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.

Wednesday, 27 May 1998

Day 29 - Spey and the Meagaidh ridge

Tim and I were quite Watershed-hardened by now, but Bartow and the twins struggled with the terrain, the weight of their packs, and inadequate food.

We made it by lunchtime to this peat shelter below Carn Leac, but decided that the rest of the route back to their car would be beyond them in the time available. Because Tim and I had the experience and the maps, we decided to accompany them down (on yet another diversion from the Watershed) - and we had a good time together.

This meant that the rest of this section was actually done by Tim and me when we filled in the gaps on 12/5/99 having walked up to Carn Leac from the Corrieyairack Pass (and another minor indiscretion was rectified by us on 15/7/2000).

The southward walk from Carn Leac to the Craig Meagaith ridge was notable for the parallel roads in Glen Roy to our right, and the infant Loch Spey to our left. The Watershed reaches the ridge just east of Stob Poite Coire Ardair, but we didn't bag it because the route turns sharply to the east along the ridge. We climbed the gentle slopes of Carn Liath, and then dropped south from Coire Dubh, with good views of Loch Laggan and the Monarch of the Glen castle.

Onto map 35, over Meall Ghoirleig and through the boggy terrain of Glen Shirra before taking in a distinctive but innominate summit (622m) near Loch na Lairige. Finally we dropped steeply down through rowan trees and past a fine waterfall, to reach the A86 at Feagour.

[If this part of the section had been walked continuously rather than as described, we would probably have camped somewhere along the Meagaith ridge.]

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