This week’s adventure was a fine walk up my favourite Ben Vrackie, the ‘speckled mountain`. The translation comes from a time when white quartz rocks were scattered across its slopes, which isn’t the case anymore but still reminds one of the most badass views I have ever seen.
It probably is one of the well known and much loved hills, not too high, not to tough and forms a scenic addition to the vibrant resort town of Pitlochry in Scottish Highlands.
It’s a Corbett as it’s just over 2,500ft high and measures 2,760ft. We literally had all four season in a space of 5-10minutes and at some point were almost swept off by wind, horizontal snow, rain and hailstorm. However, as you know in Scotland you just need to wait 5min and the weather changes! Waiting was worth it as when the sky cleared we could see all the way up Beinn a Ghlo range to the north and the sweep of Strathtay and Strathtummel to the west, including my other favourite Schiehallion. Below we could see the elegant Pitlochry with its stunning Atholl Palace Hotel, and further Glen Tilt and Blair Atholl.
We started from a small car park at Moulin, close to the path taking us up. It can get quickly full at weekends and busy times of the year so be sure to arrive early. The whole walk takes normally between 3-4h but obviously we were longer as we were recording our vlog, and chasing Cooper who stole my bra!
The path is very well maintained by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust. I always like to check who maintains the paths and what group of rangers is assigned to the area we are in. I think their work is often unnoticed and unappreciated. So, next time when you decide to leave your trash behind, just stop for a deep breath and think about all those people carrying about our beautiful landscapes! Also, as a side note - do you know how long it takes a banana skin to decompose? Google it! While you are waiting for those bananas to break down, you would have enough time to apply and receive a passport! Impressive, right? The skin can be potentially toxic to some animals that aren’t accustomed to those tropical fruits so take it back with you.
Back to hillwalking tho, once you start your hike up, just trust the path! It’s very well-constructed and offers a delightful walk across the heather moorland. If you are early enough you may spot red deer as well as shy mountain hare and lots of wild mice (Cooper’s favourite to chase!).
If you are going up, make sure your are dressed for the weather! ( note that kilt is optional lol) Scottish hills may be tiny in comparison to the Alpes but should never be underestimated, people die here every year (a bit of light and positive comment always helps, eh?). You can see from the video how quickly the weather changed from a really sunny and warm day to storm and vice versa. On your way to Pitlochry you will pass Perth and a splendid and well equipped outdoor adventure store - Tiso. This is definitely a good stop if you haven’t got everything you need.
You always need a map, compass and it’s really good to take with you a copy of the iternary from Walk Highland’s webpage, it’s very informative and gives you all the info you need.
In the video I mention simple energy balls that Debbie and I make at our wellbeing retreats. I will post the recipe shortly.
Finally, I have been thinking about doing those super liberating, shameless taps aff pictures forever now. I will explain you my reason in another blog. HOVEWER, the little I knew that it’s never going to be so easy with a sighthound present on the scene! Just watch it yourself !
make sure you subscribe to Finlay’s channel as this is where all the future blogs are going to be and you don’t want to miss more opportunities to laugh.