Monday, 4 October 2010

Ben Vorlich (@ Loch Lomond)

Summit   GJC_IMG_8785

Ben Vorlich on the north western side of Loch Lomond was my next choice for a hillwalk due to the more favourable weather conditions in the south of the region where I was staying.
I would love to have done the ascent from Ardlui but due to the lack of parking facilities because of bridge maintenance and traffic lights on the A82 road, the parking space at Ardlui railway station was inappropriate. With hindsight, it may have been better to retrace my steps and attempt the climb from north of the village using the North east ridge or Strath Dubh-uisage route. As I was facing south, I carried on, for option B, to the well known tourist spot of Inveruglas famous for it's northern aspect views of Loch Lomond, boat cruise pick up point and ....  a hydro electric power station with it's 4 massive pipes stretching down the hillside.
On leaving the car, I circumnavigated the mountain and climbed the south east ridge as detailed in an old Trail magazine I had, advising me on 7 alternative "routes to the top". Due to the lack of a proper footpath, this was rough countryside, partial sheep tracks, bracken, tricky navigation at times to avoid crags and always an element of wondering whether I had missed a turning to the right....

The way up  GJC_IMG_8746

It was nice to stop and catch a breather whilst admiring the view............

Looking South  GJC_IMG_8742

Sheep  GJC_IMG_8750
Sheep Twins !

Loch Arklet  GJC_IMG_8751

The views from this approach were very rewarding of Loch Arklet (above..... to the east) with Loch Katrine (Trossachs) in the background and Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond (below...to the south)

Ben & Loch Lomond  GJC_IMG_8757

Eventually I reached the summit ( first picture) and it's time ...... to find out what the mysterious  J_on_tour looks like !!! .... didn't give too much away though !!..... and thanks to my portable tripod that lives permanently in my walking rucksack.

At the top  GJC_IMG_8788

The way down  GJC_IMG_8807
The way Down !!
After lunch I headed down the more conventional, albeit steeper route to the west where the reservoir at Loch Sloy holds the water for the power station on the other side of the mountain..

Loch Sloy  GJC_IMG_8811
Loch Sloy
The descent took a bit longer than I thought as there is no let up in the gradient and I'm probably more used to the smaller mountains in the Lake District. The road from the reservoir that I joined to take me back had some unusual features....

Rock face !!  GJC_IMG_8815
Rock face
Generator  GJC_IMG_8823
Substation Art
Eventually I reached the spot where earlier in the day I left the path at the substation to do the epic wild ascent. The lane down to the Loch is easy under foot and the sun was still shining when I arrived.

Loch Lomond  GJC_IMG_8831

Lastly, despite suffering the tough ascent and the steep descent, it was more dangerous trying to cross the A82 road to get to the car park !!!

Danger of Death  GJC_IMG_8821

23 comments:

  1. Do you stop over or drive up , or do you live in Scotland? I find it hard enough getting to a Lakes car park early enough.

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  2. Another, was going to say snap shot, that doesn't do your posts justice. Superb photographs and text.

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  3. this is beautiful photos and a interesting text that you propose!
    I like the fourth picture, typical of the mountain ... thank you for sharing! bye !! :))

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  4. i like the view of the lake from above. breathtaking.

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  5. Great natural scene! You let me know many nice places!

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  6. Those lake photos are breathtaking. It's nice to see the famous loch.

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  7. Well, I stop by again...is still monday!
    To go to my office tomorrow or to stay here and dream to be there near the lakes?
    Better in your photo!
    Wonderful!
    Regards

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  8. This looks a fantastic climb - you had great weather for the views - so clear.

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  9. Beautiful photos; beautiful area. Scotland is on our 'list'.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment -- yes, it was scary and at one point I thought, "I'd really like to get off this ship," but quickly came to my senses! :)

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  10. Wow, that hike looks so lovely. Were you the only one out there? Amazing... hope I can make it to Scotland one day -- it's a dream!

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  11. What an amazing landscape! Making the ascent looks like fun, except your hat and jacket tell me it was cold. I wouldn't think that was fun. Was it windy? Give me 65 degrees and no wind, and then it would be very inviting! :-) Love that last sign. You don't see a 'Danger of Death' sign every day. LOL

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  12. With your photos and the way you describe your excursions, can be seen that you are a great traveler, an explorer, not superficial but attention to what surrounds you and for me that I see and read you ( with all the difficulties that entails a different language) is a wonderful feeling!

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  13. I don't think I mentioned how much I LOVE THOSE SHEEP!!

    And by the way, if you bake and chill that Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe on my blog, your workmates will be SO IMPRESSED! I don't know of a woman who doesn't prefer cheesecake over just...cake. :-)

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  14. Now, the sheeps twins know that someone may comes up by there..., the sheeps now would have news dreams.
    :)
    Thank for share your trip, it's a beautiful trip.
    Felisa

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  15. It's been years since I was up Ben Vorlich. I'd forgotten how pretty it is in the glen there. Great post and pictures. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

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  16. What a beautiful hike!! Haven't been to Scotland yet, but I loved England and Ireland!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and I hope to see you there often!
    Have a fabulous day!

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  17. The sheep look quite surprised to see you there, you can read their questions from the angle of their bent heads! :-)

    The scenes look beautiful, full of space...

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  18. Wonderful pictures! Wow! What a view! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Nice to meet you. :-)

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  19. What a beautiful picture of the loch! So glad it was you did the climbing, not me. I can see I'm going to have to scroll back through your earlier post to do some more armchair travel.

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  20. beautiful place...great photos...:)

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  21. Greg... I live in Newcastle and this was a 5 night break staying at Ewich house, Crianlarich. I too found it difficult getting to an obscure Lakes car park early enough when I was doing the Wainwrights.

    Adrian... Thanks for your comment. Feel free to say what you want, I try not to take myself too seriously & that includes my photos..... & the text !! It's sometimes difficult to find original or Art photos on days like this and I seem to have set myself this concept. I would love the opportunity to go out & take original photos but that takes away from the uniqueness of me and what I do in my spare time.... & in a sense I wrestled with who was going to want to see such a varied blog page when I set it up.

    Mahon... Following on from the last comment, I always try, if possible, to put something unusual in, sometimes difficult though. Thanks for your nice comments.

    Lily Riana... A new view like this does always take your breath away. After passing this way on so many occasions, it was good to get a different perspective.

    Rafael Lam... Yes, this area is always popular with both Hillwalkers and tourists for that reason.

    JoLynne Lyon... I thought this post might be popular when the Lomond word was used. It's nice to be able to share places like this for those that are interested. A lot of people from around the world looking in by chance on here need to know that there's more to the UK than London, Edinburgh and possibly Bath. This might be the 2nd most famous place in Scotland, and like my London post, it was nice to be able to show an alternative view.

    Wind... monday morning, friday morning and yes I'd rather be here, but don't worry the weekend will soon be here ...... and time to plan another trip !!! Thanks for your great comments.

    jennyfreckles... It wasn't the most enjoyable of climbs due to the terrain and gradient but I was looking forward to the views.

    KathyA... Thanks for your comment and visit, It was good to bring this area to your attention in such an easy way.

    Mummy Dearest... I saw a few people(most) on the road that led to the ascent/descent part. Other than that four people at lunch in photo 5 just below the summit and met two people coming up as I was going down. They wanted to know how much further it was !!!

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  22. Cranberry Morning... I started off in long sleeve T shirt. There's always a significant temperature drop with ascent (it can be 20 degrees celsius at ground level and maybe 4 - 7 at 900metres. It particularly feels colder when the sun goes behind the cloud. The breeze at ground level can become a moderate wind at this height making the real temperature less with the windchill. The gear was precautionary as I have had issues in the past with not wrapping up enough at this height. The rare sign was on the substation and I thought I could use it somehow.... 5 long minutes trying to cross the main road to the car park was enough reason !!

    Sciarada... Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you like what I do. I seem to be a hybrid on this site as I'm trying to make the places I go to accessible to all even if they are not a tourist, walker or photographer. Sorry I had to remove the translator recently but I have replaced it with a simpler one.

    Felisa... Thanks for all your comments and visits. It is always difficult photographing sheep at close range as they lose interest after 30 seconds and one more step forward and they have run off.

    Synflame... This was a mountain I wanted to do for years and I seriously couldn't fit in a Scottish break. We seem to be sharing and swapping memories with other on our pages at the moment.

    Debbie Smith... Thanks for your comment. I'm a small fish in a big sea as I'm not as well travelled as you but look forward to your posts.

    Petra... Thanks, The tilted heads of the sheep made it for me.

    Daisy... Thanks for looking in, hope you enjoyed it.

    Vicky Lane... Armchair travel in this manner is good for those who want to research or just enjoy the moment. Now I must do a bit more research on your site as I am humbled that you have visited me and my grammer !!!

    Cimpoaca Laurentiu... pleased you liked this set, always a privilege to see your work.

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  23. These are great! It looks like you had a fun time, I'd love to scramble up those rocks sometime. "Sheep Twins" is probably my favorite.

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