Many years ago, a specially selected group of idiots, lunatics and sadists (QUOTE!) decided to set up a winch challenge in the beautiful surroundings of the Argyll Forest in the West of Scotland. There are a few things that makes this area attractive for winch challenges; steep sided valleys, trees and rain.
And that’s how Scotia Winch Challenge was born!
The topology conspires with the rain and the forest to create mud. Add all this together and you get an abundance of tight difficult sections with plenty of opportunity to test your skills, teamwork and the quality of your off road vehicle.
Make no mistake, this is not for the ill prepared or faint of heart, it is a full-on 100% strength sapping, brain twisting challenge.
The team that organises and sets up the competition finds extreme ways for the competitors to get stuck in some of the most picturesque areas of Scotland.
As the organisation says: “It has been suggested that we are bad people or that we choose sections based purely on their score on the AIS (Argyll Impossibility Scale) but this is simply untrue. We have no choice as to where in the Forest we can go, we’ve been told that we must set up in areas that are too rugged for machine based tree harvesting.
As the years have gone by we have found a dizzying array of obstacles, routes and sections, and some, for good reason, have fallen into folklore. Such names as ‘Dead Deer Drop’ with it’s 90 foot winch down to the start and the ‘Cresta Run’ that goes down into a gorge until you’re faced with either a 25′ cliff climb to reach the punch or a 2 hour climb back to the start.”
Standard Class Events: Vehicles do not need to be road legal but MUST have axles of standard configuration and have only 1 steering axle. Portal axles, even if fitted as standard are not allowed. Tyres larger than 38.5″ are not allowed. Where there is any doubt, the decision of the Head Scrutineer/Marshal is final.
Extreme/unlimited class events: Any MSA compliant vehicle i.e. having >53″ wheel base, fixed individual seats, seat belts, windscreen/mesh, separate engine compartment etc. (more information from MSA’s ‘Blue Book’). Any and all other modifications are allowed. Standard class vehicle can choose to compete in this Class.
- Oil spill kits and basic first aid are carried by each vehicles.
- At least one wide tree strap
- One brightly coloured winch blanket or sail per winch being used. Blankets/sails must be more than 1kg in weight. IF only one is brought then only one winch at a time can be used
- One set of bridging ladders to cross sensitive ground or running water
- We advise everyone to carry several long extension ropes, shackles, pulley/snatch blocks and extra straps.
- We suggest you plan for carrying drinking water, food as well as a mobile phone in case of emergency
TEXT: Scotia Winch Challenge
PHOTO: Ruftrax 4×4 Photography