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Meall na Fearna

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Alder Hill, as its name means in Gaelic, is well named; the path up Glen Vorlich is rich with alder trees around the burn. Meall na Fearna is a Corbett lying east of Ben Vorlich and south of Loch Earn. Its summit is very shy, being masked by outlying tops. The approach path is muddy, once the well-trodden track leading to Ben Vorlich itself.

The O.S. sheets are awkward here but if you find Ardvorlich House on the south side of Loch Earn Sheet 51 might well be dispensed with. Park on the grass verge at Ardvorlich. Maintain a lookout for a silver estate car, which deliberately soaked us as we changed footwear. Enter the east gate of Ardvorlich House and follow the private road then track, south up Glen Vorlich. On the ascent, don't miss the cluster of old shielings next to the path.

About one kilometre up the track, take the left fork for a further 3.5 km to gain the bealach at the head of the glen. The final stretches of the path are very boggy. Turn east uphill and go northeast to reach an unnamed outlying top at NN 644 191. Now go southeast, cross a shallow col and climb easy slopes to the summit.

To descend, either return by the same route or, if feeling more adventurous, return northwest to the shallow col and then gradually swing round north to the northern top of Beinn Domhnuill (739m, NN 645 199). From there, descend northwest to pick up the path, or continue north to a small lochan just east of Creagah an Lochain. Continue NNW down the broad ridge, over An Dunan, before turning west to pick a safe crossing of the burn and so regain the path.

 

Maps: OS Sheets 51 'Loch Tay & Glen Dochart' & 57 'Stirling & The Trossachs'
Distance: 13 km
Ascent: 790 m
Time: 5 hours
Food & Drink: A choice of hotels, either in Lochearnhead, or just south at the Kingshouse, Balquhidder.

 

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