Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Cateran Trail, Perthshire => Topic started by: Loon Dod on February 25, 2008, 12:45:50 pm

Title: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on February 25, 2008, 12:45:50 pm
I plan a quick trip round the Trail in March I will of course carry a map and compass etc for safety but can I complete the trail based on sign posts alone or are their areas where I will need to stop and consult map.

Title: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on February 28, 2008, 10:13:26 am
I see a number of views but no replies.  Has anyone done this route lately? Any help or info would be appreciated.

It probably seems a strange question so let me explain, I intend to do the route in around 15 hours non-stop so the less time reading the map or worrying about the correct route the better.

If you have been round lately werethere parts where navigation was difficult etc.  I also expect the last 10 miles or so (clockwise) to be in the dark so any tips would be great.

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: jmcpaul on February 29, 2008, 07:21:27 am

I have only done one stage of the trail, Glenshee to Glenisla but that part was incredibly well marked/signed, pretty much foolproof. I would imagine that the rest of the trail has the same standard of signage. 15 hours, that is pretty quick, I guess you doing it on a mountain bike? Good luck with your trip.
Cheers John

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on February 29, 2008, 09:04:25 am
Thanks for that John.
I am going to try and visit some of the trail in the next week or so to get a better idea.
No, not mountain bike, I am running it.

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: jmcpaul on February 29, 2008, 09:00:33 pm
Hi Dod,

Running will be a challenge on the stage that I did as it was very, very boggy in places and since we are currently getting plenty of rain, I don't see the ground improving any, and there are loads and loads of stiles to climb over. I am intending to do all or most of it starting next Tuesday so I will give a short report on it if that helps any.

Cheers John

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on March 03, 2008, 09:05:27 am
Hi John
Any info would be a great help.  I am going to take a look on Sunday.

Running it on the 22nd March, I will be able to change shoes as required as will have support crew meet me at various points of the route. I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers, Dod

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: jmcpaul on March 07, 2008, 06:22:23 pm
Hi Dod,

I just returned yesterday after 3 days of walking on the trail. I walked from Bridge of Cally to Spittal of Glenshee (approx 17 miles), this stage should not be too much of a problem for running although you will have to be careful on the descent down into Spittal as it can be quite clumpy if you are forced off the main trail as I was due to ice (I learned this after having a painful spill). I also had a bit of a detour by going the wrong way after Kirkmichael, I followed the river walk for a bit before realising my mistake.

The next day was from Spittal to Glenisla (approx 14 miles), this stage has a lot of boggy ground to go over which should be a bit of a concern for you as there is no way to avoid a lot of it, but there is also a fair bit of road walking which should help you make up a bit of time from about the 5 mile mark to about 7 miles (ignore the mileages on the trails signs as they seem well off to me on a few places)

The third day was from Glenisla to Alyth (approx 11 miles). Again this has quite a bot of soggy ground to cover but is also has another road section which is about 2 miles and the last couple of miles is pretty muddy and slippy with over hanging branches and plenty of nettles (worth wearing a pair of glasses for this stretch).

That's it I'm afraid for another time but a couple of points that may assist you, I noticed that a couple of marker posts have fallen down on the Spittal to Glenisla section so if in doubt, don't run for too long before seeing another signpost as they are very regular. Also, most of the trail is soggy and on a slope so you will have to be careful of twisting your ankles especially at the speed you will need to be travelling at to cover the whole trail in 15 hours (it is the whole 63 miles, right?), you might even think about wearing some sort of support for the ankles like tube gripping, you should also think about getting your support to be at the start of all the road sections as you don't want to be doing too much running on the roads with soaking shoes. You should also consider taking a mobile phone with you as you are often completely remote from anywhere (Vodafone seemed to work well for me).

I know a lot of the so called hints/tips that I have outlined above may seem like teaching your granny to suck eggs but I used to do a fair bit of running myself and thought I would point them out anyway. One other thing, you will have to contend with deer, peacocks, pheasant, grouse, moorhens etc all jumping out at you when least expected.  Also there will be a few occasions when you will be passing cows that will be within touching distance. I mention this as I know a few people who are scared stiff of cows.

Good luck and let us know how you get on,
Cheers John

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: katymonkey on March 07, 2008, 08:28:13 pm
Did this walk 2 summers ago and really enjoyed it. I found it to be quite well signposted but a quiet walk and we never met another walker in the 5 days we were on the route. Are you planning to take the hill route from Spittal past Loch Beanie (I think) or the road route to Glen Isla? I wouldn't advise the hill route in the dark as that section wasn't signposted and quite boggy.

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on March 07, 2008, 10:06:28 pm
John: thanks very much for great info.  I am going to drive to Bridge of Cally tomorrow morning and hitch a ride to Cray and run the route back to Bridge Of Cally.
On Sunday I will see how I feel and plan as it comes. I wear running glasses and will take my Yak Tracks with me will let you know how I get on.

Katymonkey: I will be following the new route.  I hope to see as much of the trail this weekend as possible in preparation for the run in 2 weeks.

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on March 08, 2008, 08:20:01 pm
Drove to Bridge of Cally this morning and stood in the rain for an hour: not much traffic and no buses so couldn't get a lift to Cray.
Gave up and decided to run to Spittal of Glenshee instead, it was wet all the way, ice was gone but plenty of cold water.
Took it easy, did some route planning for the next time, 17 miles in 3 hours 50 min, then waited 45 mins for a lift back (I had just decided to start running the route some more when I got a lift).

My plan tomorrow is to leave the van at Blairgowrie, cycle to Alyth and run the route back to get the hang of the section I will do in the dark.  Will let you know how it goes.

Title: Re: How good is the signage?
Post by: Loon Dod on March 09, 2008, 04:20:22 pm
Well did Alyth to Blairgowrie today very wet, Trail goes all over the place not the most inspiring run I have ever done, Glad it will be dark next time although Hill out of Alyth and the section just after that in woods will be fun in the dark.
Parts of it you can tell where they have had to just put in the route to connect sections and their really is no trail.