Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Take one dog, add a large hill....
Although it's been quiet on the blog front, we've been up to stuff in the back ground. Linz and I went to visit family up in Scotland and took the opportunity to do some hill walking as training for the big climb. We settled on Dumyat since it's close to where we were and we've been talking about climbing it for years. Dumyat (pronounced dum-eye-at) is 420m tall and rises above Stirling from the flat river plain of the Forth so we pretty much climbed the whole 420m. It forms part of the Ochil Hills and overlooks the Wallace Monument and down onto Stirling and surrounding towns. The image on the left is Dumyat taken from the old Devon Colliery.
The weather was changeable and we were grateful that we had the perfect sort for walking on the day of our climb. It was mostly overcast with a few breaks for sunshine, which came around pork-pie o'clock when we stopped by a little burn for a snack about an hour and a half or so into the walk.
Now,don't be fooled with how idyllic it looks, to get to this pretty little area, we had to walk through 6ft tall bracken which was alive with flies and spiders and all the sorts of things I don't like. Hence, for about the first 100m up, which covered about 2miles I did a little fly swatting jig all the way since I can't stand things with lots of legs.
After coming out of the bracken, we crossed a couple of burns and started to approach the summit from the back, which, let me tell you, was extremely steep! The last stretch up is quite challenging on the thighs, but this is exactly the sort of training I'll need to be doing. Once we were in the open ground, I became less convinced that I was being stalked by an army of horseflies and started to enjoy it a little more. The dog was fascinated by the sheep that graze on the open ground and there were lots of ruined farm buildings for Linz to take picture of, some mostly everyone was happy.
The summit was extremely windy so we didn't linger too long, but the views were spectacular!
We did a couple of other walks while up north, but mostly quite gentle ones. I wasn't nearly as sore as I was expecting to be after Dumyat, which is a good indicator that the training is doing something! The whole walk was over 6miles (since we got lost on the way back down) and we did it all in 3.5 hours, which is pretty good considering we stopped for snacks and rests along the way.
Given the height we're climbing on Kilimanjaro, I figured that Dumyat is probably about half of what we'll do in a day, which I'm now a little more confident about since I didn't think I was absolutely going to collapse at any time - although, add in some serious altitude and I'm sure it'll be a different matter!
Off to the gym this evening. A local gym owner has sponsored us by way of membership and training advice until our climb, which is very generous. I fully expect to make myself sore all over using the cross trainer!
See you soon,