As hill records Tumble ?

Tranters Round.

Many years ago I met the late Blyth Wright who at that time he was one of the “Glenmore Lodge Mafia”. At that time I was very interested in Avalanches having been unfortunately involved in a few. We met fairly often and Blyth was also interested in long hill days. He was a good friend of the late Phil Tranter who was the man behind “Tranters Round in Lochaber”. He told me some great tales of big days like the both Clunnies at Kintail North and South in a day. The RAF Teams were heavily involved in some of the Big Walks across Scotland in the 60’s and 70’s and they were good conversation starters away from the climbing and Avalanche tales. It gave me an insight into these incredible mountain days. Nowadays we have the Ramsay Round an incredible day adding extra Munro’s to Tranters Round . It was great to hear of how some of these days were planned and the simple gear they wore. In the RAF Teams we did some big days to us training but compared to today we only scratched the surface. In the RAF Mountain Rescue we met many of the top fell runners of these early years. In these days there were only a few then. Most were incredible fit runners taking their sport to another level. There were not many about in these days and when I moved to Wales I ran the 14 Peaks a few times saw the growth in running in the mountains. It was the same in the Lakes the Bob Graham Round and others. It opened my eyes to the sport and we often assisted in marshalling some of the races. In these early days there was some criticism of hill running but I always had a huge admiration for those involved in moving fast and light over the mountains.

Phil Tranter photo Blyth Wright

Many will have noticed in the National Media a few recent headlines regarding record breaking runs.

“Ramsay Round record 14h 42m 40s yesterday (solo / unsupported)

Finlay Wild

Ramsay Round.The Ramsay Round, also known as the Charlie Ramsay Round, is a long-distance running challenge near Fort William, Scotland. The route is a circuit of 58 miles, including 24 summits with a total climb of some 28,500ft (8686m). It includes Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest peak, along with 22 other Munros. Originally, all 24 summits on the Ramsay Round were Munros, but Sgorr an Iubhair was reclassified in 1997. The route was devised by Charlie Ramsay as an extension to an existing 24-hour walking route, and first completed by Charlie on July 9, 1978.

Donnie Campbell – 32 Days to do all the Munros !

Donnie Campbell #MunroRound Day 32⁣ 10; Am Faochagach, Cona’ Mheall, Beinn Dearg, Meall nan Ceapraichean, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Seana Bhraigh, Ben More Assynt, Conival, Ben Klibreck, Ben Hope ⁣

⁣Total 282⁣ “ Job Done 31 days 23 hours 2min! #TimeToSleep⁣

⁣Incredible times ?

It was great to hear of how some of these days were planned and the simple gear they wore. In the RAF Teams we did some big days to us training but compared to today we only scratched the surface. In the RAF Mountain Rescue we met many of the top fell runners of these early years. In these days there were only a few then. Most were incredible fit runners taking their sport to another level. There were not many about in these days and when I moved to Wales I ran the 14 Peaks a few times saw the growth in running in the mountains. It was the same in the Lakes the Bob Graham Round and others. It opened my eyes to the sport and we often assisted in marshalling some of the races. In these early days there was some criticism of hill running but I always had a huge admiration for those involved in moving fast and light over the mountains.

Occasionally as in any extreme sport there may be an accident but these were few and most hill runners were so self sufficient you could not help but be impressed by them.

The press rarely understood what was going on and as the records fell mainly to no accolade in the media eventually the sport become a lot more popular. The new media outlets helped increase the popularity of extreme running. Technical days like the Skye ridge are now often run and huge distances Munro’s records are shattered.

What used to be a mainly male sport now is incredibly mixed with great feats done by both sexes. What a great example to all sports! It is a great example.

To watch a runner move fast over the hills is a wonderful sight. I was never much of a runner but managed a few great hill days light and slow over the hills. I often found the best way to run was alone with my dog when I was away from Mountain Rescue. Even at my speed it was the way to travel.Nowadays the gear from the footwear to the clothing is specialised a far cry from these early days. It’s now a popular way to enjoy the mountains with World class events held all over the Uk.

Yet in the past most Highland villages had a hill race of some type many are still going. Many were part of the local Highland games its a sport with history. It’s a sport that has been going for many years and looking back I wonder what Phil Tranter would make of these incredible hill days and times today ? So no matter if it’s just a run up your local hill or some mammoth hill day chasing your dreams. Have a look at the records that are being smashed just now. Times may have improved but the heart and soul of those at all levels who run on the mountains remain the same.

There have been some super books on the subject of Hill running some written recently well worth a read. Safety seems to have improved gone are the days when along with Lochaber MRT we assisted in the Ben Nevis Race a few times in the 70’s having lots of casualties. I remember doing safety cover for the Ben Race, The Cairngorm Race, The Mamores and the Glamaig hill race in Skye. There were many more throughout Scotland.

I envy those who run on the hills now but always think back to those carefree days with the dog. I will continue to read especially nowadays about these incredible running adventures of new feats, times and be amazed at the endurance and fitness of these incredible athletes.

A great read.

Remember that when out alone a broken ankle can stop the fittest. Be careful have some lightweight gear in reserve and tell someone of your plans. Safe running.

Comments as always welcome

Manny Gorman – The Corbett Round.

In my life I have been so lucky to meet some amazing people and Manny Gorman is one of them. I went to a lecture in Boat of Garten near Aviemore and I met Manny he was talking about his incredible trip “The Corbett’s in 70 days. I had met him before on the hill and as hill runner and he is one of its celebrities, they are unassuming men and women with no egos. Today’s sports superstars could learn from these people. “Manny “is of a breed of these unknown athletes, he is a passionate hill runner and he is one of the finest amongst this unique band of people. They are very private people, they are a “family” and this book gives an insight into this incredible sport, their life, the pain, the suffering but the joy of moving fast through wild land.

The Corbett Round

For more information

https://www.ramsaysround.co.uk/

View Post

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-53999465

https://www.fionaoutdoors.co.uk/

‘Feet in the clouds’ by Richard Askwith is a good read too, based around the history and his obsession with fell running.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Books, Corbetts, Corbetts and other hills, Hill running and huge days!, mountain safety, Mountaineering, People, Recomended books and Guides, Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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