My second Munro this year, and my fourth mountain of the year – Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn). This was the second time I’ve been up this Munro, it was the second Munro I ever bagged. We were originally intending on following the path on to Stuc a’Chroin but for the second time we never made it (for first attempt, read: Beinn Each). I know… a lot of seconds there. With the abysmal weather conditions, we could barely see ten feet in front of ourselves so we thought, leave Stuc a’Chroin for another day. Regardless of the weather and not being able to claim another Munro, it was another brilliant day out with the boys, Megan & Lauren. Slowly but surely, my fitness is returning. I still lagged behind but not as much this time.
Category – Munro
Height – 985 metres (3,232 ft)
Location – Ardvorlich, Loch Earn
Difficulty Rating – 6/10
Approximate Timing – 3 – 4 hours
Pronunciation – Byn Voar-lich
Ben Vorlich (hill of the bay) is one of two Munros in Scotland by the same name. There is one on the Western side of Loch Lomond and the one that we did on the Southern side of Loch Earn. To reach the Ben Vorlich at Loch Earn, follow the A84 from Callander. You’ll pass Loch Lubnaig, through Strathyre then past the Balquidder signs. Just before the village of Lochearnhead, there is a cut road that should be sign posted to South Loch Earn. Follow that single track road for around ten minutes until you come to the Ardvorlich Estate. There’s a lay-by to park in just before the little stone bridge and the entrance to the Estate.
To begin the hike, follow the road towards the estate, and follow the signs for ‘hill walkers’. It should be your first right then left. The path will take you up towards a fence that you can climb over. Continue on the path as it winds up into the hills and you’ll see Ben Vorlich emerging at the back. The path will steadily take you up hill, you’ll need to climb over a few more fences before you reach a burn and sort of miniature dam.
There’s plenty of photo opportunities on Ben Vorlich, just after the burn theres a huge boulder you can climb on to and get a picture with Loch Earn and mountains in the background. As the path goes on, there’s a step every so often. You’ll come across two big stones, placed together to look like a seat. Again, another opportunity for a photo or just a wee rest and drink.
The path will start to become more narrow and rocky with a few twists and turns, be careful with your footing. Before long, you’ll reach the final, more steeper part of the climb. As you make your way up the rocky path, thighs burning, you’ll see the trig point at the summit. When you reach that, you’ve bagged Ben Vorlich!
If it’s a nice day, you’ll see up to the Highlands with spectacular panoramic views. If it’s similar to the weather we got, you’ll see your mate and that’s it. Once you’ve rested and had your piece, you can either make your way on to Stuc a’Chroin or back down the way you came. Not sure how Stuc a’Chroin is yet, the visibility was poor and we didn’t want to risk it. We all read that it’s meant to be harder and more of a scramble than Ben Vorlich.
When you’re making your way back down the path, careful for the rocks, they can be loose or slippy. It doesn’t take long to get down though. As always, it can be a killer on the knees but once you’re off the rocks and back to the good path, it’s not so bad. It won’t be long before you’re back at the car and ready to head home.
As I said, this was my second time doing Ben Vorlich. Despite knowing what lay ahead, it still never prepared me for the incline of some parts of the hill. Last time I done Ben Vorlich, it was a scorcher of a day and I got to see for miles in every direction. This time, not so much but it was an experience. When I lagged behind, I lost sight of everyone and it was quite eerie but the path was easy enough to follow and I caught up eventually. It’s not overly difficult but there are some parts that are quite sore going. Definitely worth a hike if you have decent weather.
Not many photos this time, I never even took my camera out my bag. There wasn’t any point. I’ve attached the few that I got on my phone though. Let me know what you think of the visibility in the comments!
Thanks for reading,