Ben Vorlich & Stuc a Chroin


270 miles from home and I’m parked on the narrow road at the south side of Loch Earn.

The following morning after a 2 hour walk I’m on the top and find myself a comfortable office. The weather is good.
Immediately after I posted a spot I get my first report from Chris/F4wbn on 7mhz. 20 minutes later I have 30 QSOs in the logbook and it goes quiet. I was somewhat amused by one of the chasers suddenly being called by another station presumably thinking he was the activator. A quick CQ disabused him of his error!

1 hr 20 minutes later I was on the next summit GM/SS-010. My next self spot got no replies. Somewhat crestfallen I checked the aerial and then the radio a SWB3. it is CW on TX & RX but can listen on LSB. Somehow it had got onto LSB !! Luckily I found the minute instruction booklet and set it to CW. As soon as I sent my CQ Igot answered by G4YIL immediately followed by F4WBN who subsequently proved to consistently prompt in chasing me on later activations. 14 QSOs followed including 2 S2Ss, one being from fellow club member David Holmes on GM/SS-210.

I decided to return early to my Van HQ passing Vorlich house.

I came across a pleasant chap whilst I was looking at some of his specimen trees and he identified some of the more unusual specimens for me. He turned out to own the estate.

Including this Dehesia.

As I walked to my van I saw this gravestone. I assume this is in someways associated with the events of 1692 in Glencoe.

After a dinner of something or other I drove off to next day’s activations which started off with Ben lawers.



That’s a nice report and the only one I’ve seen on here that doesn’t actually show any photos of the mountain!

We’ve a birthday party to attend in West Lothian next weekend (for a 5 year old). Booked a hotel in Callander that night. These two are on the list for the following day.

My friend and I climbed these two on a stunning May day almost 30 years ago. Full winter conditions from 2000’ onwards and the ascent of Stuic a Chroin was like a graded winter climb. On the descent we donned our waterproof bottoms and slid down ro the floor of the steep corrie. It’s still one of my best mountain memories.

I’m really looking forward to getting back.



Nice report Dave, and nice to work you on some of your Scottish summits.

Doesn’t the countryside look green.


Thanks David. I’m not surprised- I’m now GLencoe and it’s been heavy rain showers for two days. I’m confined to the van!!! :hot_face:

1 Like

I’d spend my time at the Kingshouse or the Clachaig!

1 Like

Did you go straight up the prow or take the diversion into Coire Fuadarach?

I have happy memories of sailing on Loch Earn in 1979 when I spent a week at Lochearnhead with Hertfordshire Scouts, we climbed Ben More, I have been back a couple of times but never had the time to fit Ben Vorlich in, maybe one day! Do the forests on the slopes still echo with the sounds of owls during the daytime?


You wouldn’t recognise it Brian. Massive new accommodation block, built about 5 yrs ago. It dwarfs the original hotel. Goodness knows how they got planning permission! I’m not even sure if the climbers bar is still open in the original building.

1 Like

Unlikely as the date is 1620 - time travel :innocent:

1 Like

They must have built that not long after my last trip staying at the Alex Macintyre hut, when if it didn’t rain it snowed…! The old Kingshouse has appeared on myriad calendars, I hope the new building fits in, I must look for a picture.

PS Found it. What an abomination!


The clacchaig has been ‘poshed-up’ like the kings house too.

We made it up these two today David, and I thought I’d share a couple of photos which complement your report.

The weather forecast was for low cloud and showers all day, so I opted to take just 2m kit due to it being more waterproof and to allow for quick activations.

Ben Vorlich GM/SS-008 from low down on the ascent path

When we got to the top of Ben Vorlich it was evident that it was the only mountain for miles not in the cloud. The breeze was, however, cool. A quick 10 minutes on 2m FM got 12 contacts.

The way across to Stuic a’Chroin GM/SS-010 from Ben Vorlich

To climb Stuic a’Chroin one must either tackle the buttress direct, or move to the north (right in the picture) and take the steep path up through the corrie. We took on the buttress.

Mo doing some light scrambling

Looking back at Ben Vorlich from the buttress

16 in the log from Stuic a’Chroin with the handheld and slim-g

I worked @2E0XUP from both summits. That’s 190km down to the Cumbrian coast, which isn’t too bad with a handheld! I also worked @GM0WEZ Pete, who was doing backpackers from Ben Chonzie GM/SS-015 and not looking for SOTA. However, that gave me a Complete for that summit, so a decent days work.

L-R The buttress, Stuic a’Chroin cairn, Ben Vorlich

It didn’t rain, nor did the cloud come in, however it was windier than expected. So, in this case was badly wrong except for windspeed. had everything right apart from the wind. Go figure that one out…



Thanks Fraser. You take better photos than me aswell.

Multiple forecasts? Yeh, remember the days when there was only the BBC/Met Office wx?? You either believed it or not. Now you have to decide which ones to believe or not. Too much choice?

1 Like

Thanks for the QSO Fraser. Your signal, as you would expect, was very strong on Ben Chonzie. Probably only 10 miles or so away and we were both at 3000 feet. I made a few 2m SSB contacts and one on 2m CW, but all GM stations.


Cheers Pete, Although I know Ben Chonzie well, I was experiencing a bit of “summit brain” when talking to you and couldn’t work out which direction you were from me! Of course, by the time we’d driven past Comrie and Crieff on the way home I’d worked it out.

Thanks for the nice QSO.

73, Fraser MM0EFI

1 Like