My Hiking Backstory

Hiking My Backstory

This article was updated on 3rd June 2019.

I say this because, as I recall memories and experiences I want to add to this article.

So, in no particular order. Here is a list of the “hikes” and experiences I have already part-taken in, in my hiking career!

The UK’s Three Peaks 24-Hour Challenge

If memory serves me correctly, I did this in the Spring, just before my 30th birthday.

So, I believe it was 2008!

I basically did a shout out on some walking forums and connected with a whole bunch of strangers who had a passion for hiking and wanted to take part in the challenge.

I put a team together, arranged the flights, to Scotland, overnight hostels, minibus hire, drivers and support crew and away we went.

I’ve more info on our success written down somewhere, so at some point, I will be able to give you more stats about our success but there are a few key moments I recall.

  1. Its really handy to take a beanie hat with you, as works as a fab eye mask when trying to sleep/rest on a moving minibus during the day when you’ve had no sleep.
  2. Scarefell Pike (England) was our night climb and on the night we did this, it was covered in such thick deep fog, that despite a GPS and being on the correct path, we could not see the route up and so wonder around in the dark fog for about 2 hours, else we would have obliviated the 24 hours’ time!
  3. We came in and finished at just under 23 hours. At the time I remember thinking that this challenge was tough! (I’m not done the 100km Trailwalker challenge at this point).

Oxfams 100km Trailwalker Challenge

I remember this being in the summer before kids, but with my now partner. I can calculate this quite well, as I actually did it pregnant (without knowing I as pregnant at the time).

So, 9 months later my little Lucie-Jean was born! Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, just north of Portsmouth, you hike the Southdowns Way, finishing in Brighton & Hove Stadium.

  1. I’ve some fab photos of us on the podium (will find and post here in due course).
  2. I remember that 24 hours on your feet, even with large fitting boots, made my toenails die (on both feet) and fall off after the event.
  3. We started at mid-day, there were different start times. If I ever did this again, I’d opt for the very first wave. We spent 5 hours just hanging around keen to get going which didn’t help the fatigue at the end.

Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia

This was the first oversea’s hike I ever did and still to this day remains the “biggest” challenge I have done.

I went with a university group, and we hiked up the mountain, stayed in the hostel for one night at the top.

Then got up before dawn to see the sunrise above the clouds. It was epic.

  1. However, I remember getting a really bad upset tummy as a result of the lack of hygiene in the hostel. Will be extra precautious about what I touch in such places if I ever do such a challenge again.
  2. The Sherpa’s are amazing. There you are puffing your guts out, working hard one step at a time, and these tiny little 5 foot nothing guys who are all bones, come walking past you with twice their body weight in food, snacks and water for the hostels at the top).
  3. When we were leaving an American schoolteacher was busy telling kids it was ok to drink Coke as you went up to the mountain!!! I bet that gas swelling with altitude in their stomachs felt awesome!
  4. It took about 6 hours up and about 4 hours down, as you start at around 3000 feet due to the topography of the land. You will also experience an element of altitude swelling in your hands as a combo of swinging them as you walk for so long, plus the altitude!

The Yorkshire Three Peaks 12 Hour Challenge

I did this as a fun training exercise when practising for the UK’s Three Peaks.

I will have to research the name of the Coffee Shop where you clock in, and then clock out of, as your official time for this fabulous 12-hour circular hiking challenge.

The Fairfield Horse Shoe

I’ve done this hike around 3 times now.

Each time creates different fond memories.

The first was as part of my training efforts for the above challenges, but the last time was with my partner.

All I ever remember about this experience was the number of false summits you experience (I have always walked it clockwise). It’s tough at the start but a fabulous hike!

Winter Mountaineering Course in Arthurs Pass South Island New ZealanD

When I lived in New Zealand during 2008, I joined the Christchurch Mountaineering and Tramping Club (Tramping is the term Kiwi’s use for Hiking).

During my 9 months, I experienced their Winter season and learnt a number of winter hiking strategies from using Crampons, to repelling over glaciers, snow cravens, using pickaxes and more.

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