Friday, 29 January 2010


In your wildest beer fuelled imaginations, you couldn't make up a name like that, could you?

I was in correspondence with a bit of a Chally Guru - a Humphrey Weightman (now there's another name you couldn't make up, already) - discussing my Day 12 Chally route. Humph put it quite nicely:

"The huge enjoyment of this particular route - should you be heading toward Tarfside - is the splendid opportunity to gloat and suffuse (?) as unfortunates struggle up toward Loch Brandy."

Now, until that point that very thought hadn't passed my mind, but I am pretty sure it had Lord Elpus's, who had been responsible for this part of our route. Now I am not sure if I would have thought of the term 'gloat' or 'suffuse' for that matter either, but I do get Humph's drift here! Schadenfreude will be kicking in, just a touch.

Shank of Inchgrundle

You can click on the map to make it much larger and readable

Again, our route is the radioactive symbols until the green pecked line is reached that takes us into Tarfside Heaven.

If you look at the bottom left had corner you will spy Clova - a popular overnight halt for Challengers with a welcoming hotel with an excellent bar. There is also an excellent bunkhouse there too. I would hazard a guess at about 80% of the Challengers will, first thing in the morning, set out straight up the hill to Loch Brandy and thence on to the hills above. A Brute of a Start to the Day. Phil & me, on the other hand will be having a little lie-in and then a stroll down the stream and a shortish hop up a hill so that we can have a go at the Shank.It looks like it will have wonderful airy views. In all my Challenges I have never had a go at the Shank of Inchgrundle.

With a name like that it really is not to be missed. I think I will take a leaf out of Humph's book and take a nice steak and some onions from Braemar with me for a bit of a fry-up on the top.



  1. Well, that's great. The "Shank of Inchgrundle" has now ousted my long-held favourite weird-British-hill-name ("Rig of the Jarkness" in Galloway [map]). I look forward to hearing whether or not the Shank was worth a visit!

  2. Ahhh. All has become clear, but pray tell; is the TGO the reason your LeJoG appears to cross from coast to coast 4 times?

  3. If the gods smile on me and I'm allowed to get on the Challenge I might be passing that way too. But then if last year is anything to go by, I might not.......

  4. We know a song about this - "Chally Guru, Is it you? (yeah yeah yeah)" Mark Bolan

    Anyway - I've been up the Shank. She's a bitch an' don't take no priznerz.

    Isn't there some sort of prophetic legend about bits of this hill falling off and destroying the pub? Best get the beer in early....

  5. Haven't walked your particular route Alan but I have walked up past Loch Brandy heading for The Goet. Mostly good hard ground with cairn marked paths. Notice your route follows a burn to the north - my experience of the burn terrain to the west over at Jocks Road ('cause I accidentally, ahem, missed the high ground path) was bog, bog...and more bog.

    Hope your info on the route said your burn was bog free.

  6. I know the area and the route you're taking (including said Shank) quite well (it's my backyard, in a sense), so I won't spoil your anticipation by giving details of the terrain or the views.

    I can only say that personally I'd opt for the falls of Damff route. You get two sets of falls there, a very nice path hugging rock and ravine, nice crags overlooking your descent and a grand sense of wilderness. It's longer than the Shank though, and it doesn't have that kind of name. Just a thought.


  7. Give them an inch and they'll take a grundle . . .

  8. Hope you have some binoculars Alan. You'll be able to gloat/suffuse as we struggle up the fair road from Clova. I'll get mine out, though, to view your bog hopping little band of travellers from my lofty brew stop on Ben Tirran...
    See you in Tarfside!

    (Word = dreichnest)

  9. That is a great walk — I really don't rate the Loch Brandy thing that much. But that walk along the small summits on the high ground is fantastic.

  10. Shank of Grundle - too mundane. I trust you tackled the more romantic sounding Brown Cow Hill last year

  11. Paul: Rig of the Jarkness You have done it now. I just have to go there. Doh!!!

    Ratdog: All has become clear indeed. Yes - I based the entire walk on getting to the start of the Chally on the day the Chally started! Tricky planning indeed...

    WP: I have just realised that my Anquet maps don't cover Northern Ireland! That's disgraceful! Sounds (and looks like, from Google) that is a wonderful spot.

    Laura: You will be spot on 'plan' this year to be sure. Still keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    Pieman: I shall be with the ladies at Tarfside, helping them to reduce the beer mountain so none shall be crushed.

    Ken: Luckily I have been all over the place in this area (Quite a good description in some of the clag I have walked in at times). D'you know? I really like the bogs! In fact I search them out. Whatever the ground throws at me it will be a wonderful holiday.

    Andy: Thanks for that - I went down the Falls route in '96 in some absolutely dreadful weather, which made the scenery even more amazing!

    Humph: As ever - luverly.

    Martin: I reckon you'll still get to Tarfside before us...

    Andy: After a while it's tricky to pick new routes from Stan's. This will be Chally Number 15.

    Anon: Wotcha! Brown Cow Hill was missed out last year - absolutely appalling weather. But I have been up Brown Willy, though... Ooooh! Madame!

  12. As you will know, if you come across any of these, you're off route! Raing of Kornish; Nick of Mum; Craigmawhannal; Craigmasheenie'

  13. "A-f-i-t-h": This has got to stop! I shall be zig-zagging like a loon if I ever have to link all these up (and there's something somewhere deep inside that that would be a good idea... It's a fabulous idea for a walk...)


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