Ben Vrackie - 841m
Thursday 21st August 2014

Weather/Conditions: Sunny and chilly, with a couple rain showers passing by just prior to the top.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 10.4km / 750m / 4h 30m
Accompanying: Hunners of folk! Most notably, Lorraine, of course...

An absolutely phenomenal day for the fact that Lorraine was finishing her summer 2014, non-stop round of all the Corbetts. When I spoke to her in 2013, she'd mentioned she was thinking about doing this. But I assumed no more, until I heard she was going to go and do it the following summer. It was great to follow her progress across summer 2014, but I never quite managed to get out to meet her when she was on it.

Eventually, I heard she was planning to finish on Ben Vrackie - first scheduled for a weekend, then pulled back to midweek when she found herself ahead of schedule. Nonetheless, this I could still do, and I drove up to Pitlochry from Glasgow on a slightly grey-looking morning.

At Moulin, Lorraine came pedalling up the hill and a whole gathering assembled at the car park. This was just one day out for me, but it was also stunning to think of the thousands of kilometres walked and pedalled on Lorraine's part. For me, the memory of 2013 was still so fresh so I had that window into what it felt like, and how hard it was, to push the body so hard. And for Lorraine, the summit was now just a few miles distant.

Some cloud and rain rolled in for the last ascent to the top, but then pulled back to sun again just as everyone got up. There was a nip in there air here, along with strange pale skies - a first sign of a coming winter, and the drawing to a close of what was presumably a huge summer for Lorraine. Drink was drunk, photos taken, and in the sun that had followed the rain, the hills certainly looked 'hung out to dry'.

Following an episode on descent of chase-the-dog-around-the-hill (the less said the better! Someone let their dog loose among the sheep), we went for drinks at Moulin - and home for me afterward.


Ben Vrackie 250° West & North

Ben Vrackie 180° North

Ben Vrackie 180° South
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 10.35am Vrackie parking
(1.55) 12.30pm Ben Vrackie
(2.45) 1.20pm Ben Vrackie (left)
(4.30) 3.05pm Vrackie parking

Written: 2016-09-30