Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Friday, 21 May 2010

TGO Challenge 2010 - Day 8 - Wild Camp looking towards Schiehallion to Loch Tummel Inn - A Rest Day

Distance walked: 18 km (Cum 191 km / 119 miles)
Metres ascent: 364 (Cum 10480 m / 32300 feet)
Time taken: 4.8 hours including 1.1 hours stops
No of Challengers seen: 0
Amount of clothing washed: All

Enjoyed a lie in then headed down through a cloud inversion, past a female black grouse on her nest (I got to within a metre - she'd have pecked me rather than leave), then strolled along the B846 road for a while, beside the tumbling waters of the River Tummel, before hitting forest tracks at Easter Bohespic.
In contrast to the uplands of previous days, the riverside woods were full of the twitter of songbirds, whilst oyster catchers, grouse and chickens competed for space in the neighbouring fields.

Wood sorrel and primroses lined the hedgerows.

The pinewoods after Easter Bohespic were a little oppressive on the hot day, but the scent of fresh pine was gorgeous.

A long brew stop and early consumption of my last tin of fish was enjoyed overlooking Loch Tummel and Schiehallion.
A great spot.

After a further diversion by way of a phone call home whilst I had a signal, the inevitable happened. It was just 12 noon when I reached Loch Tummel Inn - much earlier than originally planned. That gave me time for a tasty lunch outside, watching goldcrests in the fir trees and the reflection of hills in the placid waters of Loch Tummel, before setting out on the task of washing all my clothes. There aren't many. It didn't take long!

Annoyingly, there's no phone signal inside, but whilst lunching outside I perused the activities of some of my fellow bloggers.

(Since I've hardly met anyone, this is the closest I can get by way of a feel for how others are getting on.)

I'm not going to insert links (until back home) but you can easily Google them or pick them up from the TGO Challenge message board (to which I can't seem to respond to comments using this phone, but thanks Gibson for the mention).

The blog report will certainly 'mature', but here's my current take on them, and no criticism should be inferred - I know it's much harder to make postings on the move than it is from your keyboard at home.

'London Backpacker' (George) seems marooned on Day 2 - where 'Tales from the Riverbank' hint at an easy, low level, meander across Scotland.

Bellavist (Aussie Mike) tells of a wild camp at Glen Tromie yesterday - a brief report on a long day, but I can't see any evidence of what he got up to during the intervening week.

Alan Sloman's reports are punchy, entertaining and up to date. The F16s (was that what they were?) flew very low yesterday - far below me - they must have been quite scary for those beneath them. Whilst Alan may be putting more energy into blogging than into actually walking, he has at least tried to go high - baulked by the bad timing of the only two poor bits of weather on the Challenge. He has bagged a Munro, which is more than I've done. That's 1:0 to you Alan. Well done!

Phil Turner is up to his Day 4 (Tuesday) and seems marooned in the Monadliath with Humphrey, no doubt at one of Humphrey's many 'secret places'. So they may never be found. His blog is hard to view on this Blackberry phone.

'Sheddweller' (new to me) is up to his Day 5 (also Tuesday). He must be in a completely different climate to me. He has been cold! With two sleeping bags and a down jacket! Is his blog a work of fiction, I wonder? Or has he forgotten to bring a tent/shed? He seems to be on a low level route with lots of roads and erratic distances. A novice?

Litehiker (Geoff), who I met on the train, is blogging like a professional and is up to his Day 6 (Wednesday). He has rushed across on an easy, low level, route - choosing to ignore even easy summits like the one from the top of the Burma Road. He has reached Loch Morvich and will next report on his Cairngorm crossing - by the easiest route available, I presume. Is Geoff's route much of a challenge for such an experienced backpacker? I think not, but he seems to be enjoying it.

Steve Horner is supposed to be blogging, but it appears I am not authorised to access his website!

Sectionhiker (an American) has posted a route but doesn't seem to be blogging about his progress along it.

UKmase - another on the list, but he doesn't seem to be posting anything.

So there don't appear to be many of us active, just Geoff and Sheddweller, and maybe George, on low level routes, Phil Turner lost in the Monads, me taking my (excessively?) exclusive high line, and dear old Alan pretending he's Paul Theroux. His blog is the pick of the bunch, and it's impressive that he's doing it whilst carrying on various other nefarious activities. He must be keeping 'his man' busy.

I'll do a gear report tomorrow, but after this afternoon's rest in the sun beside Loch Tummel, and this evening's sumptuous feast...


Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


Gayle said...

I recall the Loch Tummel Inn from our crossing last year. We paused at their picnic benches early in the morning for a shoe-faff, and commented that it looked a pretty good place to stay. Must be a good place for a half-day.

I've made a mental note to include an appropriate amount of ascent into next year's TGOC route (assuming we get a place). Wouldn't like to attract too many 'girly wuss' comments!

(back in the land of internet and feeling the fitness slipping away the more I find myself glued to the sofa)

Phreerunner said...

It'll take longer than that for your fitness to slip away Gayle, just don't sniff the glue though...

litehiker said...

I've only recently been referred to your posting which mentions me. My 2010 route was quite easy. I was a first-timer and was invited to join a team and left the route planning to he who invited me. My route this year, 2011, was no more difficult (apart from the inevitable bad weather) as I was doing it with the oldest first timer, although I planned our route. I've never climbed a Munro or Corbett, etc., to my knowledge. To be honest, I'm not that interested. I just like the simple pleasure of backpacking from A to B. Each to his own.

Phreerunner said...

As you say, Geoff, each to his own, and these comments were simply made during an idle moment on last year's Challenge, with no offence intended. It's just that my perspective on this particular backpacking event is that it is a personal challenge rather than just a gentle stroll, a bit like a challenge walk is, compared with a ramble. Having said that, I stayed mostly low this year - I was with a relatively inexperienced first-timer - but I did at times yearn for something a bit more challenging.
I suspect, however, that the majority of participants are in the 'gentle stroll' camp, so my whole approach could be regarded as that of an eccentric minority. I do enjoy being on the tops, though, there's nothing better...