TGO Challenge 2013

I received word the other day that my application to enter the TGO Challenge again has been successful.

I haven’t sorted my kit list yet, but aiming for significant baseweight savings on my 2010 kit.

–> [December 3rd]: Kitlist is up: TGO Gear List 2013 Page. Happy to receive comments.

Expecting to be lighter this trip. Last time, I used my Tarptent Scarp 1 tent, which was brilliant. This time I will either take the Tarptent Notch (~960g with groundsheet and extra pegs etc) I took to the Walls of Jerusalem in Tasmania earlier this month, or the MLD Trailstar with a nest which in total is a little heavier than the Notch, but still a lot lighter than the Scarp. My only reservation on the Notch is in high winds which incidentally struck the 2011 and 1012 events.

My pack will be the Gossamer Gear Mariposa, probably update it to the new version which cancels my only reservation with the pack: possible water ingress through the top. I have a choice of sleeping bags and clothing, but I intend to walk in Paramo which is well suited to the local conditions. My Jetboil Sol ti will replace the SnowPeak 100 I used last time. Also, last time I carried significant recharging gear for GPS and phone, which turned out to be a complete faff and I won’t be repeating that particular exercise. Instead of the the Spot tracker (which I have sold), I will have the Delorme InReach, also tested in the Walls with great success.

–> [December 3rd] Mariposa 2012 ordered.
–> [December 3rd] Hydration. Last time I used a Travel Tap to filter the water and what I found was that the flow rate was abysmal. So much so that towards the end of the trip I was filling the TT with water and kneeling on it to get any sort of flow through the filter. This trip, I am changing the filter to a Sawyer inline filter which has good flow, will even gravity flow at a reasonable rate. The one issue with the sawyer is that it will fail if it gets frozen. The Sawyer SP122 comes with a quick-disconnect kit, and I will use that to remove the filter and place it in a ziplock in my sleeping bag to prevent overnight freezing. Had to buy on ebay as there appears to be no Australian distribution. My hydration kit is a Platypus ‘bigzip’ SL 2L, and I will also carry a 1L Platy with cap (28g) for use in camp.

Camera. In 2010 I carried my Lumix GF1 with 20mm and 7-14mm in a waist pouch. I recently managed to soak this camera (in the Walls again, notice a pattern?), which brought home just how easy that is to do, a few seconds is all it takes. The GF1 has survived after extensive sleeping bag drying but I’m playing with other possibilities at the moment. I have a Fuji XPro1 (which is a great camera btw) but not sure I want to take it on the Challenge yet. The OM-D is one of those under consideration, being ‘weatherproof’, this would be a worthwhile upgrade from the GF1. Unless some great insight besets me, I will leave the decision until March/April.

My route is taking shape, I’m almost half way over on my first cut. Starting at Dornie and crossing Loch Ness at Drumnadrotchit, have not selected a finish point yet.

–> [December 3rd] Route is complete to Braemar, planning to go over/around Mt Keen to Tarfside, and then ?

–> December 13th. Mariposa arrived

–> December 14th. Montane Fireball Smock arrived.

–> December 18th. Sean @ Oookworks is back online!
–> December 18th. Oookworks OookStar inner nest for the TrailStar ordered and paid for.
–> December 18th. First cut of route complete. Dornie, Glen Elchaig, Falls of Glomach, Gleann Gaorsaic, Glen Affric, Tomich, Cannich, Drumnadrotchit, Carn Ban, Glen Mazeran, Burma Road, Aviemore, Strath Nethy, Loch Etchachan, Derry Lodge, Braemar, Balmoral, Ballater, Mt Keen, Tarfside, Hill of Wirren, North Water Bridge, St Cyrus.

–> December 19th. Sawyer Filter kit arrived. 16 days delivery from Utah!
–> December 19th. Route Submitted. 290km and 7810m ascent.

I’ll update this page as things progress.