EXPEDITION REPORT: DOFE SILVER
3rd July, 2018
The Silver groups departed from locations near Loch Laggan on the Ardverikie Estate. Climbing steeply through the forest, they made swift progress, whilst still relatively shaded, on what was to become a blisteringly hot day. Passing into the Corrour Estate, they left the trees behind and moved into open country, famed for hosting some of the largest deer herds in Scotland, as well as the luxurious £23million Corrour Lodge. Both groups found plenty of source material for their research topic on the impact of land use. The groups pitched camp near the lodge, and enjoyed rehydrating with the cool clear water from the Ossian river.
This was a tough day. The sun was relentless, matched only by the constant attacks from horseflies and, of course, the dreaded Highland midge! The supervisors reported that the groups coped admirably with the long “off-piste” climb up to Bealach Dubh, before being treated to stunning views down the valley towards Loch Pattack, which would be their campsite for the night. The teams worked well together to encourage each other through this day, and spirits remained high in camp, despite the considerable efforts.
Everyone was keen to be up bright and early to finish the expedition before the heat of the day. One group began walking at 0710 after rising early and striking camp efficiently, with the other group not far behind. Needless to say, this became something of a competition between the groups to keep up the pace, with the lead group not wanting to be caught before the end! After 3km of boggy track, the route opened up to hard-packed access roads for a new hydro-electric power plant. More evidence of land use, and easier walking underfoot. The groups finished in what must have been record time, maintaining an admirable walking pace of between 5 and 6km/hour.
Both groups were helpful in cleaning and stowing their kit when we returned to school – not always an easy thing to do when the prospect of a cool shower lies ahead! They also worked hard on their presentations which they gave the following day. All participants met the 20 conditions for assessment of their Silver DofE Expedition, and therefore they have passed this stage of their award. Well done to one and all, and thanks to the group supervisors, Rachel Mullen, Robin Greenwood and Craig Coid.