Cape Wrath Ultra
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Winding through the beautiful lochs, glens and mountains of the Scottish Highlands, the Cape Wrath Ultra is an ultra-running expedition through some of the world's most inspirational landscapes, including Morar, Knoydart, Kintail, Torridon, and Assynt.
Cape Wrath Ultra
Sun 1st Aug 2021
Fort William, United Kingdom
The event experience
20 to 50m elevation gain per km
Where and when
The Nevis Centre, An Aird, Fort William PH33 6AN, UK
Cape Wrath Ultra:10:00am
The Cape Wrath Ultra is based on the Cape Wrath Trail, which is considered to be the toughest long distance backpacking trail in the UK. It crosses rugged landscapes and winds through genuine wilderness spending significant time away from civilisation.
The 400k route is completed over 8 days and it offers a compelling ultra running challenge. Participants will have none of the complex logistical worries that hikers traditionally encounter when embarking on the Cape Wrath Trail or other long distance footpaths, such as the Pennine Way.
Participants are welcome to walk large sections of the route, however, the Cape Wrath Ultra is ultimately an ultra running race; on the longest days participants will not be able to exclusively walk, in order to complete the route within the cut-offs.
Day 1 - Fort William to Glenfinnan
Day 1 starts with a short ferry trip across Loch Linnhe sea loch onto the shore opposite Fort William. The running opens with a straight-forward warm up on a lovely road, headed South! But this is the key to accessing the remote western seaboard of Scotland, and on this day-end, the famous sights of Glenfinnan.
Day 2 - Glenfinnan to Kinlock Hourn
From the very start of Day 2 the route ascends into remote territory, and clips the end of Scotland’s two longest dead-end roads, both at remote sea loch heads. Even when you reach the overnight, you will be far, far away from civilisation.
Day 3 - Kinlock Hourn to Achnashellach
This day is likely to be the hardest - though it is not the longest. It departs from the edge of Knoydart, passes through the large mountain and glen groups of Kintail, and reaches the wide straths (flat glens with big rivers) characteristic of Wester Ross. The Falls of Glomach are the most voluminous waterfalls in the Highlands.
Day 4 - Achnashellach to Kinlochewe
On this day you will experience the mountains at their loftiest – all around you, with high rocky passes, and rough underfoot in the latter third. It is one of the only days where you will not be close to the sea.
Day 5 - Kinlochewe to Inverbroom
Despite the previous days of remote territory, climbing up out of Kinlochewe on Day 5 will not prepare you for the qualities of what lies ahead. Fisherfield’s mountains will steadily reveal themselves to you! And then you will work through great isolated mountain glens, eventually overnighting just short of the port of Ullapool.
Day 6 - Inverbroom to Inchnadamph
This day escalates into some very remote and rough high ground, but is preceded by significant distances on double-tracks in the glens, and through prime Salmon-fishing country. Day 6 is the longest day, but for all those that have made it this far, this day will unlikely defeat you. (Inchnadamph is the highest overnight camp, at 80m, and one of the few that are noticeably not near sea level).
Day 7 - Inchnadamph to Kinlochbervie
One of the longer days, Day 7 gives a great contrast of moor, mountain, and deep inaccessible sea lochs. Eas a' Chual Aluinn is the highest waterfall in the UK. At the end of this day is a rare section of road for this journey – but you will remember it as a road that is taking you somewhere amazing, due to the achingly beautiful seaward views.
Day 8 - Kinclochbervie to Cape Wrath
This is the day that takes you along the glorious beach of Sandwood Bay, to The Atlantic Sea proper and on to Cape Wrath and the Lighthouse, the most north-westerly point in the UK: A day to savour. It’s a deliberately shorter day. After finishing here, there will be a gradual minibus and ferry evacuation back to civilisation in the village of Durness, 15 miles away, and a fitting sea loch coastal symmetry with the start, 8 days earlier. In the evening, it’s time to celebrate, and in the morning, time to climb onto coaches and wave goodbye to the far north of Scotland.
- True satellite tracking
- Transportation of participants’ overnight bags to each overnight campsite
- Emergency medical support
- Mountain safety team cover
- Tented accommodation at each of the overnight camps
- Copious quantities of breakfast, finishing snacks and dinner each day
- Unlimited tea, coffee and hot and cold water for drinking
- Team of motivated volunteer marshals and professional Ourea Events staff
- Cape Wrath Ultra® participant T-Shirt
- Finisher's medal
- Digital race timing
- Bespoke, accurate, waterproof, pre-marked and annotated Harvey map of the race route
- A GPX file of the route and checkpoint locations (available in advance)
- Transport from Cape Wrath (finish) to Durness on day 8 for participants completing the full course
- Buffet meal for competitors and event team on the Saturday evening before race start (immediately after the race briefing)
- Celebratory meal on the last night of the race and breakfast the following morning
- Return transport from Durness to Fort William on Monday ('day 9' - the day after the finish)
How to get there
The Nevis Centre, An Aird, Fort William PH33 6AN, UKGet full directions
All accommodation provided for participants will be in huge 8-person tents each with 4x2-person sleeping compartments and a large, central communal area. Participants are invited to choose their tent mates ahead of the event.
Accommodation provision is from Day 1 (i.e. upon arrival at the first overnight camp) through Day 8 (i.e. the last overnight camp in Durness). For the avoidance of doubt, participants are responsible for sourcing their own accommodation in Fort William before the Day 1 start.
For accommodation options the night before the event please visit: https://www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/fort-william/accommodation/
Event day logistics
Saturday - Registration Day
14:00-17:00 Registration, kit check and advice desks
18:00 Mandatory participant briefing
19:00 Buffet meal (participants and event team only)
Sunday - Day 1
09:00 Depart Fort William by boat
10:00 Mass start
22:00 Course closure time
Monday - Saturday - Days 2-7
22:00 Course closure time*
*The course closure time will be 23:00 for day 3
Sunday - Day 8
11:30-17:00 All participants are driven and ferried from Cape Wrath Lighthouse to Durness
16:00 Course closure time
19:00 Group photo above Sango Bay (weather permitting)
20:00 Celebratory buffet dinner and presentation of finishers’ medals
Monday - Departure Day
09:00 Coach departs Durness
11:30 Approximate arrival at Inverness bus/railway station and short break
14:00 Approximate arrival at Fort William
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According to Greek mythology, the Ourea were primeval deities and the children of Gaia. They were thought to dwell in the mountains and considered to be the mountain spirits. Ourea Events maintains an ethos that remains true to the spirit of adventure in the mountains. If you choose to enter one of our events you can be assured of a challenging and memorable experience that is meticulously organised by a highly-motivated team of professionals, who share your passion for running and adventure. We always deliver excellence. Our challenging events ask a lot of the participants but we ask an equal amount from ourselves in terms of attention to detail, meticulous planning and bulletproof organisation.
The following clothing and equipment must be worn by the participants or carried in their running rucksack/vest of choice at all times:
- Waterproof jacket or smock (with taped or welded seams and a hood)
- Waterproof Trousers (with taped or welded seams)
- Survival bag (not a blanket)
- Compass (magnetic and full size - electronic not suitable)
- Headlamp and spare batteries or spare torch (with sufficient light to be able to navigate in the darkness)
- Sufficient food for on the course each day (don’t underestimate this as there will be no additional ‘snack’ food available to take from the overnight camp)
- Spare* synthetic insulated upper layer(s)
- Hat and gloves suitable for the weather conditions
- Water bottle and / or hydration system
- Fell or mountain running shoes (road trainers are not acceptable)
- Money (at least £50 in case a taxi to the overnight camp is needed)
- Waterproof pen/pencil/chinagraph writing implement
- Mobile Phone (there is no guarantee of phone reception along much of the route)
- Satellite tracker (supplied)
- Map (supplied)
Will there be the facility to recharge my devices at the Cape Wrath Ultra?
Sorry, no. You may wish to consider bringing a GPS device that has replaceable batteries, or bringing a powerbank. You will not have access to our overnight camp generator facilities.
What kind of daily support points are there at the Cape Wrath Ultra?
There are no ‘support points’ or ‘aid stations’. There are some manned checkpoints where the organisers will provide emergency help only. Please note that ALL participant dry bags are transferred directly from one overnight camp to the next, and are never accessible at any intermediate point.
Can I bring outside support to help me during the Cape Wrath Ultra?
No, it is against the event rules for any participant to receive outside support, such as friends/family providing assistance or food, and contravening these rules will result in severe penalties. It is perfectly acceptable for friends and family to intercept participants on the course to cheer them on.
How remote is the terrain at the Cape Wrath Ultra?
Very - this is what you are here for! During much of the event you will have no phone signal and and be many kilometres away from the nearest civilisation. Often the best means of access (other than on foot) is by boat. The nature of the terrain means that long inland journeys are required to travel northwards by vehicle. If you are concerned about being alone out there - make some friends and travel together!
Will there be GPX files I can download of the route at the Cape Wrath Ultra?
Yes. The organiser will provide eight GPX files to participants, one for each day, in good time ahead of the event.
Is there a list of event rules entrants of the Cape Wrath Ultra must follow?
Yes, please see https://www.capewrathultra.com/essential-info#event-rules-hero for a full list of event rules.
Will there be catering at the Cape Wrath Ultra?
Yes, there will be full event catering for participants during the event.
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