Chelsea Academy 2017

Harrison Miller, Finbarr Kiely, Mak Dedic, Sacha Hodgkinson

Cairngorms

The 4 of us wanted to do a 6-day 100km hike in the remote Cairngorms in Scotland. We knew it would be a tough experience but it turned out to be brutal. On the first day, after hiking 20km with heavy back-packs, our tent snapped due to the wind, and we had to walk back to the cover of trees another 10km and make a makeshift shelter from the floppy broken remains. Many paths shown on the map were now non-existent due to mudslides. So many-a-time we were hiking in marsh-like land up to our knees, as well as hiking up the sides of mountains. Every night midges plagued us. We met interesting people, Belgian students on a holiday and Swiss guys who worked at CERN, the trip was quite social. There is a feeling like no other when one stands at the top of a mountain, wind howling past, looking at the world below. We would recommend anyone to do a trip like ours, the challenges experienced by the team were unexpected and it is a privilege to have had to find ways to adapt and push forward with your friends. We saw the only wild herd of reindeer in the UK, a bright green Loch, the UK’s highest beach, drank fresh mountain water, crossed rivers which had flooded paths, ascended a 1200 m high mountain, walked in rain wind and sun, swam in ice-cold lakes and dams and we feel we have achieved something that few these days are able to. Thank you so much. This trip has changed us all for the better and we will definitely do more in the future.