Ahead of the Christmas break we wanted to get a decent hill in and forecasts pointed east so Schiehallion in the Low east Highlands , near Aberfeldy was our decision.
We’ve done Schiehallion twice already once in mid winter and once in spring , both times required crampons with a lot of lying snow and ice around the rocky summit but today it was a different story
Setting out early ( been a while sixes we’ve been up at 6am!) , gear packed and coffee in the flask we headed up through the foggy cold rural roads , passing dozens of pheasant at one point and stopping to take some beauty beautiful photos of the moon setting and sun rising above the fog banks to arrive in the car park for about 9.
Unusually it was fairly quiet so grabbed a space , paid for parking ( a very reasonable £2 for the day – which supports protection and maintenance of the area) – then set up into the white misty wonderland .
Making our way up the path, past the ruins of sheilings (houses and pens higher on slopes used by crofters in the summer months before the highland clearances) to start ascending the long hump of the hill. The Scheihallion route it very simple with a well made and easy to follow path almost to the summit ( where boulders mean you do need to be aware and be ready to navigate in poor weather – knowing the summit line runs roughly west to east helps).
At valley level the temperature was a brisk -5 C and around us the land was a gold tinged white as the sun began to rise and pierce through the blanket of fog – really beautiful.
As we rose so did the temperature , leaving the freezing mist below , blue skies all around, the temperature inversion meant stripping off layers and being treasure to stunning sights below – the valleys lying in mist abs frost like something out of Narnia . We took out time , taking loads of photos and sitting often just to enjoy being out so this was no guidebook pace 😂
Schiehallion “treats” you to a few false summits before you work your way over the broken Boulder fields to the Rocky, narrow summit ridge . It’s a stunning summit with incredible views all around and well worth having a break and a coffee just to enjoy it .
As always a summit and a hill blew away the many lockdown cobwebs and it was great to be out .
As its winter and the days much shorter we soon felt the need to start coming down before it started to get dark, so we set off to pick our way down through the boulders and wind back down to the car.
Amazingly after around 8 hours since pouring it my little SIGG flask had kept the remains of my coffee hot ! That’s impressive especially with such a cold start .
Was great to be back out and we couldn’t have asked for a better day for it. Hope you enjoy the pictures