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.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 40 - Ben Klibreck and Ben Hope

Tim Laney writes : the final day began with a climb up the western slopes of Ben Klibreck through a lot of tussocky grass and heather of the kind familiar to most mountain marathoners. The ridge cleared as we reached it, and the summit gave stunning views of the surrounding country. Back to the road to find a reception committee from the Angry Corrie and the JMT, along with more of Spyke's friends and supporters. JBC produced the last of many plates of sandwiches manufactured during the round, before packing Spyke off on the 15 mile cycle to the foot of Ben Hope. The final climb was taken in bright sunlight to a busy summit.
Spyke touched the trig point at 3:06pm to complete the round of 283 Munros in 39 days, 9 hours and 6 minutes.
A number of glasses of champagne were taken by the company to celebrate his great achievement, and a parcel from previous record holder, Charlie Campbell, containing a bottle of Singleton's Malt Whisky found buried in the summit cairn was discovered. As Charlie wrote "What can I say but awesome! Many, many congratulations on setting such a fantastic record. Savour the moment, as the Munro memories will last for ever...it takes a singular determination and character to see an enterprise like this through to a successful ending, and you have done that".

Day 39 - Conival and Ben Mor Assynt

Tim Laney writes : After a short night's sleep Spyke and Tom set off for the long ride north to Inchnadamph, pausing for a refuelling stop at the Elphin tearooms. Inchnadamph was wet and windy, with low cloud. Spyke headed off up the hill with a group of six supporters. The waterfall on the crest of the ridge was going in reverse in the high wind, which became ever more gusty up on the tops, resulting in several members of the party losing their footing on the wet quartzite. Spyke and Tom took in Ben Mor Assynt and returned to the Inchnadamph car park for a tea break before another long bike ride - 50 miles this time - around to Altnaharra for a well deserved supper and rest.

Day 38 - Fionn Beinn, Ben Wyvis and the Beinn Dearg Group

Tim Laney writes : Spyke set off for a brisk stroll up Fionn Beinn with Pam Nix, before returning to the road for a pedal around to the Wyvis car park. Then a sociable walk up onto Ben Wyvis with the largest group of supporters yet, with JB attaining his 4th Munro of the trip. After a pasta meal back at the van, he cycled up the road to the head of Loch Glascarnoch, where he set off across the bogs at a brisk trot accompanied by Tom Brunt and Tim Laney. The traverse of the Beinn Dearg peaks took another 8 hours, through some amazing scenery. We stopped briefly on the final peak for the day, Seana Braigh, to admire the 500 metre cliffs of the northern corries, before a long jog back to the road at Inverlael, emerging onto the road at 12.45. Spyke's longest day yet, but another 8 munros added to the list, and only four to go!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 37 E Fisherfield and the Fanniachs

Another summery type day, Pam and JC take in bikes then climb An Coileachan, see an Eagle, a mum Ptarmigan with chicks, lots of frogs, Ben and Amy arrive, Oh and Spyke climbed some hills!!!
Sorry the sun is going to my head, Tom, Pam and Andy Skelhorn, who had been tracking us for a couple of days, come away from Shevanal with all the spare kit meet up with JC at Collieharries.
Andy leaves after the brief stay, Tom sets off for the shops, and a mega bike ride, JC and Pam on their nature trail/munro bag.
At the sharp end of the event Spyke and Tim leave the bothy just after 07.00 to take on the huge route which includes the 3 Eastern Fisherfields then all the Fanniachs from West to East, descending off An Coileachan collect the mountain bikes, cycle out to Grudie, it is just after 21.00 Spyke jumps on the road bike, pedals for about 25 minutes down to Achnasheen to stay in the bunkhouse.

Day36 Fisherfield to Shevanal Bothy

Early start from the carpark campsite, Spyke bikes to Kinlochewe, then sets of at 09.15 for Slioch with Ian, and Steve Watts, they both return from that summit. Ian has work commitments, Steves' ankle has become increasingly painful so he regretfully decides to return home, a great shame after his heroic showing on the Cullin Ridge.
Spyke continues through the Fisherfield and An Teallach group, Tom has dropped provisions at the bothy, then meets up with Spyke for the final five tops before they drop into Shenaval at about 21.30.
JC meanwhile has picked up Tim and Pam from Inverness Airport following their flight from Bristol, they are whisked off to the closest entry point, have a quick repack and make their way into Shenaval with extra kit for Spyke.
Following a cloudy start the weather has at last taken a turn for the better, it is a truly wonderful evening both for the bothy group, and JC on a great lochside campsite