A record breaking human power relay over every Scottish mountain over 1KM high!

The ARCHIE Foundation's Mountain Challenge

Ben Cruachan WITH Giles Ruck (12th JUNE)


I was relaxing back in Dundee having finished what I thought was my last stint of the Challenge over the Grey Corries and the Aonachs, and having watched the tracker make its way over the Mamores, the Ben, and down Glen Coe. The team looked to be making good progress.

19:18 pm. My phone went. It was a text from Russell.

 "Mate, Archie calls. Ben Cruachan needs done tomorrow.  Easy 10km up and down. Big path. Could be as early as 9am but you know how these things slide"

Arse. Had I said I was available? Early start then.

Archie Mountain Challenge Reflections

Having checked the tracker in the morning a 9 am start looked optimistic. I drove to the jetty at Taynuilt where I was joined by Nicky Conway, Katy Boocock and Paul Fettes. We waited for a while in glorious sunshine looking up Loch Etive to await the arrival of the kayakers. Paul was ready to cycle up the road to the visitor centre for the Cruachan Power station. Nicky and Katy didn’t really need to be there because they wouldn't be needed until later in the day, but these relaxed moments of contemplation were some of the best moments of the challenge. It was good to spend time with other like minded individuals, and involvement in this event was proving strangely addictive. After a while, paddlers Dave Henderson and Gordon Wishart appeared on the glassy water and we watched them slowly approach, their paddles dipping into the water with metronomic regularity. Once they had handed Rabbie over to Paul, I drove up to the visitor centre to meet my running partner for the day, Gilles Ruck.

The sun shone. It was not long until Paul appeared, grinning from ear to ear. Giles and I duly set off just after midday, and made quick progress up to and around the reservoir then sharply up to the summit. Not much time for hanging about, a few obligatory summit selfies and back down to the visitor centre to pass Rabbie on to waiting cyclist Brian Stevenson.

Easy 10km up and down. Yes.

Big path. Yes.

9am start. I don't think so.

Time enough left in the day to enjoy a drink in the sunshine and realise this was definitely my last Archie of the Challenge.