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Rather than a trip diary, I thought that I’d try to sum up my 2015 TGO Challenge in 10 photos.  I decided on 10 photos deliberately so that this couldn’t just be 1 photo per day – it forced me to be quite ruthless in editing the images I’d taken.  These are not the 10 best photos that I took – rather, they’re the way of capturing what the Challenge was to me.

Lochailort-1

Lochailort, where I dipped my toes on Thursday 7th May. A beautiful place to start a Challenge.

 

Loch Beoraid. I think there is something about the shape of the loch and its relationship with the hills that makes this one of the most beautiful views in Scotland.

Loch Beoraid, which I first visited in 1963. I think there is something about the shape of the loch that makes this one of the most beautiful views in Scotland.

 

Photo of looking towards Glen Pean in the rain

After 2 fabulous days in Knoydart, the weather changed and I had a long trudge from Glen Pean bothy to the head of Loch Arkaig in driving rain. My idea of avoiding the road and doing a hill on the way was quickly abandoned.

 

Mamores

Apart from the first couple of days of good weather, no two days weather on this year’s Challenge were the same. After torrential rain, thunder and lightning on Monday morning, the skies cleared above the Mamores. Taken near Spean Bridge.

 

I wanted to revisit Loch Ossian on this year's Challenge and walked from Spean Bridge in the rain. But it started to change and this rainbow emerged over the loch.

I wanted to revisit Loch Ossian on this year’s Challenge and walked from Spean Bridge in the rain. But in the late afternoon, as I looked for a pitch (finally found at Corrour Old Lodge), the rain abated and this rainbow emerged over the loch.

 

This year, I decided to camp most nights and only spent a couple of nights under a roof. This was a lovely spot on the banks of Loch Rannoch.

This year, I decided to camp most nights and only spent a couple of nights under a roof. This was a lovely spot on the banks of Loch Rannoch.

 

My route took me from Loch Rannoch through the forest above Loch Tummel to Loch Bhac, from where I followed a path to Blair Atholl. I expected a blog flog but it was a delightful dry moorland walk with views to the Glen Tilt hills.

My route took me from Loch Rannoch through the forest above Loch Tummel to Loch Bhac, from where I followed a path to Blair Atholl. I expected a blog flog but it was a delightful dry moorland walk with views to the Glen Tilt hills.

 

We arrived in Ballater to discover that the old station had been completely destroyed by fire. I'd recently written about this as the culmination of the Deeside Way and I was sad to see the destruction. I do hope Queen Vic's loo survived.

We arrived in Ballater to discover that the old station had been completely destroyed by fire. I’d recently written about this as the culmination of the Deeside Way and I was sad to see the destruction. I do hope Queen Vic’s loo survived.

 

Portrait of me in the snow on Mount Keen

My route took me over Mount Keen, then high over the hills to the east. I hadn’t bargained on snow however. David Williams suggested that I abandon the route and come to Tarfside instead. He was right – 4 hours in the snow in trail shoes was really pretty grim.

 

Challengers and pints in the Marine at Stonehaven. A great finish to a great Challenge.

Challengers and pints in the Marine at Stonehaven. A great finish to a great Challenge.

8 Responses to “My 2015 Challenge in 10 photos”

  1. The Loch Beoraid photo is a classic.

  2. David Williams says:

    Superb photos Ian that really capture the Challenge in all its colours and moods.

  3. alan.sloman says:

    Your Loch Ossian picture sums it all up beautifully.
    As Phil put it so eloquently, when I pointed out something similar – “Not another bloody rainbow! That means it’s raining!”
    🙂
    I much prefer this sort of Challenge weather; the sunshine and heat take it out of me. It could have been a bit warmer when it wasn’t raining, I suppose?

    • admin says:

      Mostly I enjoyed the weather – even the snow. A road walk along Loch Arkaig in driving rain was the exception.

  4. ian shiell says:

    I like the selfie – halfway between misery and masochism – you gotta laugh!

  5. Liz Bibby says:

    Good photos Ian, but somehow the date 2015 has been transposed to 2016 in some of your text!You are ahead of yourself!

  6. Ali & Sue says:

    What a great idea – distilling the Challenge onto 10 photos. It really sums up the essence of the event!

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