Sunday 24th May was an excitable yet dreaded day for a team of five trekkers who had decided to take upon the challenge of the West Highland Way in Scotland for three different charity organisations. The West Highland Way is Scotland’s first and most popular long distance route. It runs from Milngavie, on the northern outskirts of Glasgow, 96 miles to the capital of the West Highlands, Fort William and the foot of Ben Nevis. The route passes through some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes; by loch and mountain, over moorland and along forest paths. Though this sounds delightful it is not for the light hearted. The trekking group was made up from five trekking friends from different backgrounds and experiences in walking or hiking. Clare Stokes, from Kettering, the planner for the expedition along with two keen walking London friends, Scott Standing and Lee Christian were walking to raise funds for the Scottish Mountain Rescue which was supported closely by the Cairngorm Reindeer Herd. Rachel Hibbert, from Wootton, collecting to support Diabetes UK on her first ever expedition and Damien Lord, from Long Buckby, who was raising monies for Lymphoma and Leukaemia research in memory of his Nan who passed from the horrible disease two years previous.
It took the team eight days battling through blistering sun, torrential rain, gale force winds, sleet, hail and even flooding to complete the 96 mile distance, equivalent to travelling from Towcester to Brighton seafront. Whilst camping along the way and carrying heavy packs which included all they needed to survive from camp to camp. The expedition was a challenge to say the least with the weather at points not helping. It took a lot out of all five of the team, not only physically but mentally as well as the long hours of walking and chilly conditions will take a toll on even the strongest of minds. The team even helped out another team towards the end of route as the weather had become so torrential that two girls were in the stages of hypothermia and were saved by Lee and Damien.
However on Sunday 31st May, the whole team completed the challenge and their quest to raising as much money for their charities with each raising over £1000. Whilst it was a gruelling challenge all of the team thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the expedition and all the sights and laughs along the way.
Thank you to everyone for their support and to those who donated including, Carlsberg UK, Mars, Phipps NBC, Northampton Saints, Sam Dickinson, Northampton Cobblers, Michael Jones Jewelers, Royal and Derngate, and Yeoman of England, Wootton.