Why my TGOC ended so soon

Well after all the prep and training, Jay and I set off from Devon in the early hours of Monday 6th May arriving at my house in Scotland at approx 1000 on the 7th.

Exodus packed for the challange, Prophet with my spares and things I have not yet decided on.

We had stopped on route to drop off some gear to a friend in Carlisle, as well as having a few coffee’s.

Over the next few days we both went through our kit with a fine tooth comb. With the weather forecasts changing every five minutes we both decided to plan for a cool crossing.

I was pretty happy with my initial pack weight as pictured below, however, after adding some more food and additional water, the weight went up a little. I will put a link to a full kit list at the bottom of the page.

When we arrived in Mallaig my pack weighed in at 10.5KG inc water ect. Alchol added later bumped the weight up a little more.

On the morning of the 9th, we made our way into Glasgow and then onward to Mallaig. Travelling by train thorugh some of the most
beautiful countryside I have ever seen.

The train was packed with challengers, those starting at Oban and the rest Mallaig with a few other hikers dotted amoung us all.

Thankfully the train had charging points and was relativly comfy.

After nearly seven hours on the train we arrived in Mallaig. We had tried to book accomidation in the town but everything was booked. We therefor planned to camp above the town.

Before walking out of town to find a pitch for the night we went to the Co-Op, picked up form fresh food and water and then to the chip shop where Jay took the last cod, leaving me with a rather tasty Haddock.


After dinner we headed to the mast above the town and found a good spot to bed down for the night.

MLD Trailstar and Luxe Hexpeak V4

We both slept well and woke in time to pack down just before the rain came in, headed down to the West Highland Hotel to sign out and then got the ferry to Inverie.

The Ferry to Inverie was cold and wet, although a fairly smooth crossing.

Looking back at Inverie about a mile in

Unfortunatly for me, not too long after we set off, I started to feel a sharp pain in my right foot. This pain continued mile after mile and I made Jay aware.

We both carried on, there were lots of ‘Wow’ and ‘that’s worth a picture’.

Around 1430 we reached an old building and decided to have some lunch. During lunch I checked my foot over, it was extremely painful and after considering my options, I decided to turn back, ending my TGO really before we had even started….

It was a very hard decision to make but as it turns out was the right one to make.

The moment I said goodbye to Jay and we went our seperate ways 🙁

When I got back to Mallaig I was lucky to find a bed at the Mission Bunkhouse, somewhere I would use again, the rooms were nice and clean with a good amount of room and good facilities.

The next morning, I caught the 0603 to Glasgow. When I got to Glasgow, my foot was so painful I found it hard to walk to my car and harder to drive the 10 miles home.

As my foot was still extremly painful the following day I decided to go to A&E and get it checked out.

I was seen very quickly and could not have asked for better treatment.

It turns out that I have stress fractures in two of my metatarsals and they appear to be allot older than a few days. The doctor things that what was diaginosed 18ish months ago as Metatarsalgia was/is in fact stress fractures that have not been given time to heal.

I fully intend to complete a TGO, it has been one of my goals since I started hiking again.

  1. Gutted for you, but a good decision. Next year will be all the sweeter! Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks Mark

  2. I had to retire from my first Challenge half way with a stomach bug. Subsequently I’ve completed three. My first completion was doubly satisfying given the disappointment of my first attempt. Hopefully you will get another chance.

    1. Thanks Robin, I will rest up and hopfully be in a much better position next time.

  3. A shame Dave but obviously the only decision. Next time will be all the better. Good luck getting on the Challenge next year.
    Had some Plantar Fasciitis leading up to the Challenge and it pained me daily but not bad enough to put me out and it was clearly not a fracture or anything as serious but it was a concern in the build up. You can’t account for how your body will react to a long hike.

    Atb for a swift recovery.


    1. Thanks mate, I enjoyed following yours and others crossing on Instagram and Twitter. Looking forward to completing a crossing even more now. ATB, Dave

  4. Such a shame Dave. We both really wanted to meet you and say thank you for the tent repair. We have a trip to Dorset planned in July, I will sms you dates and maybe we can have a cup of tea and a bun? Hope your foot is improving. Evy

    1. Sorry Evy, I have only just seen your message 😐 Hope your doing well. Duplex holding up ok?

  5. gutted for you mate, we met as we got off the ferry i handed you your bag.
    loving the blog and found your youtube. are you on tgo this year?

    1. Thanks. I’m not on this years TGO no. I hope to complete one though, my foot is much better but still a few issues.

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