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Highland Cross 2018 - Participants' bulletin No 4 - 21 June - Weather and ground conditions

There has been rain and reportedly some snow on the tops above Affric this week and there is a cold edge to the wind.

Although there is little rain in the forecast, burns will be higher than usual due to water draining off the hill - take care at crossings and use all bridges available especially at crossing before the Youth Hostel.

Please choose your clothing for the Cross to take account of the forecast.

Remember that you ARE EXPECTED to carry the minimum of safety equipment stated in the brochure and in the bulletins:

1. A whistle to summon help – 6 blasts of the whistle repeated at one minute intervals
2. A weather protective suit
3. A small amount of high energy food

All further information on the Cross will be posted on the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thehighlandcross

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Highland Cross 2018 - Participants' Bulletin No 3 - June

Welcome to the last pre-event Highland Cross 2018 bulletin!

There are no further bulletins planned for before the 23rd. Please watch the event website and Facebook page for any last minute information.

SUBSTITUTION IS NOW CLOSED

Safety Warnings

Foot Section

Caution - Foot Section immediately before Athnamulloch

Following a thunderstorm in upper Glen Affric the track leading to the bridge over the Affric towards Athnamulloch was devastated. The damage is at approximately Grid Reference 132 206 on OS 1:50 000 Sheet 25.

An emergency repair has been undertaken to render the track passable to 4 x 4 vehicles.

Participants must exercise caution whilst descending towards Strawberry Cottage and the bridge over the Affric as the track will be soft and uneven.

Cycle Section

Chisholm’s Bridge to Fasnakyle Power Station

This section of the route has been subject to heavy wear and tear from use and severe weather. Considerable patching to the road surface has been undertaken to improve the road condition.

However this section must be ridden with considerable caution
Road Conditions – Junction between the Strathglass road (A 831) and the road to Beauly (A 862) at Lovat Bridge

During a route survey it was identified that there are extremely rough road surface conditions at the bend where you leave the Strathglass road and join the Inverness to Beauly road for the last mile into Beauly.

Highland Council has indicated that it will be patching in this area but they do not anticipate any great improvement being achievable before 23rd June.

Participants must anticipate this area and ride with appropriate caution. Remember the road at this stage is open to normal traffic and vehicles may be coming towards you on the uphill carriageway.

The bend is at Grid Reference 514 449 on OS Sheet 26

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance…

Into the final countdown

Bike loading in Inverness starts at 17.00hrs and ends at 21.00hrs sharp on the evening of Friday 22nd June!

At Inverness do not attempt to leave a bike before the official time. Your bike will not be registered into our keeping and may be left behind when the lorries depart.

Do not lean bikes against the fire engines! This causes justifiable annoyance to our generous hosts!

Do not over wrap bikes

Labelling

YOU are responsible for providing waterproof labels for your bike and luggage.

Your number should be written or typed on the label so there is no doubt as to its meaning.

For example “611” if read upside down could be “119” therefore write your number with an underline under it – like this 611 - to show which way up you intend it to be read.

Make sure that you have YOUR number on your bike and bags on waterproof labels/tags.

Do not attach luggage or helmets to your bike – put everything in a weather proof bag clearly marked with your number. Put a label with your Name and number inside every bag as backup.

Beauly bike loading starts 06.15. Please do not abandon a bike in the Square and get on a bus or it may be left behind – make sure that the marshals register it.

Bus Transport

We order the correct number of buses according to the bookings that YOU have made.

The last thing that we want is not having enough bus capacity in the right place at the right time to get everybody round to the right start time!

Your bicycle

Please ensure that you have a fully functioning cycle and have the spares and tools that YOU can use to make necessary repairs or to deal with a puncture at any point on the cycle section.

Highland Bikes will be at the Friday evening bike loading to sell spares.

Surplus gear at the Start for transfer to Beauly

There will be a bag van at the Start to take your surplus gear through to Beauly. Any gear that you want transferred must be in a bag marked with your unique participant’s number with a name and number label inside as backup. The Baggage Pound in Beauly is in the open air and the surplus kit should be in a waterproof bag.

Your change-over gear – protect it in a waterproof bag

Gear being sent to the Quarry with your bike must be packed in a waterproof bag – we suggest that you use a dry-bag. If not make sure that you have used waterproof liners inside your gear bag.

Gear going to the quarry including your cycle helmet and any cycle computers must NOT be attached to your bike and must be in a separate bag which will go in a bag van to the Quarry.

Make sure that all your baggage has a waterproof label with your unique event number attached to it and another label with your name and number inside it as a backup.

Getting your gear from the Changeover to Beauly

In the Changeover you must pack your bag and pass it to the bag van marshals if you want it taken to the Finish Baggage Pound in Beauly. It must have your number on it and on a label inside it.

Making it happen safely

We have constructed a Safety Net to support you along the route but the most important person in the safety Net is YOU!

DO NOT CARRY AN ILLNESS OR INJURY INTO THE CROSS!

Carrying an illness or injury into the Cross guarantees that you will have a poor experience and may result in serious illness or further injury afflicting you during the event.

It is also an unreasonable burden on the Safety Net as these volunteers have to deal with an incident that should not have happened and they volunteer to deal with accidents and unexpected illnesses.

We have had the experience of a participant who returned from holiday with diarrhoea but who was so committed to the event that they started. Five miles into the foot section, at a difficult place for us to access, they needed an evacuation of a different kind! The Medical Marshal had to get to them by helicopter and then have them airlifted out. If the helicopter had not reached them they would have needed a full mountain rescue stretcher carry out to safety.

If you know that you have been unwell or have an injury please withdraw before the event for your own safety.

In the interests of your own safety we expect that all participants will carry the recommended safety equipment on the day:

1.       A whistle to summon help – 6 blasts of the whistle repeated at one minute intervals

2.       A weather protective suit

3.       A small amount of high energy food

The weatherproof suit is vital. If you slow or have an injury it could make a huge difference to how you feel and your condition by the time resources get to you.

Cycle safely

Fasnakyle Brae steep twisting downhill. Emergency vehicles may have to ascend it to get to a serious incident. Ride it at all times as though it was two way traffic.

Fasnakyle to Beauly is open road shared with the public you do not have right of way. If you have to repair your bike or take a breather try to use the water stops or at least pull off the road for your own safety.

Withdrawing – try to do this at a water stop. There are support vehicles to get you to Beauly.

Affric to Fasnakyle and Beauly Toll junction – please note the safety warning at the start of the bulletin

Final cross over – be aware of traffic around you and obey the Police Officer marshalling to cross-over!

Why we make the day happen

Highland Cross exists to provide a unique crossing of Highland Scotland and most importantly generate funds for Highland Charities that seek to improve the medical and social well-being of folk in the Highlands.

That is why you have committed to the £500 per team minimum pledge. It is fantastic to see so much fundraising activity going on through online pages and we know that teams are holding fundraising events to boost their contribution. Thank you for that commitment and please continue it for as long as possible - the five excellent causes nominated this year need our help.

Whether you are on your 36th Crossing or you are a Highland Cross Newcomer we hope that you have a wonderful Crossing and that you make a great contribution to Highland charities through your efforts!

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Highland Cross 2018 - Participants' Bulletin No 2 - June

Please note that general information and last minute change details are being regularly posted on both the Highland Cross website and Facebook page. PLEASE CHECK THESE REGULARLY!

Road Conditions - Chisholm’s Bridge to Fasnakyle Power Station

This section of the route has been subject to heavy wear and tear from use and severe weather. Considerable patching to the road surface has been undertaken to improve the road condition.

However this section must be ridden with considerable caution


Road Conditions – Junction between the Strathglass road (A 831) and the road to Beauly (A 862) at Lovat Bridge

During a route survey it was identified that there are extremely rough road surface conditions at the bend where you leave the Strathglass road and join the Inverness to Beauly road for the last mile into Beauly.

Highland Council has indicated that it will be patching in this area but they do not anticipate any great improvement being achievable before 23rd June.

Participants must anticipate this area and ride with appropriate caution. Remember the road at this stage is open to normal traffic and vehicles may be coming towards you on the uphill carriageway.

The bend is at Grid Reference 514 449 on OS Sheet 26

Preparation

Food and Drink

You should now know what works for you in terms of taking on fuel and drink during the event. Every individual has different needs in this respect – we will provide water and Isostar rehydration fluid along the route. Use these as YOU know your body needs. Take food that you know that you can tolerate and will give you all the energy that you require to see you safely through the day.

Making it happen safely

In the interests of your own safety we expect that all participants will carry the recommended safety equipment on the day:

1.       A whistle to summon help – 6 blasts of the whistle repeated at one minute intervals

2.       A weather protective suit

3.       A small amount of high energy food

The weatherproof suit is vital. If you have to travel slowly or you have an injury it could make a huge difference to how you feel and your condition by the time resources get to you.

Why we make the day happen

Highland Cross exists to provide a unique crossing of Highland Scotland and most importantly generate funds for Highland Charities that seek to improve the medical and social well-being of folk in the Highlands.

That is why you have committed to the £500 per team minimum pledge. It is fantastic to see so much fundraising activity going on through online pages and we know that teams are holding fundraising events to boost their contribution. Thank you for that commitment and please continue it for as long as possible - the five excellent causes nominated this year need your help.

Page 2 of your brochure has information on setting up Gift Aid efficient fundraising pages.

Substitution arrangements

If you need to withdraw for any reason a substitute entry can be made for a replacement participant for your team up to the 18th June.

The rules governing substitution are in your brochure but the substitution can only take place on the form from the inside back cover of the brochure.

Access to Morvich – Road Closure

Due to a defective bridge there is no access to Morvich via the South end of the Morvich loop road through Allt a’ chruinn hamlet where the “Jac-o-bite” Restaurant sits. The only access to Morvich is from the North end of the loop road (at Grid Reference 944 213 on OS 1:50 000 sheet 33).

There will be increased traffic congestion because of this and participants are urged not to take cars into the area. The community of Morvich is hugely supportive of Highland Cross and we ask that participants repay that support with consideration as to parking.

Discussions are underway with the local community to establish a participants’ and supporters’ parking area.

Remember that general information and last minute change details are being regularly posted on both the Highland Cross website and Facebook page. PLEASE CHECK THESE REGULARLY!

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Highland Cross 2018 - Participants' Bulletin No 1 - May

Welcome to the 36th Highland Cross!

Whether you are a veteran of 30+ Crosses or coming into the event for the first time you are part of the amazing Community of Highland Cross that delivers outstanding benefit to Highland charities.

The Community of Highland Cross – YOU and the folk who make the day happen

You will take part on the day alongside over 750 folk with the same goals as you – to cross the Highlands in a day and raise funds for the five superb causes nominated to be major beneficiaries from this year’s event.  Details of the causes are in your booklet on pages 10, 11 and 12. 

Your crossing is made possible by a wonderful support network of volunteers, businesses, public bodies and voluntary groups who come together each year to make the Cross happen.  Many of folk supporting the Cross are past participants or their organisations have teams taking part as well as supporting.

100 volunteers from the benefitting charities will be working along the route and representatives from over a dozen charities that have benefitted from previous Highland Crosses will be supporting the event with donated vehicles and labour.  Details of the sponsors and supporters are on pages 13 and 14 of the booklet.

Preparing for the day

Please read the route and safety advice in the booklet – pages 4 and 5 - and on the website.  How you prepare for the Cross will largely determine if you have a memorable or miserable experience.

Please note the basic emergency equipment that every participant is expected to carry throughout the day it is detailed on page 5.  Please get used to carrying it in training.

Fundraising

This is often the hardest part of the Cross! But your efforts will bring immense benefit to causes that would struggle over years to raise the sums that one Highland Cross day can generate. These charities support some of the most vulnerable folk in our communities. The athletic challenge is admirable but the prime aim of the Cross is to give the nominated charities a tremendous boost.

Changes to the regulations for maintaining digital records

From 25 May 2018 we have to change the way that we keep our information on you.  This is because of the General Data Protection Regulations.

We keep records so that we can communicate with you about the event and especially as the event nears with updates on route conditions.  We keep records so that we can assign your fundraising efforts to the correct teams. We need to hold information so that we can award prizes to the athletically minded amongst you and to award long service gifts to folk who complete twenty Crossings.

Our data handlers are professionally involved in the secure handling of information and we do not share any of our information with any other event or organisation.  We never have and never will.

As this date approaches we shall be communicating with you further with regards to your privacy options.

Please ensure that this bulletin is shared with all your team members – not everybody has given us an e mail address. Every member of each team must register with us so that we can comply with the new data regulations. 

Facebook

We have opened up our new Facebook page as another way to communicate with our participants and the Highland Cross community.

https://www.facebook.com/thehighlandcross/