Here’s a first glimpse of the route across Scotland, from Ardrishaig to Aberdeen, that Sue and I have plotted for this year’s TGO Challenge. It was vetted, a few weeks ago, by Alan Hardy, who made some helpful observations as to antiquities we may encounter en route, but no adjustments to the straightforward route were necessary.
It’s quite long, at almost 400 km (250 miles) nearly 50 km longer than we’ve done before, but with only about 11,500 metres of ascent it’s rather less undulating than any of my/our previous crossings. Some 20 ‘hills’ are included, but some of these are small protuberances that don’t appear on any ‘list’, and just 2 Munros and 1 Corbett are planned. One of the Munros is Schiehallion, on 17 May, in relation to which I’ve agreed to write a short essay for the Munro Society, who are compiling a 10th Anniversary Anthology of ascents of all the Munros in the period from 1st January to 30th September 2012. So we’ll be pleased to see anyone up there around 11.30 to 12.30 on 17 May. Medical Supplies and Shortbread will be available. You could even leg it over from Alan Sloman’s cheese and wine party a couple of days earlier, but we’ll be setting off from Bunrannoch House at around 8 am.
I’ve still not tidied up the blog postings and photos from last year’s Challenge, but the following images provide a flavour.
Firstly, after walking 30 km up Glen Feshie and over to the Linn of Dee, my companion, ‘Poor Michael’, collapsed in a heap, to be greeted by Judith Barnes, on her way down to Mar Lodge. “Where are you going?” asked Judith, who then seemed puzzled by my response - “Ballater”, as we headed up Glen Lui towards Derry Lodge!
Cheese and wine features strongly on the Challenge, and the participation of Mr Sloman is not compulsory. A few days later, at Water of Aven (near Mount Battock) ‘Poor Michael’ and I were joined by Roger Boston, and brother and sister, Markus and Silke – all the way from Austria, for an impromptu gathering in blinding sunshine at ‘Chez Phreerunner’.
Happy Days – two of many…
Our 2011 route plan, and links to all my TGO Challenge routes and reports, albeit requiring a bit of editing, can be found here.
Now then, the rain is easing; where shall I go today?