Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A Millennium of Torrs

The hill where I caught up with the fell runner.

I've been doing some background reading on The Mountain ' Kili for Idiots' just about sums it up, the trick is to practice by doing two hill walks in a weekend,(I think you may have to do this more than once) it improves recovery time and builds stamina. The other alternative is to go and party at high altitude for two weeks before hand, perhaps Mexico City or on that mountain near Rio would do.

Even though Pam is usually pretty forgiving of my jaunts and time away, I suspect a couple of weeks in Rio 'acclimatisation' prior to an 18 day trek in Africa may be viewed a tad excessive. So I'm afraid it's the other option for us - unlucky mate.

I decided to tackle Mam Torr on the Friday, on the basis that Andy R had recommended it, what he failed to point out is that its actually 4 hills in one....cheers Andy. The start of the walk is from Castleton in the middle of the Peak District and the approach road that cuts right through a natural gap in The Pennines is mega. I'd been here a couple of times before over the years, the first time to try my hand at hangliding, I wish it had only been my hand. That sport is just for mad people and I think I'll save the rest of that week for a pub story sometime. Suffice to say being flown from a kite was a once in a lifetime experience thanks.

The other time, I was living in Sheffield and brought Jess over here to see the caves...aged 2.5 ish. The Speedwell Cavern has an underground boat that takes you to a cave in the middle of the mountain with lots up and down stick things and a lake. It's really pretty, if a bit dark; oh yes, unless you are just over two year old and traumatised by being in the semi light in the middle of a mountain. Fortunately she wasn't one for screaming and despite the 'I don't like it here daddy' conversation, we managed to get out without too much permanent damage to my hearing or here psyche. 

I've told her mum that the sleeping under the bed thing is quite normal.

I parked up, off road and set the navigation system off, all working well and I slipped and slided my way up the hills via various tracks with a deliberate off track longcut to keep off the roads. GPS worked perfectly at both dodgy intersection choices. GPS 2 vs Maps 1. 

Nice Patio

Then I got the bottom of the main hill and true to form, a lovely terrace path all the way to the top. This one was 'built' to celebrate the Millennium in a 'woohoo a new terrace' fashion I guess. I can't decide whether I like this idea or not as it does seem a bit like cheating, everyone walks on pavements. On the other hand it also allows slightly less able bodied (Read this bit Shad) people to make it to the top of the hills. Talking of old people, back in the olden days when I was at college I used to pass three post offices on the way to school (Newcastle); every Monday morning there were huge queues of old folk outside whatever the weather, all waiting for their government pension. It's the one thing that actually got me off my arse and working for my degree. 

I'm glad to say that this doesn't happen anymore, (Queuing! I still do work) now that the labour government (Its still secret old labour Tim) has stealth taxed us and introduced direct debits, old people can actually enjoy their retirement. And this morning half of Sheffield's old people were up the hills and having a splendid time in the autumn sunshine, well done Tony and pals. 

It's a gorgeous walk along the ridge of the four hills, with Castleton on one side and The Edale Valley on the other. Once at the top of Mam Torr the other hills are not too taxing and for a short 3 hour walk it's a belter. I nearly overtook a fell runner on one uphill climb, on reflection he was old enough to have been outside that Newcastle Post Office in 1986 collecting a pension...still he had running shoes on.

A quiet evening with pals on Saturday and me and Andy will be right up for 3000ft of Cnicht in Snowdonia on Sunday morning and the clocks going back will give us an extra hour kip.

Music free blog....sort of. There is a whole Fall Out Boy section slipped in further down if you need a fix. I'm trying to keep stuff in date order or I might end up climbing up the concert speakers U2 Bono style.

And a dirty great something they decided to build in the valley......


Anonymous said...

18 day trip? I thought it was about 10. I dont want to go up and down it twice you know.

You seem to be cranking this training up very admirably. I'm still at the 'walking to the pizza shop' stage at the moment, with minimal opportunities for getting up big hills. How about we do one of these 2 dayer things over xmas? Not the monday though, I've got an appointment at the Post Office.

Anonymous said...

Well, Bono is not too bad! I worked for him.

PaulB said...

The spare 8 days are for hunting wild game with clackers and heading for the beach to recover.

And defo up for walking up a couple of hills over Crimbo. Just let me know when you are off work. Oh and don't forget its our house for new year this year mate.

I now have apes, Germans, US citizens and Bono's mates reading this blog. Ok Craig you count as a US citizen this week, but on the google analysis USA is now lit up like the proverbial.

I like tick lists.