Stuc a’Chroin (peak of danger) has been my Moby Dick this year and I’ve finally bagged it. You’ll remember from the misadventures of Beinn Each and Ben Vorlich that we never made it as far as Stuc a’Chroin. This time Teej, Boab and I did. It was a tough one but it was maybe one of the most rewarding, we got a view that I’d never seen before! Well… except from out an aeroplane window!
Category – Munro(s)
Height – 975 metres (3,199 ft)
Location – Ardvorlich, Loch Earn
Difficulty Rating – 9/10
Approximate Timing – 6 – 8 hours
Pronunciation – Stook a Kroin
Stuc a’Chroin (peak of danger) is one of three Munros in the Crieff & Loch Earn range. The others being Ben Chonzie and Ben Vorlich. Both of which, I’ve already done. Stuc a’Chroin is located just behind Ben Vorlich and requires you to climb Vorlich first. Instead of repeating myself, the directions to these Munros can be found in the Ben Vorlich post. I’ll just continue the route from the Ben Vorlich summit.
Once you’ve reached the summit of Ben Vorlich and ready to continue on to Stuc a’Chroin, there’s a faded path to the West. It curves round and starts taking you down to the bealach. It’s quite a steep descent and can be a little tricky, so care is required. Once you reach the more level surface, make your way across the bealach and then the fun begins.
First, you’ll need to navigate over a boulder field, making your way left. It’ll gradually curve round to the right and into a rocky gully. The route then becomes a steep incline with a fair bit of scrambling involved. Be sure to stay on the right, the path does fade an re-emerge but you don’t want to find yourself in amongst the rocks. It’s far too easy to loose grip and the rocks aren’t stable. We found ourselves off the route a few times, it’s scary how easy it can happen.
As you make your way further up, there are parts that are more like steep, muddy stairs which makes it easier but no less daunting if you look down. With the sheer incline though, it doesn’t take long to reach the final and more level part of the ascent. Once the ground levels out, well back to a gradual incline, make your way East (to the left) and you’ll notice two cairns. The highest one is the more Northern one, and that’s where you can finally claim Stuc a’Chroin!
The view from the summit was spectacular. We had a day where we thought it was going to be miserable but after ascending 750metres, we broke through the clouds. It was absolutely spectacular. Instead of the usual rolling hills and mountains, it was white clouds with only Munro summits poking out through the white sheet. We celebrated at the summit, delighted to have finally got there. Got our photos and a well earned rest, then it was time to head back down.
To descend from Stuc a’Chroin, follow the path down to the gully where you made the ascent. From there, continue the path West and you’ll see some sort of path heading downhill. It’s a steep descent but no where near as bad as the ascent! Once the terrain becomes a bit easier to walk on, the path fades through the bog. As long as you continue heading North, you’ll notice the path fade in and out. We kept just looking for previous boot prints in the mud. You’ll curve around Ben Vorlich and eventually link up with the original path that took you up. From there, it’s plain sailing back down to Loch Earn and your car.
As I said previously, I’m delighted to finally have Stuc a’Chroin in the bag. I can finally say I’ve done all the Crieff and Loch Earn Munros! What made this one so special though was the view from the summit. Except from being in an aeroplane or sky-diving, I’ve never really been above the clouds quite like that. It was truly a spectacular sight. I always enjoy a Munro when there’s a bit of scrambling involved, makes the climb more fun! Overall, cracker to get in the bag and one of the more exciting climbs I’ve done this year!
That’s all for another adventure. The photos are below for a wee gander if you fancy it and the August competition is still live for subscribers.
Thanks for reading,