|Date||Sunday 20th September, 2020|
|Start postcode||PH50 4SF|
Part of the Skyline Scotland weekend - also featuring the 5/10/18K Trail Races, the Mamores VK, the Ben Nevis Ultra and the Ring of Steall Skyrace.
Detailed Route Description:
With a route that dances along the jagged and lofty mountainous horizons above Scotland’s most famous Glen and Pass, and with airy ridges to negotiate, there is no doubt that this race has a licence to thrill. Glen Coe has long held travellers in awe. It is described and known by the characteristic shapes of each individual mountain along its length, and by the essential and ancient passage of the roads below. The mountains dominate and tower over anyone that stands below them, or who passes along the present A82 road, necks craning to see the tops.
This skyrunning race is based at the village of Kinlochleven nestled at the head of Loch Leven (alt 0m… sea level), and incorporates the West Highland Way Long Distance Route as a conduit to and from the foot of these dramatic mountains.
The classic triangle of Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) is a sentinel to the eastern entrance to the Glen, and the awesome sight that greets the runners as they crest the pass West Highland Way pass from Kinlochleven. The West Highland Way will take you to the settlement of Altnafeadh (alt 290m – Checkpoint 1), our divergence from The West Highland Way and onto the steepening open hillside. Summiting Stob Dearg (alt 1022 – Checkpoint 2) by the exposed Grade III scramble (a 'Moderate' graded rock climb) of Curved Ridge. At the summit, a vast view eastwards to Rannoch Moor is presented. The route then heads south-west along the multiple summits of the Buachaille Etive Mor massif before dropping rapidly into Lairig Gartain (Pass alt 370m - Checkpoint 4), crossing the River Coupall and immediately ascending the smaller Buachaille massif to the col.
Now passing through increasingly remote territory, it is time to descend to Lairig Eilde (Pass alt 490m – Checkpoint 5), and immediately then ascend onto the shoulder of Stob Coire Sgreamhach, before summiting at 1072m (Checkpoint 6). We are now on the highest and most complex terrain of the whole route, and soon reach the summit of Bidean nam Bian (alt 1150 – Checkpoint 8). A dog-leg to Stob Coire nan Lochan (alt 1115m - Checkpoint 7) will enable competitors to experience another stunning mountain spur into Glen Coe – it’s a stunning environment here. Returning to the summit of Bidean then enables descent using regular paths to the A82 road at 90m – the lowest point of the route in Glencoe.
Checkpoint 9 is where the path meets the A82 and there is a cut-off of 1500 at this location. Above us now, remains a stiff ascent to the famous Aonach Eagach ridge, an arête with occasional Grade II scrambling, and for us it extends west to east from Sgorr nam Fionnadh (alt 967m – Checkpoint 10), over Meall Dearg (alt 953m) to Am Bodach (alt 943m – Checkpoint 11). That is 3km of intricate ridge traversing, with distant views over the coastline and hundreds of mountains including Ben Nevis. The ridge continues over smaller summits and flowing ridges until descending a shoulder to the West Highland Way (Checkpoint 13). The superlatives don’t cease here though. Cresting the path brings us to a renewed view north towards the Mamores. The West Highland Way outward route is then reversed to return to Kinlochleven and the Finish.