The Big Hex Challenge – All you climbers out there, fancy a bit of adventure? It is for a great cause!

The Mountain Rescue Teams have been busy this winter and the Media has been following closely many of the Rescues and the stories all over Scotland.. The Mountain Rescue teams need your help and one of the ways of raising money is The Big Hex Challenge. Do you fancy something different and a way of helping a great organisation.

Big Hex Logo

Please read and share if possible. What a grand adventure!

My advice is to take it easy and enjoy it, in the end the time does not matter, its about being in these magic places  and enjoying the route. Safe climbing  these classic routes are great and drive safely between routes. There is a good article on the Challenge on the UKC climbing Forum where many questions are answered.

Any comments welcome.


Tower Ridge! Fun and games!

Tower Ridge! Fun and games!


To complete the Big Hex Challenge, you have to ascend and descend three classic mountain ranges via specific routes. These routes are generally accepted classic mountain outings. The routes provide moderate scrambling and in some cases require rope skills to ascend or abseil. Routes should be climbed over a 36 hour start and finish period, and the timing of each ascent and descent will be governed by agreed start and finish points on each route. The cumulative times for each route will be added to give a total overall attempt time.

All attempts must be carried out by at least a party of 2, carrying an approved set of equipment to complete the task, and times for completion will be determined when both parties complete each route.

The routes are on the following mountains:

  • Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe
    • The Northern Cuillin, Isle of Skye
    • Ben Nevis, Fort William

Ben Nevis, Fort William

2010 Tower Ridge classic

2010 Tower Ridge classic RAF MRT

Ascent North East Buttress 300 metres (1892 Sept) J, E, B, & C Hopkinson Very Difficult ***
Start Point The North Face Car Park
Descent Tower Ridge 600 metres  1892 Sept) J, E, B & C Hopkinson Difficult ****
Finish Point The North Face Car Park Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe


Ascent North Buttress (West Route) 300 metres (1895 July) W Brown, Rose, W Tough

North Buttress

North Buttress

Moderate *
Start Point Lagangarbh (222 560) SMC Hut Just over the River Coupall opposite Altnafeadh on the A82 road
Descent Curved Ridge 240 metres GB Gibbs Moderate **
Finish Point Lagangarbh (222 560) SMC Hut Just over the River Coupall opposite Altnafeadh on the A82 road

The Northern Cuillin, Isle of Skye

Abseil on Pinacle Ridge Skye

Abseil on Pinnacle Ridge Skye

Ascent Pinnacle Ridge (1880) C and L Pilkington Difficult **
Start Point The Sligachan Hotel
Descent West Ridge (Sgurr Nan Gillean) and Coire a’ Bhasteir (Unknown) Moderate **
Finish Point The Sligachan Hotel


To post the best cumulative time you can over the ascent and descent of the three mountain ranges. Each party of competitors will register with Big Hex and be allocated an attempt date mutually acceptable to all parties. This date will provide the “window” when they can make their attempt.

There will be a maximum number of 4 parties allocated the same attempt date.

Upon registration, each participant will pay the registration fee of £20.00 and commit to payment of a further £230.00 sponsorship fee upon completion of the Big Hex Challenge. Participants wishing to contribute more are welcome to do so, and those wishing to contribute to other charities are also welcome to do so.

Every attempt date and completion date and time will be logged on the “Wall of Fame”, and each participating team will be able to post photographs and messages of thanks to their sponsors on the Big Hex website. Completionists will also receive a commerative certificate and the opportunity to purchase an “I’ve done Big Hex” T shirt.


Simply contact us at and provide us with the following:

  1. Confirm the number of participants in your party.
  2. Confirm the names and contact email address for each member to allow us to contact them.
  3. Confirm what your preferred dates would be to participate.
  4. Confirm the “name” of your team(s).
  5. Confirm that you intend to raise a minimum of £250 per team for the MRCofS.
  6. Sign the Big Hex Disclaimer.
  7. Send us a deposit of £20.00 as a cheque made payable to the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland orconfirm your Just Giving page to us to show that the deposit has been credited to MRC of S.

We will then confirm a mutually agreed date to commence the challenge (weather permitting, should weather conditions result in postponement of the agreed date, a mutually agreed alternative date will be agreed), and enter your teams name and details into our “Entrants Dates” page to let everyone know that you are up for the Big Hex Challenge.

Good Luck and thanks a million for committing to a great cause and a fun event!

“Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams are proud to provide a world-class voluntary search and rescue service 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year” says Jonathan Hart, Ex Chair of Scottish Mountain Rescue (MRCofS). 

“I am deeply grateful to all of the teams and other partner responders who continue to provide a vital public service for Scotland’s local communities. The support of the Big Hex challenge is a most welcome source of fundraising as it comes direclty from the Scottish climbing, scrambling and hill walking community, and enables folks to raise funds whilst they are out doing what they enjoy and revelling in the great Scottish outdoors.”

“Every little bit helps. It costs about £40-50K a year to maintain an active Scottish MR team. We do get support from the Scottish Government (for which we’re grateful): it’s a grant contribution of £312K against annual running costs of approx £1M nationally for our 27 teams. In addition we need support to fund our National coordination functions and all donations are very warmly welcomed.”

“After a winter of bad press re mountain safety and access issues in the Scottish mountains the Big Hex Challenge is a great antidote to all that negativity, and a celebration of getting out there, doing it, and raising cash for Scottish MR. Fabulous…bring it on!”


About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Charity, Friends, Mountain rescue, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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