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Blinking Flip! 10 Days…

Blinking flip! In 10 days time Sarah, Margaret and I will be on our way to start the challenge that is Mt Kilimanjaro!

10 days!

Thankfully there’s not much left to buy or do. My Visa should be waiting for me when I get home. I sorted my travel insurance (what a minefield that is!). Pretty sure I have all the kit I need; if I don’t I can do a mad dash to the local Mountain Warehouse, or I can do without…

Another thanks to all you wonderful people that have helped me raise money and awareness for Tommy’s baby charity; although I haven’t reached my target of £2000 (yet!) what we have raised will go towards essential research of and support through pregnancy. It is also absolutely fantastic and humbling at the same time. If anyone would still like to contribute please take the time to have a read of my fundraising page and then donate whatever you can.

Right. Back to concentrating on my short game (Pops you will be proud!) and not thinking about the ever looming challenge as I relax for a long weekend in Centre Parcs with the extended family…all 20+ of us.

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Snowdon Double Take

I failed.

Okay so maybe “failed” is the wrong thing to say. I managed to climb to the summit of Snowdon on Friday in just under two hours and forty minutes. Not bad for someone who was on crutches at the beginning of the year!

Sunday wasn’t quite so successful for a number of reasons. I was tired; it took an hour and a half to reach half way house! The weather was rubbish and closed in rapidly, and with Kilimanjaro just a couple of weeks away I thought I should probably play it safe. Still I made it to halfway and despite it being a struggle, I’m happy with that.

Snowdon did however uphold the long standing tradition of having shitty weather and not being be able to see a flipping thing!

As promised, some photos…mainly me pulling silly faces and cloud.

 

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Snowdon Replay

Not sure whether this is such a good idea or not being so close to the “main event”, but I’ve decided to go back to Snowdon and climb to the summit again!

I’ll be walking the same route as a few weeks back – the Llanberis Route – but this time I’m doing it twice!

You never climb the same mountain twice, not even in memory. Memory rebuilds the mountain, changes the weather, retells the jokes, remakes all the moves

The plan – leave early Thursday morning, get stuck in traffic, reach Llanberis late morning and then set off for the summit. Once I’ve climbed back down it’s a short drive to my hotel for the night and then up reasonably early the next morning to do it all over again!

Why the same route again? It’s one of the routes with the biggest ascent – 975m – while not being too dangerous in dodgy weather like the Watkin path.

Why twice? I thought it would be a good test and not too dissimilar to the experience of climbing Kilimanjaro – day after day of walking up hill. Should be a good test of my leg strength and my achilles come to think about it!

Anyway, photos and more ramblings from me during or, more likely, after the climbs!

Wish me luck!

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Forty Days

What can you do in forty days?

If you’re of a religious disposition, quite a lot apparently; God destroyed everything with 40 days and 40 nights of rain, Goliath taunted Saul’s army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him.

But what will I be doing for the next 40 days?

Training at the gym, climbing Snowdon twice more, fundraising, getting the last few bits of kit that I need and finalising everything I need for the climb. Doesn’t sound like much but it feels like a mountain itself when you throw family life and work into the mix too!

The left over bits of kit to get aren’t worrying too much, although there’s a lot of first aid related stuff to buy. It’s the training that’s really making me anxious. Despite spending most of my evenings at the gym working up a decent sweat, and despite the plan to summit snowdon twice in two days, I just have no idea if it will all be enough?! Time will tell I suppose.

So the next forty days for me will bring a lot of anxiety, sweating, packing, list making and most importantly excitement! Yes, depsite everything I’ve just written, I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity coming up immensely. The thought of standing in camp on the side of Mount Kilimanjaro in the dark of night gazing upon a star filled sky makes the hairs on my arms prickle and my pulse quicken!

Forty days….

 

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Snowdon ‘Conquered’!

I can now check Snowdon off the list of mountains climbed!

A very grey, cloudy and chilly Saturday saw a fairly tough plod up the Llanberis path to the summit of Snowdon. I’ve been told that the views along this route are really quite something…I cannot verify this though as right from the start we were walking up into the clouds with visibility not offering anything more than a few tens’ of metres in any direction!

Despite the rubbish visibility and the occasional rain shower it was an enjoyable walk mostyl thanks to the company along the way – Sarah, Margaret (who I climb Kilimanjaro with in August), Lee (Margarets son), Fiona and Dali (Lees friends). Without the banter from this lot I can imagine the walk being a lot tougher!

All in all, a great days training for August – I’m happy enough that I managed the 1000m climb without too much effort and without suffering any aches or pains. That said I have been attacked by a mosquito (maybe more than one) and can count 16 bites on my legs…that’ll learn me for wearing shorts!

Another shameless reminder for donations to my JustGiving page for Tommy’s; it really is an amazing charity helping many people in many different ways suffering very tragic circumstances.

Here are a few photos from the day; apologies as many look the same but I promise they are from different view points along the way!

 

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Snowdon – Here I come!

This time tomorrow (Saturday) I hope to be well on my way up to Snowdon’s summit!

I’m joining a few others, including Sarah and Margaret who I’m climbing Kilimanjaro with, and staying overnight on Friday in a little hotel in Blaenau Ffestiniog about 40 minutes away from Snowdon.

Early Saturday morning we’ll depart to start our hike up the Watkins path and a few hours later we should reach the summit – weather permitting! (Latest Snowdon weather forecast can be found here – Snowdon Weather)

The Llanberis Path

Also known as the Tourist path, the Llanberis path, although not the shortest, is thought of as one of the ‘easiest’ of all the routes up Snowdon as it is the most gradual climb.

  • Length – 9.0 miles / 14.6 km
  • Ascent – 3300 feet / 1000 metres
  • Duration – Approx 5 – 6 hours
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A Walk in the Clouds

My return to the Brecon Beacons started with a chilly walk up into the clouds. It wasn’t long before the sun burnt the clouds off and the glorious views were apparent once more.

A nice 9.5 mile walk over Corn Du, Pen-Y-Fan to Cribyn and back again with the crowds of people; although it seems most stop at Pen-Y-Fan and the turn round and go back so the walk to and from Cribyn was a little quieter.

What I’ve learnt from the couple of walks I’ve done in this part of the world is that my knees need some work (thanks to years of playing Basketball!) and my legs aren’t as strong as I think they are!

Here are the obligatory photos from the walk (I seriously need to work on my “selfie” face!) –

 

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Back to the Brecons

Just a quick post to say that I’m headed back to Wales and the Brecon Beacons next weekend (14th May) for another walk.

This isn’t the same 16+ mile hike I did last time, but a more pleasantly relaxed 5/6 mile walk up to Corn Du, then to Pen-Y-Fan finishing at Cribyn where I’ll turn round and head back the same way.

If any one fancies coming along I’ll be setting off from the car park 200 yards south of Storey Arms around 9am.

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Training Walk – The Brecons Circuit

Three months ago I was on crutches. Two months ago I was still in a boot.

I’ve just returned from a week away in Wales with the family where we had an amazing time exploring ‘Gods Country’ and all the family activities it offers…I also squeezed in a training walk in the Brecon Beacons.

When I say squeezed, I mean 7 hours and 16 or so miles!

Despite the spectacular weather and exquisite views, it was hard, damned hard! That said I really enjoyed the ups, downs and occasional scrambling apart from one hill, one hill half way round nearly broke me.

I’m already planning another visit out there in a couple of weeks but just to the “three peaks” (Corn Du, Pen-Y-Fan and Cribyn); if anyone wants to come along I’d love the company!

A few photos from the hike (sorry for the glum expression, I’d just climbed some fairly steep inclines and was a little tired!) –