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Day 6: Ardchattan

Edited on 07th Aug 2011

Categorised under: Competition Day 6

Saturday, 6th August


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Report from the field

The final day of the Scottish 6 Day was held on the open runnable moorland of Ardchattan. With a 190 metre climb to the starts we were all warmed up before the race, but of course this meant less climb during the competition itself. The first part of the course was littered with unmarked boulders, but it soon became apparent only significant boulders (about the size of a small car) needed mapping as there was a wealth of other usable detail including hills, spurs and re-entrants.

The organisation was excellent, and thanks to a one way traffic system coming in from the north of the area there were no reports of significant delays. The last of the excellent day newsletters (the “Oban Observer”) were handed out, along with a promotional leaflet for next year’s JK2012 in Highland Perthshire, Scotland.

Final positions were decided on today’s races, but a number of competitors already had unassailable leads. Alasdair McLeod won the M21E as expected, as did Jenny Johannson in W21E. The only shower of the day fell on the prize giving ceremony, but was soon followed by blue sky as teams packed up and loaded Stewart Durham’s fleet of 4x4s and lorries prior to transportation back to Scotland’s National Orienteering Centre. Praise for the event was almost universal, and we hope to see competitors from across the world back for Moray 2013.

Colin Matheson
Professional Officer
Scottish Orienteering Association

Pre-event info

Pronounced: ard-hat-an
Gaelic/Norse: Àird Chatain
Pronounced: aardj khateen

Organising clubs

Maroc, STAG, ELO - with help from AS Martignas (Maroc twin club from near Bordeau), Guildford Orienteers (GO), Harlequins Orienteering Club (HOC) and British Army Orienteering Club (BAOC)


Roger Coombs (Maroc), Pauline McAdam (STAG)


Jon Musgrave (Maroc), Paul McMillan (Maroc)


George Esson (GRAMP), Terry O’Brien (STAG)

Getting there

Note: The route to day 6 is a one way system with traffic travelling north along the A828 (towards Glencoe), turning right onto the B845 at Barcaldine (Grid ref NM 958 416) then following this road for 8km to Inveresragan (Grid ref NM 986 355) turning right onto unclassified road for a further 4km before a right turn into the carpark at Inion (Grid ref NM 958 352). On departure the flow will be to the west along the unclassified road towards Benderloch and North Connel with a right turn out of the car park.

The event buses are approaching the car park from the opposite direction and will overlap with the cars for a short section so there may be slight delays while the buses reverse into their turning area. This is not anticipated to cause major delays. Please take care on the small roads and allow cars moving in the opposite direction to move along the roads (both are narrow).


Car Park: Grid Ref. NM 959351, Postcode PA37 1RQ, Lat/Long 56.46N 5.31W

One entrance, two exits, good smooth, gently sloping fields


Parking to assembly 150-300m (adjacent fields). Some pedestrians will be crossing lines of arriving cars – TAKE CARE.


Flat walk through grassy fields (all grazing stock will be removed) for 1km then:
White start heads up hill for 0.25km and 35m climb to pre-start.
All other starts follow a different line up hill for a further 1km and 190m climb.


2010/11 Stirling Surveys minor revision of Dave Peel 2001 map. 1:10,000 5m contours.


Open moorland, moderate contour and rock detail. Lots of unmapped boulders up on the hill. Generally good running.

Safety Information

Electric fences will be turned off on the competition day. Some areas of steep sided ravines in the stream valleys. If lost head downhill to the coast road and follow this to car-park/assembly.

Elite Courses

Reverse order start at fixed intervals (best off last).

Special Information

  1. Certain fences are marked as “forbidden to cross”. This is to preserve the fence, not the competitors. Anyone found crossing other than at a designated crossing point will be disqualified. Take care crossing other fences and report any damage.
  2. Courses 1 and 5 generally follow line features other than paths eg. walls and fences. In places, there are quite distinct animal tracks which are not mapped but which also follow the line feature and provide easier running. Overhead powerlines are also used as a line feature. These are visible on the route to the start giving adults the opportunity to point them out to younger children.
  3. There are some taped routes on TD1 and TD2 courses. Because of bracken growth, parts of some legs on Courses 3, 4, 7 and 8 may have guidance tags placed on the optimum route.
  4. Because of bracken growth parts of some legs on all White Start Courses may have also guidance tags placed on the optimum route of legs not marked on the map as taped.
  5. Courses 1, 2, 5 and 6 pass a duck pond. There is a taped route which follows a fence a short distance from the pond. Competitors must stay close to the fence and should not go any closer to the area around the pond which is strictly out of bounds.
  6. There are two spectator controls on both of the Elite courses, both visible at some distance from Assembly, one of which is a radio control. There is also a second radio control.



Dogs are not allowed in the assembly area. If you have arrived by car your dog can be left on a short leash next to your car in the event car park.
If you have arrived by bus there is a small designated “dog area” that you will be directed to by the bus marshall, it’s in an area of the assembly field along the fence to the left as this is entered from the car park fields. Thank you for your understanding.
Reasons why this is necessary.

String course

Located ca 250m from assembly area - back down hill to car parking field and west across burn by farm.  The area includes some of the largest girth trees I have ever seen in Scotland - well worth visiting just for these.  See the map of assembly area etc on the right.


Thanks to Sarah Troughton for allowing use of the area.
To Donald Cameron, Malcolm Macdonald and Archie Cameron for their help with the event and especially with their offer of quad bikes to move equipment round the hill and with moving animals from fields.


Ardchattan Priory and gardens are worth a visit (entrance 2km east of car park).
It was founded in 1230 by Dun-can MacDougal, Lord of Argyll for the Valliscaulian order of monks. In 1309 Robert the Bruce held “parliament” there (the last held in Gaelic). Food has been served here in the priory refectory for over 500 years .

A small 175th anniversary exhibition will be open daily in Ardchattan Kirk. This listed building is a well preserved, scarcely altered example of its period and is well worth a visit.

Related information categories

Competition Day 6


map location

View across to Mull, with the Connel bridge The Start Map of Ardchattan Assembly area map Section of the Ardchattan map Assembly area and parking View of the hillside Panorama of Archattan View of Archattan from Airds-Bay




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