Monday, 17 March 2014

#59 Illgill Head, Whin Rigg and Miterdale

12.37 Miles
910 Metres Ascent

The fog had rolled in the previous evening and by the morning the tent was covered in condensation, inside and out.  This led to a slightly slower start to the day.  After the previous walk I had expected to wake with sore legs, but I felt surprisingly OK.  There is a danger that I’m actually getting fitter.

Today’s walk was planned to be easier (in ascent not mileage) than the previous two days and with the murky weather it seemed to fit quite nicely.  Heading from the campsite up past Brackenclose the path climbs steadily up past Fence Wood.  The path is well used and maintained; in fact it was so clear I actually walked past my planned route and kept on going.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

#58 The Mosedale Horseshoe

12.43 Miles
1102 Metres Ascent

Today was going to be a big walk and the weather was firmly on my side.  Clear blue skies for the second day in a row.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  I was woken up early by the sound of a Sea King buzzing around Scarfell.  I had hoped it was an exercise, but the time of day suggested otherwise.  (I learnt later it was looking for a missing walker, who was sadly found later at the bottom of a waterfall).

Heading out from the campsite, I followed the bridle path towards Wasdale.  This involved crossing a river, luckily it wasn’t flowing to strongly, though I still got wet feet.   The route passes the Wasdale Head Inn and the bottom of Kirk Fell.  This is an option on this walk but the path straight up Kirk fell just looked ridiculous!  

#57 Scarfell Pike (nearly!)

5.47 Miles
770 Metres Ascent

After a long drive I arrived at the edge of Wast Water and was blown away by the view.  The valley is stunning, especially in the sun, and its hard to drive without sneaking a few looks at the hills I'll soon be climbing up.  I camped at the Wasdale National trust campsite (great location and great site), and by the time I had set up the tent it was already 3pm.

This gave me approx. 3 hours before sunset.  This wasn't the ideal situation to try a walk up England's highest peak, however with a fully planned few days, it was my only chance.  I gave myself a turn around time of about 5 and would see how far I would get.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The stupidity of pushing on

Title says it all really.  Popped out for a short 9 miles today, mainly to free up the muscles after Friday.  I was a little achy but not too bad considered.  I have some new shoes from Keen so a short walk to break them in a little seemed a good idea.

2 miles later and the familiar feeling of a blister forming on the right heel should of had me turning round (my Merrel Moabs do the same the first couple of times out).  But oh no, that would be too sensible.  The idea of cutting short a 9 mile walk was too much.  So I pushed on, another mile.

I then realised I had a first aid kit!  I always carry it so might as well use it.  Out came the compeed.  This should of been a patch to get me home, but again I pressed on.  I soon came to my senses and turned home.  I now have a nice blister just in time for my trip to Wasdale.  Stupid.   

#55 Kinder Low to Mam Tor

16.28 Miles
1048 Metres Ascent

“I want to go for a walk”
“Ok, could do Barton Hills?”
“I want something hard work”
“Peaks are nearest, but its 3 hours away?”
“I’ll drive”
“Really?  Ok I have a 13.5 miler in mind”

So the day was planned.  James volunteered to drive and I came up with something a decent length with a healthy amount of up’s.   I guessed about 5 and a half hours of walking, which is a decent amount for us.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Challenge Update - The End of Winter

Ok winter is over! It's all sunshine from now on?  Right?  I can wish can't I?

Things have been a bit damp, to say the least.  However, I have managed 8 walks over the month, but I could and should of done more.  I had the chance to do at least 4-5 more walks but due to one thing or another they just didn't happen. 

Still, it was the most miles in a month I have ever done.

February - 89.47 miles and 3147 metres ascent.

January - 44.4 miles and 1303 metres ascent.
December - 71.49 miles and 1724 metres ascent.
November - 44.07 miles and 1857 metres ascent.
October - 27.97 miles and 643 metres ascent.
September - 71.40 miles and 4129 metres ascent.
August - 62.63 miles and 913 metres ascent.
July - 16.24 miles and 258 metres ascent.
June -  82.05 miles and 1063 metres ascent.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Gearing up for the John Muir Trail

It has to be said, it doesn't take much for me to justify in my head buying new gear.  So a big trip to the USA is more than the perfect excuse to look at some different options.    The main requirements are to cut weight, but retain as much function/comfort as I can.  The weight issue is a high priority, as I could be carrying 8+ kgs of food towards the end of the trip.  That alone could double the weight I'm carrying.

Though it has to be said, back in the day (the hazy memories of DofE) the rule of thumb was no more than a third of your bodyweight.  Now even using my ideal weight as opposed to the real weight, it would give me a max weight of about 25kgs.  I'm aiming for about 8kgs + 8kgs (food) + 2kgs (water) = 18kgs at its max.  The lighter it is, the easier it is.