TGO Team Canada 2016

Adam, Brendan, Dara and Liam

The TGO Challenge is a hike across Scotland from West to East.  Applications are made in October and 300 places offered.  A route is planned and filed and approved as the terrain is remote and weather is variable (variable - in Scotland??)   .   The hike is about 300Kms through the highlands and ends in Montrose.  Our plan is to start in Torridon.  Finish is in Montrose.
TEAM:  Dara, Liam and perhaps a couple of other people from Ottawa.


TGO Team Canada has applied!    High expectations of the four of us being in.

Dates:  May 13 to May 27th.  Add one week before to allow arrival in Torridon and some warm up hiking.  Dara's plan is to leave Ottawa Saturday May 7th or so.  Latest arrival in Torridon should be May 11th to allow final preparations and pints.  Allow one day to get from Glasgow to Torridon.  Train from Glasgow to Inverness is 22 pounds and takes about 4 hours.   So may be fine just to go to Inverness which would mean arrival late afternoon.  Sleep Inverness Tourist Hostel then to Torridon the next morning at 9am to arrive strathcarron at 11a.m.    Shared Taxi from strathcarron to Torridon.  Costs to get to Torridon from Glasgow will be about $90 pp or so.  

Leave Ottawa  - May 1st.  Return to Ottawa May 24th TENTATIVE

Fee is 50 Pounds Sterling or about C$90
Air and such - $1100
Accommodations - 7 nights at $80 pps.  C$600.  Including en route.
Food etc.  C$50 per day = $1000
Total costs:  C$3000 per person give or take.


Route planning is the major item.  Maps to acquire, route to plan and GPS to be prepared.  Map and compass ability is essential.
Distance is 200 MILES (?) or 300 KMS approx so need to do 13 MILES (20Kms) per Day average.
OS Explorer - 429 - Glen Carron & West Monar for near Torridon.  New version in Sept. so wait until approved before buying the various OS Landranger maps needed.
OS Explorer 430 - down to Loch Monar assuming hiking along North Side to Monar Lodge.
OS Explorer 431 - Down to Drumnadrochit for cross of Ness.

MAPS - 50000 Rangerovers.  RECOMMENDED
Nos 25, 26, 35, 36, 43, 44, 45

DAY 1-3 Torridon - Gerry's Hostel
DAY 4-6
DAY 7-10
DAY 11-14 ??? - Montrose.

Map 25.  DAY 1

START:   Torridon
From Torridon.  Via Loch An Eoin to Bealach na Lice - Bealach Ban  - Coire Lair - Achnashellach - Hostel at Craig.  Sleep craig at Gerry's Hostel. .  DIST 15 Miles = 24 Kms (1.6X).   note - may wild camp earlier subject to route chosen.  Amazing glens so we shall see.

MAP 25.  Day 2

Achnashellach - craig - to Alt an Chainais - rt to bhearnais then left along the river Alt Bealach and Crudainne Glenuaig Lodge hut or ruin just past that.   Loch Monar North Shore poor camping so on south side of Scoorr Na Chewaneacheann is good.
DIST 12 MILES 20 Kms.   Cumulative is 27Miles.  44 Kms.

 - to Loch Monar - along north side of Loch Monar - Then Loch Monar to Cannich.  There is a campsite in Cannich and a great Pub with burgers and such called Slaters Arms.

THEN Cannich to Drochnadorchit to get the ferry acoss Loch Ness.  A long road 15+ miles apparently.

Map 26

Map 35.  From arrival Inverfarraig go to Ault Na Goire - stay there Janet hosts.
Next day - Ault na goire to Drumnaglas Ladoge - trail Ault an Doire Leathain - E. to Beinn Bheac Bheag - trail to where Ault Calder meets Findhorn R.   Possible camp 1km before Coignafearn Old Lodge.

MAP 36


 Maybe some Harvey maps.
Trying to get a digital map for the Garmin 62S has been a pain.  I have downloaded from openstreetmaps but getting from the download into Basecamp (Garmin) then into the unit has been a challenge.   The integration of a preplanned route seems possible though so I will presevere.
Glasgow to Inverness on Scotrail - prebooked 22 pounds.  Then Inverness to Strathcarron on train.    That brings you to 10 miles from Torridon for either a hike or taxi. Torridon via Taxi or Bus (10 miles)  Stay Torridon Youth Hostel as hotels are $$$.

PART 1:   Torridon to Drumnadroichait
Day 1:  Torridon - Craig.   Stay Hostel.
Day 2:  Craig to
Day 3:  XXX to Drumnadrochait - take boat across the Loch.
PART 2:  Drumnadroichait to XXXXX
Part 3

Temperature expectations:

Planning for lows of 0 degrees and highs of 22 degrees.   Plenty or wind or rain can be expected but it could be nice and sunny the whole time.


Given the weather variation an extra layer is planned and additional attention to footwear and keeping dry if needed.   Hiking in the highlands will mean wet feet certainly so ensuring evening dry feet is essential.
Wind and rain probability means that cooking needs to be planned for minimal complexity which is fine.
Target pack weight:  5Kgs per person plus consumables.  Up to five days food to be carried at 600 grams per day = 3Kgs.   500Gms fuel.  Total pack weight including consumables under 10Kgs.
See separate gear list page for TGO.


Wild camping most of the time with some support from Bothies.   About three hostel/hotel or B&B stays can be anticipated on the route.  One tiny tent per person.


The TGO challenge allows 15 days to complete the crossing so 20 Kms per day is needed on average.



I love the hunt for interesting and performance gear but always people should look to what they have and only invest in stuff that makes a significant improvement in their adventure.

Big Three

Backpack - ZPacks ArcBlast.   Osprey Talon 33 for Liam.

Tent - Zpacks DuoPlex updated for poles.  Hiking poles.  One tent for two people.  There may also be a MSR Hubba Hubba NX two person tent which is great.  Also of interest is the Hilleberg Anjan but the price is high.

Sleeping Kit.  MEC Down Bag, MEC Silk liner, Neo Air, Thermarest Pillow

Backpack strap contents:  Phone, GPS, Filzer UFC TinyLight, Gerber Knife, Camera, Snacks, First Aid, maps, poles (Diamond Carbon), water bottles (Gatoraid).

Expected weight excluding items: 2Kgs approx.   Measured Weight: ?

Weather Clothing - warm bag

Rain Jacket - ZPacks rain jacket
Rain Pants - Montbell rain pants.  Retreated with WDR
Wind Jacket - Montbell Tachyon jacket
Warm Hat - BlackRockGear - Superb Light Down Hat.  Never go without it!
Buff - Buff


Trail Runners Altras Lone Peak (sizes up to 15! or Saucony. (1)
Foot socks - Smartwool toe socks. (3)
Dirtygirl gaiters. (1)
Maybe waterproof socks too (1) but I don't know anything about them sealskinz.
Down Tent booties from Goosefeetgear or any bootie or in camp foot comfort you like.

Clothing Bag

IceBreaker - briefs (2)
Icebreaker - Base Layer - short sleeve T.  (1)
Icebreaker - Base Layer 260 (1)
MEC T-3 Hoodie mid Layer (1)
Montbell - Warm Layer - Down Jacket (1)
Longjohns for night - MEC T3.
maybe some sealskinz waterproof socks for in camp.

Sleep booties or socks - Given wet feet often would be good for in tent.  Looking at down booties and covers as they are super light and highly recommended.
So if at 0 degrees . T+260+T3+Down+wind or rain jacket+down cap+rainpants+longjohns.


Total 400 Gms base kit.
Eagle Creek toiletry bag (24Gms) instead of Ziplock just for convenience.
Add weight of baby wipes or TP. to bring to 400 gms.
Extra Gatorade pee bottle for night.  20gms.

Tings Bag and worn tings

Zpacks travel pouch.
Emergency little Kit.
Electrical bag.  Charger, cables,
Gerber knife - in pocket
iPod mini and buds - in pack strap.
tiny light - on pack
Garmin 62S GPS - on pack
GOPRO Camera - on pack
Compass - one per person.  Swiss DP2 for me or Suunto.
Dynma rope 20M.
Tick Tweezers.  To buy.

Electronics Bag (inside tings bag)

Smartphone, cable, USB plug.

First Aid Kit - in TING BAG

Blister care, bandaids, second skin, Muskol, sunscreen,

Maps Bag

Not sure yet on map protection bag.
Paper maps from OS 50,000 Landranger series OR Rangerover 20,000
Digital maps on GPS Garmin S42  - maybe OS subscription.


STOVE sets separate from kitchen/eating stuff so they can be used flexibly.
Two sets. Stove 1 and 2.

Stove 1. - primary.
MSR Pocket Rocket plus canisters as needed.
flint plus lighter

Stove 2.secondary
Caldara Cone alcohol stove kit.
900Ml pot as Caldera is pot specific.
flint plus lighter.

Stove 3.
fire starter, lighter and flint.

Stove 4.
BioLite - Bushbuddy on steroids
fire starter, flint and lighter

Stove 5.
Bottle can meths stove
flint and lighter.

Kitchen stuff
Minimalist two person cookset.
Mini 2 person kitchen stuff and spork.
Water Filter - Sawyer.
pot grabber

wash scrubbie, soap. wipe cloth.

Food Bag

ZPacks Cuben Food Bag.
See menu separately.  Assume 500GMS food per day out.  Thus is four days out = 2Kgs and no water given availability then total pack weight should be 5Kgs plus 2Kgs = 7Kgs.   It will creep up to 8Kgs of other stuff and comfort allowance.

No comments:

Post a Comment