On the 17th June 2022, Stuart Knight and Bob Cooper completed the Summit to the Sea challenge to raise funds for MyMelanoma, in memory of UHI colleague Dr Sharon Hutchison. This involved cycling from the summit of the Cairn Gorm (a munro, at 1245m above sea level) at sunset, down mountain tracks and across trails through pine forests, to reach the beach at Findhorn for sunrise; a 76km cross country ride. It is safe to say the weather didn’t read the script, especially for the summer solstice! There was no sunset to be seen, with the intrepid adventurers needing to shelter in the summit cairn from the gale force wind (gusting 60-70mph, resulting in temperatures of -5oC!) and stinging rain. Cheered on by UHI colleagues, they set off at 10pm from the summit, cycling as quickly as possible downhill to escape the fog. Once they reached the forest at Glenmore the weather was much more pleasant and they only needed to switch on the bike lights at 11.15pm after climbing through the Ryvoan pass. It being the north of Scotland at the summer solstice, daylight starting creeping back by just after 2am, and they reached Findhorn east beach just after 3.30am, greeted by grey windy drizzle, so they decided to not finish with a dip in the sea, instead having a nice warm cuppa, as the sky brightened.
Their fundraising page is still open, to read more about the challenge and to see some more photos: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mymelanoma-summit-to-sea
Well done to Stuart and Bob for completing this unexpectedly chilly challenge!