12. October, 2010 ,

The GORE-TEX Experience Tour: From Aviemore to Knoydart

Aviemore was the location for the selection day for the 5 finalists who applied for the two places on the GORE-TEX Experience Tour Knoydart trek with Cameron McNeish and Richard Else.  Over the course of the day Cameron and Richard would film, interview and talk to the 5 finalists:  Adam Cushley, Douglas Leckie, James MacKeddie, Stephen Trebby and Keith Ruffles, before making their final decision.

The finalists, Cameron and representatives from GORE-TEX products set off from Glenmore Lodge – the Scottish National Mountain Centre – with Richard on hand to capture the whole day on film!

The group had amazing weather for Scotland, enjoying bright blue skies and sunshine as they walked through the Pass of Ryvoan at the foot of Meall a’ Buachaille.  The route is the final part of the ancient Rathad nam Meirlach, the Cateran’s Road, which once ran between Lochaber and the rich Nd fertile lands of Moray.

On the way they stopped at an unusual green lochan, called Lochan Uaine.  Local legend has it that it keeps its unusual green colour as the local ‘sidh’ – or fairies – wash their clothes here.  As well as teaching the finalists about the local landscape and how it has been formed throughout history, Cameron taught the finalists about different walking techniques.

Once the group arrived at Ryvoan Bothy each of the finalists faced their one-on-one interview with Cameron.  Cameron and the jury asked each candidate to explain more about their backgrounds and what they would contribute to the trek if they were lucky to win the place.

The decision for the jury was extremely difficult.  Every candidate would have been a worthy winner, but after a lengthy discussion they chose their 2 lucky winners.  The announcement was made next to the shores of Loch Morlich where Keith Ruffles and James MacKeddie found out that they would be joining Cameron and Richard in Knoydart.  Both winners were really shocked to be selected and very excited about the trip which sets off by boat from Mallaig on October 26th.

Now preparations are underway to co-ordinate the equipment and logistics for the trek, which is bound to test Cameron and his team.  We hope to post stories, images and video on the GORE-TEX Outdoor Products Facebook page as the trek progresses. So watch this space!