Highland Enduro & Highland Enduro Challenge 2005
|life of brian
Highland Enduro February 24/25/26th
again held along the Kyle of Lochalsh in the Western Highlands, this event
has everything a committed off roader needs, more than a little of the
things they neither need nor want and breathtaking scenery
subject to weather of course.
In 2005 we held our third Enduro on this site with a Challenge event running alongside it. Despite comprehensive preparation several entrants retired early but many stayed the distance despite snow, piercing cold winds and soggy conditions. We ran a Challenge style event at the side of the Enduro and there were some stunning displays of teamwork from both solo entries, the almost standard Jeep of Tony Wilson springs immediately to mind and team entries Karl Frost and Paul Martin were on winning form with Vicki Heywood and Matt Blakey (on his first outing) right behind them. The latter then became the Ironman Enduro in 2006, held near Loch Ness. This year the two events are held on two different dates, this missive is the Highland Enduro, a non competitive event for any make or type of light, road legal 4x4 with some minimum equipment. You can be assured the action starts right at the very gate with the river crossing, and just gets better, bogs rocks, burns, hills, lochs and not a tree to be seen for winching or hiding behind.
These are not exaggerations. When I say there is a real risk, there is. There will be NO professional medical cover. Your 4x4 must be road legal, have a powered winch, be well maintained, well tyred, well equipped and well prepared as must the crew. The best of 4x4's can break down at any time but everyone entering this event has a real duty to themselves and others to ensure everything possible has been done to properly prepare their 4x4. It is eminently possible that a major mechanical breakdown could see your 4x4 left on the hillside for you to recover later once the repair has been done, yes that is a possibility. Still with us? Then read on; Do you want some real off road adventure? Are you happy to pit yourself and your 4x4 against some serious 4x4 terrain in the Scottish Highlands? Does freezing cold, wet, deep and steep sound inviting? Can you survive without home comforts for a minimum of 2 nights? Are you prepared to help fellow entrants if needed? Predominantly yes? Then continue.
Once off the forest track it is through a burn, up the banking and on to the Enduro proper. There are three high hills and several lochs situated on the high plateau. Our thousand acres plus hilly area is bounded by a near vertical escarpment to the East, fences North and South and the forest road on the West. All are the usual highland mixture of rocks, heather and bogs with not a tree or bush (for winching or other purposes) to be seen. There is around a 1000 feet of vertical height to contend with, a high of 1322 feet, we enter the area at 480'. Weather permitting there will be stunning 360º views over Loch Carron and out to Skye in particular. This genuinely is an all too rare chance to indulge in some heavy freestyle off roading, amongst other 4x4 drivers with a taste for adventure and enough risk to leaven the mix. The weather will be whatever the weather will be! It could be driving rain, or snow, fog or brilliant crisp sunny days. Heavy snow could actually make the journey to the Kyle hazardous. The only prize on the Enduro will be your own satisfaction at having completed as much of the available land as you wish to or indeed making an attempt to reach the three hill tops is an all too real challenge. Indeed just doing as much as you wish and then retreating is equally as satisfying as going for broke so you just choose your pace and work accordingly. All the following rules and regulations relate to safety and ensuring that everyone carries at least the minimum of equipment necessary for such a task.
On all such events as these it is my overriding concern to ensure that we never have to call in outside agencies for anything other than a medical emergency. Our 'stealth' policy works well. We arrive quietly, go on our chosen mission and disappear home. On most of our events CoR Redcoats provide recovery. Not here. Self-help is the order of the day, though to date no one has ever been left stranded. To that end the following minimum criteria is to be applied. If you think the following is 'over the top' then don't even think about entering the Enduro.
ALL VEHICLES MUST; Be road legal. Have an operational, powered winch fitted, at least one ground anchor between two vehicles and at least one snatch block. Have a minimum of 75% tread life left on off road tyres in accordance with CoR regulations (i.e. No maxi cross, dumper tyres, if in doubt check).'Terra' tyres are acceptable and there are no size limitations. Have at least two recovery ropes, a selection of shackles and heavy duty towing attachments front and rear. A shovel. Basic spares, tools & lubricants. Safely carry enough fuel for the potential length of this event. (Safely means in the tank or cans secured to the vehicle, with a method of decanting that ensures no spillage. Guidance only. Diesel Land Rovers have managed all 3 days on a full tank comfortably. Petrols are tight at that.) A first aid kit. The 4x4 must be in sound mechanical and bodily condition, and prepared for sub zero temperatures. A CB radio. Suggested. Sand ladders or similar. A solo attempt is feasible for the well equipped crew but if you would prefer to run as a group then you really need to have that group agreed before the event.
Any solo entry MUST have a crew of two, larger groups can get away with 3 crew between two motors. No more passengers than can be properly seated. The driver MUST be a highly experienced off road driver, this isn't the place to start learning. Entrants should be confident they are up to the physical demands of living out on a Scottish hillside. Serious thought should be given before bringing any non teenager and the entrant is responsible for any and all passengers they carry. You must ensure that all your crew be self sufficient with food, water, clothing, accommodation, and sleeping bags for at least 4 days. The Kyle is actually further north than Moscow and though the west coast is known as being temperate because of the Gulf Stream I wouldn't bank on it. If we go prepared for the worst then things can only get better. It is possible to leave heavier spares etc. at the gate to keep weight to a minimum in your 4x4. The worst case scenario is fog or blizzards. Lack of visibility means movement is seriously impeded and would need accurate map/GPS reading to ensure that you didn't drive into danger. We could have bright sun, gale force winds, sub zero temperatures or mega snow falls or glorious weather, possibly in one day. Getting to the Kyle could be an adventure of epic proportions in itself. Tyres are hugely important on this event, but that is relative to the type of 4x4 of course. Svelte Suzukis need worry much less about tyres than lumpen Land Rovers and so on.
The event starts Saturday February 24th 0900 at a venue within the Kyle of Lochalsh that will be sent out with the final details, all entrants will receive a detailed map of the off road area at this point. No trailers etc. will be allowed into the forest access road but excess equipment can be left at the gate or inside the site. There will be a 'curfew' at 2100 on Saturday & Sunday night it is intended to try and be back off the hill by 1500. You are at liberty to retire from the event and leave the site at any time. It isn't impossible that we could be up there for days, the good part is it won't cost you any more! A serious mechanical breakdown could, repeat could, leave your vehicle stranded on site. I do expect everyone to work together, as we have in the past, to help each other when necessary but recovery cannot be guaranteed. There will be no qualified medical assistance on this event. Mileages; Glasgow 176. Edinburgh 200. Leeds 430. Birmingham 470. London 585.
Nearly finished. Club Off Road reserves the right to refuse any entry, both on entry form information and on the day if the minimum requirements mentioned above cannot be satisfactorily met. Vehicles and equipment will be checked. There is an overall maximum of 30 entries and a minimum of 10. Entries will be taken on a first come first served basis subject to the entry complying with the minimum criteria. You will be required to sign a disclaimer. The entry form must be accompanied by the full remittance of £150 per vehicle (regardless of passenger numbers) though no cheques will be cashed until your acceptance has been sent and certainly no earlier than January 31st. Club Off Road reserves the right to cancel the event should the minimum figure not be reached or 'force majeure' dictates a cancellation, and return all money in full. Once an entry has been accepted any subsequent cancellation by the entrant will attract a £25 fee, cancellation within 5 days of the event or being refused entry on the day due to non compliance with the rules will forfeit the entry money.
Once again Club Off Road invites those with the will, the skill, the commitment and equipment to experience;
TRACTION IN ACTION
ACCOMMODATION. The Kyle Hotel is good quality with 27 en suite rooms and good restaurant (Tel 01599 534204). Mention CoR for a £25 per person per night B&B deal. Paying guests can leave trailers in their car park whilst on the event. Book direct with the hotel. A 50% deposit with 24 hour cancellation requirement for a refund of the deposit. There are plenty other establishments locally including B&B's. Three hotels are listed here plus the tourist board number for your use; Loch Duich 01599555213, Balmacara Hotel 01599 566283, Kintail Lodge 01599 511275. Kyle Tourist Board 01599 534276
Off Road Ltd Tel. 01924 492675
HIGHLAND ENDURO ENTRY FORM February24/25/26th 2007
Cost for either event is £150 per vehicle. Please fill in the form and send with the entry fee, (payable to Club Off Road), to the above address. You must sign the disclaimer on behalf of yourself and your passengers.
I am legally entitled to drive vehicle registration number ...............................
Signed ..................................................... Date ........................ Tel No .........................
Vehicle make _____________________________ Model ______________________
Reg __________________ Winch Type __________________________
Tyre size, make and pattern _________________________________ CB Y/N? ____
All crew names (Underline any under 13)___________________________________
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