Finding an excuse to stay indoors is easy, especially today as I write and outside it is sub-zero. But, the joy of getting out of the house, into the countryside and onto the hills is wonderful. It beats the stifling feeling you get when you stay in and watch something terrible on TV.
That's why when I saw this video 'The Trail Runner' I felt the urge to get planning more adventures this year. In it, the trail runner, Tom Hill, sets off from 'civilisation' in just his trail running shoes and clothes. He heads off to Suilven Mountain in the north west of the Highlands of Scotland.
It’s amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it.
After many years of walking no more than 10 miles in a single walk, it was time for me to get back into more challenging hikes in Britain. Having completed the first challenge (The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge) in May this year with two pals of similar age (we are in our early-50s), we decided to follow it up with a second hiking challenge.
But, finding a circular walk which would be long and challenging enough was a little trickier than I expected. There are plenty of linear, long-distance hikes, but not so many circular routes in Britain which you can complete in a day.
Thank goodness for Google. After an hour or so searching online, I came across The Dark Peak Challenge on ‘The Walking Englishman’ website, run by Mike Brockhurst. It’s 21-miles long with 1,286 metres to climb. It would take 8 or 9 hours to complete. Perfect.
The route is in the Peak District National Park, which is about two hours from where we all live in Lincolnshire. Being just east of Sheffield makes it easy to access.
A friend said he wanted a challenge. The challenge had to be something we could complete in a weekend, and which would stretch our physical capabilities. Completing ‘The Three Peaks’ would fit the brief.
Given the three of us in the pub that night were all in our early-50s, and our physical training regimes between us were mixed, ‘The Three Peaks’ sounded like a tough enough assignment.