Longstanding befriender Douglas Kerr is getting ready to climb the height of Everest…. twice. But the semi-retired dairy farmer from Milton isn’t planning to do it in one go.
Instead, he’s spreading it over three years as part of a charity challenge to climb to the highest point of all 93 of Scotland’s inhabited islands. He has conquered 29 Island Hills so far – only 64 left to go.
Douglas- who has been a befriender with Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project for the past 17 years- is hoping the challenge will raise money for the Project, as well as Mary’s Meals and Dalbeattie Rotary Club.
“I decided to do it as a challenge as a means of keeping fit and if I can raise a bit of money for charity, so much the better,” explains Douglas. I’ve been to quite a few of the islands but I felt it would be nice to revisit and have a target for the next few years. I’ve been in touch with the islands that have a Rotary Club and I’m hoping some of my fellow Rotarians will join me.”
The lowest point on the islands Douglas will scale is the 15 feet high Moncrieff Island, which sits in the Tay near Perth, while the most challenging peak is the 3,000-plus feet Sgurr Alasdair on Skye. Fortunately for him, St Kilda- one of the remotest parts of the British Isles- won’t form part of his quest as it is not permanently inhabited, while a number of the islands have just one resident.
He’s aiming to start by climbing the Glaid Stone near Millport, Cumbrae on his 69th birthday on 17th April 2018, followed by Mull and Skye in May, and Shetland and Fair Isle in June. Meanwhile, he is also investigating whether his trek- if successful- will earn him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.