For those thinking about routes for the Rab TGO Challenge 2014 I thought I would report on some of the local intelligence that we picked up over the last few weeks.
Laggan is a popular passing place for TGO Challengers who are coming in from Shiel Bridge or Mallaig. Most Challengers will have spent the night at either Melgarve Bothy or at the Garva Birdge wild camp site. The walk to Laggan is a gentle one, along tarmac and then onto a branch of Wade’s old road. This walk deposits Challengers at the Monadhliath Hotel at lunchtime when real food has been much appreciated. Alos, in Laggan is a bunkhouse and café and the famous Laggan Stores.
Sadly, Laggan Stores closed last year and it looks as if it will be remaining closed. Last year new owners, from Australia I believe, took over the Hotel and changed its name to the Monarch. Their concept was more of a fine dining hotel than the place we have known and loved. Although the Monarch hotel looked after Challengers last year this has now closed and the future of the establishment is a bit confused. It would seem the owners are now converting the old hotel to self catering apartments but it is not clear whether these will be available for Challengers. This leaves the bunk house and apparently they have decided they don’t want single overnight visitors but are looking for groups who are staying for more than one day. This might change but the inference is that this won’t be available to Challengers either!
If you are planning a first walk along this route don’t panic, it just means you will have to walk a little longer to get a full meal!
The Glen Truim Campsite still is open a few miles away from Laggan along a quiet lane. This is a lovely site that will take food parcels in advance. It puts you on a good line for a walk to Phones and the overland walk along Wade’s Road towards Ruthven Barrcks. You can easily make the bothy at Glen Feshie from Glen Truim in day.
Alternatively, from Glen Truim you can take the cycle track that runs along the A9 to Newtonmore. AT Newtonmore you will find the Newtonmore Hostel (run by Sue and Ali — themselves Challengers) and a lot of other accommodation including hostels, hotels and B&Bs. Gluttons for punishment can carry on along the tarmac to Kingussie and the hostel and hotels there.
Keep watching the Challenge noticeboard. Sue at Newtonmore will be keeping us all up to date!