Ben Vorlich

Loch Earn - by Andy Speight

Start Point: Roadside parking on South Loch Earn road near entrance to Ardvorlich House.
Grid Reference: OS Sheet 51, GR634233.
Also need OS Sheet 57 for the summit.
Time: 4-5 hours
View Location: Scalable multimap
Buy OS Map:

Buy Map at MapsWorldWide (51)
Buy Map at MapsWorldWide (57)

Introduction

Picture it. June 2001, 2 keen hillwalkers lead a group of unconverted mates up one of Scotlands most famous hills - Buchaille Etive Mor. Now dredge from the deepest recesses of your memories some of the wettest conditions you've ever experienced on a mountain.... you're getting close.


The before and after shots.
(Click for larger images)
   

The whole party of nine made it to the top of Stob Dearg that day but the plans to summit Stob na Broige were rapidly shelved. For most of the party this was the first time up a Munro and I'll wager some will never set foot on a hill again.

Time they say is a great healer and come July 2002 Robert and Catriona were collecting names for a walk in August, this time up Ben Vorlich. On the day fifteen people turned up, those who didn't appear must have known what was heading our way.

The top of Ben Vorlich had been visible during the drive there and could still be seen as we left the cars. It was even necessary to remove layers of clothing as we started to climb. They say that lightning doesn't strike twice, in our case it did. OK... there were no thunderbolts but the rain came down in drops so big and blown so hard that it felt like hailstones.

We all made it to the summit but I don't think the people who got there first appreciated being made to wait on the stragglers so that there could be a group photo at the trig point! Catriona and I had planned to carry on to Stuc a' Chroin and take the hardier souls with us but decided to leave that for another day. We headed straight back to the cars, changed into dry clothes and then drove to Balquhidder for food, beer and warmth.

We're already trying to decide where to go in 2003. Wherever and whenever we go it will have to be third time lucky for a sunny day otherwise Robert could get lynched.

Route

  • Start by the shores of Loch Earn and walk 0.3 km SSW up the drive of Ardvorlich House. There are two drives, walkers are requested to use the most Easterly one (next to a bridge over the Vorlich burn).

  • At the top of the drive (GR633230) there are hand made signs directing walkers right over the Vorlich burn and then left up the track leading S into Glen Vorlich between the farm buildings and the house.

  • The good quality path rises steadily as you leave Ardvorlich behind. Just over 1km later you'll reach a fork in the path (GR631218). Take the right hand fork and head 0.75km SSW up towards Coire Biudhe.

  • The path gently bends S and continues to rise for 1.5km just below the N ridge of Ben Vorlich.

  • The path eventually rises more steeply SSE and joins the ridge (GR629194).

  • Follow the ridge SSW swinging SSE for 0.5km up to the summit of Ben Vorlich (985m, GR629189). The true summit is at the OS Trig Point.

  • To descend retrace your steps.

  • On a better day than we experienced the walk up Ben Vorlich can be easily combined with Stuc a' Chroin. Until I've climbed it you'll have to read other hill walking guides for the route.

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