Progress so far: We’ve had our route vetted and received some useful advice. We’ve also used the concept of “escape routes”, which isn’t within the TGO route planning advice but seemed appropriate within a particular section, specially since escape routes were available.
So, instead of crossing the high and wild bit from Fort Augustus via Glen Doe, which was my second choice of route, having done my first choice once before, we were reminded of the industrialised nature of the surroundings around there plus the work going on to expand the area of wind turbines and the fact that walking up the long road to Chalybeate Well might not be all that much fun, in the face of waggons and cranes and generators and so-on, we returned to Plan A.
Plan A involves eating a huge breakfast in Fort Augustus and then walking up to the summit of the Corrieyairack Pass and then, roughly following a line of old fence posts across the fairly-wild-bit to Glen Calder and the fleshpots of Newtonmore. The escape-routes being any linear feature to the South back to the Corriyairack, specially using Glen Markie, which looks very nice on the map. We just have to tell control what our plans are at the time. We’ll only use the lower route[s] if the weather is specially duff. I crossed this way a few years ago in a constant fierce headwind and could barely stand up by the time I got to Newtonmore. It took several hours watching the darts on a pub telly before I could even speak, and, even then, what came out was a mixture of Norse expletives and Welsh prohibitives all beginning with the word “Dim”. Happily the landlord was sympathetic and kept serving up the foaming beverages.
The rest of the route remains untouched by the way and, in at least one point, just at the foot of the Minigaig, I think I’ve been fairly clever with a Foul Weather Alternative. Coz I is a clever-dick sometimes, innit?
Next up in the planning process is to book transport and accomodation. Transport to Glenelg is specially difficult on a Thursday, it seems. And, I guess we’ll need beds in Glenelg and Newtonmore, possibly Fort Augustus…
In terms of fitness – me and LTD managed 14 miles on a reccy of a County walk yesterday and, I’ll be building up this distance thing over the next couple of months to about 20 miles, in increments of about 2 miles – so, the arithmeticians should be able to predict that the next in the series – for March, will be 16 miles.
And we have various backpacking trips planned – me and Dawn and LTD have a little expedition planned for the Cheviots in a week or so, and we’ve also been invited on the Sloman/Lambert/Williams annual pre-TGO daunder, which this year is in the Lake District. LTD will be happy to join this jape or jaunt as well. Me and Dawn would likely be doing backpacking trips anyway, whether or not there was a TGO chally in the offing, but the point is that these can all count towards the possibility of success.
Today’s pictures are from the walk reccy around Baldersdale and Lunedale (very cold and grey day) As you can see from the last pic, it went dark, so I took no more pictures after this. I would say, though, that Kirkcarrion loomed a bit grimly over the last couple of miles of this walk…. oooooerr… spooky…