Thank you everyone

Thanks to everyone for their comments on my abortive TGO Challenge. Your encouragement has been a real help to overcome the huge disappointment of having to pull out.

I also want to publicly thank all those who walked with me, particularly the Fowkes family, Lee Wells, Tony Bowe, Stan Appleton and Emma Warbrick. Also Dave Godfrey, Kate O’Shea and Jane Eggleston were good company. They’ve all given me some good memories of my 2012 Challenge.

l to r: Stan, Emma, Jane and Kate.


16 thoughts on “Thank you everyone”

  1. I think many people underestimate just what a challenge the TGOC is and it’s all too easy to forget when back at home. You effectively broke the back of it and suffered through the worst weather but were finally undone by illness. A stomach bug is bad enough at home in your own bathroom but in a tent in bad weather… I think you made the right call.

    How about next year? Do you think you would apply again?

    1. How right you are. I was reasonably well prepared and I found it tough. As you say, I’d done the hard bit, especially catching up after being knocked half a day behind. To be hit by illness was very disappointing, but there’s nothing you can do about it. At least I could get home easily.

      I will do it again, but next year may not be possible. 2014 looks more feasible. What I do know is that, without illness or injury, I should be able to do it.

  2. The mountains will always be there ready in the future. Part of the skill of long distance walking is to know when to stop, for whatever reason (and illness is something you dont normally expect). I am sure you will get to complete it in the near future.

    At least you got some walking in and the pictures do look marvellous. I reckon you need some glorious walking in the Brecon Beacons to help make up for missing out on the TGO

    1. Cheers. Brecon is beckoning when we can see how dog recovers from op at end of May. Won’t be free until June probably.

      1. Thats fine Robin, let me know when you reckon you have a window of opportunity (with a couple of weeks notice if poss! 🙂 )

        June/July currently good for me \o/

  3. Shame you had to Abandon it Robin, but by the sounds of it you did the right thing and as others have said the Mountains will always be there.

  4. Thanks for all your kind comments but we only did what I hope most Challengers would do – look after each other. Although Emma and I got over the Devils Staircase in the storm we were both close to our limit and I was blown over, so pulling back to Kingshouse was sensible for you. Great to talk to you, and not only about gear, but so sorry we couldn’t continue conversations after Dalwhinnie.
    I hope you were well enough to get to Lords !

  5. Thanks from me too for your kind comments. You definitely made the right decision as the next stage from Dalwhinnie to Glen Feshie was a long, tough day. It was a pleasure to meet you and I am sorry we couldn’t continue walking together. Hope to see you on TGOC 2014?

    1. I shall be applying again, so hope to see you again. 2014 looks more likely than 2013, but you never know!

  6. Hi Robin,

    I’m David Godfrey and we briefly met at The MacDonald Hotel and Culra Bothy on this years Challenge.

    I was sorry to hear that illness forced you to abandon this years Challenge and hope you are well on the way to recovery.

    I know it won’t be any consolation to you at this time but knowing someone else suffered in a similar fashion on his first event may help. In 2002, I got as far as Rannoch Station and suffered with extreme stomach pain and absolutely no control of my bowels. I knew I was ill and that I couldn’t continue the challenge. I was fortunate to be close to the railway station and immediately returned home. I was unfit to return to work for a month and diagnosed with severe gastric enteritis.

    Was it down to my poor hygiene, contaminated water, or food poisoning? I just don’t know, the tests were inconclusive….but since my illness, on any backpacking trip I undertake now, I never drink untreated water and make regular use of gel hand sanitizer.

    This year I completed my 10th crossing!!! That’s every year since from 2003 to 2012 (some off the standby list) so maybe you’ll complete yours by 2022!!!

    1. I remember you well and enjoyed your company. Fortunately my condition turned out to be relatively mild, lasting only a few days, but you never know. As they say in cricket, you can only play what is in front of you. The biggest disappointment was not giving up but not meeting all the people again that I’d met or walked with. I was looking forward to Braemar, Tarfside and Montrose. I shall be applying again, so hopefully we’ll meet again. Well done on your tenth. Now you’re a legend!

  7. Robin,

    Since returning to Sunny West Mids after the trial by snow, sleet, rain,cold and ferocious heat I feel more like a leg end!!! Back to your blog which makes interesting reading but no tab for modifying the original 2 kg Hilleberg Akto!!!

    1. I had an Akto a while ago but after I bought a Laser Comp and then a Scarp, I no longer needed it so I gave it away. It wasn’t so amenable to mods like the Comp or the Scarp so than than a little bit of sealing here and there, I didn’t do much to it. Although I think it’s a good tent, the Scarp is better IMO.

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