Your National Park adventure starts IN CALLANDER

Stuc A Chroin Walk

Length: 8 miles - may be extended to 11.5 miles (5 - 7 hours, 6 - 9 hr if full circular attempted)
Start: Ardchullerie Mhor. A84 layby, 3 miles south of Strathyre

This walk of Stuc a Chroin (Gaelic, 'peak of danger or terror', 3200 ft) goes from Ardchullerie via Glen Ample & Ben Each (pron 'yach', mountain of the horse, 2680 ft). A strenuous walk over two peaks with one or two steep rocky scrambles and an element of exposure on rocky outcrops. A serious walk in winter conditions - be properly prepared and add 50% to your time. 

As with many of the mountain walks in this area it can be very hazardous and care is required. Ice can be encountered at higher levels as early as late August and as late as June. This makes some wet rocky slopes on this walk very treacherous, especially where north facing.

Tell someone where you are going, stick to the planned route. Check sunset time and leave yourself time to spare!

The Route

From the layby on the A84 at Ardchullerie Mhor at Loch Lubnaig proceed up the track signed to Glen Ample, turning left near the outbuildings onto the track marked 'Footpath'. Follow up the fence line the forestry track leading to Glen Ample and cross the burn onto the rough pathway through the plantation. Meeting a forest road, turn left up to the gate.

Shortly after the gate you find yourself on the moorland track through Glen Ample.

On reaching the first major burn (difficult crossing here in spate conditions) cross the burn and after a few yards watch for a poorly defined track on the right leading up the burn toward the hill. A local walker built a wee cairn here to mark the track but it mysteriously disappeared!

The first few yards are very spongy but the ground improves rapidly as you start up the zigzag path to the left of the burn. Approaching the first brow the path splits with a faint track leading to the right - take the left hand track.

Follow the track up the hill veering northwards for a while before turning east to the summit of Bein Each.

Stuc a Chroin is now visible to the north east.

Do not attempt to take the direct line to Stuc a Chroin - at the summit, walk back to the west for a few yards and find an ill-defined track to the north which zig-zags down a severe rocky slope for about 500 feet to 'Bealach nan Cabar'.

Bear right at the Bealach following the wet ground for a few yards with the rocky outcrops to your left, before following a faint track up through the rocks to continue along the ridge. This soon drops again before yet another gentle climb over another couple of 'humps'. Finally drop down to a boggy bealach then a steep climb to a short level respite before the final scramble up the loose debris and scree to Stuc a Chroin with Glean a Chroin leading away to the south on your right and Lochan a Chroin directly below.

At the summit of Stuc a Chroin the 'Gleann an Dubh Choirein' (or 'Glen of the dark Corrie') can be seen leading south east to Glen Artney. To the north east the second peak of Stuc a Chroin and its difficult 'broken shoulder' looms over the 'Bealach an Dubh Choirein' and faces Ben Vorlich. This is probably one of the most impressive views of Ben Vorlich. Ben Our can be seen directly to the north. Balquhidder Glen, Ben More and Stobinnian are seen to the north west.

Unless confident with a hard scramble and exposure do not attempt to descent to Bealach an Dubh Choirien by way of the broken shoulder.

The simplest return is a re-trace of the incoming route.

Alternatively, head north west from the north summit and head down the long shoulder until you find an easy descent down into Corrie Fhuadaraich, (the start was marked by a small cairn on the lip of the corrie beyond a boulder field - take great care on a poor surface if you select this option), cross the burn and climb up to the landrover track leading down to Glen Ample farm.

Another option is to re-trace your steps to the Bealach Nan Cabar then look for a faint track down the shoulder to the south side of the woods in Glen Ample. Take care not to descend where the way is blocked by plantations - they are impassible.