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Schiehallion Shenanigans

Schiehallion Shenanigans

Driving to an airport in torrential rain and mid winter like temperatures is normally a great thing.

The smug feeling that in a few hours you will be arriving in blazing sunshine in some far off country.

Your excitement is reflected in the eyes of the person at check-in who tells you how beautiful and warm your destination is at this time of the year.

Unfortunately, if you're flying to Inverness you don't quite get the same reaction.

Your smugness is replaced by desperation that, by some miracle, the weather up north will be better than down south.

And at checkin you're met with an expression of pity rather than envy.

Last week I left the rain of the South East and headed to the cold and rain of Northern Scotland to spend 4 days with my cousins and some family friends at a gorgeous lodge on the edge of Loch Rannoch.

From the lodge we had a breathtaking view of Schiehallion, a 1083m high munro (higher than Chamonix), and after eating far too much the day before a large group of us decided to walk up it.

Considering three 20 minute runs and a couple of lengths in a pool had basically been the sum total of my exercise over the Summer, the fact that I even agreed to walking up Schiehallion is baffling.

The most difficult part was the first half of the climb.

Following a steep gravel path isn't particularly exciting; especially when it seems to have no end. 

Thankfully once you make it over the first fake summit (there are 3 just to keep you on your toes) and make it on to the ridge leading to the top, the terrain slightly flatter and instead of boring gravel you have boulder fields to contend with.  

During the first half our 14 strong group had divided based on speed of walking pace.

I was in the group of 4 who had powered ahead, determined to be the first to reach the top.

The closer we got to the summit the bigger the boulders got. By the end it was more of a clamber than a walk to reach the top.

Finally we reached the top in a record pace of 1hr 30mins.

Cue the celebrations.

The view from the top is breathtaking.

You can see for miles.

 After a while the rest of our party started arriving.

Then we just had the small challenge of getting down.

Freddie and I decided that walking down would be too easy and boring.

So we ran down.

Despite the strange looks we received and a couple of close calls, which almost sent me face first into gravel, we both made it down unharmed.

However, once our pride at making it down in 40 minutes had subsided, it dawned on us that we'd have to wait for the others.

2 HOURS LATER everyone had finally reached the bottom and we headed back to the lodge for a well deserved cup of tea.

Happy that we'd all conquered Schiehallion .


(word of warning - running down a mountain didn't turn out to be the brightest decision as I could hardly walk for about 4 days afterwards)

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Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight