Dates & Schedule
Friday 15th September 2017
1300 – Salomon Mamores VK™: Registration Open
1400 – Salomon Mamores VK™: First Start
1600 – Salomon Mamores VK™: Registration Close
1700 – Salomon Mamores VK™: Last Start
1830 – Speaker & Film Night
1830 – Salomon Mamores VK™: Course Close
2000 – Salomon Mamores VK™: Prize Ceremony
Location & Accommodation
The Event Centre, Registration, Parking and the Start will be at the Ice Factor in the centre of Kinlochleven. The address is:
The Ice Factor
Nearby accommodation includes:
- The Tailrace Inn (hotel rooms: <0.5km)
- The Highland Getaway (hotel rooms: <0.5km)
- MacDonald's Hotel (hotel rooms, cabins, camping: 1km)
- Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park (camping: 6km)*
- Clachaig Inn (hotel rooms, self catering: 17km)
- Glencoe Youth Hostel (dorm rooms, private rooms: 17km)
- Glencoe Independent Hostel (dorm rooms, private rooms: 17km)
There are further options within Kinlochleven including many B&Bs. There are also more options in Glencoe (11km) and Ballachulish (12km) and an abundance of options in Fort William (35km)
*Due to lack of demand in 2016, the limited minibus shuttle service between Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park (PH50 4RJ) and the event centre at Kinlochleven will not run in 2017.
The Nature of the Challenge
The organisers have an obligation to ensure that the Salomon Mamores VK™ is as safe as possible, but without diminishing the nature of the challenge... The nature of the challenge is arduous and the entire route is exposed to potentially serious weather.
The Salomon Mamores VK™ follows the well established International Skyrunning Federation ‘VK’ format, in which participants follow a marked course gaining 1000m of height in less than 5km. Participants are set off at timed intervals with the winner having the fastest overall time to the summit.
Whilst physically arduous, the Salomon Mamores VK™ route does not include technical terrain that requires any scrambling or rock climbing experience. As such, the Salomon Mamores VK™ is suitable for any runner who is up for the challenge.
However, the race route traverses high and remote mountainous terrain, and once committed to the higher sections of the route, the quickest option to return to the safety of the valley is to reverse the race route. There is no easy get out!
The entire route is subject to rapidly changing, highly variable and extremely severe weather.
The route is very rough underfoot with sections of rock and scree-covered terrain. There is an enormous amount of ascent and descent – because after finishing the race at the summit, competitors must return to the start.
Parking for competitors and spectators at the event is in designated parking areas only. The local community has been very supportive of the event but has asked that visitors to the event do not park on the residential streets in Kinlochleven as they are narrow and quickly become congested. Please respect our parking arrangements and follow the event parking signs as you enter Kinlochleven.
Event Centre – Registration
The Event Centre is located in the centre of Kinlochleven. This is where registration will take place. Competitors should allow at least one hour to complete the registration process. Any competitors trying to register after 1600 on Friday evening will not be accepted. Please allow at least 1 hour to complete registration.
Competitors will be allocated a start time by the organisers. The start times will be published on the event website before the event. The start interval will be between 30 and 60 seconds depending on the overall number of entries. Competitors’ start times will be based on their requested start time window, with the fastest runners starting latest. We advise you to be conservative in your estimation to avoid finishing your descent in the dark …and out of consideration to the event team and other runners.
The race route up will be fully marked and marshalled, as will the recommended rescent route back to Kinlochleven.
Remember, the summit of Na Gruagaichean where the VK finishes is only half way… participants will need to descend back to the Ice Factor at Kinlochleven! We have reviewed the descent route options carefully and on balance have decided to direct all the participants back down the ascent route. We think this is best in terms of managing large numbers of people on the mountain, and for allowing as many participants as possible to be cheered on by their fellow runners. Because the route comprises very steep grass slopes in places (you’ll need good studs on your shoes) and exposed to poor weather (you’ll need an extra layer to wear once you have finished), we would like to draw aspirant competitor's attention to the mandatory kit list below.
There will be no checkpoints on the the route and competitors must carry suitable clothing for staying warm on the descent, as well as, food and drink.
Family, friends and members of the public are welcome to support along the up hill race route and meet you at the summit.
Any competitors retiring from the race are advised to return to Kinlochleven by reversing the ascent route. Any competitor retiring must communicate this to the first race marshal and return immediately to the Event Centre.
Mandatory Clothing and Equipment List
There is a Mandatory Clothing and Equipment list for competitors and you may be kit checked before starting or at the end of the race.
It will be dark soon after 2000 on Friday evening so the ascent Course Closure Time is 1800, as we wish to have everyone off the course by nightfall.
Prize Giving Ceremony
There will be a Prize Giving Ceremony for the Salomon Mamores VK™ at ~2000 on Friday evening. There will be food, drinks and after party at the Event Centre on Friday afternoon and evening and all competitors and supporters are welcome to join us there.
Route Description Statistics
5km / 1000m
It will be dark soon after 2000 on Friday evening so the ascent Course Closure Time is 1800, as we wish to have everyone off the course by nightfall. .
GPS Route Data
The GPX files of the Salomon Mamores VK™ route 2016 can be downloaded here. Participants must follow the race signs on race day and NOT rely on their GPS for the route. The organisers retain the right to alter the race route at any time.
There will be no checkpoints on the the route and competitors must carry suitable clothing for staying warm on the descent, as well as, food and drink. Family, friends and members of the public are welcome to support along the up hill race route and meet you at the summit.
Detailed Route Description
Na Gruagaichean* is the most prominent Mamores Munro above Kinlocheven, and from our Event Centre, the road at the Startline will feel like a runway for the beginning of your kilometre of ascent up this fine mountain.
The route soon switches into a rocky path in some steep woodland, passes beside the Grey Mare’s Waterfall, and pushes up out of the trees and onto the open hillside using good narrow paths. At 330m altitude, a short section of rough vehicle track is used, and leaving this track marks the start of the mountain’s steep flank, and then to its shoulder. This route is a lesser used approach to this mountain and is impressively direct.
The clear goal is the southern promontory approach ridge called Leachd na h-Aire, and the route briefly levels after this, and passes through 900m at a shallower gradient. The summit will now be in clear sight, as will the other mighty Mamores Munro’s east and west, and Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries mountain range to the north, and if you were to look back, Glen Coe’s (Skyline) Munros to the south. Mission accomplished!
Returning from the summit to Kinlochleven is via the uphill race route.
Please note that there is NO Bad Weather Route option.
*Na Gruagaichean is pronounced Na Groo-a-gee-chan and means The Maidens. It has two summits, but it’s OK we only reach the nearest and highest!
Mandatory Clothing & Equipment
Please arrive in good time for the start as there will be kit check in the minutes before your start time. Remember, “No Kit, No Go”.
Mandatory Clothing & Equipment
All competitors must carry or wear the following mandatory clothing and equipment:
- Waterproof Jacket or Smock (with taped seams and a hood)
- Waterproof Trousers (with taped seams)
- Hat and gloves suitable for the weather conditions
- Fell or mountain running shoes (road trainers are NOT acceptable)
We would like to emphasise that fell or mountain running shoes with good studs will be IMPORTANT AND BEST in both ascent and descent. Trail running shoes are not suitable and anyone in completely unsuitable shoes (like flat soled road running shoes) will not be allowed start.
Optional, but Recommended Clothing & Equipment
- Spare warm top suitable for the weather conditions to wear on for the return journey to Kinlochleven
- Headtorch with sufficient light to be able to navigate in the darkness if you are starting later
- Some food and drink to refuel at the top and/or whilst returning to Kinlochleven
Entry Process & Minimum Experience
Competitors must complete an online entry form and entries will be sold on a first come, first served basis.
Entries are likely to sell out very fast so please enter early to avoid disappointment.
Entries for the Salomon Mamores VK™ are not vetted, but competitors must be suitably experienced and agree to the declaration below. Whilst physically arduous, the Salomon Mamores VK™ route does not include technical terrain that requires any scrambling or rock climbing experience. As such, the Salomon Mamores VK™ is suitable for any runner who is up for the challenge.
Each competitor must agree to the following Declaration when completing an application form:
I am an experienced and competent mountain runner, and declare that:
- I have experience of running in a similar mountain environment to the Salomon Mamores VK™;
- I can apply sound mountain judgement at all times even if it means compromising my overall race result;
- I know how to be aware of others around me, both above and below me, and can take care with my footfall on the mountain to minimise the hazard of rockfall, slips and trips;
- I can diligently concentrate and follow waymarking;
- I can understand and interpret a pre-event route map and elucidate the main features and passage points, such as marshalled support locations, road crossings and time cut-offs (this does not mean map-memory and full navigational competence – this is a waymarked route);
- I accept full responsibility for my own safety and any injury sustained during the event. These are not the responsibility of the event organiser, their agents or the landowners;
- I know my limitations and I am experienced enough to make a reasoned decision whether or not to start the event and/or to retire from the event rather than jeopardise my own or other people’s safety;
- I understand that there is a risk of serious injury or death whilst participating in the Salomon Mamores VK™
We will award the following prizes, finisher's medals and trophies:
All finishers will receive a Salomon Mamores VK™ finisher's medal. This will be presented once competitors return to the Event Centre and return their timing chip.
Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded at the prize giving ceremonies:
~2000 - prize ceremony details T.B.C.