Sunday, 20 April 2008

The views from Schiehallion

This weekend I needed to get out of the city so I went for a clamber up Schiehallion (1083m) up in Highland Perthshire, just North of Aberfeldy, overlooking Loch Tummel & Loch Rannoch.

Views across Schiehallion's ridge back to Loch Tummel

I'll leave the route description and map to Walk Highlands, although provided you find the Braes of Foss car park, you can't really go wrong on this one! It's a single path up and back down, quite direct and not too bad all around. The only slight obstacle facing us was the prospect of some snow and ice. I wasn't really equiped for dealing with ice, so I went up with the intention of just going as far as I could manage. As it turns out the snow was fairly fresh and soft and really wasn't too hazardous at all, and was only really an issue for the last 500-600ft of the climb.

views North with the River Garry below

While Schiehallion is one of these slightly annoying mountains where you never get a good view of the summit, except from right at the start, you do absolutely stunning views back behind you to Loch Tummel, and better still South towards the Ben Lawers massif. Once you hit the top, Loch Rannoch also reveals itself, with the high peaks of the Cairngorms in the distance to the North (above), and those of Glen Coe in the West.

The Ben Lawers massif looking South from Schiehallion

Ben Lawers can be seen in the photo above, whereas Loch Tummel can be viewed below. I also did a quick KML, that should have the photo locations embedded. Or see a 360 degree movie from the summit!

Views across Loch Tummel
Below, roughly the view from Google Earth.

Views across Loch Tummel

Away from the photos, there is some prominent history behind Schiehallion. It was used by Nevil Maskelyne to calculate the mass of the earth, on the basis of knowing the mass of the mountain (it could be accurately calculated being such a conical shape) and the first mountain to be mapped using contour lines. General info on wikipedia and Munro Magic as ever. Better still, its name is used by a brewer for a rather tasty ale.

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Wednesday, 5 March 2008

A day at Glen Dollar - kml and photos

After a frantic week at work (major releases and major announcements (about which I can say nothing!)) - I decided to have a couple of hours to myself. As it was blowing a gale and in my rush to get away I had forgotten my hat, I opted to visit Glen Dollar. I've been meaning to walk around there for ages, but for whatever reason I've never taken the time too. It's a shame, as it's really quite accessible from Edinburgh, and after a day of rain (like when I went), it turns into an absolutely stunning little gorge, with waterfalls, lush vegetation and a majestic castle dominating the skyline.

Rather than post the pictures on here directly (bar the one above), I've compiled a little kml to show the location of the route and where a few of the photos were taken from.

Oh, a few weeks ago I went to seeEd Parsons give a presentation at the Edinburgh Earth Observatory series of seminars, at the Institute of Geography, Edinburgh. While it was an excellent presentation which I think the whole audience thoroughly enjoyed, he didn't really cover anything new, groundbreaking, or terribly exciting - hence why I haven't really bothered to blog about it 'till now. As the main focus was on Google Earth, I'm not really complaining - it was very enjoyable. Thanks for making the effort to come up Ed.

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