Monday, 31 January 2011

TGOC 2012 - Route option No.2: Morven to Montrose

Well, just roughed out another route option for TGOC 2012 and it looks good apart from the Inverness stretch. Be interested to hear from anyone that followed the Great Glen Way into Inverness and what the walking was like. Should I try to avoid the city entirely? Is it a must do?

Looks like around the same mileage as my earlier effort of around 180 but I have yet to tot it all up.

I'm using Memory Map to lay down the route which I can transfer to my iPhone using OutdoorsGB software I mentioned earlier coupled with the Internet for bothy research and Scottish Hill Tracks for the basic routes between Glens.

Google Search is great for bothy research as you can select images only and get up-to-date shots of bothies and their condition, size and suitability. It's also worth looking at those lodges classified as 'ruins' on OS or Harvey mapping. They can, with care, make excellent shelters with the prospect of many a ghost story which would doubtless stir the imagination of the likes of the Peewiglet herself.

Google Peewiglet too as she has stomped the TGOC a good few times.

The "outdoors station" podcast followed the TGOC 2010 with two roving podcasters and is a superb source of info on eateries, routes, gear and ideas for the challenge.

I'm now impatiently waiting for September and the October issue of TGO.

Now to dream of the Strath Nethy march....

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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

New Arrivals

I do have very little to say in this post other than that two thing arrived in my life over the past day and a half;

1) 2004 edition of Scottish Hill Tracks

2) My new son - Ashley

The question - to which there really is only one answer - is which of these new arrivals gets my attention first?

Ash is in Hospital with his mummy doing very well and hopefully sound asleep; whereas I am at home, alone.

SHT it is then.

Night night mummy and Ash.

Love you lots.

X x x x

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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

TGOC Forum

Well, it looks like I started a rant on the TGOC forum by simply asking when the 2012 application process opens.  Turns out that some people aren't too happy that they (or some others) didn't get on and think there's something sinister about the selection process.

Who cares - don't have a cow man.  Right to Roam exists as far as I am aware and if I don't get on, I'll walk Scotland from Coast to Coast in May 2012.  Whilst doing so I will camp on my own, and occasionally with other people.  I might even bump into people on the TGO Challenge, and I bet they'd even talk to me. 

So today I downloaded Viewranger for my iPhone which looks good, I also have Outdoors GB National Parks from Roadtour which is pretty darn good (but for the odd crash).  I'll use that to inspire the mind when I'm miles away from a PC and my paper maps are not on my person. 

Now going to bed to dream about all the reasons why I might not be accepted onto TGOC 2012 other than I just didn't get selected.

Much love.

PS.  Laptop keyboard and trackpad stopped working earlier - googled the problem on iPhone and all I had to do was take the battery out.  So, now I have a mobile computer, which is fixed to a wall.  don't ya luvvit?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Route option number 1, some helpful links too.

As is typical with me, waiting for the moment when I know that I have been accepted before doing any more planning is completely out of the question, so, whilst half watching Prince Caspian I have laid out my first route in a wee bit more than draft form. 

Sheil Bridge to St Cyrus - Low Level Route

You will see that I am writing as though acceptance on to TGO Challenge 2012 is a 'given' so forgive me for this, but it does save me always saying things like "if I am accepted" and "all being well" etc.  Besides, who would reject an application from such a wonderful, well-seasoned hillwalker like me?  Who indeed?

Given that TGOC 2012 WILL be my first, I have decided to stick to a low level route on pretty much all of the challenge.  All, that is, except for a foray onto Lochnagar, a hill that I need to climb at some point to see where the water comes from that made my delicious introduction to the Land of the Single Malt - Royal Lochnagar.  Might just bottle some for a souvenir!

So, there are a couple of sites I used to get this far:

Andy Howell's - Planning TGOC pages -
Section Hiker - TGOC 2010 pages -

Andy Howell's site came to me via Backpackinglight's podcasts about TGOC 2010.  Very useful,especially the recommendation of the Lonely Planet Guide - Walking in Scotland.  The book was already on my shelf and had been opened once by me to recce the Lairig Ghru and Chalamain Gap when I first started hillwalking.  It's now going to help me put together my other route options.  Oh, and Scottish Hill Tracks won't be long before it lands on my 'mat. Thanks Mr Howell. 

Section Hiker came to me via Google when I was struggling with laying down the Fort Augustus to Kingussie stretch.  Thanks to Mr Philip Werner.

Tara chucks, off to beddy bye-byes to dream about droving tracks and military roads....

One can only hope...

Well, I guess this is a bit of a presumptuous blog really.  I'm too late to get into the 2011 TGO Challenge but I've decided to have a go in 2012.  Besides, my wife is HEAVILY pregnant and due to give birth to our second any time now!  Only a selfish man would leave his wife with a 2 year old and a newborn alone for two weeks or more.

So, the idea of this blog is to follow my way through the process of planning, applying, preparing and doing, the TGO Challenge in 2012.

I'll aim to put useful stuff on here, things that I think have helped me and will help others put together their own long distance walk, TGO Challenge or otherwise.

Hope it helps, and maybe even entertains.

One can only hope that one gets on the challenge, can't one!