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Science and magic on the fairy hill

Science and magic on the fairy hill


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:04 pm

Route description: Schiehallion

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 14/10/2018

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When I took this photo on Sunday, I didn't notice something odd.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The reflection of Schiehallion is out of line with the real Schiehallion.

Has it been pulled sideways by the force of gravity?

"Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around
Peel back the mountains."
(REM, Feeling Gravity's Pull)

Of course, my walk had to start with the memorial.

ImageIMG_0002 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Much of my doctorate dealt with the history of science, and I'm always astonished by what was achieved in past times with rudimentary equipment and sheer hard work. The Schiehallion Experiment is a classic example of that heroic age of science. Wikipedia states:

"The density of the Earth had been computed with an error of less than 20%... a testament to the accuracy of Maskelyne's astronomical observations."

And Hutton's calculations (apart from its by-product, the invention of contour lines) led him to conclude correctly that the core of the earth must be made of dense metal.

I took no photos on the gradual ascent to the summit ridge. The morning was overcast and dull, with a steely brooding sky. The surrounding hills were featureless dark outlines against the sky. After a full-on soaking the previous day on Ben Ledi, I was glad that at least I wasn't being rained on... but it would be nice to have some sunshine.

Ben Chonzie on the left hand skyline, and Ben Lawers on the right.

ImageIMG_0003 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And then, just after I reached the high cairn where the constructed path ends, I glimpsed some gaps in the clouds, and could see Dunalastair Water below.

ImageIMG_0005 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A tiny speck of blue (top right of photo)

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

I walked along the summit ridge, with hopes of improvements in the view. This is the circular shelter just before the final rise towards the summit, with a view of distant sunlit fields in the valley of the Tay.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And then - some spots of real sunshine.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking down towards the River Tummel.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And then, as I reached the summit, the magic happened. The clouds all ripped apart.

ImageIMG_0010 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Loch Rannoch stretching far into the west.

ImageIMG_0013 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking back along the summit ridge.

ImageIMG_0008 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Cloud still swirling around the Glen Lyon hills.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Dunalastair Water

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A small bit of magic close to hand - this fern was growing in a crevice right next to the cairn.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Kinloch Rannoch.

ImageIMG_0011 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

A wider view.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

On the way down - note the circular lichen on the nearest boulder.

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

After getting back to the car, I drove over to Loch Rannoch to see the famous view of Schiehallion. There was a sense of the loch stretching out towards the open wastes of Rannoch Moor, and glimpses of peaks in the faraway west. And the little bays and shores of the loch had their own kind of magic...

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Image. by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_7548 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr
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HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 794
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Science and magic on the fairy hill

Postby Sack the Juggler » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:04 pm

amazing reflections of a stunning day :D
Sack the Juggler
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Posts: 378
Joined: Aug 8, 2018

Re: Science and magic on the fairy hill

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:02 pm

Sack the Juggler wrote:amazing reflections of a stunning day :D


thanks! - really appreciated!

I was lucky - and grateful that the weather had relented after a day of Biblical rainfall the previous day on Ben Ledi (no TR of that one!)

Tim
User avatar
HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 794
Munros:95   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Hewitts:148
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

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