For me it started with a mention about a mythical/insane climbing challenge from a friend Peter Dorrington who was getting me started on rock in early 2013. I thought “I’d never be able to do something like that” then in Spring 2015 Fraser called me and said he was putting a team together to do it and asked if I wanted to join. I knew he was a cracking leader and that Robert (Hastie) was a great man to have on a hill so decided I was in.
Bobby Motherwell started the Big Hex challenge in 2013 to give climbers a version of the “3 Peaks Challenge” and to raise visibility and funds for Scottish Mountain Rescue. Bobby’s team was the only other team to finish the climbing routes, prior to the West Lothian (Mountaineering Club) team’s attempt.
Our team led by Fraser Brown, successfully completed it in 34hrs, 45mins (setting a new record) between September 18th and 19th with a total of 23 hours en route – not travelling, eating or sleeping – raising almost £4000 for Scottish Mountain Rescue in the process. In doing so we not only made the round but set a new record!
Fraser on NE Buttress
© Alan McIntosh
“That 34hrs and 45mins was in itself the best time I’ve ever had on the mountains. The challenge is tough and takes commitment but to do it with two guys who gave it their all and were still able to laugh all the way through was great.”
– Fraser Brown , as quoted on the UKC website where you can read the full story
The routes are (in order of completion):
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ascent: North East Buttress 300 metres (1892 Sept) J, E, B, & C Hopkinson, Very Difficult ***
Start Point: The North Face Car Park
Descent: Tower Ridge 600 metres 1892 Sept) J, E, B & C Hopkinson, Difficult ****
Finish Point: The North Face Car Park
The Northern Cuillin, Isle of Skye
Ascent: Pinnacle Ridge (1880) C and L Pilkington, Difficult **
Start Point: The Sligachan Hotel
Descent: West Ridge (Sgurr Nan Gillean) and Coire a’ Bhasteir (Unknown), Moderate **
Finish Point: The Sligachan Hotel
Buachaille Etive Mor, Glen Coe
Ascent: North Buttress (West Route) 300 metres (1895 July) W Brown, Rose, W Tough, Moderate *
Start Point: Lagangarbh (222 560) SMC Hut Just over the River Coupall opposite Altnafeadh on the A82 road
Descent: Curved Ridge 240 metres GB Gibbs, Moderate **
Finish Point: Lagangarbh (222 560) SMC Hut Just over the River Coupall opposite Altnafeadh on the A82 road
The 34 odd hours were incredible – we had a brilliant time, climbed well, laughed a lot and pulled each other through. we started climbing as a team and ended as brothers.
These guys are are a part of me now!
Extracts from the article we submitted to UKC