It's coast to coast, over the 4,000ft tops... by foot and packraft, in aid of the John Muir Award.
Starting 9th May 2015, David Hine and I will walk and paddle across Scotland from west to east. We'll cross lochs, camp on islands and climb the 9 highest mountains in the UK, before paddling rivers from source to sea. We'll use portable, inflatable boats - packrafts - and winter equipment for the mountains. We'll resupply en route.
Has a coast to coast over the 4,000's been done before? Yes, lots of times. With a packraft? We're not sure.
We begin on Ardnamurchan, at the most westerly point on the mainland, via a few Corbetts and lots of water to Glenfinnan and Fort William, to overnight at the CIC hut and onto Nevis via the CMD arete, and on to the Lochaber tops. Then via the Alder badlands and the river Pattack to Dalwhinnie, over the Cairngorm monsters to meet the river Avon, and then paddle to the sea at Spey Bay. Here's a very approximate map:
2 reasons. Because it'll be fun. And because we're fundraising for the John Muir Award, an outdoor learning scheme which connects thousands of people a year with nature and wild places, wherever they are. We think that's vital for everyone's future. We hope you do too.
If you do, please donate HERE and share this blogpost.
Thankyou. More detail below...
the small print
Why Scotland? Because it's exciting and beautiful, and we live here. It strikes a nice balance between a big trip we can't commit to every year, and something more accessible. We'll get to visit lots of places we haven't before, and revisit some we have.
How long will it take? We reckon about 2 weeks, maybe a bit more. Speed isn't important to us - where we go and how we get there are.
Why choose the John Muir Award when there are thousands of good causes out there? 3 reasons. Because it matters: Our lives have been transformed through experiencing wild places and we know how important that experience is for personal development, especially if you live in the city. Because they need the money. The Award is free for all, but funds are limited. Environmental learning is strategic - without it, legal battles for protection and ecological improvement that are won today may be lost again in another generation. Most important, Because it works: 30,000 people access nature every year using the Award. It's a simple, flexible scheme suitable for everyone, it rewards direct action for the environment, promotes good group dynamics and environmental awareness. What's not to like? Find out more and watch a film at www.jmt.org/connect
Why use 'givey' as a fundraising platform? Because every penny goes to the Award. Every other internet fundraising website takes a cut, givey don't. They use Paypal, but you don't need a paypal account to donate. Your information is not stored or sold. Whether we meet our target, fail to meet it or exceed it, all the money still goes to the Award.
Will the journey be hard or dangerous? Probably quite hard, hopefully not too dangerous. These are the biggest mountains in the UK, and they will still have snow. The weather might force us off course, or delay us. But some of the snow should have melted into the rivers, making them more exciting to paddle. Alot could go wrong, but if it was without risk or challenge, you might not sponsor us...
Who the hell are you? We're two friends who like outdoor adventures in amazing places where the outcome is uncertain. We're not the toughest, the most fit or handsome, and they'll be no support teams, TV crews or celebrity interviews on the way. We're both members of the John Muir Trust, the charity that runs the Award. I used to work for them until last year.
Who are your sponsors? You are. We don't have any big name sponsors yet, but please get in touch if you work for one and they want to help, we'll make sure everyone knows about it.
Why should I give you money? You're not giving us money. You're giving a chance to outdoor groups, schools, hospitals and clubs to get more into nature, with those in their care. If the outdoors is important to you, throw a few quid in the pot. Even if it isn't important to you but you think it might matter to them, donate a few pounds. It'll make the world of difference to people who could use a helping hand.
Time is short, so thanks for reading this far. Please consider donating something here.