TGO Challenge 2012
About The Challenge
The TGO Challenge is an annual self-supported walking event across the Highlands of Scotland, west coast to east coast. It started in 1980 and was the brainchild of the well-known writer and mountaineer, Hamish Brown.
Challengers are responsible for planning their own routes; all routes are checked by experienced vetters, who offer comments which may assist in final planning. Routes can be high or low level or a mixture of both. This flexibility in the route you take, combined with the large geographical area available, is one of the unique features of the Challenge.
There are 12 permitted start points on the west coast. They are:
Ardrishaig, Oban, Acharacle, Lochailort, Arisaig,Mallaig, Glenelg, Shiel Bridge, Dornie, Strathcarron, Plockton, Torridon. You can finish anywhere between Fraserburgh and Arbroath in the east, all participants have to report to the control centre in Montrose once they have finished.
The TGO Challenge is entirely non-competitive (although, on finishing, Challengers receive a special badge, certificate and T-shirt). A maximum of 15 days is allowed for the crossing. Most people take between 12 and 14 days to cross, and the average length for a crossing is about 180 miles.
As this is our first attempt we’ve opted for a fairly steady route, starting at Shiel Bridge we won’t be alone for the first few days. Our path will take us through some true gems of the Scottish Highlands, Glen Affric, the Monadhliath mountains, Glen Feshie and The Cairngorms. Terrain will be a mixture of high heather moorland and low lying bogs with a few nice tracks for good measure, some will be horrific too.
We’ll be camping every night unless we’re forced to seek something warm and cosy if the weather turns, wild camping all the way with proper campsites at three day intervals, these will be our resupply pickups and also a chance to get a shower and wash some stinky clothes.
Our days will average at around fifteen miles, some will be shorter and some will be torture.