Spyke sets new record for climbing all the Munros

Starting on Sunday 25th April 2010 with Ben More on Mull, Stephen Pyke (aka Spyke) set himself the challenge of climbing all Scotland's 3,000 ft hills, better known as the Munros, in a continuous round under his own steam - on foot, by bike and paddling a kayak.

On 3rd June, just 39 days 9 hours and 6 minutes later, Spyke touched the summit cairn on Ben Hope in Sutherland to complete the fastest round of the Munros. The previous record was 48 days 12 hours set by Charlie Campbell in 2000.

Spyke is keen that his journey through the Highlands can inspire and encourage people to join the John Muir Trust – the UK’s leading wild lands charity. Please take time to read more about the JMT and even if you decide not to join you can support their valuable work by donating to the Trust at the following Just Giving Page.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 35 Torridon

Somewhat tardy start this morning despite having breakfast provided by Steve, the hostel warden, the change in routine seems to make everything more difficult to find, are we actually excepting living in a big tin box as the norm?,Oh dear!!!
A huge thanks for the cheery welcome, and support from Steve and the hostel manager Mat, they make a great team, they are outdoor people so are aware of what Spyke was about, no need for the usual explanations about the round.
Yesterdays rain persisted into this morning and would fall through-out the day, together with sporadic low cloud not a great day to be traversing miles of loose slippy boulders.
Spyke cycled through Torridon village, then with Swatts as company set about the awesome threesome which make up the Torridons, there being some consolation, six munros are the reward for traverse.
Swatts returned to the van after completing Beinn Alligan and Liathach, his troublesome ankle looking really swollen and painful, Spyke soldiered on over Bheinn Eighe, with his now reliable burst of energy later in the day, arriving at the carpark about 21.00.
Tom Brunt, and Ian Dark Peak(I just know that's not his proper name) had turned up during the afternoon, so there is much discussion on the best way to tackle the next two days in Fisherfield and the Fanniachs. Tom was happy to leave for Dundonnel spend the night there, then haul overnight gear into Shenavall bothy to meet Spyke on the route around lunchtime, that done, we settle down for an early night in yet another carpark.
ps My cuckoo thing is still on a streak, heard at least three today, also saw what I think was a Red Kite whilst on a 50 miles round trip to the shops.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 34 Achnashellach

Spyke departs, from a somewhat gloomy campsite(car park) on his mountain bike for the lengthy haul up the forestry road in Allt a' Chonais, to do out and back ascents, of Moruisg and Maolie Lunndaith. He returns down the track and cycles on to Achnashallach station, then following a change, and refuel he sets off for Torridon over the three Coulin tops, todays showers have joined together to give persistant rain, making conditions on the rocky, boulder strewn slopes extremely tricky. JC is fortunate enough to obtain beds in the hostel, where a bedraggled hero arrives about 22.00, as he is devouring a mega meal Steve Watts turns up having fought his way through the traffic from Manchester. No pics again today, just draw yourselves a grey mountain with grey sky and grey rain Hey presto Torridon tonight!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 33 Loch Monar

The cold showery weather continues, Spyke leaves our campsite in glorious Glen Strathfarrar at 08.30, he struggles to find a river crossing initially, the ford is in spate and the bridge labelled, closed and dangerous, the bridge it is!! It was a struggle to get his legs going but soon found his rhythm, he saw more people around today despite heavy snow showers, chatting to a pair of walkers he had met previously in Glen Afric. Also spotted some stud marks which may have been IanDarkPeak who is in the area.
JC collected the mountain bike then lingered in the glen until lunchtime, the Lady of the Gate was charming now, and sensible enough to question Spykes' sanity, a lengthy drive to Craig where Spyke arrived at 22.00 with another eight tops under his belt.
Marmite savoury mince tonight, just how lucky can one guy get!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 32 Afric to Strathfarrar

Yet again the weather is decidedly chilly, a biting Northerly makes it uncomfortable in the glens, much more so on the tops, occassional showers in the morning, some sun then heavy downpours in the evening, which Spyke reports as near blizzard conditions above 800 metres.
Away from the Youth Hostel at about 08.15, Spyke set about the remaining Glen Afric tops, he is met by Rob Woodall (King of the tops baggers) who accompanies him over the last couple of summits, and down to Mullardoch Dam to meet JC, time is now 16.15. After refuelling he sets off on his bike for Glen Strathfarrar, access here might be a problem, as there is a locked gate, sure enough Rob and JC are let in but warned they must be out by 19.00. It is going to be tight, JC gets stuck into the culinary treats for tea, while Rob gathers together camping gear so we can leave him in the Glen. It is 10 minutes to seven I move the van slowly back down the glen(the lady of the gate was pretty scary), Spyke hoves into view, I start to fill him in on the whereabouts of his gear," don't worry about that, the gate lady is fine she will make an exception for me" Pyke charm works again!!!
Rob hares off to do some "trig" bagging on Orkney, Spyke goes off to do the four tops North of the Glen, and I spend the evening making butties in the glorious isolation of Glen Strahfarrar. Spyke returns at 23.10 reporting a layer of fresh snow and an Eagle sighting.

Day 31 Cluanie to Afric

A freewheel from the Cluanie to the start of the Kintail route, in the company of Mandy,Martin and Phil they hit the path at 08.30, Phil goes to the first top then heads towards Tobermory for his 10 days whale watching. Mandy and Martin continue with Spyke for the first three Sisters then continue along to take in the non-munro tops, Spyke heads towards Bheinn Fhadda and another 3 summits before dropping into the Alltbeithe Youth Hostel at 22.00, JC having delivered the overnight gear, following a yomp in from Glen Shiel, pleasant but a long way for an old fella,!!!

Anecdote time.... Towards the end of the Cuillin Ridge, Swatts glances over his shoulder, " hey up theres' a glider" startled Neil and Spyke look around "err no Steve thats a Golden Eagle". The excuse " I haven't got my glasses" This from the guy who has lead them over the Inn Pin and the remainder of the ridge, it's a worry!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 30 Return to the Cluanie

It's 8 30, with Steve Watts as pacemaker Spyke heads back to the mainland, Neil relays the pacing duties so they make good time up Glen Shiel to the foot of Carn Ghluasaid, but what excitement at the van when they arrive!!!!!
We have a visitor, a sprightly grey beard had walked up to the van asking which one of you is Spyke, a bit of feet shuffling then "well none of us he is peddling his way from Skye." Thats a shame I am Hamish Brown I did the first continuous round" says our visitor, at just that moment Spyke arrives, nicely covering the fact that none of his support crew had recognised, the most famous, and as it turned out very genial munro rounder. Spyke and the great man share a few thoughts, handshakes, some pictures, Hamish makes a quiet exit ,then we are left to fill Spyke with scoff, and swap Hamish Brown stories. By now everybody thought it was him but didn't say so!! huh!
Back to reality, Spyke sets off with Phil as company for his first three tops, he then continues alone collecting the hills at the top of Glen Shiel finishing at 20.50 near the Cluanie Inn, it is after food serving time but the staff kindly keep open, and Spyke wraps himself around a Venison Casserole for the second time this week.
We are met here by Mandy and Martin Calvert who are on a break in Fort William we make arrangements to meet in the morning so they can accompany Spyke into the Sisters and Brothers Kintail.
Then we get to camp in the Cluanie carpark with the "sweet" stink of dead dear wafting through the van, well makes a change from socks and other perfumes, those who know Spyke well will know what I mean!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 29 The Cuillin Ridge

Spot on 06.00 Spyke, and Neil King leave the Glen Brittle campsite to take on one of the most daunting challenges in an itinary of big challenges. This is a day when the tough guys toe the plate, Neil who agreed at short notice to accompany Spyke across the ridge, following Steve Watts ankle injury. Steve has come up with Neil, fortified by tape and painkillers he walks up to the "In Pin" leads the climb, then decides to finish the remainder of the route with Spyke and Neil. A triumph for guts and Ibrufen!!
JC and Al walked in with Steve, Al left early as he had to catch a flight from Glasgow late that afternoon, Spyke has some great mates, Al had flown from Brighton to Glasgow, hired a car then tracked us down in order to spend a very few hours with him. After delivering water to the troops, and taking some pics of the In Pin ascent, JC returned to the van enjoying the brief spell of sunshine this made quite a change from the low cloud, and wind which was around for the first part of the traverse.
Phil Cheek yet another Macc Harrier met me at Sligachan, he is on his way to a whale watch around the Scottish Isles breaking his journey by calling in to offer help where required he was soon roped in to take Neil to Glen Brittle to retrieve his car.
It was to prove a longish wait, they had hoped to be down in time to eat in the Sligachan Hotel, unfortunately for them it was 21.30 when they arrived so were "treated" to heaping plates of JC special leftovers sauce with pasta. I am writing this the following day and they have all survived, a victory for culinary ingenuity I think!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 28 Over the sea to Skye

A misty damp morning, Jim and Nigel say farewell and head for home turf, Steve Parker is to continue his pacing duties and accompanies Spyke, across the bridge as far as the John Muir carpark at the the foot of Blaven. Somewhat reluctantly Steve wishes us well , sets off to bike back to Glen Shiel then drive home to Stone, a big thank you to the three SMM guys who came up and gave Spyke much valued support.
He now set about traversing Blaven dropping down at Sligachen around 18.00, then the mainly downhill cycle ride to Glen Brittle campsite where Al joined us for supper. We all have an early night as it is a 06.00 start tomorrow for the crossing of the Cuillin Ridge. Watch this space!! apologies for lack of pics', but they take an age to upload using the mobile attachment I will make a big effort to get some on soon.
Steve Watts and Neil King arrive following a breakneck journey from Cheshire, apparently after midnight but we didn't hear them, this challenge encourages deep sleep!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 27 Bike rides, Beinn Sgritheall and more

A warm muggy morning saw the "peleton" leave Glen Shiel campsite at 09.25, Spyke with Nigel,Jim and at the front super" domestique" Steve Parker heading for the vertical tarmac of the Ratagan Pass. You know when Spyke admits he is not looking forward to something that it must be pretty grim, this was a certainly the case at Ratagan as bodies, and machines ground to walking pace on the road even Parker was reduced to walking. All good( for those of us watching) things come to an end, following a few more undulations, the foot of yet more vertical land was reached, this time the surface was a grotty mix of grass, heather, boulders and bog a typical Spyke route. In a moment of madness I decided to accompany Al up the slope. Al struggled with the awful going, our hero legged it into the clouds, yours truly gave up about two thirds of the way and returned to the van, but I was not alone!!! more later.
The cyclists had been entertained at the local tea shop by the charismatic provider of sustanence, Jim and Nigel returned to Glen Shiel, leaving Steve P. with the pacing duties back to the foot of The Saddle. This was reached at 16.00 and Spyke "nipped" off to complete the South side of Cluanie by 20.15, a quick bike ride then off to join the gang in the pub for food and a half pint.
Here Spyke demonstrated his versatility entertaining a group of somewhat awestruck walkers with understated tales of the trip so far, we were back in the van when he said" I think I have a tick", then started the game of "tick pick". I am pretty sure I have removed most of the little buggars, but our hero could be carrying a couple of unwanted passengers to the top of Bla Bheinn as I write.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 26 Oichy to Glen Shiel.

Hi all, firstly I must make good on an omission from yesterday, despite the fact that we arrived in the middle of the night and overstayed next morning, Jen and Matt at Invergarry bunkhouse were as welcoming as possible, a truly great facility for us "types" staying in this area, thanks guys!!
Spyke and Steve Parker left the campsite at 09.40 to drop a few klicks, on the road, to the up and back climb of Squirl Mhaoroch. Steve P completed his second ever Munro at 13.30, then biked with Spyke to the start of the climb to Gleoraich. Here our man was to set off solo, to cross Spidean Mialech, then onwards to Greag a Mhain along six more tops of the South Clunie ridge, before dropping to the road at Glen Shiel Battlefield, then bike down to Glen Shiel campsite. Another late supper hey its working so lets go with it.
While all this was going on Nigel and Jim returned to Barrisdale Bay campsite to retrieve Spykes' camping kit, unfortunately it was nowhere to be found. I cannot imagine it being stolen from such a remote location, so if anyone out there has any information about a full camping kit that was left at Barrisdale on the morning of the 19th May please give me a call on 07736245468.
As I sit in the van writing this, I am being almost deafened by a Cuckoo there appears to be one in every Scottish Glen this year, more than I can remember mind you thats not saying a great deal

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 25 Knoydart.

There were apparently several questioning looks when our hero laid out his intentions for this bit, however he stuck to the plan and survived!! He left Barrisdale at about 08.30 setting off in damp conditions with low cloud over the whole area, Ladhar Bheinn proved somewhat problematic where he almost became cragfast, this was to be repeated later on Luinne Bheinn. Spyke topped Gairich at 21.48 hrs arriving at our campsite by the Loch Quioch dam at 00.35hrs, a huge day,but he proved that his plan could work.
While Spyke was doing all the "tuf stuff" the Stone contingent which now included Steve Parker were building bonfires, and having a cracking evening Nigel providing a splendid curry(shame the star didn't turn up before they all went to bed).
He is in to the last hundred yet another significant milestone passed, all we need now is some sleep plzzzzzzz!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 24 Off to the North

Wow! the highland Spring has finally sprung, following a great sunny afternoon, and pleasant, still evening yesterday,it was a pleasure to be up and about at 07.00 today (even for me Sam). A rather more leisurely start saw Spyke away from the camp at 08.20 for the bike ride to Drumsalie, on the A820. Then a change to his MTB for the trip in to pick up Guilvan, this was originally scheduled for the first day, but he omitted it after being assured by Chris that it could be picked off fairly easily as he started North.
Update on todays mixed bag later, Nigel Brawn and Jim Holland are due to visit this afternoon, so I might go for a little bike ride in the sun before they arrive.
Spyke returned to the van at 14.10 for the bike ride to Clunes on the West side of Loch Lochy, back to foot power for the middle bit of his trip over the two Glengarry Forest tops, then down to the hidden MTB, along to Killfinnan, a quick swap to his road machine for the ride down the longest cul de sac ever, that is the road to Kinloch Hourn. He was there for 23.00 had a last bite to eat and set off for the midnight walk to Barridale Bay.
Jim and Nigel had arrived mid afternoon, and were persuaded that a little trot to Barridale Bay with Spykes' camping kit would get them nicely into the swing of Munro support. Some five and a half hours later they returned "its farther than it looks on the map" and "a stroll along the shore it aint" are two of the printable comments, when they returned to Invergarry bunkhouse at 01.30hrs. Booking into the bunkhouse had seemed a good idea, but we had not made allowance for the 22 miles of undulating tarmac hell that takes you to Kinloch Hourn

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 23 Ballachullish and the Mamores.

Early start today left Invercoe campsite at 07.15 to cycle to South Ballachullish, on the hill at 07.40 then completed both Sgorr Dhonuill and Sgorr Dhearg, and on his bike towards Kinlochleven by 11.20 arriving at 12.10, he left for the Mamores at 12.35. Whilst in Kinlochleven he received a bit of worrying news, his regular running partner Steve Watts has damaged an ankle, and may not be fit to complete the Skye section with Spyke as planned. Anyone out there with the skills, knowledge and time next weekend(weather permitting) to take on the Cuillins with Spyke please contact 07736245468. I will update you on his progress through the Mamores tomorrow, meanwhile I have some home made bread to taste(ho ho).
Spyke completed the long drag up to Sgurr Eilde Mor by b14.35, then set off along familiar Ramsey Round territory that is the Mamores Ridge, arriving at Mulloch nan Coiran at 21.25, then down through some grotty forestry to the van in Glen Nevis, for some more yummy JC stew!!!

Day 22 Bidian to Glen Ure

Spyke returned to last nights finish point, outside of the Clachaig, no thought of a quiet pint now though. He left at about 8.45 hrs Bidian bound then continuing across Sgor na h-Ullaidh, Bein Fhionnlaidh, and in company of Mike Perry up and over Beinn Sgulaird, to finish in the lovely Glen Ure. This is Mikes' last day before returning to the pleasures !!! of work, so he took the opportunity to drive around with me to Elleric then meet Spyke as he crossed the glen, Spyke then rode off back to Glencoe. Enroute we were met by Helen, Jamie and family, who had a brief word with Steve, and delivered a huge parcel of home made goodies to eat, I will of course save them all for him!!??
Whilst shopping in Glencoe I met Nancy a Lochaber Hill Runner who has been following the blog, it was great to have a chat, she is going to see if she can rustle up some company for Spyke in the next few days.
Theday finished really well with a huge and delicious meal of steak,with piles of veg' provided by Mike and his better half Lisa, thanks again it was terrific.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 21 Black mounts and the Beauty(s) of Glencoe.

A fairly leisurely start today, Spyke set off along the West Highland Way at about 08.15 hrs, the first rendezvous was going to be the Ski station, but our man had spotted a better way so we met up in Glen Etive. Mike Perry was with us now and he was to complete the next section over the Buchaille and into Glencoe with Spyke. Mike is a physio who has regualy treated Spyke so it gave them plenty of time to talk through his achillies problem and the treatment, the pair dropped down to the A82 smack on schedule. Mike wrote in the day book of an unbelievable experience , not sure if this was topping 4 Muros or keeping up with Spyke, who the hopped on his bike and freewheeled down to start the Aonach Eagach ridge. It was now 17.45 three hours later he arrived at the Clachaig Inn where a pint and meal just about sent him to sleep. Andy Potts and Richard Trenholm two uni, friends had driven up from Cheshire saw him for 5 minutes in Glen Etive and were now struggling to make conversation with a tired looking Spyke , as some consolation they did get in the splendid walk up into the lost valley.
Our heroes day however was not yet complete Mike followed us to our campsite and treated him to 10 minutes of fairly intensive massage, I am sure Spyke will appreciate it in the days to come but didn't look totally convinced at the time, it's a good job Mikes, lady wife was with us or the campsite patrons would have been treated to some high powered invective!! Mike is around for a couple of days so we should be entertained by yet more Spyke style squirming this evening I will keep you updated

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 20 Ben Cruachan and South Glen Etive

An early start today Spyke was away from the" lay by with a view" and attacking Ben Cruachan at 07.00 hrs, yours truly just made the porridge, and grunted goodbye. I will update further tomorrow as no signal near the pick up point at Victoria Bridge.
There were some concerns about how Spykes' achillies would cope with this mega day, none of the contingency plans were required as he took in the Ben Cruachan range which was covered in a thin layer of wet snow, then feeling stronger as the day wore on, topped another seven summits before finishing on Stob a coire Ochair arriving at Victoria Bridge in pitch darkness. A truly epic day, proving he is back on song and looking forward to the second half of the challenge as numerically he completed half today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 19 Ben Lui and others!!

The day began with yet another freezing cold bike ride with Alan from Rest and be Thankful to Glen Fyne, a change to the mountain bike and on up the now tarmac track to Glenfyne Lodge, and then up Binn Buidde, the support crew now reduced to Sam, Alan and JC are currently sat in the car park just South of Tyndrum with a very wet and gloomy view of Beinn Dhubcraig. I will update later* thanks for reading the blog guys we had well over 8000 visits to date.
Sam and Alan have moved on, a huge thanks for all your help guys hope to see you again soon.
Spyke appeared from the cloud and rain at about 18.15, looking somewhat bedraggled but smiling, the achillies was not so sore, brilliant the remedies are working. After a good deal of soul searching he decided to bike down to the foot of Ben Cruachan, where we spent the night in a tasteful little layby, ready for the push towards The Black Mountains and Glencoe. The alternative was a hot shower at Pinetrees campsite, and top food at The Good Food Cafe in Tyndrum, we settled for JC chicken, with what was left in the stores plus a mountain of spuds!! and a wet wipe.
Spyke then spent a great deal of time writing a blog update which has disappeared into the ether!!!
Hey Ho it will no doubt appear soon.
The "man " left our layby vanishing almost vertically through the forestry that lies along the foot of Ben Cruachan at 07.00hrs with a huge day before him.
Meanwhile I am off for some REALLY exciting supermarket shopping.

Day 18 The Arrochar Alps.

Spyke is becoming quite concerned about his achillies which is swollen and sore, so decided that he would have a somewhat easier day. This began with the crossing of a now millpond like Loch Lomond, in the company of Sam, and Ian, a short cycle ride to Inveruglas, he and Sam then set off for Ben Vorlich the mammoth reascent to Ben Vane then taking in the remaining two tops to finish at the Rest and be Thankful pass some eight hours later. They were met between Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain by Dave Hewitt from Caledonian Mercury who spoke to Spyke at length, no doubt we will see some comments on his website and hopefully in the paper.
As mentioned above the Achillies niggle is becoming a nuisance, however Spyke thinks he has identified the problem, and has taken some remedial action, watch this space for further news!!! Alan obtained a bucketful of ice from a local fish farm, that together with half the stock from a Chemist in Helensburgh should see him firing on all cylinders by the weekend in Glencoe.

Day 17 Ben More and onwards South.

An extremely cold night, was followed by an equally cold bike ride down to the foot of Ben More, Spyke arrived there at 08.15, and set off up the long trudge in company with a couple of walkers, who had read of his exploits an the web. He moved on over Stob Binnen and Stob Garbh, meeting Denise and Dale on Cruach Ardrain, taking in five more summits before descending to the campsite at Beinglas Farm. We were joined here by Sam, Alan, Ian and Charlotte, Sam and Ian are the support crew for the Loch Lomond crossing.
Spyke and Alan cycled down to Firkin Point, where Sam, Charlotte and Ian had the canoes waiting for the crossing, they duly set off, and made good time despite the rising Northerly wind. At about 18.40 they started up Ben Lomond initially struggling to find a decent line through the trees, meanwhile the weather was closing in, with fairly heavy snow showers all the way to the summit. This also mean't that the light was fading fast so Spyke and Ian decided that the return crossing over now very choppy waters was not feasible in the gloom, Alan and JC duly rallied around to Rowardenen, to set up camp amongst some local lads, rowdy but fairly good humoured, Spyke eat and then zonked out, while the rest of us were treated to some colourful language, and various football anthems.

Day 16 - Bridge of Orchy

Spyke cycled up Glen Lochay to Kenknock, then set off to Ben Hesgarnisch, and Chreag Mhor,he then met up with Dale to complete The Mamlorn Hills. They came off at Bridge of Orchy time 21.05, descibing the conditions as the coldest since the Cairngorms, Dale went for a well earned fish supper at Tyndrum. Meanwhile Spyke cycled to the Pinetrees campsite where he had to settle for JCs' infamous "summat stew" almost a midnight feast 23.45hrs when he was wiping his plate!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 15 (cont')

It was good to meet up with Chris Upson he accompanied Spyke together with Denise Broome and Dale Colclough up and down the first peak of the day,the later three duly completed Chonzie, Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin and left Spyke to a cycle ride back to Kille, at the unusually early time of 19.00 hrs, we took advantage and had a splendid pub meal, JC had a pint to celebrate his first Munro of the round having been dragged up Chonzie, and Vorlich. The day was made extra special as we were treated to the sight of a pair of Osprey fishing in Loch Earn.
This morning 10th May, Spyke has cycled up Glen Lochay to Kenknock to finish off the hills to the East of Bridge of Orchy, Dale is joining him for the second half of the day, and I with the help of Denise have resorted the van jumble, hurrah!! it won't last!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photos from Week 2

Check out these great photos from Mike Nelson taken during Week 2 of Spyke's Munro Challenge:

Cairngorm Snow & Derry Cairngorm

Spyke's Munro Challenge 013, originally uploaded by mikenelson10.

Spyke's Munro Challenge 017, originally uploaded by mikenelson10.

Day 15 - Ben Chonzie, Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin

By recent standards this could be classed as a 'rest' day. A mere 3 Munros combined with a some fairly straightforward cycling from Killin and back.

I trundled up Glen Lednock in the morning and caught site of Spyke arriving around 10.15am, just ahead of the 8-mile road race that was to kick off at 10.30am. Dale and Denise soon arrived, followed by JC in the van.

After a bit of faffing around and lounging the sun, we eventually took a leisurely stroll of Ben Chonzie with expansive views from the summit ranging from the Lomonds of Fife to the snow-covered Cairngorms to the Cruachan & Ben Lui hills.

The descent down the stony track was bone-jarring, and I got dropped off the back. My ankle wasn't feeling up to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin, so I trundled back to Glasgow, leaving Spyke to cycle along the scenic south Loch Earn road.

Day 14 - Glen Lyon and Lochay

News from Spyke late last night was that he completed a set of 6 varied hills. This means he's done the following 6 out of 9 of the remaining hills at the heads of Glen Lyon and Glen Lochay: Meall nan Tarmachan, Meall Bhuidhe, Stuchd an Lochain, Meal Ghaordie,  Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil.

Ben Chonzie, Ben Vorlich and Stuc a' Chroin are the plan for an easier day today.

Note that the days through the Bridge of Orchy and Arrochar hills have been re-shuffled to hopefully gain 2 days on the original 40 day schedule.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 13 - Schiehallion, Glen Lyon and Ben Lawers

News just in that Spyke completed 12 Munros yesterday to take his total to 102. Yesterday's outing took in Schiehallion followed by the Carn Gorm group of 4 in Glen Lyon, followed by the Ben Lawers group of 7 Munros.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 12 - Beinn a' Ghlo hills

Day 12 was duly completed over the Glen Tilt hills, which means Spyke has now notched up 90 Munros in 12 days, and has finished all the hills east of the A9. Tomorrow's outing will begin with the mighty Schiehallion before pressing westwards along the Glen Lyon ridges.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 11 The Tarf and Tilt hills

No post birthday celebration blues, clearly the ONE pint had not hung him over, it was however a later start than usual, as the equipment for a nights camp was sorted and loaded into an enormous rucsac, Mike Nelson the volunteer porter looked evermore concerned!! The amount of food for Spyke, was enough to make a Sherpa cringe, but 8000 calories a day is a lot of grub.

The day began in earnest with Spyke being dropped off with his bike at last nights finishing point in the ski station car park, then plummeting back down the road before, turning along the track heading towards An Socach. Meanwhile a bikeless Digby was left to scarper in as quickly as possible to accompany Spyke on todays' trip which will finish at the chosen campsite near Loch Mhairc.

I drove Mike to Blair Atholl, and watched him trudge off from Glen Tilt car park towards the rendezvous point, looking like a giant Sherpa.

Lastly a big thank-you to all who have posted comments, and from Spyke many thanks for all the birthday greetings.

Day 10 Driesh to Glenshee

Spyke, Digby and Mike left Glen Doll at 09.20 to take in Driesh, and the hills to the West, Spyke was on good form today so on reaching Glenshee the trio then climbed the Carn a Gheoidh, The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda before descending back to the ski station.

The night was spent at Braemar campsite, we all consumed a hearty dinner at a nearby hostelry, our hero even had a pint of beer (well it is his birthday) one to remember I suspect!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 9 (cont')

Spyke, Digby Harris and Mike Nelson arrived safely in Glen Doll at 22.00 hrs, were duly filled with nourishment and quickly retired to a cool bed, ready to tackle Driesh, Mayar and the rest of the hills East of Glenshee.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 9 - Mount Keen and Lochnagar

This morning Spyke cycled from Linn of Dee to Ballater, and then on to Glen Tanar to tackle Mount Keen using the mountain bike. This adds on considerable extra distance compared with climbing Mount Keen from Glen Muick, so it was looking like being a late start for the Lochnagar group in the afternoon.

No news yet whether Spyke has completed the Lochnagar group of 5 Munros this afternoon, but hopefully he made it safely across to Glen Doll, and is still on schedule after the 2 monster days in the Cairngorms.

Day 8 - Corrour Bothy to Linn of Dee

After spending a night at Corrour Bothy, Spyke headed out for the big group of the main Cairngorms stretching from Ben Macdui to Ben Avon. Spyke was accompanied on this section by Mike Nelson, with Digby Harris also joining as far as Beinn Bhreac, before baling out with 3 hills to go. Ellie & I bumped into Sam and Digby at the van parked up near Linn of Dee last night, whilst JC and Alan were taking mountain bikes up to Derry Lodge for Spyke and Mike to use at the end of a long day.

PS. Spyke and Mike arrived at Linn of Dee around 10pm after a 14 hour day to complete the main Cairngorm group.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 7 - Glen Feshie to Corrour Bothy

Hi all Spyke left Glenfeshie yesterday morning (Saturday) to take on the mammoth task that is the Cairngorms, we had a brief call about 2 hours in, to say he was fighting a snowstorm, and advise Digby Harris and Mike Nelson, who joined us on Saturday afternoon to bring ice axes and sunglasses with them.

Mike,and Digby left Braemar at about 15.30 to join Spyke at the Corrour Bothy, Sam and Alan accompanied them to restock Spykes food bag, and supply a change of clothes before returning to Lin of Dee. They have now returned to the bothy, leaving just after 6.00 Sunday morning from Braemar to bring out any surplus kit before Spyke, Digby and Mike tackle the rest of the Cairngorm massif, in a mega day which is not expected to finish before 22.00 this evening . I will try to keep you updated but getting a mobile internet signal is tricky at times, a huge thanks to Chris Upson who is filling in many of the gaps utilising his extensive knowledge of the scottish hills and IT expertise.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The route so far...

Six days in, and Spyke has already climbed 43 of the 283 Munros. You can see from the map that Spyke is currently sweeping across the Central Highlands from left to right.

The next 2 days should cover the 18 Munros in the main Cairngorm group.

Then the following 4 days should collect the 29 Munros from Mount Keen (most easterly), over the Lochnagar group and through to the Beinn a' Ghlo hills behind Blair Atholl to finish all the Munros east of the A9.