The Angry Corrie 56: Jan-Mar 2003

The Great Gray Man of Schiehallion

Interesting that the Ed has admitted to being a "Gray man" - but how else to describe one who prefers the Beinn a'Ghlo "massif" to Bidean, Ben Alder, Beinn Eighe and Liathach? Being a sheep person himself it's understandable that he got it wrong about the lumpen cow, which is the shape of Beinn na Lap (complete with surrounding brown squelch) rather than Schiehallion. In fact Schiehallion is an elegant tent shape (ahem, see TAC7, p8 - Ed.), which is why they used it for inventing the contour line - a sufficient reason for loving it already - and for determining the universal gravitational constant G and for weighing planet Earth. This is considerably more exciting than England versus Brazil which most people seem to have found very exciting indeed.

Furthermore there is an amusingly horrible quartzite slog route up it from the bothies at the back, and it is one of the few points from which you can see the sea both ways (perhaps). Well, I saw something that I thought might be Schiehallion from Loch Eil while running the Lochaber Marathon. As well as upsetting the gray man Hewitt, Schiehallion is the Munro that reduced the Gray woman (Muriel herself) to tears - a creditable feat, surely?

Another little-known fact: there is more than one way to take its photograph. In a daring departure from tradition I got it at dusk recently from Loch Tummel, not Loch Rannoch. And one final point in its defence: the Ed's own article shows that it is in fact possible to write about this hill without referring to it as the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians - well, almost. Though clearly I have failed to achieve that this time.

Ronald Turnbull

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