Silver training expedition

Calum M, Amy Mac, Sam Mac, Dan F, Ross B, Alistair M and me, Meghann R. All seven members part of the team, “Fantabulous” who set out on an adventure that will never be forgotten, our Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards practise expedition.

Our objective was to walk from Incheril, just outside of Kinlochewe, to Gruinard, finishing immediately bedside Gruinard River. This journey took place over 3 days and 2 nights. We walked through the vast coniferous forest at Letterewe, uphill then downhill, and on to the tops of the Gairloch Estate with basically every mountain’s summit in sight such as Beinn Airigh Charr, Beinn Eighe and The Torridons. The whole expedition contained approximately 20 hours walking.

Our first night we camped at Carnmore which is situated next to the Fionn and Dubh Lochs. The second night we set up camp just 1 km away from Loch na Sealga. Both nights we slept in what can be described as the centre of a huge bowl as there were beautiful mountains all around. We witnessed sunsets on the Fionn Lochs and had awakened at the base An Teallach covered in a rolling mist. One can say you will never experience the total beauty of the Highlands until you have walked across it, lived off it, and breathed in it. We were informed before we set off that we would be hiking through some of the most remote land in Britain. Our group worked extremely hard and well together. We kept each other smiling all weekend. As we walked we would have a laugh, in depth conversations and sing songs together.

Miss Dean and Mr Johnston, who chaperoned us, improved our knowledge on orienteering and first-aid. Miss Dean acted as a casualty that was in need of immediate assistance as the scenario had been she was unconscious after slipping in a rocky stream , but no worries, we had her back on her feet in no time!

The weather held out for us on all three days. Sun Cream came in handy and at the same time so did our thermal hats. In addition there was a constant breeze to keep the midges away. We survived on all different kinds of food. For instance, ration packs, chilli, cereal, curry, sausages, grapes, chocolate penguins… the list goes on. No one went hungry, that’s for sure.

At the end of our expedition we were tired, but that doesn’t apply for all since the boys were still able to run around with their humongous rucksacks on! The weekend was enjoyed by all of us. It’s a spectacular experience to go through with your friends. The journey has brought us all closer together and I look forward to once again experiencing Amy’s dislike in the words, “Up hill”, Calum’s continuous enthusiasm and joy, Dan and Sam’s persistence, Ross’s determination and Alistair’s hilarity as we hike through the Cairngorms on our Final Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards expedition.

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