My 2015 TGO Challenge route

by backpackingbongos

This is a cracking route, one of the best I have vetted for the 2015 Challenge, and you have mixed big hills with lesser ones, have stayed away from the main Challenge highways and have not been afraid to go cross country, your route sheet has been a pleasure to follow and your F.W.A are spot on, good on you.

I love a bit of praise I do and the above comment from my TGO vetter made me puff out my chest with pride! Mind you they may say that about everyone’s route………..

Four weeks today and I will be on day two of a backpack from the west coast to the east coast of Scotland, with hopefully the sun shining and a cool breeze caressing my back. I thought that I would do a quick blog post outlining the route that I have decided to take.

The total distance is 309 kilometres (192 miles), plenty enough for me over the space of a couple of weeks. The plan is 8 nights wild camping, 1 night in a bothy, 2 in a campsite (one is the village green in Tarfside) and 3 in Hotels / b&b’s. I’m going to send on a couple of parcels with main meals that I have dehydrated myself (being veggie the pickings can be slim in rural Highland shops) and pick up snacks locally. I only actually pass two places that have a shop anyway. The nights in hotels give me a chance to shower, rinse out some clothes and have a proper dinner and breakfast.

When planning a long backpack I always find it easier to break the route down, it then seems less daunting. The maps below show both the main and foul weather alternatives.

Part one sees me walking from Oban to Kinloch Rannoch with the opportunity to take in a couple of Munros and a scattering of lower hills. I have never visited Gorton bothy visit so am looking forward to stopping there for a night.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.06.07

(You can click map to enlarge)

The section between Kinloch Rannoch and Braemar is the wildest of the trip. I’m looking forward to exploring the Headwaters of the Tarff. Some lonely and remote country there.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.08.36

(You can click map to enlarge)

The final section between Braemar and Inverbervie sees me joining the Challenge trade route. I’m hoping to take in a string of Munros around Lochnagar, the weather has never been good enough on previous crossings. From Tarfside I have decided to avoid the usual route to Edzell and St Cyrus. Instead a final push over low hills to Fettercairn before a slog along roads to Inverbervie and fish and chips.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 12.10.02

(You can click map to enlarge)

I just now need to get a bit fitter!

19 Comments to “My 2015 TGO Challenge route”

  1. More pies, fish ‘n’ chips and carrot cake should help with your fitness regime.

  2. Looks a great route James

  3. Fantastic James, wish you well and hope the weather remains kind for you.

  4. Looks great James, sadly our routes don’t cross…I’m North of you all the way! Have a good one,

  5. Looks fab James! Now, about the weather…

  6. It looks good, lots of bits Ive been through in recent years. My penny’s worth.

    1. If you get a good day what about going up Cruachan. I really enjoyed it (though a bit rocky at top)?
    2. If the weather’s horrible around Loch Muick there’s fantastic sheltered camping (flat grassy pitches and tall pines) in the wonderful plantation (pine not Sitka) around the ‘royal bothy’.
    3. Glen Ey too offers, I think, one of the best wild camping spots in the highlands (near the timebledown farmstead).
    4. It will be good to see Rannoch close before more windfarm nonsense there!
    5. I found the forest of atholl in clag one of the most difficult areas to navigate. That said it’s a proper wild feel there!


    • Cheers Mark. Yep I did think about going up Cruchan, however I really fancy the pair of Munro’s to the north, a great long ridge that keeps me up high and points to where I want to go! Definitely camping in Glen Ey the night before Braemar, not been but photos of it look great. Agree with Forest of Atholl, proper wild country along the Tarff. Hopefully good weather though.

  7. Good luck with your walk – can’t wait to read the write up. What’s FWA? Says a noobie revealing himself 🙂

    • Cheers Rob. FWA stands for Foul Weather Alternative. You must provide one for each day otherwise the route vetters will reject your route.

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