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Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion


Postby laconic surf » Mon May 14, 2012 12:17 pm

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 12/05/2012

Time taken: 3.3 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 731m

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Had been planning to do this munro (my first) nearly 3 weeks ago before a nasty virus took hold and wiped the floor with me. Although not completely recovered, the MWIS forcast for saturday was just too tempting - it was time to man up and pull on the boots. It was a slow start and I didn't arrive at the Braes of Foss until just after midday, where I found the car park full :shock: Managed to pull up on the verge before the start of the walk and get my kit together - a glance up at the summit and I could see that there would be snow to negotiate along with the boulders.

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Snowy peak viewed from the car park


Being one of the most ascended hills in Scotland there is nothing to add regarding the route, but suffice to say the path is excellent and the views open up almost immediately.

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View over Loch Tummel


About 1/4 of the way up I began to find the climb really tough going. It began to dawn on me that I had probably attempted this a week too early. I had no energy reserves after being ill and was huffing and puffing on a hill I should normally find straightforward and the legs were turning to jelly. I pride myself on my Monty-esque speeds (ok not quite Monty speeds but you get the picture :lol: ) but I knew if I was to carry on I would need to slow right down. I had a wee water break and let 2 couples pass me before I was ready to set off again. Nice slow pace worked a treat and I felt better as i began to gain height.

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As I reached the snow line and the main part of the boulder field, the wind began to whip up and it was time to dispense with the mid-layer and on with the winter coat. I could now see the summit and tho it was still a trek to go, I knew I'd make it. It was now a case of negotiating the boulders and the snow. One or the other would have been fine but the level of snow up there just now is tricky as it's not enough to cover the boulders but enough for a hundred footsteps to turn it into a nice slippy sludge. Ever the gentleman I stood aside as folk came sliding down desperately trying to keep their balance :lol: The snow was actually well over boot level to the sides of the path.

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Summit in view


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Snow and boulders - a tricky combo


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It was a great feeling to eventually reach the top (my 1st munro) - although in a much slower time than I'd hoped for (2hrs 10 mins :shock:) I had timed my ascent really well as the morning climbers had already descended and the afternoon traffic was still a while behind me so I had the summit to myself for 15 minutes - a rareity on Schiehallion I would imagine! Had a wee scramble on the rocks before having a quick feed and heading down. The adrenaline must have really kicked in at this point as I flew back down, overtaking people I had let past me as I struggled on the way up. I arrived at the car in just an hour and 10 minutes after leaving the summit - a total climb of 3hrs 20 - much closer to my original estimate.
I remember reading Muriel Gray's munro book a while ago how she thought Schiehallion was a boring climb with such a easy path up. Maybe compared to the AE, aye, it's no knee trembler - but I thought it was a cracking hill and I'm glad it was my first munro. :D

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Summit cairn


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laconic surf
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby Jim McK » Mon May 14, 2012 12:24 pm

Great report - I was on the Carn Mairg circuit as you were on Schiehallion - it looked great with the snow and the sun. On the hit list!
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby laconic surf » Mon May 14, 2012 9:11 pm

Cheers Jim. Had a great day for the views - the Carn Mairg circuit is on my list to get done this summer :D
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby Lenore » Mon May 14, 2012 9:39 pm

Congrats on number 1!!! And great pictures :-)
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby Gavin99 » Mon May 14, 2012 9:47 pm

Well done , a lovely hill on a fine day for your first Munro , where next? :D
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby morag1 » Tue May 15, 2012 8:23 am

Hi Laconic, was just wondering what had happened to you, glad you got over the bug

Nice report and congrats on your first Munro :clap:

Im hoping to do Schiehallion at the end of the month, will post a report if I do
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby Ranger » Tue May 15, 2012 9:52 am

Well done, nice pics :D

I did Meall Ghaordaidh that day, looking over at Schiehallion.

Almost opted to do it but wasnt sure if the rocky, quartzy terrain would be test the patience of my better half or whether there was enough snow to smooth it out.

Did the snow help the underfoot conditions or hinder?

Cheers :)
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby laconic surf » Tue May 15, 2012 7:55 pm

Lenore wrote:Congrats on number 1!!! And great pictures :-)


Thanks Lenore, it was a great day for it - lucked out on the weather :D


Gavin99 wrote:Well done , a lovely hill on a fine day for your first Munro , where next? :D


Cheers Gavin. Probably start tackling the Arrochar Alps next, though Ben Chonzie is high up on the list too.


morag1 wrote:Hi Laconic, was just wondering what had happened to you, glad you got over the bug

Nice report and congrats on your first Munro :clap:

Im hoping to do Schiehallion at the end of the month, will post a report if I do


Thanks Morag, bug was one of those nasty blighters brewed up in classrooms by 25 kids and then let loose at home :lol:
Hope you get a great day on Schiehallion, look forward to the report!

Ranger wrote:Well done, nice pics :D

I did Meall Ghaordaidh that day, looking over at Schiehallion.

Almost opted to do it but wasnt sure if the rocky, quartzy terrain would be test the patience of my better half or whether there was enough snow to smooth it out.

Did the snow help the underfoot conditions or hinder?

Cheers :)


Thanks Ranger. Not really enough snow to be honest, definitely more a hindrance as the already loose boulders was compounded by slippy conditions as the hill is just so busy, the amount of traffic quickly turns the snow to sludge and ice. There was a dutch couple on the descent clearly arguing as the wife was likely unprepared for a munro judging by the jeans and trainers and she was sliding about with a face like thunder, giving her bloke a right earful. He was looking very sheepish, as our eyes locked I did my best to give him a sympathetic nod - it was a long way down still :lol: You probably made the right call :D
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laconic surf
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby Sabbathstevie » Wed May 16, 2012 12:14 pm

Great report & pics. :D Like you, I've had this one in my sights for a long time and it's good to get the opinion of someone with a similar experience level!
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby laconic surf » Wed May 16, 2012 12:29 pm

Sabbathstevie wrote:Great report & pics. :D Like you, I've had this one in my sights for a long time and it's good to get the opinion of someone with a similar experience level!


Cheers Stevie, it's definitely a great one to get done in the early stages of your bagging career :lol: Having spent the winter on the donalds and grahams of the south of Scotland and honing my navigational skills it was really strange to be on a walk where my map never left my bag!
Have you any firm plans for your next munro or will it be a random get up and go?
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laconic surf
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby Sabbathstevie » Thu May 17, 2012 10:29 am

laconic surf wrote:Having spent the winter on the donalds and grahams of the south of Scotland and honing my navigational skills it was really strange to be on a walk where my map never left my bag!
Have you any firm plans for your next munro or will it be a random get up and go?


Like you I've been plodding around the Pentlands with one trip further afield to fo the Hart Fell Horsheshoe - none of those really required navigation skills but I've been faithfully applying my compass and (printed) OS Maps so as to be ready for the day when I do need them! And my "Print@home" map skills stilll need some work - when our exit route needed chaning after an aborted attempt to do the full Clisham horshoe on Harris, I hadn't bothered to print out the part of the map that covered where we were (thinking it wouldn't be needed) so that was a lesson learned - always take more map than you need! :D

As for the next munro - too many to choose! From our Lowland base, the likes of Ben Vorlich (and the Stuc a'Chroin scramble :shock: ?), Scheihallion and the hills of the Lawers range are appealing, but as soemone who grew up in the shadow of the Mounth I really want to start to get in about those hills, Lochnagar in particular. In all honesty I'll probably end up going back to Glen Doll and bagging Driesh since I missed it when there to do my one and only munro - Mayar. Even though it's my only one, I can heartily recommend it - Glen Doll and the ascent through the Corrie Fee are just stunning!
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Re: Sunny Saturday on Schiehallion

Postby meangarry » Fri May 18, 2012 8:19 pm

laconic surf wrote: There was a dutch couple on the descent clearly arguing as the wife was likely unprepared for a munro judging by the jeans and trainers and she was sliding about with a face like thunder, giving her bloke a right earful. He was looking very sheepish, as our eyes locked I did my best to give him a sympathetic nod


Haha. This will no doubt be me and my gf next weekend on Ben Lomond. I've told her to do Hartfell this sunday to get a bit of practice in but she prob won't. Criffel made her sick. God knows how she'll fare on a Munro. The daft doughball keeps calling them gordons! Dunno what I've let myself in for. :?

Congrats on your first dude. The fitness will come back sooner than you think. :thumbup:
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