TGO Challenge 2013 preparations update

There has been some movement at the station…

1. Trailstar has turned up and has been seam sealed. Still waiting for the Oookstar, that should arrive around March.

2. I’m rethinking footwear. The Salomon Synapse WP have failed a couple of points: Laces are not repairable in the field, or replaceable with normal laces; and the ventilation is quite poor resulting in stinky feet after only a few days to a level that I have never suffered before. I’ll be wearing gaiters for part of the trip, and I cannot discount the possibility of lace failure around the front attachment hook (it hooks onto the laces) My Fastpackers are too worn to complete the trip, so I need some new shoes. I’m waiting on a pair of Salomon Comet 3D GTX which I think fit the bill. Will update in due course.

3. Route has been vetted and fine-tuned to vetter’s excellent suggestions. I have to send in the final updated route sheet, but otherwise it’s all done.

Edit Feb 7th: Updated Route sheet submitted.

4. Europe airfares are booked. Still working on the post-challenge arrangements, hire cars and intra-Europe flights.

5. Still mulling over camera gear for the Challenge. Plenty of time yet.

6. Preliminary arrangements for food is done. I will have 3 pickup points: Drumnadrotchit, Aviemore, and Ballater.

7. January was a wipe-out for walking training with just 70km completed. February has been cooler and 40km completed so far.

TGO Challenge again

In October, I made an entry for the 2013 TGO Challenge, and I am happy to report my application was successful.

So, it’s on again, and I am busy sorting my route planning. This time, things have been a lot quicker to get started – I already have the maps required, I have already been through the learning curve of route planning in the UK from a distant country. I’m using several very useful web resources, notably the excellent online track mapping site Grough Route and the also excellent side-by-side map and google satellite imagery site Where’s the Path

I expect to have my route sorted before Christmas.

I have started a TGO Challenge 2013 page to hold preparation details linked up in the header and will endeavour to update it as I go through the preparation process.

Back Home

What an adventure!

Doing the TGO Challenge has been an absolute blast from start to finish. All the planning and preparation paid off and I found I was able to complete the walk as planned with no major hiccups. It was tough, yes, and some of the terrain was difficult but not unfamiliar to me having done an amount of off-track walking in Tasmania. There were surprises, the biggest being the mild weather. It would have been a lot harder if the weather from last year had repeated this year.

Full report and photos coming soon!

Looking Back towards Glen Strathfarrar on day 3 of the Challenge:

Looking Back