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The Caledonian Challenge in 21 hrs

The Caledonian Challenge in 21 hrs

Postby clivew » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:01 pm

Date walked: 15/06/2013

Time taken: 1 day

Distance: 87 km

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This report is intended for my walk diary and although not a true long distance walk 54 miles in less than 24 hours is not a short walk either. The team trained very hard for months before the walk as some of the guys had never climbed a Munro in their lives so we were out in all sorts of wind and weather during the longets winter on record.
The day before the walk we all headed for Fort William for our Friday night briefing from the organisers, the event itself is very well organised as it needs to be for the large number of participants. After our briefing we enjoyed a meal and a few beers along with our support team at the Ben Nevis Inn. We were up early the next morning and headed for the start point on the Caledonian Canal 10 miles out of Fort William, the start was staggered from 06.00 hrs to 09.00 hrs thankfully we were on the later start at 09.00.

The team at the start of the walk

The walk got under way dead on time and the 100's of walkers heasded along the caledonian canal on the first leg of the walk towards Glen Nevis and our first meal break, thankfully the weather was fine with sunshine and a light breeze, perfect walking weather.
The walk gets under way along the Caledonian canal

It took the team about 2.30 hours to reach the first check point and after a well cooked burger from our support team and a well earned drink we were soon back on the road towards Kinlochleven, the weather had warmed up considerably by now so the pull up from Glen Nevis was warm work.
the climb up frpm Glen Nevis towards Kinlochleven

Its 13 miles from Glen Nevis to Kinlochleven most of it fairly flat once you climb out of Glen Nevis; the weather stayed warm all the way across to Kinlochleven and we stayed pretty much together all the way across to our next meal break in the car park by the ice house. This leg of the walk took just over 4 hours and we enjoyed a longer break at Kinlochleven before heading off up over the mountains to the devils staircase and on down into Glen Coe. This was the only wet part of the walk but by the time we had reached Glen Coe it had cleared up and was looking good for the evening. The next stop off point was at the Glen Coe ski centre a distance of 11 miles from Kinlochleven, the part of the walk along past the Kings House Hotel seemed to go on for ever and it was another 4 hour leg. We again enjoyed some hot food and dring at the Ski centre our support team did us proud. it was almost midnight before we left Glen Coe and it was just about dark as we headed of towards Ranoch Moor for the overnight section of the walk.
Thankfully the moon was shining and the weather was good but its a long trek across Ranoch Moor in the dark to Inveroran 8 miles away, this ection took us under 3 hours and again we stayed together as a team most of the way across.
The last leg of the walk is from Inveroran across the ridge and dopwn into Bridge of Orchy and then the long walk along the fairly flat track to the finish at Strathfillan 3 miles south of Tyndrum, this leg was 13 miles but it seemed much longer. By now the team was starting to spread out and the blisters were starting to take their toll on some of the team. We were all tired as well and that along with the midges that were starting to bite meant that we decided to make our own way to the finish rather than try and stay together' my walking partner and I finished the walk in 21 hours 16 minutes inclusive of all stops en route. The rest of the guys crossed the line in one's and two's over the next hour or so nuring a few blisters and damaged ligaments but everyone very proud of themselves for finishing the Caledonian Challenge.
Colin crosses the line with a smile

Martin and Billy approach the finish line

A well deserved smile from Billy and Martin

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Mountain Walker
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Joined: Jul 11, 2010
Location: Edinburgh

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