Sunday, 29 August 2010

Ben Vorlich August 2010

Behave!!...its not that kind of a foursome.

Ben Vorlich towers over Loch Sloy, Inveruglas on Loch Lomond side. I've driven past this mountain a million times and looked over a it from Ben Vane, but this was the first time i've 'clumb' it. It's a pleasant stoll along the tarmac road up towards Loch Sloy dam. I came across a tent pitched in one of the laybys along the road, strange place to camp!!

I was then confronted by a heard of cows strolling down the road, including a HUGE bull which i gave a wide berth. About a kilometre from the dam there is a small cairn by the road side which marks the begining of the accent. For the first half hour the path is very muddy and boggy and in parts you have to skirt around to save being trapped in the ooze. Today was stunning....very warm, dry with no breeze and hardly a cloud in the deep blue sky. I had indeed knocked it off today. You keep climbing.....and climbing with ever expanding views of Loch Sloy and over towards Ime, Narnairn, a Chrois and the Cobbler, which at the start of my climb all had wisps of cloud covering their peaks.

Eventually the mud stops and you find yourself on a gravel path which leads you ever up. I was approaching the crags that over look the dam and I suddenly had an 'Indiana Jones' moment!!...I left the track and headed over to the crags to scramble up them to have a look into some caves I had spotted. I continued up the crags, walking along their rim, the views were spectacular. I reached a plateau, had a few minutes looking around and then began to traverse over towards the path again. Another 30 minutes of easy walking and i was at the summit. With it being such a clear day I could see a huge distance in all directions. I had my lunch and with regret left the summit. Not a whisper of wind, not a mechanical or man made sound to be heard. I met no one all day. As I began to decend the cloud that hung over the hills across Loch Sloy had lifted. I took my time on the return journey as there is so much to see on this mountain, caves, pools and hidden lochans waiting for someone to just leave the path for few metres. I found the perfect spot for wild camping up here, surrounded on three side by rock, with the fourth overlooking Loch Sloy. I'm not going to give away it's exact location because if i did i'm sure that by next week someone will have built a MacDonalds on it!!

This is a fantastic mountain, I don't know why I've never been up this one before. It's one I will return to. I've climbed both Ben Vane and the Cobbler before so tomorrow my plan is to return to climb Ben Narnairn and Ben Ime and therefore complete the 'Arrocher Alps'.

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