Wednesday, 21 January 2009


It's true. Lord Elpus and I have been well and truly vetted - in the first case by our 'official' vetter and in the second by our 'unofficial' vetter.

Now our first vetter (the 'official' one) is a Flying Dutchman - well - he's Dutch and he flies along. I have had the pleasure of walking with Bert on a number of occasions - we both started challenging back in '95, when Bert binned his uncomfortable boots after a few days and bought a new pair of KSB's in Ft Bill to carry on with. He is built like a racehorse and does routes that make your eyes water and nose bleed. But apart from that, he is married to a wonderful woman who ensures that he does take the occasional drink to slow him down to warp speed to allow lesser mortals to cling on to his laces to keep up.

Bert has made some helpful comments:"You will hardly meet any Challengers for about a week before and after Inverness"... Sounds like a lovely walk then...   "Occasional very wet and boggy sections for two days" followed by "occasional very wet and boggy bits".

It all sounds terrifyingly familiar to Phil's usual routes then...

Our second 'unofficial' vetter has just sent us his own route. This chap has a reputation for cheerfulness and being happy in his own skin. We seem to be passing a few hostelries at the same time. Let's just hope he remembers his shorts as there is one particular hotel at Dinnet where I have only just been allowed back - it would be terrible to be barred again! Hopefully his wonderful wiff will keep him on the straight and narrow. The Scots are a charming race well known for their hospitality but even they cover up their naughty bits with the kilt.


  1. Looks hazardous this as we both seem to be starting from Torridon. I shall get my route sorted this weekend and I'll email it to you.

  2. "...routes that make your eyes water and nose bleed". That's all of them, surely?

    It's the dramatic drop in air pressure above 1000ft that causes the nose bleeds, and above 2000ft it can make your head explode.

    This phenomenon accounts for the dreadful headaches suffered by challengers. Last year I met at least a dozen on Carn an t-Sagairt Mor who all said "I feel as though my head's going to explode".

    Known as the 'Braemar Bends', the condition generally persists for about two weeks. Luckily the natives sell a remedy distilled from barley and peaty water which alleviates the symptoms, and produces a feeling of well being and euphoria.


  3. Damn you Sloman! You've taken my relative contentment with my backpacking exploits to date and literally flattened it to make way for skyscraper-esk thoughts about the Challenge.

    This building site of aspiration is not a good place for me, not least because any dreams of completing my first Challenge are curbed until at least 2011. Don't ask, its a long and quite frankly perverted story involving kayaks and the Danube.

    Anyway, my first flirtations with thoughts of the Challenge saw me on Phill's site reading your 2005 diary - 1 word: SOLD.

    I thank you and good night!

  4. Ah bogs and wet bits....A proper walk then. Not meeting any one?. Well that would appeal to me. Have a good walk Alan and say hi to Phil.

  5. Hi

    look forward to welcoming you back to the Loch Kinord Hotel (the wee hotel in Dinnet!)

    Andrew & Jenny Cox


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