I'm going briefly off topic to promote a fundraising challenge
As some of you know I am a keen mountain walker, its one of the reasons I moved to Scotland to be closer to the amazing scenery and a choice of thousands of mountains to get my teeth into.
I am also in a couple of online forums where I meet people with a similar interest and love of the Mountains all over the UK.
One of the regular forum members is Michael Tunney. He is undertaking an amazing challenge in May this year to raise money for the Oban and Arrochar Mountain Rescue teams and the Northern Police Treatment Centre.
Michael was in need of all these services after a fall while walking BeinnAchaladair and Beinna'Chreachain in November 2006. Please visit his website and read his account of the accident and his subsequent recovery.
The medical bods amoung my readers will appreciate the extent of his injuries and the very real possibility that he may not have made it. You will also appreciate the amazing recovery he has made to get to the point he is at now. The hill walkers amoung you will marvel at the work of the MRT'S and Rescue 177 HMS Gannet to get them off the mountain safely. Read the MRT members accounts of the rescue for another perspective.
Michael is going to walk from Aviemore to Fort William over the nine 4,000 ft mountains also taking in another 14 Munros., this is approximately 30,000 ft of ascent, more than a single ascent of Mount Everest. Now I have issues getting up one mountain sometimes so this challenge of physical and mental strength is mind bogglingly hard! He will be camping and using bothy's during the route so will also be carrying his supplies for the trip.
Please visit his site and if possible make a donation via the links. Mountain Rescue is a volunteer organisation who are called out at any hour and any weather to try and help people in trouble and rely mainly on donations from the public.
Also using this a blatant excuse to publish a couple of my own photos!! The top one is a view of Ardgour from the Pap of Glencoe and the bottom one if the north east face of Ben Nevis. Just to give the non-mountain walkers amoung you an idea of what Michael is dealing with, Ben Nevis is just one of the 4,000 ft peaks (the biggest!).............. he's climbing 9 of them plus another 14 Munros (peaks over 3,000 ft).
So stick your hand in your pocket, even just for a couple of quid and help the Mountain Rescue teams.