History (2)

Record number of Munros climbed within 24 hours

In June 1988 Jon Broxap from Kendal in Cumbria, keeper of records for the Fell Runners Association (FRA), and 3rd successful finisher of Ramsay’s Round, looked at the possibility of climbing as many of the Munros within the Glen Affric and surrounding area within 24 hours, 32 in total.

Glen Affric and the surrounding area
Glen Affric and the surrounding area

He set out with a very strong support team and managed to complete a round of 28 Munros from within that area in an amazing time of 23 hours and 20 minutes, covering 77 miles with 33,300 feet of ascent.

In 1989 this record was equalled in Lochaber by Adrian Belton’s extension of Ramsay’s Round.

In 1997 following the revision of the Munros’ tables, Sgurr Na Carnach, one of the summits that Jon visited during his journey, was upgraded to Munro Status. Sgorr an Iubhair on the Mamores lost its Munro status, consequently reducing Adrian’s record to 27, and making Jon a record holder for the most amount of Munros climbed in a single day: 29 in total.

When and who will manage to visit 30 or 30+ Munros in a single day?

Cairngorm Munros

Cairngorm Munros

Also known as the “Mark Rigby Round” (Mark is No 5 on Ramsay’s Round); this seems like a classic 24-hour challenge to rival anything in the west. A round of the 17 Cairngorm Munros (this is the pre-1997 figure, as there is now an 18th Munro – Sgorr an Lochain Uaine) was recorded by Mark Rigby on 24-25th July 1988. Starting and finishing at Cairngorm Youth Hostel, he went round in an anti-clockwise circuit with Braeriach first and Cairngorm last. The route is approximately 75 miles (19,500 feet of ascent).

A classic alternative to Lochaber if the West Coast weather forecast is not favourable.

Successful Munroists

In 1991 Charlie completed the task of successfully climbing all of the 284 Munro’s in Scotland, his last one being Sgurr nan Gillean on the Cuillin ridge in Skye. In so doing he is listed in the Scottish Mountaineering Club’s list of finishers as Number 1003. To date there are over 10 000 successful completions listed on their records.

The Skye Bridge

Carnethy Hill Running Club

Carnethy Hill Running Club

Charlie is currently a member of Carnethy H R C. In October 2013 he was awarded Honorary Life Membership for his services and contribution to Scottish Hill Running.

Carnethy is one of the UK’s premier hill running clubs, and is certainly the largest of its kind in Scotland, with a very wide ranging membership of hill runners of all categories.

Safety Cairns on the summit Plateau of Ben Nevis

Nearly one hundred and sixty thousand visitors are attracted annually to the challenge of negotiating the 1344 metres climb to the summit of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain.The majority favoring the infamous Mountain Track which leads from Achintee farm or Glen Nevis.

In the summer of 2008 Upland Contracts Ltd and Highland Conservation Ltd were tasked by Nevis Partnership to erect 20 Cairns approximately 1.5 metres high, set at approx 50 metres apart on the main track leading from the 1200 metre shelter to the summit 1344 metres of Ben Nevis.

Their main purpose was to facilitate route finding across the plateau safely onto the summit and back to the zig zags on the main track, especially during poor weather such as mist, deep snow, darkness or even white out conditions.

Similar cairns were also constructed at the top three corners of the zig zags, for the same reasons.

Summit of Ben Nevis

Cairns showing the path to the top of Ben Nevis

Cairn at the top of the Zig Zags

Poor navigation or visibility could lead to straying off the correct navigational line and heading towards the cliffs on the North Face
Summit from North Face
The mountain track within that section of the mountain has also been upgraded, that task was completed by Students from Lochaber College in Fort William.
Upgraded mountain track
This work was completed, often in appalling weather conditions has proved to be a success story and is fully appreciated by those on the last stages of their ascent and at the beginning of their descent off the Ben.Nevis Partnership should be applauded for bringing this very worthwhile project to a successful conclusion.

Friends of Nevis

Volunteers working on Ben Nevis Mountain Path
photo supplied by Diana Strausa

Friends of Nevis have planned a series of volunteering weekends for 2012. The objective being to allow people of all ages to have an opportunity to do some environmental improvement voluntary work on Ben Nevis and the surrounding area.

ALL equipment, supervision, guidance and training will be provided as appropriate. Also refreshments and Good Company promised!

FREE ACCOMMODATION available at the Ben Nevis Inn Bunkhouse, Achintee, for the first of these weekends, any/all nights! Hopefully, a similar offer will be made available for subsequent weekends.

Planned activities will include:

  • Tree and scrub clearance in Lower Glen Nevis (old curling ponds area)
  • Path maintenance/repairs on Glen/Ben tracks (not high level)
  • Volunteer/subscribers get together and meeting
  • The return of the popular Glen Nevis Spring Litter Blitz
  • Ben Nevis litter sweeps/cairn maintenance

For further details and to secure a booking / accommodation please contact Anna Trafford, Friends of Nevis Co-ordinator.
See Useful Contacts page No 16 Friends of Nevis

Donations to Friends of Nevis

Friends of Nevis donations point

Visitors to Lochaber can contribute to the ongoing development work in and around the Glen Nevis area by leaving a donation in the newly established donation points located at the foot of the Ben or at the Ben Nevis Inn.

Nevis Partnership publishes new book

Nevis Partnership publishes new bookThe Nevis Partnership is delighted to announce the publication of its new book Nevis – The Ben and the Glen. It has been produced as part of the ongoing Glen Nevis Sense of Place project, funded in large part by the European Regional Development fund with support by Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

This attractive book covers the history, geology and geography of the area, as well as exploring aspects of the Ben’s impact on the local community and visitors today. The text is supported with clear and informative diagrams/maps with some excellent photographs – all in all an ideal book for anyone with even a passing interest in Britain’s highest mountain.

Nevis – The Ben and the Glen is already available from several local and national outlets priced at £7 95 All proceeds from sales will be donated to Friends of Nevis to facilitate their ongoing efforts to maintain and protect the Nevis area

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team

Lochaber Mountain Rescue HQ

The team operates within all sections of Ramsay’s Round and beyond. They provide all year rescue for climbers and walkers who get into difficulty on these hills. They are a group of volunteer mountaineers who rely entirely on public donations to enable their continued provision of ongoing training and resourcing of this invaluable emergency rescue service.

Lochaber PoliceRescue Helicopter

Ambulance

They operate from their recently newly opened headquarters within Claggan Estate in Fort William.

The Team provides assistance to a variety of people who go into the hills including walkers, climbers, skiers, para gliders and even mountain bikers.

The Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Presentation of the Queens Award for Voluntary ServiceThe team was recently nominated for The Queens Award for Voluntary Service, by John Hutchison of the John Muir Trust and Nevis Partnership, a local summer mountain leader. (left of picture)

On the 27th of July 2013 the Award was presented to  Donald Paterson, Deputy Leader, ( second right ) on behalf of the Team by Lord Lieutenant Donald Cameron of Lochiel (centre) at their new premises in Fort William, for their tireless services to Mountain Rescue  in  all  conditions,  all year round, within the Lochaber area.

The Team works closely with other agencies including the police and both Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Search & Rescue Services.

Mountain Rescue Services

Mountain Rescue Services

Last February 2012, Whilst walking with a couple of friends along the ridge that links Ben Cruachan to Stob Diamh in perfect winter conditions I slipped on some very hard snow and fell down a gully for 50 metres before hitting a boulder with my chest and eventually coming to a final stop.
Apart from the pain, I tried to climb back on track, until it was decided that it was not wise for me to continue.

We decided to call the emergency services, Oban M R T and dig in awaiting their arrival; we were lucky to get a phone signal and get through 1st time and leave a map bearing based on our G P S.

Because of the low cloud base 600 metres the use of a rescue helicopter was ruled out, therefore it was up to the ground crew. The team used a new piece of software that enables a person to be located via their smartphone. This worked and we were eventually found on steep snowy and exposed terrain on the north side of Cruachan ridge.

The total waiting time from call to team arrival was a little under 2 hours.

We were all in shelter bags with additional clothing layers on, we had lots of food and warm drinks, and therefore apart from my chest pains were all as warm as toast and comfortable.

When the team arrived they were immediately firing on all cylinders getting me assessed and stable whilst digging an escape platform to facilitate our exit.

I had to walk assisted by all sorts of safety equipment to a more suitable area of the hill, there I was placed in a Hamish MacInnes Mk 7 stretcher, with an excellent team effort I was comfortably taken off the hill very quickly, transferred into a waiting ambulance then onwards to Oban hospital A & E dept. Following a full examination and excellent treatment it was revealed that I had 3 broken ribs on my left side.

When going to the hills in winter, the key messages are

  • Be mindful that a momentary mistake on the hill can ruin the happiness of a lifetime and sometime finish it
  • One must be fully equipped and clad, plus know how to use all equipment worn or carried to ensure your own safety.
  • Have available the resources to summon assistance.
  • Have available the resources to stay warm comfortable to sustain life.
  • Appreciate that Mountain Rescue Teams are primarily made up of volunteers who give up their time and expertise to assist those on the hill who use the hills for their own recreation and pleasure. They rely heavily on donations and sponsorship to acquire equipment, training on-going training and development all with your safety, rescue and recovery as their guiding principles.

Alternative Running / Walking Challenges within Lochaber has moved.