Archive for the ‘Walks’ Category
In September 2006, Michael and I set out to walk the Cornwall coast path (well actually for me, just part of it). We were also joined by Charles and Son for a good part of it. You can read Michael’s excellent and witty account of it here (he somehow even makes me sound funny!) Here are a few photos…
After 7 weeks volunteering and 4 weeks of travelling around Tanzania it was time for that mountain.. the 5895m tallest point in Africa was waiting!
Climbing with 5 from volunteering, 3 others and a whole backup team including hired guides, porters and chefs we elected for the 6 day Machame route, giving a decent amount of time to acclimatise to the altitude.
The first couple of days were pretty wet – I was drenched through by the time we got to our camp and I don’t think anywone was really dry that night. The walking itself wasn’t too hard going though – I’d compare each of the day walks to walking a significant peak in the UK.
However the final climb, made at night starting around 11pm to reach the summit around dawn was significantly harder. With altitude sickness affecting everyone to some degree it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done both mentally and physically.
Well worth it though – the summit and sense of achievement were incredible.
Here are few tips if you are thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro:
- Don’t underestimate the usefulness of lots of decent quality gear (waterproofs, thermals, your own boots that are tried and tested and waterproof).
- Not a big fan of walking poles myself, I didn’t use them for the final trek to the summit but was glad of them for the descent to take some load off the knees.
- Reaching the summit is as much about mental strength as anything – just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you’ll get there!
- If (as for almost everyone) you use a tour company for guides and porters ask them what the conditions are like for the porters – how many will be coming, do they get decent food provided etc. It’s a pretty tough job and I’ve heard some horror stories.
Aside from that I’ll let the photos speak for themselves..
Liz and I took on Cribyn, Pen y Fan and Corn Du – 9.5 miles in just over 6 hours. For most of it we were in a cloud but hey at least that gives us an excuse to do it again some time! For me – I was thinking ahead to the 2 week West Highland Way walk I’ve got planned in September and that a bit of training wouldn’t hurt! For Liz, it was her first real go at scaling any peaks – so why not 3 in one day! I can’t believe my legs hurt more than hers afterwards!
In early September, I travelled to Scotland to walk the West Highland Way with my good friend Michael and I moblogged it! Go here to see all my posts from my mobile on the trip (up to 4 a day). It wasn’t our first walking adventure together – check out the last time we went on a long distance walk along the coast of Cornwall.
As for the West Highland Way, the official route is 95 miles – we added on 10 miles from Glasgow to the start at Milngavie, an ascent of Ben Loman and an ascent of Ben Nevis. Our longest day was a 20 mile walk. Including travel to and from London the whole trip took 12 days.
Note: My blog posts are mostly interesting anecdotes and pictures from the trip. If you want actual information about walking the West Highland Way, try the official site.
Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 974 metres. By world standards not that high but a sizeable days walk nonetheless and one well worth doing as in clear weather the views are extensive across the north west of England and even north Wales.
I’d been up Scafell once before via the shortest (and supposedly least scenic) Wasdale Head route so this time Liz and I fancied the Borrowdale via Sty Head route starting at Seathwaite farm. As you can see from the photos we had amazingly good weather and all of my additional layers stayed firmly in the ruck sack.
We also decided to use the famous Wainwright book for route finding which we found fun and certainly adequate (we backed it up with the OS Explorer 6 map).
I’d recommend the Borrowdale route – it was varied in terms of view and type of walking. Wainwright does give an alternative route from the summit via Broad Crag Col which we followed on our descent. However, though this is a shorter distance we found the scree very loose and found progress descending it slow and difficult so we’d probably have preferred to descend the way we we came up – via Lingmell col. If you are looking for a different route for the whole way back (and a slightly tougher challenge) try the following circular route and let me know how you get on!
Pictures from my day with Mark and Heather in the snow, including building our very own ice bouldering route, penguins and later a castle with an arch!
Tomorrow, my good friend Michael and I will be donning our walking boots once again to take part in a 26 mile trek in aid of Help for Heroes. Though I’m there mostly to support Michael I thought I’d use the opportunity to try out the WordPress iPhone app so this is my first post from that – I’ll let you know how I get on with it.
Till tomorrow then – time to consume a whole load of pasta before the 2 hour drive up to Avebury where we are spending the night before an early start tomorrow!