A record breaking human power relay over every Scottish mountain over 1KM high!
The ARCHIE Foundation's Mountain Challenge
The descent was slow because the terrain is real mountain stuff, bigsharpjaggy stanes, you know the kind but we got down safely then scampered along to the western approach of Sgurr Fiona where it was back to all fours and a rapid ascent.
We hadn’t even seen the peak of Sgurr Fiona but when we got there she revealed all of her glories to us in five minutes of wanton abandonment - what a scene unfolded. All of the Archies to the south were clear and the view over to the Atlantic and beyond. A special moment to savour. Get the picture. Lets get outta here.
The descent from Sgurr Fiona is for the surefooted like the feral goats that live in this part of Scotland but once you are back in the northern beallach you can scoot swiftly down the old footpath to Dundonnell where your transport may be waiting. Unfortunately for us that meant a quick change of shoes and a pedal up to where Nick and Grant were waiting for us to deliver Rabbie to them for the journey over the 1km high Fannaichs.
We had enjoyed watching the clouds and clag clear from the cliffs and ridges of this magnificent mountain for the last 45 minutes and were now starting to make the final approach to our first Archie. Fellow walkers on their way down had told us that there was plenty of snow but it was all soft and wouldn’t pose a problem for two bandits in trainers and lycra. The depths of the Glas Tholl corrie down to our left was perhaps a wee bit less intimidating than it might have been when not filled with cloud and as we used all four limbs to reach the summit we realised that it was indeed a little cold. The view of the Atlantic and Summer Isles we had enjoyed over our right shoulders was gone, cloud level being at about 1km up! A quick summit selfie with Archie and we were off to Sgurr Fiona.
“This might not be your first Munro Ben but it will definitely be the finest mountain you’ve ever climbed.”
I tried to impress upon Ben just how much of a privilege it was that we were making our Archie debut on such a magnificent mountain as An Teallach - which hosts the two most northerly of all the Archies. “This a real belter Ben, arguably the finest mountain in the whole of the British Isles and certainly in the top ten” I enthused as we trotted up the northeastern shoulder of Meall Garbh that carries walkers, runners and climbers onto the beallach that separates Glas Meall Mohr and Bidean a Ghlas Thuill.