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, where I dipped my toes on Thursday 7th May. A beautiful place to start a Challenge.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 (sadly, it didn’t)
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.