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Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice

Hi Andrew, both routes will be enjoyable. It may not be as simple as a two-route choice now because routes from Aviemore to Linn of Dee (via Lairig Ghru or Fords of Avon) will need an FWA and the most obvious FWA is to go via Glen Feshie. So, ultimately you will have two routes on your route sheet along the lines of those that you are already considering. Therefore you don't need to make the final decision until you get to Aviemore and consider the weather conditions.

An alternative, simpler route, not requiring an FWA, would be to turn E at Fords of Avon and head towards Ballater instead of Linn of Dee / Braemar.

Others may have a different view.

Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice

Adrian, Thanks for the response. I think I should have made my thoughts clearer and realize I didn't give enough information. I have decided to hike to Fort Augustus and then to Laggan and walk to the northwest toward Newtonmore and Kingussie. I had planned to go to Aviemore and then south to the Linn of Dee (via Lairig Ghru). I then discovered the other route that I mentioned- south along Glen Feshie-This route is lower and no FWA needed. It also looks like a great hike. So I guess I am wondering if I should not continue east to Aviemore and the route along Lairg Ghru (with the FWA) or select the lower route along Glen Feshie. Only knowing what I read they both seem like great hikes but dont have any practical experiences to decide. Would love to push myself and have no issue doing altitude but as you point out would require an FWA and this would alter the several days following. I was hoping someone with knowledge or experience of the routes could tip the scale one way or another. I am not set on either route and will look into the FWA you mention. Thank you again for the reply.


Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice

I've done the 'turn east at Fords of Avon' route a couple of times - and very enjoyable it is too.
One year, following this route, I turned south at NJ179073, Glen Builg, and continued to Braemar and on Callater. It was outstanf=ding - although the weather *was* good! (Well, it wasn't raining!)

Other routes are available....just hang around, someone will surely be along soon!

Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice


thanks for the input. Open to all and any suggestions.


Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice

Andrew, it really is a matter of choice, either route (Feshie or Ghru) will be a fine walk. One is simpler because it doesn't require an FWA but is nevertheless a fine walk. The Ghru is undoubtedly tougher than Feshie. I have walked all of the routes that we are discussing on and outside the challenge. I think you are suffering from "route fomo" - a condition I am very familiar with; just bear in mind that when you have done one challenge you are likely to want to come back. This year I am planning my route which puts some of my FWAs from last year as my main route, because I like the look of them and didn't get to walk them last year.

This may help, or it may add to your dilemma. Here are a couple of quotes from Chris Townsend's book "Scotland" which I thoroughly recommend as an aid to route planning.

"Glen Feshie is the easiest walking route from Strathspey to Deeside, the crossing over to the Geldie Burn is far less mountainous than the Lairig an Laoigh or Lairig Ghru. ...There's a path all the way and this is a fine through route. The glen Feshie section is the best part of it..."

"The Lairig Ghru is one of the finest and best-known high mountain passes in the Highlands, linking Strathspey and Deeside through the heart of the Cairngorms. ...to the North the pass appears as a huge steep-sided cleft between Creag an Leth-choin and Sron na Lairige."

Hope that helps...

Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice


Agree I am involved in the process and would love to be able to do it all-guess I may have to save it for another crossing ;) Will sit on it for a few days and make a decision. Makes me question the route choices up to that point. Both routes are calling to me so not sure which way to go. Thanks for your input. Appreciate it-Think I am leaning toward trying the higher pass Lairig Ghru and hope the weather will be good and allow this. Appreciate the input.


Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice

The Lairig Ghru is a classic high mountain pass - if I was only doing the crossing once, I’d probably go this way. The path is rocky and fairly horrible, the views are amazing. Glen Feshie is one of the best re-wilded higher glens and is easy walking. You won’t be disappointed with either. Its a win-win situation.

Re: TGO Challenge 2023 route choice


Thank you for the input. I am leaning toward the Lairig Ghru as I have been fairly conservative with the rest of my routing-seeing that this is my first time backpacking in Scotland. Noth routes come highly rated and I am torn between them. I am going to hope the weather cooperates and I can experience this route but as required have a FWA to fall back on. Thanks again for your response.