Skyline Scotland

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About
Soaring ridges, exposed traverses and precipitous drops. Fast and light over rough and technical terrain. A fusion of alpinism and mountain running. Welcome to skyrunning.
Glen Coe Skyline, Ben Nevis Ultra, Ring of Steall Skyrace, and 4 more
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Sat 18th Sep 2021
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Kinlochleven, United Kingdom
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The event experience
Atmosphere

Based on 2,000 participants

Elevation

20 to 50m elevation gain per km

Where and when
Location
Ice Factor, The National Ice Climbing Centre, Leven Rd, Kinlochleven PH50 4SF, UK
Start times
Glen Coe Skyline:
7:00am |
Ben Nevis Ultra:
8:00am |
Ring of Steall Skyrace:
9:00am |
Three Mealls Trail Race:
9:30am |
Loch Eilde Mòr Trail Race:
10:30am |
Grey Mare's Trail Race:
10:30am |
Mamores VK:
11:30am
Races summary
Here's what races are available for Skyline Scotland
Grey Mare's Trail Race
PathWithPin
5km
£19.00
Mamores VK
PathWithPin
5km
£39.00
Loch Eilde Mòr Trail Race
PathWithPin
10km
£29.00
Three Mealls Trail Race
PathWithPin
18km
£39.00
Route information
Updated route maps will be available closer to the event date.
Ben Nevis - 52k
The Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra is a challenging mountain ultra, set in the most tremendous mountain scenery. The race has the considerable objective of summiting the highest mountain in the UK within its route of 52km and 4,000m ascent.
Ben Nevis is certainly not the only Scottish ‘Munro’ in the route: Four other Munros are summited, famous glens are visited, tremendous waterfalls, rivers, gorges and lochs are passed, while two distinctly different mountain ranges are traversed: The Mamores (twice) and the loftier Grey Corries.
Certainly, one of the strongest memories - at 20k - will be the passage along the airy CMD Arête, that connects Càrn Mòr Dearg summit to Ben Nevis itself. In-between the mountains, the route follows a mixture of ancient established paths, glen paths and forest tracks; many of which are the type of superb single track that trail-runners dream of!
The final section of the route merges into the Ring of Steall Skyrace route for the completion of the final three Munros. World-class in all respects, this stern route will be a tremendous achievement, with a return to Kinlochleven in sub 12-hours.
Glen Coe - 52k
The classic triangle of Stob Dearg (Buachaille Etive Mor) is a sentinel to the eastern entrance to the Glen, and the awesome sight that greets the runners as they crest the pass West Highland Way pass from Kinlochleven. The West Highland Way will take you to the settlement of Altnafeadh (alt 290m – Checkpoint 1), a divergence from The West Highland Way and onto the steepening open hillside. Summiting Stob Dearg (alt 1022 – Checkpoint 2) by the exposed Grade III scramble (a 'Moderate' graded rock climb) of Curved Ridge. At the summit, a vast view eastwards to Rannoch Moor is presented. The route then heads south-west along the multiple summits of the Buachaille Etive Mor massif before dropping rapidly into Lairig Gartain (Pass alt 370m - Checkpoint 4), crossing the River Coupall and immediately ascending the smaller Buachaille massif to the col.
Now passing through increasingly remote territory, it is time to descend to Lairig Eilde (Pass alt 490m – Checkpoint 5), and immediately then ascend onto the shoulder of Stob Coire Sgreamhach, before summiting at 1072m (Checkpoint 6). You are now on the highest and most complex terrain of the whole route, and soon reach the summit of Bidean nam Bian (alt 1150 – Checkpoint 8). A dog-leg to Stob Coire nan Lochan (alt 1115m - Checkpoint 7) will enable competitors to experience another stunning mountain spur into Glen Coe – it’s a stunning environment here. Returning to the summit of Bidean then enables descent using regular paths to the A82 road at 90m – the lowest point of the route in Glencoe.
Above you now, remains a stiff ascent to the famous Aonach Eagach ridge, an arête with occasional Grade II scrambling, and it extends west to east from Sgorr nam Fionnadh (alt 967m – Checkpoint 10), over Meall Dearg (alt 953m) to Am Bodach (alt 943m – Checkpoint 11). That is 3k of intricate ridge traversing, with distant views over the coastline and hundreds of mountains including Ben Nevis.
The ridge continues over smaller summits and flowing ridges until descending a shoulder to the West Highland Way (Checkpoint 13). Cresting the path brings us to a renewed view north towards the Mamores. The West Highland Way outward route is then reversed to return to Kinlochleven and the Finish.
Ring of Steall Skyrace - 29k
A stiff ascent of the West Highland Way is used to depart Kinlochleven, and then ascend further into Coire na h’Eirghe to reach a col at the foot of The Mamores ridge. Turning west and ascending brings us to the first Top (CP1) – Sgurr an lubhair (1001m) then onwards to reach the Top of Stob Choire a’ Mhail (990m) and then an ascent to the highest Munro on the route, our CP2 - Sgurr a’ Mhaim (1099m). This ridge sequence is called the Devil’s Ridge and provides and thrilling and airy traverse with Glen Nevis visible ahead and as a yawning drop far below, and Ben Nevis beyond and towering above.
The descent to Glen Nevis and the low-level support CP3 is significant - over 1000m. After recharging, you head up Glen Nevis beside the river on a good path to a footbridge and then join a tarmac road briefly. At the road end is a classic trail that squeezes through a short dramatic gorge, and materialises in an idyllic flat glen with the An Steall waterfall ahead. Conditions dependent, the route will cross either the wire rope bridge here, or wade through the river, then ascending beside the waterfall on a path into Coire Chadha Chaoruinn.
Now starts the other biggest climb of the race route, to the Munro and our CP4 - An Gearanach (982m), and the start of another lofty ridge traverse towards the Top; An Garbhanach (975m). After a tough drop and ascent again, the third Munro is reached, and our CP5 - Stob Coire a’ Chairn (981m), a hint of Loch Leven far below, but staying high on a heading of south-west to reach CP6 on the stunning final Munro - Am Bodach (1032m).
From Am Bodach, it is nearly downhill all the way, at first back down to the col at the foot of The Mamores ridge, then turning steeply down into Coire na h’Eirghe reversing the ascent route from earlier in the day. At the bottom, there is a slight kicker of a climb on a section of West Highland Way double-track, then it is a final dash down steeper single-track and just the flat roads of Kinlochleven that separates you from glory at the finish line.
Mamores VK - 5k
Na Gruagaichean* is the most prominent Mamores Munro above Kinlocheven, and from the Event Centre, the road at the Startline will feel like a runway for the beginning of your kilometre of ascent up this fine mountain.
The route soon switches into a rocky path in some steep woodland, passes beside the Grey Mare’s Waterfall, and pushes up out of the trees and onto the open hillside using good narrow paths. At 330m altitude, a short section of rough vehicle track is used, and leaving this track marks the start of the mountain’s steep flank, and then to its shoulder. This route is a lesser used approach to this mountain and is impressively direct.
The clear goal is the southern promontory approach ridge where the Leachd na h-Aire cairn can be found, and the route briefly levels after this, and passes through 900m at a shallower gradient. The summit will now be in clear sight, as will the other mighty Mamores Munros east and west, and Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries to the north, and if you were to look back, Glen Coe’s (Skyline) Munros to the south. Mission accomplished!
Returning from the summit to Kinlochleven is via the uphill race route, EXCEPT on the steepest ground between the altitudes of 850m and 375m, where, on occasion, a parallel route will be marked and marshalled to create some separation from ascending runners.
Grey Mare's Trail Race - 5k
Heading out anticlockwise from the grand start venue and initially sharing the same first section with the famous Mamores VK race, you will feel like this is the beginning of something big, despite the seemingly modest 5k distance. There is something else about this route you see – a short but super-steep ascent on a memorable zig-zagging rocky trail in beautiful woodland.
Once past the Mamore Lodge, the route levels out on a wide trail to give fantastic views west over Loch Leven and the surrounding Munros, before switching sharp left steeply down an exciting single-track section of the West Highland Way. All that remains is the final flat run-in through Kinlochleven, to the crowds at the finish.
Loch Eilde Mòr Trail Race - 10k
Starting in the the streets of Kinlochleven, you head up gnarly braided single and double tracks towards Loch Eilde Mòr and start this clockwise route on hilly trails.
Nearing the Loch, the route crosses the intake to follow the iconic pipe that carries water to the immense Blackwater Reservoir, however, there is an earlier point at which you take a sharp right and an equally sharp zig-zag descent, to dive into the lush woodland beside River Leven far below.
Known as the Ciaran Path, this glen trail gradually descends for 2.5k until back near sea level, where it’s a short dash into the edge of Kinlochleven to reach the buzz at the finish line.
Three Mealls Trail Race - 18k
Initially following the same early kms as the similarly clockwise 10k route, you will also cross the intake of Loch Eilde Mòr, but then turn sharp left, leaving the 10k route behind, and setting forth on your own deeper adventure.
You soon access a terrific single-track path that winds behind the three Meall-named hills, and with views to cry for! After a sharp right turn and a bounding descent, your eyes will fall upon the mighty Blackwater Dam ahead.
Another right, and this is the Ciaran Path, taking you down the glen of the River Leven on a magical trail that gradually descends for 2.5k until back near sea level, where it’s a short dash into the edge of Kinlochleven to reach the buzz at the finish line.
Organiser route images
What's included
  • Finisher's Medal
  • Finisher's goodies
  • Prizes for race winners
  • A fully marshalled, waymarked and signed race route
  • Digital race timing for official results
  • Emergency medical cover during the race
  • Mountain safety team cover during the race
  • Race commentary at the start/finish arena in the Event Village
  • Skyline Scotland car sticker
Train
How to get there
Ice Factor, The National Ice Climbing Centre, Leven Rd, Kinlochleven PH50 4SF, UK
Get full directionsExternalLink
The Event location is: The Ice Factor, Kinlochleven, PH50 4SF, Scotland
From The Airport
From Glasgow Airport
From Glasgow Airport to the event village, it's recommended you pre-book a hire car (approx a 2.5 hour journey).
Coach/bus*: ~3 hours with 1 change as follows:
Coach from Glasgow Airport to Glen Coe - operator SCL (Scottish Citylink) service '914/915/926' then a local bus - operator SHI (Shiel Buses) service 'N44' from Glen Coe to Kinlochleven
From Edinburgh Airport to the event village, it's recommended you pre-book a hire car (approx a 3 hour journey).
Coach/bus*: ~5 hours with 2 changes as follows:
From Edinburgh Airport to Glasgow - operator SCL (Scottish Citylink) service 'AIR'
then from Glasgow to Glen Coe - operator SCL (Scottish Citylink) service '914/915/926'
then a local bus - operator SHI (Shiel Buses) service 'N44' from Glen Coe to Kinlochleven
Parking
There is plenty of parking adjacent to the Event Village in Kinlochleven - please follow signs on arrival.
Parking will be charged at £1 per visit with all proceeds going to the local Kinlochleven Community Trust - please bring along plenty of change.
A campervan pass for the weekend will be £10 per vehicle.
Event day logistics
Schedule
Saturday
10:30 - 13:30 Mamores VK Registration opens
11:30 - 14:00 Mamores VK start open
17:00 - 20:00 Registration for the Ben Nevis & Glen Coe Opens
17:30 - 21:30 Ring of Steall Skyrace Registration opens
Sunday
07:00 - 08:30 Ring of Steall Skyrace Registration opens
07:30 Glen Coe Starts
08:00 Ben Nevis Starts
09:00 - 10:00 Ring of Steall Skyrace Start
09:30 Three Mealls Trail Race Start
10:30 Grey Mare's Trail Race & Loch Eilde Mòr Trail Race Start
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Ourea Events
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.
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FAQ's
Is there any mandatory kit that competitors have to bring with them to the Skyline Scotland Challenge?
Yes, each distances has a list of mandatory kit they must have on them at all times whilst competing. Please visit https://www.skylinescotland.com/ to see each individual events mandatory kit list.
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Will there be fixed ropes at any points over the courses at Skyline Scotland?
No, competitors must be confident to move safely over easy scrambling terrain in all but the most severe weather conditions.
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Do you need previous experience to enter in the Skyline Scotland routes?
Yes, due to the challenging and expert nature of the events, there is a minimum experience requirement to enter each race. They are all different so please check before entering.
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