/ News: Finlay Wild Runs Sub 3hr Cuillin Ridge Traverse

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mountaineer - on 13 Oct 2013
On Saturday 12th October 2013 Finlay Wild set a new Cuillin Ridge Traverse record completing the 11 Munros and four main climbing sections in a time of 2hrs 59mins 22secs. The climbing sections include down-climbing into the Thearlaich-Dubh Gap and climbing up the other side, King's Chimney on Sgurr Mhic Choinnich, ascending and down-climbing the Inaccessible Pinnacle and climbing Naismith's Route on the Bhasteir Tooth. Bidein Druim nan Ramh is also included. Finlay left the summit of Gars-bheinn at the southern end of the ridge at 12 noon and reached the summit of Sgurr nan Gillean at 2.59.22




Ed - Quick summary and a video here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=68413
IainRUK - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: wow.. incredible..
mrchewy - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: Blimey.
john irving - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

Very impressive.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: the only way to describe some people is super human.
mike123 - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: great wee video,a couple of minutes in I shouted through to our lass :"i ve not been to skye for ages . lets go. "
amazing effort.
Gordon Stainforth - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

I must have been amazing for anyone to see him moving at such a fantastic speed on any of the more difficult sections of the ridge.
JayPee630 - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Incredible. Well done doesn't seem to cut it, but... well done!
andymac - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

Thought it wasn't that long since he had already done this.

The boy clearly takes his porridge int morning.

These guys are unreal.and seriously committed



andymac - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

They make it look so effortless

One of the fastest guys I've seen so far ,at the top of a mountain is a guy called Tom Smith.

Arrived at the top of the hill ,not even out of breath.

Actually met his wife yesterday ,who is a hill runner herself
luckyjim - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: Finlay is also a thoroughly decent bloke too..very unassuming! Great effort !
llechwedd - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

phenomenal ! ! !
TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: as i never been anywhere near Skye but very often drooled when looking on from afar, would someone more experienced put this achievement into context for me.
avictimoftheDrpsycho - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to llechwedd:
> (In reply to mountaineer)
>
> phenomenal ! ! !

FINomenal!
llechwedd - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to willexodus:
> (In reply to llechwedd)
> [...]
>
> FINomenal!

Indeed!

Put it in whatever language you like, that is a jawdroppingly fast performance.

Bravo!

andy - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:
> (In reply to mountaineer) as i never been anywhere near Skye but very often drooled when looking on from afar, would someone more experienced put this achievement into context for me.

we went the other way, and were reasonably fit, pretty competent at the grade (all of us mid-e grade climbers) and I think we were just short of 12 hours end to end.

It's jaw-dropping.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to andy: that good then
Wee Davie - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

Jings that's impressive!
Wee Davie - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Skye is like the Alps. There's nothing in Britain to compare to it.
Eric9Points - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

Impressive stuff.

Anyone know what shoes he was wearing?

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IainRUK - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to Eric9Points: Looks like walshes from the video
Nath93 - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: Even as someone who hasn't yet done all the ridge in one go, i know just how much concentration and effort is needed just to traverse sections of the ridge so this is a pretty huge achievement. Big respect to Finlay !

andrew ogilvie - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: Fine effort indeed.
matthew - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:
Sadly, this is all too typical of our young people today. Go out for 3 hours and think they have done a good day's walk! Where is their stamina?
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to matthew: Doesn't even count as a QMD really as its not 5 hours plus...
andymac - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

Walsh PB Racers
mbh - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to matthew:

At least he stuck at it for longer than Steck did on the Eiger.
SteveRi - on 14 Oct 2013
: - ]


...that's the smiley for jaw on floor by the way!
Solaris - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

I believe it, but I find it scarcely believable. And what was it off his previous record - ca. 15 minutes: the total time reduction over the last 20+ years in one attempt! Astonishing and awe-inspiring.
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Solaris: Wasn't his last record set on damp rock? I thought he was a few minutes quicker the day before but forgot a summit, so went back and re-did it just a few minutes slower.

Incredible how many times he's done it. Looked cracking conditions. Wonder if he'll look at the greater traverse because he would smash that now.
Crag Pony - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: A singularly outstanding performance. Well done.
Al Evans on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: Brilliant, just out of interest is he any relation to the great fell runner of my time, John Wild ?
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

We knew this was coming after his last go, of course, but still an awesome effort.

jcm
Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

Gobsmacking; a huge improvement. A very different arena, but comparable in terms of redefining the possible to Bob Beamon's long jump or Michael Johnson's 200m.
Al Evans on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Or indeed Sebastion Coes 800mts and Jonothan Edwards triple jump (still a world record I believe)
Graham Briffett on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
That is astounding! Absolutely fantastic, Finlay!
Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

It maybe says something that three of those four records were eventually broken, and the other is under threat. When somebody raises the bar others respond...
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B: It'll be interesting how long this lasts for. I think it could be a like the Welsh 3000ers when CD lowered it. Its basically had few serious attempts in 20 years now because top runners know its a hell of a record.

Certainly the pool of talent who could get this must be much lower now. The obvious one is KJ, but is he quick enough on this terrain. Its worth noting that FW is a top runner, so aerobically they'd have to be in a very good shape and climb well. Not many will combine that. Plenty of runners climb but most have stepped away from the riskier stuff, which is why they ended up in fell running..

Did Fawcett ever have a go? I'd have thought when he first took up running he'd have stood a chance, not sure how well he was climbing and how soon he started running.
SteveSBlake - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer:

Seeing that kind of pace in the mountains is just staggering, the endurance, agility and confidence required are quite something. In the clip at the end he doesn't seem particulalry cream crackered, in fact I look more stressed driving to work.....

I hope, as the supreme athlete he is, that he's reaping the rewards of his endeavours, y'know the free cars, sponsorship deals, etc....

But then probably not. This is Britain after all!

It would be interesting to know what ripples this makes beyond the UK, is the ridge a well know 'target' internationally? Or is it some hard core esoteric British thing?

Staggered of Newcastle
SteveSBlake - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Ian, You might be able to give this some international perspective? who'se KJ? As a pondering observer I wonder how Steck would perform on something like this, technically way below his limit....

Steve
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johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to SteveSBlake:

>It would be interesting to know what ripples this makes beyond the UK

Those of a midge drowning in the Atlantic on a particularly stormy day, I would imagine. Delighted to be proved wrong, of course.

jcm
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to SteveSBlake:

>who'se KJ?

She won X Factor a couple of years back, I think?

jcm
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to SteveSBlake: http://www.shr.uk.com/LongDistanceRecords.aspx?LongDistanceRecordID=19

When you look at those times.. the first time I went up there it was 3:32 and that seemed impossible. its now almost 35 minutes quicker. Thats a big change.

Rightly though, solo records shouldn't be too well rewarded. There's something British about doing it on your own and saying you did it, have a hand shake and get on with life.

Running is fairly free of unsubstantiated or doubted claims. I know of a few in the states and Australia I think.. so you don't want to encourage that.
SteveSBlake - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I expect you're right John, it's the 'Cuillins' to us, but would probably be a series of low lying spot hieghts in the Alps.

Steve
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to SteveSBlake:

> it's the 'Cuillins' to us

[wince]. It's the Cuillin man FFS.

Even Killian Jornet would have known that. What *did* she sing on X Factor again?

jcm
999thAndy on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to SteveSBlake:

KJ - Kilian Jornet

Another of these uber fit types http://www.climbing.com/news/kilian-jornet-shatters-matterhorn-speed-record/
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

> its now almost 35 minutes quicker. Thats a big change.


Indeed. Suggests either a non-mature record or a Beamon moment. Or a bit of both.

I don't think Fawcett was in the required league as a runner, was he? Being over-qualified on the climbing doesn't help all that much; the climbing side's not about spotting technical moves but picking holds that aren't loose.

jcm
SteveSBlake - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

John,

FO - take KJ and shove her where the sun don't shine.

(ouch)

Steve
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to SteveSBlake: Sorry, Kilian Journet. But KJ is alps based so could recce his routes a lot before going for them, with the Cuillin I doubt he could get to recce it too much.

I'm not sure re Steck...

Steck isn't 'that' running fit is he? which sounds stupid to say but in terms of pure running he doesn't trouble the front of the field. Not to the same level as Wild who is one of the best in Britain. My best time at Jungfrau is a good chunk quicker than Stecks, and Finlay beats me by a good 10 minutes? over a 1:15 race say on Snowdon and 15 at the Ben? Jungfrau is just a very hilly road/trail race to the base of the Eiger North Face, but a good measure of pure fitness.

I'm not sure, but depends if the Cuillin is untechnical enough in places for fitness to matter. This is 30-35 mins quicker than previous good climbers/fit guys have done which suggests being a good runner is a significant advantage. I don't know though. However, as said FW hardly looked shattered after the end so maybe its technical enough that they always comfortable.

The other thing is its so complex that time to recce must be pretty crucial and FW has that advantage. Not sure how much Es reccied it back when he did it, but thought he was Edinburgh based then.
SteveSBlake - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:
> (In reply to SteveSBlake)
>
> KJ - Kilian Jornet
>
> Another of these uber fit types http://www.climbing.com/news/kilian-jornet-shatters-matterhorn-speed-record/

Andy,

Thanks, I recall seeing her sing now. Her elimination was premature and messy.

;-)

Steve
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I don't know re Fawcett. I only knew him as a runner when he was a fit vet 50, is he vet 60 now? He tends to do well in his field but wasn't sure how strong he was when he first started.
SteveSBlake - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Thx Ian.
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

>The other thing is its so complex that time to recce must be pretty crucial

Yes, that must be true. I'm sure I could have cut down my 16 hours or so considerably if only I'd had more practice....

Vaguely interesting to compare the difference between unfit marathon punters and unfit Cuillin punters , actually.

I’d say my 16.5 hours ground to ground was probably the equivalent of about 12 hours top-to-top, perhaps. So FW’s time is 25% of UCP’s.

Whereas an equivalent UMP time would be what – six hours? So real runners can do it in 33% of the time.

I wonder what that tells us. Probably not much.

jcm


petestack - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> Brilliant, just out of interest is he any relation to the great fell runner of my time, John Wild ?

Dunno, but his dad's a BMG and his mum's got a rare sub-1:50 Ben Nevis Race to her name...
Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to petestack:

So do you reckon Finlay can beat the Ben record then Pete? I remember you telling me that changes in the terrain make that a tough ask.
petestack - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B:

Dunno (again, sorry!). Still a lot to take off when he's running c.1:30, but overheard someone at this year's race suggesting he needs someone to push him for it, and have to agree that might help when he won by seven minutes!
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to petestack:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Dunno, but his dad's a BMG and his mum's got a rare sub-1:50 Ben Nevis Race to her name...

I thought it was Roger Wild.. I did a Conville winter skills course with him many years ago..
Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to petestack:

So what are the terrain changes that have made it harder?
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to petestack)
>
> So do you reckon Finlay can beat the Ben record then Pete? I remember you telling me that changes in the terrain make that a tough ask.

I doubt it.. he's pushed in the Snowdon race and is still someway off.. isn't the Ben a Stuart record too? kenny was a step better as a pure runner I'd say.

But again, as Pete says at the time Kenny was pushed, when he set the Snowdon record which has stood for almost 30 years he wasn't even first to the summit.
Al Evans on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) I don't know re Fawcett. I only knew him as a runner when he was a fit vet 50, is he vet 60 now? He tends to do well in his field but wasn't sure how strong he was when he first started.

Ron took up serious running quite late in life, well after he was a superb climber.
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The New NickB - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Technical ground makes any comparison meaningless. You don't have to be very fit to run a marathon at half the speed of the best in the world, you don't have to be very fit to cover the less technical sections of the ridge at half Finlay Wild's speed, but it is how you handle the technical sections that take the time.
Al Evans on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Before your time Iain, but the Kenny Stuart v John Wild battles were a feature of fell running in my time as a competitor, we thought nobody would beat John's times then along comes Kenny. You know I suppose that Kenny was a profesional and had to serve two years off the pro circuit (mostly short races) before he could compete as an amateur. John on the other hand came from the UK marathon team into fell running so his credentials were mostly distance. He did however, the last year he won it, come down the Snowdon Race at sub four minute miling if you believe the distance.
petestack - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> So what are the terrain changes that have made it harder?

Think the consensus might be increasingly loose, blocky ground on the descent line high up and more awkward pitched path building lower down.

IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to petestack: Same for Snowdon, the path is now pitched higher up and badly eroided in a few places.. plus the route has changed slightly, I'd say its a good minute+ slower.. maybe even 2 minutes.
Jamie B - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to petestack:

I've heard a whisper that the lower section of the path will get properly worked on in the latter half of 2015, so that may improve times.

However, in balance I know there to be ongoing discussion between the race organisers and the Nevis partnership with regards to increasingly eroded runner's short-cuts, so it may balance out...
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Aye that's huge if the short cut was lost..

The problem is improved paths often go to these slabby, pitched paths, which aren't quick for running.. there's also a fair few short cuts between the zig zags lower down the path.

I can understand them all being taken out. Its happened in the Snowdon race, but does affect times.
petestack - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> However, in balance I know there to be ongoing discussion between the race organisers and the Nevis partnership with regards to increasingly eroded runner's short-cuts, so it may balance out...

A year or two back we got a questionnaire asking how we'd feel about all kinds of things from following the official path the whole way to finishing in the town (!), and this year's request not to train on the Grassy Bank (aka Green Wall) is still up on the race site.

But, back to Fin's Cuillin traverse, in the proper old sense of an overused word...

Awesome!

Solaris - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
Thanks Iain for your corrections. 35 minutes in 20 years = ca. 15%! Truly amazing.
Nath93 - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: To those wondering if it'll make it past our little Island, Alpinist did an article when Ed Tressider set the record a few years ago. But i doubt the likes of Steck or Jornet would be willing to travel the distance to attempt it. Its such a complex area of terrain that i doubt anyone could beat the record on-sight anyway.

http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP19/newswire-cuillin-ridge-record-tresidder
johncoxmysteriously - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Nath93:

>"some guides have compared its physical challenge—3000 meters of elevation gain and another 3000 in descent—to solos of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, back-to-back."

Have they now? In that case I would suggest that said guides have little idea what they're talking about, but what do I know?

jcm
Nath93 - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: I haven't done either, but maybe the article is referring to those who run the ridge ? I know that i felt physically f*cked after a combination of fast walking and running between the Inn Pinn and Bruach na Frithe, and that took me three and a bit hours.

It is a route of alpine proportion after all.
IainRUK - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Nath93: Is the ascent really 3000-4000m of ascent or ascent and descent? Seen a fair few references give it 12-14000 ft.. seems incredible. I'm not sure if you could map it accurately due to the complexity of the ridge.
Nath93 - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK: The SMC guidebook gives it 4000m of ascent and descent in total if i have picked up the words correctly.

"Ascending and descending 4000m from sea level is no mean feat..."
a lakeland climber on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Nath93:

That *sounds* like it includes the initial ascent of Garsbheinn and the descent down to Sligachan.

ALC
John Lyall on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to mountaineer: Well done Finlay, an amazing time. Even more amazing that your Dad got back down in time to film you returning!
Kevin Woods - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Yeah I measured it pretty accurately once with a very hi-res map (aka the OS one without the black squiggles), I remember the bit Glen Brittle to Gars-bheinn being 1000m or so over the top of Eag first (as an out and back). Gars-bhein to Gillean was close to 3000m ascent.
Michael Gordon - on 14 Oct 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods:
> (In reply to IainRUK) Gars-bhein to Gillean was close to 3000m ascent.

Yes it's down as 10,000ft in Classic Rock.
Graham Briffett on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
I seem to remember when I did it (and had my altimeter logging the total ascent) that it was about 2000m once one the ridge. Maybe just over, but not much from memory. So about 3000m (perhaps just under?) climbing from sea level. 4000m is overestimating it by a long way.

Al Evans on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Nath93)
>
> That *sounds* like it includes the initial ascent of Garsbheinn and the descent down to Sligachan.
>
> ALC

I agree, my initial ascent of Garsbheinn with a hangover was the hardest part of the ridge.
johncoxmysteriously - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Nath93:

Well, I've done the CR. It's a hard day's hillwalking, no question, but not much different from the Welsh 3s, say, maybe easier. Whereas I imagine climbing the Matterhorn and MB back to back would be rather more of an effort than that.

After all FW has done this in three hours. KJ did the Matterhorn in eight minutes quicker (admittedly from the town). I'm guessing that throwing in MB would make it substantially more than three hours for the two, wherever you count the start as being.

Though mind you FW's time is top to top, you need to throw in the walk up and down. So maybe it's not as wildly out as I think.

jcm
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Mike Lates - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK: Accurate measurement of traditional traversing every peak etc along the Ridge (central top of Banachdaich skirted) was 3000m.
Massive hats off to Fin; Gill told me he virtually jumped into An Dorus over them!
Ben.W - on 15 Oct 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:

Did anyone tell Finlay that Dubh Mor isn't actually part of the ridge?????
He'll need to go back and re-run it as he touched too many tops.
Kevin Woods - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to Ben.W: I thought that too - impressive!

And bypassed Da Bheinn initially .... I never thought of that.
IainRUK - on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to Ben.W:
> (In reply to Mike Lates)
>
> Did anyone tell Finlay that Dubh Mor isn't actually part of the ridge?????
> He'll need to go back and re-run it as he touched too many tops.

Its part of the formal record route isnt it? I thought Hyslop formalised the record route?
Jamie B - on 16 Oct 2013
Al Evans on 16 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK: I guess the next target is the Black Cuillin and the Red Cuillin combined?
jazzyjackson on 17 Oct 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Jamie B) >

> Certainly the pool of talent who could get this must be much lower now. The obvious one is KJ, but is he quick enough on this terrain.

Killian would have no problem on this terrain I'm sure! Would be interesting to see his time.
markk - on 19 Oct 2013
wercat on 19 Oct 2013
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

nah,

just means he is the new standard and we are all sub-human!

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