A record breaking human power relay over every Scottish mountain over 1KM high!
The ARCHIE Foundation's Mountain Challenge
Paul came in beaming with joy after his bike ride, and Rabbie was hidden away in the top of my bag so he could be tracked by “T’internet Gods”. Off we went at a trot up the first hill Meall Greigh a quick check of the map and compass and then off to the second hill Meall Garbh.
We successfully navigated through the mist over An Stuc and on to Ben Lawers. Now you have to understand the mentality of runners when the excitement gets in you. This is when you start to follow a path and no matter what factual information is laid in front of you it will take something very big to happen before you alter the course. It was at this point that Heppy’s phone began to ring, the call failed but we had come to a stop so we looked at the map and compass and finally at the app. Oops! We had descended the wrong way off Ben Lawers. Surely not! So, with the help of John’s app we retraced our route and this time after removing our runners heads we took a correct bearing for Beinn Ghlas. All went well to our final hill Meall Corranaich and after some photos of Rabbie we headed down to the bealach and the Ben Lawers car park where we met the crew; job done.
After handing over Rabbie to Joe and Andrew Murray we chatted to Paul and the rest of the team about the run, only to find that because Rabbie had a tracker on his back, they knew we were off route long before we did – in fact the phone call to John was to warn us of our mistake. They had been watching and ranting at us to change route, but luckily for us we are a lot slower these days, or the mistake could have meant a much bigger climb back up to the summit.
Not a nice day for a run up some big hills but Paul and his crew had a plan, we had a start date, and nothing was going to stop us helping the challenge along to its completion.
My old running pal John ‘Heppy’ Hepburn and I had the task to help Rabbie the ARCHIE rabbit over the 6 Archies of the Ben Lawers range. We were meeting Paul off his bike at the Ben Lawers Hotel at a given time give or take an hour. We sat in the van, drinking coffee, chatted and hoped the rain would go away. The rain went and as Joe Symonds arrived in his car he brought news of Paul’s impending arrival and instructions on how to use his ‘techy’ watch which would do everything except help us up the hill. It would, however, help to record that we had been to the summits of all the tops; ha ha as if two old dogs like us with over 60 years of hill experience would need such a thing! We did have a map and John, as back up since it was such a poor day, had an app on his phone to help in the event of uncertainty. All sorted.