Walking Cartographer survives Cateran Yomp across Scotland !

— 20th June 2017

As part of my work with the British Cartographic Society's Restless Earth programme, I have regular contact with the MoD: Defence Geographic and Royal School of Military Survey.

RSMS has recently created a UK Flooding Scenario for the Workshop Series. With the instruction from WO Jase Harrop and Maj Chris Underhill, we delivered a very successful trial of the scenario in Kendal in February. This is when they asked me to join RSMSs Team for the yomp!

10-11 June 2017 - Cateran Yomp, Blairgowrie, Scotland...Rain, Wind and bit of mud...well a lot of mud. And a bit more mud.

0729 after a porridge breakfast and a tea, Team One, headed for the start line..No stopping until CP1...across the fields and up and up the hill, over the stiles, across the fields, through the woods (anyone read 'We're going on a Bear Hunt'?). The rain did ease off and clouds cleared - the trick was to keep looking back to see if the Tented village could be seen...to see how far I'd gone. Only 3 miles...keep plodding. As the RSMS team surged ahead - we agreed they'd have to keep their pace to finish the 54 Miles by the next morning..so I joined a couple of ladies from the Local Army Cadets, who told me they'd been here 2 days before in glorious sunshine. I was happy for the slight drizzle..cooled me down. Lots of chatting to walkers, singing, people with music jollying us along and raising the damp spirits! Some incredible stories too, recounted as if they were being read by someone else: news-readers perhaps but a lot more detail, with feeling and reality. This is why I was doing the walk - to help other people. To realise my job doesn't entail danger or an ultimate sacrifice.

1330 : CP1 and I was feeling a bit weary having trudged through muddy slopes and rivers and there was a familiar face - my wee boy - who helped me over the 1st Check Point. There was the team - nearly all ready to go out again! after a change of socks (very important if you're doing these walks) and some food ..off I went again..this was the next challenge - the final hurrah is the Spittal of Glenshee but before this is a more gentle approach with a good few moral boosting stops..Ice-cream, coffee and a most amazing view for a geographer..AND THE SUN CAME OUT..whohoo ..

1730: I crossed over the bridge and into BRONZE FINISH after descending a pretty steep slope (yes its a good skiing place in the winter). My feet were fine - good boots and good socks (thanks mum!) - I was just very tired, so retired there! I was place 829th (out of 1164) and finished in 10hr 01m 29s!

Thank you to all who sponsored me - we raised so far £2130 for the ABF - Armed Forces Benevolent Fund The Yomp has raised over £500,000

Anyone for 2018? - Looking to go for Silver, as you walk up the best U shaped Valley ! A Geographers paradise!

For more information and to donate please click here.

Published by: Paul Naylor

Paul Naylor

One Response

  1. Chris Underhill says:

    Well done Alice. Great achievement!

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