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Super Schiehallion

Super Schiehallion


Postby ScottishLeaf » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:26 am

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 25/03/2012

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 731m

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So here we go again, another weekend and another hill climbed. It's amazing how the hillwalking bug has gripped me this spring. OK, so Schiehallion may not be the hardest mountain to climb, but it was only my third Munro and I'm still building up those thigh muscles to propel me up the hills!

But this one has always captured my imagination, even before I had taken to walking. As a kid my Science teacher had told us how they had first tried to measure the mass of the Earth at Schiehallion. My Geography teacher had said that it was the place that contour lines had been invented. My History teacher had told us stories of the fabled fairy mountain and how they had shaped the people and clans of ancient Perthshire. This almost mystical mountain that kept reappearing had to be climbed asap.

So at 9am we set out from Falkirk and enjoyed the drive up through Kinross and Perth to Foss turn off on the A9 just outside Pitlochry. I tell you almost, as much fun as climbing Schiehallion is the drive getting to it! Along the 11 miles of single track road on the banks of Loch Tummel the wee road twists and turns... then wham! A whopping great Range Rover blocking the way.... my wee Astra was hopelessly out gunned, so after a bit of precarious reversing the Range Rover scraped past much to amusement of it's driver. I didn't care... the views meant the Range Rover was soon forgotten. Having blinked and missed the 'village' of Foss, we were soon on the Schiehallion Road and parking up at the Braes of Foss car park... paying £2 for the privilege. The car park is meant to have a toilet in it, but it doesn't and it's hopelessly small for the popularity of the mountain. I managed to wiggle the Astra into the last remaining space and paid the fee. I don't mind paying to help look after our countryside, but at least provide the facilities you say you are providing.

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We hit the path a little before 11.30am with the sun shining brightly in the sky and the heather covered vista of Schiehallion on our right, with Meall Tairneachan on our left. The path is incredibly well made,in fact I think it's better than the pavement outside my house!

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The path continues, zig zagging slightly as it starts to climb the moderately steep slope up onto the ridge and a set of ruins are passed quite early on in the walk.

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As one climbs, more and more mountains become visible, especially to your left, the south, and back behind you Farragon Hill, Meall Tairneachan and Ben Vrackie become visible.

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Around this point the summit finally comes into view and the path becomes noticbly rockier... a mild warm up for the boulder field to come!

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A little furthher along we reached a small, conical cairn which is where I believe the old route joins up with the new route at the foot of the boulder field. I've never seen terrain change so dramatically in the space of two or three yards! From this ....
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to this .....

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The boulder field was a lot of fun to cross, as you concentrate on where to place your feet you barely notice that you're walking up hill. Having said that, the weather was fantastic on Saturday.. I'm not sure I would fancy it in icy and wet conditions as this is the underfoot conditions in a 'good' section!

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There are so many boulders someone has built not just a cairn, but a wall!! Fantastic to sit on and enjoy the view whille grabbing a breather!

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As you pick your way over the boulders, Loch Rannoch becomes very clear off your right, the north, with Beinn a'Chuallaich sitting proudly behind it and off to the left is a whole host of mountains, too many to mention, but as we neared the top I could see as far off as last week's climb Ben Vorlich and it's twin Stuc a'Chroin, then at the summit, off to the west, the king of them all Ben Nevis was shining like a snow capped beacon through the haze. I haven't been walking enough yet to know all their names, but here a few pictures from the top.

This is looking south with Ben Vorlich and Stuc just visible in the distance.

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and to the south west

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and to a west-north-westly view... Ben Nevis.

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and back to the east.... a mountain 'floats' above the hazy cloud... which I think is Beinn a'Ghlo.
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After the mandatory cup of tea and a sandwich at the busy summit, it was off back down the way we came, enjoying the sun and getting sunburn... in March!!

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After a detour via Kinloch Rannoch, Schiehallion treated us to one last stunning vista from the banks of the River Tummel before heading back down the A9 to industrialisation.

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I thoroughly enjoyed my day Rannoch-side, on the mystical mountain, but I think Ben Venue is still just edging it as my favourite. :)
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby 2dalmatians » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:12 am

Nice report there Scottishleaf. You certainly had a good day for it. This is one of my favourite hills and the easy path makes it a joy to walk. looking forward to reading more reports :)
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:38 pm

Nice to see what this looks like. I done it in thick thick fog and tripped and slipped my way over the boulder field. Still and enjoyable hill though

Nice report
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DarrenJeffrey
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby ScottishLeaf » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks very much, 2dalmations and Darren
I will try my best, to keep reporting :-)
It was a cracking day, got sunburnt!
Thoroughly enjoyed it.

We're hoping to do Beinn Narnain and maybe Beinn Ime this weekend coming, step up in difficulty for us I think.
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby mr_mrsH » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:29 pm

great report, did schiellion last april and had 4 seasons in one day, good luck with beinn ime and ben narnairn will definately give those thigh muscles a work out
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby Jockstar » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:52 pm

Good wee report and well done on getting the hills named. We did this when there was snow on it and so didn't understand why other walkers talked of the boulder field! :D
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby GillC » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:13 pm

Lovely day out there. Super Schiehallion indeed. We have this planned for Saturday 28th April,,hoping the weather is kind and we get the same clarity you had. Munro number 20, here I come! G :lol:
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby GillC » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:15 pm

ScottishLeaf wrote:Thanks very much, 2dalmations and Darren
I will try my best, to keep reporting :-)
It was a cracking day, got sunburnt!
Thoroughly enjoyed it.

We're hoping to do Beinn Narnain and maybe Beinn Ime this weekend coming, step up in difficulty for us I think.



Narnain is a FANTASTIC hill,,,love it,,Ime took me 3 attempts as i couldnt find it in the fog after the Cobbler and Narnain respectively,,bagged it at the last minute when coming off a misty Narnain for the second time, Ime just appeared out of the cloud,,so we literally hoofed up while we could,,great.
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby quoman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:16 pm

Nice one SL saturday was a cracking day for it.i was sitting out the back wi the beer flowing :lol:
you have fairly got the hill climbing bug :D :D
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby ScottishLeaf » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:21 pm

Gill - I loved it going up Narnain as well, was an interesting climb, something different from anything we've done so far. It was a shame we didn't get any views from the top though. Ime was a tough slog for us in the fog, just nothing to see. Think it's the dullest hill we've done so far. (Maybe a little harsh given the weather. )

Quoman, it was a great day out on Schiehallion. The views were immense and boulder field was good fun Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby Paula Hubens » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:29 pm

Thanks for posting ScottishLeaf! I like the pictures of the underfoot conditions, very handy for when I'm doing this hill. :D
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Re: Super Schiehallion

Postby ScottishLeaf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:58 pm

Paula Hubens wrote:Thanks for posting ScottishLeaf! I like the pictures of the underfoot conditions, very handy for when I'm doing this hill. :D

No problem Paula, for most of the way it has to be the one of the best paths you'll ever find on a hill anywhere! Then it gets just a little rocky :lol:
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