After last years mammoth (lazy) write up which took a staggering 9 months to complete, I’m taking a different tack this year and writing a few themed posts rather than a blow by blow account of each day. This is mainly because this years TGO was very different to my first, a quite solitary affair, and so the walking itself was a very personal experience.
I’ll probably write a post on the route itself, another on how gear faired etc…but let’s start with some stats about the trek and some random factoids.
I’ve now re-totted up the mileage and ascent since getting home, and because I altered the route when weather was better or worse than expected, these ended up being a bit bigger than planned. Anyhow here goes;
- Start – Lochailort
- Finish – Dunnottar Castle
- Total Distance 383 km (237 miles)
- Total Ascent 18,045 m (59,203 ft)
- Highest single days Ascent 2,671 m (8,763 ft)
- Longest Day 40 km (25 miles)
- 27 Monros/Corbetts were climbed, plus a few Grahams (I’d aimed to climb 25)
- Over 150 km was across pathless, trackless ground
- 11 nights wild camping, 2 nights in bunk-houses
- Foul Weather Alternatives (FWA) were used on 2 days (I had 10 FWA’s planned in case)
- On 2 later days I altered my route to go high rather than the planned low level route
- I had to drop 6 munros through Glen Coe when following FWA’s, but altered my route to climb an additional 8 munros later in the route
- There were 3 nights when my sleeping bag reached the limit of it’s comfort, 1 night when I woke to a frozen tent
- One night in Glen Coe tested the limits of my tent (Tarptent Notch), with gale force winds and driving rain, hail and sleet. It came through unscathed.
- I used only 1 set of socks over the 14 days, managing to wash them every 2 days
- Microspikes were packed, but I was never forced to use them.
- My camera got waterlogged on the 3rd day, coughed, spluttered……and died. My wife kindly posted a spare to Bridge of Balgie which I picked up 4 days later
- I had no other serious gear malfunctions, just wear and tear on gaiters and a couple of seams fraying
- I posted resupply parcels to Kinlochleven and Bridge of Balgie, and one month before the TGO Challenge I cached a parcel by Baddoch Burn just south of Braemar.
- I lost 4 pounds in weight, which apparently is equivalent to 14,000 KCal. That means my food was short by 1,000 KCal a day. I’d packaged food based on needing 3,200 KCal a day, so I guess that means I actualy needed 4,200 kCal per day for this route. A reflection of the amount of ascent I guess
- I never want to eat Trail Mix, peperami sausage, or porridge again. Totally sick of the sight of it.
- No blisters, sore feet, or other ailments. Just one near miss when I drank copiously from a nearby stream next to my pitch, only to spot a decaying sheep carcass in a tributary the next morning. Luckily just downstream.
- Two ticks hitched a ride, but I caught both early
- I met absolutely nobody in the hills on 10 of the 14 days, managing to walk with somebody for only a couple of hours on just 2 of the days
- The hardest day was undoubtedly Day 1 over the Moidart Corbetts. A tough and exhausting high level day over trackless terrain, with significant height loss of each Corbett.
- The best day was over the Bridge of Orchy Munros, with endless sweeping views over Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe