These are my personal views not necessarily those of the Challenge organisers and they are the points I considered when nominating a route from those sent to me for checking. RoTY has never been competitive. Routes were always judged against certain criteria not against other routes.
Firstly routes had to be well presented. That is to say legible and contain all the information required and spelt out clearly in the route planning notes sent to each applicant. Too often information is missing from routes, commonly when Challengers use a computer based mapping system they leave out the OS Landranger sheet numbers. Many routes provide FWAs which do not allow the original route to be followed when (if) the weather improves or they are not suitable as a FWA. All too often distance and more commonly height gain calculations are inaccurate and place names spelt incorrectly.
All the above points and more are addressed in the information given to Challengers but every year questions are put on the forum which have already been covered in these notes so it is obvious that some Challengers are not bothering to read them hence the poor presentation of some route sheets.
Secondly, as the majority of route sheets are well presented, vetters who are short listing routes for consideration look for something fresh in the approach the Challenger used for planning their route. In the past Challengers have constructed routes which linked castles, walked from the furthest west to furthest east points within the Challenge area; similarly furthest north to furthest south. Routes have also included the eight ( a ninth has now been included ) highest Munros and some high level routes containing 12 or more Corbetts. It is not necessarily the hardest route which will win hence this year Jean Turner used the theme of song and poetry and linked her route appropriately.
Personally I am sorry that RoTY is being dropped as I saw it not as a competition but as a way for the Challenge organisers and vetters to show their appreciation to Challengers who had spent time researching their routes and taken care in their presentation.
In the final Challenge details JM has asked for Challengers to send suggestions of ways to improve the event to him. Some of the above ideas are valid and so I hope that as well as publishing them on this forum that you have contacted him direct.