Scottish hillrunner (and GP) Finlay Wild has just entered the record books by clocking up a new record time crossing the fearsome Cuilling traverse on the isle of Skye.
On Saturday 12th October2013 Finlay Wild crossed the 11 mountain ridge in an astonishing 2 hours 59 minutes and 22 seconds.
Unsurprisingly, this was not Finlay’s first time on the Cuilling Ridge. Having first attempting the ridge 10 years ago, he has been returning and clocking up record attempts in recent years. He managed to score a 3 hour 10 minute back in June, only to discount himself as he forgot to touch the summit stone of one of the 11 mountains climbed.
Up until this weekend, the record stood at a 3 hours 14 minutes and 58 seconds (also held by Wild). This is the first time that anyone has managed to slip in under the magic 3 hour mark.
The Cuillin traverse is one of the great mountain routes in the British isles and is said to be the closest terrain in Britain to resemble the Alps.
Its fearsomely jagged peaks sit proud on the skyline. The full traverse as run by Wild takes in 11 Munros (peaks of over 3000 feet) in a stretch of 7 miles. That may not seem very far, but to the average mountain walker the route normally takes between 15-20 hours. The problem comes with the difficulty of the terrain. There are four sections that need to be properly climbed including the most difficult of all the Scottish Munros- the Inaccessible Peak. As you may imagine it’s quite difficult to get to the top of that one- with a 30 metre climbing pitch involved.
Sections of the route are also traditionally abseiled down but, on a solo speed attempt, Wild didn’t have the such luxuries as ropes and climbing partners. Instead he down-climbed the technical descents- a much more challenging prospect.
Here’s a video of the frankly astounding accomplishment.