Scoutmaster. That word will forever have a meaning for Z, Helen and I after our Knoydart trip.
It was a mission with a purpose back in 2007 I think, we were there to retrieve the Wilderness ARC adventure race electronic check in point that was bolted to the trig point on Ladhar Bheinn. If ever there was an excuse for a wee jolly this was it.
We had just made the tide for the the boat from Kinloch Hourn and were gloriously late as we sat in the bothy for a cuppa. We were camping though so late evening found us high on Stob a Chearcaill in two Laserlites with the cloud scraping my head if I stood up.
I think that’s Bachd Mhic an Tosaich across from us below and I think that was the only patch of sun we saw until we started descending next day. We didn’t care though, it was a joy from end to end and Ladhar Beinn without a view is not a lesser experience at all, under your feet and hands is awesome every stumble of the way.
The walk out though, that was maybe the best of all. There was a scout troop who were leaving around the same time as us for the 10km or so walk back out from Barrisdale and their brave leader didn’t like the look of us one bit.
We hit the trail, we spotted wildlife, dealt with a blister, we laughed etc and all the while, we caught glimpses of the scoutmaster peering at us from the distance to see just how far ahead we were.
It’s a glorious trail by the loch, but it is long and we soon found ourselves fully immersed in this game of cat and mouse to help pass the time. Every time they got closer we horsed on and widened the gap. Scoutmaster rallied his troops and whipped them forwards in his hopeless task to assert his domination over the trail.
I can imagine the poor kids red, sweating and miserable faces and the curses uttered underneath. I can also imagine that they clubbed to death and then buried the scoutmaster in an unmarked grave by the loch and then went feral for they never were seen again after Skiary…
From that day on, between us and soon also our once tight knit wee group of adventurers, to Scoutmaster *verb, meant to push hard, to beast in, to race for the goal.
And so it remains.