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Backpacks and blisters - the walking thread

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  • MoonlightShadow
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul S
    replied
    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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  • Paul S
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • jdsx
    replied
    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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  • jdsx
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • MoonlightShadow
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul S
    replied
    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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  • Moonlight shadow
    replied
    The Cape Wrath Trail looks like a hard one based on a book i read about it this weekend.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul S
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jdsx
    replied
    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....

    Leave a comment:


  • Various Artist
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • longeared
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisJ
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • slackster
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisJ
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • treibeis
    replied
    When I was about six, I walked up Moel Famau with my father and two of my uncles. My father was wearing a ridiculous pair of flared trousers, which split just after we'd reached the top of the hill.

    Every time my father opened his mouth during the descent, my uncles said, "What do you want, P.J. Proby?"

    When I asked what a P.J. Proby was, they said, "You don't want to know, you just don't want to know." Which was untrue, as, at that moment, it was the ONLY thing I wanted to know.

    Leave a comment:


  • slackster
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Moonlight shadow
    replied
    More ferry problems on the way back, had to rebook but thanks to the cottage owner i was made aware quite early about the issue, the Calmac txt came late and at a time when i had no reception...

    Otherwise Arran was a joy, we did a mix of activities, with just one big mountain hike but got to visit Holy Island (and indeed clamber its small but entertaining hill) and enjoyed a costal walk rich in geological interest, especially we bumped into an actual geologist who gave us a little tour. The weather was pretty nice, just a couple of showery days but otherwise plenty of sun, got the tan to prove it...

    The chintz factor has toned down a bit, if you ever visit, go to Corrie and eat at Mara fish bar, delightful food, lots of korean inspired seafood dishes and their version of Mac and cheese is to die for. Even got my wife to try an oyster...and she liked it.

    Fucking midges were still hungry mind...

    Oh, if you like Baileys, get your hands on Arran Gold, much better...

    Leave a comment:


  • Moonlight shadow
    replied
    Glen Sannox, The Saddle, North Goatfell and Goatfell today...superb hike, bus to Sannox and back down in Brodick. Lots of scrambling, scenery to die for and superb weather, with a stiff breeze keeping the midges away.

    More of this please...

    Leave a comment:


  • Moonlight shadow
    replied
    Parked up, awaiting boarding, the Isle of Arran is moored in the side being repaired. Our ferry not here yet.

    Good to be back in Scotland and looking fwd, after a long hiatus, to a Calmac sailing!

    Leave a comment:


  • Moonlight shadow
    replied
    Cheers DM, i have been there brfore years ago, i agree on the chintzy comment, golf is quite big too there...More reasons to bugger off up the hills!

    Leave a comment:


  • slackster
    replied
    Just back from some time visiting the mum-in-law down near Tenby (which these days turns into a stag & hen hellhole on weekend nights), and did 3 day walks along southerly sections of the Pembs Coast Path. I’ve walked the whole thing before, but it’s my favourite bit of visited coastline in the UK. Was dawdling, mind, and never did more than 10 miles per day.

    My summer local path challenge is the High Weald Landscape Trail. Again, being done sectionally as day walks, and have 3 more western-end sections to tick off before the clocks go back.

    And off to Marrakech tomorrow for the first time, where we’ll also be doing a couple of days walking in the nearby Atlas Mountains with overnight stops in berber guesthouses. That’ll be with a local guide and small group, mind.

    Leave a comment:


  • delicatemoth
    replied
    Heh, have a great time MS. Be prepared for the fact that, while Arran is gorgeous and friendly like other Scottish islands I've been to, it's also rather, um, chintzy. Defo the Dorset of Scotland (this includes the coastal walking being great).

    Regarding footwear I'm firmly in the trainers camp for non-winter conditions. Used to use Innov8s then Montrail, both did a fine job. I found boots with liners to be pretty useless, but waterproof socks on the other hand are good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Moonlight shadow
    replied
    No worries, got lucky, my sailing is not cancelled!

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  • Paul S
    replied
    The MV Isle of Arran failed its sea trials overnight and there are more cancellations today. Good luck with getting onto Arran, especially with a car.

    Leave a comment:

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