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Backpacks and blisters - the walking thread

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    Originally posted by slackster View Post
    Made the 4000m summit of Mt Toubkal in the Moroccan High Atlas in the week, with an overnight camp before scrambling up the last couple of kms of rough scree to the top. All the gear/food was taken up & down by mule to the base camp from Imlil village at 2000m, the cooking & tent pitching was all done for us, and we had a local guide to steer us, so it was mostly just a pleasant stroll amongst amazing scenery in fine weather.
    Did you do the 3-day trek via the 'other' refuge, or the 'there-and-back' from Imlil?

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      The there and back overnighter to/from Imlil. First day plod up to the main refuge, but camped outside. Up early for a 0530 strenuous scree scramble to the peak that initially needed headtorches before dawn, followed by a descent back to the village. Feet up and beer in the guesthouse by 3pm.

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        Originally posted by slackster View Post
        The there and back overnighter to/from Imlil. First day plod up to the main refuge, but camped outside. Up early for a 0530 strenuous scree scramble to the peak that initially needed headtorches before dawn, followed by a descent back to the village. Feet up and beer in the guesthouse by 3pm.
        Good stuff. I was there at the end of July. Daft time to go, as making the summit for dawn meant up at silly o'clock, but the view of the sunrise was worth it. We went via another village and the pass over into the base camp valley was ridiculously tough. I'd like to go back some time and explore the valleys on the other side; I think there's a 5-day circular trek.

        Reading back through the thread, I'm with the walking shoe over boots brigade. I do have a pair of Salomon boots which I got as a compromise for Turkey a few years back; they're just rigid enough to take a crampon for simple snow slope walking. Otherwise I've been fine in Merrell shoes for walks up to 3 weeks and as high as 5000m.

        I'm lucky with blisters, but i fall over a lot as I tend not to look where I'm going.

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          My birthday today, so went and met some friends and had a highly enjoyable 11 miles or so from Denby Dale to Huddersfield. Absolutely lovely day for it, stinkingly hot for the time of year with the sun out and producing a glorious blue sky. Almost could have worn shorts for it. We upped and downed across an assortment of valleys, passed a small football ground at Cumberworth (no cover or barriers on three sides, wouldn't pass grading), detoured to avoid a scary looking bull, looked over Holmfirth and wondered where to find a bathtub then climbed up to Castle Hill (tower not open today), looked over Kirklees and dropped into Hoodezfield for a light ale or three. Cracking day that.

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            Happy belated birthday longeared, that sounds like a cracking stroll.

            Originally posted by longeared View Post
            looked over Holmfirth and wondered where to find a bathtub
            Were there three of you, by any chance...?

            Hoodezfield
            Is this going to be the permanent spelling on OTF now, do we reckon?

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              Walked the first 23 miles of the John Muir Way yesterday (runs from Helensburgh on the west coast to Dunbar on the east). Weather was pretty poor, and although there were occasional views of the Firth of Clyde and southern Loch Lomond, it was mostly too cloudy/foggy/dreich to see much.

              Underestimated how unfit I am, and could hardly get out of bed this morning. I had planned on doing the whole distance (134 miles) spread out over a few days across a couple of long weekends (similar to a West Highland Way walk I did two years ago). I had meant to make a start a few weeks ago when the days were a bit longer, but stuff (and a family bereavement) got in the way. I think I will now have to spread the remaining distance over a (considerably) longer period....

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                I've looked at walking the John Muir Way but it's never really attracted me as it all seems a bit to urban for my liking. Also, walking along old railway lines and along canals makes for flat and very hard walking. I'll be interested to see how you get along with it jdsx.

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                  The Cape Wrath Trail looks like a hard one based on a book i read about it this weekend.

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                    I did the Cape Wrath Trail last year and I didn't find it that bad. Technically it isn't difficult, there are no high summits or ridges to cross (not unless you put them in) you just have to keep going. I did it in two parts, as I stopped after four days due to a knee injury and then went back six weeks later to walk all the way to Cape Wrath. The worst day was when I walked from the Oykel Bridge Hotel to the bothy at Glencoul. Some of the worst bog I have ever come across and I was almost in tears at one point but I kept going. Do it if you can, you won't regret it, although it takes a bit of planning.

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                      To be fair the chap was suffering from depression (which was diagnosed after his return home) so it might have tinged his views but he did mention a lot of times when the trail just petered out into awful bogs and he had very bad luck with the weather.

                      Tbf, the WHW seems a lovely walk to get started on a long distance trail, quite tempted...

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                        Originally posted by Paul S View Post
                        I've looked at walking the John Muir Way but it's never really attracted me as it all seems a bit to urban for my liking. Also, walking along old railway lines and along canals makes for flat and very hard walking. I'll be interested to see how you get along with it jdsx.
                        The first section wasn't like that. The walk up out of Helensburgh is on roads past posh Victorian/Edwardian villas, then once past the famous Hill House (currently closed for renovation) there's a short bit next to a main-ish road. But once you're away from that, the 7 or 8 miles to Balloch is lovely. Well it would have been if the weather had been better! Then from Balloch to Carbeth, it's all pretty remote - in fact I was surprised how remote the landscape was, when it can only be about 15 miles from central Glasgow as the crow flies... But, yeah, I think later on it gets more urban...

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                          Originally posted by MoonlightShadow View Post
                          Tbf, the WHW seems a lovely walk to get started on a long distance trail, quite tempted...
                          I live a few miles from the start (southern end) of the WHW, so let me know if you decide to do it. It's a fantastic walk if the weather's ok!

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                            Originally posted by MoonlightShadow View Post
                            To be fair the chap was suffering from depression (which was diagnosed after his return home) so it might have tinged his views but he did mention a lot of times when the trail just petered out into awful bogs and he had very bad luck with the weather.
                            This is odd because the Cape Wrath Trail isn't a formal trail, it is just an idea - walking from Fort William to Cape Wrath for no other reason than you want to. Taking your own route, in your own time. And yes the footpaths do run out, in fact it shows that on the maps! Then there are the rough trackless sections where you really are on your own. If this chap didn't know all this then he was obviously unprepared and didn't do his research properly.

                            What was the name of the book?

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                              Originally posted by jdsx View Post
                              The first section wasn't like that. The walk up out of Helensburgh is on roads past posh Victorian/Edwardian villas, then once past the famous Hill House (currently closed for renovation) there's a short bit next to a main-ish road. But once you're away from that, the 7 or 8 miles to Balloch is lovely. Well it would have been if the weather had been better! Then from Balloch to Carbeth, it's all pretty remote - in fact I was surprised how remote the landscape was, when it can only be about 15 miles from central Glasgow as the crow flies... But, yeah, I think later on it gets more urban...
                              I shall await further reports with interest then. I can always add it to my to do list.

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                                It was a bit of idea that emerged without too much planning, after he had to abandon the Continental Divide Trail, he had a chat with Alex Roddie (TGO) before setting off. He knew full well there was no real trail to speak off. I guess he had enough experience of long distance hiking, having done the PCT, AT and Camino.

                                Chap name is Keith Foskett. His books are a good read actually, this one was a bit different than previous ones due to the bit by bit realisation he was suffering of depression.

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                                  Finished the last westerly sections of the High Weald Landscape Trail on day walks, but have mostly enjoyed local circulars with a halfway pub lunch this fantastic autumn here in the Kent & East Sussex borders.

                                  Next local-ish trail to complete is the Greensand Way, and then I think Iíll have done the lot that pass through or nearby my area between SE London & the estuary/Channel.

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                                    I'm in Cumbria for a week's walking and the results have been interesting. Monday I did Skiddaw from my hotel and had a thoroughly enjoyable day with no snow and clear skies.

                                    Tuesday was slightly different with my ascent of the Coledale valley met by the first snow of the winter, an absolute treat if I am being honest. Then today I attempted an ascent of Helvellyn from the east and did brilliantly to get to Swirral Edge and then turned back due to the weather. I was just 150ft from the summit but it was the right decision and I'm not scrabbling in white out conditions with a buffeting wind. Sensible decision.

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                                      Absolutely, Swirral Edge is not going anywhere soon!

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                                        I walked up another volcano today. 850 vertical metres (or whatever they're called) up and then 830 back down the other side. According to the book, it was a "child-friendly" trek.

                                        Fuck that. It took me nearly four hours. You can't tell me children like stumbling over volcanic rock for four hours at a time.

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                                          I am proud of you Treibeis!

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                                            My missus enjoys misusing trig points....(Ingleborough this one)

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                                              Yesterday, it was 520 metres uphill, 640 metres back down, 22 kilometres long. Fuck the scenery and that: the best thing was that I saw just one other person the entire time. The second-best thing was the bar at the end, where you could get cider for Ä1.50 a go.

                                              I used to think this walking lark was the preserve of sociopaths who pong a bit and have too many pockets. I now know that it is. I've turned into one of your lot. It's fucking great.

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                                                A good long remote walk is the best.

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                                                  Walking on your own all day is good for the soul. You enjoy the company more when you find it.

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                                                    Originally posted by Paul S View Post
                                                    You enjoy the company more when you find it.
                                                    I don't. If it weren't for the crowds in summer, I'd take up permanent residence in an emergency shelter and spend the rest of my life subsisting on berries, stinging nettles and goat droppings and walking up and down volcanoes.

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