...unless you count the walking block in GO Outdoors, Cardiff!
We are leaving for Scotland tomorrow and we know that we will be hill-walking with friends on our rare 'days off'. In fact, we will be experiencing our first Corbett and Munro Mountains. Excitement - apart from the ongoing issue of Lynne's walking boots. The Meindl's are not going to work. Scrambling to the top of a Munro will require boots that you feel safe in and that fit your feet comfortably. So, a trip to Go Outdoors in the hope that they will have something. A shout out for the staff member that spent two hours on Saturday and an hour on Monday assisting Lynne. The perfect boot was identified - Salomon Authentic LTR GTX.
Trust your instinct. As soon as I put my feet into these particular Salomon boots, I knew they were the right ones.
Hardly a peak, but a walk through some boggy land to visit to a Neothilic burial tomb dating back to 2500 B.C. For more information, check out the 'Explore-Gower' website. We did find a trig point, so we'll label it a 'sneaky peak' as our walk was completely flat from start to finish. However, it was a good way to test out Lynne's new walking boots.
Although the Meindl walking boots are great quality, they may not last long on the end of Lynne's feet. After researching extensively before and after buying boots, the main piece of advice we would give anyone buying boots is 'make sure they are comfortable and you feel you can walk/climb naturally in them'. Although the Meindl boots add extra support (rigid), it's no good if you do not feel confident in them. Our new learning - Lynne's preference for walking/climbing/scrambling is a flexible boot. So - back to searching for boots...and if anyone would like to purchase a pair of 'almost new' Meindl's, please get in touch!
The more we walk, the more we understand the need for waterproof and windproof gear. This was the first time with this jacket, new ankle gaiters and new boots. Yes, it was an expensive month - but these should last for years. My old boots didn't pass the waterproof test. Submerging them in water showed how badly they were letting water in through the membrane. Six hours of walking with wet socks is just not pleasant. So, new boots were required. They are sturdier and will protect my feet more. My feet were measured professionally for length and width. They definitely feel different to my last boots and it may take a while to get used to them. I seemed to be able to trip over a single blade of grass this weekend.
We definitely need to purchase gaiters! Unexpected amounts of snow meant that our feet were wet and uncomfortable. Gaiters may have prevented the snow from getting inside our boots. Either that or the waterproof membrane on our boots has a small tear - this was expertly explained to us by someone who works in Cotswold, Cardiff.
"It is thought to be the inspiration for "Ffynnon Garw", the fictional mountain (or hill) featured in the book, and later, film, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain by Christopher Monger." (Direct quote from Wikipedia.)
We are gradually becoming 'gear freaks'. This week was the first outing for Lynne's new high-wicking top (Description: actively wicks moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable).
Stamina increases quickly - we were surprised that we scrambled up to the top at a good speed without feeling needing to rest.
Our first hill-walking steps were inspired by our good friend, Maria. An experienced walker who has conquered the Munro's (twice) and hiked to the Everest Base Camp. We were in expert hands.
Our first hill in Scotland - Cockleroy. A gentle, short walk but it was enough to persuade me (Lynne) that there was a need to purchase 'proper' hill-walking boots!
That was over a year ago now. We have 'dabbled' since - mostly when we are working in Scotland and staying with Maria. We have explored The Ochils - reaching the summit of Ben Cleuch, The Law, Andrew Gannel and Bank Hill. And we have purchased walking trousers, walking boots and rucksacks.
The hill-walking bug really began after our day in the Pentland Hills (see the next blog entry). Driving back home to Wales gave us an opportunity to reflect on the excitement of the 'whiteout' experience and 'a peak a week' was born. Can we manage it? Who knows. But we now aim to walk a peak a week...and to document our learning experiences as we go.
...a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
We are Lynne and Andrew from Single Steps Learning. Our love of learning and exploring has inspired us to take up 'hill-walking'. We hope to progress from novice to expert! This is our journey.