Circular Walk from Elgin via Strathcarron, Spean Bridge and Montrose to Elgin


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ROUTE PLAN (Elgin,Strathcarron,Sheil Bridge,Montrose,Elgin)

This years walk developed from an idea to make the Challenge into a longer event, starting in the far north of Scotland a week before the official start, until I realised that in that time I could walk from home to the start avoiding all transport problems. It didn't take much thought to decide on a satisfactory completion, walking home afterwards. Here then is my account of this four week walk, I am not sure if it was a circular walk incorporating the TGO Challenge or a Challenge walk with start and end bits added! Whatever it was I had a wonderful time doing it leaving lots of footprints but no carbon one!

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I decided to include a number of Corbetts in my route this year, having crossed mainly Munros the last two years. My plan was for 21 but I only managed 15 and 8 Munros on the Challenge plus 3 Corbetts and a Munro before and after.

Route map with links to daily route descriptions

Elgin to Clais na Gaibhre Clais na Gaibhre to Meur Tuath Meur Tuath to Inverness Inverness to Tighachrochadair Tighachrochadair to River Meig River Meig to Strathcarron Strathcarron to Faochaig Faochaig to Sheil Bridge Sheil Bridge to Coireshub Coireshub to Lochan Nam Breac Lochan Nam Breac to Glen Pean Glen Pean to Glen Mallie Glenmallie to Lairig Leacach Lairig Leacach to Loch Ericht Loch Ericht to Kinloch Rannoch Kinloch Rannoch to Faskally Faskally to Gleann Fearnach Gleann Fearnach to Glencally Glencally to The Sheiling of Saughs Sheiling of Saughs to Brechin Brechin to Scurdie Ness and Montrose Montrose to Tarfside Tarfside to Ballater Ballater to Glen Ernan Glen Ernan to Suie Suie to Craigellachie Craigellachie to Elgin

You can click the route on the map or use the links below to reach the daily accounts.

Week 1: Elgin to Strathcarron.

I avoided roads as much as possible by taking a loop south over the hills to reach Inverness then, after some minor roads, through Glen Orrin and over a Corbett, Bac an Eich, for practice, to the River Meig and so to Strathcarron via the Bealach Bearnaise.

Click on link for access to days: Day 1 : Day 2 :Day 3 : Day 4 : Day 5 : Day 6

Week 2 (1st week of Challenge): Strathcarron to Lairg Leachach.

I wanted to spend as much time as I could in the hills of the west, so the route meandered south from Strathcarron to Sheil Bridge, Kinloch Hourn and Strathan before turning east to Sheil Bridge and the Lairg Leachach.. The only downside to this route is that I met no other Challengers after leaving the start until reaching Montrose.

Click on link for access to days: Day 7(1) : Day 8(2) :Day 9(3) : Day 10(4) : Day 11(5) : Day 12(6) : Day 13(7)

Week 3 (2nd Week of Challenge): Lairg Leachach to Montrose.

I had to plan a fairly direct route for this week in order to get to Montrose on time so after some tops and bogs to Kinloch Rannoch it was roadwork to Killiecrankie before taking to the hills again, Spittal of Glenshee, Clova and the Water of Saughs then rejoining the road to Brechin and Montrose.

Click on link for access to days: Day 14(8) : Day 15(9) :Day 16(10) : Day 17(11) : Day 18(12) : Day 19(13) : Day 20(14) : Day 21(15) :

Week 4:Montrose to Elgin.

This section started with a roadwalk to Tarfside then back on the hills to Ballater, Strathdon, Dufftown, Craigellachie and finally Elgin.

Click on link for quick access to days: Day 22 : Day 23 :Day 24 : Day 25 : Day 26 : Day 27

Total Distance walked = 730 km (450 miles)
Total height climbed = 30,500m (22 miles!)
Average per day = 27km + 1130m

Route profile for the TGO section of the walk

Route profile for the TGO section of the walk

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