I’ve moaned often enough in this blog about rubbish left in bothies, and get just as annoyed seeing it scattered along paths and around the hills.
So this year I decided to get involved in the Real3Peaks Challenge, a national campaign which gets volunteers up well-known hills to do a deep clean, clearing all the litter, new and old, that they can find.
On Saturday 6th October, a week ahead of the other events, I’ll be organising a group of volunteers meeting at the Corrie Cas Car Park on Cairn Gorm and walking in to do a clear-up on Ben Macdui.
The plan is to leave the car park at 9am and head out towards Lurchers, going up by the ridge beside the gully and on to the Macdui summit that way, picking up rubbish as we go. Time will be spent around the summit area, extracting litter from the many cairns and shelters as well as lifting any lying around the hillside. Then it’ll be back via the higher path leading along the top of Coire an-t Sneachda to Pt 1141 and down by the Fiachaill a Coire Cas. (However if there’s a deteriorating weather pattern this might be reversed to take advantage of the lower ground in the afternoon.)
Weather can be uncertain in October, so, while I’m looking for volunteers to help, anyone considering coming needs to have all the proper kit and be completely confident in their own hill skills and navigation.
Having said that… well, it should be a hoot. A bunch of folk who love the hills having a day out on Macdui and feeling good about making it a better place? How could that be bad? (Yeah, I know, I could write the list myself, but we’ll have fun anyway.)
The Real3Peaks Challenge was started by Richard Pyne of Rich Mountain Experiences. Back in 2013 he and some other guides grew sick and tired of the amount of rubbish they were coming across while leading groups up Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis, which when done in 24 hours constitute the Three Peaks Challenge. Rich and the others organised groups of volunteers to hold a clean-up on the three hills.
Over the years the original tally of three hills has grown and this year, the sixth challenge, will see clean-ups at Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Yr Wyddfa/Snowdon, Ben Macdui, Ben Lomond, Lochnagar, Goatfell, Coniston Old Man, Pen y Fan, Yorkshire 3 Peaks and parts of the North York Moors and the Peak District.
You can volunteer to help out on Macdui through the Facebook event Remember that the Macdui event is on 6th October, a week ahead of the other events.
If you’d like to volunteer for other hills, which will be taking place on 13th October, you can find them on the Real3Peaks Challenge Facebook page