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Purple Thistle 2006 - Glen Affric
26th & 27th August

General Info | Location Map | Day 1 | Day 2 | WOC Courses

Its with great pleasure that we welcome over 100 of you to the 2nd Purple Thistle, this time visiting the wonderful world class venue that is Glen Affric as we bring you a weekend of barebones orienteering. For those of you at the PT'05 in Arisaig you probably have some idea of what to expect and it is thanks to the many positive comments we received there that we were encouraged to bring the event back this year, for those of you who missed out here's a wee overview...

The barebones concept is all about taking the fuss out of event organisation as much as possible while still providing an event of the highest quality, with a great atmosphere and enjoyment for all - including the organisers! So whats left for you is all that matters for quality orienteering (maps, courses, controls and electronic punching) and a bunch of likeminded people out to enjoy a weekend away from it all in a beautiful part of the country.

In light of this the barebones concept stipulates that there can be no complaining throughout the weekend, but hopefully there will be nothing to complain about so this won't be a problem! However, please remember that this event has been put on by a bare minimum of people, by a club with only 5 members, and a planner/organiser who now lives at the opposite end of the country!

Results will be on the website as soon as possible after the event and there will no doubt be a report, photos, route analysis and discussion quickly appearing on as soon after the event as possible.

We hope you enjoy your weekend and that the weather, ticks and midges (and courses?) aren't too fierce!

General Information

Organising Club: Team Nopesport

Planner/Organiser: Brooner
Controllers: Stewart Caithness, Tony Carlyle, Becky Carlyle.
Map: 1999-2001 Stirling Surveys
Punching: Emit

Reach Cannich from the North by taking the A82 from Inverness to Drumnadrochit and then the A831 from there. Alternatively take the A831 from Beauly. From the South again take the A82 to Drumnadrochit and the A831 from there.


Hostel & Camping are both be signposted from the main road through Cannich (A831).

Take the A831 from Drumnadrochit to Cannich, at bottom of Kerrow Bray on the approach to Cannich turn right with the main road over the bridge and as you enter Cannich look out for the signs for the Hostel and Campsite on the left hand side in the woods. Both are next door to each other (GR NH340315), the hostel is on the same turn off from the main road but is situated behind the camp site.

From Beauly on the A831 turn left after the Traffic light controlled bridge as you enter Cannich. Look out for turning to Campsite and Hostel on right hand side shortly after telephone Kiosk.

Hostel accommodation consists of 4 or 2 bedded rooms with bed linen supplied. There is a large fully equipped Dining/Kitchen with fridges, freezers, cooker, microwave, pots & pans etc. There is also a large lounge with a log burning fire (not that we'll need it!), TV, Radio/CD and large amounts of reading matter. Ther are ample toilet/shower facilities with hot water available all day.
Please be aware however that we will not be the only users of the hostel.

Cannich has only a small convenience store, please come prepared where possible!
Ultrasport will be in attendance at the event.
It is hoped that a local group will be in attendance to sell food on both days of the event.

Event Social & Prizegiving
On Saturday night we will have a prizegiving and get together at the Slater Arms in Cannich. Food will be available from about 18:00 and if wishing to eat here you are advised to phone 01456 415215 in advance to be sure of a table! The prizegiving will start around 21:00 so why not come along to relax, refuel and join your fellow competitors for a drink over the post race analysis.

Worth a Visit
Plodda & Dog falls are worth checking out whilst in the area, Plodda falls being one of the highest in the country.
Loch Ness Visitor Centre in Drumnadrochit if you want to find out about the myths surrounding the monster!
Moniack Castle near Beauly for a spot of post race wine tasting.

(click for full size image)

Day 1 - Glen Affric South

Parking & Assembly
Assembly/Finish/Car Parking all together, 10km from Cannich. Take minor roads to Tomich then take right fork over river and follow signs. Assembly Field open from 10am. Minimal toilet facilities will be available, please make use of the public toilets in Cannich before arriving. There will be no water available, please come prepared.

Starts & Courses:
Start times from 11:00-14:30, courses close at 17:00.

Starts are the following distances from Assembly:
Start 1 - Mighty/Big - 3.0km
Start 2 - Medium/Small/Baby - 2.5km

Competitors can start at any time but must sign out when leaving for the start with an estimated start time.

Competitors at Start 1 are advised to start at 2 minute intervals.
Competitors at Start 2 are advised to start at 1 minute intervals, with 2 minutes between competitors on the same course.

Course Distances:

  • Mighty Thistle - 12.7km - 1:15,000
  • Big Thistle - 9.0km - 1:15,000
  • Medium Thistle - 5.5km - 1:10,000
  • Small Thistle - 3.6km - 1:10,000
  • Baby Thistle - 3.5km - 1:10,000
Entry Lists

Predominantly ancient pine forest with great runnablility and plentiful rock features, vegitation changes and contour detail. Thicker forest & steeper slopes on the decent to the finish. Large felled area that the Mighty & Big Thistle courses skirt around has been roughly outlined by purple hatching.

Day 2 - Glen Affric North

Parking & Assembly
Parking 5km from Cannich and on forest tracks. Follow the minor road that runs NW out of Cannich alongside the River Cannich then follow signs into forest, park as directed. Space is at a premium and it is a condition of our use of the area that participants share cars where at all possible. To do so please stop by at the hostel to offer or make use of spaces in cars. Alternatively why not jog to the event as a warm up!

Assembly/Start/Finish is between 1 & 2kms from parking.
Minimal toilet facilities will be available, please make use of the public toilets in Cannich before arriving. There will be no water available, please come prepared.

Starts & Courses:
Start times from 10:30-14:00, courses close at 17:00.
The start is at assembly.

Competitors can start at any time but must sign out before starting.

Competitors are advised to start at a minimum of 1 minute intervals, with 2 minutes between competitors on the Medium, Big and Mighty Thistle courses.

Course Distances:

  • Mighty Thistle - 9.6km - 1:15,000
  • Big Thistle - 7.5km - 1:15,000
  • Medium Thistle - 5.7km - 1:10,000
  • Small Thistle - 3.5km - 1:10,000
  • Baby Thistle - 2.5km - 1:10,000
Entry Lists

South facing wooded hillside, with plentiful rock features, vegitation changes and contour detail. Area of rough open where Assembly & Finish is located. Good runnability throughout but some patches of windblown, the worst of which have been roughly indicated on the maps with purple hatching in order to aid route choice. A large felled area which doesn't affect courses, but is visible on the Mighty Thistle, has also been very roughly outlined with a thick purple line. The Baby thistle course encounters some high bracken and will have an advisory taped route to avoid the worst of this.

WOC Courses

Friday 25th - Starts 13:00-14:00,
Monday 28th - Starts 09:30-10:30.

Starts & Finish are some distance apart so competitors running the WOC courses are requested to assemble in the Hostel car park by 12:30 (Friday) or 9:00 (Monday) to receive Information, Maps, Emit cards and to co-ordinate Car Sharing to/from Start/Finish areas. All competitors must sign out when leaving for the start.

Start Parking - At Dog Falls Car Park (GR NH283283)

Distances to Start:
Mens Start ~2km
Womens Start ~1.5km

Course Distances:
Mens - 15.9km - 1:15,000
Womens - 10.4km - 1:15,000

Finish Parking - Plodda Falls Car Park (GR NH280238)
Finish to Car Park ~1.5km

There is a large felled area that both courses skirt around, and the women's course has a control at the edge of. This has been roughly outlined by purple hatching. There are also some patches of windblown in Dark Green forest before crossing river which have not been marked on the map. Uncrossable fences before crossing the river are now crossable in places.