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Schiehallion

Schiehallion


Postby KeithS » Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:02 am

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 16/11/2011

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 9 km

Ascent: 760m

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Having posted my planned walk on this site inviting people to join me on Schiehallion I had a few concerns. Would the Braes of Foss car park be big enough to hold all the cars? Should I contact the local Police to organise a one way system for traffic, possibly using the two roads along Loch Tummel to ease traffic congestion? Would the paths be strong enough to take all the extra pedestrian traffic? Where would the best place be for the press tent to be based? I would just have to hope that the general area could cope with the influx of walkers? It may at least be good for the local tourism industry.

Sure enough, as I drove down from Aviemore the traffic started to build as I neared the turn off for Tummel Bridge. For some reason all of the cars turned off into the House of Bruar car park. I could see the sense in that as coaches had probably been arranged to bring people along Loch Tummel and to ease parking at the start of the walk.

I decided the best thing would be for me to make my way to the start to greet people as they arrived so I made my way to the Braes of Foss car park. Surprisingly the car park was empty so I put my boots on and paid my £2. Perhaps I should start off up the hill myself and meet people as they came up the path. There was a low cloud base so I started up and when I got to around 1000ft I looked back and saw a solitary walker making his way up towards me on the lower part of the good path. I decided to sit and wait and enjoy a coffee so I would be fresh when he met me and then we could share our experiences of walks and climbs and mutual love of the area and stories of our adventures as we wended our way together to the top of the hill.

After about fifteen minutes he arrived at my resting place and as he did I turned to him and gave a friendly smile and a cheery "hello", trying to work out who would start with the stories. Without breaking step or even glancing in my direction he gave a short grunt and continued to march up the hill.

Reality struck home! I was on my own. Nobody was going to join me, not even Taylor94 who had at least replied to my post. (I hadn't had any internet connection for the past week so wasn't aware of his adventures either on the hills or on this forum). I let Mr Grump continue up the hill until he was out of sight, and then set off up the excellent path alone, singing Andrew Gold's 'Lonely Boy' and Gerry and the Pacemakers 'You'll always walk alone' (my adapted version) to myself.

At least the path was easy as I made my way into the cloud with a last wistful, hopeful, yet fruitless glance back down the path behind me. The path was empty. At a large well built cairn the good path stopped and the way continued through rocky terrain. The ground was wet and as I worked my way up I remembered why I didn't usually wear these boots in wet conditions, Their tread was as slick as a Formula 1 dry tyre. It was a good thing no one was watching as my attempts at remaining upright would have caused much amusement.

The path kept coming and going. The view remained gone. A couple of times I had false raised hopes that I would rise above the clouds and the sun tried, but failed to break through. After a number of steps up and passing a couple of shelters the ground steepened and I came upon a cairn perched on what seemed to be the the highest ground. I went a little further west and established the ground continued to drop so I returned to the cairn and was happy I was as high as I could be. There appeared to be the remains of some sort of column nearby with metal embedded in it which confirmed my position. The wind was whistling over the top and the temperature was dropping fast so I looked for shelter to have a well deserved snack. As I did so a figure appeared out of the mist and joined me on the top. It wasn't Mr Grumpy but a friendly chap who confirmed we were at the summit as he had been there several times before. We chatted briefly and I asked him, hopefully, if he used the Walkhighlands website. Can you believe it but he had never heard of it! I put him right and told him to check it out. He set off before me and disappeared back into the mist.

Shortly after I set off down and slipped and slid over the wet rocks. I tried to think of as many terms as I could for the view, as I sang the Rolling Stone's 'Hey, you get off of my cloud'. I worked my way through dark grey, bluey grey, silver grey, light grey, deep grey. After ten minutes or so I met a couple making their way up and I told them of my search for adjectives. She suggested moving grey which gave a whole new line of thought, swirling grey, still grey, wet grey. We parted company and continued down through the cold damp cloudy dark grey until I found the well built cairn and made my way down the good path dropping out of the cloud about where I had entered it on my ascent.

I reached my car a little under four hours after leaving it. The walk had not been particularly difficult. The views had not been good. The company was... well, just me, no one to hear me singing or see me skipping, their loss I'm sure. Had this therefore been a bad day in the hills. No way! On the contrary, it had been a great day, and another tick as a bonus.

I know that Schiehallion is a great, beautiful mountain, I have seen it on many occasions from surrounding summits. On this day, however, she decided to hide from me. Usually as time passes my memory of walks becomes more foggy. On this occasion my memories are already foggy after only two days. I am not a good photographer and I rarely take a camera when I go walking. If you want images of my day's walk just close your eyes and think of...., well actually if you just close your eyes will have a pretty good idea.
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KeithS
Mountain Walker
 
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Location: Sheffield/Laide

Re: Schiehallion

Postby mountain thyme » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:57 pm

hi.. i would have joined you... but keeping this for my last one! nearly there.. well done
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mountain thyme
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 982
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Schiehallion

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:41 pm

This was my first solo munro. Mist all the way up and down and the dog struggled over the rocks at the top but a good walk none the less

Any pics??
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DarrenJeffrey
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Posts: 281
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Re: Schiehallion

Postby KeithS » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:50 pm

mountain thyme wrote:hi.. i would have joined you... but keeping this for my last one! nearly there.. well done


Mountain Thyme,
I was saving it for my last but have now changed to An Teallach. Not too long to go, although I see you are well ahead of me. Why don't you finish on Ladhar Beinn? That would be going out in style.

Darren Jeffrey,
I am not a good photographer and I rarely take a camera when I go walking. If you want images of my day's walk just close your eyes and think of...., well actually if you just close your eyes will have a pretty good idea.
User avatar
KeithS
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 808
Munros:279   Corbetts:5
Grahams:2   
Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   Islands:29
Joined: Nov 1, 2010
Location: Sheffield/Laide

Re: Schiehallion

Postby clivegrif » Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:06 pm

This did make me smile, trudging to the top of hill in the fog, bumping into a pile of stones at the summit and then trudging back down again. Could have been anywhere! If it hasn't already happened to you, it will.
Climbing the lump that is Moruisg on a grim day was like this, but with the added indignity of being knocked flat at the top by a sudden gust of wind. The one time I was glad there was no-one else around.... :lol:

Cheers
Clive
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clivegrif
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Posts: 1451
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Joined: Nov 28, 2010
Location: Worcester

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