Archive for September 3rd, 2009

September 3, 2009

It’s TGO Challenge time!

by backpackingbongos

My digital copy of TGO arrived in my inbox yesterday, inside is the application form for next years Challenge.  The TGO challenge is something that I have wanted to complete for years now.  After a couple of years not making the draw for places I got a place on the 2001 challenge and excitedly prepared my route.  Unfortunately this was the year of the foot and mouth outbreak and there was a danger of the challenge being cancelled.  Luckily it was not, but due to restrictions on the west coast the challenge started in Aviemore.  I completed the crossing to St Cyrus in eight days and got a good sample of this special event.

I was also successful in the draw for the 2003 challenge, but alas did not make it past day four.  It all started well at Lochailort and I had a great wild wet day crossing to Oban bothy.  The weather remained horrendous and I can remember the short distance over to Glen Pean bothy taking all day, most of this in sandals as there was water everywhere.  I got further behind the following day and tried to make up for it on day four with a 19 mile push, which in bad weather broke me physically and psychologically – I went home the next day!  My route was too testing and I did not meet many other challengers, hopefully this experience will help me with future planning.

So fingers crossed in 2010 it will be third time lucky for a full crossing.  My Evanton to Ullapool backpack in April gave me a small taste of a walk across the Highlands and I can’t wait to get back up there.