If you wonder why we are looking a bit more windswept than normal it’s because later this summer we are downing tools and pulling on our walking boots to go the extra mile for our adopted charity, Maggie’s Fife. The date is set for 19 June for our bi-annual charity super-challenge when we will navigate past the towering Cairngorms peaks of Ben Macdui and Braerich, passing the broken cliffs of Lurcher’s Crag and the haunting Pools of Dee to conquer the Lairig Ghru pass.
It’s a little intimidating; it’s a more than a little exciting, but that makes us all pull together even more, spurring each other on and giving encouragement. And we hope you sense the camaraderie when you come into the salon.
The idea came from Diane, who works on the front desk. We are going up into the clouds again, as with our Ben Nevis challenge four years ago. It’s a real team effort, with everyone involved, from those who love nothing more than clambering over boulders in Scotland’s beautiful wild country, to those who have volunteered to help out in other roles like transport, organisation and, most important, moral support. As with all our charity events, involvement is never mandatory, but we have a great team who are all keen to join in, in whatever way they can. We are doing this as a team, and we’ve been out training as a team since February, so we are fit and ready.
Every year, we organise an event to raise money for Maggie’s Centres, an organisation that supports anyone affected by cancer and other terminal illnesses. Over the past decade we have raised nearly £30,000. Past years involved giving up a Sunday for in-salon fundraising days, such as a James Bond-themed day in which we – and many of you – dressed up, with haircuts provided in return for donations.
But lately we spiced up the challenge, embarking on ever more demanding events every other year. In 2012 we climbed the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and two years later did ‘Five in Fife’, completing five physical workouts – walking, Zumba, Pilates, Nordic walking and aqua aerobics – in five hours.
This year’s challenge is the most gruelling yet as we lace up our walking boots for an assault on the Lairig Ghru, a pass through some of the wildest, most inhospitable mountains in Scotland, the Cairngorms. We will walk 19 miles from Braemar to Aviemore, scrambling over boulders, fording rivers and passing through forests, climbing to a height of 895 meters. It will take around 10 hours.
Those daring the weather and terrain will be waved off at the start of the pass in Linn of Dee by the rest of the team at 9am on 19 June and finish with a slap-up meal in Aviemore, hopefully before nightfall. We’ve set up a justgiving.com page to facilitate sponsorship, or those wishing to donate can visit the Byron Hairdressing salon and fill in a sponsor sheet. Byron is setting a target of £1,000, but everyone would be delighted to raise more.