Access News

Below you will find information on some specific access issues in places that are popular with Challengers.  The nature of the Event and the remote terrain encountered  means it cannot be comprehensive and is it is often difficult to access up to date information.  You therefore need to be prepared to encounter missing bridges etc along the way.  If you know of any access issues that you think should be included or have any updates on issues mentioned please contact the Co-ordinators.

Bridges

We don’t intend to give a comprehensive list of all bridge issues. It would be impossible to keep up to date information on all bridges and one of the challenges of the Challenge is dealing with unexpected issues such as a missing bridge. However we have put together as much information as we have on bridges on popular routes that are shown on OS 1:50,000 maps which may be missing or damaged especially those crossing potentially unfordable rivers.

Deeside – The bridge over the River Quoich at NO 117 910 was damaged by Storm Frank and the river now diverts around it.  There are no plans to replace it so in spate conditions a detour upstream to the newly rebuilt Punch Bowl bridge at NO 114 913 (pictured).   Pollhollick NO343965 bridges  has been repaired after damage by Storm Frank in 2015.  Cambus O’May NO420976 was also damaged but the planned repairs have not yet taken place. The Glen Derry bridge at NO 040934 and Luibeg NO013942 bridges are intact and usable.

Glen Banchor – The bridge at NN648984 was washed away several years ago but remains on the most recent maps. Other bridges were shown across the Calder on older maps but there none other than the A86 road bridge.

Glen Doll – Bridges at Moulzie NO281773 and Bachnagairn NO254796 have been washed away and as far as we are aware have not been replaced away.

Glen Dye/Fetteresso – The bridge marked at NO655867 at Heatheryhaugh is infact a wire cable and basket which is normally locked and therefore unusable.

Glen Feshie – The river has altered its course during Storm Frank in late 2015 resulting in several sections of the new path on the east bank being washed away although it is passable with care and the occasional detour. The bridge at Carnachuin was washed away several years ago and is no longer shown on the most up to date maps.   The bridge near Baileguish at NN823982 survived but the bridge across the Allt na Caoileig at NN827983 was damaged and the burn formed a new course around it but there is a footbridge by the ford (not seen until you reach the river) at NN826979.

Glen Gairn – the bridge at NO172998 was damaged in 2016  and we have no recent information regarding whether it is useable.

Glen Kinglass/Abhainn Shira – The bridge at NN185402 has been replaced by a new bridge around 800m downstream. The bridge across the Abhainn Shira near Clashgour was removed several years ago as it was in a dangerous state.

Glen Muick – bridges at the west end of Loch Muick NO271820 and NO271819 were washed away in 2015 but have now been replaced.

Glen Shee – The bridge over the Baddoch Burn NO129822 was washed out in 2015 and the footbridge downstream was reported to be damaged and dangerous.

Glen Tromie – The bridge at NN752923 is no longer there but the damaged one at NN755923 near Bhran Cottage has been replaced.

Invervigar Burn – The bridge shown at NH336056 is still shown on OS maps despite being absent for many years. There is however an unmarked bridge upstream at Achadh-nan-darach NH313056.

Knoydart – The bridge at Carnoch NM865964 has been replaced with a new sturdy that we hope will resit winter storms for many years.

Moray Firth – The bridge at NJ 238705 across the River Lossie was washed away in 2019. Funding has been promised to replace it but this may not be before TGOC20 so a diversion to Arthur bridge further downstream.

River Dulnain – The bridge at Dalnahaitnach (NH855201) has long gone but is on older maps. There is now a new track along the north side which leads to the bridge at NH865212. The bridge at NH789135 has been swept away If you can ford the Dulnain there the bridge at NH790134 across the Feithlinn appears to be intact. We are not certain if the bridge at NH765121 is still there but plan to investigate.

Strathfarrar – The bridge at Inchvuilt NH230387 became dangerous and was removed by the estate in 2013. The bridge at NH 262 383 has been reported to be in a poor state but useable in 2016.

Tarfside/Glen Esk – The bridge at Woodhaugh NO491790 is deemed unsafe and has been blocked by the estate and the bridge at Turnabrain NO501789 is no longer there. Downstream the suspension bridge at Dalhastnie is usually locked. The Esk can be crossed at Dalbrack NO469782 or Fernybank NO534782 to access tracks on the west bank and re-crossed by a new bridge at NO580740, not yet on any maps, if you want to access the paths on the east bank of the Esk.

 

Bothies

All MBA bothies are currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions and it is uncertain as to whether they will be available for TGOC21.  Please note if they do reopen Culra bothy will remain closed due to asbestos contamination.

 

Construction Projects

Access during the building of wind farms and hydroelectric schemes is not often restricted but heavy plant vehicles are likely to be operating in the area. For your own safety ensure you are visible and comply with any reasonable diversions or requests from construction workers you may encounter. In recent years several small scale hydro-electric projects were reported (including near Bendronaig Lodge and Allt Garbh nr Loch Affric)  There are no access restrictions that we know of though new tracks and the obliteration of some old tracks may affect navigation.

Garva Bridge substation – This links the Stronlairig windfarm to the grid and is near the Wade bridge at NN 521 947 and limits access to the popular wild pitches by the Spey and Feith Talagain.

Nigg Bay, near Aberdeen – This is the site of Aberdeen’s harbour extension and construction will continue throughout 2020.  Nigg bay can not be accessed but we believe there are no restrictions on the minor road to Girdle Ness.  However if you are seeking a bit of peace and tranquillity you might not get it!

National Park Restrictions & Estate Requests

Loch Lomond – There are now bye laws restricting wild camping by many of the lochs in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.  Places have to be pre booked (for details click here) and fines may be imposed if you do not have a permit.  However it is relatively easy to avoid them and camp elsewhere.

There are a few reasonable requests made by some of the estates which we would ask you to comply with:

Glen Feshie – The estate requests camping be confined to the area around Ruigh–aiteachain Bothy (NN 847928), or further up the glen.

Glen Muick/Loch Muick – Balmoral Estate request no camping because of the specific characteristics and sensitivities of this area. The nearest bothies are at Gelder Shiel, Glas-Allt Shiel (north side of Loch Muick) and Shielin of Mark and it is acceptable to camp discreetly outside the bothies.

Glen Lee – Dalhousie Estates request there should be no camping on or near the shores of Loch Lee, which is often used for night fishing.

Glen Mazeran – The estate requests Challengers do not walk past Glenmazeran Lodge. Please take the right fork at NH 744 227, cross the river and drop to the minor road at NH 748 224