Thursday, 12 August 2010

Plan B to be actioned

When I first discovered the TGO Challenge, I had every intention of planning and completing the Challenge by myself. It didn't occur to me that David would be interested, I thought I'd just have to persuade him to let me go off and adventure whilst he stayed home to work and look after the children. After all, I've looked after them by myself for weeks on end at times, it must be his turn!

I was surprised and delighted when he said he'd like to come along too, so then I assumed I would have to wait a few years until either Rhiannon was old enough and willing to look after Conall, (they have a very good relationship, so no concerns there) or wait a few years more until he was old enough to look after himself. Just think how much planning and preparation I could have done in that time? I was therefore very surprised again to find that my mum was willing to give up her time to look after the children this year, so that we could do the Challenge together sooner. Obviously, this plan was scuppered. And mum has expressed concerns at being able to 'cope with the catering', having had a practice run when we didn't do the Challenge in May. (Bearing in mind, all the main meals were frozen in foil trays with instructions...)

To add to the dilema, David is back to his studying next year, and really won't be able to afford nearly three weeks off in May for this, then two weeks in July for our trip to Orkney (all booked, by the way, yey!), not to mention all the training required.

So, what to do?

Well, the answer is, I'm back to planning my first solo Challenge. I feel more nervous than I did originally, simply because in the meantime I've got used to the idea of David being with me and relying on his knowledge and experience. Or at the very least his cool and calm exterior and strength to carry on when I've fallen asleep in a corner somewhere, as is my wont.

To allow for my inexperience and to lessen the strain, I've adapted my original route to allow for perhaps shorter days and slightly less climb. For instance, I think I'll give Lochnagar a miss. It's the edges thing again, I'm not going to attempt a hill with even the  slightest hint of edges on my own! There's still a bit of navigation required, but not enough to give me nightmares, and I don't think I'll ever truely be on my own on this route anyway, so I'll be able to make like a sheep, bah.

This could make for a very 'sociable' first time route. Not a bad thing, me thinks.

11 comments:

Laura said...

Don't hesitate! You'll love the Challenge I just know it!

Louise said...

So long as I don't think too hard about the enormity of it (for me) then I'm really looking forward to it. Perhaps our paths will cross somewhere, a friendly face will be good!

Phreerunner said...

I'm sure you'll have no problems with friendly faces. Always bear in mind that if the weather is good and you are going well, a Fine Weather Alternative can be put into place, so it's worthwhile keeping those options in mind and taking the maps. You'll find others to accompany you to popular summits like Lochnagar anyway.

Louise said...

Thanks Martin, I'm very grateful to everyone for all the encouragement I'm getting for this (long-planned!) adventure.

Still think I'll give Lochnagar a miss this time, only David knows how to handle my wobbles. They tend to be tearful. And a bit 'blue'...

Mike Knipe said...

Go for it!
Lochnagar isn't compulsory - and there's lots and lots of alternatives.
You can have my place next year BTW - I'm having a rest(!)

Alan Sloman said...

What great news! Go for it, Miss! There will be loads and loads of Challengers on the more sociable routes who will help with way-finding. You'll find that as a solo walker you will get to meet more Challengers and so have a whale of a time.
All the very best
Alan

Louise said...

Thanks Mike, what a gent (would be nice to meet you some time though!) and thanks Alan. I am really looking forward to it, with just a hint of trepidation, but I wouldn't want to be over confident.

So long as I don't meet the mad axe murder that looms large in my imagination...

Helen Fisher said...

I'm in a similar boat! Will be my first one but likely on my own, and I agree with the guys, I'm sure there'll be enough friendly people about to help.
As far as axe murderers go, I've just done the WHW on my own and the only time I felt at all threatened was by 3 drunk Glaswegian guys in a proper campsite! So stick to the hills!!

Louise said...

Hi Helen, you're having a go too? Great, perhaps our paths will cross, I'm looking forward to meeting some of the people I've come across in the blogging world.

Hm, drunken Glaswegians, they get everywhere!

Just about to post my entry form...

Maz said...

I've never done the TGO but judging from the bloggers that have, and the number of them, there'll be plenty of friendly faces knocking around. Also, you'll get used to it very quickly I'm sure and all the nerves will simply be replaced by a sense of achievement. If you can, do it. It's something on my list but too much else to do right now!

Louise said...

Now I've posted my application and know it's been received, the enormity is sinking in. I know I can do it, if I take my time and I'm sensible (me? That could be the tricky bit) but I'm so used to walking with my trusty sidekick, I think that's what will be so strange. I can't wait!