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Bristow SAR Commander Treks Across Scotland for Charity

April 21, 2016

Bristow’s Search and Rescue Commander Andrew “Windy” Miller is making a two-week trek across Scotland as part of The Great Outdoor Challenge to benefit Cruse Bereavement Care.

The Great Outdoor Challenge is a self-supported, back-packing walk across Scotland from west to east coast, over rock and mountain, bog and river. Participants choose their own route and carry everything they need. Miller's route is high-level, remote and rough, traversing nearly 240 miles (the equivalent of nine marathons), with up to 60,000 feet of climb (the equivalent of two Mount Everests).

"I start at Torridon and over the mountains around Lochs Mullardoch and Monar," said Miller. "The first town I will pass is Fort Augustus in the Great Glen. I then pass over the Monadhliath to include the mountains to the east. From Kingussie, I route via the beautiful Glen Feshie, over the Cairngorms and through Braemar and Glen Clova to finish at Montrose. This is a taxing route with only a few opportunities for a short-cut if I lose time.

"There will be no marshals or checkpoints for support, no crowds cheering me on," he continued. "Walkers must prepare, then turn up and cope."

Miller is supporting Cruse Bereavement Care because it is a cause that is close to his heart.

"In more than two decades of search and rescue flying, I've seen the aftermath of too many personal disasters: fatal accidents, suicides and debilitating illness," said Miller. “People react to the loss of people close to them in many ways. Whatever they need, Cruse offers free support, advice and information to children, young people and adults, whether they are alone with feelings of despair, need to talk with others or be immersed in activity.

"While the challenge is a celebration of our freedom to walk through the mountains of the Highlands, I will be remembering those that can't, and hope that my friends and family will help me to support Cruse Bereavement Care."

This is the second time Miller has accepted this challenge. Two years ago, he raised nearly $2,000, for the British Exploring Society and Scottish Association of Mental Health. This time, his fundraising goal is $2,850 for Cruse.

"For this challenge, I am tackling a more rigorous route and wild camping under my trusty tent every night," said Miller. "No occasional shelters or hostels this time!"

For those wishing to support Miller in his trek across Scotland, click here.