Anyone who has travelled to the western highlands of Scotland will know the joy of Glencoe. After the long and beautiful bogginess of Rannoch Moor, the A82 enters this wild cauldron of mountains, announced by the pointed majesty of Buachaille Etive Mòr.
From here it sweeps and swaps for almost eight miles through some of the best-loved peaks, valleys and ridges of the highlands, lined up in proud queues on either side of the road. The Buchaille, the Three Sisters, the Lost Valley, Stob Coire an Lochan, Bidean nam Biam, the Pap of Glencoe and the Aonagh Eagach Ridge to name but a few.
“It’s a special place for me,” says Kirsty Pallas, “A place of many firsts and great memories.”
Kirsty is a local mountain instructor whose work and hobby has led her to spend a lot of time in the valley and get to know it intimately. And who better than her to show us around Glen Coe than this passionate outdoor enthusiast.
“I instruct summer and winter hillwalking, and I love bringing people into the hills and showing them what I love about it. I love showing them the freedom of it all, and how that freedom can change your perspective on things.
“I particularly love introducing people who haven’t been in the mountains before. Whether that’s taking kids out or inspiring women to get out.”
Following on from this passion, and with insight gained from her mixed-race background, Kirsty has founded and organisation called Our Shared Outdoors, set up to tackle and change the lack of diversity in the outdoors and promote underrepresented groups.
And her contribution to the outdoors also led Kirsty into being an active member of Oban mountain rescue.
“If you were to sum up what I love about Glen Coe, or any mountain in the highlands, you see how the mountains go on seemingly forever. The mountain is always going to be there. I’m tiny. My worries are tiny. It helps me deal with things.”
Listen to Kirsty guide us round Glen Coe in the latest episode of Wild Horizons.
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