Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 20 April 2012

Friday 20 April 2012 - Sgòr Mòr and Sgòr Dubh

Sam was more reliable than the previous night's Frenchies. This 'gap year' nineteen year old from Witney was finishing the second day of a JOGLE (John O'Groats to Lands End) bike ride when he arrived around 6pm. He rested whilst I cooked some pasta, then we strolled round to the Glen Hotel, where Chelsea's glorious victory last night over Barcelona had been forgotten in favour of a pub quiz with lots of intervals. Whilst Sam chomped on a venison burger we joined a friendly family from Birmingham, but we really weren't much help. I wasn't, anyway. We were one point away from the prizes in both the picture quiz and the main quiz. The man who had swaggered in with a huge trophy - Mastermind 2012 (Newtonmore) - was clearly on a roll and his team took the £25 first prize.

Today I enjoyed a slow start and a chat with Sue O, the proud owner of three lurchers, before taking the wrong route to Braemar. I'd forgotten that the main road from Tomintoul to Ballater was closed. Oops!

The morning was pretty wet, so I was happier passing through the downpours in the comfort of a car than I would have been on foot.

By the time I set off from Linn of Dee it was nearly one o'clock. At least I could carry my lunch in my stomach.

The sky tap was turned down to a dribble for most of my 17km clockwise circuit of Sgòr Mòr and Sgòr Dubh via White Bridge and the Chest of Dee. A pleasant circuit in a shade over four hours, during which I saw my first wheatears of the season. The 3km ridge between the two summits, in and out of cloud today, was very easy going, with finer views on a better day of the main snow clad Cairngorm massif. Deep heather on the steep ascent to and final descent from the ridge made for careful, slow going, apart from which it was pretty much of a romp, except that every time the sun came out it started to rain.

Today's summit picture is very much like yesterday's, minus Sue O and Harvey (sorry to confuse you, Alan), so today's image is of the River Dee near White Bridge, during one of the afternoon's brighter periods.

Sue B, Al and Lyn are due imminently to arrive here at Craiglea B+B in Braemar, and a jolly evening will be had at the Moorfield.

I may leave further reports from this trip until Monday, so don't worry (mother!) If everything goes quiet until then...

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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