SAFETY WARNING!!!

You undertake the routes on this site at your own risk.

Please take full mountain safety precautions at all times.

Appropriate insurance cover is recommended.

HAVE A GO!

The object of this website is to provide a single, ready source of information on the ultra-distance challenges which have been developed over the past three or more decades. It now offers a diverse range of long and "short", old and recent, formal and informal routes from around the UK to encourage runners of all ages and abilities to have a go.

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Further routes will be added to this site approximately twice a year. If you wish to be notified of future additions please use the contact page and put "subscribe" in the subject line, or "delete" if you wish to unsubscribe.

HELP WANTED

If you can improve on the accuracy of this resource, offer details of other routes (old and new), spot any errors in grid references, names, heights, spelling or punctuation, or find a link which does not work please let us know via the contact page.

FRA LONG DISTANCE RECORDS and NEWS

Please send details and a schedule of any record-breaking runs and the like to Martin Stone who maintains records on behalf of the Fell Runners Association.  Email: martin.stone@sportident.co.uk

COMPLETIONS

Where a route contact name is given please notify that person of your  attempt on the route to enable accurate records to be maintained for the dubious benefit of future generations of fell runners!


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The Scottish 4000's                                                         UK Ultras

The Angel's Peak, looking towards Ben MacDui across the Lairig Ghru.

© Copyright Graham Ellis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Rucksack Club members Frank Williamson and Philip Brockbank are credited with the first traverse of twelve 4000' peaks (Munros and tops) as a long distance walk in a time of around 52 hours in 1954. Later there were traverses by Stan Bradshaw and John Eastwood (1967), John Richardson and Mike Cudahy (1977) and Alan Heaton (1980) before Chris Dodd (Dark Peak Fell Runners) broke the 24 hour barrier in 1980 with a time of 23 -14 with an east-west traverse (see article below ). This was improved on first by Stan Bradshaw Jr (1982) and then by Martin Stone (1986) in a solo unsupported run of 21-39. In 2007 Stephen Pyke (Staffordshire Moorlands) lowered the record to 20-23 (see article below).

Initially there were some variations in the start and finish points as well as the peaks included. The route is now considered to be some 83 miles with 17000 feet of ascent starting at Glen Nevis Youth Hostel and finishing at the Norwegian Stone near Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel. In between it takes in the four  Munros of Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg, Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag before heading east for some 50 miles to bag the Cairngorm Munros of Cairn Toul, Angel's Peak (Sgor an Lochain Uaine), Braeriach, Ben Macdui and Cairngorm.  

Another notable traverse of the 4000's was that by Ian Leighton (Holmfirth Harriers) and Robin Price (Clayton-le-Moors) in 1983.  They completed a Scottish Coast to Coast route from Inverie to Montrose which incorporated the 4000's plus a further 10 Munros and 15 tops. Their 230 mile run involving some 35000 feet of climbing took them just 4½ days (see article below).

Route

The start is from Glen Nevis Youth Hostel  GR 128 717 and the finish is at the Norwegian Stone, 100m from Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel (formerly Glen More YH) GR 977 098. The 9 summits listed below must be visited.

*Also known as Sgor an Lochan Uaine

Use in conjunction with OS Explorer Maps (1:25000): 392 Ben Nevis & Fort William, 393 Ben Alder, Loch Ericht & Loch Laggan,  393 Atholl, 402 Badenoch & Upper Strathspey and 403 Cairn Gorm & Aviemore.

Schedule

gofar - uk ultras - Scottish 4000's - Spyke's Schedule.pdf


Click the icon to view or print Stephen Pyke's schedule of actual times.


gofar - UK ultras - scottish 4000s MS schedule.pdf


Click the icon to view or print Martin Stone's schedule of actual times.


Completions

This is an informal route without registrations or time limits.  Martin Stone would be interested to hear of any further traverses. Email: martin.stone@sportident.co.uk.

Links and Further Information

□   The Munros Run in under 24 hours - an article from Athletics Monthly on Chris Dodd's 1980 west to east run.

□   The Scottish 4,000'ers coast to coast  - an article by Ian Leighton which appeared in Compass Sport in 1983.

□   Scottish 4000' Record on foot, - Stephen Pyke (The Fellrunner, Autumn/Winter 2007) - a brief account of his 2007 traverse.

□   Scottish Hill Runners Long Distance Records - A summary of over 20 routes including the Scottish 4000's which lists the record times.

□   Studmarks on the Summits, Bill Smith (SKG Publications,1985) - includes a summary of the early history of the Scottish 4000's  up to 1982.

Ben Nevis

GR 166 712

4409’

1344 m

Carn Mor Dearg

GR 177 722

4012’

1223 m

Aonach Mor

GR 193 729

4006’

1221 m

Aonach Beag

GR 197 715

4049’

1234 m

Cairn Toul

GR 963 972

4236’

1291 m

Angel’s Peak*

GR 954 976

4127’

1258 m

Braeriach

GR 953 999

4252’

1296 m

Ben Macdui

GR 989 989

4295’

1309 m

Cairn Gorm

GR 005 040

4085’

1245 m