Monday, 10 December 2012

TGO Challenge 2013: Route Vetted


Our Vetter’s comment started well:

“Dear Phil,

Thanks for your route sheet. I think it is very noble of you to risk your glorious Tenth triumph by dragging along a couple of eejits and stumblebums.”

and went down hill from there:

“I have heard rumours that they are already planning a series of celebrations of Scotland’s twin addictions, cheap rotgut alcohol and cholesterol-heavy animal fats. I must warn you about these young scamps; their propensity for mischief will outweigh their usefulness as load bearing mules. I’m sure you will all make it to the east coast, but the stick is always better than the carrot.”

However, he very kindly continues, and imparts some excellent advice: A selection is shown below:

  • The two objective dangers on this first day are the Pierhouse, fabulous lunchtime seafood and Guinness, and the Creagan, cocktail hour.
  • Your proposed halt point is actually west of Elleric, so your first day is already looking to end in shambolic confusion.
  • The climb up from Kinlochleven to the Loch Eilde Mor track is character building, but when you reach the top you will recognise the scene from a number of movies, including Rob Roy, so act nonchalant if a red-haired claymore wielding Highlander charges towards you.
  • The summit ridge of Beinn a’ Chaorainn has a big dog-leg and any late lying snow could be corniced. A number of my friends have ended up down in Coire na h-Uamha. One found his collie dog arriving soon afterwards and landing on his head.


So, there we are then. All the comments have been taken on board and the route sheet tweaked accordingly. As the compiler of the route, Phil has undertaken to supply drinks all night for every Challenger we meet and also supply the woman of their dreams. Following his trip to “Transformations” back in 2011, Andy has volunteered for that role and tells me he’s nipped out and bought a new wig and lippy.

Our route looks like this: [CLICK TO ENLARGE]



Five months today to “the off.” It comes round so quickly!


  1. Replies
    1. Will you be carrying cake? If so, please replan your route and tag along. I love cake.

    2. I will indeed be carrying cake, but I'm not changing my route. You can snuffle up the crumbs in the bottom of my rucksack in Braemar :-D

  2. Tuesday/wednesday, 1st week will sort the men out from the boys.
    Looks a nice route Alan/Phil.

    1. Correct, Sir!
      That is, of course, if we get past the trials of the two pubs Day One and the pub near the start of Day Three.
      Then there's the supplies in the parcels at the end of Day Four.

      Then there's the Cheese & Wine Party on Day Five.

      Afterwards there's the wonderful Monadhliath Hotel at Laggan on Day Six. Then the second Cheese & Wine Party on Day Seven...Then... Horror! No pubs until Day Nine, where we are spoilt for choice in Braemar. Day Ten is Callater Lodge (big party). Day Twelve is Tarfside (St Drostan's beers and the Masons' party), followed by Day 14 - the really big party in Montrose.

      I reckon you're right, Alan: This will sort the men out from the boys!

    2. That all sounds fantastic; have you left enough room in the schedule to fit in the walking bits? Mind, by about day four you might be too relaxed to care.

    3. I stand innocent of any planing of this route; The debauched aristocracy's finger prints are clearly all over this venture. Lord Elpus will be partying all the way across Scotland in 2013, for this will be his tenth crossing. On completion, the myth that is Lord Elpus will be elevated to the status of Living Legend.

      The man's partying rivals that of Oliver Reed and Keith Moon. The difference however, is that Lord Elpus has survived, and with his daily visits to his attic, appears to be getting younger.

      Having dumped various internal organs in the recent past, we'll have to see if his liver makes it across.

  3. There's a little route-related something in the post for you & Andy.

    1. Oooh! A surprise? It's not Christmas yet, is it?

      Is it chocolate? No - how about a Scalextric or a Slinky? Not more Lego though, please. I've had it up to here with Bloomin' Lego.

      Got it! A Wham-O Super Ball! I will be more careful with this one. Promise. I won't play near the windows.

    2. I loved my superball - especially getting the spin to make it bounce from side to side. This did result in at least one unfortunate window incident.

      But, oh, it's much, much better than that - especially by Loch Eilde Mor. A tip for that point - volume at 11 ;-)

    3. Has this present anything to do with Red Throated Divers? I can still hear their haunting calls!

      Oh no! You bastard! It's a duck caller and you're bringing the blunderbuss from above the mantle at Elpus Hall!!!

    4. Oh dear, it seems that the postie hasn't been yet - so much for first class mail. I want my money back!

      Still, it teaches us patience, dear boy, patience. No doubt all will be revealed tomorrow.

      I remember those divers though - anyone would make sounds like that swimming along with their nadgers dangling in freezing water - Ooooooooh Oooooooooh.

      Nature can be very cruel.

    5. The post around these parts is rather like the current weather - glacial. When it does arrive it's generally to the house next door. We all spend quite a bit if time each week posting each other's mail through the correct letter box. The postman is a youthful spotty moron.

  4. Well, it's easy to guess which one's the eejit.

    But, ................ which one's the stumblebums??? :)

    Have a great one!

    1. You are very unkind, Gordon. I am sure Andy is neither an eejit or a Stumblebum.
      Although, I have seen him slather his nether regions in cocoa-butter in full view of passing motorists. We ought to let them decide, really.

    2. That first day is similar to what I did in 2011.

      If you like fish, then I can recommend EE - Usk, right on the pier in Oban to kick you off on the night before.

      The Pierhouse does some fantastic food too. And, you now incur my envy, you'll be able to top up in the Creagan - which was closed in 2011.

      Oh, and your route looks very good too!

  5. Interesting first day, sprinting, boating and pubbing.
    Good luck

    1. Let's hope for a calm day for the second boat trip - Phil says it's a tiny rowing boat to get us across the Atlantic rollers - or we might be swimming as well.

  6. Ye cannae swum wi a rucksack on ye wee bampot. Crivens ! Ma heid, ma heid.

    You might be able to catch young Camembert as they form shoals along many Scottish lochs in May. If you are very skilled you could net the elusive Highland Brie or the even more rare Cairngorm Stiltonette.

    These cheeses take craft and guile to catch so I hope to see you in may. I won't be doing the TGO Challenge but should be able to bring you some of the finest fighting cheeses these islands can provide.

    I am off to Llyn Alaw tomorrow baitcasting for Edam.

    1. Hi Peter
      I have my eye on the crafty Creag Meagaidh Reblochon. The little blighters live in the caverns deep within the mountain and only come out at dusk to roll around in the dew forming in the heathers around Lochan Uaine.

      That's the time to pounce. A swift tap is sufficient; to stun before dissection and consumption, while still warm.

      We will be honoured to welcome you to our soiree.


Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!