Bothy Challenge

Camasunary Finished (2)The 2017 Bell’s Bothy Challenge is a “positive challenge” for anyone who wants to challenge themselves, improve the environment, meet and make friends, raise money for the Trust, and help to publicise the Trust by encouraging donations and posting on our blog.

First and foremost, our thoughts relate to Bell’s Bothy, but of course the principles can apply anywhere in the world.  Our hope is that as many people as possible will set themselves a challenge (individually or as part of a team) preferably, but not exclusively, to get to the new Camasunary Bothy on Skye (Bell’s bothy).  We hope to see people coming from as far away as possible and by as many different routes and means, meeting other people there and helping to clean up the Camasunary area, or a bothy, hut or any other place in your region, and raise money for NMT.  If you cannot get to the bothy next year, can you help to set up a focal point for a challenge in your area/country to promote the Trust.

  • When – all year, but we are specifically thinking of the first weekend of every month (often a holiday weekend, in Scotland).
  • Where – Bell’s bothy, Camasunary, Isle of Skye – or anywhere in the world!
  • What is your personal challenge? Our thoughts relate particularly to the route and means of getting to the bothy, preferably powered only by yourself, from anywhere – from walking from the Elgol Road (as long as it is a personal challenge!) to cycling from Istambul!  (More suggestions below – please add your own.)
  • Improve the environment – we really want to make sure that the surroundings at the Bothy are kept free of rubbish for the year and to promote “Pack it in, pack it out”. We would also like to clear the shore of rubbish –  a challenge in itself.
  • Raise money – we will ensure donations can be made direct to the bank account, through the website or facebook page or through a charity fundraising page, but we hope that individuals will also seek sponsorship for their personal challenges.
  • Publicise – create a platform to promote your challenges, and report back, enthusiastically, on the Bell’s Bothy Challenge blog with pictures, text & videos, encouraging more people to join in the challenge and donate to the Trust.

Challenge Suggestions: Please let us add your ideas!

Sponsored cycling/mountain biking, hiking, riding, running in, or other land or water based sport to get you there (or a combination) – from as far away as possible in a weekend.

Team challenge: arriving at the bothy having completed the Cuillin Ridge.

Long distance walk, cycle or horse ride


Individual or team challenge to arrive by water from as far away as possible.

Hitch hiking to the bothy – money saved, donated to the Trust.

Sponsored children’s relay from Edinburgh, Glasgow or any other point in Scotland/UK.

Help required:

  • Spreading the word – getting as many people involved as possible. Are you a member of a (physical) organisation, club or group where it would be possible to promote the challenge, or are you on a forum, fb group or other internet organisation which could be used to promote what we are doing?
  • Do you have any links with useful organisations (who may help, or provide members to help or participate) such as D of E, John Muir Trust.
  • Contributing to the diary, map and blog, to keep it “alive”.
  • Organising activities/challenges for babies and children.
  • Organising team challenges, maybe even competitions.
  • Promote “Pack it in, Pack it out” anywhere and everywhere!

Please let us know if you have the skills required to help us:

  • Set up an interactive diary for the website
  • Create an interactive map for the website – for completed challenges and relay routes
  • Set up a “mini” challenges where you live (for example, in your village in UK or in Canada or USA!).

To help the environment …………..

  • We hope that everyone who goes will help to clean up the bothy, the bay, and the surrounding area and take in an extra bag to collect rubbish and carry it out and dispose of it responsibly.
  • Do you have a boat that can be used – once or several times to remove rubbish from the bay (and/or a vehicle to transfer it to, to take it to Broadford)?

Further information:

Please keep watching The Neil Mackenzie Trust website the facebook page and Bell’s bothy facebook group page for more information


2017 will be the first full year of the new bothy at Camasunary on Skye, being open.  Generous donations in memory of Neil Mackenzie (Bell) were made and donated to MBA (Mountain Bothies Association) to cover the budgeted cost of fitting out the new bothy at Camasunary, known to his friends as Bell’s Bothy.   The work was completed in March 2016 and the bothy has been very well used since then.  Unfortunately, not all visitors have respected the bothy and its environs.

The Neil Mackenzie Trust was set up in 2015 to raise money to help people of all ages to learn new outdoor skills and to encourage them to challenge themselves by outdoor activity, adventure or expedition.  In conjunction with VOC (Varsity Outdoor Club at University of British Columbia, Vancouver) we have already helped VOC members’ carry out activities through the Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant.  We are also in the process of awarding our first skills training grants.

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