Monday 10th April 2017, 9:47am
Two members of Arran Mountain Rescue Team are preparing take on a hill day that is a bit large even by their standards.
On May 14th Kirstie Smith and Mountaineering Scotland member Lucy Wallace will attempt to climb all of Arran's 700m summits in one day. Setting off from sea level on the west coast, they plan to traverse the western hills, before tackling the Corbetts and scrambling the ridges of the main massif, finishing with Goatfell, at 874m, the highest peak on Arran. The total route is over 35km and will take in over 3,000m of ascent as well as epic bog and sections of technical scrambling.
They hope to raise much-needed cash both for their local team, and for the team based on Mount Mulanje, the highest mountain in Malawi. Both teams are run by volunteers and are dependent on public donations to fund equipment and training. Volunteers give their time to help rescue those who are lost or injured in the mountains.
On Mulanje, the highest mountain in Malawi, mountain rescue services are particularly poorly funded, with team members risking their lives to save others with only rudimentary equipment and basic training. They also perform a vital service to their community, supporting others in times of crisis, in a country where there is little or no safety net. Natural disasters such as the flooding in January 2015, where 200,000 people lost their homes, saw Mulanje Mountain Rescue on the front line.
Kirstie Smith is a SARDA volunteer, who is currently training her first search dog, a young border collie called Cailleag. Sadly Cailleag will have to be left behind for this challenge, as it may be a bit much even for her strong legs and boundless enthusiasm. Lucy Wallace is a mountain leader and wildlife guide based on Arran, who has been lucky enough to lead expeditions on Mount Mulanje and meet with the mountain rescue team there.
You can donate to their fund here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Arran700s