OverviewStuchd an Lochain (pronounced:stooch an lochan) is located east of Bridge of Balgie, to the south of the Loch an Daimh reservoir, within the long meandering Glen Lyon in Scotland.
Stuchd an Lochain (translation:peak of the little loch) stands at a height of 960m/3150ft. The name, as explained in the translation, refers to the small Lochan nan Cat that sits some 250m beneath the peaks steep eastern flanks. This aspect makes this a splendid and fascinating looking corrie. The peak is classified as a Scottish Munro and is number 197 in the Munro heights table.
One of the first accounts of any ascent of a Scottish peak was on this very mountain back in 1590. The local Laird, Mad Colin Campbell of Meggernie, is said to have climbed the hill and came across a herd of goats. Which he then duly chased over the edge and down to their deaths in the lochan below.
Access to the peak is gained by the single track road that leads west from Bridge of Balgie, which is to the north of the more infamous Ben Lawers Range and west of the town of Aberfeldy. There is a small number of parking spots available at the roads end, just before the Loch an Daimh dam. From here, go south around the dam, where a faint path (quite boggy) climbs steeply up onto Creag an Fheadain. A straight forward drop and climb south west then leads to the top of Sron Chona Choirein, before a nice amble and one last climb, west, leads to the summit.
Approx time taken: 4 hours.
Directly north of this peak lies another Munro called Meall Bhuide (yellow hill) and this can be added to your day by either dropping back down to the dam and climbing its southern slopes or by traversing around the peaks that surround the loch in a clockwise direction.
Due to its fairly remote location it is advised to arrange car transportation to and from this peak, however alternative transport methods to areas nearby can be sought via train and bus.
Prestwick International Airport
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The nearest train station to Stuchd an Lochain is at Pitlochry. Scotrail info link.
The nearest bus drop off from Glasgow/Edinburgh is Killin. Details can be found on this Scottish City Link info link.
Red TapeThere is no red tape in Scotland due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 which incorporated the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This code, which commenced on the 9th of February 2005, has established statutory rights of access to land and inland water for outdoor recreation.
The Land Reform(Scotland) Act 2003
Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The following aspects should be taken into consideration when you are in the Scottish countryside;
- Seek local advice in regard to deer stalking or grouse shooting activities
- Ensure that all gates are closed behind you
- During the lambing season (March to May) ensure that all dogs are kept on a lead
- Please refrain from feeding or annoying any animals
- Limited parking space is available at the start of many routes, please ensure that you are not blocking a road and/or entrance
- Parking is provided at the start of some routes by the local farmers, it is polite to ask if you can use this facility
- Try to refrain from crossing fields with animals and/or crops if an alternative route is available
- Ensure that you treat the local environment with care by leaving it as you found it and by taking any litter home with you
- Any camp fires should be carefully watched and only used away from dense forest areas
The best two place to base yourself for climbing in the Glen Lyon region are in the picturesque towns of Killin or Aberfeldy.
Aberfeldy Weem Hotel
Balnearn Guest House
Craigbuie Guest House
Ben Lawers Bunkhouse
Lodges & Campsites
Loch Tay Highland Lodges
Cruachan Farm Caravan & Camping Park
Aberfeldy Caravan Park
Wild camping is totally legal in Scotland and can be done in various locations close to Stuchd an Lochain. This is due to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 that was mentioned earlier.
Here are some of the basic rules that should be adopted when wild camping;
- The larger the group, the harder it is to keep impacts to a minimum. Keep groups small.
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
- Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
- Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country's outstanding scenery and wildlife as well as the wilderness experience.
- Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently and do not stay for any longer than 3 nights in the same place.
- Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
- Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Take extra care when camping near burns and lochs, and try to avoid camping immediately beside them.
- Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
- Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf.
- Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Think ahead and only carry in what you are prepared to carry out.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland provides an invaluable leaflet providing a full breakdown of the dos and don'ts of wild camping in Scotland. Wild Camping, A guide to good practice.
Mountain/Weather conditionsThe weather conditions in Perthshire can alter rapidly and you should ensure you are fully prepared for all weather eventualities. The following websites will provide invaluable information on the expected conditions for your planned trip.
Southeastern Highlands Forecast
BBC Weather - Killin - 3 Day Forecast
Books & Maps
The Southern Highlands by Donald Bennet
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names by Peter Drummond
The Munros (SMC Hillwalkers guide) edited by Donald Bennet & Rab Anderson
Cicerone Guide - Central and Southern Scottish Highlands – backpacking guide by Graham Uney
The Munros by Cameron McNeish
OS sheet 51 Loch Tay & Glen Dochart
OS Explorer sheet 378 - Ben Lawers & Glen Lyon
Walk the Highlands
The Scottish Mountaineering Club