I enjoyed this year’s Challenge so much that I applied for next year’s. Yesterday the letter confirming that I had been successful in the ballot popped through my door.
Actually, I knew that I had been successful on Friday as the cheque had been cashed on my bank statement. I had already booked a room in The Park Hotel on the basis that if I had to cancel, they could easily find another taker. Over the weekend, I booked my other accommodation, to avoid disappointment.
I was sorely tempted to repeat a Strathcarron start as it was such a brilliant place. However, I’ve decided to start at Dornie this time. I’ve more or less decided a route. I’ll give more details after it’s been vetted.
My intended route is somewhat more challenging than this year’s. Days 2 and 3 are ridges North and South of Glen Affric. Both days have simple Foul Weather Alternatives and bail out options if weather or fitness dictate.
I shall be crossing the Great Glen at Fort Augustus, where I will be meeting Andy Walker. We are intending to walk to Stronelairg to savour the scenery before it gets destroyed with a wind farm. We will do a bit of zig zag through the Monadhliath to Aviemore.
From Aviemore, I will head for the Cheese & Wine party at the Water of Caiplich. If the weather is good on the following day, I’d like to go up Beinn a Bhuird and Ben Avon. I’m going to Ballater again rather than Braemar.
I’m not 100% decided from Ballater, but will probably go to Dinnet, then the Water of Allachy and over to Tarfside. I’m probably going to finish at a Tangleha, just for the name!
Rather than submit my route immediately, I shall mull over a few tweaks, but I think it’s a decent route with some good wilderness walking and wild camping opportunities.