Now a member of the Highland Hill Runners, it’s been great to discover lots of new trails and routes. The Inverness-based club also organises four races each year, including the Cioch Mhor Hill Race. They are part of the Scottish Hill Runners’ calendar.
Cioch Mhor is a 482m summit located above the Black Isle town of Dingwall. The race distance is 14km (out and back) and includes some 660m elevation.
The weekend before the race, I joined a small HHR group to recce the route. There is a lot of rough terrain to cross, including heather and grassy tussocks, as well as a river.
For some of the route, there are more obvious tracks and trods but this is a route that will leave you with wet feet and tired legs.
There are also lots of ups and downs and it does require good navigation skills. My memory of the route is a push upwards, more up, more up but gentler, then a trig, then some descent, then a river to cross, then more ascent then a steeper and steeper climb to the top.
The reward for your efforts is a huge sense of satisfaction. It’s a fairly short route but packs a lot of terrain, ascent and great trees and views.
- Thanks to Margaret for some of the photos.