How Prepared is Prepared! (EBC…soon!)

Saturday 21st September 2013

How much do you have to do to be ready for trekking to Everest Base Camp? I  am trying to keep up my training so that I can give myself a chance of achieving the objective in November. However, it is becoming harder as the weather starts to deteriorate. Today was a good example. The weather was awful! Have a look at the photos.

Did you say..Here we go again?!

The bottom of Pen Y Ghent. Time to turn back?!

The bottom of Pen Y Ghent. Time to turn back?!

The Ghosts Of Pen Y Ghent

The Ghosts Of Pen Y Ghent

Scrambling the East side. That is not the top!

Scrambling the West side. That is not the top!

The Busy Summit

The Busy Summit

The way down. Somewhere!!

The way down. Somewhere!!

It was like deja vu.  Mist, swirling winds, rain and no sun! Some readers will remember me having a bad day on Barden Moor in April leading to a difficult time expediting myself from the situation. Today was not as bad. Partly because Pen Y Ghent is a ‘friendlier’ place in mist, rain and wind. There is a clear route up to the summit and there are lots of people around. Even when you have a little scramble up the steeper west side. Going up I past lots of other intrepid people. Some just doing the local circuit, others as part of The Three Peaks. Coming down from the summit I met someone who is about to do The Annapurna  Circuit in a couple of weeks. It’s a small world really! She has been working with a personal trainer for a some months and  gave me lots on encouragement and some useful tips! Like ….oh I won’t bother you with the details…anyway I now have more information to absorb. Training, planning, bags, kit, weight limits, boots, weather reports, Diamox, height gained, miles walked, stretching, pull ups. Aaaaaaah. This is what happens when you are preparing on your own. A trainer, or team are a big help. Lesson! You are better doing this as part of a team, even in preparation!However I am now reaching the stage where I can’t take much more information or thinking about this trip, I just want to get on with it!! Wedding fever starts next week, so that will be a welcome distraction and will be something else to think about!

This week I’ve had one Yoga session, I was pleasantly surprised how much I had remembered what to do, I even remembered to breath at the correct time. Always a technical difficulty when I’m yogaing. One bike ride. 3hrs 37mins; 37:5 mls; and half a mile in ascents. Two walks. 3hrs 45mins; 8:4mls and 2165 ft climbed. Weight gained. Three pounds. Nooooooo!

The last car boot sale tomorrow, I’m selling off the remains, of the leftovers, of the unsolds! Bargins galore!! It’s the Macmillan Coffee Morning next week 27th September. If you know of one in your area try and support it! They are aiming for over £16  million this year, so I believe. A mountain to climb for them but not as big as the one people who need their help are having to climb!

Six more blogs. Is there anything you’d like to know… That I’m prepared to tell you!

Finally my blog quiz. A future Mastermind subject! A few each week to focus on my targets!!

1. What was my target for raising money?

2. Who is this about? Why was he important?

Admittedly, Big John still cut an awesome and easily recognisable figure – tall, white hair swept back, broad shoulders and enchanting smile lighting up a face with the strongest of features – but it still came as a surprise as local inhabitants almost exploded with joy at seeing him again. There were cries of “Il Re! Il Re!” As they jumped up from their seats in the street cafes, where they were enjoying the autumn sun before the snow came.

What was truly amazing was the age range of those who leapt to their feet to pat him on the back or shake his hand. From callow youth to grizzled veteran, they all knew and respected this hero of the past. No reminders were required. They knew that here was someone special.’

3. What am I not doing while training for this trek?

(All answers are in the 50 odd blogs to date!or you can wait until next week.)

Hopefully I will be with you then!

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Places to Go. People to…(EBC – 7 weeks to go)

Saturday 14th September 2013

Places to go, people to see, things to do! Everything seems to becoming quite hectic. I do not know whether this is some kind of mind illusion (You know the kind of thing I mean….that last mile on the walk which seems to be actually three miles! That last five minutes of a football match that seems to last fifteen minutes. The last ten minutes of a journey that feels like three hours. The extra ten minutes in bed that seems to go in ten seconds.) but  I have no time left at the end of a day. Not everything is achieved by the end of the week. However I am trying to stick to my targets, as mentioned last week. I wonder whether this is because there is a definite end point, November, to all this activity. Hence cramming is going on. I take my hat off to the majority of people who are doing this trek and continuing in a full time job and raising money. What I have learnt this week. Do not moan about being too busy, it’s a luxury! I am lucky to be given the chance to do this and I should remember that.

Stat…of the week.

THANK YOU! We have reached our target of £5,000.Our logo

Quite simply this is down to all the generous and unexpected support from hundreds of people that I know, some that I have met only once (to take a donation of them!) and to the hundreds of people who have given money that I have never met nor am I likely to. It has been difficult at times. I have been way outside my comfort zone all the way but I am glad I did some of it myself, persuaded others to help me with activities and for others, out of the blue, to decide they would help out with an event. Thank you seems an inadequate response but it is the only one that means anything!

So is that the end? Well not quite. If you know anybody who would like to support Macmillan they can do so via this link www.justgiving.com/Charles-Appleyard . I am tempted to try for another additional sum but I think the best thing is to say any more that we can add to the total will be such a bonus to Macmillan.

The less important stats of the week. Yoga sessions. One, I am a little less mobile than before the school holidays. Bike rides. One. 2hrs 5mins; 19:6mls & 2182ft climbed. I found a new source of blackberries and hazelnuts, so that was a bonus! Walks. Two. 9hrs 16mins; 25:2 mls & 4752ft climbed. Weight gained. Three pounds, too much ice cream, cake and chocolate, (it is only a week before the end of summer!) Hfh, four, all on the same day and one actually tried to bit me on the ankle, I never had my walking sticks out as quickly! Adders seen. One, basking in the sun on a rock! Unfortunately by the time I pulled out the camera it had slopped off into the warm undergrowth, amazing five minutes from home and ten minutes from Wetherby.

Moon Rise. Time for home.

Until next week. Thank you & Goodbye.

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Late Summer Energy (EBC – 8 weeks to go)

Sunday 8th September 2013

An update on my list from a few weeks ago. Clearly you were all too polite to tell me about the numbering, it was not sequential and there were only nine. Grade 3 in Maths could have taken a long time!!! In fact I’d probably still be doing it!

The tasks on the list have gone as follows:

10. Plan out my last few week’s training and make sure I stick to it. OK so far!

9. Check all the required kit is bought and worn in! Make sure I have a travel bag for it all. Kit in place except a sleeping bag liner and some gloves/mittens. Can’t find any at all.

8. Complete vaccination programme. Done. Buy travel insurance. Done.

7. Climb Scafell Pike, Siddaw and Blencathra. Three favourites in The Lakes. Planned for later in September, weather permitting. 

6. Write out a daily list to take with me…or I will forget …e.g. to put my boots on. Yes I’ve walked out of the house having done that! Done. (Yes it is amazing isn’t it!!)

5. Decorate the list of things I have drawn up around the house. Some major, others minor but it will take the best part of a month! Started it!

5 (b). Cut hedges and prepare them for winter. Not yet.

4. Make sure our fund raising target, of £5,000, is reached by arranging and completing the last three planned events. Nearly there.

3. Make travel plans to be in London on time to catch the plane to Kathmandu. Not done yet.

2. Relax. Reflect. Walk the walk…in my head. Am reading & thinking with the help of blogs from Australia!

1.  ?… For the one thing you are all saying….Don’t forget to……Still waiting.

Stats for the week.Yoga. One session. Bike rides. One. 24:5 mls; 2hrs 13mins & 1590ft climbed. Walks. Three. 11hrs 17mins; 29:6mls; 6186ft climbed. Runs. None. Weight change. No. Ice creams. Too many.

Contrary to popular myth we do not simple walk out of the house and head to the hills or pile into the car, find a destination and head over the horizon. It may seem hard to believe but there is a plan. For a number of years we have been working our way through some books by Jack Keighley, Paul Hannon and a Barthlolomew Guide by Brian Spencer. These are a variety of length, difficulty and terrain. We do not just look at a map and think, that’s a good place. Occasionally we do but the books give us a guide as to all of the above and suggest places we might not think of going to, or suggest routes we may not otherwise consider. they are a good starting point and if you are unsure give you a bit of confidence. Having said that we do find it is essential, the books tell you to do this as well, to take a map of the area. At times we have been horrendously off the track and lost our way. Sometimes the guides are poor, sometimes it is as simple as missing a style, or a yellow painted way marker which is only about one inch high!! An essential piece of equipment is therefore a pair of binoculars because they can save you a great deal of leg work walking round in circles looking for clues (it has happened) or thrashing the grass while thinking what to do next because it is late, dusk and we are at least two miles from the car… at the end of this wood. Sadly my binoculars are now been enjoyed by the person who found them on Snowdon, on a rock along the ridge at  Bwlch Main!

I digress. After the walk we always try for a tea, or ice cream and discuss the walk. this finally involves giving a score out of 10. So far we have awarded some low scores 4 and even a 3 once. Lower than that is just about impossible because any walk deserves at least 3 because it gets you out in the fresh air. We have awarded a few 9:5 (the average of at least two scores), about three, but never a 10. …Until today. Today we walked from Malham, via Malham Tarn, on to Langcliffe, back via Attermire Scar and the old Pack Road through the Pass and down to Malham. Malham Cove, Malham Tarn, the Yorkshire Three Peaks in view, Attermire Scar (and the caves), verdant green valleys and to finish off with more views of the Tarn, Cove and Upper Airedale. 14 miles of the best scenery there is. I know I’m biased. I never recommend walks but this one I would. How did we know about it? Well a few weeks agoI found this little book in a bookshop in Hawes by Colin Speakman. Printed in 1969, it cost about 50p then, I had to pay £2 for it, it is a little gem and gives walks that are a little bit longer but always worth the effort.

So what I’ve learned this week. Never give up looking, searching and been curious!

Scenes from this week. (Click to enlarge)

River Aire at The CoveRiver Aire at Malham

019Malham Cove

024Malham Tarn

026The Tarn from the the Field centre

030A stampede, just avoided!

036One more descent to go back to Malham

Thanks to all at the Golf Day, who, I hope, enjoyed themselves while raising money for Macmillan. A wonderful gesture to help a complete stranger.

Until next week. Goodbye.

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Collecting Myself (EBC – 9 weeks to go)

Sunday 1st September 2013

Hello.

In nine weeks we will be ready for the start of the trip. Considering all that and the fact that it was still school holidays, and I was working on the house, and there was important family matters to sort out, and I needed to visit a couple of people who were not well, and we were going on a barge trip, and I’d had a load more injections, and I was feeling a little jaded, and I was feeling a little tired, and things were becoming frenetic around the house (not everyone has the same mindset as me), and this week was going to be a busy one, (as far as I can see that will be the case all the way through to November), and my back was sore, and the garden was looking a little over-run… I thought, well may be I need to take a week off training and just more or less forget about it. So I did.

Therefore. Stats of the week. Yoga. None. Walks. None. Runs. None. Circuits. None. Swimming. None. Bike Rides. None. Time in boots. None. Time thinking about it. None. Sleep. Lots. Food. Moderate amounts. Ice creams. Moderate daily amounts.Booze. Moderate amounts.

Do you know what. I feel a lot more refreshed and am raring to go this next week again as the weather warms up again during the course of this week. So enjoy the last few weeks of this summer and I will be back next week with details of my continual battles with weight, weather, hills, fells, rain, wind, hfh, and the final push towards the fund raising targets.

Until then. Goodbye. Have a good week.

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Digging In and Trying Hard (EBC – 10 weeks to go)

Sunday 25th August 2013

Only ten weeks to go, this time next week it will be in single figures. Having drawn up a list of things to do before then I have yet to do any of them. Well, it’s back to school next week so that’s a chance to refocus and make sure I complete the programme I set out. The summer holiday has been very busy and proved difficult to keep a steady rhythm to my  plans. I do now understand, in only a small way,  how single minded people have to be to achieve far more than I ever will. You really have to be prepared to sacrifice lots of different things to reach training goals, which in turn lead to greater achievements.

Well ‘Training Camp 2’, the second week of our holiday, is now over, and what a great time we had in the glorious Cornwall sunshine walking stretches of the South West Coastal Path. It was always interesting, challenging and good fun but on some of those paths there is only a foot between you and the beach, rocks and sea, a few hundred feet below.

Stats of the this week in Cornwall. Weight lost …zero. Weight added …zero. Ice creams eaten eight. Yoga time none. Circuits, three…hard work in the hotel gym! Bike rides, in gym, two. Walks five; 17hrs 36mins; distance 31miles and 5304ft climbed. It was, I think, good practice, there are lots of ups and downs, deep gorges and ravines and even a few scrambles. One fairly hairy one round a headland top before running down to a beautiful beach below. Wainwright’s words (watch where you put your feet) were never more true on the evening stretch walking down to Pendeen Watch and The Lighthouse in the fading light of a wonderful day. What did I learn this week. Three things.There are some places it is best never to walk in the dark. The SWCP is top of my list. Always to be done in daylight. There are lots of friendly people around. Special thanks to the two ladies in St Ives Tourist Information who gave us some really good tips about the ‘severe’ stretch of the SWCP between St Ives and Pendeen Watch. Also to the two people who helped us thread our way to St Ives through the ‘Dunes’ and Hayle. I also learnt Liverpool is the liveliest place to be on Bank Holiday Sundays and Mondays!!

Scenes from the walking include those below.

015

Lots of bays you will never be able to reach. Only for seals!
018

There is a view like this around every corner.

Leaving Portreath, looking ahead!

Leaving Portreath, looking ahead!

Deserted tin Mines near Portreath

Abandoned Tin Mines near Portreath

This was the third of these inside a mile!

This was the third of these inside a mile!

It's a long way down at some points.

It’s a long way down at some points.

038

065We looked at this for 16 miles!

064  Pendeen Beach.

No fund raising this last week although I believe there is a golf day coming up, another Car Boot and a Coffee Morning, I hope this finally passes the target.

Have a good week, enjoy the good weather. It is still summer in England!

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Oh My Goodness! (Everest Base Camp – 11 weeks to go)

Everest Base Camp with Macmillan Cancer Support

Sunday 18th August 2013

Next week will be ten weeks to go, so here are 10 things I need to do before I go. Any suggestions or changes will be gratefully accepted.

Ten things to do before November 1st!!

10. Plan out my last few week’s training and make sure I stick to it.

9. Check all the required kit is bought and worn in! Make sure I have a travel bag for it all.

8. Complete vaccination programme and buy travel insurance.

7. Climb Scafell Pike, Siddaw and Blencathra. Three favourites in The Lakes.

6. Write out a daily list to take with me…or I will forget …e.g. to put my boots on. Yes I’ve walked out of the house having done that!

7. Decorate the list of things I have drawn up around the house. Some major, others minor but it will take the best part of a…

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Oh My Goodness! (Everest Base Camp – 11 weeks to go)

Sunday 18th August 2013

Next week will be ten weeks to go, so here are 10 things I need to do before I go. Any suggestions or changes will be gratefully accepted.

Ten things to do before November 1st!!

10. Plan out my last few week’s training and make sure I stick to it.

9. Check all the required kit is bought and worn in! Make sure I have a travel bag for it all.

8. Complete vaccination programme and buy travel insurance.

7. Climb Scafell Pike, Siddaw and Blencathra. Three favourites in The Lakes.

6. Write out a daily list to take with me…or I will forget …e.g. to put my boots on. Yes I’ve walked out of the house having done that!

7. Decorate the list of things I have drawn up around the house. Some major, others minor but it will take the best part of a month!

8. Make sure our fund raising target, of £5,000, is reached by arranging and completing the last three planned events.

9. Relax. Reflect. Walk the walk…in my head.

10. ?… For the one thing you are all saying….Don’t forget to……

Stats for the week. Weight wise..too much pizza, pasta, scotch whiskey (not my fault bytheway, it was all bought for me) and cake! Training circuits, three! Swimming sessions one! No bikes…in for mending and a service. Walking; 14:6 hrs, 36:5 mls on the SWCP; 6864ft climbed! It was hard. it was glorious. It was stunning. It was the SWCP, the best walking in the whole country. Yep it was! Nothing can compare. Photos to follow next week!

Further to the question of what will you do next year. There are two events which are up for discussion and planning. The Coast to Coast. The South West Coastal Path…,in one go. Maybe!

From the Macmillan website this week a reminder of the things they can do for you or someone you know.

“We provide high quality, up-to-date cancer information for cancer patients, their families and carers. All of our information is written and reviewed by specialists.

We will be adding more cancer information to these pages in coming months.

For further cancer information, see the full Macmillan web site.”

Have a good week! Bye for now.

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