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Report on D of E Arran Expedition
28 June 2008   (3220 views)

And now for some thing a bit different

While the Craggy club understandably has an over 18?s member?s policy, which I agree with. A few of us volunteer with local North Ayrshire Duke of Edinburgh?s Award groups. To give a flavor of the things we do to help young people undertake their overnight expeditions here is a re-count of a training day walk we did on Arran on the 28 of June for a couple of local groups. As with anything to do with young people the walk was the culmination of weeks worth of paperwork and planning; no spontaneity here! But finally everyone made it to the 7am ferry from Ardrossan. While some people were barely awake and slept for the voyage most of us succumbed to the overpriced Calmac catering. So by 9am the bronze and silver teams were ready for the off and got going towards their first task which was the boggy track up to the Sheans trig point above Brodick (on a good day this is the best view of the hills to the north).

The next hour was a mixed experience for all concerned due to the persistent rain, mist and for some very boggy underfoot in the trees then a faint path through most of the heather up to the summit. All did very well and made good time and with good fortune the rain faded for a short break as we had second breakfast before the main event.

While you can teach navigation in a class setting until you give a group the map and a compass telling them get you to from a to b there?s no way of telling if it has sunk in.

So with Peter giving them a few words of wisdom, the team?s next task was to get to the Ross Road across a few miles of trackless heather moor. Helpfully the weather was really awful with gusty wind and heavy rain from the direction they had to get to. As you can see from the few photos I could take between the showers it was a rough 5 hours over tough going but everyone was impressive in their own way and more importantly worked very well in their team?s
I?m sure Peter, Malcolm and Ewan would agree with me it was a very successful day and great fun for all concerned. The smiles even in the midges sort of said it all for me.

Any one interested in getting young people in to the hills and could put up with local government paperwork would be warmly welcomed.

Gavin Ferguson

arran countryside
downhill through heather
where are we going
river crossing
all across safely
Peter supervising

Photos: Gavin Ferguson

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