Ultrarunner Completes Mammoth Mountain Circuit

Donnie Campbell with the exposed and technical Aonach Eagach ridge in the background. Photo: Donnie Campbell

Scottish ultra-marathoner Donnie Campbell has added to the recent slew of falling mountain running records in the UK, by breaking the record for the fastest solo climb of all 282 Munros (mountains above 3,000 feet) in Scotland by more than a week. Campbell completed the round in 31 days and 23 hours and traveled self-propelled by running up the mountains, then cycling and kayaking between them.

Although small in stature compared to mainland European peaks, the Munros can include sections of rock climbing, technical and exposed ridges and endless slogging up steep terrain. The ever-changeable Scottish weather once prompted Doug Scott to quip that he was well-prepared for the highest bivouac on earth (100m below the summit of Everest), thanks to his experiences in Scotland. The Munros are the ultimate mountain listicle for keen British hikers and climbers. Most take about two decades to complete all of them.

Campbell paddles between the Isle of Mull and the Scottish mainland. Photo: Donnie Campbell

Campbell is estimated to have ascended the height of Everest 14 times. In total, he ran 1,422km and cycled 1,443km. He was aided by his wife, who drove a support vehicle where he slept and refueled.

The Munro record is one of many UK mountain running records to have been broken in recent months (e.g. Ramsay Round, Penine Way), thanks to lockdown restrictions giving plenty of time for training and cancelling this summer’s usual mountain races and foreign trips.

Long-standing records are falling in other countries, too. Andrzej Bargiel’s 10-year-old record up Mount Elbrus (3 hrs 23 min 37 sec from Azau to West Top on Sep 24, 2010) fell this week to Eugeny Markov, who ran the route in 3 hrs 12 min 14 sec.

About the Author

Ash Routen

Ash Routen

Ash Routen is an outdoor and adventure writer from the UK specialising in adventurous travel and expeditions, such as mountaineering, polar travel, and ocean crossings. Ash juggles a day job as a public health scientist with this second career in outdoor writing.

His words have featured in national newspapers, national and international outdoor and adventure magazines, and various websites. Bylines include Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Outside Magazine, Rock and Ice, and Red Bull.

Alongside writing, Ash also spends some time undertaking his own adventures, and completed a 640 km foot crossing of a frozen Lake Baikal in 2018. His next arctic journey is a 700 km trek along the coast of Baffin Island in Canada.

Read more at www.ashrouten.com

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