Height: 1083 meters
This was a case of third time lucky, with what is arguably my favorite munro! I'd previously tried to complete Schiehallion back in 2000, and then again in 2017, both times unsuccessfully (due to bad weather). This time though, nothing was going to stop me!
In fairness, this is not a difficult munro by any means. It is quite unique however, in that it's just "there"; by itself, in the middle of nowhere, not connected to or anywhere near any other mountain of note.
When viewed from the North-West (Kinloch Rannoch), it's quite conical, though when driving in from the East you can see a long ridge heading down from the peak to the South-East. The parking is easily accessible by road, though it's a fairly long drive from anywhere that counts as civilization to get to the parking lot at the start of the climb. In the past, the parking used to overflow all up and down the road, due to limited availability, though this is now no longer permitted, and a second parking has been developed further up the road.
The climb heads up from the South East - starting at 330m, it's initially a very gentle climb, though it gets progressively steeper as you head higher up to the final altitude of 1083m.
The path itself takes you along a broad ridge, and is clear and well-trodden until you come upon the boulder field - after that, it's pretty much make your own way, as long as you keep heading up, up and up. Being a very exposed mountain, the wind can be a nuisance - both previous attempts I made were cut short by the wind - it's not very pleasant when it's blowing a gale up there!
Myself, Hallur, Lukasz & Lukasz started the climb late on a Saturday, as the main activity of a weekend-long camping trip at Loch Rannoch (which was a complete Midge-fest, by the way!). We made it up and down in a little under 4 hours, with Lukasz complaining all the way up about how old and unfit he was. Not much complaining from him on the way down though!
Unfortunately the visibility from about 500m and up was near-zero on the day we climbed, though on a clear day from the top the views in all directions are breathtaking!
Schiehallion is a very interesting mountain in its geology and history. It is sometimes called the "Upside-down" mountain, due to the fact that the rocks at the top are actually older than the ones at the bottom!
It was also used in 1774 during an experiment to measure the mass of the Earth. An excerpt from Scottish Geology explains:
"The experiment of 1774 to weigh the Earth involved measuring the deflection of a plumb line resulting from the gravitational pull of a nearby mountain. Schiehallion was considered the ideal mountain, due to its isolation and almost symmetrical shape. The tiny deflection of a plumb-line from the vertical must be measured relative to the fixed background of the stars, which requires extremely careful measurements on either side of the mountain. The mass of the mountain can be worked out from its volume and the density of its rocks. These values can be used to find the gravitational pull of the Earth, and thus its mass."
You can read more detail on the route, and download Offline maps on the Walkhighlands website.