The story of BOOTS ACROSS SCOTLAND
It can be argued that Boots Across Scotland started by
accident when, in the summer of 1986, a climber, Davy Pearson,
was badly injured on the Etive slabs. Davy's friends rallied
round and decided to try to raise some money to help to purchase
some specialist equipment to help to ease his situation.
Their plan was to organise an attempt at a sponsored
simultaneous ascent of all 277 Munros (there are now 284), and on
1st May, 1988 over 2,000 hillgoers set out to try to achieve this
goal. Even though the attempt failed (severe weather meant we
missed out on two summits), in every other respect the day was a
tremendous success. The enthusiasm with which hillwalkers and
climbers from every corner of the British Isles, and from every
background, joined in, caught the organisers completely unawares
and the event raised three times the initial target.
This fund-raising ‘accident’ involved a lot of
hard work - and a tremendous amount of support from hundreds of
people who simply wanted to take part in an event where the
common purpose was helping a fellow hillwalker. Perhaps the
notion that ‘Help comes to those who help themselves’
played a part, but the support, effort and goodwill that went
into that first event really was something special. That
something special along with the excess monies raised from the
first event were put into "The Boots Across Scotland Trust Fund"
- and so 'Boots' was born.
Whilst the origins of Boots lay in the need to help one
individual, Davy Pearson, injured in the hills, Boots these days
is more than just a source of support when an accident occurs. We
want to prevent that accident from happening in the first place.
We realise that we will never be 100% successful in this mission,
but we believe we can go a long way to reducing the chances.
We at Boots are firm believers in education as a means to
prevent accidents. Better education, and a more complete skill
set, can only enhance the outdoor experience, and there are
various ways in which we achieve this aim - including the
organisation of days like today!
Winter Skills Courses
These two-day courses are taken by qualified Mountain Leaders,
and usually accommodate 12 people on each weekend. Each course is
heavily subsidised, meaning that they cost little more than the
price of a fleece or an ice-axe.
Winter Safety Presentations
Every Winter we organise a series of safety presentations,
adopting the style of a "roadshow" by visiting venues throughout
the whole of the United Kingdom. The presentations are given by
Mick Tighe - Nevis guide, member of Lochaber MRT, and Mountain
Rescue Training officer. These evenings are free of charge.
Twice each year, normally during the summer months, we
organise a navigation course. Located in the central belt of
Scotland, these are tailored to anyone who lacks the skills to
navigate, or who perhaps just lacks the confidence. Each course
is a full day taken by qualified instructors. The only charge is
a nominal deposit.
First Aid Courses
First Aid courses are available at any time of year, and are
ideally suited to organised groups - Scouts, Guides, etc. If your
club or organisation could benefit from first aid skills, with an
emphasis on the skills required on the hill, then these courses
are for you.
Newsletters and Website
Twice a year, Boots distributes a newsletter to all its
members - free of charge. This 28-page booklet provides members
with an update on Boots’ activities and forthcoming
courses. Our website address is
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