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Monday, 14 November 2016

The 2016 Challenge, day 10: The Well-Trod Trail to Braemar (1)

After another good night's sleep, with no more disturbing dreams, I didn't particularly feel like breakfast so I went without. Jean and I struck camp and hit the train at about 8 o'clock. The weather was find and the going was good.

There was no lonely Challenger at Bynack Lodge waiting for an escort across the Geldie Burn; but there were four D of E Gold expeditioners, along with four instructors, who had been stranded overnight on this side of the Geldie.

Well, to be fair, if the instructors from Glenmore Lodge could ford with their mountain bikes at 5 o'clock, then this group probably could have made it across some time in the late afternoon / early evening; but they were at the end of a 4-day expedition and had probably been expecting to be picked up at Linn of Dee at about 5.30 or thereabouts. That means they were probably planning to cross the Geldie at about 3, at which time they would have looked and said "no way"; having said which, they would have set about cancelling their transport and made emergency overnight plans. Having cancelled their transport, what point was there in attempting a marginal evening crossing, with four tired youngsters, when they could be reasonably confident that the water level would have dropped considerably by the next morning? This was sensible dynamic risk assessment on the part of the instructors, and I am all with them on the decisions they made, assuming that the situation which confronted them was as I have described.

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