constant stream of recipes to get a little bit more personal with you folks anyway. isn’t it? So you can see that although our kitchen appears to be a production line. It does shut down every now and then! 🙂

So without further ado……

Ben Vorlich

Lady Lynne and I left Glasgow at 0730 last Saturday morning.

The skies were blue, the air was crisp and the views of the mountains as we drove closer and closer to the southern highlands were quite simply breathtaking.

We’d arranged to meet up with Liam (introduced in Driesh and Mayar post) at the parking area on South Loch Earn road. When we arrived at 0900, the parking area was already pretty full. We were just in time to grab one of the last roadside spaces.

Ben Vorlich

You’ll be forgiven for thinking this is a sponsored post. Don’t worry, it isn’t! That actually is Liam’s van and that’s what he does for a living, so feel free to reach out to him if you have any painting or decorating requirements.

Naturally, if you do reach out to him mention where you saw the details. 😉

Ben Vorlich

OK, so fueled up on coffee and chocolate pecan bake things (which Liam brought), we headed off.

Turning round from our direction of travel and looking back, we’re looking North here. You can see Loch Earn, and the roadside where we had parked our cars.

Here we start a gentle misleading ascent of the route to Ben Vorlich through the Stewarts estate of Ardvorlich House.

Ben Vorlich

I say misleading because after Ardvorlich house and Loch Earn, seen again here, the ascent is definitely not “gentle”. In fact it’s now a steep farm track built for farming machinery suitable of accessing the hill sheep!

Ben Vorlich

Eventually, later on, when we get off the path, we’ll be heading straight up the shoulder of Ben Vorlich that you can see in the far distance. Again THAT’S misleading because the summit is actually further behind than what you can see.

Ben Vorlich

There’s still some snow left on these mountains as you can see from those in the far North. There is however, not as much snow as in the picture of the last aborted attempt in the cauliflower cheese pasta bake recipe!

So, no need to carry ice axes, crampons and other Arctic equipment!

Ben Vorlich

The lower level paths are pretty good. Many volunteers give up their holidays to join groups across Scotland who dedicate their time to repairing and rebuilding these paths preventing further erosion and scars on the mountains.

Ben Vorlich

Whilst the weather steadily got worse throughout the day, it was still a decent enough day for there to be quite a lot of people out on this popular mountain.

Like Ben Lomond, Ben Vorlich is one of the nearest mountains to the cities of the central belt of Scotland, Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. It’s also not too far from Dundee on the east coast either, where Liam drove from. Hence the popularity.

Ben Vorlich

In this particular shot (above) you can see the showers of rain and hailstones that decided to come our way. This is why our rucksacks are packed with clothes that can handle four seasons in a day, which we literally had to handle this day!

Ben Vorlich

This was Lady Lynne’s first Munro of the year. Just before leaving the car she was checking that she had packed her sunglasses into her rucksack. A much needed item for the day. Not. 😆

Ben Vorlich

The wind, and the wind chill factor also got more noticeable as we climbed further up. We were wrapping up in extra layers not just to keep ourselves dry, but also to keep ourselves warm. It was freezing. Definitely below freezing point as our cold and numb hands and faces told us!

Ben Vorlich

You still get pretty mad hard core people out here. Including those running up and down the mountain in shorts and t-shirt! (Above)

Ben Vorlich

The view looking back, over to the North West shows the Lawers mountain range. It was near the foot of those mountains that we stayed in our lodge at Killin over Hogmanay. You can read about that in the cream of celery soup recipe.

Ben Vorlich

This view looking back, over to the North East looks over to Perthshire, which is somewhat flatter and contains some of Scotland’s finest farming land. Plenty of cows and crops basically.

Ben Vorlich

At the summit of Ben Vorlich I took this picture of Stuc a’Chroin. The height of Ben Vorlich, the one I’m standing on is 985m, whereas the height of Stuc a’Chroin is 975m.

Our plan was to summit Ben Vorlich, see how we felt, and then continue down off Ben Vorlich’s summit and to then climb Stuc a’Chroin if we were up for it.

Ben Vorlich

There wasn’t much hanging about to be done if we were to get a move on to Stuc a’Chroin. So at the summit, we all grabbed a roll or sandwich to eat.

Or in Liam’s case a steak pie (yes I was jealous. I’m always jealous of other people’s packed lunches!) but I mean a steak pie at the top of a mountain. How brilliant is that?

Ben Vorlich

Looking south off Ben Vorlich over Stirlingshire, rain and hail showers obscure the far away view of the town of Falkirk. I once lived in Falkirk as I was slowly working my way to Glasgow.

Far over to the top left of the photograph you can just make out a large body of water. That’s the Firth of Forth. The estuary that the river Forth flows into. The world famous Forth Rail Bridge , now awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status is further to the left than the photograph could go.

A new road bridge is currently being built across the Firth of Forth, alongside the Forth Rail Bridge and the old Forth Road Bridge. I hope to be able to go there on Saturday to get some shots because it’s nearly completed and is due to be open this year. It’s not often in a lifetime you see something of that magnitude being built so close to home.

Ben Vorlich

Anyway, back Ben Vorlich and here I am seen surveying my land. Lol.

Ben Vorlich

We started to make our way down Ben Vorlich and across over to Stuc a’Chroin. It was whilst climbing up the buttress of that mountain that we were hit by stinging hail stones.

Unfortunately that bout of weather finally put paid to continuing on for the day. Whilst it would have been possible to go on, it almost certainly wouldn’t have been in any comfort!

So we left Stuc a’Chroin for another day and made our way over boggy glen, skirting back around the bottom of Ben Vorlich to get back to the path we had made our way up on.

Ben Vorlich

Making our way back down, as it always nearly seems to, the weather did brighten a little and it stopped raining too. Still we had done what we set out to do and these mountains can be unpredictable and will still be here to do again.

It’s best not to mess with nature when it’s quite clearly giving you signs it’s not safe to go on, I always think.

All in all it was a round trip of about 5 hours. There wasn’t any sitting about!

On returning back to our cars, Liam left to drive east, back to Dundee, whilst we went Southwards back to Glasgow via a quick stop for refreshments at Mhor 84 Motel.

We picked up a couple of pizza’s for dinner that evening from our local supermarket (the Neil’s Healthy Meals kitchen was still closed!) and I completed my tax return. Back to reality!

Well folks thanks for getting through this particular expedition!

I hope that we’ll be out again soon, and when we are, you’ll join us for our next adventure. 🙂

In order not to miss future updates and new recipes, make sure you’re following neilshealthymeals by adding your email* to the subscription list at the very top of this post and clicking “Subscribe” or by “following” me via your favourite social media channel below.

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And thanks Amanda for our usual Thursday thinking out loud blog post sharing opportunity!

Comments

  1. What a stunning landscape! I would not mind all the hiking for those beautiful views!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Mexican Carrot Dogs with Chunky Salsa VerdeMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      We were lucky that the showers of rain and hailstones had stopped briefly so we were able to get that stunning view from the top.

      It was a shame we couldn’t go on further and do Stuc a’Chroin but as I said, that’ll be there for future. 🙂

  2. What a beautiful spot for a walk and those views! Views like that are always worth a tough hike I think.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on Sweet and Sour King Prawns by Susie @ SuzLyfeMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      It kind of makes you think that all of the effort, to see those views, and especially with the weather we were facing, was all worthwhile!

  3. All of your posts like this seriously make me want to visit Scotland one day. ONE DAY! And mountains are crazy with how unpredictable the weather can be. You go up with the sun and get hit by some crazy snow storm in the middle, then reach the top and it’s sunny again. At least they keep things interesting 😉
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…gratitude, giving up coffee, and giveaway winner (ToL#180)My Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Absolutely Amanda. You must come to Scotland! We insist 🙂

      These are crazy mountains. Four seasons in a day!

      I mean, in my rucksack I’m carrying waterproof trousers, extra hat and gloves and another jumper. Plus, if it should get really hot and sunny (ha ha – rarely) then my combat trousers have legs that zip off to form shorts! I’m ready for each and every one of those seasons. 😉

  4. I love joining on all of your adventures 😀 Such a glimpse of the world that I wouldn’t get to see otherwise!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Dance Like Nobody’s WatchingMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      I’m glad you take the time to join us on our adventures. 🙂

      And equally I love to hear about Indian weddings and things like that, that I’ve never experienced!

  5. Ben Vorlich is gorgeous – the views are breathtaking – as seem to be most of the views you post from y’alls hiking expeditions, Neil! Wow – y’alls rucksacks must be so heavy with all those clothes in them – and gosh – I don’t believe those 2 are running up that steep hill – in shorts none the less!
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan recently posted…Curried Mango Pork ChopsMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Ha ha ha! Yes, we’re a pretty hardy lot within this country Shashi. 🙂

      Yeah, as if though the weather wasn’t complicated enough that day, those runners were extra brave, I would say! 🙂

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