Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Sunday 20 March -Meall Buidhe 719m Graham. NN576275 Map 51

A glorious drive on a glorious day saw us at the car park at the summit of Glen Ogle. It could be argued that we had chosen too modest a hill given the weather and the array of snowy peaks available to us. However, Ben More, Stob Binnein, Ben Lawers etc are rightly popular hills, especially on a day such as this, so for seekers of solitude little Meall Buidhe had much to offer.

The track which leads to a mast goes through a conifer plantation, usually dark, dreary and silent places, but the sun shone directly between the trees and the birds were singing. Some way on, Lynne announced that she'd forgotten her waterproof. "I put it out for you. In the hall, by the chair". "Didn't see it". "Well, I put it out last night". "I never saw it" etc, etc. On many other days this year the absence of said waterproof would have been a problem.

Waterproofs weren't going to be needed today. Ben More and Stob Binnein. Click to enlarge all photos.

Across Glen Ogle lay the Corbett, Craig Mac Ranaich while westwards Sgiath Chuil and Beinn Bhreac brought back memories, years apart. Ben Lui's centre gully was still complete and no doubt as avalanche prone as ever.

Zoom to Ben Lui
Shortly after breaking out of the trees we came across two newly born lambs, fresh placenta on the track. One struggled up, wobbled, then managed to follow mother into the long grass. The first lambs we've seen this year.

From the mast the way ahead was through thick heather over gently undulating terrain and soon the little cairn appeared with Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin filling the view  across Loch Earn. A larger cairn a short distance south gave views over Glen Ogle and Lochearnhead. A tranquil scene it was.

From the large cairn

The summit cairn from the lage cairn overlooking Glen Ogle.
Below was a lovely spot for a long lunch. No hurry today. We lazed in the sun and talked, as we often do at such places, of exploits of the past and plans for the future.

Despite having done the Munros and almost the Corbetts we are no list tickers, but there is little doubt that seeking out hills because they are on a list has taken us to places that perhaps would not otherwise have been visited. Invariably, the effort has been amply rewarded and today was yet another example.

I seemed to be carrying an inordinately large pack today! Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin in distance

An easy walk took us over a few bumps to Beinn Leabhain which gave open views of the Lawers hills, Loch Tay and Killin.

On our way to Beinn Leabhain

Looking back to Meall Buidhe
Lawers, losing snow cover fast, and Loch Tay

Down we go

It appears that this is either our 28th or 29th Graham and we hope to explore many more this year. I have the feeling that because they are under 2500ft and unfrequented, the going will be rough - much rougher than most of the Munros. Now there's something to look forward to.

We arrived home and there in the hallway was .... the absence of a waterproof. A quick rumage in my sack and two waterproofs emerged........


  1. Slightly familiar territory for me. I walked up the track from spot height 288 below Meall Buidhe over to Killin on my LEJOG walk. Your photos are great and full of nostalgia from my Munroing days, especially reminding me of a desperate time on Ben Lui. That waterproof story sounds very familiar somehow.

    1. That would be a fine route to Killin I imagine Conrad. You must tell more about your Ben Lui adventure. Our ascent was uneventful though I do recall a trip with the school that was exciting.

      I must confess: the photographs here were mainly taken by Lynne.

  2. Here is the relevant extract from my journal for Ben Lui.

    2nd. May 2009.

    Ascent of Ben Lui and Beinn a Cleibh.

    The highlight of this trip was the ascent of Ben Lui and Beinn a Cleibh. I cycled the four miles or so from Dalrigh and set off up the hill in rain with clouds down on the tops. I could just see into the lower part of Ben Lui's corrie. Halfway to the corrie a snowstorm developed giving a covering of new snow on old. I pulled out onto the ridge and met a young couple there and we proceeded together.

    There is a section of about 150ft of very exposed and steep pathway on rock ledges with a grade 1 scramble halfway, and with everything covered in snow this certainly concentrated the mind. Next there was a steep twenty foot bank of snow which required step kicking to gain access to the summit plateau. The couple went off to the left to do Ben Oss and its neighbour whilst I went straight ahead to descend to a col and then climb Beinn a Cleibh.

    My intended return was by the same route as the ascent but there was no way I was going to reverse that ridge in the prevailing conditions. After Beinn a Cleibh I descended back to the col and then skirted right round the lower bulk of Ben Lui to arrive at a point well below the serious ridge. It was on the descent from here that my knee became unbearably painful, and it took me quite a long time to get back to the track where I had left the bike.

    The cycle ride out was magnificent - downhill nearly all the way.

    After all this I had to come back home because of the knee still leaving nine Munros to do.

    Sgurr Mor (nr Loch Quoich)
    Sron a Choire Ghairbh and Meall na Tanga (west of Loch Lochy)
    Gaor Bheinn (Gulvain) (off Ft. William to Mallaig road)
    Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre (Loch Ossian - do from Corrour Station)
    Ben Oss and Beinn Dubchraig (nr Tyndrum)
    Beinn Mhanach (nr Tyndrum)

    The knee must have recovered (temporarily) because I was back again finishing off the Ms on 28th June 2009 on Sgurr Mor. The eventual replacement knee op wasn't until 4th May 2012.

    1. Fascinating read Conrad - an epic day. I can't recall many epics on the Munros but getting off the In Pinn in a storm with friends after our 3rd ascent, and descending to Coire Lagan by the wrong route in thick mist and rain, certainly qualifies.

      I like the fact that you used a bike to approach Ben Lui. In the early days we used folding bikes to get to the remoter hills like Ben Alder or some in the southern Cairngorms for example. We hardly use our old mountain bikes now and although they may be useful again for the remoter Grahams, I expect we will favour backpacking trips with a few nights out.

  3. As i read the post, and the big rucksack. I thought, you put both waterproofs in the sack. And the last sentence confirmed it. Made me laugh.

    1. Ah yes Alan, but even allowing for the extra waterproof my sack still seemed big. I think I just chucked in *everything* I found lying around - including Lynne's waterproof.