Helen Bonsor has the women's Tranter FKT of 12h25m, set in July 2017.
The Tranter's Round in Scotland has always held an appeal for me – linking two ridgelines it forms an elegant circuit of some classic mountains, and challenging terrain. In total, it takes in 20 named summits over 63km and 6100m ascent/descent. After a couple of failed attempts back in 2011 - it was something still firmly on the ‘to do list’.
Aiming to do the Round sometime in mid-July, we made a couple of trips earlier in the year to reccie some of the lines we were less familiar with, and then it was a case of keeping fingers crossed for high pressure and good weather for July. As it turned out, we found our best weather window to be just a 12 hour slot on Friday between weather systems of heavy rain and wind! Ever optimistic and supremely confident in the forecasts, we set off at 5:57am in an anticlockwise direction.
Throughout the first 5hrs and the last couple of hours, the tops were in mist above 800m, and waterproofs were on and off several times. The couple of trips we’d made previously to reccie some of the lines really paid off at this point in the poor visibility, reducing time lost to navigation, and giving us confidence in our lines. Along the middle section of the route the cloud lifted enabling us to enjoy the situation, and we got great views along the ridge of the Grey Corries. As we approached the last four summits, the weather closed in again, and the forecast rain started right on schedule at 5pm, just as we approached the final climb onto Ben Nevis.
Descending off the final summit we saw the first people we’d seen all day, and it was also the first time I properly looked at my watch and became really aware of the time. I’d consciously not wanted to know our time splits during the day or have the pressure of having a schedule to keep to. It was a great feeling, and one of those rare moments, to run down the scree slopes towards the valley bottom knowing everything had come together. We finished at 6:22pm in a total time of 12hr 25min, managing to set a new female record.