This blog describes Manny Gorman's successful round of all 219 Corbetts in 70 days, in one continuous journey by running, cycling and sailing.

Manny's 70 Day Schedule

The Corbetts are Scottish hills between 2,500 and 3,000ft, with at least 500ft ascent on all sides.

"You're an idiot, but a truly inspirational one!" (Stuart Simpson)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Corbett Round Book!

After two years of hard work and waiting the book is finally here!
A mighty tome of 208 pages loaded with the full uncensored gory details.
Forewords by "Heavy" Whalley, MBE, BEM and Hamish Brown, MBE.
A daily account of the 70 day journey, including background preparation and planning.
Personal accounts from the many supporters and blog contributors.
86 colour photos, 20 annotated route maps, route statistics, Corbetts index.
Signed on request.
Available for £15.00 + p&p within UK from

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Number crunching instead of bones...

Well, after months of poring over maps, gps routes and endlessly checking contours I have come up with some figures to put against the 70 days.

Sailing approx 200 - 250 miles, no gps confirmation so simply measured off maps.
On foot - 998 miles & 420,673ft of ascent
On road bike - 1115 miles & 91,324ft of ascent
On MTB - 295 miles & 31,645ft of ascent

Total 2408 miles & 543,642ft of ascent

The bike and foot miles are almost exactly what I pre estimated, but the ascent is surprising.
I had thought the on-foot ascent would be considerably more, but have checked it quite carefully so can accept it.
The on-bike ascents were a big shock - 123,000ft!! I hadn't counted on that.
I have been as careful as I can with manual map checks but it is still an amazing figure, but becomes more believeable when you break it down to a per mile figure of only 87ft, despite the lumpy west coast of Scotland!

There have been many happy post mortems & parties of the Round and I hope to soon have a manageable selection of of the some 5000 photos ready for a few slide shows/beers for all my friends who came along and made it possible - and of course anyone else who fancies it!

Since the disasterous bike crash Brenny is slowly on the mend and the last visit to Raigmore confirms the healing is going as well as expected. Yesterday was a huge milestone in that recovery process when she completed (very carefully!) the Meall a Bhuachaile hill race in the Cairngorms to not only complete the Scottish Hill Runners Championship and claim her prized SHR completion mug, but also in the process claimed 1st place in the Westies Summer League hill racing championship! We couldn't have guessed at such a fantastic finish to such a dramtic season for both of us, but now at least Brenny can sit back and soak up her own personal achievement after many weeks of pain!
A note of thanks to JD for being the first person to congratulate her on the line.
It was much appreciated.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at one of the slide shows.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

39 days later - Brenda does Ben Loyal.

Wednesday 12th August - Ben Loyal

Manny, the boys & myself headed north on Monday afternoon after having spent the morning packing the van. This was after me trying to clean the cooker & wash down the shower as the rest of the van had already been cleaned by a friend. We headed to Inverness to do some Tesco shopping and a visit to the cinema as the boys wanted to see the new Harry Potter Film. We spent the night on the short cut road between Alness & Bonar Bridge as we thought the road would be a bit quieter.

We had a long lie on Tuesday morning then made our way up to Tongue with lots of cups of tea stops, a bit of reading and taking in the scenery. This was very different to what I was last used to as every stop normally involved around making tea, rolls, complan, pasta etc. We arrived at Tongue late afternoon just as it started raining so we went to the pub for a quick pint hoping the rain would stop to at least get a bit of fresh air before dinner. We had a quick walk to the castle in Tongue then headed off to find a nice place to park up for the night. We found a nice quiet spot overlooking Ben Loyal.

Wednesday morning the alarm went off and yet again we heard rain, so back to sleep for another long lie in, well I am on holiday…. We get up in time for brunch, get organised as the rain had stopped so we headed to Ribgill Farm for Ben Loyal. We headed off late afternoon passing 3 folk on the way up and got to the top where the views where magnificent and then we hid out of the wind and have a bite to eat. A couple of pictures were taken and then headed back down the hill. A couple of light showers came in but nothing serious. Back to the van to have tea, when we realised that the Scotland game had already started so we abandoned dinner and headed to the Tongue Hotel to see if the game was on and yes it was but unfortunately at that time it was 3-0 down. Had a couple of pints, and now it was 4-0 to Norway then back to the van for tea. Got another lovely parking spot for the night. We all had a game of monopoly in the van.

Thursday morning, well yes another long lie in, getting used to having everything done for me, this trip has gone complete reverse. Manny driving, cooking, washing, cleaning, shopping – well just about everything while I just sit back & relax.
We spent the day just chilling out, lots of stops & a visit around Smoo Cave at Durness. Then from here on it was rather strange as it brought back memories of the accident as I passed the Spar shop where Chris had to go in and ask for the dialling code for Durness so he could phone the out of hours as the Surgery had just closed. We then passed the Surgery and out onto the road which was a bit familiar, more single track roads. We found another quiet spot that night but the midges were a nightmare.

Friday morning we were heading home as I had a Physio appointment in the afternoon & on the way home we passed the parking space where I was parked & saw the track that I was on but did not want to go and check out the “accident spot”. I could remember bits of the journey on the night I was taken to Raigmore especially when Chris just about had us both in a ditch as he was trying to stay awake. Chris had the music on/off, heater on/off, windows up/down as he only had a few hours sleep the night before, he thought he had food poisoning.

Thanks to all who joined us on the trip, all who followed the blog & all who turned up for the surprise party, it was a very memorable trip & I am just pleased now that I made it up Ben Loyal & on road to recovery.

Thank you all once again. Brenda

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Determination sees Manny home

Published: 08 July, 2009 - Strathspey & Badenoch Herald

A BADENOCH man battled on to complete a record-breaking run round of all the Corbetts with a "heavy heart and legs" after his partner smashed her shoulder the day before his quest was due to end.

Manny Gorman, (41), from Kingussie, climbed all Scotland's 219 Corbetts in 70 days, running, cycling and sailing between far-flung peaks.

He achieved the remarkable goal when he reached the summit of Ben Loyal on Friday.

Manny is the first athlete to run all the Corbetts and travel between them without using motorised transport.

However, despite the months of meticulous planning, and overcoming a knee injury which threatened to derail the attempt half way through, the Highland Council housing officer's final triumph was wracked with tension.

As he crouched to get out of the howling wind on top of the mountain near Tongue in Sutherland, his 31-year-old partner, Brenda Paul, lay on an operating table in Inverness undergoing surgery on a badly injured shoulder.

After providing vital support since the trip began, disaster struck at the eleventh hour when Brenda crashed off Manny's bike en route to the final drop off point of the gruelling trip.

She bravely made her way unaided back to the couple's camper van which had been their mobile base throughout the trip.

Brenda was found there by support team member Chris Upson, who rushed her to the doctor's surgery in Durness, then to accident and emergency at Raigmore Hospital.

Manny was making his way off the second last Corbett, Fionaven, to be greeted by the news that Brenda was awaiting complex orthopaedic surgery for a dislocated shoulder.

"I was completely crushed on Thursday night with Brenda's news," he wrote on his blog. "I wasn't going to do the final day, it was all very dark. Hills didn't matter then - but they do.

"They get your head straight again, they clear the cobwebs away and flush the mind clean."

Manny admits he "hid in the van" that night, not wanting to face anyone except his two boys Duncan, (10), and Manuel, (12). "After the head spinning for hours and virtually no sleep I knew just had to do what Brenda wanted me to do - finish it."

On Friday morning, Manny set off for Ben Loyal.

"The day was sunny, hot but windy," he said. "Eventually with my boys Manuel and Duncan by my side, and a lump in my throat, I walked up onto the lovely top of An Caisteal, of Ben Loyal and it was over.

"Brenda was there with me just the same."

She told the "Strathy" how adrenaline took over and determination to help her partner finish the marathon challenge stayed foremost in her mind.

"I knew I was injured but kept thinking that after all the hard work and planning Manny needed to finish; adrenaline kept me going and I got back to the van.

"The pain and realisation really kicked in when we were on the way to Inverness. But during all the time I was still willing Manny to finish, and helped convince him to carry on and do the final hill."

She said she was "delighted and proud" that Manny had now finished the challenge. "It's a magnificent achievement for everyone involved.

The couple said that had it not been for friends, family and supporters from Westerlands Cross Country Running Club in Glasgow the record-breaking run would never have been completed.

Special thanks also went to their employers Highland Council for making it possible for them to take leave for the adventure, and sponsors the Cairngorms Brewery and Mike Bikes in Aviemore.

Former leader of Cairngorms Mountain Rescue Team John Allen and his wife, Anne, sailed Manny to island and remote west coast Corbetts during the first part of the trip, which began on April 25.

"Sailing down the west coast without using the engine was totally amazing," said Manny.

The Corbetts are Scottish hills between 2,500ft and 3,000ft, with at least 500ft climb on all sides.

The record for climbing the 284 Munros is held by fellow Westerlands club member Charlie Campbell, who completed them in 48 1/2 days.

"I wanted to do something a bit different and a running round of Corbetts has never been done before," Manny explained.

"It was more about the journey though and the record's just a wee bonus which is there for the taking if someone fancies giving it a go!"

The attempt almost foundered - and was set back several days - when Manny himself was injured in a bike crash near Strontian.

Manny said: "There certainly were ups and downs and it was looking bleak when I came off the bike.

"I started it just for me, plain selfish me – but in the end I finished it for Brenda and for every single person who helped or supported along the way. It wasn't just about the hills but the people too."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Out of hospital....

Hi everyone, thank you all for the lovely comments, cards, flowers all very much appreciated. I got out of hospital this afternoon after a visit from my Orthapedic Doctor this morning saying that I looked well enough to come home so a quick text message to my sister, Jennifer to come and collect me and get me out of this noisy mad house, as I had only recieved a few hours sleep from the noise and lovely fragrences...

I have not made it home yet as Manny is trying to put the bed & the house back together in between him returning back to work today, luckily Jennifer is a nurse and is on holiday so I have been getting full attention.

Many thanks to Chris for the long journey from Durness to Inverness and waiting with me, very much appreciated.

Thanks to Tilly & Christine for my t-shirt.

I will have to get used to being one handed for some time, pity it was my good arm, you would not believe how long it has taken me to type this.

See you all very soon.

Brenda x

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God, I need a hill!

It's all a bit odd.
From the best views in the world to spending the night parked up in Inverness, Raigmore Hospital car park then sitting in Tescos watching the crazy world go about its inane business. Looking forward to a very long lie in bed, I of course woke up at 7am, the body still thinking it was about to get it's daily punishment! Not today legs! However, I'm completely knackered mentally & physically and have spent the day doing a frustrating nothing other than seeing Brenny for an hour this morning and again this afternoon - I wish I had just headed off and done a wee hill this morning.
Anyway, many thanks to everyone for the best wishes and kind thoughts for Brenny - needless to say we were both absolutely shattered when she could not get to Ben Loyal. There is absolutely no way I could have achieved the Corbett Round if Brenda had not been there every step of the way to push me out in the rain, feed me, move the van, arrange all the supporters, come up hills with me, washing, cleaning, cooking, wipe my brow etc etc etc.
I was completely crushed on Thursday night with Brenda’s news. I wasn't going to do the final day, it was all very dark. Hills didn't matter then...but they do. They get your head straight again, they clear the cobwebs away and flush the mind clean. I hid the in van that night not wanting to face anyone except my 2 boys, and after the head spinning for hours and virtually no sleep I just had to do what Brenda wanted me to do - finish it.
So it was with heavy heart and legs I set off over Cranstackie and Beinn Spionnaidh, but with just the right company for such a trip with Mindy McLeod for good craic. The day was stunning sunny, hot but windy. The views from the tops were awesome and the last hill within touching distance. We trotted off to the now accumulated convoy of campervans and support cars down by Loch Eriboll with fierce cleg attacks coming in constantly. I hauled myself east on the road bike into a very strong head wind and over some dragging big hills eventually meeting Alec Keith cycling the opposite direction on a classic 1940's bike with scaffold tube framing, and sleek "grab cable & haul" gear shifts. Alec paced me, at a frightening rate of knots through Tongue to Ribigill farm where (apart from an advanced party & sadly Donald with a damaged ankle) the troops had mustered and after a few drinks in the boiling heat we trotted off up the last hill. I enjoyed nipping along the track on foot and bumped into a few of my biking buddies Pete Bennett & Graham Hall & his good lady Margaret, cycling off the hill. Radio Scotland’s Bill Wideford called me on the mobile and an live interview was arranged for the summit. My head & heart wasn’t really into doing an interview but I knew what Brenda (currently in the middle of 5 hour surgery) would be saying so with my 2 boys Manuel & Duncan, we hid out of the strong winds behind a rock and did a 5 minute spiel. (Apologies Bill if I seemed a bit lacklustre at the time) Another 5 minutes and with Manuel & Duncan by my side, and a lump in my throat, I walked up onto the lovely top of An Caisteal, of Ben Loyal and it was over.
Brenda was there with me just the same.
Davy, Christine, Dave, JD, Archie, Sandra, Hamilton, Mindy, and of course Chris were there to cheer me on and a few smashing drams, Cairngorm ales and champers were had in the howling wind along with loads of photos.
Phone calls & texts to a few folk including my Mum to confirm arrival.
A few moments alone.
Even my old Dad didn't miss out on the action, after somehow missing the entourage passing through Tongue, he eventually caught us up on his way up the final Ben with a good dram to help me off the hill, and then carrying a giant rock as a momento from the summit for me!! - thanks Dad.
I didn’t do the Corbetts on my own and could never have made it without the help of so many of my club mates and friends and my parents - from the wonderful week long sailing trip with John & Anne Allan, and the 2 crew shifts, to the hell of the Borders alone with Brenda, through the gruesome west coast with all sorts of Westies & friends, out east with Davy & Donald, back west for more tough weather and mind games but Dots doughnuts to keep me going, big pulls east again with Ken & Clare Rumgay for urgent help and good hill company, to Allan & Tilly Smith and more Westies, and then the massive pull north from beautiful Ardour with our own Charlie Campbell, all be it after nearly ending the trip with a disastrous bike fall, the days growing longer and longer all the time – 12 & 14 hours being the norm; beautiful Knoydart for 3 days, Manuel & Duncan being ferried back & forth to us for weekends, huge days through Torridon, and Poolewe with Dave Riach & Scott Kennedy, and constant encouragement from Archie & Sandra, Brenda bagging more hills every day, and the indomitable Mr Rogers to shove me around Straths Connon & Farrar, and the relief of getting to Assynt after great hills with Geoff, Ali, Pete, Elsie, the ever present Johnston, Andy and Cat, the ac/dc gig as an insane sideshow, and constantly juggling the schedule to suit 14 hour days.
I guess it would have been plain boring if the story didn’t have a final cruel twist.
A tough few days with Don, Elma, and Dave Dave, including the extraordinary venture across Arkle & Fionnaven in a thunder storm led to the end of Brenda’s journey in hellish circumstances, again whilst still trying to help me with a bike a delivery.
I started it just for me, plain selfish me – but in the end I finished it for Brenda and for every single one (I’m sorry if I do not mention you all in these lines but there are dozens, and I am now drunk in Kincraig!) who helped or supported along the way, even just on the blog or with a text.
It wasn’t just about the hills but the people too.
Thank you all for making it, we both enjoyed every minute.

Lots of love
Manny & Brenda

If anyone has any photos at all would you mind putting them on a cd and posting it to us, or even better – give us your written views of the hills you managed with us!
I will get around to doing the stats sometime soon – I know the mileage will be around 2400, but the ascent figure was purposely not pre estimated as it may have done my head in from the start – I expect it to be between 600,000 to 700,000ft!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Around the Corbetts in 70 Days

We all thought Manny was mad, and he has proved us correct by today completing his astonishing self- and wind-propelled round of Corbetts in 70 days.

From the eve of London Marathon on 25th April, until Wimbledon men's semi-final day on 3rd July, Manny has been relentlessly chasing his dream right through the months of May and June. The only 'rest' days in the whole 10 week epic came due to getting stormbound between Jura and Arran at the end of the first week, and then much later 3 days R&R were needed after crashing off his bike just before Strontian.

The first weeks saw some of the coldest wettest windiest early May weather on record, with Manny getting repeated batterings during his progress through Galloway, Moffat and Arrochar. The tide finally turned for the epic trip through from Loch Lomond to Ben Ledi, and the scene was set for a mighty sweeping move north through the southern and central highlands.

But of course Manny was only half the team, and Brenda has been working overtime the past 10 weeks keeping Manny fed, watered and motivated through the countless ups and downs. And just when the finish appeared to be within grasp on the penultimate day, the story saw one final cruel twist with Brenda crashing off Manny's bike and badly breaking her right shoulder. This happened at the base of Foinaven on the track past Gualin House. Brenda was on her own, and when I had returned from Durness found her in the van clearly in pain and distress. I took her straight to Durness, but discovered they could nothing more than put her arm in a sling and give her 2 x Tramadol and suggested we head straight for Raigmore Hospital at Inverness.

Seriously tired and head-nodding, we arrived at Raigmore A&E around 8.30pm where Brenda was fast-tracked through. They put her straight on morphine and off for an X-ray. It was around 11pm when we finally saw the orthopaedic surgeon who seemed quite impressed at the comprehensive damage Brenda had done to her shoulder.

All slighty surreal and shell-shocked I found a bed at a complete strangers house in Inverness courtesy of Brenda, and left first thing Friday morning to head back to Raigmore Ward 3A. It looked likely they would operate this afternoon, so there was no question of Brenda making an appearance at Ben Loyal for Manny's final hill.

After a hospital cooked breakfast I blasted back up the Lairg road followed by single-track to Tongue and found Manny just as he was dropping off Beinn Spionnaidh with Mindy Macleod. Manny then flew off round the coast on a hilly 22-miler on the bike getting paced by Alec Keith for the last few miles. We all reconvened at Ribigill Farm for the final ascent, with a group gathering at the summit of Ben Loyal around 4.30pm.

We were all keenly aware of Brenda's absence, but has we were hunkering down on the summit in the howling wind Brenda was in the midst of a 5 hour operation to re-construct her shoulder. I dropped by at 9pm and she seemed bright enough and good spirits after coming round from the general anaesthetic.

Once again, a massive well done to Manny and Brenda on a truly remarkable achievement, and I hope Brenda is soon up and about and making a speedy recovery.

Breaking news - Day 70 - Completion on Ben Loyal

Manny reached the summit of Ben Loyal today at around 16:30, thereby completing all 219 Corbetts in an incredible 70 days.


As far as I am aware, this is a record by a considerable margin. (Other known rounds listed at

Manny has been interviewed live on air from the summit of Ben Loyal by Radio Scotland. The interview is on Newsdrive for 03/07/09 on the iPlayer for the next few days - - it's about 13 mins into the programme.

And talking of breaking, as Dot mentioned in her comments to the last blog entry, our best wishes for a good recovery go to Brenda, who broke her shoulder yesterday in a fall from the mountain bike, and had to go to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

More details to follow in due course on both parts of the story.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 69 Kinloch – Gualin House

Manny has set of this morning with JD to do Meallan Liath Coire Mhic Dhughaill. Just as I was about to leave to go and collect the bike which Manny set of with this morning down a track for a mile, Dave Calder arrived so I sent him of to do his duties to collect the bike while I did the breakfast dishes. Chris was not feeling very well this morning, he has been here since Monday and can’t handle the pace..... Donald & Dave were going to head off to meet Manny at Meall Horn and do Arkle with him. Another glorious day today so I hope it continues for tomorrow.

As far as tomorrow goes he will be doing Cranstackie & Beinn Spionnaidh in the morning followed by a 19 mile road bike to Tongue for Ben Loyal to be in the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 68 - Hampden - Ben Hee

News just in is that Glas Bheinn, Beinn Leoid, and Ben Hee were completed today. I'd love to be able to describe the fantastic views, great weather etc, but it'd all be a load of rubbish as I've been in an office in Glasgow all day! However, Chris has been accompanying Manny and has been able to give me a wee update from Sutherland by text. I've updated the map accordingly.

(I could probably tell you a bit more about AC/DC last night though as I could hear the gig from ma hoose!)

So, 7 Corbetts to go - Thursday should end on Arkle and Foinaven per the schedule, and (fingers crossed) our hero should complete on Ben Loyal on Friday.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 67 - AC/DC

Latest news from the ground is that Brenda, Gormanator, & crew, safely made it to the salubrious environs of Glasgow’s Hampden Park tonight to enjoy a few easy hours listening to some ‘Classical’ music. This will defo let them cut some steam from the trials & tribulations of big record setting, before, (and all things being well), they are back on the case tomorrow in the far NW for the last few days and hills. If Manny is doing Cranstackie and Beinn Spionnaidh on the Friday morning, then that should mean an afternoon ascent of Loyal, hence giving us southern Sassenachs a chance to get up there in time, but no doubt Man & Bren will be able to tighten down on times in the next few days, depending on how the boy wonder is doing himself. Let us know?
Anyway, safe drive back up the road – you really do know how to live on ‘The Razors Edge’…

Monday, June 29, 2009

Friday 3rd July 2009 - Ben Loyal

It looks like at the present time with only 13 Corbetts left to do that Friday 3rd July 2009 will be the last one, Ben Loyal for those that can make it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 65 - Black Bridge to Glencalvie

After a mad dash from the Arrochar Alps race to Ullapool in time for last orders on Saturday night, myself and Andy had a bit of a slow start on Sunday, giving Manny a head start on the way from Black Bridge to Beinn a'Chaisteil. Manny, Brenda, Pete, Elsie, Dave, Geoff, and Ali had mountain bikes, so it was a tough shift to do a 5-mile run to catch them. Seeing figures high on the hill, we dumped our bags and raced upwards, in time to catch Manny just coming down from the summit. Unfortunately, a logistical cock-up meant we didn't have Manny's fave fell shoes to replace the trainers he uses mostly for biking. The fell shoes were thereafter referred to loudly as "my ----ing shoes!!!". Oops. Anyway, on to the summit and back down with Brenda and Ali, while Manny made the most of the sun to ride on to Carn Ban with Dave, Pete, Elsie and Geoff.

After the long run back out, I just had enough time for the 90-min drive to Glencalvie, where the infamous shoes were successfully transported up the glen for Manny. By this time Cat Miller had made an unexpected but very welcome appearance, and when Manny and Geoff arrived by bike after doing Carn Ban (the others went back to Black Bridge), we set off at a cracking pace towards the summit of Carn Chuinneag. Manny was powering along, running even some uphills, and after a short summit stop, the gang of 5 headed back to the glen, another Corbett done in 75 mins.

Don't know if Manny cycled north afterwards, but I'm sure Brenda will provide details when she gets the chance. Today was yet another illustration of how busy she is and what a great job she does in keeping Manny on the road.

202 Corbetts done, 17 to go...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Quick update before heading away into Strathconnon

Please check the updated schedule on the front page of the blog, it is getting updated regularly.

If anyone fancies a bit of biking on Sunday then Manny will be leaving at 8.30am from blackbridge, on the Ullapool road, if any of you Carrbridge bikers want to join us. A couple of hills also which can be done, although you will need to sort out your travel arrangements.

It also looks live the last Corbett, Ben Loyal will be Friday 3rd July 2009.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 61 – Glen Leitire Nature Trails – Ardessie

Manny started at 7.45am this morning for a 22 mile cycle to Poolewe, more food & drink. David headed off just in front of him and I jogged in just past Kernsary for 4 miles to pick up the mountain bike that Manny was cycling in with and had an enjoyable cycle back. Another stunning day for 6 hills which they off doing at the moment. A grand total of 26 miles today. Poor David was carrying all the food day, they away with a dozen rolls, pork pies, cakes, biscuits etc… but I am sure with Manny being around they will all be demolished by the end of the day. I had a lovely afternoon in Gairloch, had a walk around the harbour, and got to laundry facilities done, which were well overdue. At present I am overlooking Little Loch Broom having an ice cream. I don’t expect them back until late. I think the road bike east to Loch a’Bhraoin will be added to tomorrow.

Day 60 – Lochan an Lasgair – Glas Leitire Nature Trails

David Riach joined us at 8am this morning after his cycle from Kinlochewe Hotel. They headed away for a short cycle to Coire Mhic Nobail car park, Upper Loch Torridon where Scott Kennedy was already there to start. Another big day, 3 hills ahead, the sun was out so all 3 headed away for Beinn Dearg, Baosbheinn & Beinn an Eoin. All 3 returned back to the car park at 5pm to be met by Charlie, his folks and the van. I had an enjoyable day today, went into Lochcarron for a couple of hours and spent the day getting a bit of sun. Quick turnaround, food & drink and Manny & David set off to Glas Leitire Nature Trails. David cycled to Poolewe while Manny headed off for his final 2 hills for the day, Ruadh-stac Beag & Meall a’Ghiubhais at 7pm. Charlie & I headed off to meet him on his 2nd hill at Meall a’Ghiubhais. It was a stunning evening, lovely views from the top, and came of the hill at 11pm.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 59 - Bealach na Ba - Lochan an Lasgair

Monday, 22nd June
Manny & I headed off out into the rain again, very poor visability to do Beinn Bhan & Sgurr a'Chaorachain. The 1st hill was nice and easy but it seemed a long way to Sgurr a'Chaorachain, it rained and rained and the map & compass came out a lot. 4½ hours later we were back at the van trying to dry out, food & drink and then Manny headed off for his 30 mile cycle to Lochan an Lasgair car park for Sgurr Dubh & Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine which is where he is at the moment, I am expecting him shortly. Surprise surprise it is still raining. I headed off into Kinlochewe to get gas and water. While I was there I met Charlie & his folks they are up to join as for a couple of days and David Riach turned up on his bike, he had cycled from Inverness. He was booked into the Kinlochewe Hotel for the night and is joining us for the next couple of days along with Scott Kennedy. Manny will do Beinn Dearg tomorrow to catch up on the hill he missed today, hopefully along with the other 4 scheduled. The weather is meant to be improving from Wednesday, so here’s hoping

Day 58 - Craig to Bealach na Ba

Sunday, 21st June
Dave & Manny headed away for an epic 17 miles, 3 hills - Fuar Tholl, An Ruadh Stac & Beinn Damh. The estimated time I was given was between 5-6 hours, and by 6pm they were still not back, eventually 7pm they arrived back to the van, nearly 9 hours later..... Dave was meant to back in Edinburgh by 9pm, so that was never going to happen and Manny still had 2 hills to do, which also never happened. He cycled from Kinloch Damph to the Viewpoint on Bealach na Ba road so that he could start there in the morning. Well that was a very long and interesting 5 miles in the campervan never mind the road bike, it was raining, no visability and all I kept on praying was not to meet any cars as I was going nowhere. Anyway I survived and Manny was not long behind me. Poor Douglas from our Wednesday night biking crew turned up to do the last 2 hills with Manny, but as he ended up not doing them he ended up going home, after having a going up part of Beinn Damh looking for them and had no luck and turned back in case he had missed them. He will just need to join us again before the end.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 57 - Strath Croe - Killilan Forest - Craig

Passed Manny as he cycled along the road from Strath Croe to Killilan this morning, and met up with Brenda at the Killilan car park. After the usual excellent hospitality from Brenda (she's a star!) Manny then biked the extra mile from the public car park to Killilan to start the climb, while Dot the Doughnut Lady collected the bike.

Manny's hill crew for today consisted of me, fellow Westie Andy Mott, and Andy's girlfriend Maria, who had all made the long journey north on Friday night for a big day out on the hills of the Killilan Forest on Saturday. First summit of the day was Sguman Coinntich, tackled via a steep climb from the Allt a'Choire Mhoir. Although Manny isn't as quick after his injury a couple of weeks ago, we did still manage a good jog across to Faochaig, with the weather still undecided on the cloud vs sun debate.

Andy and Maria dropped back at Faochaig, tackling it at a gentler pace before heading back down into Glen Elchaig. Manny and I descended via a stalker's path to consider an approach to Aonach Buidhe, again deciding on a steep and direct line. 3 large deer kept a watchful eye on us as we headed for the summit in conditions which were now pleasantly sunny (this cheered Manny up!). As my car was back at Killilan, we said our farewells and I headed down to Iron Lodge for the 8 mile jog back along Glen Elchaig, collecting Andy and Maria on the way to completing a 23-mile 3-Corbett day, which was nothing compared to Manny's efforts!

Manny went north to do Beinn Dronaig, Beinn Tharsuinn, and Sgurr na Feartaig before getting the MTB off the hill (brought in by Brenda), and finishing his 26-mile hill journey at around 10pm.

So that's another 6 hills completed for Manny, who is still grinding through the list at a relentless pace (leaving me wheezing behind him), despite injury slowing him down. Well over 75% complete now and fewer than 50 hills to go.

I'm just back in after the 4-hour drive home. Been a long day, folks. G'night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 56 – Bunloinn Forest – Strath Croe

Up early this morning another windy day but it was not raining to start with. He must only have been away 5 mins and then the rain started. He headed away to do Meall Dubh and Jim went to meet him for the last couple of miles with the mountain bike. Back at the van for Bacon & egg rolls before heading away for his 20 miles. He was taking his bike in for 5 miles up River Doe towards his 1st hill and Jim was collecting it and then taking it around to the forest for Manny to collect for the last 3 miles after his 3rd hill tonight. Thanks to Jim for all his bike duties, as I would have struggled today getting the bike over the deer gates. The plan for today is Aonach Shasuinn, Carn a’Choire Ghairbh & Sgurr Gaoraic and I am meeting him at the Strath Croe Cemetery car park some point this evening. He is away with his head torch so I am guessing it’s going to be another late one today and not to start panicking and calling mountain rescue. Dot and I headed into Broadford to get some shopping and managed to get some washing done. It was nice and sunny that direction, then it started to rain as we headed back to Shiel Bridge.

Day 55 – Shiel Bridge to Bunloinn Forest

Quick 3 mile road bike from Shiel Bridge to Strath Croe then he headed up Sgurr An Airgid while the rain was hammering down as he was hesitating to get out as Dot & I were downloading the GPS he thought it would be more interesting to stay and see the routes that he has taken rather than go and do the hill, eventually kicked him out as Jim had taken his mountain bike a good bit up the track which looked rather entertaining for coming down. He was back to the van and Peter Bennett from Aviemore had joined us for the day. He had quick bite to eat, drink and then had a 15 mile road cycle to just back the Cluanie Inn while, Dot, Peter, Manny & myself headed up Am Bathach. Back to the van more food, drink and then Manny set of on his mountain bike to do Beinn Loinne. Peter headed out on his bike with him for the 4 mile cycle out to the high point on the track and back while Jim was already away in to collect Manny’s bike. Jim had already dropped my bike off for Manny to collect at the other of this track as this saved him 3 miles. He arrived at the van at 7pm absolutely frozen, knackered and there was no way he was going to do Meall Dubh this evening, instead shower something to eat at the Clunie Inn and early to bed as he knew he would have a even bigger day now. He even thought that he might just manage the 1 hill and have to leave the other 3 until Saturday. Iced his leg and the usual drugs.

Day 54 - Kinloch Hourn to Shiel Bridge

Just quick update - Buidhe Bheinn & Sgur a Bhac Chaolais, Beinn nan Caorach, Beinn na h-Eagaise & Sgurr Mhic Bharraich were all done on Wednesday. I had a visit to a friend's sister in law in Shiel Bridge where I was able to fill up with water and have a couple of cups of tea while I waited for Dot to arrive. Thanks Alison for the contact and Fiona for the cups of tea. I met Dot at Shiel bridge and we drove around to meet Manny at Suardalan Bothy, the timings were perfect we were just heading to meet him and there he was jogging towards the Bothy. I think he was surprised to see us as he was not expecting us. I ended up doing the last hill with him Sgurr Mhic Bharriach as it was nice and sunny but within 20 mins, we were drenched and by the top it was hailstones. We were down the back of 9pm, quick shower and mad dash to the Kintail pub for tea and a pint. Jim Hall from Newtonmore joined us tonight for a couple of days.

Almost Midsummer

Well another Friday and so the end of week eight beckons. Spoke to the Gormanator last night and he is sounding fooked, both mentally and physically. He seems to have got in and out of Knoydart unscathed, despite some big hill days, but the return to pishy weather is kicking off the mind games – there is nothing worse than when you are already jiggered, to look out the window at the heaving rain and know you’ve got to drag yir weary soul out into the storm.
When they get the time, and a pc connection, Manny and Brenda will no doubt fill in the details, but it’s that old chestnut of being so near yet so far, that seems to be rearing it’s ugly head – all the hard groundwork has been done over the last two months, and now it’s credit crunch time for the last two weeks. Needless to say, but if anyone has any spare moments over the coming fortnight, then I’m sure the pair of them will be glad of any company, whither on the hill or just bringing a brew & scone.
Keep at it Manny – when the going gets tough, the tough…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 53 - Knoydart to Kinloch Hourn

Another 3 hills done - Beinn na Caillich, Sgurr Coire Choinnichean & Sgurr nan Eugallt. Another stunning day. I set off from Kingussie around midday to give enough time to drive down to Kinloch Hourn. It was a nice drive around to meet Manny, although I was not at the exact location..... I had stopped about a mile too early, I had thought I was in the right spot, so as you can guess I was not too popular when he came off the hill..... I think he had visions that I had gone off the road or pranged the van, but once I served him with steak pie & beer it was fine and he came out of his strop. Ken & Claire from Lochaber met with Davy in Fort William to hand over the bike and his belongings before they headed up to meet me at Kinloch Hourn. Thanks to Davy, Ken & Claire for helping out over the last couple of days. It was a very windy night and he was not looking forward to another long day.

Day 52 - Sourlies Bothy to Knoydart

Manny left the Bothy early on Monday morning and headed to do Ben Aden, Sgurr a'Choire-bheithe & Beinn Bhuidhe. He had a lovely day and the weather was lovely. I received a call about 8.30 that evening letting me know that he had arrived in Knoydart and all was well. He was in The Old Forge having a pint or 2 before heading to The Old Byre Lodge Bunkhouse where he met up with Davy Duncan who had arrived at Inverie this morning to take his bike up a good track to save his poor legs.... They then headed back to The Old Forge for food & drink, although the food was not up to his usual standards.... I did not tell him until last night but the bunkhouse was £30pppn, he just about had a heart attack.....


We apologise for this interuption due to technical problems with our Knoydart Transmitter. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
In the meantime we bring you a short Public Information Film:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 51 - Glen Dessary to Sourlies Bothy

Climbing Sgurr an Fhuarain
More photos from Day 51...
Chris, Ellie & Manny all headed off for Sgurr an Fhurain & Sgurr Cos na Breachd-Laoigh. They had a 10 minute head start as Manny was taking the Mountain bike for 3 miles down the track. I had an enjoyable 6 mile run out to A Chuil Bothy and back in the glorious sunshine, and then prepared food for Manny’s night away while Manny packed for his trip into Sourlies Bothy. Chris & Ellie departed. He has Carn Mor & Bidean a’Chabair to also do this evening before arriving at the Bothy. I headed off in front of him for 3 miles while he came in on the mountain bike which I took back to the van before heading back around Loch Arkaig where I would get a signal to try and organise accommodation in Inverie, bike, ferry timetable.

I had a lovely drive back around Loch Arkaig into Fort William to drop of Manny’s mountain bike which Davie Duncan will collect to take to Inverie tomorrow. Gave Davie all his instructions and contacted Ken who is then collecting the bike and taking around to Kinloch Hourn to meet me on Tuesday evening.

I have a day off tomorrow so I am heading to the shops for some retail therapy while Manny has 2 large days on Knoydart and I will meet him on Tuesday evening at Kinloch Hourn.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 50 - Loch Eilt to Glen Dessary

Climbing Sgurr Mhurlagain
More photos from Day 50...
He headed away to do 3 hills, Sgurr an Utha, Streap & Braigh nan Uamhachan and I was heading away to fill up with fuel, shopping & water and we were meeting at Glen Dessary. I had a rather interesting long drive around Loch Arskaig which seemed to go on for ever but got there in time to go and meet Manny with the bike. He advised that he thought he would be away for 4/5 hours so I headed off at 2.30 with the bike to meet him in the forest, but after waiting for over an hour and a half I headed back to the van, pad locked his bike to the fence post hoping he would see it as the heavens opened I got completely soaked. About half an hour later he appeared,, drenched too. He had a quick bite to eat & drink and then headed away to do Sgurr Mhurlagain & Fraoch Bheinn at about 6pm.

Ellie & Chris arrived shortly after so they headed off to meet him and do Sgurr Mhurlagain. We had dinner, few beers which were kindly brought from the Loch Lochy Munro’s Hill Race - Glenfinnan ales.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 49 - Luke at that view!!

Many thanks to Luke for suggesting to stay high from Beinn MhicCedidh across to The Rois-Bheinn 3. It was epic. Tired and sore, sure, but absolutely amazing stuff!
Me, Brenny, Charlie & June are all sitting in the camper west of Rois-Bheinn looking out across to Rum, Eigg and Skye with the most incredible sunset going on, and a beer in hand to sooth my tingling legs after a 20 min soak in the sea.
A cracking day of 5 in the sun, baking at times, and even a wee sleep on one of the tops.
Brenda, June, Chas & four legged Stella met me on top of the last hill, An Stac and an enjoyable walk off was had.
Heading into Glen Dessary tomorrow for a handful over the weekend, before heading into Knoydart for a few huge days.
Knee still very sore but improving.
Cheers everyone


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 48 - Manny hits a sweet 6!

And so came to an end one of the finest days on the hills I ever had.
After a short mtb into Glen Gour (thanks to Charlie & June for taking it out again)I cracked out the 6 Corbetts north of Garbh Bheinn, with a tinge of regret that it was done seperately and not as part of a magnificent 7. Never mind, I'm back on the move again and while the knee was sore all day long, it was manageable with the sticks and drugs. The sticks were an almighty pain in the backside to use but an unavoidable evil that certainly helped me through a huge day - I just hope the leg recovers enough to let me stop using them soon. The weather stayed kind with only a few very light showers, not meritting taking the waterproof out the sack. It was fantastic looking back from Sgorr Craobh a' Chaorainn towards Beinn na h-Uamha such a long way away. As I was sitting scoffing the last of my grub on the now chilly last top, Brenda popped her head above the skyline having lugged up from Callop, via a scenic deep bog! This lovely glen has nowbeen scarred beyond repair by a massive road ripped out of the hillside to allow a new but small hydro scheme to be built, but with dis-proportionate destruction of the glen. Charlie eased my final descent pain on a sore knee by pushing up my mtb for the last mile back to the van.Cheers.
Back in the Stronlossit Inn for an outrageous steak dinner and a couple of fine beers (everywhere else in Lochaber having apparently stopped serving food just when when people may want to eat!) Looking forward to tomorrows 5, maybe even with an extra 1 if feeling good.
What better way to come back with a record 6 in one go.
Cheers all