The weekend (8-9 July) saw two excellent days out in the Scottish mountains. On Saturday I was guiding for Chris Littlehales of Active Mountaineering, along with Eve Bradley. Chris is a professional and well established guide, running frequent National Three Peaks challenges throughout the summer. The aim of the challenge is to top the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) within a 24-hour period. It’s a tough challenge.
Chris had organised a group of about 30 fresh-legged and enthusiastic participants. That’s the good thing about guiding on Ben Nevis, which is usually done as the first of the three peaks – everyone’s bright eyed and raring to go! My friendly group of 12 ladies made it to the top of the Ben and back down again in just over 5 hours. For them it was straight back onto the bus for the drive down to the Lake District.
On Sunday I led a couple of friends, Layla and Ramsay, on a day hike. We had decided on Ben Vorlich, a munro just to the south of Loch Earn in Stirlingshire (not the Ben Vorlich in the Arrochar Alps). 985m in height, Ben Vorlich means ‘Hill of the Bay’ in Scottish Gaelic, which doesn’t make much sense since there are no bays anywhere near the mountain! Ben Vorlich is one of the more southerly munros and lies near the Highland Boundary Fault; the geological faultline that forms the boundary between the Highlands and the Lowlands.
We made good time and hit the summit after a few hours – Layla’s first ever munro! Unfortunately the weather came in with driving wind and rain, so we made use of the storm shelter whilst refuelling with food and drink. I decided to return via the subsidiary top of Ben Our. It was a tough walk over rough ground, but we were rewarded with nice views through the mist over Loch Earn. Layla and Ramsay found the perfect rocky seat for a scenic photo opp before we made our way back down to the road via Sròn Mhòr.