The final Arrochar Alp – [# 106]

Ben Vorlich (Inveruglas) (943m)

  • Pronunciation:             Ben Vorlich
  • Translation:                  Mountain of the Bay
  • Total distance:             13.9km
  • Total time:                    4hrs 05mins
  • Total ascent:                 997m
  • Weather:                       Beautiful, sunny and warm. Hazy views.
  • Start / end location:   A82, car-park and visitor centre opposite Sloy Power Station [Grid Ref: OS Map Sheet 56 – Grid Ref: NN 323 099]
  • Map:                               A map of route can be found here – it may take a few moments to load into a separate window. The map displays on most browsers, but not unfortunately Internet Explorer.

Admiring the view from the summit of Ben Vorlich

We travelled south this morning from the campsite at Glencoe, stopping off at the Green Welly outdoor shop at Tyndrum to buy some more summer-weight socks for Elaine before then parking the ‘van near Crianlarich and continuing the rest of the journey down the side of Loch Lomond in the car.

Sloy dam and reservoir with Ben Vane in the background from the slopes of Ben Vorlich

Elaine high up on the path to Ben Vorlich

We parked at the picnic area at Inveruglas by the Sloy Hydro-electric Power Station – the one that we used back in November ’10 when we climbed Ben Vane from the same starting point. However, unlike back in November, all of the snow had now left the Arrochar Alps leaving them to bask as they did today in glorious spring sunshine.

From the picnic site we crossed the A82 and walked the short distance south along the road until we were able to take the tarred land-rover road that ran alongside the Inveruglas Waters (river) and provided access to the Sloy Dam and Reservoir much further up the glen. We had a very pleasant walk as we followed the access road all the way to within 500m of the dam before we veered off the road in a ENE direction to climb up the steep grassy flank of Ben Vorlich. As we neared the ridgeline we entered a region of large boulders and rocky crags where the path cleverly weaved a course through all of the obstacles. At one point we saw a male ring ouzel, with its distinctive white collar, sitting on a nearby rock calling wildly. These are relatively uncommon birds but we’d been lucky enough to spot them yesterday on Aonach Eagach as well as today further south in the Arrochar Alps.

In contrast, the wheatears are appearing “everywhere”, and did not disappoint us today as we saw loads of them.

Elaine at the summit of Ben Vorlich

When we arrived at the Trig Point we met four chaps eating their sandwiches: these were the only people that we saw on the hill all day, which surprised us given the glorious weather.  Perhaps slightly confusingly the Trig Point does not actually denote the highest location on the hill, with the summit instead found about 200m and 2m higher further on along the ridge. Here we stopped by the summit cairn to enjoy the views: albeit through the sunny haze.

Our descent was made by retracing our steps back down to the dam access road, which then led us back to our car parked at Inveruglas.

About Cameron Speirs

Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Cameron, has been interested in outdoor pursuits since he was a wee lad. Over the last few decades he has climbed extensively in the Italian Dolomites as well as summiting the Matterhorn and several other 4000m alpine peaks. Closer to home he has spent many wonderful weekends mountaineering and biking in Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Skye and Lochaber.
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