About this blog

The journey from John o'Groats to Land's End took place in 14 sections, starting in 1996 (a week or so each year). The idea came to me in 1995 and I completed the British JoGLE Watershed in June 2009.

I was joined by a number of relations and friends from time to time. Most notable among my walking companions were my son Tim (7 sections) and nephews Peter and Jonny.

After walking the first section in 1996 I discovered that Dave Hewitt had already pioneered the Scottish Watershed (to Cape Wrath) in 1987, and had published his excellent account Walking the Watershed in 1994. We have been in touch since then, and he has been a great encouragement.

A simple definition of the watershed is that any rain falling to the left of the path finishes in the North Sea or English Channel, and anything to the right flows into the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea or the Bristol Channel.

I believe that this was the first walk along the full length of the British JoGLE Watershed. I became aware just after I completed the journey that the late Mike Allen walked a slightly different version (from Land's End to Cape Wrath) between 1988 and 1994, so he will have covered the same ground apart from the most north-easterly 220km.

There have subsequently been several walks and publications about parts of the JoGLE watershed, including Peter Wright's 2010 Ribbon of Wildness account of his Scottish section walked in 2005, which has brought the subject of watershed walking in the UK to a wider audience.

I hope you enjoy this blog. I'm planning to publish a full account in 2013/4. A summary of the walk appeared in The Angry Corrie volume 76 in 2009.

Malcolm Wylie.

Tuesday, 16 July 1996

Day 8 - in peril on Ben Hee

After another flat boggy section which included a pedantic large horseshoe we were back into some decent hills. One highlight was coming upon a real stag party on Creag Dubh Mhor - there must have been over 50 of them.

When we reached Ben Hee we could see that it was completely protected by crags at its northeastern end - where the watershed required us to ascend. Rather than casting round for something better, we went up a very dodgy cliff alongside the waterfall feeding Loch a Choire Leacaich. We made it, but it was one of the riskiest manoeuvres of the whole Watershed.

The photo shows me (relieved) on the lovely broad ridge between the two tops of Ben Hee (highest point so far at 873m). We camped on the northwest ridge at 410344.

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