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Picture of Doodle - a 
black cat

Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010


TGO Logo
Next month the fateful October issue of the TGO magazine will be published (magazines are a bit odd datewise). Fateful, because it will contain, along with alluring tales of 2010, the application form for the TGO Challenge in May 2011. I’ve been mulling over routes during the last few days, and a surprising idea has popped into my head.

This time I think I might resist the siren call.

Not because the event isn’t just fantastic (it is), not because there is no social side (I take weeks to recover from the socialising) and not because I wouldn’t be traversing some of the finest wilderness walking that Europe has to offer – and without any paint splashes and helpful little signs to help me on my way. All of this is immensely appealing, as is the fact that it is a linear walk, with each day bringing a new horizon.

It’s that last point that is the problem – each day brings a new horizon. Sometimes I’ve wanted to keep the same horizon for a day or two. Four or five times now I’ve planned a superb ridge walk or other high level foray only to be forced to take a foul weather alternative (OK, OK, sometimes we wimped out). The next day, when I’m fifteen miles further on, the weather has been great. If only I could have sat it out, and not been walking to a schedule.

Alan Sloman in snow shower
I know that many people will happily slog along in driving sleet and zero visibility. In fact I believe that some of the more puritan souls prefer it that way, to judge by their responses to any comment on the weather. “Ah but you should have been here back in ’86. We had to use Braille maps, and wearing three sets of mittens too”.

I understand them to a point, and I’ll admit to experiencing a frisson of delight as a trig point or cairn emerges from the freezing murk after a tricky bit of navigation. But this starts to wear a bit thin by cairn number five. I do like a fine view. In fact my chief purpose in climbing a hill is to get one, otherwise, what is the point? Munro, Corbett, Graham, or whatever bothers me not a jot.

This should not be mistaken for a yen for fine weather – I love to see showers moving across the landscape, and passing periods of snow, hail and blustery rain usually enhance rather than detract from the experience.

“Passing” being the key word there, of course, and the showers preferably falling on someone else.

So, will next year be my year of the missing pieces? All those delicious bits of previous challenges that, for one reason or another, I missed. This may well mean staying put for a day or two before heading off to the next part of the adventure, but I will get them done.

“But I will get them done”. Oh no! … saying that makes me a ‘list ticker’ …. I’ll be drawing up tables next and people will start setting off to ‘do the Lamberts’.

Oh deary me. Maybe I should apply as usual, and just keep the missing pieces scheme as backup in case I don’t get on. I could combine all my missing pieces into one great and gloriously eccentric challenge route. Or, maybe I'll try a completely new approach ... but then I'd miss ... er ... oh, I don't know ...

Decisions. All the time, decisions!



Blogger John J said...

Ah, gwan, gwan....you know you want to!


BTW, word: amycolfu.

A nice girl with a bit of a health problem?

August 13, 2010 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Very well, I cast indecision aside! I'll definitely think it over ...

August 14, 2010 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Mike Knipe said...

I'm having a TGO year off - but I've asked Roger if the girls at Tarfside would like a slave for a few days - giving me chance to bag some local marilyns, plus, I can have a few days mooching around the Loch Ossian/Ben Alder area for the bagging of Munros.
I can also point and laugh at passing TGO-ists with their blisters and packs full of porridge... whilst lazing in my tent.
Makes a change anyway..

September 10, 2010 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Dunnit chaps!

The application is in the post. This will be my ninth (not counting the mini challenge). Leg-end status us just around the corner.

Who'd a thought it back in'99?

September 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

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