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Rannoch To Perth Fundraiser

Several Stanwix youngsters are booked to take part in an exciting boundary expanding visit to the international scout camp at Kandersteg in Switzerland. Activities include all the familiar favourites that could just as easily be tackled in our very own Lake District, so why on earth go to Switzerland. Very simply it is to widen the horizons of the older scouts, through tackling adventurous activities in a much bigger scale environment than the Lakes provide

As well as the scale of the challenges that they are planning to take on, there is the added element of having to fund raise for the project. The adult leaders who will accompany the youngsters are also having to pay their way, so there’s no free ride involved. We will also have to get fully involved in these efforts too. As usual there is the bag packing, race night, sponsored shave of Kenny’s beard and other assorted facial fungus which will all help to swell the coffers and keep the cost down to manageable proportions … not every Stanwix child is a rich kid!

My own contribution will be to tackle the rather cool challenge of dumping an open boat into the water beside the A82 on Rannoch Moor and then spend the next 4 or 5 days getting it ourselves the 100 or so miles to Perth via an assortment of Lakes and puddles on the moorlands. This is followed by a series of growing streams that lead into the R. Gaur (a fairly classic white water trip in my more familiar kayak). The Gaur and its lakes lead into the R. Tummel and eventually we will be disgorged into the R. Tay which we follow all the way to Perth. I’ve read a few trip reports of this “little expedition” and it looks like there is some serious donkey work involved. Several of the bigger rapids are not suitable for what will be fairly heavily laden open boats, so it seems we will be learning the skills of portaging pretty quickly.

Then there’s the weather of course. With all these outdoor adventures, the wise man really does let the weather have the last word … and he listens! I’ll go out and “play” in all sorts of atrocious and wild weather: and I’ll revel in the sheer craziness of it, but I choose my playground carefully. For this trip, if the weather is blowing from the west it will probably be wet. However this will have the advantage that we will be able to sail the lakes pretty quickly. On the other hand if there’s a headwind of any strength from the east, then it’s game off and find plan B.

Open canoeing is a game I have never really got myself involved with properly over the years. This way, it’s in at the deep end. We had hoped to have a team of about 3 or 4 to tackle the trip, but it looks like we are going to be travelling as a team of 2. Just hope that Rob knows what he’s taking on with me as a relative novice on a big trip like this.

In reality, this a pretty pedestrian sort of trip for Rob my partner in entertainment. His family holidays usually involve Canada, canoes bears and novices. If you ever meet him, ask him about the video of his attempt to turn a 17ft open boat into a submarine – without oxygen!! At least I know I’m being taught by someone who is familiar with the rough as well as the smooth!

My target is to raise £500 towards the cost of the trip to Kandersteg. Sponsor forms appearing on a website or shop counter near you!!