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Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)

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A popular two-hill day on the south side of Loch Earn and taking in Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin. The day is not without some excitement however, as a decision will have to be made whether or not to include a scrambly buttress en route.

Start from Ardvorlich, on the south side of Loch Earn. Parking is at the roadside only and may well fill up on a good day. Be considerate. Take the good path which follows the initial stretch of the right of way to Callander. After about 1.5 km a junction is reached (there is a small wooden sign); the right of way goes left, we go right, continuing up the track a way to cross the stream coming down Coire Buidhe.

Continue over wet moorland to gain the north ridge of Ben Vorlich and follow the obvious path, initially on the flank of the ridge, to reach the steeper higher section. The summit ridge is just above, with an OS trig point at the north-west end (985m) and a large cairn at the south-east end (984m).

To continue to Stuc a'Chroin, the second Munro, return to the trig point then descend the south-west ridge to the Bealach an Dubh Choirean. A line of old fence posts adds a quaint agricultural archaeology feeling to the walk, which near the bealach is an enjoyable bumpy, twisty path. This leads to the decision of the day, the buttress ahead, which is the continuation of the ridge.

The buttress is a scramble, about 30m to the right (north-west) of the steepest rocks. It is loose in many places and is awkward to find and follow in descent. Some walkers may prefer to descend slightly into the coire to the north-west, cross the bowl below the north-west ridge of Stuc a'Chroin, then head up the steep grass when obviously easy to do so. Snow may complicate either route.

Either way, the top of the buttress will be gained at a fine cairn, with the summit of Stuc a'Chroin about 500m easy walk ahead. To return, either descend the buttress with care, or go some way down the north-west ridge until safe to descend into the coire. There is a path to be picked up which leads from the Bealach an Dubh Choirean and contours round to the bealach above Coire Buidhe. From there descend grassy slopes to regain the track back to Ardvorlich.


Maps: OS Sheet 51 'Loch Tay & Glen Dochart' & 57 'Stirling & The Trossachs'
Distance: 14 km
Ascent: 1150 m
Time: 5 hours
Food & Drink: Lochearnhead is the closest, with more choice depending which direction you came from! Callander, Crianlarich, Comrie etc.


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