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First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion


Postby fhaoilgeal » Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:29 am

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 23/03/2010

Time taken: 5 hours

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Having made plans to do some walking in March and avoid the Easter rush, arrived in Edinburgh from Dallas on BA on Friday, 19 March. Met my friend, Iain,in Edinburgh, and we made plans to get a walk into Glen Cailleach, past Glen Lyon on Monday, 22 March with a break on Tuesday to the Praying Hands of Mary, and then an attempt to walk Schiehallion on Wednesday. The Monday walk into Glen Cailleach (past the power station) was excellent, breaking into equal parts glorious sunshine and smiles as we found the House of the Cailleach.

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House of the Cailleach

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Glen Cailleach

The walk back to the power station had the usual... sun, rain, hail, rain, rain, and so on. Wednesday didn't look good with even more rain forecast so we decided to try Schiehallion on Tuesday instead...a bit less energetic after a ceilidh at the Ben Lawers Hotel had us up well past midnight, Monday night. The whisky didn't help energy levels much either!

Met a fellow walker and his partner from Liverpool at breakfast who were also staying at the Ben Lawers Hotel. After discussing morning plans, he asked if he could join us. Why not? 8) Breakfast was a bit later than usual given the late night and we started walking at 1045.

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Just starting up - looking down

It was a brisk day with a little drizzle but nothing overly daunting. I had no idea what to expect, but as the pathway gradually took us higher the wind picked up and patches of ice and snow occassionally straddled the path. At the beginning of the ridge snow was visible higher up though the first scrabble / boulder field was bare.

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Just a bit higher and a look around

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Are we there yet?

The last 50 minutes, however, was all in snow - visibility not great, sometimes 45 feet or much less with the wind whipping around and howling with accompanying lowering clouds to enhance my trepidation. Neither my friend from Edinburgh nor our new mate from Liverpool seemed overly concerned...this wasn't their first munro! :)

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Is that the top?

As we ascended the snowy slopes with visibility greatly reduced, we continued to meet groups of walkers on their way down from Schiehallion. Each assured us it was 'perfectly still' on the mountain top and 'no wind' and 'no view' as well. Each gave us varying times to reach the top...it's only 25 minutes, only 15 minutes to go, etc. etc. Each time I thought we were almost at the top, the top slide further from reach yielding to yet another sloping ascent.

Twenty-five minutes later from the last pair of descending walkers and their encourging 'it's only ten minutes to the top', we arrived, took our 'heroic-intrepid' pictures, rested, had some blueberry biscuits, and then started the descent.

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Where's the camera?

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Heroic pose #1: Texan & Liverpudlian

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Heroic pose #2: Texan & Scotsman

The most worrying part of the walk as it turned out being the crust of snow giving way to hidden craggy depths one to two or more feet below snow level. Tripped up once (boot tip dragging across a boulder) and landed on my backside but no significant injuries other than hurt pride. :D

It was a great experience with a lot of lessons learned. An honor to make the acquaintance of Shiehallion! Equally great to have had the experience with great companions! Uh, Just one question. When does the snow melt? :lol:
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby mountain coward » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:13 am

Excellent stuff! A good first Munro but don't those false summits go on... and on... and on... The ridge of the mountain is exceedingly rocky without snow so I think you were probably best to do it in snow like you did! :D

Did I miss somewhere what a Bohookie Bounce is? Do tell...
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby fhaoilgeal » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:33 am

Hi Mountain Coward.

The bahookie bouncing was just me tripping over a small boulder and landing on my backside with a thud. :D
Given the degree of slope I was lucky to have 'bounced' only once!

Thought I was maintaining a proper sense of awareness and attention going downhill, but the tumble made me aware that I was perhaps more tired than I thought. Held off the sense of euphoria until safely in the car park!
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby Stretch » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:43 am

Nice to see a fellow southerner taking to the hills! Or is that bouncing on the hills :lol: Glad you enjoyed your first munro experience, next time give Ben Lawers a go if you stay at the hotel again!
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby monty » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:32 pm

Nice walk and pictures fhaoilgeal ,
Looks like you experienced quite a few seasons in the short time you spent in Scotland :D Shiehallion is a nice hill but it seems to go on and on near the top :lol: I had similar conditions to yourself when I walked it.

As Stretch says, try the Lawers range next time you visit :D
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby smudger831 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:39 pm

When does the snow melt?


I've been wondering this since the end of February!
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby DonnyW » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:22 pm

Welcome to Scotland as well as to the forum fhaoilgeal.

You have now seen parts of our country most Scots have not seen

Are you aware that the Caillich and her family are brought out that little hoose every Beltane and then returned to it every Halloween ?

It’s a pagan ritual that some say has been going on for centuries . I try to visit her at least once a year. She is supposed to protect the harvests of the area.. not that there is much of that left ?

Beltane is 30th April so she will be coming out soon.

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Shame you didn’t get to the praying hands … there are ley lines focused through them and I find I am great attraction to Glen Lyon :-D

I love cycling right round the loch as there is a land rover road round it that’s not shown on the OS maps of the area.

Just some useless info for you..

Hey..here is some more useless info …three Scots died with your guys at the Alamo .. yup I have visited there too :-D

Have a great day y’ hear
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby kevsbald » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:37 pm

Well done.
They make great calculators out your way.

Hope you enjoyed the trip and will be back.
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby Milesy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:42 pm

Nice first report :) Hopefully you will get to see some more.

fhaoilgeal wrote:When does the snow melt? :lol:


Hopefully never 8)
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby mountain coward » Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:01 pm

LOL to the bouncing - but I like bouncy people! :D

I sure don't wish the snow to last forever - I'm getting sick of seeing the world in black and white - I miss colour!!
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby fhaoilgeal » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:59 am

Hi Stretch. Thanks for the home-style greeting. Not too unusual I imagine to find Southerners at home in Scotland. I kept finding examples of the CSA battleflag on cars and posters in even the wee villages. That and the occassional pick up truck gave me a time warp feeling. :D Our new friend from Liverpool had intended to do the Lawers range on Tuesday, but the weather was closing in and he decided to join up with Iain and me. Ben Lawers and Ben Vrackie are on my hope to do list, though next time we may go to the borders and Galloway as my Scots connections come from there. I did get to visit your neck of the woods with a quick look at St. Andrews and a walk on top of the seawall.

Thanks, Monty. Appreciate the comments and suggestion regarding the Lawers range. Looks somewhat more formidable than a single peak, though!

Really appreciate your comments and photo, DonnyW. I had read about the Cailleach and her family and thus the reason for the walk into Glen Cailleach, but hadn't seen any photos as good as yours with the 'family' out of their house. My friend, Iain, has a friend from Dunkeld who had visited the House of the Cailleach about 8 years ago, though this was a first for both of us. Lovely glens, Glen Lyon and Glen Cailleach, especially with the sun shining! I didn't know three Scots were at the Alamo - though the MacGregor piper is well remembered! The Lone Star in the Texas Republic/state flag is rumored to have come from a Georgia volunteers flag inspired by the Douglas arms. And of course we have three cities named after Scots: Austin, Dallas, & Houston. We did the Praying Hands of Mary on Wednesday, though the weather was mostly claggy it started out sunny. We crossed the burn to the other side to get a better view of the area around the Praying Hands - absolutely stunning seeing the Hands in situ from a distance. An amazing place.

Wonder if TI still makes the calculators, Kevsbald? I'll be back, in no small part due to great reports like yours and the other walkers on this forum. Keeps inspiring me - hope the airline problems get worked out, though as they cancelled my flight from Edinburgh back to London on the return trip. However, such problems are soon forgotten walking the hills. 8)

Appreciate the welcome, Milesy. Thank you.

And thanks Mountain Coward for the comments and reports. I get vertigo - Dallas is flat flat flat - and it really helps to know that it's not so unusual to have a certain respect for exposed heights! I'm sure I'll be posting more walk reports with bounces in them...my coordination and balance are among the many other things to go at my age. :lol: May need to change my walkhighlands handle to something with 'bounce' in it!
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Re: First Munro and Bahookie Bounce on Schiehallion

Postby mountain coward » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:05 am

I like the way you've phrased that - a certain respect for heights! :D As much as people tell me I shouldn't be afraid of heights, when you think about it, it's only natural really... maybe it's my make-up which is right and most of the rest are just naturally gung-ho! :lol: But I think you do get a bit more used to it the more mountains you do - just not totally...
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