Wednesday, 31 October 2012

#2 Scout Lookout, Zion

#2 Scout Lookout, Zion, USA.

Distance - 4 miles (6.44 Km)
Ascent - 400m

Most countries would be happy with just one spectacular national park, but oh no the USA has to be different!  Zion might not be as famous to travellers from the UK but it is another great place for day walks.  The walk up to Scouts Lookout forms part of the walk to Angels Landing, whilst walking 0.5miles to Angels Landing seems like an easy extension to the walk it does involve walking along a ledge with no fencing and a 500m drop... not for me!

The weather over the last couple of days had been poor, but despite low cloud it had stopped raining.  As with most National Parks there was a quick and easy shuttle bus around the canyon floor which dropped us off yards from the trailhead (Start of the path).  The first mile or so was along the valley with gentle climbs and easy walking.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

#1 Panorama Trail, Yosemite

#1 Panorama Trail, Yosemite, USA.

Distance - 8.5 Miles (13.7Km)
Ascent - 300m (About 1000m of descent!)

Well I decided to start the challenge in a good way and there are few day walks in the world with as spectacular views as the Panorama Trail in Yosemite.  Yes it is that good.  Starting at Glacier Point you have views over Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls and the Valley floor.  Yosemite enchanted John Muir, and it doesn't take much to see why.  It is an amazing place and that's with only seeing a small tiny part of this wilderness. 

From Glacier Point

The trail is well marked and in great condition.  It begins by dropping from Glacier Point down to Illilouete Falls over approx. 2.5 miles.  The views over Half Dome are spectacular.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Back in the UK

Back home after 24 days in the USA.  It's good to be back, even if it's a bit cold!  Los Angeles is having unseasonably hot weather so it was a shock to get back into Heathrow.  Saying that it has been cold in a few places in the USA.  We had temps down to -6C one night at the Grand Canyon.  Also a few days of rain and thunder, which made it different.

So many highlights.  Yosemite, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Vegas (!) and just general travelling round.  I will do some trip reports in a while, need to do washing first!

As far as my challenge goes, I did 7 walks over 3 miles in length which is a good start.  Also 13 nights under the stars and 3 in the tent.  Lying there in a cosy warm sleeping bag watching the stars is just a perfect feeling.  Many nights there were so many stars you couldn't make out the obvious formations as there are just so many, many more twinkling away.

Only injury is a calf strain picked up in Arches, was a cramp or strain that is still twinging a little.  Hopefully if I'm careful I can get some walks in this week.  Need to boost the mileage average!

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Personal Challenge

Blatantly taken from others on the Internet I have decided to do a personal challenge.  It's a way of motivating myself and to also get in a little better shape.  So I enjoy hiking/walking/trekking, call it what you want, so the obvious thing is a walking challenge.

Therefore I have decreed that, in the next 48 weeks (till 1st September 2013) I will do 100 walks to meet a target of a total of 700 miles and 20,000m of ascent.  I will also spend 40 nights under canvas (OK more likely Silnylon...).

Basic rules -

- Minimum walk is 3 miles, anything less is just a stroll.
- No walks to the shops, sight seeing, etc are counted.
- Walks to be predominately in the countryside/off road. i.e footpaths, bridleways, country lanes.
- I choose whatever walks I want, no restrictions on doing the same route over and over (would get boring mind!).
- I can do as many separate walks in a day as I want (though they have to be separate, not before and after McD's...)
- Long distance trails counts as multiple walks (4 day LDT = 4 walks).
- To count I must do a trip report/blog.
- Mileages and ascent taken from GPS/Getamap/bikehike or the best I can calculate if abroad.

Why by September 1st?  Well I have something planned for then that this would feed into nicely.
Why now?  I'm going away to USA in a week so I will get a good headstart (cheating? or Good planning?).

It averages out at 2 walks a week at 7 miles with 200m of ascent.  I think it's a tough target with the bulk taking place in winter and especially as some walks round here can give ascents of 5m!