"One of the lads had done some of the narrow ridge on all fours and perhaps did not appreciate wild places at the time, especially as it was misty on the summit." A Trust Member and now retired teacher recalls introducing many pupils to wonderful, wild Knoydart over the years.
While teaching at the Bridge of Don Academy in Aberdeen, I led many expeditions with senior pupils into the west coast highlands, where I have now retired to. Many were pupils who did not reallise the breadth and beauty of the remote areas we have.
On one such occasion we had hiked from Glen Sheil into the wilds of Knoydart and had set up camp in Coire Dhorrcail below Ladhar Bheinn. I led the party along the narrow ridge leading to the summit, while the other teacher brought up the rear. He informed me later that one of the lads had done some of the narrow ridge on all fours and perhaps did not appreciate wild places at the time, especially as it was misty on the summit!
At camp later on, a lassie came to me having scooped out some gravel from a small burn and wondered why there was so much red gravel in it (50 per cent). I said that I thought it was garnets and this was confirmed by Aberdeen University on our return. She went on to graduate in geology and I met her later still walking the hills in Perthshire.
On another trip into Knoydart, we had had a short walk with full packs up from Barrisdale. The group were looking forward to a long rest after lunch, but it being such a beautiful sunny day I suggested we climb Luinne Bheinn, below which we were camping.
With only light packs, we reached the summit as the sun was going down. There before us Scotland's west coast was spread out - stretching out as far as the Outer Hebrides - bathed in late afternoon sun. We were able to point out some of the hills we had climbed and also the Cuillin, the Small Isles, Rum, Eigg and other points.
One of the lads came up to me and said: "I never knew that Scotland had such beautiful landscapes." It made my colleague and I so pleased to have introduced these young minds to some of the wild places that make up our country, and which I am very anxious to preserve.