Fund-raising to thank mountain rescue

Coast to coast: Hillwalker Stuart Maxwell, who is taking part in this year's TGO Challenge to raise funds for Braemar Mountain Rescue.'Contributed photograph
Coast to coast: Hillwalker Stuart Maxwell, who is taking part in this year's TGO Challenge to raise funds for Braemar Mountain Rescue.'Contributed photograph

possibly the last thing anyone would think about immediately after suffering a badly broken ankle would be undertaking a long distance walk.

But Montrose hillwalker Stuart Maxwell came up with just that idea while awaiting rescue after slipping during a descent from Beinn a’ Chaorainn in the Cairngorms last February.

Being around nine miles from the nearest road and with limited mobile ‘phone reception, one of Stuart’s friends had to climb back to the mountain’s summit to alert Braemar Mountain Rescue, and it was during this time that he came up with the idea of taking part in the annual TGO Challenge coast to coast walk.

He said: “I was just coming down hillside to get on to a path when I slipped on some ice. It’s the kind of thing that could happen on a High Street, but unfortunately for me, I ended up breaking my ankle in four places.

“I’ve been wanting to do the TGO Challenge for a few years, and it was while I was lying there in the snow that I decided I’d do it this year to raise money for the mountain rescue.”

The walk, for which Montrose is the main finishing point, spans 170 miles from 12 starting points on the west coast and requires the walkers to either camp out or sleep in mountain bothies along the route.

Stuart added: “It was the first, and hopefully the last time I’ve had to call on mountain rescue’s services and I felt I wanted to raise money for these guys who just dropped everything and turned out to help some idiot who had slipped on ice.

“They get a small amount of cash from the government, but do a lot of their own fund-raising and it’s an expensive service to run.”

Stuart has set up an online page for sponsorship and anyone who would like to make a contribution can do so at justgiving.com/stuart-maxwell.