I hadn’t been out in the hills for 3 weeks, so felt that a trip was long overdue. I decided to head to my favourite place, Schiehallion. There was no snow in Dundee but by the time I called in to see my parents at Stanley things were looking a bit more wintry.
Driving up from the Appin of Dull through the Pass of Keltney there was a dusting of snow on the ground, which unsurprisingly got thicker and thicker as the road climbed. Just after Loch Kinardochy I began to think about getting back out later, and when the snow started to fall again I decided to leave the car and walk the rest of the way to the car park.
As I rounded the corner, Schiehallion loomed in front of me, a vision in white.
Striding through the snow with my Leki poles I was soon at the car park, and crossed the Allt an t-Socaich.
I then stopped at the Braes of Foss cup-marked rock. Well, that’s not strictly true – I stopped at a mound in the snow and cleared 15cm of it away to reveal the stone. The compacted snow showed up the cup-marks really well.
Walking past an old sheep pen showed how deep the snow had been drifting.
The higher I went, the stronger the wind got, and as it was whipping up the snow and driving it across the mountain I had to put on my sunglasses to protect my eyes.
I estimated the wind was at least 70mph, and it was getting to the stage where it was difficult to walk and it was almost blowing me off my feet.
After struggling on for a while longer, I reached the flat plateau of Schiehallion‘s back, the wind almost knocking me off my feet.
I decided to turn back at this point – the sun was on it’s way down, I was on my own, the wind was extremely strong and most importantly my brother was calling in at my parents’ on a flying visit from Sandhurst. The walk back down wasn’t so much a walk as a slide, which was great fun and took a fraction of the time it took me to go up, aided by the wind driving me down the mountainside.
Back at the car, more snow had fallen, and after a Thermos of tea I slithered my way down the road to Aberfeldy before joining the slushy A9 on my way to Stanley.