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Monday, 1 November 2010

Camping in Paradise Woods

With wet weather, Paradise Woods was the perfect place to camp with it’s large canopies to shield the rain and a great little camp fire. I got a chance to try out my new tent and Will got a reason to drink his namesake beer, the William Wallace! A great evening, all that was missing was the marshmallows. Shame on you ASDA for not stacking your shelves quickly enough!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

BTW – Araldite doesn’t fix walking boots!

So it turns out that Araldite doesn’t fix boots. It’s not surprising that my walking boots let in water, I’ve had them for 3 years and they’ve done some hard walking at times. However, they let in water after the third outing so really I should have done something about it by now!
But wait, this post is not really about my boots. It is really about my latest training hike. 15 miles and 3700ft total elevation was more than I’d expected to do but I discovered two things today. a) that I like my own company (I knew that already) and b) that sometimes when a person starts walking solo it’s really difficult to stop!
I started from the Bennachie Centre near Chapel of Garioch and hiked up the steep ascent to Mither Tap. From there I walked across to Craigshannoch and on to Oxen Craig. I accidentally took the wrone path and missed Little Oxen Craig but didn’t think it was worth worrying about this time. From there I headed down to the same mysterious peak that Will and I got lost on last time and instead of doubling back, I headed straight over and joined the Gordon Way. This is where my adventure really started. I learnt a further two things about myself. c) I am not Bear Grylls when it comes to common sense navigation and d) I should know better!
Not wanting to descend too much down the wrong side of Bennachie, I eventually followed a path which seemed to go back in the direction I came from. I took this wide and fairly well trampled path in the hope that I would sweep down along the line of trees and rejoin the Gordon Way in the correct direction later. Instead it stopped dead! So I checked my compass to take bearing of which direction I was supposed to be heading and dropped down into the trees with the fairly assured assumption that most forests seem to have a gap running down and a network of fire roads that I would soon be able to pick up and head towards my destination.
And so I found myself sheepishly trampling through the heather back up the side of the mountain, out of the trees and into a blizzard of sleet! My detour into the forest had only given me a labyrinth of mossy, boggy routes to dead ends and so I had decided to cut my losses and follow the fence back towards the style which I know crossed the Gordon Way.
After 5 hours of walking I was back at the car park to pick up my 3pm lift… which wasn’t there. So I decided to walk along the road and meet in en-route. An hour later, my weary legs finally stepped into a warm car. A good training day but a few more needed before I’ll be able to do even two in a row, let alone two weeks.
Total Distance: 24.40 km (15.2 mi)
Total Time: 5:57:13
Moving Time: 4:33:18
Average Speed: 4.10 km/h (2.5 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 5.36 km/h (3.3 mi/h)
Max Speed: 14.51 km/h (9.0 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 168 m (551 ft)
Max Elevation: 584 m (1916 ft)
Elevation Gain: 1132 m (3713 ft)
Max Grade: 0 %
Min Grade: 0 %
Recorded: Sun Oct 24 09:49:58 GMT+01:00 2010
Activity type: walking
View Bennachie Hike in a larger map

Saturday, 23 October 2010

First two charities announced

We are proud to announce the two main charities that we will support during our adventure across Scotland. We were pretty sure about these charities from the offset. There will be two other charities that we will raise for but as yet they have not been completely decided. There are a number of people and small organisations that have made a real difference. We’ll announce the two chosen shortly.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Training continues, navigation skills needed!

Another day trip up Bennachie got our legs working as well as highlighting the need for a bit of practice when it comes to navigation. We started from the Back o Bennachie andx head up to Oxen Craig via Little Oxen Craig.
A considerable amount of time was spent attempting to boil water for tea in gale force winds. We managed eventually but the delay gave Will plenty of time to mess about in amongst the huge granite boulders.
After out windy snack break we headed down the other side of Oxen Craig to Watch Craig. This lead to a certain amount of discussion as to our exact whereabouts. We headed back to Oxen Craig and across to Craigshannoch whilst both agreeing that the use of Ordinance Survey maps would be a benefit to our training programme!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Planning and training underway

Planning has begun and we think we have the bare bones of a route sorted out. Taking the old railway line from Aberdeen into the hills will take us to Mount Keen. From their we will negotiate our way over Lochnagar, Ben Avon, Ben MacDui, Breariach, Cairn Toul, Carn Dearg and Ben Nevis. All in all, the height climbed (using the difference between the lowest and highest point in each section) will be about 17,500ft. Thats a gnat’s whisker below the height of Everest Base Camp so we’ll be adding an extra climb into the trek nearer to the time.
In the meantime, we’ve started our training in the form of exhausting 5-a-side football last Friday evening and a healthy trek over Bennachie from Rowentree car park, over Mither Tap, across to Little Oxen Craig and back down to Back o’ Bennachie. Not the most strenuous but everyone needs to start somewhere!