Ben Vrackie

Climbed by year and month

YearNewTotalJanFebMarAprMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec
unknown2323
201022
2016781142
2017242724443334
201810131132321
20192634115189531
202017331
2021141111
20223321
20237113611

You have climbed 104/282 munros.

Climbed by year and month

YearNewTotalJanFebMarAprMayJuneJulyAugSepOctNovDec
unknown11
2017111
201911
20203111
2021681211111
202223111
202323111

You have climbed 12/221 Corbetts.

The day started early... and cold. The dash said -12c whilst heading south on the A9. Think that must be the coldest I've ever seen. At Pitlochy the road up to the car park was clear and dry with only frost around so drove up to the top car park. Again just frost and no snow. Quietly, I was glad. I could wear my bigger boots rather than heavy and stiff winter boots which I still really need to wear in a bit more. Whilst I took my lightweight ice axe I didn't take crampons.

The path heads up through trees straight up from the top car park. Across a couple of forestry track and after a while out onto the moors. The view ahead was stunning, Ben Vrackie illuminated with soft winter light, and behind the glen was filled with an inversion. "It's going to be a Good Day" I said to myself.

Date started:03/12/23
Distance:5.4 miles
Ascent:649m
Descent:648m
Time taken:4:25
Moving time:3:24
Average speed:1.57mph
Maximum speed:3.41mph

Ben Vrackie

There were a few people out, an older group who said I'd overtake them. A younger couple with a bouncy lab who were doing the Bealach walk, but later decided to head for the summit. And other individuals. A couple who got to the car park just before me had a couple of dogs, one of whom was quite elderly but still ran up the hill with them (and back down before we were half-way up). And looked like he wanted to go up again with Skye and me. Bless! He had an old face and stood like an old man but he still had his job to do.

Path to Ben Vrackie
Path to Ben Vrackie

Inversion over the River Tummel
Inversion over the River Tummel

The path on the lower slopes is mostly well built. It still mixes good and bad of current path construction doctrine. Raised path with drains on either side, but then puts pointless cross drains and steps in as if the builders got bored and just had to add something for the hell of it.

I did indeed pass the group of older walkers, but never really went far ahead of them. Any time I stopped for a photie they got pretty close. Fit youngsters came by, and I just kept on plodding my way up. Despite the frost the only ice I found on the path was approaching Loch a' Choire, just before crossing the informal looking dam.

Looking to the Bealach na Searmoin and Meall Uaine
Looking to the Bealach na Searmoin and Meall Uaine

Ben Vrackie from the approach to Loch a' Choire
Ben Vrackie from the approach to Loch a' Choire

Beyond Loch a' Choire the path gets pretty steep, just a stone staircase. I wished they'd put in some zigzags. Previous walkers had taken to the heather alongside and worn their own path. Quite understandably. I pressed on, stopping occasionally to catch my breath. I stuffed my Paramo jacket in my rucksack as I was just too hot. Couldn't ask for better conditions.

Having taken an hour or so to the end of the dam, around 3km, it then took another hour to climb the last kilometre to the summit. I'd forgotten there was a toposcope as well as a trig. I'd have liked to have seen it but as it was topped by a wilted and long frozen bunch of flowers and covered in rime ice. Another day perhaps - it would be a good alternative to the likes of Meall a' Bhuachaille.

Frozen Loch a' Choire below Ben Vrackie
Frozen Loch a' Choire below Ben Vrackie

Looking down to Pitlochry and River Tummel
Looking down to Pitlochry and River Tummel

At the summit were two guys, and close behind me were the older group. It was stunning up there. To the north was the snow capped Beinn a' Ghlo group. South-westwards Schiehallion was visible with less snow than a couple of weeks previously. The breeze had picked up and I slipped my jacket on again. Skye demanded her lunch, and I needed mine too. So we faffed about a bit, eating, looking at the view. She was pretty good when I called her back from visiting other people and their lunch. But it was time to get going soon enough.

Ben Vrackie summit trig and toposcope
Ben Vrackie summit trig and toposcope

Ben a' Ghlo from Ben Vrackie
Ben a' Ghlo from Ben Vrackie

Tags: corbett, outdoor, scotland Written 04/12/23 

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