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 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……
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.
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. 😉
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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. 😆
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!
You still get pretty mad hard core people out here. Including those running up and down the mountain in shorts and t-shirt! (Above)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Anyway, back Ben Vorlich and here I am seen surveying my land. Lol.
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.
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. 🙂
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And thanks Amanda for our usual Thursday thinking out loud blog post sharing opportunity!