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.
I did think that all I was doing was aggregating a couple of short local walks together to give us something more substantial; but I may have over done it just a tad
So the goal of today was to walk
That’s only 5 walks after all
Well this walk turned out to be a little tougher than what I'd imagined On my scale of walks it's the toughest yet, a little tougher that the Pipeline Track out at Newnes, and up there with the predicted days down on the Main Range Circuit.
This walk's track is pretty well worn, though it does get a little faint in some parts (which didn't cause any issues).
Not sure what week we're really up to… but the training's only just started to get serious: which is probably a good thing, as you can see in the spaghetti lines in the chart—need to get them up and around the levels of the Main Range Circuit.
This coming weekend, after beefing up on Christmas cheer, we're heading out on a two-day walk to Splendour Rock to camp, then down Blue Dog Spur to the Cox's and up Ironmonger Hill and out to Dunphy's. Should be about 23km with an ascent of around 1300m.
The elevation profile is going to be something like this:
You can follow our progress on this map.
During the training we're trialling our solar panel modifications: which we've been pretty happy with—at the moment I'm tussling with how the panels are going with the two smaller batteries. It seems that the two panels can max out the smaller batteries pretty quickly (in good conditions), but they're very good in sub-par conditions (read: bushwalking).
We're also trialling our camelbak bladders in the front balance pockets (the Aarn packs aren't really made to have the water in the back). That's where I carried my water on Lockley's last week, and it went pretty well I thought.
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