Ranked 59th out of 283 Munros, 6th in Perthshire.
Right in the heart of Scotland, in it's central axis, you will find the Schiehallion. The pyramidal beauty rises near the shore's of Loch Rannoch, and Tummel to it's north, and Glenn Mor to the south. It enjoys a great deal of solitude as it dominates the skies over southern Caledonia. Often dubbed the Matterhorn of Perthshire, this iconic and easily recognizable mountain can be seen from all over. On a clear day it is visible from the capitol Edinburgh, to the medieval capitol Perth.
The Schiehallion unlike most mountains is made up of softer limestone at it base, with the harder metamorphic rock being found on it's upper flank's. The pinnacle being comprised of a solid spire of quartz.
There are many different ways to approach the conical formation. The most popular is by the Whale Back route, starting at the Braes of Foss. It is a 6 mile round trip hike, with an elevation gain of 2,390 ft. The 1st 2 miles is an extremely well maintained trail, managed by the John Muir Trust, with no resources being spared. The last mile is through an awkward boulder field, that would give even the most elegant hill walker a few stumbles. The summit is a single ridge with a prominence of 2,400 ft. The panoramic splendor from it's apex is truly awe inspiring.
Lore and Myth
Few mountains in Scotland possess as much history and lore as this one. Having thousands of years of human influence, the Schiehallion has been adorned and venerated by Scots past and present. The name is loosely translated as "the fairy stronghold of the Caledonian people". The ancient Celt's believed that it was the most powerful mountain in all of the land, holding secret cave passages to the other world.
Some Christian mystics have laid claim to it as the Lost Mountain of Heredom, the Zion of the north. Tales of the Templar Knights abound, sprinkled with hidden holy treasure. Supposedly the Freemasons established their roots on these sacred slopes. I am sure that pyramidal mountain with it's crowning cap was symbolically significant to the illuminated one's
The Fortingall Yew, one of the oldest trees in the world grows within the shadow of the Schiehallion. The yew is estimated to be between 3,000 to 5,000 years old. Highland lore say's that it's no coincidence for it's longevity.
The Sciehallion Experiment
The 1st ever experiment to measure the weight of the world was done here in 1774. It was chosen for it's isolation and symmetrical shape. Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne, used 5 pendulums that where placed strategically on the mountain. The gravitational deflection was measured and was able to deduce the Earth's weight to amazing accuracy. In order to better graph the mountain, his lead assistant devised the concept of the topographical contour line.
| |Loch Rannoch view. | |Summit Cairn. | |The route of ascent.
On A9 just north of Pitlochry, take the B 8019 exit towards Kinloch Rannoch. Go over the Tummel Bridge and make 1st right at Loch Kinardochy. Braes of Foss car park on left within 1 mile.
Schiehallion from Loch Rannoch.
Some of the best areas to stay in close to Schiehallion include; Pitlochry,
Aberfeldy & Killin. Below is a selection of accommodation available in these areas.
The Ballinluig Inn
Aberfeldy Weem Hotel
Balnearn Guest House
The Coach House Hotel
Craigbuie Guest House
Ben Lawers Bunkhouse
Pitlochry Youth Hostel
Lodges & Campsites
Killin Highland Lodges
Loch Tay Highland Lodges
Cruachan Farm Caravan & Camping Park
Aberfeldy Caravan Park
Blair Castle Caravan Park
Maps & BooksMaps
OS Explorer 386 - Pitlochry & Loch Tummel
OS Landranger 52 - Pitlochry & Crieff
The Southern Highlands
by Donald Bennet
The Munros (SMC Hillwalkers guide)
edited by Donald Bennet & Rab Anderson
Ski Mountaineering in Scotland
by Donald Bennet & Bill Wallace
Scottish Hill and Mountain Names
by Peter Drummond
by Cameron McNeish
Cicerone Guide - Central and Southern Scottish Highlands – backpacking guide
by Graham Uney