Sìdh Chailleann: A journey captured by Brian Sweeney

Time: 06:00
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
57.1497° N, 2.0943° W

A Tuesday morning in February; the air is crisp and the ground dry, the forecast predicts some light rain at dinner time but other than that, the conditions look grand. It’s not turned 6AM yet, but the traffics began to roll. Last minute preparations are well underway, spare socks are packed, maps gathered, and lunch is stowed. We set course for rural Perthshire, a central county in Scotland, perfectly positioned for those heading to the coast & the islands in the West or those looking to traverse North through the Cairngorms.

Photography by Brian Sweeney

Time: 06:45
Location: Stracathro Services, Brechin
56.7728° N, 2.6110° W

Time: 08:30
Location: Perth Airport, New Scone
56.4370° N, 3.3743° W

Time: 09:15
Location: Aberfeldy, Perth & Kinross
56.6218° N, 3.8670° W

We reconvene by the Tay, not far from the town of Aberfeldy, a chance to swap the blades for boots & wheels on terra firma. Our guide to the base; a Pinzgauer. An all-terrain military vehicle just about big enough fit everyone and all the gear in. The mist is starting to roll in, obscuring the summit and casting a typically Scottish mood to the surroundings. A short ride up narrow twisting road leads us to the foot of Schiehallion, a popular Munro to bag.

 A Munro, (named after Sir Hugh Munro’s studies) is a Scottish mountain that ascends over 3000 ft.

Time: 10:45
Location: Schiehallion, Perth & Kinross
Height: 1083m
56.6668° N, 4.1001° W

Schieallion or ‘Sidh Chailleann’ in the native Gaelic, sits nestled in isolation between Loch Tay, Rannoch & Tummel. Recognisable for its close to perfect conical shape, the plains and ridges of the Munro boast rich botanical life. Perhaps a clue to explaining the mountains translation as ‘Fairy Hill of The Caledonians’.  The grounds have been cultivated and lived on for nigh on 3000 years with the last inhabitants leaving 200 years ago.

Is it for this we toil up many a hill,
To glimpse at beauty with unclouded eye?
Or is it but to exercise our will…

- Alan Garner

"Eight ounces of carrots, both peeled & diced. Turnips, eight ounces more.
2 onions, with a celery stalk and the white of a leek.
A cup of pearl barley with added dried peas.
4 pints of mutton stock for a hearty feed,
seasoned to taste with salt and pepper."
- A recipe for Scotch Broth.

Time: 14:00
Location: Loch Farleyer, Perth & Kinross
56.6460° N, 3.9403° W

Time: 17:00
Location: Perth Airport, New Scone
56.4370° N, 3.3743° W

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