Steve Bird
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Steve Bird - Loch Eil, Scottish Highlands, 1979

I attended a two week mountain leadership course at Loch Eil. I think I was about 20/21 and it would have been 1979 or 1980 ish (guess)
It was a life changing couple of weeks for me.....The train was halted by snow on the way up there...I think we were stuck somewhere on Rannoch Moor for several hours before being freed by snow ploughs....and so the incredible adventure began.
I remember one particular instructor who was an ex para (a mountain of a man) who ran down steep scree slopes directly rather than zig zag.....You would not get in his way!
Sailing, white water canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing, cross mountain races.
The one night we were on our own staying in a bothy on a beach miles from anywhere...
In the middle of the night there was a huge explosion on the beach outside the bothy...
A big firecracker I assume....I was convinced it was one of the leaders playing games with us...
One particular moment for me stands out though.
I was white water canoeing and came to a mammoth drop through rocks. All of us stopped and started circling around...."no way" I thought to myself.
After a minute or two something just snapped inside me and I thought what the heck - and I did it.
I was followed by one or two others after that.
I have always thought after that moment that there is nothing I can't do....honestly, it has stayed with me for that long......I'm 52 now.
That two weeks on the Outward Bound course really was life changing for me in many ways and I often remember it and recount my experiences to family and friends.
If there is anybody out there who remembers the course... or man mountain....or even me (doubtful) I would love to hear from them.
PS. It also began a 30 year love affair with the Highlands of Scotland and barely a year has gone by without me being up there..I live in Birmingham.
Glen Nevis camp site is a particular favourite of mine.

All the best
Steve Bird