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Early morning trip up Schiehallion

Early morning trip up Schiehallion

Postby goldfishrock » Sun May 08, 2011 2:21 pm

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 04/05/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 10.7 km

Ascent: 876m

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I decided to get one more in before leaving Scotland and like Ben Vrackie the week before I wanted to get an early start and got to the Braes of Foss car park at about 0610.


It was a stunning morning, sunny and fresh (-2° at the car park) and there was already another car there, I wasn’t going to be first to the top today! I headed off along the path to the foot of the mountain.

Working my way gradually up the lower slope and gained some height, the stunning landscape around me started to reveal itself in the early morning sun. Rannoch & Tummel were both covered in mist giving them an eerie appearance.


As I neared the top edge of the ridge I was treated to several sightings of Ptarmigan, still in their winter plumage.


Now the hard work was about to start. I’d read many accounts on here and other sites about the notorious boulder field on the NW ridge and I quickly found myself in the thick of it. Surprisingly after a few minutes of aimlessly picking my way through it, I found myself quite enjoying skipping from rock to rock and working my way ever nearer that final push up to the summit.


Edging over to the southern edge of the ridge I made my way up the final stretch and found myself at the summit cairn and dumping my pack & poles, I climbed the last few meters across the rock, right to the edge and those oh so stunning views over Loch Rannoch. With the sun high behind me the landscape below was just breath-taking. Time from car to summit was 2 hrs 20mins; I was pleased with that. Time for a cuppa, snack and some time just to sit and take it all in. I hadn't passed anyone en-route so can only presume the owner of the other car was walking elsewhere, I was however joined shortly by another early bird who came tottering over the boulders, stayed for about 10 minutes and left the way he'd come.


On the exposed summit it was cold. The wind had picked up and was whipping in from the east and blowing strongly, however a hat and gloves soon stopped that being a reason to return to the Braes of Foss early.


Finally after spending a good hour and a half on the top I decided to return back over the boulder field and weave my way down to the car park, taking it easy on the way down (this was also driven by a phone call from my wife informing me there were bacon rolls for lunch!)

I've read a lot of reports from people saying how 'unimpressed' they were with Schiehallion, however my experience that morning left a real impression on me. I can see why it's called the 'Fairy Hill' as the quartz in the rocks sparkles like a billion diamonds and the view from the top on a clear day has to be one of the best from any mountain in Scotland. I had a great morning out on Schiehallion and hope to return again one day.


You can find all the photos from this walk on my site (http://www.goldfishrock.co.uk/p1066218913)
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Posts: 6
Munros:3   Corbetts:1
Joined: May 11, 2010
Location: Dartmoor, UK

Re: Early morning trip up Schiehallion

Postby skuk007 » Sun May 08, 2011 7:30 pm

Nice report and full set of pics on your site.
I've also seen a few reports saying how unimpressive Schiehallion was, however, I can only imagine they didn't get as clear views as yourself, or they have been spoiled by other more impressive hills. This is one I'm looking forward too. :)
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Location: Bristol

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