Blog Archive

Friday, 8 October 2010

155 Fells in a week!

As most of you are probably aware I live in the Lake District and, like many, I do take it for granted. People ask me if I’ve been up Broad Crag, Great Gable, Esk Pike…the list could go on, and I find myself embarrassed to say 'no' as it’s something I should have concurred in the 4 years I have been living up here. So....I have decided I am going to walk, run, and skip, depending on the state of mind, up every fell over 2000ft in the Lake District within a week, maybe sooner!

I firstly came up with the idea because I wanted to see as much of the Lakes as possible and secondly I want to simulate the miles and ascent that I will be experiencing in Antarctica.

The miles that I will be doing out in Antarctica are over 1100 and the highest ascent will be over 13000ft, however with the altitude this will seem much longer, higher and harder. I figure if I can achieve 155 fells in a week this will give me a great starting point for when I reach Antarctica.

I’m currently figuring out the best route and starting points to minimise the travel between each fell in order to complete them in a week. If anyone has any ideas and/ or suggestions, I’m all ears.

Here’s the list of fells over 2000ft in the Lake District:

I’ve yet to break the news to my dog, but I’m sure he will enjoy it as much as me!! :o)

Progress coming soon…

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Saying 'I do' at the South Pole.

Most people think I am either crazy or joking when they ask when the wedding is and I respond with - 'Well... I have always wanted a white wedding, so we are thinking about saying 'I Do' at the South Pole!'

"You may now rub noses with the bride."

Unfortunately as we will be arriving at the South Pole on or around Christmas day, Father Christmas will be far too busy to fly in from the North Pole! Luckily Anna has agreed to get ordained and Alex jumped at the chance of becoming my bridesmaid...Lets just home we don't get cold feet!

When we return back to the UK we will also have a ceremony for close family and friends... well every girl has to wear a wedding dress and I'm most certainly not dragging one with me to the South Pole! :)

Image copyright-Colin Shelbourn c@rtoonist

Thursday, 10 June 2010

En Route to the North Face

Sunday – Totally different weather from yesterday – It’s chucking it down.

Awoke feeling a little tired but all in all we felt fine – we must be fitter that we think :)
First call of the day was to pop to Bike Treks for some socks (Volki ate my others) and cleaning tablets for the platypuses. Also went to get a couple of cans of Red Bull but at £1.99 each I refused to but two!

Packed lunch, full belly’s and bikes checked…we head off to Grizedale leaving a very tired, but thankful pooch asleep in the kitchen….think he would have had a strop if we took him out again today!

4.5 miles before we even reach Hawkshead, it’s not far at all and we usually fly over to Hawkshead but our legs started to burn before we even got onto the road to Hawkshead. At this point I didn’t think I was going to be able to go on – yesterday obviously took more out of me than I realised. The road from Ambleisde to Hawkshead is undulated with long steady climbs – a few to say the least, and a few evil climbs thrown in for the fun of it!

I’ll be honest with you – by the time we reached Pull Wyke I really wanted to go home. My legs felt like I had already done 30 miles, I though they were on fire at one point and if I attempted to stand up I would have probably fallen over! I didn’t bother clipping myself in just yet! Then it started to rain and my spirit picked up – I love being on my bike in the rain.

4.5 miles later we arrived in Hawkshead… A brief stop for a drink and stock up on chocolate for later.

1.5 miles later and a steep climb we arrive at the start of the North Face Trail…let the fun begin.

10 miles later we head home for a well earned rest.

60000 foot one day!

Up at the crack of dawn on Saturday, packed our bags and saddled up the pooch for a day in the hills. Fairfield and Red Screes was our aim for today. Already Ambleside was heaving at 10am and the pooch lovers were in force and all over Volki like a rash… After battling our way through the crowds and stocking up on more food we finally reached the foot of Fairfield 45 minutes after setting out.

Saturday, saw yet another gorgeous day in the Lakes, ideal for walking. The start of Fairfield is a steep climb up and for some reason I always forget about the first part until I’m standing at the foot of it… I think I mentally block that part out for good reasons.

The foot of the path zigzags up towards Nab Scar, with it being so steep the views are too tempting not to turn back and have a look. At the top of Nab Scar you can sit on a nice patch of grass and catch your breath while looking out over Lake Windermere, Grasmere and beyond …on a clear day you can see as far as your eyes will allow…

The heat was starting to pick up and it wasn’t even noon yet – I’d guess it was already 20+c, time to apply the sun cream. A few fusses for Volki from passing Ramblers later and we are on our way again, feeling hot and sweaty but in good spirits.

The next path leads you up to Heron Pike, looking down from here you already feel like you are miles away from civilisation. At the top of Heron Pike the route to Fairfield becomes obvious.

…Hunger is starting to kick in now, we decide to stop as soon as we reach Great Rigg. We had a few little friends keeping their eyes on us…

baby sheep. Very tame – and loved playing hide and seek 2 foot away from us :) Volki was too tired at this point to even notice him.

30 minutes later and a belly full of grub we tackle Fairfield… It looks worse than it actually is. 20 minutes is all it took for us to reach the summit.

I was surprised at how flat and large the summit is – many cairns and paths leading all over the place with uninterrupted breathtaking views of felltops in all directions.

One mountain down one to go… We can see Red Screes! We assess our water supply and have enough left to carry on up! Legs a little tired but we have come this far with the intention to complete both so we solider on.

We have climbed Red Screes many times before so there’s no avoiding the heart sinking feeling when you remind yourself how steep the climb up is. It might only be an extra 1.5 miles and 900 feet of ascent further but if felt like we had just started the walk all over again. The walk up the field to reach the diagonal path that leads to the summit always gets me!

10 minutes rest, water the pooch and we head off for the decent… all of a sudden I have a spring in my step and start skipping! A nice leisurely decent looking over towards Fairfield, down to Grasmere and out over Lake Windermere. The Kirkstone Inn Pub looks tiny from up here!

Early night, ready for the next leg of the journey… Mountain Biking over at Grizedale.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Location, Location, Location...

...The Lake District has got to be on the top 10 list for perfect places to live while training for such an extreme expedition. Mountains, Fells and Water offer a hole host of activities to do right on my doorstep. And if the weather isn't too good you still have the gym to turn to :)

Mountain biking, walking and wake boarding are just a selection of things that are on offer for my daily training. I have to say Mountain biking and walking are my favorite activities. I'm very new to wake boarding but i can already feel myself falling in love with the sport - it's a great activity for working your core while having fun at the same time... and yes in the freezing cold Lake! Got to make the most of the beautiful surroundings on offer - and if that means (apologies for the pun) in at the deep end then so be it.

Grizedale Forest is one of my favorite places in the Lakes to hit the hills with my bike - The North Face Trail (16km) offers a rush of curves, berms and north shore, uphill and downhill which takes riders on an adventure trail through Grizedale Forest. The North Face trail is more of an adventure than a gruelling work out and I find myself all too easily getting carried away and doing far more than i normally would out and about in a few hours. 30 miles a day is the norm at the moment when i'm out. There's also an extra bonus .. a cafe for a nice ice cold Coke before taking to the hills again.

Walking... well if you can't find me in the gym or at Grizedale i'll probably be up one of the many Mountains and Fells that are on offer. After work I'll go for a quick jog up Wansfell or Loughrigg as the light is limited but days off will take me up Fairfield, Scafell Pike, Helvellyn... just a few to mention.

Tyre pulling is another favorite past time of mine. *Hmm a hint of sarcasm i feel*. Up hill, down hill, across rough and smooth terrain - you name it i'm doing it! At least it's not a giant tractor tyre yet!!

If all else fails i'll be at the gym pounding away on the X-Trainer... trying to build up the desired fitness lever... 4 hours at maximum resistance on the X-Trainer!

One feels, one may need a spare pair of legs!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

November 2009 - the day my life changed!

I awoke one morning to find out that i had been selected onto one of the most challenging experiences I have ever signed myself up for - crossing the Antarctic!

At first it didn't seem real but the more i thought about it and read the quicker i realised that it was actually happening. In the space of 24 hours my life change forever.

In the 2011/12 season I will be carrying out a crossing of the Antarctic continent along with 4 of my team members. I will commence the crossing at the bottom of the Axel Heiberg Glacier, used by Roald Amudsen in his successful attempt on the pole in 1911. I will follow the Axel Heiberg to the polar plateau and then from there to the South Pole. At the pole I will swap leg power for sail power and kite sail to Hercules Inlet, thereby completing a crossing of the continental landmass of Antarctica. This expedition will be taking place in the centenary year of Scott and Amundsen reaching the South Pole.

Let the training begin!