The Cairngorm Munros (Rigby Round)                       More Ultra Routes

To many the Cairngorms represent an area of unique and unsurpassed wilderness. Nowhere in Great Britain can you stay so high for so long as their arctic-like plateaux roll on for miles before you. The spirit of this wild landscape appears to have cast its own magic spell by inspiring a tradition of true adventure running. In contrast with most other runs it is suggested that the route is completed solo and unsupported and, ideally, there should be no prior reconnoitre!   The inaugural round was by Mark Rigby on 24-25 July 1988 in 22-44 ticking off 17 Munros in 75 miles with 19,000 feet of ascent during some horrendous weather. Since then Angel Peak has been elevated to Munro status and there has been a handful of notable completions of all 18 Munros. These have included Bob Berzins (1999), Phil Clark (2004 with one support point), Rob Woodall (2008) and Yiannis Tridimas (2009).


The round, as you may expect, is an informal affair. It may be started at any point, completed in either direction and, as there are significant route options, the peaks can be visited in any order. In addition, as already mentioned, it has by tradition, become an on-sight, solo run, without support. There is no time limit although 24 hours will be the obvious target for most runners.  Future contenders may find Rob Woodall’s recent report and recommended route helpful – see below. If anyone ever feels completions are becoming too commonplace Rob suggests there is scope for extending the round by taking up Mark Rigby's rather wry proposal: "Purists might even add in all the 'tops'. No prior recce's allowed though!" !!


Note: It has not been possible to contact Mark Rigby to endorse the contents of this web page but hopefully it reflects the freedom and informality of his alternative approach.  
















Note: The route illustrated above is Mark Rigby's original 17 Munro round. Angel Peak (Sgurr an Lochain Uaine) was excluded but is shown as peak 18 as it now has Munro status.



Mark Rigby's schedule - The link to the Scottish Hill Runners website below provides a schedule for Mark Rigby's 17 Munros. Note that some two hours were spent sheltering in bothies and a faulty watch meant some of the later times were estimated. It also excludes Angel Peak which was not a Munro at that time.

Rob Woodall's schedule - The report below includes a schedule for Rob Woodall's route of 18 Munros.

Use the schedules in conjunction with OS Explorer Map 403, Cairn Gorm and Aviemore (1:25 000).


This is an informal challenge without registrations or a time limit although 24 hours is likely to be the target for most runners.  The Scotttish Hill Runners may be interested in recording any further completions. They can be contacted via their website - see link below


Links and Further Information

o   The Cairngorms in one go: an alternative approach  - Mark Rigby's article that appeared in The Fellrunner (December 1988).

o   Scottish Hill Runners Long Distance Records - A summary of over 20 routes including Mark's initial round together with his schedule.

o   Rigby Round (18 Cairngorm Munros) - 31 May 2008  -  A report by Rob Woodall including his schedule.

o   Rob Woodall's Recommended Route  - A map (pdf format) illustrating Rob's suggested route.
For further advice and information email: robwoodall@tiscali.co.uk

o   www.Mountaindays.net - A schedule and details of each of the 18 Cairngorm Munros.


The object of this website is to provide a single, ready source of information on the ultra-distance challenges which have been developed over the past three or more decades. It now offers a diverse range of long and "short", old and recent, formal and informal routes from around the UK to encourage runners of all ages and abilities to have a go.
Further routes will be added to this site approximately twice a year. If you wish to be notified of future additions please use the contact page and put "subscribe" in the subject line, or "delete" if you wish to unsubscribe.
If you can improve on the accuracy of this resource, offer details of other routes (old and new), spot any errors in grid references, names, heights, spelling or punctuation, or find a link which does not work please let us know via the contact page.
Please send details and a schedule of any record-breaking runs and the like to Martin Stone who maintains records on behalf of the Fell Runners Association.  Email: martin.stone@sportident.co.uk
Where a route contact name is given please notify that person of your  attempt on the route to enable accurate records to be maintained for the dubious benefit of future generations of fell runners!
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