The Kosciuszko Hut Tour seems so long ago now but as a taster it seems to have had an effect: we decided that the longer AAWT is worth doing now rather than later It was a great walk though: camping on Kosciuszko and having breakfast at dawn on the summit was particularly nice… I may still blog, but here are some photos.
So, we've came home and dived into planning (booking holidays, etc), itinerising (getting the walk into days), gear purchasing (trying to lighten our packs as much as possible and allow for wider extremes of weather)... whilst trying not to get too excited.
After coming off the Bibbulmun Track and eating the same scroggin (trail mix) for 53 days straight, we were generally pretty happy with the basic recipe: Nuts / Dried Fruit / Seeds (no lollies or chocolate).
When we started training for the Great North Walk we wanted to refine the recipe so started rating the various incarnations… that walk didn't eventuate, but when we started again for the Kosciuszko Hut Tour, we started our rating again; and in due course, quite surprisingly, we started rating the scroggin at 98%!
So, we seem to have arrived at what we think is The Best Scroggin in the World
It seems like a long preparation, but we've finally got to the second last weekend and we thought it'd be nice to go for a weightless jaunt out into the Grose Valley: So we decided to head down Horse Track from Evans Lookout and back around to Beauchamp Falls—then add on Grand Canyon up to Neates Glen. We didn't carry much weight apart from water, so pushed as hard as we could, taking about 4 hours all up (I must admit that the legs today feel like that I did punish them a little).
We were looking forward to this walk for sometime… too many over-night walks, not enough time in the wilderness and maybe a real need for a wee break?
We were expecting a difficult walk, but were surprised how difficult it turned out to be. I was amazed to see that the last month has seen some of the hardest walks I've recorded (using our own personal rating scheme: calculated using length–pack weight–ascent–descent). This week's is #3, but the calculation doesn't take account of weather conditions and they can have a large impact (the first day stands out in that respect).
But back to the beginning of Saturday, we were waiting in the backyard for Jesse and Briony to drive us out to Kanangra Walls (We'd allowed 3 hours, but it only took 2 and a bit hours )…
Two SteriPen experiences from the last two weekends: the first from last weekend on a very local walk (Mt Solitary) and the second, this weekend, more of a wilderness walk from Kanangra Walls back to Katoomba.
We've been very happy with our SteriPen (Classic), although we did have a few issues with the first one (which was replaced as faulty), and has worked flawlessly ever since. This weekend gave somewhat different result…
Ok… I know I haven't posted about last weekend's walk (except for the Pacerpole analysis – that I couldn't help myself with ), but next weekend's walk is nearly upon us and it's a super early start to drive out to Kanangra Walls, and we're still not packed, and lots of other excuses… I have uploaded some photos to the web album from last week though. I'll just mention briefly, but I will be posting something much more in-depth, but:
Now onto this week's walk…
A brief analysis
It's pretty difficult, if not impossible, to compare one walk to another: different pack weights, off days, different temperatures, etc, etc… but it's good fun to try eh?
So, last weekend we did the Mt Solitary loop, which we've done twice before; although not exactly in the same format. The first two walks were over three days and this weekend's was over two, this weekend's had a lot of ballast (to increase the training) and the others were just plain walks.
I'd previously calculated a 33% improvement, but that was just on a fairly level fire trail. This weekend has a good mixture of trail types, but still showed a significant improvement.
Last weekend we did a walk we really enjoy: Martins & Bunyan Lookouts. That was a full day walking 16km (with 15.5kg in the pack) and climbing and descending 887m. There are some nice photos over in the Training Walks Album.
We've also plugged in the remaining walks:
I've had my Pacerpoles for a couple of short walks now, so I think it's time for some initial thoughts. I'd only had my other 'normal' poles for a short period, but one broke and it was a great opportunity to get the same high tech equipment Sandi was using (to be honest I'd sourced them and bought them for her without her knowledge as I wanted her to get the most out of her poles).
The Pacerpoles are very different to the Normal poles, well, maybe the differences are small, but they're significant and mean you use the poles very differently. I've found that I use different muscles with the Pacerpoles. I'd previously become accustomed to the normal poles (which started with some muscle soreness: your arms don't get a free ride on bushwalks anymore!), but I was quite surprised at the different muscle soreness when changing to Pacerpoles.
One of the most important lessons I've learned is to try and forget about the poles and let your arms do their own thing. Like Neo you have to realise that there are no poles, and let the inner child, that original four legged crawling person, come out.
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