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Munro Round - record attempt

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 steelbru 01 Aug 2020

Wasn't sure whether to put this in Hilltalk or Running............

Donnie Campbell is attempting to beat Stephen Pyke's record for a self-propelled ( run, bike, kayak, no motorised transport ) round of the Munros - Spyke's record is 39 days and 9 hours.

Donnie set off this morning on Mull - up and down Ben More, has now cycled across Mull, kayaked over to Lochaline, and is now cycling up towards GlenFinnan to do the 2 Munros there, then Gulvain, then cycle to Fort William area, ready for a big day tomorrow over the Ben and heading east.

Tracker, with his very ambitious schedule of 33 days https://live.opentracking.co.uk/donniemunro20

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 Andy Hardy 01 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

Good luck to the lad, but surely starting  in August is a big handicap - stalking and midges and shortening daylight hours?

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In reply to steelbru:

Tremendous.

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 Dave Hewitt 01 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

Yes, good luck - will be interesting to see how he gets on. There have been one or two post-Spyke attempts but no one's come close as far as I'm aware. As has already been said, it's quite late to be starting, especially with the shooting season now beginning - Spyke finished on 3 June and Charlie Campbell on 16 July. Plus there might be logistical complications with Covid - outdoor gatherings from five different households is the current status in Scotland so that gives plenty of scope, but car-sharing still isn't allowed as far as I'm aware.

Suspect if all goes well Spyke will offer some help and/or sustenance - I was covering both Charlie Campbell's 2000 attempt and Spyke's in 2010 (was on Ben Hope for both finishes) and Charlie stashed a bottle of malt in the cairn for Spyke while the previous record-holders, Rory Gibson and Andrew Johnston (finished 13 July 1992) did the same for Charlie.

Mind you, as I always tend to say when such attempts are made, it's worth remembering that when Charlie did his fast time in 2000 he swam the three watery bits.

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In reply to Andy Hardy:

Surely midges just minimise the amount and duration of breaks, no?  

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 Andy Hardy 01 Aug 2020
In reply to PPP:

I had always wondered what they were good for...

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 leon 1 01 Aug 2020
 colinakmc 01 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

Gaun yersel’ Donnie, good luck in your venture. I’d come out in support but it’s a certainty I would slow you down nowadays!

Post edited at 19:44
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 Nic Barber 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

I think Dan Duxbery did it about 2 days outside Spyke's time, though he was going for the journey not the record. A few years back. I think he did it a bit earlier in the year - April/May time rings a bell, to fit in between half term and easter holidays - so he also had some snow to deal with.

Spent far too much time today scrolling around that map.

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 Dave Hewitt 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Nic Barber:

> I think Dan Duxbery did it about 2 days outside Spyke's time, though he was going for the journey not the record. A few years back. I think he did it a bit earlier in the year - April/May time rings a bell, to fit in between half term and easter holidays - so he also had some snow to deal with.

Thanks - I'd forgotten about Dan D, apologies. He took 42 days (in 2014), so sort of split the difference between Spyke and Charlie C:

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/features/interview_dan_duxbury_on_his_42_day_munro_round-6379

With Spyke there were also concerns that he might be starting too early - here's his schedule (an amazing thing) and he set off from Mull on 25 April:

http://chris-upson.com/Munros/SpykeMunroSchedule.pdf

As it was, the early start seemed to work in his favour as there was a good spell of spring weather and a lot of runnable snow, but any start in the back end of winter is always going to be a bit of a gamble in those terms. Charlie set off in late May which is perhaps the safest percentage option in the too early / best chances / too late considerations.

When Hamish Brown did his original (and best?!) round in 1974 he set off on 4 April and finished on 24 July - and had a month of near-perfect weather early on, too hot if anything. When I did the watershed in 1987 - at a much slower pace! - I started on 11 April with snow still around but it was early May before I got into the Highlands and late-winter conditions didn't really feature at all. I can't now really remember, but I don't think I ever called for an axe to be sent in the weekly supply drop.

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 ed woods 03 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

Very reluctant to be that guy but... Isn't the summit of Beinn Eibhinn said to be 'the other one'? Looking at the tracker.

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 Kevin Woods 03 Aug 2020
In reply to ed woods:

Can't see which one on the tracker but the east, more obvious, cairn is higher so should be all good. 

http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/mountaindetails.php?qu=S&rf=348

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 GrahamD 03 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

In terms of logistics,  does the bike and or kayak have to be transported around or is it actually possible without that ?

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 ed woods 03 Aug 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

Nice one. Good stuff! I saw it mentioned somewhere once as a common error... My wife and I have long thought we needed to go back (well, she did at least). 

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 steelbru 03 Aug 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> In terms of logistics,  does the bike and or kayak have to be transported around or is it actually possible without that ?

Not sure if I've understood your question....

His support team can have a bike waiting for him at any point, Donnie doesn't need to worry about what happens to the bike whilst he's on the hill, as long as the crew have it ready for him at the point he comes off the hill ( or he might leave it hidden at the bottom of a hill if he can cycle in and out on a track - eg that's what he did at the Glenfinnan 2 on day 1 )

The kayak is only used twice I think - once to get from Mull across to mainland, and the other to get across Loch Lomond either before or after doing Ben Lomond ( haven't looked to see what direction he's doing it ). 

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 GrahamD 03 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

I think you confirmed what I assumed, thanks.  Sounds mental !

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 Nic Barber 04 Aug 2020
In reply to ed woods:

The is also the chance (as I assume with Aonach Mor) that the tracker is attached to his back pack and when moving solo he may dump his pack for small out-and-back sections.

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 65 04 Aug 2020
In reply to Nic Barber:

That is what happened with Aonach Mor. He did note on FB that he’d remember to take it for future out-and-backs.

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 greg_may_ 04 Aug 2020
In reply to steelbru:

Was wandering around the tracker thinking which lines I'd take up a top we're thinking of for tomorrow if the wind dies down.  Wondering if one of the tops are incorrectly indicated?

A' Bhuidheanach (897m) - should this not be marked as A' Bhuidheanach Bheag (936m) which is the Munro? 

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 Jack Frost 04 Aug 2020
In reply to greg_may_:

Good spot...hope the visibility is good enough when he reaches it to see its not the summit. 

Looks like another massive day today in sh1te weather

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In reply to greg_may_:

> A' Bhuidheanach (897m) - should this not be marked as A' Bhuidheanach Bheag (936m) which is the Munro? 

Definitely. I hope he has his GPS file way marked on the correct one! Even in good conditions the Munro summit didn't look too different to the lower summit from the rest of the plateau.

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 Harry Jarvis 04 Aug 2020
In reply to Kalna_kaza:

> Definitely. I hope he has his GPS file way marked on the correct one! Even in good conditions the Munro summit didn't look too different to the lower summit from the rest of the plateau.

I have been in touch with his team and the error appears to be with the people who do the trackers. The error has now been corrected.

Post edited at 14:50
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 greg_may_ 19:51 Tue
In reply to steelbru:

Great, it would be a major shame for that to happen.

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 Nic Barber 08:02 Fri
In reply to steelbru:

Descending to Cairngorm ski car park yesterday, just to re-ascend up to the Ptarmigan first thing this morning - ouch! Wonder what the options would be to avoid that - try and sneak in to the Ptarmigan and kip on the floor there? Add Bynack More on to the end of a long day yesterday and stop at Ford of Avon refuge overnight? Or take a different order with a stop at the refuge.

complaining of tib ant pain/soreness

Post edited at 08:03
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 steelbru 09:11 Fri
In reply to steelbru:

Yeah, spotted that this morning, not sure what the optimum solution was, I'm sure he would have considered a few.

Hopefully he doesn't have any issues at the crossing of the Fords of Avon shortly. After that torrential rain all day Tuesday it would have been doubtful, but hopefully levels have dropped now to a safe level

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 greg_may_ 18:51 Fri
In reply to steelbru:

Should be ok, I was up that way on Wednesday and it had dropped. Raining now mind you...

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 Jack Frost 19:27 Fri
In reply to greg_may_:

I don't know about others but I've been addicted to following the dot this week. I was (and still am) a bit sceptical about his schedule but having watched him over the past 7days I'm starting to believe this might be possible. Really hope his tendon trouble doesn't kybosh it. Go Donnie.

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 Ally 12:24 Sun
In reply to steelbru:

I was on the hill with Donnie on Friday and the tendon wasn't too bad. He was moving really well actually. It's mostly getting aggravated by softer rough terrain, like he had in the day on the west Drummochter hills and Monadhliath. So I imagine the last couple of days have been really shit. He wasn't looking forward to today and tomorrow. Plenty rough ground and a lot of kilometres tomorrow but luckily it's one of the ones he can cut short without adding heaps to the next day.

Rachael took his bike up to the Ptarmigan on Thursday afternoon so he at least didn't need to run down through the ski area. I'd assumed he'd free wheel down to Glenmore then ride out to Bynack Stables in the morning, but maybe going back over the shoulder of Cairngorm is just as quick. He's staying in the campervan every night, no bivvies like Spyke did. The thinking is it allows for higher quality recovery, and he's doing most of it on his own so getting kit carried in would be a faff.

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 steelbru 14:06 Sun
In reply to Ally:

Ally, thanks for the update, great to hear from one of the support team. Fingers crossed for the injury.

Tomorrow does look huge, I think in the interview on here he said it was 80km and 5500m

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