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Ben Vorlich

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Length: 6 miles (4 - 6 hours)
Start: about 0.5 mile south Ardlui A82 (parking on A82 verge near Stuckendroin farm)

A serious walk; in winter conditions be properly prepared and add 50% to your time. Total ascent of 3400 ft, to a height of 3076 ft. Explorer map 364. 

There are several ways to approach Ben Vorlich (Lomond) but the route described here is interesting. It uses the 'Little Hills'  - effectively Vorlich's east to north east curved shoulder - as an interesting approach to the summit (with many little 'humps' on the way). Probably a little more arduous than the other routes but much more rewarding in terms of terrain and views. Descent is by the north east ridge and Corrie Creagach.

Other possible approaches are via the southern ridge from Inveruglas or via Corriegrogain then north toward Loch Sloy before climbing the flank of the southern shoulder.

Views are extensive over Loch Lomond and especially to the other Arrochar Alps to the south west and to Bens Dubcraig, Oss and Lui to the north.

This is quite a complex mountain and in poor visibility competent navigation is essential. The grid refs given in the following route description are from the track recorded by GPS during a walk in clear weather; accuracy of grid refs given here is not guaranteed.

The Route via 'Little Hills'

After parking on the east verge of the A82 somewhere between Ardlui and Stuckendroin farm ( NN321 149 )  make your way to Stuckendroin farm driveway and immediately turn right through the gate marked 'access to Ben Vorlich'. Walk up the slope toward the railway then turn left to find a tunnel under the railway after which a gate provides access to the lower slopes of the 'Little Hills'.

There is no clear track to the Little Hills so follow the burn a little way before turning slightly left to find a stile below the steep lower slopes. You will probably find footprint evidence of those who have been here before, but generally, head SW for about 400 yards before veering left to make a slanting climb up the northwest side of the ridge toward the top of the ridge.

One or two little scrambles provide some entertainment without much hazard to bones!

Once the ridge is attained the way forward becomes clear with many a false top en route to the two main 'tops' in the Little Hills ridge. The views back over Ardlui and to the left toward Ben Lomond make this route worth while.

Some of the 'tops' may be avoided to the right if energy is at a premium but beware some of the steeper crags on the right side and especially beware the sheer drops a little way off to the left.

On reaching the final 'top' (2600 ft NN302 124 ) before Ben Vorlich, the direct route is blocked by near vertical drops which must be avoided to the right, heading initially (WNW) through a maze of slabs toward  grassy slopes toward the southern summit of Ben Vorlich(3060 ft, NN296 123) .

All round views spectacular here, but especially south toward Loch Lomond's many small islands.

Now heading NNW with Loch Sloy away below to the left, and via a small dip to the main peak (3080 ft NN295 125) then north over a third peak before veering left to avoid steep crags overlooking Corrie Creagach.

Unless snowed over the track is quite distinct here and drops through some uncomfortable scrambles and loose rocks before heading generally north east over more level ground.

A large knoll is best avoided by following the track to the left before dropping to the lowest point in the bealach at NN300 144 . Turn right here to follow poorly a defined track down to Corrie Creagach .

Corrie Creagach is WET - very wet, in the wet! One or two of the burns have turned into bottomless morasses. Don't be put off - just watch where  you put your feet when crossing the level bowl of the corrie.

The track drops out of the corrie, crosses a couple of water catchments, and heads down toward the main burn in its deep gully, now averaging ENE beside the burn and heading over increasingly rough going to end up at a tunnel under the railway just south of Ardlui. Your car is now 10 minutes away to the south.

 

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