|Camp in Glen Quoich on the TGO Challenge 2009|
There are 33 Munros on the route plus a handful of lower hills. How many of these I actually climb will depend largely on the weather. And the forecast is not good. Tomorrow the current stormy weather is meant to slowly clear, giving a fine afternoon and evening, which is when I'll be walking. Saturday looks good too. Then it all changes. On Sunday heavy rain and winds gusting to 80mph at 900 metres are forecast and the storms are predicted to continue through the next few days. On the summits the rain could be snow. And after that? The long range forecast is for more storms. Long range forecasts are notoriously unreliable. I am really hoping this one lives up to that.
The forecast is for it to be unseasonably cold too. With that plus the rain, snow and wind in mind I've modified my inital gear list, adding a warmer insulated jacket, a heavier waterproof jacket, long johns, overmitts, a second pair of spare socks. That's added a kilo or so to my load. With the initial six days supplies it's quite heavy at 18kg, including my cameras and tripod. I had hoped to carry less but I also don't want to be cold or wet. Balancing comfort with weight is part of the skill of backpacking.
I'll be reporting in TGO on the gear I use. Interesting items include the Mountain Laurel Designs silnylon Trailstar tarp with OookWorks OookTub groundsheet, Berghaus Mount Asgard Hybrid water-resistant down/Primaloft jacket and Westcomb Apoc Neoshell jacket. My pack is the old-style GoLite Quest and my stove the Trail Designs Caldera Ti-Tri, both veterans of my Pacific Northwest Trail hike. I don't think I'll be using wood as fuel that often on this trip though.
Now there's just time for some sleep before I leave. If I can get a connection and have time I may post during the walk. Otherwise I'll let you know how it went when I return.