#1000th Munro:
Ben Vorlich - 985m
Stuc a' Chroin - 975m

Saturday 18th November 2017

Weather/Conditions: Nice weather but persistent cold wind from the west! Freezing... Nice calm dusk conditions on the walk out.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 14.4km / 1200m / 7h 15m
Accompanying: Kate

Whoa! 1000. Finally. I planted the definite seed to make this happen a couple weeks before, when talking with Struan on Cam Chreag. I put out feelers and Kate mentioned she'd be game. In the end myself and Kate left Ardvorlich on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning.

You can definitely smell the influence of the south on the banks of Loch Earn in the manicured gardens, exotic and mature trees. It was a cold day in spite of the sun. On that north flank the sun was reticent to come over, and we moved in the shade primarily. We walked and talked with a group of three, Dave Wray from Edinburgh and two friends of his up from London.

We watched the sheep being brought in on Ben Our by the sheepdog, and watched the white mountains opening up further north. A steady plod brought us to the top, where I was suddenly a little hit by the gravity of 1000. That's way more rare than a Munro round! But then it's just a number... With Kate there, I slapped the top - just like 2013, it occured to me. We stood getting photos and getting cold, I enjoyed looking to the south - home essentially: Dumgoyne, the Campsies, the Kilpatricks... that felt good to see all that. But I love, and in so many ways prefer, the Highlands. I sort of have two homes now; one serves me better for my life now. And one is just *home*. Brilliant.

Dave and friends caught us up on the summit and Dave gave us a wee handshake which was nice of him. Then feeling cold, Kate and I headed off to Stuc a' Chroin. Needing to get out that freezing wind, within ten minutes we had found a corner in its shade. I could almost feel heat in the sun again! So we stopped and had a break and some food.

Stuc a' Chroin had almost no snow on it. It would also be my 1001st Munro. Back on the path and in the wind, we headed to the base of the hill, then began up the boulderfields. Before long, Kate mentioned something about 'you want a climb, right?'. That'll be a yes! We ended up taking a pretty direct line up the buttress, scrambling through outcrops and corners to emerge on top of the buttress. From here it was a short way to the cairn on top.

We got out the wind again, and for a period sat and watched the suns rays over the central belt. Distant hail showers were coming down in glimmering sheets, I got the camera out. By the time we'd got ourselves into action again, the day was moving on with the moors turning to red and orange. A boggy track contours Vorlich, which I found a touch tedious (and bit like Rum, Kate pointed out!). In time we joined the good Sron nam Tarmachan path and walked out with some light to spare.

We were back for last light. The smell of BBQ wafted through still air from campers down on the beach. The sun was now fizzling out. We headed back via. Crianlarich and stopped in at the Real Food Cafe. Then home afterward in pitch darkness.

It was a really awesome day, and good of Kate to come along to share it with me. It's taken essentially 10 years to do 1000 Munros, a reasonable rate of 100 per year. Given I've done 2.5 Munro rounds, that's a lot of repeats too. It's also quite hard to believe I've done quite that number. The idea that in the next ten years I may do the same again is quite mind boggling, yet entirely possible! Oh well, here's to the next thousand.

360° Panoramas

Ben Vorlich

Stuc a' Chroin
Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.15am Ardvorlich
(2.06) 11.21am Ben Vorlich
(4.25) 1.40pm Stuc a' Chroin
(7.15) 4.30pm Ardvorlich
Written: 2017-11-19