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.
Monday, 25 May 1998
Day 27 - above Loch Arkaig
Once again we decided that we wouldn't reach Bartow and the boys in time, so we took a faster and more direct line to meet them.
I walked the section from 145944 solo on 10/5/99 to join it up. I enjoyed good visibility that day, with extensive views over Lochs Garry, Arkaig, Lochy and Ness. Because I wasn't carrying a tent and food, the walking was much easier than usual.
After an ascent of Meall Coire nan Saobhaidh, the route dropped down into the flat area by Lochan Fhudair. This lochan is shown on the map as flowing out from both ends, so I crossed what seemed the lesser outflow (south), then climbed Sron a Choire Ghairbh. I was expecting to find a visitors' book in the cairn but I learned later that it had disappeared a couple of years before.
There followed a beautiful ridge walk above snowfields, then straight up the steep side of Ben Tee. The descent to the point where the watershed crosses the Caledonian Canal (290973 approximately) was pleasant and fast, the only difficulty being to choose the exact two streams to walk between on the way down through the heather.