When I first moved to Aviemore a few years ago and started to discover the Scottish mountains, the TGO Challenge was one of those dream events that offered the opportunity to spend a whole two weeks exploring the wilds of Scotland by means of a coast to coast backpacking trip. The challenge has been running for more than 30 years now, and is exceptionally popular with participants being selected using a draw system. I never seemed to align with the application date and had put the event down to something that I was just never meant to get the change to take part in. Until now that is.
My adventuring partner in crime, Laraine, and I are constantly conjuring up ‘things’ to do – together, with others, or alone – we always seems to have a plan on the go, and to my delight, Laraine offered up the chance to join her on the TGO Challenge since she had secured a place!
The challenge is a self-supported hike across Scotland – the route is mapped by each team themselves and must start in a location on the west coast of Scotland, with the end point being on the east coast – read Laraine’s account for the full logistics. Our route, which Laraine has kindly (and patiently) mapped takes us through some of Scotland’s most spectacular locations, including; Knoydart, along the Great Glen Way, skirting through the Cairngorms at Glen Feshie and Braemar, and finishing at one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.
In total, we’ll be walking almost 200 miles and for around 12 days – the long term weather forecast looks promising, we may even nab a bit of a Scottish tan. Planning for such an event requires masses of effort and attention to details – we’re currently working on establishing how many calories we need per day, and what foodstuffs can provide this plus the maximum amount of nutrition, yet weigh a minimal amount – hopefully Laraine’s math skills are a bit better than mine!
Laraine has penned an article for Sealskinz if you are interested in reading a bit more about our challenge – can be found here.
As always, I am fundraising for Yogability – a Glasgow based charity, set up by two of my dear yoga pals, to provide free-of-charge yoga to children and young people with disabilities. Helen and Debbie do the most amazing work, but as a young charity completely rely on donations and support – please consider making a donation if you are able to do so.