Tranter’s round is a circuit of 18 Munros over 36 miles and 20,000 foot of ascent, covering the Mamores, Grey Corries, Aonachs, Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis. As a 24 hour round it has been superseded by the Ramsey round but it still proves be a good challenge for decidedly amateur runners like those at Invergarry Lodge.
Things were never off to a good start for Team Invergarry – we’d had to arrange it two months in advance due to Mark’s hectic calendar so we only had a small weather window to work with. We had two days to choose from…either 65mph wind, cloud and rain or 75mph wind, cloud and rain…we chose the former.
It actually looked quite promising as we set off from the Glen Nevis youth hostel, until we got about two miles down the road and realised we’d forgotten the map – it didn’t bode well, we should have just given up then. The next obstacle was a pretty hideous diversion through a boggy forest and up a much steeper than planned route to avoid some forestry works on the ascent to Mullach nan Coirean.
The weather wasn’t too bad as we reached the first Munro and things were beginning to look up…the first two Munros flew by before we dropped our bags and headed across Devils Ridge for the first out and back of the day, Sgurr a’Mhaim.
We were even treated to a Brocken spectre on our way up Stob Ban.
As we turned back to come back across Devils Ridge our luck with the weather had run out, the forecasted high winds had arrived and we were treated to a nice healthy dose of hail. We got back to our bags and started rummaging for warm gear when I discovered my hat and gloves had decided not to accompany us on our adventure, using spare socks as gloves does not make for warm hands!
The next 5 km over Am Bodach and Stob Choire a Chairn were of the head-down-and-plough-on variety with wind, rain and rapidly descending darkness for company.
Although it was firmly thrust on my shoulders the decision to bail out seemed like a mutual one at the time. As soon as we headed past the cairn of An Gearanach and continued downwards rather than heading back for Munro number 7 (number 8 according to Mark!) the weather increased in its ferocity and confirmed our decision.
Check out Mark’s fogged up glasses (which makes for interesting descents) and official hardcore mountain man beard!
Crossing the wire bridge at Steall Falls in the pitch dark was interesting but from here it was only a short 11 km back to the warmth of the van, and oh look, my hat and gloves waiting for me on the dashboard.
PS. Check out Pete Duggan‘s site if you want more info on the Tranter round.