Sunday, 31 October 2010

More TGO 2011 threading

It’s fun picking out routelets for next year’s TGO Challenge. When you arrive at the western head of Loch Arkaig there is a choice to be made. You can nip northish over to Kinbreack and the Tomdoun Hotel, beetle due east along the minor road on the north shore of the loch, which is very tedious or find another more fun route. The fun route has it then! Besides, last year the Tomdoun was a huge disappointment and I have done the road walk with Bob Butler, back in 1997.

My fun routelet looks like this:
South of Loch ArkaigSouth of Loch Arkaig (click on it for bigger version)

It’s a bit of a trackless clamber over three bealachs to get into Glen Mallie. If the weather is nice then Gulvain “will go” from the second bealach, with the prospect of a fine ridge walk down to Invermallie bothy afterwards. Ah – it’s all so easy sitting here at my desk in Mission Control…
Later on I have found another nice little trackless plod through the Talla Bheith Forest, in a wonderfully direct route in an easterly direction (we don’t want to go west, do we??) towards the A9 and hopefully a bed and a bath…
Talla Beith ForestTalla Bheith Forest (click on it for bigger version)
From looking at the far end of the view, there appears to be quite a big of bog hopping towards the end of this particular routelet. That will add to the fun! As I said earlier – this is all very easy sitting here on Halloween at my desk. It will be a bit tougher next May!


  1. Hi Alan

    I find there is almost as much fun in the planning as in the doing.

    (I am also sat in my mission control working on plans for my 2011 'big one')

  2. "Tomdoun was a huge disappointment" - you're not guilty of exaggeration there Alan!

    Such a shame though, it has good potential for a caring and consciencious owner / manager.

    Oh well, back to the maps!


  3. Both of those sound enticing! Enjoy!

    It does seem a bit strange not waiting for an letter from Roger this year, but I've got plenty of ideas for when I next do the challenge, maybe from Glenelg in 2013...

  4. Trevor: Good luck with your planning - my Lejog took me four months of hard work before I set off!

    JJ: How are you getting on with your planning so far? And how's the knee?

    Alistair: What on earth are you doing that takes you away from the Chally for two years? It can't be the sproglet, surely? Oooh - It might be - some blokes are great dads...

  5. That's a good thread, Alan. We commend the Mullach Coire nan Geur-oirean ridge, with fine views of Loch Arkaig and beyond. Camping at NN 020 881 is excellent, with evening views to The Ben.
    If you click here and go to the Day 3 report you may even find a brief commentary (on which you kindly commented at the time).
    Martin and Sue

  6. Martin: Aha! I knew I had seen this route somewhere in the dim & distant past! The Gulvain ascent does sound and look particularly brutal... Nicely pitched Nallo, btw...

  7. The Tomdoun a 'huge disappointment' - ? - well I enjoyed the company...........
    (the word - lamonto - seems apt)

  8. Hi Laura: I totally agree about the company! :-)

    The service at the hotel was terrible. The rooms were ramshackle, Bathrooms abysmal and the price incredibly high for the room and service on offer.

    I certainly won't be staying there again under the present regime. It's a shame as it used to be so good!

  9. It's not really my place to say, sir, what with you being an experienced challenger an' all, but A Walker once told me he'd been that way. You should have seen the state of him sir. Raving he was - making no sense, sir. No sense at all.

    There some as say that there be DARK things lurking in that Glen Mallie, or at the very least things that prefer the dark and can't abide the light - nor the presence of living souls. My advice would be on no account get caught out there after sundown.

    A 'fun route' you say, sir ...?

    Well, as I say, it's not my place.

    ... I'm sure you know best sir ...

  10. Ah, Landlord!

    We'll be doing our best to scuttle along as quick as possible, Sir. That'll be an awful long glen to scuttle down, that'll be...

    Hopefully we will make the haunted bothy before the moonrise. We don't want to be outside the haunted bothy at night with the moon an' all with the dark creatures about. Oh no Sir...

  11. The knee is improving, thanks! My fingers (and other bits) are crossed that I won't kneed (Kneed....knee...geddit?) surgery.

    The route planning is in a very advanced stage: I'll be mostly walking from the left to the right side of Scotland. All I need to do now (kneed to do know?) is decide on start and finish points and then just plan the bit in the middle.


    Word: what sort of word is that?

  12. JJ: "Word: what sort of word is that?" Obvious really: It's an anagram of "Scproing" - the noise one's knee cartilage makes when wrenched on a fine mushroomy tussock

  13. Hi Alan

    Can I ask which software you're using to paln your routes? I like the 3D aspect of it!


  14. Hi Ken

    I use Anquet - but if I had my time again I surely wouldn't choose it again! Better systems are Memory Map or Quo.

    Anquet is cumbersome and installing it was a complete and utter nightmare - as soon as it was installed updates were required immediately (brand new product!) and their telephone help line was just appalling. Their on-line help was even more frustrating as it was totally useless! Avoid Anquet like the plague. They are in incredibly bad company to deal with.

    If anyone from Anquet feels they would like to comment I would welcome a bare knuckle fight with the bastards!

    As I paid a lot of money for the software I am loathe to buy more. It works now, but I have not bothered upgrading it for three years as that way lies madness...


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