Climbing Schiehallion Again

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I climbed Schiehallion again in March 2008, and found it quite different to the previous walk.  Weather in the Scottish Highlands can be very changeable, so it's difficult to predict.  The Mountain Weather Information Service is very useful for hill-walkers, it gives a very accurate forecasts over the next few days, with the kind of information you need to know (wind-speed, visibility, cloud level etc.)  The day we were going was forecast to have a bit of rain and quite low cloud cover, but not much wind, so it sounded OK.  There was light snow expected for the morning, so we took a couple of sledges with us.

Schiehallion is about 40 minutes driver from Crieff, north to Aberfeldy, then straight through and follow the road to Kinloch Rannoch.  Turn left down "Schiehallion Road" for the last few miles, then park at the Braes of Foss where there is parking for about twenty cars.  There was a light dusting of snow when arrived about 9am, and there was clearly a lot of snow on the hill.  We didn't have crampons or ice-axes, so were ready to turn back if conditions looked bad further up.

View towards Schiehallion from the Braes of Foss

View from  the car park

View towards Schiehallion from the Braes of Foss

The cloud started to clear as we climbed higher.  There was still not very much snow at this height,

Loch Tummel from Schiehallion

We stoped for a break after climbing a few hundred metres, I took this picture looking back towards Loch Tummel.

View towards the summit of Schiehallion

As we got higher the snow became thicker, but conditions were very good, the cloud kept well away, although there was still quite a lot over the valleys.  There still hadn't been any rain, there was no wind, and things were looking good.  We left one of the sledges around here, planning to use it on the way back down, but carried a smaller shovel sledge to the top.

View south from Schiehallion

View south from Schiehallion

Ridge of Schiehallion

Five people and dog had climbed up before us, we were able to follow their footsteps fairly much all the way.  At this point the climb had leveled out but there was still some distance to go to the top.

Details of snow formations on the ridge

Higher up on the ridge the snow was formed into small clumps of various shapes.

Crow above the summit of Schiehallion

There was a crow sitting on the summit, but it left just before we arrived.

Loch Rannoch from Schiehallion

Looking west from summit of Schiehallion, towards Loch Rannoch.  We stopped for sandwiches and soup on the top, then started back down.  The weather was still perfect, at this point we realised we should have brought the sun-cream, I ended up with a sunburnt face by the time we got down.

View east from the summit of Schiehallion

Looking back down the ridge from the summit.  We were able to use the sledges some of the way down, but had to take care not to stray too far off the ridge!

View towards Schiehallion from the Braes of Foss

 

By the time we got back to the car around 3pm, the snow had all melted at lower levels.  The conditions had been ideal all the way

 

 

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