Archive for the ‘Munros’ Category

I’d always pretty much ignored these two Munros, despite them being right on my doorstep, as had Pete and Brian, my companions for the day.

So, what to expect? A slightly larger version of Ben Ledi perhaps, which lies just the other side of the main A84 route North?………… actually, not a bit of it!!

This is a snap of Ben Vorlich, taken from part way up Stuc a Chroin. It was at this point that I realised that this would be a considerably bigger walk than I had imagined, like what’s a huge lump of rock like that doing between Callander and Lochearhead, and how had I managed to ignore it up until now!?

We opted for the harder, circular route option, which involved walking right around to the South-East Spur of Stuc a Chroin, before climing up onto the ridge and following it North-West to the summit. The route down from Stuc a Chroin basically drops straight down from the summit, but is not actually as bad as it looks….. which is a very good thing if this photo looking back up is anything to go by!

But the sun came out, and we were still smiling!

The route then climbs steadily up to the summit of Ben Vorlich itself………

…………before an easy walk Northwards back to the car at Ardvorlich, and home for tea! 🙂

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More of Mull

So there it was – Ben More.  Also, despite a dreadful forecast for the day, it seemed the weather gods were smiling on us  – definitely the day to give the big one a go!!

Despite a promising start, ascending along a lovely burn, the initial ascent up to the snow line seemed to take forever.

But as we climbed, the views got better…..

and better…….

until finally only one last push to the snow-covered summit remained.

The weather had become a bit hazy by the time we made the top, but still gave great views out to Iona, with the faint outlines of Colonsay and Jura visible in the distance. It was only from here that we were able to appreciate the true size of Mull, and indeed why it takes about three hours to drive from one end to the other!!

Indeed, after getting the car well and truly stuck in mud whilst trying to let another car past us on the road to Calgary Bay two days before (long story, but thankfully no damage done), I started to wonder if another means of transport might be in order!

Unfortunately we were all out of Polo Mints, otherwise I think we could have made a friend for life here, as well as gaining a more suitable ride home  😉

So, after six years, and three visits, finally a day on Mull when it didn’t pour with rain for the whole time. In fact, if it hadn’t  tipped it down the following day, I might even have been converted!!

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Schiehallion has to be one of my favourite hills, particularly now that the John Muir Trust have amended the main route up so that it follows the contours of the hill better. The ascent gave some great views down onto Loch Tummel, and the mountains beyond.

Whilst to the South, a whole winter’s-worth of snow-clad peaks appeared, just begging to be climbed.

The locals were out in force too, with this pair of ptarmigan still in their winter colours,

but still managing to blend in perfectly with the surroundings when required!

The snowdrifts were still pretty deep on the way up, and the wind-chill on the top had to be experienced to be believed, but as a result, the exposed rocks at the summit had inherited an amazing variety of natural ice-sculptures:

So that’s it basically – another climb up one of my favourite mountains. Oh, and of course we didn’t descend most of the way on our bums or anything – that would have been irresponsible! 😉

But still managing to blend in perfectly with the surroundings when required!

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