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Monday, 24 September 2012

North, Miss Tessmacher, North!

Lord Elpus in his Lair

LORD ELPUS IN HIS SUBTERRANEAN LAIR AT LORD ELPUS HALL

The die has been cast. Lord Elpus has sent off our application form for the 2013 TGO Challenge. Our team comprises Lord Elpus, Mad’n’Bad Andy and me. It will be Lord E’s tenth Challenge and, as such, he gets to choose the start point, and, because Andy & I are lazy buggers, the route as well.

His draft route has been sent through the ether and has landed in my inbox for perusal.

Now tell me if you think I am curmudgeonly old fool, but it would seem logical, that given we’ll be starting on the west coast, if we want to finish on the opposite side of the country it would be a pretty fine idea if we headed in an easterly direction.

Well, of course it would. But in our case, we shall be heading west. This will be followed by an abrupt change; We shall then be heading in a northerly direction for five days.

Honestly!

I also sense the distinctive whiff of a dish best served cold: Revenge. When we walked my tenth Challenge I chose a route that dragged poor Lord Elpus through the dreaded Dirc Mhor, which is a rocky chasm, filled with a loose jumble of gigantic teetering boulders with yawning leg-breaking gaps between them; Tricky when carrying a hefty backpack.

I see Lord E has picked out Dirc an Uillt Fhearna to investigate.

If I we ever make it back to England in one piece it will be a miracle.

31 comments:

  1. He said it was a gentle sociable route to me.
    Are you saying it involves hills.
    Also every night was a hotel with serving wenches.
    I wasn't expecting hardship and toil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never trust the Landed Gentry - Haven't you been on twitter? They are all supposed to be cads and bounders!
      This is Lex's- sorry Lord Elpus's year of revenge...
      Be very afraid!
      :-)

      Delete
    2. God, Not Ferrowie again.

      I might have spelt that wrong.
      It was the neverending brown bit
      on the way to the Waters of Hypothermia

      Delete
    3. That was quite a long day, wasn't it? And the Waters of Eunice were a trifle chilly.
      :-)
      You haven't dotted the route on your maps yet, then? Stand easy, Tiger. Ferrowie's safe from our stampede this year.

      Delete
    4. Andrew
      The Waters of Unich were lovely! The peat hags in Ferrowie were great fun if a tad tiring!

      Delete
    5. Indeed, Lynsey.
      The lad has no soul. All peat hags should be treated as a puzzle; It's fun unlocking it and dancing over the tufts, especially when you see your companions sink up to their thighs in dark peaty gloop!

      Delete
  2. I read that vehicles have been seen ascending along Dirc an Uillt Fhearna. So it might not be as bad as you think. Here's hoping you are well and get in of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds good to me, Alan. If they can carry a weary trio down the damn thing they would be doing a service.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. The vehicles were likely tanks of the underground Scottish army on manoeuvres and as such you would be OK for a lift on the Chally as they use tracks not wheels!
      Grumpy

      Delete
    3. There's a huge stockpile of old Chieftain tanks that the MOD are trying to flog off... NOw there's a thought. They can carry three people with full kit....

      Delete
  3. Dear sir,

    As you know Captain I am on the TGOC 2013. On account of loop holes that like you that must be exploited. I aim (group decision and all that) to start in Torridon, and we go west day 1. How about that. You too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be tricky to go north out of Torridon - you would be "outwith the geographical bounds of the Challenge."

      A pity, really, as there's some stunning stuff to the north.
      :-)
      Heading into Applecross, by any chance?

      Delete
  4. No a day walk up a classic mountain. One guess?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's part of your Challenge, you do know that the hills to the north of Torridon are off-limits?
      So, I'm guessing Beinn Damh?

      Delete
    2. Wrong. Just bag a hill and sign out the next day. Big, classic and starts behind the YH. Rules, pah ignore them.

      Delete
  5. Ah, Al, you old fox. You spotted the Dirc then. Just the boot sucking bogs to suss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did somebody say "bogs?" I love'em! Bring them on, I say!
      There's nothing like the screams of the previously warm-tootsied waterproof boot afficionado as they sink up to their oxters in a grippen mire and the stinking, cold bogwater swishing into their pristine socks...

      I shall have to have a closer inspection of this magnificent route, Sir!
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Crafty fox, Sir. So you won't actually be on the Challenge when you nip up Beinn Alligin.
      :-)

      Delete
  6. Now if my memory serves, I'm sure on your return from this year you declared you weren't going for the 2013 challenge? ;-)

    Glad you came to your senses!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Well spotted Davey
      :-)
      But that was before they filled me full of wonderful drugs! Tomorrow morning I have a refrigerated van-load of EPO coming to boost the blood count. That should beef up the knackered old 50cc single back to something like a 2.5 straight six - Well, that's what I hope.
      And if the renal consultants pull their fingers out, I might even have a second hand spare part fitted in time for the walk too!
      So either way, I should be in better nick than I was on this year's Challenge!
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Listen matey.

      Just because you'll probably have a reconditioned engine running on nitrous, doesn't mean you can bloody well gallop off into the distance.
      Phil and I are still running on original 1950's mechanics you know. Apart from the bits that have been removed.

      Any of that and I'll be swapping your blood bags for ketchup.

      Delete
    3. Mix it 50/50 with vodka and it'll do the trick.
      :-)

      Delete
  7. I'm all for this Ultralight Backpacking, but surely the removal of body parts to save weight is taking it a bit far ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, OM.
      Lord Elpus has now the figure of a racing snake after various parts of his anatomy were whipped out by surgeons. However, I shall be gaining weight; finishing up with three kidneys.
      It's a handicapping thing.

      Delete
  8. Cads and bounders? Did someone say cads and bounders? - just starting to get interesting.

    What ho chaps. I think you're mad - snow, sleet, rain, cold and oodles and oodles of wet being statistically likely - but its no doubt character building stuff serving to stiffen the national backbone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I was a lad, all those 17 years ago on my first TGO Challenge, these two weeks of May were chosen because statistically the weather in Scotland was pretty good.

      Times change: I blame the IPCC for all this crappy weather we get these days...

      Now Lord E often complains about his stiff back. He will have to carry the nation for us.
      :-)

      Delete
  9. hurahh glad to know that you,ll be on next years challenge . i had to bribe the wife with a dog which is slowly driving me nuts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris
      At least whilst on the Challenge you will have two weeks of having all your nuts about you.
      Treat it as RnR time to face the music when you get back home.
      :-)

      Delete
  10. I'm becoming slightly concerned about infringing the Challenge rules.

    Although it is permissible for a person to accompany a challenger for part of the crossing, does this rule extend to part of a person accompanying a challenger for the whole of the crossing?

    Just wondering ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand and empathise with your concern.

      If the second hand kidney is to be donated from one of my two brothers, rest assured there is every chance of it being well versed in the dark arts of Challenge training.

      However, if the previous owner is to be my sister, then I shall have to put the new organ through a thorough test run in the Caledonian Sleeper's bar on the journey up. Just to be sure.

      We could ask for an adjudication from the Deppity, to be on the safe side?

      Delete

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