Rising on the southeast fringe of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, these twin Munros are prominently seen from much of the Central Belt - a distinctive steep-sided skyline that promises great things. For anyone living south of the Highlands they are among the most accessible Scottish mountains. Surprisingly, approach from the nearer south or east sides gives you a long, boggy and unexpectedly remote ridge circuit; but the shorter, easier route from Loch Earn in the north is by far the more popular way. This is described here.
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Distance: 9 miles (14.50 km)
Total ascent: 1,252m
Time: 5 – 6 hours (Walking)
Layby on the south Loch Earn road, at the entrance to Ardvorlich estate, NN632232
Comrie or Killin
A clear well-maintained path to the summit of Ben Vorlich, from where the link to Stuc a' Chroin is on rougher ground. If tackled head-on the northeast buttress of Stuc a' Chroin gives some good scrambling on which it's possible to vary your line and the difficulty (from grade 1 to rather harder than that). Alternatively a steep eroded line just to the right avoids most of the scrambling. Just to be different, the return described here is a slightly longer and boggier variation on the customary route, for which some navigation ability is needed in poor visibility.
The steep upper slopes of Ben Vorlich need some care in icy conditions as it'd be possible for a slip to take you a long way here. In winter conditions the scrambling line up the northeast buttress of Stuc a' Chroin merits grade I - harder rock steps can be found too, if you like. The non-scrambling alternative still needs competence.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Cairngorms & Monadhliath – Met Office: West Highlands
The Munros, SMC
OS Explorer 365 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 368 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 57 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 51 (1:50,000) Directory Listings:
Killin (08707 200 627); Callander (08452 255 121); Crieff (01764 652 578)
by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com
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