Climbing Ben Vorlich, Loch Lomond

I left the house at 07:50 am, stopped at McDonald's in Balloch on the way for my usual coffee and porridge.

I arrived at Inverglas Visitor Centre, which was already pretty busy, just before 9 am and started walking for 09:15 am.

I was pretty buzzing to get up a hill as my last climb was The Cobbler months earlier in October and hadn’t climbed a Munro since July 2019. I had just bought a new pair of winter boots and new crampons and was dying to make use of them.

As I left the car park clouds were wrapping around the summit of Ben Lomond while the sun was fighting through, this illuminated the summit of Ben Lomond - it looked fantastic.

Sunrise behind Ben Lomond
Sunrise behind Ben Lomond © Chris Collins, 2020

A few minutes after I left the car park, out of nowhere, it began lashing it of rain, I wrapped up and powered on with my head down.

The rain went off as I plodded along the road towards Loch Sloy with Ben Vane sitting dominant straight ahead.

The route I was taking up Ben Vorlich starts as a tiny path off the main road to Loch Sloy, it's easy to miss. I thought Ben Vane was steep for such a wee mountain but the initial climb up Ben Vorlich was as steep - my legs were burning pretty quickly. Not long after climbing you make good height and the views back over towards Loch Sloy are beautiful.

Loch Sloy Dam
Loch Sloy Dam © Chris Collins, 2020

As the path sweeps to the left It started snowing and low cloud was whirling below and around, it was the perfect excuse for a breather. I took a moment and snapped some shots.

Light snow falling
Light snow falling © Chris Collins, 2020
About halfway up Ben Vorlich looking back over Beinn Narnain and Ben Vane
About halfway up Ben Vorlich looking back over Beinn Narnain and Ben Vane © Chris Collins, 2020

The snow gradually got thicker above 1500ft and by 2000ft it was covered, only a few footsteps ahead of me. I slipped an absolute belter face first, luckily into a pile of fresh fluffy snow. Nonetheless, I stopped and fired the crampons on.

I continued up with ease after the fall through the fresh snow and sheets of ice, reaching the summit about 11:45.

At the cairn, the actual summit is slightly further ahead
At the cairn, the actual summit is slightly further ahead © Chris Collins, 2020

On my way back down the was shining over Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, it looked like something out of a film.

Sun over Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
Sun over Loch Lomond and the Trossachs © Chris Collins, 2020

Overall, it was a great day with the typical mix of Scottish weather.


Posted in: scotland, hiking