Schiehallion - 1083m
Sunday 4th December 2016

Weather/Conditions: Despite the lack of snow, a biting wind coming over the hill. We got views from the summit, but cloud closed in over the hill a bit once we were descending. Nonetheless, lots of clear skies and sunny breaks onto the moors - certainly didn't quite feel like December.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 9.2km / 750m / 3h 48m
Accompanying: Struan and Will

This day came on the invite of Struan who was heading to Schiehallion with Will, a workmate. The previous night, I'd been gigging in Dundee (Maiden Scotland). As is usual, the gig ended somewhere near midnight and I wasn't packed out the venue until after 1am. When Abi let me know she was in town and in a bar just around the corner, my night then didn't end until 3.30am.

Then I was up at 7am. That hurt a bit. I got a McDonald's breakfast and cup of tea and drove to Aberfeldy still feeling half-asleep, pretty raw and ragged. I got supplies here, then went on to the Braes of Foss.

Schiehallion itself made a nice day, and in a sense it also felt 'low-key', with the cloud obscuring distant views and oddly very little views of our own hill. It seems to be it's shape; when you're climbing a humpback you see little of it. (Ben Nevis is similar.)

The summit was a pretty cold place, exposed to a gentle but constant freezing wind. The sun was making an appearance, but views were limited with the hills blanketed in mist. We did stop for a break and for food, but we didn't stop long. Soon, freezing fingertips warmed again on the walk back down, and in time we were well on our way back to the car park.

I originally intended to climb a couple of small tops after Schiehallion, Dun Coillich and Speirean Ruadh. But the sound of a meal and drinks back in Aberfeldy with the guys was too tempting and I settled for that instead.

They headed home to Edinburgh, but I also had a day free the following day. I'd initially planned to head far west, and this was my plan as I headed up through Pitlochry. Perhaps Loch Arkaig? Perhaps something like Sgurr na Ciche or something similarly remote and inspired?

Then at some point I realised I had no map of the Knoydart region, it was just about the only map I didn't have. I drove to Fort William via. Laggan on a magnificent, tranquil evening and watched the light fizzle out as I drove west by Loch Laggan. I arrived in Fort William in darkness, and the decision was made there: Glen Coe tonight, and Beinn a' Bheithir tomorrow. So I texted Keith for a bed at Glen Coe, and finally plans were settled.

Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 9.00am Braes of Foss parking
(1.55) 10.55am Schiehallion
(3.48) 12.48pm Braes of Foss parking

Written: 2016-12-14