2009 will see the TGO Challenge's 30th year. The Challenge is quite remarkable in that the guidelines for the event have largely remained the same over all this time. Of course, the event has evolved and improved with tweaks and nudges here and there. Numbers taking part have slowly been increased and this year there will be a bumper 360 souls taking part. Over the years, start points have been added and some have been lost.
For 'old hands' the new start points are particularly of interest as they have, in all probability, used all the existing start points already. This means that a new start offers 'new' country to explore on the west coast of Scotland. So with this in mind, this afternoon I have spent a happy few hours with Landranger Sheet 40 looking at routes out of this year's newest start point, Glenuig.
It's a tiny little place on the north west corner of Moidart. I can see from the map that it has an inn which will probably act as the signing-out point. Challengers will not know this for sure until they have had their applications accepted and the signing-out points are issued in the event details sent out to them.
But what an amazing start point! If your plan is to walk east through Moidart, it looks like one marvelous walk out. As far as I can see there are absolutely no paths heading in that direction for the entire length of Moidart between Loch Shiel to the south and Loch Eilt to the north, all the way out to what I can see is the natural exit point, Glenfinnan.
Up until now, I had in my mind's eye been starting at Strathcarron, but this new start point has got my mind racing. Tomorrow night we have Lord Elpus and Miss Whiplash over for supper, to be prepared by my own fair hand. So, if I can persuade his Lordship to abandon his beautiful Mistress for two weeks, we could have an interesting route finding discussion.
Then of course, all we need, is the luck of the Irish to get picked from the draw.