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.

Friday, 29 May 1998

Day 31 - Ben Alder and Ossian

This was a very pleasant day, starting with a riverside walk of about 4k - very unusual for the Watershed. Then came a stiff climb to the summit of the Munro Beinn Bheoil, with views of Ben Alder (almost touchable) to the west, Loch Ericht below us to the NE, and Schiehallion in the distance to the SE.

We lunched at the bealach before climbing Ben Alder (at 1148m the highest Munro directly on the  Watershed - the Chrysanthemum west top doesn't quite count). The wind whipped up over the steep crags to our right, forming cloud as it did so - very dramatic. Tim took this photo at the top, complete with a snowball on the cairn to give it a temporary extra 10cm!

After dropping down to Bealach Cumhann and then over its equivalent Beinn, we found a bijou camping place in the heather at 455702, overlooking Loch Ossian (a childhood favourite of mine).

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