Tibet Support Group Grampian

Sponsored Walk, Glenbuchat, 2 Jul 2000 

Each year, the Tibet Support Group organise a sponsored walk. This year the venue was Glenbuchat,  Western Donside.

The purpose of the walk is primarily as a fundraising event, with sponsors contributing donations based on either the number of miles walked, or simply a fixed amount for completing the course.

The walk could also be said to symbolise, and remind us of, the much more arduous walk undertaken by many Tibetan refugees who, due to persecution or simply to seek a better life, cross the mighty Himalayan range, skirting the very peak of Everest, to reach Dharamsala in northern India. Because of the risk of being stopped by Chinese forces if seen heading for the hills with any kind of climbing gear, this much greater trek is often perforce done by Tibetans in ordinary working clothes -Equipment totally unsuited to the high-altitude Himalayan passes.  It's a tribute to the hardiness of the Tibetan people that most, though sadly not all, of the trekkers make it through alive. At least here in Scotland we have the advantage of  boots, waterproofs if needed, a packed lunch and flask of tea, and - No Chinese border-guards to shoot at us!

Following the journey out from Aberdeen in rather unsettled weather, the walkers assembled at Glenbuchat Castle around 11am, for the usual group photo behind the snow-lion flag. Then it was a short hike along the road north to Easter Buchat, and onto the hill tracks. The cloudbase was skimming the hilltops at this time, and it was looking as if we might have to alter our route to allow for this. Mullbuie Hill, the first rising ground on the route, is a steep-ish cone, mostly heather-covered with no clear paths. After this it was on to Little Firbriggs, and a pause here for a cup of tea and a sandwich.  By this time the weather had improved considerably, the route ahead being clear now. Then on northwest to Meikle Firbriggs, and a group photo on the summit. Descending into the glen from here, the sun broke through to give us a very pleasant Scottish summer afternoon. Crossing over to the southwest side of the glen, we continued on lower ground, through farmland and the several hamlets which make up the inhabited part of this rather isolated area, we made our way back to the castle grounds. Afterwards, the usual tearoom meet to discuss our experiences - This time at Salad Days, Alford. Highly recommended.

The annual walk has become something of a tradition with us.The route is chosen as being suitable for all comers, including relatively inexperienced walkers, hence there are no Munros or sections requiring climbing techniques -usually it involves about four or five hours in the hills. Even in the Scottish summer, when venturing into the hills the carrying of protective clothing is strongly advised, as the weather can change very rapidly from pleasant heat to freezing rain. This need not be expensive, simply a good pair of boots and any kind of warm, reliably-waterprooof coat and trousers. As a general safety rule, never venture into the hills unprepared for bad weather.

Anyone interested in taking part in next year's walk, or helping with the other fundraising activites is very welcome to contact us. The Group meets regularly in Aberdeen. Contact person is Liz Lindsey, tel 01224-314127.
Click the TSG logo for more images.


Other Walks:  Forvie  Pressendye ~Baudy Meg ~Scolty Hill ~ Pannanich Hill ~ Linn of Dee ~ Glenbuchat


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" When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need." H.H. The Dalai Lama