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Swamp Thing on Schiehallion!

Swamp Thing on Schiehallion!

Postby EuanWardrop » Sun Aug 09, 2020 9:18 am

Munros included on this walk: Schiehallion

Date walked: 08/08/2020

Time taken: 4 hours

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With a great day promised on Saturday I had intended to try Ben Cruachan but we felt it might have been a bit much for Cooper especially with the heat. We decided on Schiehallion instead, I had been up it before but it was very closed in with cloud at the time so with the forecast we were hopeful of getting some great views from the top.

We arrived at the car park at 08.00 and it was already quite full. There were a few motorhomes and cars from the early birds. We were certainly glad we were up early when we seen how many cars were there on our return! Thankfully the toilet facilities were open, though the ticket machine for the car park was saying "Not in use." Strange I thought as with the amount of people on the hills there is an opportunity for some much needed funds!
Schiehallion from the car park

We set off about 8.30 with the midges starting to attack us. Once we got through the little bit of forest and started coming through the ferns they disappeared quickly enough. Through a large gate and next to some ruins is where the hill really begins. The path kicks up and weaves its way up the Eastern slopes and we were quickly treated to some great views back over Loch Tummel.
View up the lower slopes.

There were a lot of ton bags on the first third of the hill, filled with the materials for redoing the path up. I thought the path was in pretty good condition already but with the numbers of people going up I can understand it must need a lot of maintenance, great work by the John Muir Trust!

After gentle slope to begin with the path quickly becomes quite steep and a lot of height is gained quickly. Dad kept saying he didn't want to hold me up but I was trying to keep up with him! Cooper was of course charging on ahead enjoying all the new smells. We met a few people coming down who must have been up in the early hours but all were saying it had been worth it.
Trying to keep up!

As the path snakes round to the southern face Cooper found the first of the peat bogs, he has a real talent for sniffing these out!! On the way up he wasn't too dirty, it was on the descent the real fun began!

There was a few wisps of cloud around and the summit was still hidden slightly but otherwise we had some fantastic views in all directions. We arrived onto the shoulder and took a few minutes break to recharge, more for me than dad who I'm sure could have carried on right to the top.

At a large cairn the path splits in two, the one to the North goes through the boulders/scree and the one to the South is on softer ground before they meet again at the start of the boulder field proper. We took the Northern path and pushed on through the rocks. The going here was good though as we ascended the cloud closed in a little bit.
Heading up into the cloud
Looking towards one of the false summits

We came up over the final false summit and this is where it starts to get fun! Hopping across the boulders on this section was good fun though care has to taken, I can imagine if it had been wet these would be treacherous!
Looking up the boulderfield

We reached the summit for about 10.00 pretty good time I thought. The cloud we thought would have burned off but it was still clinging on stubbornly to the summit. We dropped down a bit and hap some food and waited in hope for it to clear. There were blue patches of sky poking through occasionally and sometimes the wind would move some cloud to get a clear view down over Loch Tummel again but the summit never truly cleared. We waited about half an hour but then decided to start heading back. There had been fantastic views most of the way up so we couldn't grumble too much about the summit not being clear.
Trying to clear on the summit

We pushed on down through the boulder field and took the southern path back to the large cairn, the softer ground was a relief on the knees after the boulders.

As we headed back down the steeper section I was amazed how many people were coming up, it was just about as busy as Arrochar a few weeks ago. A constant stream of people, I was a bit worried that we wouldn't be able to get the car out of the car park. Everyone was so friendly as usual and Cooper was loving all the attention he was getting!

It would have been a rather uneventful journey back had Cooper not found a very deep bog that he had somehow missed on the way up! He jumped in and was up to his shoulders, almost had his head under at one point! He emerged from this bog and he was transformed into the swamp thing! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Happy as Larry
Swamp Thing emerges!
Rolling About!

He then proceeded to roll about the heather most of the way down. In between this he still tried to say hello to everyone though at this point most people were giving this mud covered creature a wide berth! Apologies to anyone who he may have brushed up against and got you dirty! :roll:
Happy with himself!

We managed to get him into the burn next to the car park to get the worst of it off him and got a swim in the river Tummel on the way home to get him properly clean!

A great day out topped off with superb views and a very happy dog!
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Re: Swamp Thing on Schiehallion!

Postby MountainTrail » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:52 pm

Excellent report and pics and the state of the dog lol
I was in Glen Affric on Friday and the car park paying machines are also out of use , think it's to do with Covid
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Re: Swamp Thing on Schiehallion!

Postby KatTai » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:15 pm

Oh I do love to see dogs having fun in the mud :lol: I have two bog monsters of my own :D Looks like a great day, some fantastic pics :clap:
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Re: Swamp Thing on Schiehallion!

Postby maxie23 » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:07 pm

Some nice photos there.
Loved the pics of Cooper.
We have a blonde labrador who occasionally enjoys rolling in mucky stuff, especially if it smells.


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Re: Swamp Thing on Schiehallion!

Postby cobblergreen » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:41 pm

Great pictures and report. :D
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