My great-grandfather worked as an itinerant coach-maker, carpenter and fishing-tackle maker and raised his family of seven children on the shores of Loch Tummel. Schiehallion was a favourite hill of my Gran's and I remember her telling me that it meant "hill of the fairies". However, Hamish Brown says it is "fairy hill of the Caledonians", and this particular Caledonian did not get the opportunity to get up it until a couple of years ago.
A quick drive up from Edinburgh meant I was on the hill by 09.15, and feeling the effects of an inadequate breakfast by about 10.15! There was therefore an emergency stop for fuel about half way up.
It is an ascent of two thirds. The first two-thirds is the new path which is pleasant walking, with emerging views of the loch below, but which peters out at a cairn. The second third is a boulder-field which goes on and on and requires care in places.
I reached the summit around 11.00 having been passed by one walker in a rush. The summit is cramped so he took the west end and I took the east.
Early morning cloud was still whirling round with "the picture" coming and going like an old television. But eventually it cleared giving superb views north up to the Beinn a'Ghlo group.
The car-park below was beginning to fill up and with a steady stream of folk heading up the path, it was time to go.
I tried to capture this nice spot of early heather on the way down, but I'm no great shakes as a photographer.
Great-grandfather James succumbed to consumption when he was 42, and his wife a year later when she was 47. A daughter Margaret followed fours years later when she was 16 and her younger sister Lizzie-Helen when she was 15. They are buried in the wee church-yard at Foss and I like to think that the fairies keep an eye on them.
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