Wednesday, 14 November 2012

#12 Harrold and Odell

#12 Harrold and Odell

Distance - 5.78 Miles
Ascent - 96 metres

My first challenge walk in the UK!  Thought I'd do an easy walk in north Beds.  Starting in Harrold country park with easy parking it should be and easy wander round the countryside.  It was not too cold, not raining and generally all was good for the day.

Odell Church
Surprisingly I found the walking tougher than it should be.  After Jordan I had been a little under the weather and as I write this I can confirm that i'm ill!  It was actually a nice (on the whole) and gentle walk through nice ancient woodland.

#7 Rim Trail, Grand Canyon

#7 Rim Trail, Grand Canyon

Distance - 4.8 Miles
Ascent - 50m

After an hours rest and a packet of jelly beans I decided I might as well have a wander along the Rim trail.  With a frequent free bus and shorts sections (mile or so) it meant I could walk as far as I felt with no pressure to reach the end or push past my sore calf.


Starting from Hermits rest the trail is a mix of dual use (cycletrack and path) and rough trails along the edge.  As expected it hugs the rim tightly and in places comes pretty close to the edge!  The views are great and the Colarado river seems so far away.

Monday, 12 November 2012

#6 1.5 Mile Rest House, Grand Canyon.

#6 1.5 Mile Rest House, Grand Canyon, USA.

Distance - 3.0 Miles
Ascent - 342m

What can you say about the Grand Canyon?  It is big, deep, vast, and mightily impressive.  It's hard to appreciate just how big it is.  It is also a dangerous place due to the temperature range and the fact it is easy to get very deep without realising.  Visiting in October reduced any issues with the temps, in fact it was very pleasant/warm most of the day.

View from the top
The Bright Angel trail drops from the rim can be taken and the way to the North Rim.  Some really strange people do this in one day, and some really really strange people go from Rim to Rim to Rim!  For most walkers a good day hike drops down the trail all the way to Plateau Point (approx. 13 miles round trip).  This is a tough walk due to the heat, lack of shade and height climbed.  I decided to walk to either the 1.5 mile rest house or the 3 mile rest house, depending on how I felt.  My calf was still sore after arches and this is not a good place to tear a calf muscle.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

#5 Delicate Arch, Arches

#5 Delicate Arch, Arches

Distance - 3.2 Miles
Ascent - 146m

Delicate Arch is probably the most famous arch in the park.  It's used on the Utah number plates and is a must do hike apparently.  I say apparently as this was the second hike in the day and the sun was feeling very hot on my head.  A half hour break to refuel and to restock my water and we was off up the hill.  The walk is pretty basic, walk up that hill and you are there!.

The view down.
There was a short sharp couple of switchbacks before the big climb.  For once there was no switch backs, just a straight run up the slickrock face.  The route is pretty much all south facing, so again no shade on offer.  Take a hat and water is my expert advice!

#4 Double O Arch and Dark Angel, Arches

#4 Double O Arch and Dark Angel, Arches

Distance - 5.2 Miles
Ascent - 110m

Overcoming a hurdle which has stopped you in the past is always a victory no matter how small the hurdle!  In this case the hurdle was a short but steep scramble up a rock 'fin' that halted me last year.  It wasn't much but I just couldn't see myself getting back down without slipping, even though the sandstone grips like sandpaper.  This year I came, I saw, I conquered (even with a little knee wobble and bum slide off a big step!).

Landscape Arch
The first mile of the walk is along well maintained trails to Landscape Arch, the longest in the world apparently.  There are a few side trails to other Arches and the whole area is great for exploring.  After Landscape arch the trail becomes more rough and ready (and natural) and climbs up and over fins of rock.

Challenge - 1 Month in

First things first, I'm behind already with the trip reports!  I will try and catch up before the weekend as I'm away for another week after that.

So how's it gone?  7 walks more than 3 miles completed.  I am behind on the averages though. 

1 month - 7 walks = 31.8 miles, 1518m ascent and 15 nights camping.

Target Average for month Actual
Walks 9 7
Distance 63.3 miles 31.8 miles
Ascent 1820m 1518m
Camps 4 nights 15 nights

Need to up the distances really or else I will get too far behind already, though If I need to do 101 walks to hit the 700 miles then so be it!  Well up on the camping though which with winter approaching might be a good thing!  Saying that, I've already had one night under the stars at -6 and survived.

#3 Navajo and Queens Garden Loop, Bryce Canyon

#3 Navajo and Queens Garden Loop, Bryce Canyon, USA

Distance - 3.1 Miles
Ascent - 170m

A short drive from Zion is the Bryce Canyon National Park.  After the rain on previous days we had to visit here straight after Zion.  So 2 hikes in the day.  The Canyon (which isn't actually a canyon) contains numerous rock formations known as Hoodoos.  Supposedly Hoodoos are men trapped in the rock, a bit of voodoo. 

Starting from Sunrise point the trail drops steeply along a number of switchbacks in between the high walls of Wall Street.  The rocks tower above you as the path drops and drops.  I enjoy the down sections but always have the nagging thought that at some point I will have to start going up again!