It's a classic climbs charity challenge that raised over £2500 for mountain rescue in 2013, its first year. This year the people behind Bix Hex hope to double that, so to help reach this target they've introduced a new, more achievable version.
The Big Hex Challenge is a fundraising drive on behalf of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland (MRCofS). First done last year (see article here), the original rules of the challenge were to climb and descend six honest old fashioned classic routes on three Scottish Mountains within either a 36 hour, 48 hour or 72 hour period. It sounds simple, if not exactly easy, yet the vagaries of the Scottish weather would always have the potential to stop attempts in their tracks.
Discussion on the UKH and UKC forums hinted at a popular appetite for someting a little more achievable, so in response the organisers have introduced a new 'recreational' category for the Big Hex Climbing Challenge 2014.
Site user Bobby Motherwell, one of the originators of the idea, explains:
'The recreational category will allow climbers to do the Big Hex challenge within their own timescale rather than the current 36, 48 and 72 hour category. This means that a party can register with us, agree to raise a minimum £250.00 for MRCofS and arrange to do all of the routes in the Big Hex Challenge at their leisure and at a time to suit themselves.'
'To maintain a degree of competition, the time taken to ascend and descend each route should be measured in exactly the same way any of the other categories are measured from each of the start/finish points on each mountain range. These are Ben Nevis - North Face Car Park, Buachaille Etive Mor - Lagangarbh, and Skye Cuillin - The Sligachan Inn.'
The purpose of Big Hex is twofold: to raise funds for MRCofS and to provide a fun challenge for climbers on some of Scotland's best mountain routes.
'We think this new category will be popular with those who may find it difficult to organise a team for a particular time slot' says Bobby.
'It also allows teams to pick a weather window that suits their attempt at each part of the challenge. Having completed the first attempt last year, I know only too well the challenges involved in organising teams and dates which suit everyone and also the effect the weather can have on attempts; the Creag Dhont MC's valiant attempt last year in wet conditions is a perfect example.'
'We will be retaining the other 3 categories for those who are looking for the ultimate climbing challenge, but we feel that this Recreational category will be a valuable addition to Big Hex.'
Big Hex relies entirely on climbers taking part and spreading the word. As a voluntary organisation with limited resources they're looking for assistance to help promote and organise the challenge. Drop him an email, Bobby says.
'Let's give something back to Mountain Rescue, the guys who put their life on the line to save and assist climbers and walkers when we sorely need them.'
This is the highlands. The weather can always throw a spanner in the works
UKC News, May 2014
© Bobby Motherwell