The Arthur’s Seat challenge

Mar 28 | 2024

Steve Jordan lays down a challenge to anyone attending the FIDI conference in Edinburgh in May.

Arthur's Seat - 445x277This article is for all those readers who will be attending the FIDI conference in Edinburgh in May.  You already know if you are going or not, so this is for you.  This is a challenge.

You’ve all been to conferences before.  They are characterised, for many, by late nights and the head-sore mornings. FIDI probably won’t be very different except for one group, on one morning, one day of the year that will live long in your memory: one of those ‘milestone’ events. One of those ‘do you remember when …’ moments.

On the morning of Monday, 13 May I will be escorting a party, of anyone who would like to join me, up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat. If nobody comes, I’m going myself anyway.  It’s a hill that overlooks Edinburgh. An extinct volcano that rises to a modest 251m above the Firth of Forth that provides panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It’s beautiful. You will love it. But that’s not the challenge!

The walk will take about 90 minutes each way from the conference hotel. It’s not a long way. Anyone with average fitness and sensible shoes can do it. But we will be going up to watch the sunrise. It is an extraordinary experience. It’s one I guarantee you will never forget. I know.  I have done it before. Now here’s the catch. Sunrise in Edinburgh on 13 May is at 5:03am.  We will be leaving the hotel at 3.30am. The challenge for you is to leave the bar early enough on the Sunday night to have 40 winks and still get up to come with us. Of course you could just stay up, that’s your choice.

A few rules.  No drunks: it’s not high, but the top is craggy, and you must be careful. I don’t want to have to carry you down after you’ve snapped an ankle. No litter: we leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but photographs (and amazing memories). No latecomers: we leave from the lobby of the Sheraton at 3:30am on the dot. We won’t wait if you are late.

If you are wondering, we will be back by about 7:30am, well in time for breakfast and roll call.  So, my friends, do you think you are up to it?  The walk is easy.  Getting to the start in time is difficult.  Will I see you there?  I hope so.