From the Cairn Ban Archives... 

Thrills and Spills on Stuc a'Chroin

Sneena McKie, 20 January 2012

The eightsome today consisted of Stuart, Campbell, John McBarron (his 99th Munro), John McGill, Dave, George, Graham, who joined us for the first time today, and myself. We decided to follow the weather forecast and cast our eyes east to the peaks of Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin. Starting from the shores of Loch Earn we made our way firstly to Vorlich reaching the top in a respectable two hours. Crampons were required for the final push however, wind and poor visibility saw us descend to the bealach an Dubh Choirein were we stopped for lunch. During this break the weather cleared and provided good visibility all round.

We then continued to Stuc a’ Chroin towards the foot of the buttress and could see that the snow climb ahead was steep but with really good snow. Everybody enjoyed the snow climb. Exhilarated we reached the small cairn at the top and continued south to the summit cairn. Good visibility welcomed us and after the usual round of photographs we began our descent.

As we climbed down the steep slopes of a snow filled gully I stepped into a deep snow hole which turned me onto my back and before I knew it I was off! head first on my back down the slope. After a few futile stabs with my axe my fall was interrupted by a rather inconveniently placed boulder which threw me up skywards so much so I thought I would collect a stack of air miles, or so it seemed. After 100ft or so I thankfully came to a rest amongst some stones. Time for the checks!

  • Am I breathing?... check.

  • Is my head ok?... check.

  • Do my feet point the right way?... check.

  • Do I have clean underwear on?... well did have!

After much kindness and concern from from the boys, thanks boys, we were on our way again.

We continued down until we met up with the main Ben Vorlich path and made our way back to the cars.

What a day. Company was great, snow climb was great, descent, well you know the story.

Full examination at home by Stuart revealed some cuts and lots of bruises. Rather think he enjoyed that part of the day!

Welcome to Cairn Ban, Graham!!!

Sheena