Blairgowrie & East Perthshire

Walking Festival

 

15th September - 17th September 2017

 

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Information / Contacts

Acknowledgments    Accommodation    Age Limits    Buses   Cancellations/Refunds   Contact The Organisers    Disclaimer     Dogs   Equipment     Hot to get Here   Level Ground Equivalence    Liability    Maps    Meals   Medical    Parking    Registration and Event Headquarters    Schedule Alterations    Smoking    Payment    Walk Leaders    Vulnerable People   Walks    Walk Booking    Walk Grading    Weather    Young People 

The registration and meeting point is in the Wellmeadow Car Park, Blairgowrie.  Please be there at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.  The transport has a schedule and any delays have a knock on effect to the rest of the day. - 01250 872226

 

Acknowledgments

 

The organisers are grateful for the volunteers who have helped put this event together, the organisations who have provided sponsorship or other support, the Mountain Leaders, the land owners, first aiders, and other guides and drivers, and not least you the participants.

This event is organised by Blairgowrie and District Next Steps in partnership with NSC Outdoor Adventures.

 

Accommodation

 

To arrange your accommodation please contact the Tourist Information Centre as below.

Tourist Information Centre

26 Wellmeadow

Blairgowrie

Perthshire

PH10 6AS

Tel: 01250 872960

Fax: 01250 873701

e-mail: blairgowrie@visitscotland.com

 

The Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association website also lists a range of accommodation and activity providers.

Age Limits and Vulnerable Adults or Young People

 

The nature of hill-walking potentially involves leaders or other participants in providing close assistance to others.  For everybody's protection those people classified as 'vulnerable adults' or young people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an appropriate carer or responsible adult.  If you have any specific concerns in this area please contact the organisers.  No special arrangements are available to provide independent supervision of vulnerable people.  None of the walks are age restricted.  The carer or parent is best placed to judge the capability of their charges as experience and fitness varies considerably and the organisers are not able to provide reliable information relating to their competence for any specific walk.

 

Buses

 

Please note: parking places are very limited at the starting point of most walks.  Not only that but most walks do not start and end at the same place and may also be subject to unforeseen change!  So to avoid congestion or other logistical problems on and just off quiet rural roads we have provided buses.  We will not be able to arrange to meet walkers en-route if using their own transport.  The schedule, receipts and walk descriptions list the times of departure.  Please be ready to leave at that time, gear packed in your rucksacks, wearing your boots and other outdoor clothing as appropriate.  The buses run to a schedule and delayed departure means delayed return and possible problems for other walks that the bus is to meet during the same day.

 

Cancellation/Refunds

 

We recognise that under normal circumstances we may provide a refund for cancellations.  Unfortunately after 20th August this will not be possible as the various venues, transport bookings,  leader allocations, and other planning matters will have been made.  We apologise for any inconvenience or distress this may cause.  Participants may request a transfer to another walk or ticketed event subject to space, and may also exchange a booking with someone else, as all of our bookings are transferable.  But please contact the organisers in advance and we will do our best to provide you with an alternative.

 

Dogs

 

Much as we like them, obedient and friendly though they can be, we have to point out that dogs are not allowed on Festival walks out of consideration for others.  This does not apply to guide dogs accompanying registered blind or deaf walkers, though please be aware that many of the walks involve negotiating gates, walls, fences or stiles and will often involve trip hazards.

 

Equipment

 

Please note that for all walks graded from Moderate to Extremely Strenuous walks full hill walking gear is mandatory, click here for a suggested kit-list.  All walks will require appropriate clothing for the anticipated weather conditions and a minimum of good 3-season boots are strongly recommended.  No personal use equipment is available from the organisers unless otherwise stated.  For any night walks a lightweight head torch is also mandatory (thus leaving the hands free), but bring along a spare set of batteries!  Please also avoid shining your torch at the heads of your colleagues as this affects their night vision.  It is recommended that equipment to the Very Strenuous list is carried on all our walks.  Having inadequate equipment may compromise your own safety and also the others on the walk with you.

 

How to get here

The registration and meeting point is in the Wellmeadow Car Park, Blairgowrie.  Please be there at least 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.  If you think you may be late or wish to cancel please call the organisers prior to departure.  The transport has a schedule and any delays have a knock on effect to the rest of the day.

 

Street map of Blairgowrie    Road map of Blairgowrie

 

Level Ground Equivalence

 

Walk timings are based on Naismith's rule.  However to give an estimate of the exertion during a walk the climb allowance can be approximately converted to a level ground distance.  The Naismith rule of 1 minute per 10 metres ascent is readily achieved, but can slow down during a long climb.  If the effort involved in making each step is added to the horizontal distance (as measured on a map) then a good assessment can be made of how demanding the walk is.  Walking at 4km/h means that 70 metres is covered in 1 minute approximately the same time as taken to climb 10m.  Therefore a rule of thumb would be that multiplying the overall ascent by 7 and adding that to the horizontal distance gives a truer indication of the work and effort involved on any particular walk if you haven't done a lot of hill-walking.  For example Jock's Road, is measured horizontally as 21km (13 miles), with 780 metres of ascent.  Walking 21km on good level ground is easier than doing that with the climb involved.  So to give a guide to the effort involved multiply the climb (in this case 780m) by 7 giving an added distance of 5,460m or 5.5 km (3.5 miles).  Therefore walking this route can involve similar effort to walking approximately 27km (17 miles) on the flat.  This means that for  example a short walk of around 10km can become Strenuous if there is any significant ascent involved.

 

Therefore when deciding on your ability to undertake a walk the additional effort of a climb has to be considered.  In many instances we see clients stating they have walked a certain distance but fail to consider the additional burden of the climb and rough walking that is involved.  While as guides we are able to help almost everybody undertake a particular route this will be at the expense of the time it is originally planned to take and when part of a larger group it can create significant problems, particularly if we have to accompany someone off the hill to a road accessible location and then have to arrange alternative transport.  In most locations mobile phone coverage is very patchy and unreliable making this task often impossible.  If there is any doubt as to your level of fitness then please contact us to discuss what may or may not be suitable.  Depending on circumstances and for safety reasons it may mean that the whole group has to have their walk terminated if someone needs to be escorted off the hill.

 

Liability

 

Those taking part in the East Perthshire Walking Festival do so at their own risk. The organisers and sponsors of the event shall not be liable for any accident or injury, however caused. You are advised to check your own personal accident cover, before taking part.

 

Maps

 

The Festival walks can be followed on these Ordnance Survey maps, (though it is not necessary to bring a your own as the walks are guided):

Explorer 1:25,000 scale

379 - Dunkeld, Aberfeldy & Glen Almond

386 - Pitlochry & Loch Tummel

387 - Glen Shee & Braemar

388 - Lochnagar, Glen Muick & Glen Clova

Landranger 1:50,000

43 - Braemar & Blair Atholl

44 - Ballater, Glen Clova & surrounding area

52 - Pitlochry to Crieff

 

Street and road maps of Blairgowrie

Meals

 

Packed lunches can be bought or made up from the numerous eating establishments and shops in Blairgowrie.  There are no special arrangements for meals during the walks, but most end at a hotel or similar.  On the longer walks two or even three or four meal and or snack stops may be made so please ensure you have sufficient with you.  The sedentary daily guideline of 1800 calories for women and 2000 for men is not sufficient for physical activities!  So if you are participating in several days of walking you need to ensure that you have sufficient to eat throughout your stay with us.  No refreshments are provided on the walks unless stated in the programme, it is participants responsibility to ensure they have appropriate meals and drinks with them or purchased at the end of walk refreshment stop.

 

Medical

 

Any medical conditions should be advised to the organisers and leaders before each walk as many will be going into remote areas where assistance is not immediately forthcoming.  Any information provided will be kept in strictest confidence.  All walks will have qualified first aiders in support but they are not a substitute for paramedic or A&E practitioners.  If you are in any doubt about your standard of fitness please consult your GP.  Medical services in East Perthshire are sparse.  There is a small cottage hospital in Blairgowrie, but the nearest A&E services are in Dundee and Perth.

 

Parking

 

Parking facilities are available in the Wellmeadow car park adjacent to the Co-op  Alternative parking is available at various locations around the town particularly in the Welton Road area, but on street parking is limited.  There is some free parking to the rear of the Co-op and Angus Hotel off of Commercial Street/Welton Road.

 

Payment

 

The walk fees include return transport from the Festival Office where appropriate.  Please ensure that your payment for bookings is sent to the organisers before 20th August, as after this date any unconfirmed places will be offered to those on the reserve lists.  Bookings after this date must be accompanied by payment.

 

Registration and Event Headquarters

 

In addition to pre-booking your walks, you (and each member of your group) will need to register before each one.  This must be done prior to boarding the bus.   Registration is vitally important so that we have a record of who is on which walk, and so that the Walk Leader has a checklist to make sure no one is left behind. Registration for the walk closes just before each bus leaves.  Please ensure you are ready to depart at that time, delays in departure can have a knock on effect on the schedule.  Please meet for registration at the Wellmeadow Car Park (free) adjacent to the Co-op.  Minibus transport will be waiting.

 

Schedule Alterations

 

This event operates in the outdoors, and is therefore subject to the vagaries of the weather, environment, transport issues and land management activities.  It may therefore be necessary to re-schedule or alter the published programme.  This is not done lightly and may even be carried out en-route during a walk, particularly if there is a medical or other emergency.  Timings, including start and finish may be altered following reconnaissance or on advice so it is essential that just prior to visiting us you check with the website for the latest up-to-date information.  This is the simplest and most reliable way of ensuring everyone is kept informed.  In the event of any ambiguous information (which may be caused by differences between pages and human error) please check with the organisers directly.  In the event of insufficient bookings for any walks the organisers reserve the right to combine them with an equivalent in order to make up the numbers.  In this eventuality all participants will be given as much notice as is possible.

 

Smoking

 

Please do not smoke when on any of the walks out of consideration for others taking part, and to avoid undue risk of fire. Please also be aware that smoking in enclosed public places is prohibited and subject to different legislation than in England and Wales.

 

Walk Booking

 

Walk bookings can be made by using the online booking form, downloadable form (MS Word), or print either out and send to

Blairgowrie Walking Festival

Balmacron Farmhouse

Meigle

Perthshire

PH12 8TD

Tel: 01828 640763

Your booking and allocation will be confirmed by return and payment by cheque (made payable to "Blairgowrie Walking Festival") should be made as soon as possible, but no later than 20th August.  Bookings after this date must be accompanied by your payment.  Bookings can continue to be made up to the start of any walk but to guarantee a place, payment should be sent with the booking request.  Alternatively payment may be made by Credit Card, for which a PayPal email payment request will be returned with confirmation of your bookings, a PayPal account is not necessary.  However, please note that users of free email services such as those provided by yahoo, aol, msn, etc may find that their service providers prevent receipt of these messages.  Payment confirms your place as priority for places will be given to those who have paid.  It is possible (subject to space being available) to change your bookings.  Contact the organisers for up to date information.  If you wish to speak to the organisers please call the above number and ask for Nick or Sue.  If necessary (and we may be out in the hills) please leave a message on the answering machine.  If you have a query you may email us using the contact form but please ensure that your contact details are correct.  Refunds for cancelled bookings may be made at the organisers discretion depending on the planning commitments as on most events the bus seats, leaders and any equipment needed are pre-allocated (see below).

 

Walks

 

These are planned and recced in advance.  For reasons outwith the organisers' control or other such as a slower or faster than expected group pace, severe weather, or delay due to injury it may be necessary to alter the route either in advance or during the day.  Such changes are not made lightly but will be subject to the professional judgment of the leaders.  Your safety is in their hands.  The leaders are there for your safety so their reasonable instructions should be followed at all times.

 

For reasons of safety and logistics there are limited places on all walks. It is essential, therefore, that you pre-book your walks to avoid disappointment!  Please remember that on popular walks places not taken up may prevent someone else from participating and also impacts on bus and leader allocations.  After 20th August spare or unpaid spaces will be offered to those on any reserve list.

 

Walk Grading

 

It should be noted that all strenuous routes will require a good pace to be averaged of around 4 to 5km/h and you will require a reasonable standard of fitness.

The distances and difficulty are for guidance only, if you have any queries about the walks or indeed any other matter please contact the organisers.  We have tried to grade the walks to give you a good guide to the conditions and hence level of effort required for each walk.  They have been based on Naismith's rule.  (See also the Level Grade Equivalence explanation above) We have also varied the programme so that you can have interesting walks of varied levels of difficulty on successive days.

 

In all descriptions the ascent figure listed shows the amount of going up across the whole route which is not the same as the height above sea level that we might reach.

 

In order to reflect standard mapping, distances are measured in km and ascents in metres.  Please remember that 1km is approx 0.6 of a mile, so 8km is 5 miles, 16km is 10 miles and so on.  Similarly 400 metres is over 1,300 feet, and 900 metres is nearly 3000 feet!

 

Easy indicates a short distance and ascending less than around 100m on good ground for up to 2 or 3 hours,  or distances up to 10km/6 miles on relatively level ground.

Moderate indicates distances up to 13km/8miles ascending less than 300m or 900ft across generally easy ground or tracks, with a duration of between 2 to 5 hours.  There may be short stretches of rough ground and poorly defined paths.

Strenuous indicates distances up to 16km/10miles, ascending up to approx 500m/1600ft across some rough ground, with a duration of approx 4 to 6 hours.

Very Strenuous indicates distances generally over 16km/10miles ascending to 900m above sea level and higher along significant sections of rough ground, with a duration of 8 to 10 hours.

Extremely Strenuous indicates distances over 20km/12miles ascending in excess of 800m across rough ground, with a duration of over 8 hours, and will expect a pace of at least 4 km/h to be maintained for a long duration by the group and ascending at around 45 secs for every 10m.

 

Rough ground may include some tufted grass, heather, peat hags, bogs, boulder fields, scree and/or river crossing (though not necessarily all).  It is possible that even on the easier walks it may be necessary to climb fences, walls or stiles.  The weather has an impact as might be expected and this means that if it rains or has rained overnight, burns and rivers can become swollen and even on upland the ground can become water-logged - a spare pair of dry socks is always a good idea.  Even at this time of year gloves (several pairs of) can be needed, woollen gloves are usually inadequate unless it is dry and calm.  Please be prepared!  Our kit-list is a good practice guide.

 

Walk Leaders

 

Following on from the advised equipment list and the Equipment and Medical paragraphs above it may be necessary for a leader or the organisers to bar someone from a walk if in their opinion and based on their experience they are inadequately equipped or have a medical condition that may be exacerbated on that walk or event.  While this is regrettable the organisers and leaders are responsible for the safety of all participants.  The leaders are there for your safety so their reasonable instructions should be followed at all times.

While at the early planning stage specific leaders are assigned to each walk, for logistical reasons they may be reallocated at short notice, which is why we do not advise participants of who has been allocated to each walk in advance.

 

Weather

 

This event takes place in Scotland in an area affected by mountains and hills.  The weather can be unpredictable with an impact on any activities we plan.  Rain in particular can cause very localised flooding which may make some walks more difficult than anticipated.  All the leaders have the authority to re-route any walks as conditions dictate but this does not mean that all difficult areas can be by-passed.  Any decision to alter the planned event will be affected by the ease or otherwise of re-routing transport and available options.  It is in every participant's interest to ensure they are adequately equipped for the likely weather conditions.  This means wearing appropriate footwear carrying or wearing gaiters, and waterproof jackets and trousers.  It is advised to carry spare socks and several pairs of gloves.  Spare clothing including an additional mid layer such as a fleece should be carried in a dry bag in your rucksack.  Rucksack covers can be ineffective especially in very windy conditions so it is better to rely on a waterproof lining instead.  We do not advise wearing shoes or trainers on any of our walks.  In the autumn summer-weight boots are also usually inadequate unless the weather has been especially dry.  More information about the kit we expect people to have with them is available here.  Cold conditions can mean that you may become more hungry than normal and an appropriate amount of food and drink should also be carried.

 

Disclaimer

 

Walking in Scottish Hills can be hazardous, particularly if ill-equipped or physically ill-prepared.  While there are no particular hazards involved in any of the Festival routes, due to changeable weather and the risk of injury or exacerbation of any existing medical conditions it is a condition of booking that the following terms are accepted.

 

By submitting an application there is an assumption that as a prospective participant you are willing to abide by the terms, and that you are fit and equipped for the walks booked.

 

Participants must abide by and comply with all reasonable instructions and decisions of the leaders and organisers.  As an outdoor event subject to varying and sometimes unpredictable conditions we operate (as is the norm) on the basis of 'dynamic' risk assessments.  This means that the guides and leaders will make a decision based on their experience, knowledge and accreditation on whether or not it is reasonable and safe to carry out a particular activity at that time.  If necessary they will offer assistance, but please ask if you are uncertain.  If you have a particular difficulty it is important that the leaders are made aware preferably in advance of doing something.

 

Participants acknowledge that decisions made by the organisers and walk leaders are final, as they are responsible for your safety during the walks.  If a leader considers that any participant is inadequately equipped for a particular walk in the conditions pertaining at the time then the participant may be excluded from that walk.  Failure to abide by the walk leaders reasonable decisions may result in exclusion from any further participation and forfeiture of any payments made.

 

Any relevant health conditions must be brought to the attention of the organisers and leaders, and such information will be treated in strict professional confidence.  Some of the walks may be more strenuous than you expect and an existing medical condition could be exacerbated.

 

During the event circumstances outwith the organisers control may necessitate the alteration or even cancellation of a planned walk.  Reallocation to an alternative walk will be made if possible.

 

In the event of any interpretation or 'appeal' of the above the organisers' decision is final.

 

 

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