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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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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

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The Traverse of Assynt                                                    UK Ultras

 

Cul Mor, Suilven & Canisp from north-east of Stac Pollaidh (DJ Macpherson)

(© Copyright djmacpherson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence )

The Assynt region is home to one of the most spectacular mountain landscapes in Britain and includes some of its most illustrious peaks.  Although modest in height by Scottish standards, they rise dramatically from the surrounding bleak tableland as giant monoliths of rock, both mesmerising and captivating. The object of the route is a complete traverse of all its major peaks starting at Loch Lugainn below Stac Pollaidh and finishing at the Loch Glencoul viewpoint at Unapool near Kylescu.  This involves climbing 12 peaks (3 on Quinag), covering nearly 50 miles and ascending some 21,000 feet.  The route was conceived by Tony Wimbush and first completed in 2010 by Pete Simpson, Tony Wimbush and Colin Brooke in a time of 26 hours 59 minutes.

Route

The object is to visit the 12 peaks listed below in a continuous run starting from the car park overlooking Loch Lugainn  (GR NC 095 107) and finishing at the viewpoint overlooking Loch Glencoul (GR NC 321 235).

OS Explorer Maps: Use 439 - Coigach & Summer Isles and 442 - Assynt & Lochinver

Route Guidance:

1    Stac Pollaidh has two summits, either is acceptable for this route. Non-climbers are recommended to use a rope on the 'mauvais pas' when ascending the higher western summit.

2    Between Cul Mor and Suilven it is necessary to cross the Uidh Fhearna, a broad stretch of water between Loch Veyatie and Fionn Loch.  This was readily crossed in 2010 even after a period of heavy rain but it is worth checking beforehand to ensure a crossing is still practical.  Trekking poles may assist.  

3    Between Breabag and Ben More Assynt it is recommended you follow Andy Walmsley's advice contained in his guidebook (see below). Do not attempt a direct ascent of Conival's south-west face.  Instead skirt round into Garbh Coire and ascend some 300m of scree leading up to the ridge between Conival and Ben More Assynt   

Schedule

gofar- uk ultras - assynt schedule.pdf


Click on the icon to view/print a pdf of the schedule for the inaugural run.


Completions

The Traverse of Assynt was originally part the Over the Hill Series.  That has been discontinued and all its former routes are now independent informal challenges without time limits, certificates or registrations.  An archive of registered completions (2002-2012) for the series is available together with some background (see below). Although there are now no formal registrations news of any future attempts at any of the routes would be welcome.  Email: info@gofar.org.uk.

Links and Further Information

□   Over the hill... and far away - a treble at 60! ,Tony Wimbush (The Fellrunner, Autumn 2010) - an article which includes a brief account of the inaugural 2010 traverse.

□   Over The Hill Series - An archive of registrations (2002 to 2012) plus some background to the series.

□   The Assynt Traverse: Blow by blow account -  Report and schedule by Tomas Frydrch of his 2016 crossing in 23-54.

□   Inchnadamph Lodge - hostel type B & B accommodation, twin rooms available.

□   The Assynt Foundation  -  an overview of the region.

□   The Corbetts and other Scottish Hills (SMC Hillwalkers Guide,2002) - includes all the peaks in the Assynt region except for the two Munros - Conival and Ben More Assynt.

□   Walking in Scotland's Far North, Andy Walmsley (Cicerone, 2003) - includes a useful section on the peaks within the Assynt region.

1

Stac Pollaidh

2011'/613m

GR  107 106

2

Cul Beag

2523'/769m

GR  140 088

3

Cul Mor

2785'/849m

GR  162 119

4

Suilven

2398'/731m

GR  153 183

5

Canisp

2776'/846m

GR  203 187

6

Breabag

2625'/800m

GR  286 157

7

Ben More Assynt

3274'/998m

GR  318 201

8

Conival

3228'/984m

GR  303 199

9

Glas Bheinn

2546'/776m

GR  254 264

10

Spinean Coinich (Quinag)

2507'/764m

GR  206 277

11

Sail Gorm (Quinag)

2545'/776m

GR  198 304

12

Sail Gharbh (Quinag)

2650'/808m

GR  209 292