Another Blast from the Past, this one . While looking through old photos on a wet weekend, I discovered photographic evidence of my wife's second Munro ascent - I can't understand why I've never posted this one before, as it really demands to be captured for posterity .
A group of seven of us were away for a weekend in August 2015, enjoying a long weekend in a friend's cottage near the west end of Loch Tummel, which we had won as a prize in a charity raffle. The weather forecast had been a bit pants in the run-up to this outing, but the Sunday actually dawned unexpectedly sunny, and while enjoying some lovely views of mirror-like Loch Tummel after breakfast, the idea was inevitably mooted of having 'a quick run up Schiehallion', which was practically on our doorstep.
Loch Tummel, complete with waterfowl, from near the cottage:
Julie and Lindsay getting some photos of the loch:
By now the Schiehallion trip was being hotly debated, as regards who was up for it and who would stay behind for a lazy Sunday morning. Predictably, the boys (Alisdair, Patrick and myself) were definitely up for it, plus Julie who is certainly fitter than I am. Soon afterwards, Pamela had caved and decided that she would go too. That left only Lindsay and Elaine (aka Mrs Bobble Hat) to be left behind .... needless to say, ten minutes later and both of them had decided that they might 'have a look at Schiehallion' after all .
I should probably explain at this point that although Elaine did a bit of walking in her Uni days and has been up Ben Lomond more than once (as well as doing the West Highland Way), she has had some health issues over the past decade or so, and has been on repeated courses of steroids with the usual weight gain and thigh muscle weakness that that entails . This would therefore only be her second Munro outing, and she was definitely a bit undecided about the whole thing. However, all seven of us soon set off for the Braes of Foss car park and started off gamely up the excellent reconditioned approach path. Here's Lindsay, Elaine, Alisdair & Pamela near the outset:
All looking terribly serious in this shot !
Julie and Patrick were already well ahead of us by now, and probably already on their way back down ... the rest of us trudged on up the path. A bit further on, and Pamela and Alisdair had pulled on ahead, but I did the decent thing for once and waited behind for the Missus. Lindsay was being very patient with her...
The two of them again, now looking rather purposeful!
A bit higher up now, with a good view back east to Loch Tummel.
Lindsay gives Elaine some encouragement not to give up just yet !
That old War Wound in the right thigh was definitely taking its toll, however...
Inevitably, the unforecast fine weather couldn't last forever, and this would probably be our last view of the summit environs before the Clag descended ...
It has to be said that the upper parts of the Schiehallion ascent path are not short of boulders, and much use was made of them for the temporary parking of posteroirs ...
Loch Tummel off to the east again:
...And another boulder-stop .
Elaine just about managing a smile for the camera in this one, although as I recall she was cursing me under her breath ...
Now all that remained was the traditional boulder-hop to the summit. We went a bit off-piste near the top, unfortunately, and needless to say I was getting the blame ... By the time we finally arrived at the rather bijou summit cairn, my name was mud!
Summit group photo No. 1:
...And Summit group photo No. 2, with Elaine just about managing a smile this time: Munro Number 2 for her, and a real personal achievement .
There was a family group already at the summit when we arrived - a grandfather and two early-twenties grandchildren, if my memory serves me right. The older chap recounted a nice story that when he'd last been up Schiehallion about three years earlier, he had seen a young guy propose to his girlfriend at the summit.
Elaine then wryly observed that if he hung around for a couple of minutes, he might well see a divorce at the same spot ...
All the same, we all made it down in one piece, without too much huffing and puffing (although there were at least twenty boulder-stops, I reckon );
I must try to get her up another hill one of these days!
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