Hello and Hello...

Welcome to our humble blog that will follow the misadventures of very average camping, hiking/rambling enthusiasts based out of Oxford. We will blog on camping trips, latest hikes, equipment reviews and whatever takes our fancy...

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Rambling Hikers raised £2,093!

With The Three Peaks Challenge now becoming a distant memory it is time to reflect and count the amount of sponsorship that we raised in the build up, during and after the event.

In total (including Gift Aid) we raised a total of £2,093! Which is great and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that sponsored us along the way. The money will be split equally between the following charities:

- Breakthrough Breast Cancer
- British Heart Foundation
- Children in Need
- The Stroke Association

The charity page will be taken down at the end of the week, so there is still time to donate :) http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/ramblinghikers2010

Now onto the next hike...

Friday, 1 October 2010

Checklist for the Three Peaks Challenge

With the challenge fast approaching it is time to ensure that we have everything we need for a successful trip. To do so the following items are all recommended:

To take on each peak (In rucksack)
- Map
- Compass
- Gloves
- Hat
- Mobile phone
- Spare socks (In case your boots don't do their job)
- First aid kit
- Sunglasses (It maybe sunny at some point)
- Head torch
- Camera (To prove you have done it)
- Glucose tablets
- Energy drinks/water
- Survival blanket/bag
- Snacks
- Walking poles
- Whistle

Equipment to be worn
- Walking boots & socks
- Thermals
- Walking trousers
- Fleece
- Waterproofs (Jacket & Trousers)

To Leave in the car
- Spare clothes
- Water bottles
- Food
- Sleeping bag
- Travel pillow

(List adapted from the Official Three Peaks Challenge site)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

A breif guide to the National Three Peaks

As we get ready to embark on our Three Peaks challenge we thought it was time to take a closer look at the three mountains that make up the national version of this challenge: Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon.

Ben Nevis (Estimated climb time - 5hrs)

Ben Nevis (Scottish Gaelic - Beinn Nibheis) or The Ben as it is also know is the highest moutain in the British Isles and is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains close to the town of Fort William.

The summit of The Ben is 1,344 metres (4,409ft) above sea level and attracts an estimated 100,000 ascents each year, 100,006 if you include our group of ramblers. One of the key features of Ben Nevis, are the ruins of an meteorogical observatory at the summit, which wass permanently staffed between 1883 and 1904.

Scafell Pike (Estimated climb time - 5hrs)

Scafell Pike is England highest fell, or mountain and is the smallest of the three peaks at 978 metres (3,209ft). Located in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria.

 In 1919, the summit of Scafell Pike was donated to the National Trust by Lord Leconfield.

Snowdon (Estimated climb time - 4hrs)

Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh is the highest mountain in Wales. Constantly describe as the busiest mountain in Britain, Snowdon at 1,085 metres (3,560ft) is the second highest mountain in the Three Peaks challenge.

So there it is, a very brief guide to the Three Peak mountains.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Walking in Sandford Pit and Parsonage Moor – The Last Hike before the Challenge Begins!

Our last practice walk before the big day and we headed out into the Oxford countryside once again in search of those hidden footpaths and bridleways that offer a glimpse of rural Oxfordshire. We decided on the network of routes in and around Sandford Pit and Parsonage Moor.

Once again the weather was pleasant, if a little on the cold side, and I got the chance to try out my new fleece for the first time (this may not sound exciting but it’s good to know I won’t be shivering by the time we get two thirds of the way up Ben Nevis). Almost immediately we came upon Sandford Pit, which opened out into an oasis of calm with a lily-covered pool at one end, surrounded on all sides by sandy slopes with thick vegetation at the top.

Sandford Pit from above
It was one of the first times on these walks that I felt entirely cut off from the surrounding world, which although fleeting, was an enjoyable experience.

As this was new territory for us we had no definite route in mind so we chose instead to let the routes guide us, which enabled us to be flexible in our approach. The most surreal moment without doubt was when we came upon an area of forest with several large ramps in it. We quickly decided that it must be used by BMX riders and thought little more of it. However, as we moved deeper into the woods things became even more curious as we discovered more and more ramps and about 30 empty bottles of antifreeze. Just to (ahem) ramp up the tension even more we rounded a bend and found ourselves face to face with a hand carved totem pole and skull-like carving.

A conservative estimate would say that in that relatively small area there were in excess of 35 ramps of varying sizes forming an intricate and complex circuit designed (I assume) for very skilled and experience BMX riders. The antifreeze would stop the track from becoming frosted with ice and so treacherous. We all came away with the feeling that we’d just seen something quite special, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be someone waiting to drop in vertically from the starting ramp and then have to take on such a demanding course.

Just one section of course
As we moved further into the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside we found ourselves out of the wind and able to take in the pastoral scenes that surrounded us. Greig even kept us informed of the potential pitfalls and possible dangers of doing the three peaks. Thanks to a quirky book written about the challenge, I have found out that one of the symptoms of hyperthermia is ‘death’. I’m not sure if there’s a cure for such a symptom but the book didn’t seem to offer any suggestions.

So there we were approaching the end of our last practice walk as ‘amateur’ hikers and we all looked particularly attractive in our new ‘Rambling Hikers 2010’ custom beanies (my personal favourite is Rach’s pink one and am slightly jealous that I didn’t choose that colour).
Greig & Iain

Rachel & Greig

And so we waved goodbye (not literally) to Parsonage Moor and took several faltering steps towards this weekend’s epic walk. 26 miles up and down the three highest mountains in the UK…..I can’t wait to get started. (Iain - hiker)

You can see all our pictures from this walk on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rambling-Hikers/135758203132272

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Giving Shotover Country Park a Shot – Tales from the Far Side (of Oxford)

So, the big day is getting dangerously close now and I feel a bit like I did the week before an exam. I’ve got that small feeling in my stomach like when I knew I hadn’t revised enough and realised that when the questions turned to the reign of Edward 2nd I was going to be left clutching at straws. One key difference is that whereas I’d probably glanced through the history text book to give myself a chance, this time I haven’t climbed any of the peaks and so don’t even know if I have the first clue what I’m doing.

This aside I’m getting increasingly excited about the possibility of this hike. In preparation, I thought I’d put my mind at rest by going online and looking at the respective routes. I did this only to be greeted on the first website I looked at with the warning ‘NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED’. At that point I began to ask myself maybe I’m not the right sort of person for this adventure. Maybe I should just sit at home and watch reruns of Friends on Sky rather than punish my soft, flabby body with this most difficult of challenges.

Fortunately I slapped myself and snapped out of this negative mindset (I was the only person in the room so couldn’t rely on anyone else to do it for me) and instead cast my mind back to the weekend before last the ramblers decided some extra hiking practice was needed to give ourselves a fighting chance.

The venue was Shotover Country Park within the boundaries of Oxford. Having never been there before, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a diverse, undulating conservation area with pleasant views of Oxford and the surrounding countryside. Thanks to a photo taken by Greig of the information board I can tell you that it covers 280 acres and we mixed and matched the available paths through the trees (little bit of the Sandpit walk, most of the Northwood trail with some other trails thrown in there for good measure).

The map of Shotover park
Once again we were trying out our boots and I thought I’d carry a rucksack just to see how comfortable, or not, that was. It turned out to be a very enjoyable walk in warm, but not uncomfortable conditions. We spent a couple of hours negotiating the well-signposted routes of the park and even got to walk past (not play in) the sandpit from Winnie the Pooh (I was informed of this fact by a reliable source).

The routes available - Green is the longest and follows the boundary, Yellow = Northwood Trails and the short options is in Red = Sandpit walk
I would recommend having a wander around as you will no doubt be surprised that such a place exists in the urban sprawl of Oxford. Although not perhaps a challenge for the hikers out there, it serves as a brisk walk to help shake away the cobwebs, and the hills at least allow your body to feel the burn of real exertion.

Due to the sunny weather I still haven’t tested my boots’ waterproofing but I’m confident that they will stand up easily to whatever weather conditions the peaks have to offer. I can definitely feel the momentum of this walk beginning to build now and I suspect that if I have chance to write another blog before it starts then I might find that those butterflies in my stomach might have grown to epic proportions. I only hope that my optimism and excitement grow in proportion to any nerves or doubts - Iain (Hiker)

The winding path

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Rambling at the edge of Oxfordshire

Is it us or has summer officially left Oxfordshire? A week of continous rain would suggest this to be the case and with no real sign of improvement, the thought of evening walks and weekend hikes is not an appealing one. And while this weather is excellent practice conditions for our Three Peaks Challenge it is not best suited to breaking in and getting used to our gear and boots.

So, on a 'sunny' Sunday afternoon, we ventured to the furthests reaches of Oxfordshire, where it meets with the boader of Gloucestershire, and a tiny scenic village called Buscot or more specifically - Buscot Lock, the smallest of all the 45 locks along the banks of the river Thames. It was well worth the visit. 

If you are looking for a scenic and gentle walk then Buscot weir is highly recommeded, you can walk along the banks of the Thames or venture inland. And when that all gets too much, sit on a bench and watch as the narrow boats make there way up and down the lock. Whichever option you choose, a enjoyable walk is certainly on the cards, weather dependant of course!

Intro to Buscot Weir
View of the lock

Narrowboat approaching the lock
Which way to go

Monday, 23 August 2010

Nevis Say Never Again – one Rambler’s thoughts on a return to the UK’s highest peak.

Last October, at almost exactly the same time as this year’s challenge, I undertook my first ever hike up a mountain. Whether out of ignorance, showmanship or blind optimism Ben Nevis was chosen as my first peak. There was no particular reason to this choice although a number of factors did combine to make it a definite favourite - I’d never been to Scotland before, I wanted an excuse to drive a fast car up the motorway and probably the major contributing factor was that my stepdad had asked me if I wanted to fill a space which had come available. A slight sense of dé ja vu here…

We booked ourselves into a bunkhouse nestled at the foot of ‘the Ben’ and set off from Kent at 5am. After a rather exhausting ten hour drive, we stepped out of the lashing wind and rain and into an impromptu céilidh with hot toddies thrust into our hands and hot food in our mouths. To this day I haven’t found anything that beats Scottish hospitality. After some more whiskey and some incredibly awful attempts at taking part in ‘The Dance Of The Gay Gordons’ my stepdad and I found our bunks and attempted to get a good nights rest before tackling the peak the next day.
As I mentioned before, I’d never attempted something like this. I consider myself a fairly fit and sporty person, enjoying the likes of football, squash and cycling on a regular basis. I knew it would be an uphill struggle (apologies for the poor pun) but I still naively didn’t factor in that it was actually a mountain – a real, grown up mountain. In my head it would be just a continuous, fairly steep slope for several hours. This proved to be…inaccurate as we started our ascent just after first light.

We had heard weather reports the previous day of severe gales and showers due in the afternoon, and after a [drunken] conversation with another rambler during the night we’d decided it best to get up and down as soon as we could before the weather closed in. Not knowing what to expect, the first hour of ascent was gruelling. The track initially starts with an incline over fields but this is soon overtaken by large, uneven rocky ‘steps’ which hug the hillside and curve up towards a loch. Finding my rhythm was the most important thing and after an hour I seemed to find it, making me able to appreciate the amazing scenery which was in front of me.
The loch rests at the point where you can decide whether to tackle the arête or take the pony track to the summit. From here you look down over a valley with a distant waterfall and river just visible flowing down from a lesser, but no less impressive, peak. We hoped that with the good weather we could attempt the arête but this was soon put on the back burner as we found the bad weather had found us sooner than planned. In what we later found out were steady 40mph winds gusting up to 90mph, we made our way up to the top.

I would go into in-depth analysis and detail of the remaining hour and half but walking up a steep slope offers surprisingly little entertainment save the amazing views and the occasional chuckle at someone slipping over (mainly myself). Three and half hours after we set off, we finished traversing all 1,344m of the rocky beast in a foot of snow and howling winds. We celebrated with a pork pie and half a malt loaf.

It may seem from what I’ve written that my walk up Ben Nevis was at times gruelling and miserable and far harder than anything I’ve done before. All this is true. It is also the most incredible thing I think I’ve done in my life, truly. The sense of achievement upon reaching the peak is incomparable, it defies words. I can only imagine and can’t wait to find out how it feels to do that three times in twenty four hours. (Chris - Rambler)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Preamble to the Ramble (Taking on Snowdon)

Earlier this year five friends and I took temporary ownership of a cottage nestled at the foot of Mount Snowdon. There was a lot more to the trip than a fairly routine ascent and descent of Wales’s tallest rock formation and the following words are part of a much larger piece. However, for the sake of pertinence I’ve edited out all the in-jokes, cross references and vulgarity which leaves only the hiking in purest form.

Lessons learnt from this trip:
• Dry feet are worth more than gold
• Scotch atop a mountain is about as good as it gets
• Being over-equipped makes one look a fool

Tackling The Tomb:
The Pyg Track is one of three main routes to the summit of the mount; the first, The Miner's Trail is a long winding route, through the valley with a steep incline at the end, considered rather boring. The other option open to us was Cryb Goch, a path along a horseshoe ridge leading to the peak, the path is about 3 feet wide with enormous drops either side. In the forecasted windy conditions, it was agreed that this might be a bit beyond us. So we opted for the Pyg; somehow a path had been hewn into the rock and a giant's staircase of well placed rocks provided a steep and exhausting path straight up the side of the south face. Randall was lagging behind, probably due to his carrying a small reservoir in his pack. Adam marched on ahead looking distinctly like his father, wearing his new boots, thick woolly socks pulled high and, remarkably, shorts. Eventually the path levelled out and we saw the first of many lakes deep in the valley below us. What appeared to be a colourful ant trail winding along beneath us was a horde of the unambitious walking along the flat path of the Miner's Trail. Our path began to grow steeper and before long we needed to use our hands to clamber over rough steps too big for human legs.

Looking down on the Miner's Trail and reservoir

Walking into the clouds
We ate our brilliantly prepared packed lunch on a rocky outcrop looking over a blue-black pond and looked back at our progress - the landscape rolled away behind us. White snow on black granite to our right and yellow-green grass to the left, there was no hint of any civilisation as far as the eye could see and this was exactly what I'd hoped for when the idea of this trip first appeared. Tucking into my lunch of Spanish ham sandwiches, tracker bars and a Capri sun I was conscious of what a great moment I was living; the company was excellent, the air clean and my feet dry.

The gradient increased and we found ourselves venturing into the clouds. The temperature dropped considerably as we approached the 3500 foot mark. Snowdon has been described as the busiest mountain in the UK and we saw this first hand when we were trapped in a bottle neck.
Left to right: Luke, Adam, Randall, Hugh, Ryan and Marcos
Heavy winter snowfall hadn't been given a chance to melt in the year's first quarter and the single file track through it yielded rare passing places to allow us to get past those already descending from the mountain top. "What's it like up there?" I asked a weather beaten bloke with two ski-poles, "Cold” he said

“You don't want to up there long but..." his words trailed off in the wind as his marching took him beyond audible distance. Ski poles, I thought, they must be the trick to speed. Standing in the queue we witnessed one climber in a bright orange coat took an ice axe from his pack and attempted to make his own path. Quite why he brought such extreme equipment to an amateur’s mountain like this, I don't know. He stumbled about in deep snow for a bit, hacking at the ice like Trotsky's assassin before half walking half falling back into line, red face and hopefully embarrassed. Eventually we got passed the blockage and we didn't have to make fools of ourselves in doing so. The end was now in sight; we marched the last few sections and arrived.

For that brief moment we were the highest band of miscreants in all of Wales. We celebrated with the usual photos, some scotch which went some way to warm us up and the remains of our lunch. Mr Ski-Poles had been right, it was bitterly cold and we were soon on our way back into the shelter of the ridge for our descent.
Plaque at the summit
The idea of achieving the highest spot in a region and getting the top is as old as history, but taking a step back from the activity it is a bizarre concept. Perhaps human evolutionary progress means that for the lucky minority in the first world, survival is no longer a challenge so we seek to compete with nature in other ways. The idea of a chimpanzee climbing the highest tree in the jungle for no other reason than self-satisfaction and to be able to tell his pals is ridiculous - but it's not far removed from what the entire weekend had been planned around. That and an enormous (hopefully) dinner at the pub followed by lashings of locally brewed ale (and J2O for Marcos).

The descent was uneventful, and was taken at less of a charge. We stopped at a lake for Luke to take some stunning photographs and Ryan to prove himself as the worst skimmer of stones in the history of opposable thumbs. While Adam, Marcos and Randall boasted records in excess of 15 bounces Ryan managed 3, on one occasion.

The descent
Our return route was the Miner's Trail; the path winding gently through the valley vindicated our decision to ascend via the more challenging Pyg Track. We stepped back into basecamp after four or five hours walking and talking; a successful trek into the clouds. (Hugh - Rambler)

Snowdonia National Park
All photos provided courtesy of Luke Doyle

Monday, 16 August 2010

A Walk on the Mild Side: Notes from the First Team Hike

I’ve done hikes before, don’t get me wrong. When I did my bronze award for Duke of Edinburgh’s Award I had to cover some good ground, but I’ve never done anything quite like this before. Three peaks in one day….it sounds straightforward doesn’t it? Like at work if some asks me to do three reports in a day they’ll probably get a disgruntled sigh from me and I might complain a little, but in the end it’s easily done. This though is something quite different. I’m going to face a variety of testing weather conditions, no doubt fall over a few times to boot and be absolutely exhausted for much of the 24 hour duration. That’s not to say I can’t do it, I just don’t think I’ll realise exactly what I’ve let myself in for until I’m on some narrow path alongside a ravine half-way up Ben Nevis being buffeted by the wind and with rain lashing my face.

As you can imagine I’m not exactly flush with hiking equipment, which makes Hi-Tec’s decision to deck us out in their bestselling boots with water proof technology all the more appreciated. I could have worn my existing trainers but I slipped over playing indoor football the other week, never mind scaling the three highest peaks in the UK, so I’m thinking they’re not ideally suited for the job.

We did a practice hike last week and it was successful on every level. Uffington White Horse the location for our trial proved more than adequate for a first hike and boot review and the weather was perfect as we wound our way up and down the Oxfordshire countryside with the famous White Horse carved into the chalk hillside. We found the steepest slope available and made sure we climbed at a reasonable pace, whilst stopping for a moment at the top to enjoy the impressive view of the surrounding country.

Everyone was in good spirits and the banter was good, which makes me think we’ve got ourselves a good group to take on this challenge. Fortunately no one fell over or injured themselves, which is good news but also means this blog lacks a certain amount of drama or emotional impact.

The fine weather did mean that we couldn’t test our boots’ waterproofing, but we did pour our water over them:

V-Lite Rapidtrail's water repellency in Action

V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi repelling water

I have also held my boots under the tap and marvelled at the way the water simply slides off the surface without any being absorbed. I can’t wait to see how the comfort and waterproofing last over the course of 24 hours and three gruelling peaks. I think my fellow hikers will agree with me that as first walks go this was both pleasant and important, both in creating that all important team spirit (I was told my jokes were rubbish but I’m sure I can convince people otherwise) and for testing the footwear to make sure it is comfortable, which it certainly was.

My first blog has come to an end. The Rambling Hikers are officially off and running (well….walking).

Iain (Rambler)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Hiking from an armchair...

Essential reading for the walking/mountain enthusiast...

1) Clear Waters Rising - Nicholas Crane (The Nicholas Crane of BBC series, Coast)
After studying a map of Europe the author realises that he walk a watershed line from the north-west tip of Spain all the way to Bucharest. Crane’s journey takes two years during which time he crosses five mountain ranges, becomes friends with an umbrella, scale Mont Blanc, meets a hugely diverse range of people, takes lessons from the Romans and puts his marriage to the test. Crane’s determination even when facing challenges such as 100 mph winds, 100 year old maps and a bear makes the Rambling Hikers Three Peaks Challenge seem like a walk in the park.

2) The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton (Not of Coast fame)
While the entire book comes highly recommended it is specifically chapter 6 ‘On the Sublime’ that is relevant to the Rambling Hikers. De Botton takes Edmund Burke as his ‘guide’ and travels to Mount Sinai claiming he set out in order to be made to feel “small”. He writes brilliantly and goes some way to explaining that which is otherwise inexplicable.
“The perfect antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, The Art of Travel tries to explain why we really went in the first place – and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our own journeys.”

3) East of the Mountains – David Guterson
Possibly my favourite novel. Ben Givens sets out on his life’s last hike having been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He resolves to leave his home in Seattle with his dogs and travel to the place where he was happiest with no intention of returning. His journey takes the reader back in time to Givens’ youth, a place “of silent canyons where he hunted birds, of august peaks he had once ascended, of apples newly plucked from trees and of vineyards in the foothills of the Apennines.” Guterson’s love of the landscape and his protagonist’s relationship to it makes the reader want to get out from under a roof and into the big outdoors.
4) As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – Laurie Lee
“The story of what happened when a young man left home” – Laurie Lee leaves his Cotswolds home to find adventure, finding that London offered him nothing he sets sail for Spain with nothing but his violin and “gracias”. By the conclusion of the work he’s walked the length of the Iberian peninsula, surviving by busking on street corners and made friends throughout the country. In As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Lee writes of his stay in a Spanish fishing village which he calls "Castillo." The real town is Almuñécar. In 1988 the citizens of Almuñécar erected a statue in Lee's honour, such was the favour with which the Spanish looked upon the author. Lee shows that preparation isn’t everything, his enthusiasm and willingness to keep an open mind are of a much higher value.

If you have read them let us know or any suggestions on books that we should all be reading?
Hugh (Rambling Member)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Singi... Walking in the rain

As I start to write this it appeared that the rain was about to cease, making what i was going to write seem a bit out of tune, but alas it is not so, the heavens have once again opened and from the window I can see huge lumps of water splashing off my car, what is more worrying is that I can also see that I left a window open, back in a moment...

Only minimal dampness so all is ok. Maybe there is a meerkat sorry market for waterproof car seats or interiors? well convertables perhaps, although that would just leave huge puddles of water in the car, so a draining system would be required, just a random thought.

But on to the point at hand, is it popular to go hiking in the rain, and i mean heavy rain like it is now in south Oxforshire? I am not talking about going off hiking when there is still sun in the sky, i mean heading off when it is bucketing it down, i have seen people do it! Would be interesting to know and to find out what gear they take with them, but most importantly why they do it? There is information out there on how to prepare for rain when hiking, The Sideroad and Two-heel Drive offer solutions and SF Hiker examiner tell us how to enjoy it but that was all I could find in my two minute search. Maybe a niche to tap into.

Anyhow, with all the technology and clothing that is now available claiming to be breathable, water and wind proof it would not surprise me to see people going out in all conditions to test out the claims of their new gear. We will be doing the same with our V-Lite boots, putting the ion-mask technology into action but to purely go hiking when it is pouring down still seems a bit out there.

Or maybe it is not, as the weather in the UK now seems to be turning into a pepetual shower perhaps these rain hikers are ahead of the game and are planning for what is about to come. They go hiking in the rain so that on those occasions when sun becomes cloud and cloud turns to drizzle before finally setting into a downpour they can whip out their waterproof gear that they took with them while the rest of us try to shelter under a tree.

So the note to self here is always, no matter what the weather, plan for rain.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Choosing the boots for the job

A lot of research can go into selecting a new item of clothing and footwear or anything else for that matter. You look online, find what you like then spend another 30 minutes or so looking at other websites to see if you can find it cheaper anywhere else. Then you maybe go to the store and try them on there before deciding to buy online and by the time all that is done they don't have your size/colour anyway... and so it goes on.

So when it comes to choosing the correct type of hiking boots for our 24hr Three Peaks challenge it could have become a long and arduous process for each of us. Deliberation was done on whether looks or comfort was more important, but in the end all our problems were solved thanks to Hi-Tec who have very kindly kitted our hiking party out with their top two selling hiking boots, the V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi, the V-Lite Rapidtrail Ultra WPi for the men and for the lady in our team the V-Lit Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi, we are all very grateful to Hi-Tec for this.

The V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi's won the Which Best Buy for walking boots (May 2010), so we are in the best of company when taking on this challenge. All that remains is to get out there to test and review them... but is a shame to get them dirty, or is it?

All the hiking boots that we are reviewing and testing have ion-mask technology added to them, which makes them extremely hydrophobic and dirt repellent. So it is time to put them to the test. All that is left to sort out is the remainder of our kit! (Greig - Rambler)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

And so it begins...

Our first posting, very exciting! Now what to write about.... hmmmm

Ah yes, why we have set this up? Well that one we can answer. It all began back in November last year when James and Greig took on the
Hell Runner challenge which is definately worth doing if you get the chance. But it got us thinking, why don't we try to run the three peaks in the 24hr period? That has not been done before, right? And we could set the record for quickest time. Glory would be ours. There are races up and down Ben Nevis and I am sure the same for Snowdon and Scafell Pike but not the whole hog it would seem.

So the initial challenge was set, 3 peaks running challenge within 24hrs, breaking records as we go. Initials plans were drawn up, gear was investigated and training schedules planned - the date, sometime August 2010.

But alas, the best laid plans have their problems and this one was no exception, time was too short, finding a suitable date. You get the story.

So plans were altered and adapted and we are now taking on the standard, run of the mill walking version of the Three Peaks Challenge. In doing so, our team has grown to five, and they are:

Hugh Evans - 20+ something, average hiker who enjoys basketball in his spare time and has the unfortunate call sign off "touch me" when looking for the ball
Rachel Crane - Traveller extraordinaire, recently back from a 4 month hike around South America, Rachel enjoys walking and tennis and has a lethal forehand, which I am sure will come in handy when we are climbing.
James Gottfried - What this man has not done is not worth doing. Enjoying the finer things in life you can be sure that there will be designer apparel present during our challenge. James also enjoys sandals.
Greig Barclay - Overly hairy Scotsman that enjoys a variety of activities. Known for saying "you know" after every sentence and keen viewer of Midsomer Murders.
Iain Matthews - The driver on our quest for glory, Iain enjoys cricket and has been known to dabble in softball, two key attributes when taking on the Three Peaks. He is also a size 10 shoe.
Our date is set for the 1st-3rd October 2010 and from this point on the real training begins....