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M&Co take on the Big Small Isles Challenge with Wilderness Events

Aims of the event
M&Co approached us in early 2010, about the possibility of some of their staff participating in their own Big Small Isles Challenge. As a large corporate company, they had been supporting Cancer Research UK as their national charity partner for the past two years and they wanted to celebrate the partnership with a memorable event, while raising valuable funds for the charity.

Where: The Small Isles: Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum
When: September
How long: The Small Isles consist of the islands of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. On this innovative charity challenge event you must visit all four of the Small Isles and climb to the highest point on each one! The itinerary we offer provides a physical challenge of climbing four mountains in two days (ranging from 137m – 812m high), tied in with the excitement of high speed powerboats (RIB) transferring the group between the islands.
How many people: 8-20
Activities: Wilderness walking

Event Summary
The M&Co group met the guides in Mallaig and together they packed their kit onto the two RIBs which served as transport for the weekend and then cruised off towards Eigg, enjoying some calm waters on the journey over. Arriving on Eigg, we stayed at the wonderful Glebe Barn Bunkhouse, a 19th century barn, offering magnificent views across to the mainland. All our meals for the duration of the weekend were home made from the cleverly named caterers “Eiggy Bread”. On our first night on the island we enjoyed a great dinner and short briefing from the guides about the challenge ahead. Most people opted for an early evening, but some found time for an ‘isotonic’ whisky nightcap.
The aim on day two was to climb the highest summits of Canna, Muck and Eigg - a total hiking distance of 21km with 740m of ascent. In between the hikes, all participants were whisked between the islands on high-speed RIBs, looking out for dolphins, whales and basking sharks, all of which are regularly seen in these waters. On this trip we were lucky to see a pod of dolphins that came over and played next to the boat, almost as though they were putting on a show for us. To aid recovery at the end of each hike, the group took time to explore the tea rooms on each of the islands; a cream tea is an essential part of the challenge!
Arriving back onto Eigg, we finish the walking with a perfect summit of the impressive and unmistakable An Sgurr. The route is fairly straightforward but involves a steep climb with a short, rocky scramble at the end. From the summit we were rewarded with fantastic views over the other Small Isles, across to Skye and over to the most westerly point on the UK mainland, Ardnamurchan. Back at the barn the group had time to relax and enjoy the delights of dinner, which included a delicious beef casserole and a vegetable curry, made with locally sourced produce. All this accompanied by some well earned local ales and equally well earned (but not local) wine.
Our target for the final day was the highest peak of the challenge, Askival, located on the Rum Cuillin and stands at 812m (2650 feet). As well as being the highest peak on Rum, it is also one of the finest, with a narrow ridge leading to the summit. This provides an exciting climax to the challenge but accompanied by our expert guides, M&Co conquered the ridge and triumphantly reaching the high point of the challenge. After descending, we boarded the RIBs for one final time for the transfer back to Mallaig.
We arranged accommodation in Mallaig for the Sunday evening at a local hotel, so that the group could relax and celebrate their achievement in not only completing the challenge, but raising a fantastic £32,000 for Cancer Research UK.

What made it different?
This is truly a unique and innovative charity challenge which not only captures the imagination of the participants, but also the sponsors inspired by those taking part in a new and unfamiliar challenge. The Small Isles are beautiful places and this challenge has the added bonus of providing valuable economic support to the islands’ communities.

How did we make it happen?
•    Our guides have expert local knowledge and experience
•    Full logistical service was provided including transport, accommodation, food and guides
•    Risk assessment and management
•    Negotiating local landowner permissions

Customer profile – Corporate
M&Co are a Scottish based retail clothing company, who have grown to become one of the largest privately owned fashion retailers in the UK.

“I just wanted to pass on my thanks for setting up such a fantastic challenge. The guides were first class and a true credit to Wilderness Scotland. Thanks again for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.” - John Hodgson, M&Co


For more information please click here to visit the Wilderness Events website.