Any plans for the Longest day on the hills? Tranters Round !

With the long summer nights and long daylight this is the time of year for the keen runners and walkers. There will be a few out on these the “Longest days” getting these marathon days in. Scotland abounds in great challenges with huge ridge walks and combinations over the years made up by walkers and runners.

Phillip Tranter

In June 1964 Philip Tranter son of the author Nigel Tranter was the first to cover all of these mountains in a single trip, taking in the Mamores 11 now 10 Munros, Grey Corries Munros, the Aonachs 2 Munros, Carn Mor Dearg 1 Munro culminating on Ben Nevis 1 Munro. Tranters Round involves a journey of 36 miles with 20,600 feet of ascent; it has been successfully completed many times in recent years. 

This route was Philip Tranter’s original 24 hour concept of climbing all 19 Munros (Now 18) surrounding Glen Nevis, The Mamores, The Grey Corries, The Aonachs and Ben Nevis and was first completed in June 1964.

It has been added to Ramsays Round and more Munros put on it. The route was later extended by Charlie Ramsay to create a challenge comparable to Lakeland’s Bob Graham. But as a sub-24-hour goal the original Tranter remains a formidable round, including four of Scotland’s 4000-foot peaks and sections that become mountaineering terrain in winter conditions. To qualify as a winter round it has to be done in the winter months, but of arguably greater importance to the spirit is the presence of true winter conditions on the ground. Helen and Finlay’s recent efforts very much ticked that box.

So many to pick from depending on what you want.

Tranters Round was always a favourite in the old days. A big day superseded by so many others. Gear is better lighter as are the maps and Gps but there is so much to enjoy. Worth planning a day and see what happens. Enjoy .

This is the time of year to just of the weather is good go and try a long day that day can be whatever you want.

Tranters –

Mullach Nan Coirean
Stob Ban
Sgurr A Mhaim
Am Bodach
Stob Coire a`Chairn
An Gearanach
Na Gruagaichean
Binnein Mor
Binnein Beag
Sgurr Eilde Mor
Stob Ban
Stob Choire Claurigh
Stob Coire an Laoigh
Sgurr Choinnich Mhor
Aonach Beag
Aonach Mor
Carn Mor Dearg
Ben Nevis
Achriabhach Glen Nevis

There are so many days so let’s hope the weather holds for the Longest Day.

Philip Tranter was a hero of mine and I tried to climb many of his routes. He died in 1968 on his way back from the Alps in a motor bike crash. Scotland lost one of its finest mountaineers.

A great friend of Blyth Wright (RIP) who told me of this legend and some of the great hill days he put together with Tranter. I had done the 4 big Traverses of Scotland N- S, S- N, W- E,|& E – W and got a bug for big hill-days. This was one of the ways we trained and still do in the RAF MRT. I had tried once before to complete the Tranters Round with the late Keith Powell in 1985 and we got caught out by poor weather AND TOO MUCH KIT as we descended the no man’s land from Sgurr Eilde Mhor to Stob Ban. We gave up on the summit of Stob Ban and descended back to the midges in Glen Nevis, WE CARRIED TOO MUCH AND WENT OFF FAR TO FAST AT THE BEGINNING. I was also accompanied with my dog Teallach. Two year later with just my dog as company I managed the Round fairly lightweight on my own.

It was a great day and the Mamores were run in good time and on thisattemt there was great weather and I had recce the route. The hills flowed that day, I had trained hard and had the right kit, the mind was right. 

I was very fit for me and knew the route intimately by then. Of course there were times when I had lots of pain on the Grey Corries was very hard but a second wind and I had one of the finest days of my life. The dog kept me going and he knew something was on after the first 12 hours. I managed the day in 23 hrs and the only problem was the descent back off the Ben, my knees really hurt. I took a few photos and got a walker to take the photos at the end near the summit of the Ben. These are incredible days and managed a few of them when I was younger. I did enjoy the Kintail Traverse and managed that twice both sides of the Cluannie the hard bit is getting to the road and keeping going. It was a bit special coming off to the Cluannie and driving home, no one about unlike the top of Ben Nevis which is always busy. 

There are lots of great days in Scotland and I trained a bit by doing some of Scotland’s great hill days before these big days; The South Cluannie, The complete Fannichs, An Teallach and the Fisherfield 6/5 Now, The Cairngorm big 4 & 3 (Munros change)  The Torridon Trilogy was always my favourite. 

I was extremely lucky having so many great friends in the RAF who went along with my plans and those who did not all got a great day out. 

Many still talk about some of these days these were incredible days. . Lots of great days and I struggle to do a couple of hills nowadays but it is great to see those enjoying these great places and moving on these wonderful mountains when young and fit. It is wonderful to travel light and be fit enough to enjoy these great places – go on get out there and go for it.  

You will never forget them!

Philip Tranter and three friends drove a Land Rover 6,000 miles overland from Scotland to Nuristan to explore some of the unknown Central Hindu Kush area. They set out to attempt the second ascent of the monstrous Koh-i-Krebek (20,500 feet) by a new route from the south; to ascend if possible at least one other major unclimbed mountain and to map that previously unmapped terrain.
In fact, as well as Krebek they climbed nine other major peaks, named another dozen, and established the existence of a dramatic rock and ice range which they called the Rum Mountains, and christened individually after the Hebridean peaks they resembled in shape and beauty.
The story of the expedition is told with an infectious enthusiasm for the glory and challenge of these mysterious peaks, most of which had been hitherto quite unknown, and there is something akin to the Renaissance spirit of adventure in this exhilarating Scottish expedition of discovery to the roof of Asia.

“Drink it all in!

A man’s/ women’s best moments seem to go by before he notices them: and he spends a large part of his life reaching back for them, like a runner waiting for a baton that will never come.”

Any plans ?

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 when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Friends, Hill running and huge days!, Mountaineering, Recomended books and Guides, Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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