/ Greatest elevation gain in a day

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EuanM - on 14 Nov 2017
I've somehow managed to get a place in the Mont Blanc 90km next year.

At over 6000m of elevation gain I'm trying to think of training routes that have the greatest amount of gain.

Thinking multiple Munro days preferably under 25-30 miles.

Mamores round, Ben Lawers and Arrochar alps come to mind.

Any good suggestions for day routes with big elevation gain?

Thanks

Dave Kerr - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:
If you just want big elevation then forget about doing a round as such and do something more like laps. Up a hill, down the other side to the bottom, turn around and back over the top. Repeat until tired.
Post edited at 20:41
Eric9Points - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

You can get a lot of ascent in a fairly short distance in Glencoe.

South side of Glen Etive as well. You could always go up and down Ben Starav 6 times to get 6000m in. .

If you take in some of the hills to the East before the start you'll easily get 10000' out of the North Kintail ridge in about 20 miles.
mbh - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Nowhere near your suggestions, but for a change of scenery you could do the SW coast path from Tintagel to Crackington Haven - 22 miles and 2000 metres ascent.
plyometrics - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Congrats, you lucky bugger!

Entering the Old County Tops Fell Race in May next year would be nice timing and training for the 90km.

It’s 37 miles and takes in 10,000ft of ascent.

Best of luck. Hope you have a great race.
EuanM - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to plyometrics:

Thanks, just pot luck on the draw this time round. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check that out.

Points taken on just doing laps but I find it mentally difficult. At least with a round of route there's an element of exploration to the training.
summo on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

14 peaks North Wales
Grey corries traverse
Cairngorm 5

Easy to boost ascent by just giving away more height between hills than the optimum line does.
EuanM - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to summo:

Good point.

Now to fit all this in while still managing to get a good winter climbing season!
andrew ogilvie - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Not an awful lot of ascent, descent in the grey corries after the ridge is gained. I think the suggestion of Arrochar Alps is a good one if that's what you're after. Fannichs maybe?

I'm not any sort of runner and don't know about your mont blanc event but I think you're in danger of training the wrong thing: if you are considering lapping munros you'd get your 6000m of ascent packed into a much shorter distance than 90km and also end up with 6000m of steep punishing injury provoking descent too.
I'd be tempted to do long approaches returns up valleys to single hills eg A circuit from glen etive over Aonach mor ridge to Stob Gabhar , out to Loch Tulla back to Etive via west highland way, in and out to Ben Alder from Dalwhinnie, over Beinn y Ghlo from bridge of tilt and back down glen tilt, circuit of Loch Lyon taking in as may tops as you like with option always to return to the track round the loch, run out from Milngavie/ Carbeth/Dumgoyne /Drymen along WHW and up Ben Lomond.

Maybe tempted is the wrong word- the spirit is (hypothetically) willing but the flesh is weak (and over represented)
Dave Kerr - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to andrew ogilvie:

Hey Andy,

Most people training for long races with lots of ascent would tend to prioritize height gain over distance. In training and in the race you need to run conservatively on the descents so it shouldn't be pushing on the knees or injury provoking. In fact my experience is that long miles on tracks are more likely to injure.

A 6000m day in training would be excessive though! 6000m might be more like a weekly target for the peak training week before taper. Some might even think that was too much but it depends what the runner wants to achieve and their level.
andrew ogilvie - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Thanks Dave. Trust all is well.
Anyone who had witnessed my appalling asthmatic shuffling earlier this evening would know whose advice should be followed in this respect but in case there's any doubt - I urge you all to listen to Dave
I, for my part, should probably follow Elvis' advice about conversation and action then ( somewhat later) go and do my stob gabhar run myself ( I'd probably do it the other way round). A.O
Kevin Woods - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Skye is a great place for this as long as the weather holds up. Stunning amounts of ascent packed in among the Reds, or then cross to the Black for more. Probably more here so consistently than anywhere else I can think of.
Aly - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

The Kinder Killer is a fun route if you are near the peak, just over 2500m and about 25 miles if I remember correctly. Takes about 6 hours? but you could do a double lap
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Just pick an area and instead of following ridges between summis, go across the grain, ie from one ridge descend to the valley, up to the next ridge, etc.
South of the border somewhere like the Howgills is ideal for this, there are bound to be suitable areas in Scotland.
Dave Kerr - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> Just pick an area and instead of following ridges between summis, go across the grain, ie from one ridge descend to the valley, up to the next ridge, etc.

> South of the border somewhere like the Howgills is ideal for this, there are bound to be suitable areas in Scotland.

The Howgills race last April packed in a huge amount of climbing by doing just that.
Wonrek - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

In addition to any hill training you do I would *strongly* recommend you get yourself to a gym and jump on a strairmaster and don't get off that until it's race week!

Seriously, I was given his piece of advice a few years ago whilst I was training for UTMB and in addition to getting lots of off road training done on the coast path (another vote for the SW coast path) this was the most valuable thing I did. I don't know the route of MDMB but I know that UTMB had climbs that dragged steeply upwards for coming up to three hours, nothing in the UK can prepare you for that.

I've kept the stairmaster well and truly at the heart of my training programme and in addition to the benefits during a race I've also found that post race my quads are less of an issue and I can takle the starts straight on instead of the two day sideways crab action post race
Tom Last - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to mbh:

Is that really 22 miles? There and back?
mbh - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Tom Last:

Ah, you're right of course - it's there and back. I've walked but not run that section beyond Boscastle. I've done from Port Isaac to to Tintagel and back. At about 18 miles with over 4000 ft ascent, that was hard enough.
EuanM - on 15 Nov 2017
In reply to Wonrek:

Thanks for the advice, I wouldn't have considered that.

Did you enjoy UTMB?
MB42 - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Round of glencoe a la Pete Duggan (www.petestack.com/running/glencoe.html). 19 miles, ~4800m of ascent, and a brilliant route.

I did it the opposite way round so I could scramble up curved ridge, plus the run down the ridge to the devils staircase is more fun than trying to skittle down the claichaig gully path or the SnF descent. The only thing is care needed to get the most direct descent gully off Stob na Broige (just S of the summit about 860m I think, can check if needed), though you could head back to the path to the N if preferred. Probably my favourite day out in the mountains, the day I did it included sun, rain, wind, hail, and a brockenspectre!
yorkshireman - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

Congratulations, I failed to get in but I did most of it (70km - I really suffered from dehyration) this year.

The height gain is pretty brutal for a 'shortish' ultra and the climbs come packed close together with a couple of steep 1000m climbs one after another (and the corresponding descent) in the first half of the race.

I think the biggest challenge training outside the major mountains is you won't get the long interrupted sustained climbs in. Climbing for 2-3 hours, followed by an hour of continuous descent is something you ideally need to be ready for. That doesn't help you much, but I would suggest focusing on as much continuous ascent and descent as you can rather than lots of little up/downs as although this will feel hard and you might get the accumulated total under your belt, you're giving muscle groups a chance to rest and switching up/down regularly stops the real fatigue you get on the big climbs from setting in.

That said, do what works for you and enjoy what is a magnificent event - best of luck!

Wonrek - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:

I preferred TDS, more technical underfoot and less congested not to mention easier to get a place in! All the excitement of the 'headline' race but a much finer course. It's even got a harder grading on the website.

PTL for me next......that is frikkin scary!

drunken monkey - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to Wonrek:

TDS is on my bucket list. Got a place for Highland Fling again in 2018 - fancy Devil of the Highlands as well. Hopefully that'll give me enough UTMB points for something in 2019......
gavmac on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to EuanM:
Good luck! Also have my entry confirmed, so following this thread with interest

It's also dawning on me how much training I have to do.

Some good input already. North and South Glen Shiel makes for a great day, Glencoe- variations of the skyline route, the Torridon hills- all the Munros + Being Dearg thrown in. Just some ideas.
Post edited at 15:38
yorkshireman - on 16 Nov 2017
In reply to drunken monkey:

> TDS is on my bucket list. Got a place for Highland Fling again in 2018 - fancy Devil of the Highlands as well. Hopefully that'll give me enough UTMB points for something in 2019......

I’m tempted to apply for TDS next year too especially after reading Wonrek’s comments. I enjoyed CCC this year and am still deciding on a late summer race (considering the Échappée Belle).

Ste Brom - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to Wonrek:

You sound passionate enough for me to seriously consider it for the lavaredo.
drolex - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

There used to be a race on Shining Tor like this, I don't know if it's still a thing: http://www.thehillultra.com/

Sounds like a fairly miserable experience
Dave Kerr - on 17 Nov 2017
In reply to drolex:

Grim!
Wonrek - on 14:32 Tue
In reply to Ste Brom:

Definitely apply for TDS! It might not have the same level of bragging rights to the masses but believe me it has more interesting trail, less crowds and much fiercer climbs than UTMB.

All the bigh climbs on UTMB are switchback trails but TDS......you just go straight up and boy do they save the best climb for last, oh boy do they ever!

Funny thing when I was there this year, start off in great summer alpine conditions but the last eight hours or so were heavy rain, going up the last climb in slotted behind a biggish group and just hung on using them to pace me to the top. On the descent though which was again straight down the path had turned to a muddy river and the group were all hanging on to me as I was the person able to find the best foot placements in the mud and stay upright!

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