Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Monday, 18 April 2016

Saturday 16 April - Creag Ruadh 712m (Graham) NN 674292 Map 51

"So much for coming back later in spring or summer for Creag Ruadh" said Lynne as we were blasted by winds out of the arctic. The promise of clear tops and sunshine had been too much to resist so once again we were in Glen Tarken on 'the sunny side of Loch Earn'.

Glen Tarken - the path which passes to the left of Creag Dubh (centre) then descends to Glen Beich can be seen on the hillside left. [Click to enlarge all photos]
So far, our rapid pace along and up the track had just about produced enough heat to offset the piercing wind but before beginning the climb through the heather, Paramo Cascada trousers were extracted from the sacks along with an extra top layer. Instant relief.

The ascent was fairly gentle through heather, some burnt recently, some not, and sooner than expected the pleasing sight of Lochan Eas Domhain revealed itself. Shortly afterwards a thin path appeared, aiding our progress to the summit rocks.

Lochan Eas Domhain with Ben More and Sob Binnein

Delightful walking near the summit
Although the top is marked by a small cairn, a slab only a few metres away looked slightly higher but  unsurprsingly, neither SatMap or the iPhone's GPS could differentiate between the two heights. In any case, more pressing than fiddling with gadgets was the need for food. Soft hail was blowing in on the wind; immediately below, out of sight lay Glen Lednock reservoir; further east, Ben Chonzie's dome had only smear of snow. It was a lovely spot.

View to Ben Lawers from the top
The summit area is a sort of maze of rocks and a place to spend a pleasant half hour of exploring on a summer's day. But not this day. No, down it was more or less by the route of ascent.

Snow and soft hail again fell while we paused for refreshments. Heavier and more persistent than previously, it blew in from the north for some time as we made our back along the track. An estate Land Rover, seen earlier in the day descending to the glen, now wobbled its way back up a rough track. We were unsure as to whether the occupant's mission involved grouse management or placing tubs of high energy supplement for the sheep which shared the hills.

On our way out

We were well down in the glen before outer layers of clothing could be stuffed back into sacks and now the atmosphere was that of spring.  A few boats tacked their way up a sunless Loch Earn reminding us of our own brief skirmish with sailing our Gull there in the late '80s - when on the water we really wanted to be on the hills, so there was little point in continuing we felt.

Although both Grahams in the area have now been climbed there are still many reasons for us to return to the heathery upland moors of Glen Tarken but that will be later in the year. For now other Grahams await in areas not visited for decades. I wonder how much they will have changed? And there is the matter of twelve remaining Corbetts which have waited far too long for our attention.



  1. A grand, if a bit chilly, day out. I don't know this bit of Scotland at all. I ought to put that right.

    1. Hello Alan. It's not a grand or rugged area as the pics show, but it has a quiet quality of its own, more apparent on this second visit.

  2. So we will expect another visit next weekend then Ha. Yes Saturday was very chilly, we know. More to come.

    1. Hi Alan. Probably not though tomorrow we have another day trip planned. We are trying to get ourselves organised for a holiday while at the same time trying to use the good days for hills.What a life!

  3. Super photos. It's a bit like my current project with Wainwright's smaller hills round the perimeter of the national park giving a new perspective on the bigger hills in the interior.