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Summer Expedition

The Youth section of the TWSMRT spent a week in the Cairngorms on their 2005 summer expedition.

The group camped at the Badaguish Outdoor Centre near Aviemore. The first day was spent walking the ridge that runs to the north of Loch Morlich - this was intended as a familiarization day to get the group, some of whom had not experienced walking in Scotland, used to the size of the Cairngorm area. On the evening the group were shown around the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Base - they were amazed by the extent of the resources available to a Scottish MR team.
The main part of the week was a three day, two night expedition out in the Cairngorm wilderness. It was important that this was fully planned by the group so a day was spent route planning, menu planning, and sorting out kit.

The group on ridge - day 1

Thursday morning saw the group with fully laden rucksacs set off towards the Lairig Ghru. The destination for the first night was a small coire behind Braeriach; a site recommended by one of the Cairngorm Team. The campsite was at 1000m (higher than Sca Fell), and as we approached the cloud seemed to be being sucked into the coire. As night drew in the rain stated and the temperature dropped to near freezing - the group were in good spirits though having cooked themselves a variety of interesting and tasty meals.

Corrour Bothy in the sun

Friday morning and ready for a days walk. The cloud was down, the wind was blowing and it was pretty cold. Up the ridge to the summit of Braeriach ,sadly no views. It was the perfect situation to test the group on their navigation skills. Around noon, sitting at the top of the Falls of Dee the cloud started to break. First the odd glimpse of snow in the gullies, then the whole ridge came into view. Within half an hour the sky was blue and we were bathed in sunshine. After a short briefing the group was split and given a meeting point at the end of the ridge near The Devil's Point. Late afternoon saw the group relaxing in a mountain bothy, taking in the sun. Unfortunately this could not last as there was still another three to four hours walking still to be done, including an ascent of some 700m. As the group started the climb back onto the ridge the temperature started to drop, the cloud began to race up into the Lairig Ghru and before long the group were once again in cloud and wind with the temperature dropping. Undeterred the compasses came out and with some precise navigating the descent to the campsite was found.
It had been a long day - the group had worked hard and had been rewarded by experiencing a real Scottish mountain day.

Braeriach in mist wind and rain

Saturday morning, the cloud had cleared and for the first time the real beauty of the campsite could be experienced. Everything was packed and the descent to the minibus and base began. Five hours of walking later and everyone was standing by the minibus waiting for a ride back for a hot shower.
The day was topped off by a BBQ and well earned refreshment.

Walk out through Chalamain gap

I had hoped that I would be reporting about a visit to Iceland which had been planned. An Icelandic rescue team was ready to host us; the programme had been arranged. Sponsors had been found to supply kit - then the bombshell, we didn't get the hoped for funding. The members of the Youth Team still wanted to get away, hence the Cairngorms; not quite Iceland but never the less an excellent week.

What of Iceland? The Icelandic team that were going to act as our hosts are hopefully going to visit us next year. The search for potential funders will start again and the Youth Team intend to start their own fund raising.

To find out more about the TWSMRT Youth Team please look at the main Youth Team Page where you can find more details about joining the Youth Team.