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First munro - Schiehallion

First munro - Schiehallion


Postby TeaHag » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:02 pm

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 27/09/2014

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10 km

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While Schiehallion is listed as a relatively easy climb, I had a number of factors making it feel like it was insurmountably difficult.

I get terrible motion sickness, which is always a problem when driving anywhere rural. When we arrived at the car park I needed a few minutes for my stomach to settle. We set off and immediately I could tell it would be a difficult walk -- my legs felt like lead. For some reason, it felt like it took an incredible amount of effort just to lift them towards the next step.

Great. Going well so far!

As we started up the well-defined path, I began huffing and puffing. I'm not the most fit person, but I do run/cycle/swim and this wasn't my first hill walk, and so this was unusual. I realised it was because this initial part was steeper (with no areas where the path levels out) than the two previous hills I've walked - Goat Fell and the Cobbler. Given I wasn't feeling well, my legs were being uncooperative, the steepness was more than I was used to, and I was anticipating it just getting harder as we went, I, quite frankly, burst into tears.

And then I got a headache from that. Awesome.

My partner talked me into continuing if I felt I could, and I figured we had driven 2 hours to get there and I wasn't about to give up on my first munro, particularly on one that isn't especially difficult.

Once I pulled myself together it got a lot better, and I loved the rocky parts towards the top. Having to focus on not snapping my ankle took my mind off of any fatigue I was feeling, and having to climb over various rocks made it interesting and enjoyable. We reached the summit and were there, alone, for about 15 minutes before other climbers started to approach. It was starting to get hazy but we managed to take a few photos.

I'm not sure why it felt so difficult. I climbed my first hill, Goat Fell, wearing jeans (!) that only became heavier with each raindrop from the torrential downpour that was going on. I still picture Goat Fell as an impossibly huge hill that I climbed with super-human strength in horrendous weather. I'd love to go back and try it again to put it back in perspective.

I also have a new appreciation for a feature of hill walking that I had previously disliked: I used to think it was soul-destroying to approach what you think surely, must be, has to be the summit, only to get there and see another peak behind it. And then have this happen at least 4 times throughout the climb. On Schiehallion I came to really appreciate this as a good way to mentally break up the climb, as you can tell yourself "well, I just have to make it to there," knowing full well you won't exactly give up when you get there if that's not the summit, but at least it makes it a bit more manageable.

All in all, a good first munro. I'd definitely like to try it again on a day when I'm feeling better and I've got a few more hills under my belt.
Last edited by TeaHag on Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
TeaHag
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Re: First muno - Schiehallion

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:34 pm

A great munro to do on a first go with a really interesting bunch of chunky rocks at the top which I note you enjoyed :D
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Re: First muno - Schiehallion

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:06 pm

Congrats on your first - of many :lol: No photo's :wink:

Schiehallion was my first in 1994, been up twice since :wink:
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Re: First muno - Schiehallion

Postby Silverhill » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:08 pm

Well done on your first munro :clap: ! If you can talk yourself up a hill when not feeling great, then I’m sure you’ll be fine with the ones to come. Enjoy :D !
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