Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond) in the snow

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Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond) in the snow

I left the house at 07:50 am, stopped at McDonald’s in Balloch on the way for my usual coffee and porridge.

I arrived at Inverglas Visitor Centre, which was already pretty busy, just before 9 am and started walking for 09:15 am.

I was pretty buzzing to get up a hill as my last climb was The Cobbler months earlier in October and hadn’t climbed a Munro since July 2019. I had just bought a new pair of winter boots and new crampons and was dying to make use of them.

As I left the car park clouds were wrapping around the summit of Ben Lomond while the sun was fighting through, this illuminated the summit of Ben Lomond - it looked fantastic.

© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
Sunrise behind Ben Lomond

A few minutes after I left the car park, out of nowhere, it began lashing it of rain, I wrapped up and powered on with my head down.

The rain went off as I plodded along the road towards Loch Sloy with Ben Vane sitting dominant straight ahead.

The route I was taking up Ben Vorlich starts as a tiny path off the main road to Loch Sloy, it’s easy to miss. I thought Ben Vane was steep for such a wee mountain but the initial climb up Ben Vorlich was as steep - my legs were burning pretty quickly. Not long after climbing you make good height and the views back over towards Loch Sloy are beautiful.

© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
Loch Sloy Dam

As the path sweeps to the left It started snowing and low cloud was whirling below and around, it was the perfect excuse for a breather. I took a moment and snapped some shots.

© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
Light snow falling
© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
About halfway up Ben Vorlich looking back over Beinn Narnain and Ben Vane

The snow gradually got thicker above 1500ft and by 2000ft it was covered, only a few footsteps ahead of me. I slipped an absolute belter face first, luckily into a pile of fresh fluffy snow. Nonetheless, I stopped and fired the crampons on.

I continued up with ease after the fall through the fresh snow and sheets of ice, reaching the summit about 11:45.

© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
At the cairn, the actual summit is slightly further ahead

On my way back down the was shining over Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, it looked like something out of a film.

© All Photos Copyright Chris Collins
Sun over Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Overall, it was a great day with the typical mix of Scottish weather.