Lochcarron Highland Games (image courtesy of Celtman)

Celtman Extreme Scottish Triathlon

Saturday 15th June 2019

https://cxtri.com/

Established in 2012 in homage to the Norseman in Norway, this internationally famous race is part of the Xtri World Tour. The race is a real test of endurance and includes a swim of 3.4k, a bike ride of 200k followed by a run of 42k in Wester Ross, Scotland.

(image provided courtesy of Celtman)

Rough Guide Scotland

Scottish Highlands and Islands named in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best In Travel’ 2019

Find out more here – https://www.visitscotland.com/blog/highlands/lonely-planet-best-in-travel/

Torridon Mountain

Torridon Mountain and Sea Festival

Torridon Mountain and Sea Festival is an annual event.

A combination of outdoor pursuits, fine foods, real ales and music on offer. Dates for the 2019 Festival will be published here, once available.

Lochcarron Highland Games

Lochcarron Highland Games 2019

Lochcarron Highland Games 2019 will take place at the Attadale Gardens Estate near Strathcarron Saturday 20st July 2019 from 11.30 to 17.00.

The 41st year of the event, these are “The Friendly Games”, held on the Attadale Gardens Estate in the North West Highlands of Scotland.  Featuring the traditional mixture of heavy events, track and field plus highland dancing and piping displays (these are not competitions).

Stay at our lovely cottage Kathleen’s Croft – just a 27 mile journey through stunning scenery and the opportunity to enjoy all the Highlands has to offer.

Beinn Alligin, Torridon

Walk a great Munro

The fabulous website ‘Walk Highlands‘ puts three of our local Munros in their top ten of the Finest Munros and this is what they say:

Beinn Alligin, Torridon

We make no excuses for including all the three Torridon giants in this list, and Beinn Alligin well deserves its name which means the Jewelled Mountain. This magnificent pair of Munros has its own pinnacle ridge – the Horns of Alligin. Its position on the seaward side of Torridon makes it an unmatched viewpoint, with Skye and the sea on one side, and the Horns providing a striking foreground to the neighbouring great peaks on the other.

Beinn Eighe, Torridon

Beinn Eighe is the largest though not the highest of the Torridon giants, its enormous scree-girt ridge having two Munros but really requiring more than one visit to do full justice – most baggers miss the Black Carls scramble and the eastern part of the ridge. As with Liathach, its finest features are on the northern side, with the great Triple Buttress of Coire Mhic Fhearchair being a great showplace.

Liathach, Torridon

Liathach is the central and perhaps the finest of the three great mountains of Torridon. Its higher Munro – Spidean a’ Choire Leith – looks quite impregnable from most directions, and even the easiest ascent involves a little scrambling. Beyond it the mountain simply becomes even more dramatic as the ridge is riven into the spectacular Am Fasarinen pinnacles – offering either a thrilling scramble or a vertiginous bypass path. The hidden northern side of Liathach is even more spectacular than the great wall above Glen Torridon – and is well worth exploring.

Shieldaig Fete and Rowing Regatta

Shieldaig Fete and Rowing Regatta 2019

Shieldaig Fete and Rowing Regatta Weekend will take place on Saturday 10th August 2019.

The Regatta is a series of thrilling races around a 1.75km course. Races comprise Men and Women’s Decades, Mixed Gender Open and Men and Women’s Open- with the overall Regatta Champions decided by a cumulative points total after 5 races.

The Regatta is the centrepiece of the villages Fete Weekend, with live music, beer tent, seafood, BBQs and various other events happening throughout the day and culminating in an open air street ceilidh on the seafront.

Why not stay at Kathleen’s Croft – just 6 miles away, and enjoy a week in the Highlands………

Scottish Adventure Travel Film Festival

Dates: Friday 13th September to Sunday 15th September 2019 : 14:00 – 16:00
Location: Brodie Castle Estate

The Scottish Adventure Travel Film Festival is a celebration of great adventure travel films in a unique destination at the end of one of the best road journeys in the world.

As well as show casing some of the best independent adventure travel films ever made we will also be providing a variety of fantastic workshops including photography, art, walking and sea kayaking.

To find out more about the Film Festival and book tickets please visit Scottish Adventure Travel Film Festival

BA flights to Inverness

Very excited to learn that from 3 May 2016, British Airways will fly every day to Inverness, from London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Just a 75 minute stunning drive from Kathleen’s Croft and you can be enjoying the wondrous views of three Munros from the outside dining area……….

BBC Adventure Show

BBC Scotland have produced a great programme as part of their Adventure series, on the Celtman 2015. Well worth a watch….!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06mtrr1/the-adventure-show-20152016-episode-4

Stay at Kathleen’s Croft and enjoy all that the West Highlands has to offer.

Bealach Mor Hill Climb

Bealach is the UK’s biggest road climb at 2053ft (626m) from sea level in just 6 miles (10k). It is set in a fabulous unspoilt landscape with outstanding views of the sea and the hills.

The Bealach Mor hill climb for road bikes race, is on Saturday 11th May 2019. Join in or watch, it will be awesome!

Stay at Kathleen’s Croft and enjoy all that the West Highlands has to offer.

Made in Scotland

There have been loads of films, made or filmed in Scotland and in particular the Highlands, over the years. Braveheart, Highlander, various Harry Potter films, What we did on our holiday to name a few.

Visit Scotland have produced an extensive list which may whet your appetite to order one and curl up on the sofa this winter and catch up with the stunning scenery; many of them are now available to watch at Kathleen’s Croft.

Celtman 2015 (by Adam Maxwell)

(One of my guests, entered one of the hardest races in the world, wrote me an account and I have tried to reduce the words slightly so that you can all enjoy this piece on my website. I am totally in awe of anyone who does this race…)

“Team SLB started to arrive in Torridon on the afternoon of Monday 22nd to prepare & carry out our final preparations for Celtman -Scottish Extreme Triathlon. The purpose for arriving a week early was to simply allow us all to settle in, relax and start to tune in to our forthcoming race.
We hired Val’s amazing cottage called Kathleen’s Croft, situated in a small hamlet of Annat, by Torridon. Probably the cosiest cottage I’ve ever stayed in, this quickly became Team SLB base for race week. Upon arrival the views of the Loch & mountains is simply breath taking.

Race Registration at Torridon Village hall. Both Big Seb & I arrived in the village hall to get our kit checked before I was allowed to register! We stood in the queue and waited to be called forward to have our kit inspected by the race marshals. We were called forward and the marshal looked at me & asked- “Are you the athlete? “ As he stared at my 6ft 4 slim fit pal that looked like all the other Danish & Norwegian athletes in the hall ! My reply was simply “yes” he’s my tall support!

On Race Day my Alarm goes off at 0200hrs -it needn’t bother as I never sleep before a big race. The lack of sleep on your last night doesn’t hinder you in anyway- you’re pumped, you have trained for months, and more important you’re ready. Time to have fun! Simple race day breakfast consists of Beetroot juice, white toast & jam, 2 cups of coffee, 1 x banana plus 2 salt tablets,500ml of energy drink plus one gel 20minutes before the swim start!

We received our GPS trackers and racked our bikes, nerves are kicking in big time, we have been asked by the race marshals to quickly make our way to the buses ready to depart!
Upon arrival to the swim start, (a 3.8km sea race), my mouth has become dry, my heart rate is pumping, and I’m totally feeling it. The swim start warm up area is a large grass field lined with burning lanterns, Highland drummers banging their drums to the beat of everyone’s hearts, Huge Celtman Iron Symbols are set alight. What an atmosphere!

During the swim I took in some salty water that caused me to throw up while swimming. This is a first for me and also managed to get some cramp in my left calf- again a first. I ignored the cramp and as I thought it went away, I relaxed into the swim and set about a steady pace. No loops just swim around a couple of islands and then head for Sheildaig. The swim exit came into view, time to really up the kick to get blood into the legs. We are now swimming against the tide & swimming through thousands of jelly fish we don’t care I can see the flames and the swim exit!
I’m now off on a long 202km bike through the Scottish Highlands. Wacky Wacky races! No aid stations, only self-support. Each competitor has their own vehicle support! If you can imagine 240 athletes plus 240 individual support vehicles scattered all over the Scottish Highlands it soon turns into the wacky races each support vehicle going ahead of their rider trying to find a suitable place to park and then re- fuel their rider as they make their way around the 202km course.

The course was 202km of breath taking scenery. It involved climbing over 2500m throughout the day, it had some amazing descents and the last 40km from Garve towards T2 was straight into a head wind! Brutal, however we all had to grin and bear it! No one escaped this headwind. To give you an idea how mentally tough the last 40km on the bike was-My speed dropped to 14kmph, on the small chain ring- going downhill! Normally you would like to be doing 3 times that speed using the slight downhill to your advantage.

Anyway I’ve done 100km of it and feeling good, the weather is perfect. Meanwhile my support Big Seb is leap frogging me as we continue to chew up the miles. We worked out a simple system of him taping a gel/energy bar to one of my bottles as I rode past! Everything is going to plan, I have been sick a couple of times and asked Seb for a sickness pill, this is possibly down to me taking in some salt water during my swim. Last 15km, again it’s tough. My mind is starting to think about the run! 5km to ride I start to pick up I can start turning a bigger gear. Again heart pumping I’m steered into the finish to a wall of noise of encouraging supporters.

The Final Hurdle- The Run – 42 km over two Munros. I’m now off and running the start of my mountain marathon over the Coullin Pass and I honestly feel great! I see runners slightly ahead & feel like I’m back in charge. The weather was magic I have sun in my face, perfect for topping up my tan! As you all know it’s so important to look good in photos!!!
We hit the first Summit. I remember hearing briefs that the mountain rescue will be playing his bag pipes at the top! Seb asked him Why he wasn’t playing? He was puffed out! Ironic “He was puffed out” I was too!

Once on the Ridge I could see the most spectacular scenery in the world and instantly thought of taking a race selfie! The ridge was mental, I had to concentrate; the stones are sharp and the steep sides means a fall equals death! I had to take my time. I’m getting tired and don’t want to cream in at this stage! Munroe 2 done, we have a vertical chute to go down; no issues about 300m of climbing down then about 300m of scree then downhill to the tarmac!

I have hit the road I’ve just over 7-8km to run and then job done. Now I can hear the Bagpipes “Thank heavens a piper that’s not puffed out!” I’ve got less than 1 mile to go! I can see the finish. However they decided to put in a nice wee loop along the beach and bring us back uphill to the finish. 500m to go. 200m to go. I can see the finish line. I shake Big Sebs hand (my running partner) and said” Cheers mate “

We both ran over the finish line and both awarded with a bottle of beer!
Job done! 15hrs 15minutes