Willie’s View: Climbing Ben Vrackie

Ben Vrackie

I’m not too bothered about climbing hills solely to tick them off from one list or another.

As a result, some hills that I’ve enjoyed climbing I’ve visited several times.

One such hill is Ben Vrackie, or the “speckled hill”. It rises to 2,757 feet above the town of Pitlochry, and is just a fine easy climb on a well-trodden track from the village of Moulin.

My early morning start paid off. Setting off at the back of 0700, there were no other cars in the car park.

Ben Vrackie has seen one or two changes through my various visits. Sadly, the wild Knoydart goats, introduced to eat the thistles on the hill, are no longer there to greet you — and your picnic — at the cairn.

Plus, I’m convinced that each time I climb it the hill has grown a bit steeper!

Something that never changes, though, are the tremendous views from the top.

From Schiehallion to Arthur’s Seat, Ben Lomond to Ben Nevis — on a clear day the horizon can be a real geography test, even with a map in hand.

I’m glad to say that I never met another soul all the way to the top.

I did, however, bump into a few as I made my way back down, though . . .



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Willie Shand