Tag Archives: threepeaks

Climbing Ben Nevis

A few weeks after climbing Snowdon seemed like a good time to tackle the next of the three peaks: Ben Nevis.

I made a vlog of the trip which I think tells the story better than I could write it:

You can see in the video it was very busy, even busier than Snowdon, as there seemed to be some kind of team challenge going on. While this was a bit annoying on the lower sections, I was actually quite relieved that there was a steady stream of people coming back down the mountain as we neared the top – one more way of checking we were still heading in the right direction through the snow with minimal visibility!

summit

It was a bit of a shame that we didn’t get the reward of a nice view (or any view at all) but it was a nice hike all the same, and the weather and lack of visibility made it seem even more challenging – and meant we even got a chance to use the compass we took :)

Here’s the proof from the Map My Hike app I used to track the walk.
Elevation was just over 1,300 metres (4,265 ft)

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Now we just need to find a way to fit in Scafell Pile to complete the three peaks…

McKechnies do Snowdon!

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As there are not very many mountains around West London, proper Kilimanjaro training requires travelling a bit further afield. And as I did say I was going to try and climb the three peaks, it was only a matter of time before a trip to Snowdon happened. So with a bunch of the McKechnie clan plus some friends, we rented an amazing house called Plas Colwyn in Beddgelert as a base to climb Snowdon. Most of us could only stay for the weekend but those with a bit more time (i.e. the retired ones) stayed on for the whole week.

After a hearty dinner on Friday night and a rather lengthy discussion about how many cars we needed to take to Llanberis (to ensure that the groups walking, getting the train or half and half could all get back at the end of the day) we set off at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning and found our way to the start of the Llanberis Path.

All weather forecasts had pointed towards very cold, windy and even snowy conditions at the summit, so we were all wrapped up in plenty of layers which were quickly shed as soon as we started walking under blue skies. But after a pitstop for sandwiches (thanks to Lindsay and Elaine) we could see the clouds coming in over the summit and all the layers were quickly piled back on.

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To test out my new rucksack and make my training a little harder, I weighed down my bag with two bottles of champagne for a little summit refreshment :) Despite the cold wind at the summit, we managed to put away one bottle to lighten the load slightly for the way down!

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I was quite surprised at how busy the path was – I had climbed Snowdon once before but that was (gulp!) 20 years ago and I remember the route being almost empty. Though I was 8 so my memory may not be the most reliable. But now it seems, during half term at least, that climbing Snowdon is a very popular Saturday activity!

As well as my Dad’s photos above, James and Lindsay did a great job between them of documenting the trip – James made two go pro films and Lindsay made a great vlog of the weekend:

James’s films:


Lindsay’s vlog:

Run Before I Can Walk: Training Plan

As mountains go, Kilimanjaro is not a “technical” climb, it mainly just involves a lot of walking (a LOT of walking). Tens of thousands of people climb Kilimanjaro each year, and people of all ages and fitness levels have reached the summit – reliable sources on the internet and in real life have said that you do not need to be ultra-fit to succeed and it is actually best not to over-train.

However, there will be plenty of other obstacles to contend with during the trip, mainly altitude acclimatisation, and I don‘t want a lack of fitness to even cross my mind while I concentrate on things like breathing and walking and staying warm.

Also, while I do make the effort to walk whenever I can, I rarely walk very long distances or up hills, so this is going to take my legs and lungs a bit of getting used to. As well as plenty of local training walks, I am planning the following walks / mini challenges throughout next year:

Snowdon
3 Peaks Challenge (Snowdon, Skafell Pike and Ben Nevis)
Alpine hiking (if I really have to, I think I could put up with a trip to the Swiss Alps ;o)

On top of that, I have somehow been talked into running the Adidas Half Marathon next March. This is an altogether different and rather horrifying challenge, made exciting only by the fact that the run is on the Silverstone race track. The furthest I have ever run is 10km in April 2013 (Parkinson’s UK Run Highclere event) and this is just over double that… I’m already pretty terrified but for now I’m taking it one run at a time and hoping I start to enjoy it soon!

So it looks like I will be spending the winter running, running and more running (with a few walks thrown in), before switching to walking, walking and more walking in the springtime.

For now, it’s off to the gym!