New challenge marks Armed Forces Day

Duncan Slater pictured in front of Balmoral Castle.
Duncan Slater pictured in front of Balmoral Castle.

Her Majesty The Queen has given permission for a unique new walking challenge at Balmoral Castle to mark Armed Forces Day next summer.

The ‘Balmoral Challenge’, organised by military charity Walking With The Wounded, will see up to 100 teams of four compete over one of three mountainous routes on HM The Queen’s estate in the Cairngorm National Park - with each team supporting a vulnerable veteran to regain their independence and reintegrate into society.

Duncan Slater from Muir of Ord near Inverness lost both his legs serving in Afghanistan when his vehicle hit an IED.

He recovered to become the first double leg amputee to ski to the South Pole as part of WWTW’s South Pole Allied Challenge in 2013 and helped recce the routes for the Balmoral Challenge ahead of its launch – challenging others to get involved.

He said: “It will be a great way for people to show their support for our veterans and have a really memorable experience at the same time. ”

The challenge will include a ‘big’ route of 33km which climbs over three Munros, a ‘thinking’ route calling on teams to think strategically and pick up as many points as they can within a set time limit and a ‘family’ route for the over 12s in the forests above the castle.

Entries for the Balmoral Challenge are now open.

For more information on the challenge, or to sign up, please go to