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Monday, 11 February 2013

This Year’s Preparations for the TGO Challenge

me and the vicar

Apparently, there’s about thirteen of your Earth weeks before the start of the TGO Challenge and it’s about that time when it comes to starting to prepare things for the Big Event. (Its a bit like another Christmas, but without John Lennon and Slade) (or twinkly lights) (or a tree).

So, what, I hear you ask, am I intending to do to prepare this aching and ever-so under-thin body of mine for this jaunt across Scotland and, indeed, will I have some shiny new kit and will I be psychologically, emotionally and financially ready in time for the Glasgow-Mallaig train on that fateful Thursday lunchtime in the merry month of May (the finest month in all the year, I think you’ll find)


First of all, I need a new tent. I have resolved to get another akto. I can get one for £320 using my Durham Countryside Volunteers discount at Cotswolds. I don’t care. I like aktos,and I’m going to get one very soon indeed.  Everything else will just have to do. I might buy some gas and some more of those Fuzion scoffbags – although I should have the opportunity to test out more of these over the coming months.

by haweswater

Wottabout fitness?, I hear you exclaim, loudly. What I normally do, is build up some distance walking, so in February, I’ll do a fifteen mile walk, in March a seventeen miler and in April a twenty miler. This is enough. If, on a TGO challenge, I find myself walking more than nineteen miles, then I consider that I’ve cocked it up somewhere. Sometimes it happens, usually it doesn’t. I’ve done this eleven times now, so I know that I don’t need to have big, long days. I’ll be doing other walking, too – I’ve got six guided walks to lead, which means twelve walks including the reccies, plus at least one other walk per week as well. And superdawg needs his little trundles in between….

brecon (s wales, see..?)

Then there’s backpacking. There are three planned trips:

In March, it’s South Wales with Dawn – a four or five day wander aimed at bagging Cefn yr Ystrad from Abergavenny plus some general wandering about. We shouldn’t be working too hard on this one and distances should be modest.


In April, there’s the Backpackers Club AGM in Ulverston. Again, me and Dawn plan to be wandering the Lake District hills – probably between Eskdale and Millom just prior to the AGM. Black Combe is on the list plus other Wainwright outliers.

moffat to peebles 2011

And then, a bit earlier in April,  there’s the “TGO Training walk” which this year will be from Lauder to Dunbar, mainly using the Northern scarp of the Lammermuir Hills. Finishing at the North sea following a short road walk and with the possibility of Fish and Chips and beer is very realistic as far as TGO training is concerned. We have seven people attending this expedition including several bloggers and TGO challenge-types. (And me and Dawn) We’ll start off gently and build up to a crescendo of burning boot soles and searing calf muscles after a few days. There are no pubs in the middle of this, although there’s three at the start and half a dozen at the end.

Financially – Anybody want to buy a Big Issue?

That orta do it, I should expect. If it doesn’t,  well , nobody can say we didn’t try.

2013 TGO Challenge will be my twelfth and a half (2001 half challenge) – should I turn up at Montrose.



Alan R said...

So whats wrong with the tent you used at the weekend in the snow?
You could save the £300 for the pub.
Now that would be nice.

I agree, May is a great month.

We had planned a backpack this weekend but we have woof problems and need to spend to stop the snow getting in the loft.
Plus we go to Spain for walkies in 10 days.

Louise said...

Oooo! Who's gonna be there, along with you and Dawn, do tell!!

John said...

Splendid, splendid!

Today I started my training for your beer & Fish and Chips trip.

I'll probably have to go out again before April though....


Mike Knipe said...

Alan - I used Dawn's macpac wot she lent me. So, apart from not being mine ,its too small! Other than that, it's fine.
Louise, you tease, Louise. I'll just say that I have new trousers.
JJ - As you say, splendide. And I just confirmed that the Lauder campsite is open which is a start. Actually, it IS a astart... (see wot I did there... koff..)

Al said...

Cor...thats some trips you've got planned! That retirement caper's good in'it. I look forward to lots of reports of said trips, if you've got the time. Might see you at the AGM in Ulverston?

QDanT said...

Don't forget the Bacon
cheers Danny

Mike Knipe said...

Al - If we're not at Ulverston,we're still up the hill... mine's a pint, ta..!
Dan - I was once approached by a ghillie who'd travelled two miles on his ATV following the perfume of frying bacon and tattie scones. Fed 'im, obviously...

Alan Sloman said...

You ought to be careful you know. Us old folk might get worn out with a schedule like that before we even get to Glasgow.

I wonder why Mr T kicked his route back, eh?


Mike Knipe said...

I'm tweeted out already. Colin didn't like the Fords of Avon as a FWA, apparently. It's all played out in a circular series of eye-glazing tweets. I couldn't resist, I'm afraid, due to being sober. I will punish myself with nettles as soon as they start growing again in the spring.

Alan Sloman said...

Just read the three hour long thread!

You should be the new Pope.

I would have sent the whippersnapper off with a flea in his lug'ole. Ford of Avon FWA indeed.

:-) Yoof!

Anonymous said...

My preparation is coming along nicely. I've bought a rucksack and some gas. And I'll be walking between pubs and chip shops in April, so not much more left to do really. I started following the FWA tweet-fest but got the impression that it wouldn't help if I said I'm sure I've had the Fords of Avon as a FWA!?!

Louise said...

We did the Fords as an FWA last year, horizontal snow, river bed for a path. Planned it into my revision before Christmas but haven't heard back...yet
Luckily I don't tweet :-D