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Introduction to Skyrunning

Whether you are preparing for one of the many UK & Ireland Skyrunning races, or just wanting to take your mountain adventures to a new level this is the course for you. 

What is skyrunning?

Skyrunning is a fusion of mountain running, both on and off trails, with easy mountaineering and scrambling, so to get started we need to be good at both; With all the skills and equipment needed to travel through the mountains as runners, as well as solid movement skills over broken rock and easy climbing terrain. Route finding skills on steep ground and knowing how to plan a route are also essential.

What to expect from the course

At Trail Running Scotland, we have the perfect combination of experience to help introduce you to this extreme challenge. As mountain runners who have competed in a wide variety of events, including the Ring of Steall and Glencoe Skyline we know how to pick a route that works.

We are also highly qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors with over 15 years experience coaching in all aspects of mountain-craft. This experience ensures you get the best quality learning and enjoy a safe adventure.

This course is designed for mountain runners who are ready for an adventure. A good head for heights and some scrambling experience are helpful. If in doubt give us a call.

As well as technique out on the hill we share ideas about how to train for skyrunning, including strength and conditioning advice, helping you to learn the importance of staying strong and injury free for those long climbs and pounding descents. 

The first day will be spent in Glencoe, building our skills on a variety of terrain. We will focus on the crucial assessment of realistic risk and how to manage it. We will build solid movement skills on scrambling terrain with good footwork and balance with time to practice and build confidence. We will look at route choice options in steep ground and how to manage exposure. What goes up must come down, so there will be plenty of time for improving descending skills  too. 

On the second day we will take on a classic mountain running journey, such as the Ring of Steall from Glen Nevis, putting all of the skills into practice on the hill. 

“I had a fantastic time with Ian and the small group on the Introduction to Skyrunning course over the weekend. I have come away from the course feeling I have learnt so much, including how to stay strong and safe in the mountains while running and hiking. I found the scrambling exciting and testing, particularly when dealing with some Grade 1 routes with elements of exposure. I will definitely be looking to book more courses with Trail Running Scotland in the future.” - Tim 

Location and group

Based in Lochaber, the home of Scottish skyrunning, we have easy access to the mountains and a huge variety of locations that we can use for our training. This course includes two days of instruction and does not include accommodation or meals, allowing you the flexibility to choose your own.

For this course we will work in groups of no more than 4 per instructor, so that we can really look after you all well and tailor the routes to your needs. 

2024 dates

 Date Price Spaces Booking Your coach
18&19 May £225 Places available Book now Ian



If you can't wait, get in touch to discuss some bespoke training 

Experience and Fitness

Both days will be a continuous journey through the mountains, with some nice running mixed with steeper walking and slower sections as we explore the subjects. A good level of mountain walking fitness along with a base of off road running experience will help you to get the most out of the day. As a guide you should be comfortable covering 20km with 1000 meters of ascent in 5 hours. 

A reasonable head for heights and some scrambling experience are helpful. If in doubt give us a call.

Kit you will need

Please refer to our guidance on Essential kit for trail running safely.

We will be aiming for a full day in the mountains so we will have to be prepared to deal with everything that the mountains and the Scottish weather can throw us. Whilst we don’t want to be over burdened it is essential that every member of the team is carrying the correct equipment to deal with the unexpected. To ensure your safety the following kit list is therefore compulsory for each individual. Additional safety equipment will be carried by the guides.

Waterproof jacket (with taped or welded seams and a hood)

We recommend:

Montane Spine Waterproof Jacket (for men)
Montane Spine Waterproof Jacket (for women)

Waterproof trousers (with taped or welded seams)

We recommend:

Montane Minimus Waterproof Pants (for men)
Montane Minimus Waterproof Pants (for women)

Running vest

We recommend:

Montane Gecko VP 12+ (unisex)

Spare* synthetic insulated upper layer

*We recommend carrying approximately 300g of synthetically insulated upper layers.

We recommend:
Montane Men's Fireball Lite 360g
Montane Women's Fireball Lite 320g

Hat and gloves suitable for the weather conditions
For cold conditions, we recommend:

Montane Prism Mitt
Montane Via Stretch Beanie

For mild/warm conditions, we recommend: 

Montane VIA Trail Gloves

Montane Minimus Stretch Ultra Waterproof Cap (unisex)


We recommend:

Black Diamond SPOT 400-R  

Survival bag 

We recommend:

Lifesystems Light And Dry Thermal Bivi Bag



We recommend:


Adequate footwear - Fell trail shoes only

We recommend:

Inov8 TRAILFLY G 270 V2  
Inov8 Roclite G 275   

Food - Enough lunch and snacks to fuel a full day in the mountains

First aid kit 

The guides will be carrying emergency first aid supplies but if you can have a small personal kit with blister pack/compeed and any personal medication.

Maps - will be provided

Midge net.

If you have any questions or need advice about any of the equipment please just ask.

Getting here

We will meet in Glencoe at 9am on Saturday morning. Exact location to be confirmed a week before the event.

Glencoe is well serviced by the Citylink busses. 



We recommend the Hostelling Scotland hostel in Glencoe where you can get a 10% discount by using the code TRAILRUN


Hostelling scotland




July '21 photo gallery

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