- Monday 6th May 2019
Stuc a Chroin lies in the southern part of the Highlands of Scotland, located just south of Loch Earn in Stirlingshire. This is one of three Munros in the area around the town of Callander.
This was the other Munro we had wanted to undertake on 1st April this year when we climbed its neighbour Ben Vorlich which lies to the east of it. However due to horrendous weather conditions on that day we made a safe judgement of missing it out and saving it for another day….today was that day!
Stuc a Chroin stands at 3199 feet high. Its translation (pronounced: stook a Kroin) from Gaelic is ‘Peak of Danger’ which probably comes from its steep north-east face with its rocky buttress giving the peak its great character.
There are three ridges to Stuc a Chroin and our route for today was from the south-west starting from Ardchuillarie on Loch Lubnaig, up a forest path which would take us to Glen Ample and over Beinn Each, which is a Corbett.
On the drive to Callander it rained and we were preparing ourselves once again for another wet one on the hills….however as the day progressed it got better and better with the sun coming out to greet us, welcoming us into the hills.
There is no real easy way to start this hike, as within minutes of setting off we were on very steep ground, a narrow path which wound its way up through the forest until eventually meeting up with a broad forest track which then took us out into the open hillside.
From here a track continued along the Right of Way leading up to Glen Ample.
After a short while we saw a post directing us to Beinn Each.
On looking up we could clearly see the track and the start of another very steep climb which just seemed to go up and up, zigzagging the mountain.
It got steeper and the path clung to the edge of some steep slopes before dipping down into some gullies, then had us climbing steeply to the next gully and so it went on before we made it to the summit of Beinn Each in good time.
It had been a very steep climb indeed but on reaching the top the weather was being kind to us although there was a flutter of snow but we had views in every direction.
We couldn’t relax just yet though as we had our sights set on the Munro in the distance, our hard work was just about to begin.
From here Stuc a Chroin looked so far away…and worst of all was that we had to head a long way down to get to the foot of it to head all the way back up again!!!
The route down was pretty rocky and tricky but we could take our time as temperatures were good.
The ‘path’ offered an interesting walk as we made a steep descent from Beinn Each which then had us climbing up and over some crags before once again descending into the Bealach nan Caber with a final climb up a slightly steeper grassier section between some other crags.
We continued to go up and down twisting and turning until we were at the foot of the climb and then decided to keep moving and summit before our much earned lunch break.
The ascent was unexpectedly not as difficult as it looked. It was still steep and rocky but we made it surprisingly in good speed.
The day was so good, you could not fail to exchange comments on the beauty of our surroundings and the inhabitants that occupy this place.
In fact a few times I just stopped and stood still and listened to the sound of silence, nothing, no wind, no birds nothing…….
The views from the summit were vast and glorious and included The Bishop Hill, The Arrochar Alps, Ben Lomand, Crianlarach Hills, the Ben Lawers Range, the Firth of Forth, Stirling Castle and Wallace’s Monument to name but a few!
We looked over to the summit we had been on only a few weeks back whereby we saw nothing……today we saw everything.
It was a sight for sore eyes and these eyes wanted to have this view for a little bit longer…collecting those magical moments!
So it was time for that much earned lunch break and we picnicked on the summit.
The sky was blue and the temperatures were pretty good, there was not a soul in sight, only us, we knew we were lucky.
Departing the summit was hard as its views like this that make it all so worthwhile. But depart we had to as we had a long walk ahead…we had to leave this wonderful summit behind.
We decided we would try and head down a different route, we always feel it makes the walk slightly more interesting.
We retraced our steps descending down to Bealach Glas, headed back towards Beinn Each, then chose to leisurely descend down some grassy steep slopes, through a stretch of open heather hillside which finally brought us back to our forest track onto the Glen Ample Track.
From here we then had a fairly long walk back through the glen and down the forest path to Loch Lubnaig.
Back at the car after 7.5 hours the boots were off, rucksacks stowed and we were off home…..It had been such a beautiful day on the hill today in superb spring conditions.