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Backpacks and blisters - the walking thread

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    Nice work. Thanks for the updates en-route. And that last pic is great.

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      Congratulations Paul and great pics.

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        Nice one Paul, great effort!

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          Many congratulations, Paul!

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            Originally posted by Paul S View Post
            Just out of interest what did mountain rescue, the police etc. say to you about what happened? I'm always curious as to what they say to people after things like this. Were they supportive of your decision or did you get a critical debrief?
            Just noticed I never responded to this. The MR people were lovely, hugely professional, concentrated on getting me safe and making sure I took on the glucose and kept warm without a hint of reproach. The policeman who drove me to Oban was one of the MR team and once we were settled in his car I asked him to give me exactly this kind of debrief. His opinion was that I did nothing wrong once I was on the hill - he approved my kit and level of experience - but that I should probably have thought harder about actually going up there in the prevailing conditions. He was right too; it would have done no harm to start off with a couple of nights in a hotel waiting for the weather to clear a bit, and I could certainly have afforded it with my redundancy money. No hint of criticism for calling them when I did, in fact i think he approved that decision - if they could have talked me down without calling out the chopper then they would have done, and judging by how much I was shivering by the time I got down if I hadn't called them and just set up my tent where I was (the only other option once I was stuck) then I could well have become hypothermic.

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              I walked the tourist path of Ben Nevis last Saturday. It was for a good cause, Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, but that cause nearly ended me. I am 19 stone and rising, my overall fitness has been woeful for a while and i was carrying a pesky cough. I did manage the trip although i was expecting to feel exhilarated at the top but all i could contemplate was the fact i had hours of walking back down ahead of me. My work colleagues gradually disappeared on the climb and just after halway til i got to base camp i was on my lonesome. Mentally it is so tough to suffer in solitude. Anyway we raised nearly 1000, which my work will match so not a bad effort.

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                Good effort, sir.

                I've climbed Ben Nevis. It's not that easy, especially in poor weather.

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                  Originally posted by Nocturnal Submission View Post
                  Good effort, sir.

                  I've climbed Ben Nevis. It's not that easy, especially in poor weather.
                  Thank you. The weather was fine most of the way but did get very cold near the summit. The visibility up there was minimal and at times quite hazardous.

                  Did you make the climb in poor weather?

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                    Originally posted by multipleman78 View Post

                    Thank you. The weather was fine most of the way but did get very cold near the summit. The visibility up there was minimal and at times quite hazardous.

                    Did you make the climb in poor weather?

                    Yes, I went up in October 1993. The reason I remember the date was that I'd gone over to Rotterdam to see the famous Netherlands-England WC '94 qualification game and then set off for Scotland the day after I got back. It was cold, -10C with the wild chill at the summit or something like that, and very icy underfoot, which was a problem on the way down in particular. I'd badly broken my wrist a few years beforehand and wasn't anxious to do it again. I hit the deck a few times but to no great ill effect, but at least one of our party suffered a fracture on the descent.

                    I'd done a bit of climbing in the Cairngorms (Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Cairn Gorm and one or two others) but in much better weather, though it's still pretty cold and windy at the top even in the middle of summer.
                    Last edited by Nocturnal Submission; 12-06-2019, 23:10.

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                      Well done MM, and a great photo.

                      Never done Ben Nevis or been near it. In March 83 (aged 18) some mates and I were camping in Wales and had a go up the Miners' Track of Snowdon. Got to Glaslyn, the highest cwm lake which was where the snowline began. At that point we met a squaddie on his way down who instructed us in no uncertain terms not to go further.
                      Last edited by Sits; 12-06-2019, 23:00.

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                        Originally posted by multipleman78 View Post
                        I walked the tourist path of Ben Nevis last Saturday. It was for a good cause, Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, but that cause nearly ended me. I am 19 stone and rising, my overall fitness has been woeful for a while and i was carrying a pesky cough. I did manage the trip although i was expecting to feel exhilarated at the top but all i could contemplate was the fact i had hours of walking back down ahead of me. My work colleagues gradually disappeared on the climb and just after halway til i got to base camp i was on my lonesome. Mentally it is so tough to suffer in solitude. Anyway we raised nearly 1000, which my work will match so not a bad effort.
                        Well done MM, top effort. That tourist path is very difficult especially on the way down as you have no doubt discovered. Going down is always harder than going up as you are tired and the amount of pressure you put on your joints is greater than on the way up. From the halfway lochan a good way down is to descend on the northern side down towards the golf club. It's further, but not as steep.

                        I've climbed Ben Nevis twice successfully, once in summer and once in winter, plus a couple of failed attempts when I turned back due to weather or risk of avalanche. About five years ago I finally did it in winter with ice axe and crampons and had an eerie summit where the sun had broken through but the clag swirled around giving a sort of willow-the-wisp feel to the place. On the way down I came across a group of youths from Edinburgh trying to climb without ice axe or crampons. I told them to turn back on the basis they wouldn't get another 100 yards without them. They turned back 20 minutes later after making another ten yards. On another occasion coming down I came across a chap from Glasgow who was heading for he halfway lochan where he told me he was going to camp in the forest. I told them there was no forest, not even a single solitary tree as it was about 2,000ft above sea level. He told me he was Scottish and knew this place well and wasn't being told he was wrong by someone like myself (an Englishman I presume). I do wonder what happened to him. Then I helped search for a missing pair of climbers in the northern corries a few years ago. Their bodies weren't found until the snow melted a few weeks later. Where they were found they I reckon I had walked right over them.

                        But well done MM, really well done, Ben Nevis is a lot harder than people realize.

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                          A retired friend of mine flew to Biarritz last week to set off on the Camino de Santiago. He's doing pretty well, he was in Los Arcos last night which I think is about 150km in to the 800km or so he planned.

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                            Originally posted by Paul S View Post

                            Well done MM, top effort. That tourist path is very difficult especially on the way down as you have no doubt discovered. Going down is always harder than going up as you are tired and the amount of pressure you put on your joints is greater than on the way up. From the halfway lochan a good way down is to descend on the northern side down towards the golf club. It's further, but not as steep.

                            I've climbed Ben Nevis twice successfully, once in summer and once in winter, plus a couple of failed attempts when I turned back due to weather or risk of avalanche. About five years ago I finally did it in winter with ice axe and crampons and had an eerie summit where the sun had broken through but the clag swirled around giving a sort of willow-the-wisp feel to the place. On the way down I came across a group of youths from Edinburgh trying to climb without ice axe or crampons. I told them to turn back on the basis they wouldn't get another 100 yards without them. They turned back 20 minutes later after making another ten yards. On another occasion coming down I came across a chap from Glasgow who was heading for he halfway lochan where he told me he was going to camp in the forest. I told them there was no forest, not even a single solitary tree as it was about 2,000ft above sea level. He told me he was Scottish and knew this place well and wasn't being told he was wrong by someone like myself (an Englishman I presume). I do wonder what happened to him. Then I helped search for a missing pair of climbers in the northern corries a few years ago. Their bodies weren't found until the snow melted a few weeks later. Where they were found they I reckon I had walked right over them.

                            But well done MM, really well done, Ben Nevis is a lot harder than people realize.
                            You are so right about the descent. I was tired and deflated and became so sick of having to step on boulders and rocks. You have to concentrate so hard or you will easily turn an ankle or worse. I was also frightfully slow which made me feel like i was never going to finish. There were some men in our group who were saying afterwards that it was so easy and they will go faster next time. I think if they keep disrespecting the mountain like that they will get a big shock one day. That path is arduous and at times, treacherous. The thought of doing it again does not fill me with glee.

                            Your tales were brilliant especially the numpty from Glasgow. I wonder how long he searched for that forest.

                            Excuse the phrase but that must have been chilling, knowing that you had walked right past or over those poor climbers.

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                              Maybe they should rename the trail from "the tourist route". It might only be 4 and a half thousand feet, but the climate and terrain is as unforgiving as it would be at Proper Height further south in Europe. But folk seem to think they can saunter up in trainers and t-shirts if it's sunny at the bottom. The three peaks challenge type stuff For Charidee seems to attract a lot of ill prepared eejits as well.

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                                My friend's made it as far as Hornillos de Camino which I think is about 350km in. But he is now complaining about pain in his shins ... I can see him abandoning at some point and getting the bus to the last leg of the walk.

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                                  Completely forgot to update you on the Everesting thing that I referred to earlier in the thread. This is mainly because it was a ridiculous thing to do and doesn't really count for this thread. As you may remember, it involved 56 of us in teams of 8-10, going up a local hill 7-8 times, after which each team had climbed the height of Everest between them. We had a fairly varied bunch including a few mums using pushchairs and even carrying their babies and couple of guys who did the whole thing running (although I found out that one was a UK champion mountain runner). I didn't practice for it (well, it's just walking, isn't it?) and even did a Parkrun the day before. However, I didn't realise that it would be 17.5miles in total - half uphill, of course - and would take me 5 hours. I ended up aching worse and for longer than after the 10k run I did on Sunday. Obviously, with the repetitive ascents and descents, it was boring after a while scenery-wise but a nice social event and we raised 3k for a local hospice.

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                                    My friend did have to bus around 140km of the walk but after a few days' rest made it to Santiago today. He's now taking the bus to Finisterre tomorrow which apparently is the last leg that many walkers do. Finisterre being like the one in Brittany or Land's End in Cornwall, the last bit that sticks out west.

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                                      Originally posted by Bordeaux Education View Post
                                      Completely forgot to update you on the Everesting thing that I referred to earlier in the thread. This is mainly because it was a ridiculous thing to do and doesn't really count for this thread. As you may remember, it involved 56 of us in teams of 8-10, going up a local hill 7-8 times, after which each team had climbed the height of Everest between them. We had a fairly varied bunch including a few mums using pushchairs and even carrying their babies and couple of guys who did the whole thing running (although I found out that one was a UK champion mountain runner). I didn't practice for it (well, it's just walking, isn't it?) and even did a Parkrun the day before. However, I didn't realise that it would be 17.5miles in total - half uphill, of course - and would take me 5 hours. I ended up aching worse and for longer than after the 10k run I did on Sunday. Obviously, with the repetitive ascents and descents, it was boring after a while scenery-wise but a nice social event and we raised 3k for a local hospice.
                                      There is an event up in Vermont (at Killington, my old foe, in fact) - the 29029. It is basically 17x up Killington's Death March, where you get the cable car down.

                                      The fact that it costs $4k to walk up a bloody awful hill 17 times (or fewer, or more) over a weekend has kept it firmly on my "not gonna happen" list. Nice concept though (and nasty hill too)

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                                        Oh - and great accomplishment Multipleman78.

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                                          I caught the bus from Taunton to Bishops Lydeard this morning to catch the the train to Minehead courtesy of the West Somerset railway and their S&D 2-8-0 locomotive. From there I walked the 9 miles to Porlock, my first day on the South West Coast Path and if all goes to plan I should be in Bude by this time next week. The SWCP is 630 miles in length, which means I have walked 1.5% of it. We'll, it's a start!
                                          Last edited by Paul S; 13-07-2019, 17:05.

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                                            Well, I am in the Alps....so here are a few pics for you

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                                                  Spectacular

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                                                    Those are proper hills. I'm a bit jealous.

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