Monday, 20 October 2008

Whw 3.1750


Whw 3.1750, originally uploaded by dimacleod.

Doune bothy. Pushing on to bein glas campsite. I fancy an ice cold glass of carlsberg. If weather not going to improve, i'm thinking of getting train from tyndrum to fort bill and having a couple of relaxing days there. I'm a wimp, deal with it.

33 comments:

Simon said...

I'm enjoying the drama Duncan, even if you're probably not. Usually I envy you, being based in Scotland; but right now, I don't. I've got to admire the steely determination.

Dawn said...

Hang in there Duncan.

PhilW said...

Hey Duncan, you're not a wimp - look at what you've done already. Do whatever you feel is best done. There's nowt wrong in pulling out if you feel you should do. There's always another day.

baz carter said...

Just caught up on this and the going is well hard. And I'm with philw do whatever you feel is best...

Michael G Clark said...

You total poofer. You should be used to that sort of weather coming from Lewis. Just cover yourself in marag skins.

I of course am in a nice warm office wraped round a radiator, with an owl!

Oh it looks so cold and wet. Snow's on the way so do what you must to get to the fort that is William.

Cath+Dunc said...

We are worrying about you. If you feel your not up to the trek go for the transport. Weather not good for the rest of the week so pack it in especially as your leg is still not out of the woods and the other is on the muddy path.

Dawn said...

Yep, I am sort of a tad worried too. No comments since the bothy. Possibly he is unable to get a signal? (Very loud shout) Duncan, please let us know you are ok. Dawn

Anonymous said...

It's the WHW not a traverse of the yukon. For christ's sake, just walk it and stop yur moanin'!!!

PhilW said...

Heard about your decision on the M&G blog. It sounds to have been a terrible week on the WHW, but it will be there another day. Better to be realistic and call it a day for now rather than totally knacker yourself. Good on yer.

Big Kev said...

A wise decision. These things are meant to be fun and not purgatorial.

Michael G Clark said...

Its funny how it's always anonymous folk that leave ball-less comments like a total fud.

I think it's Duncan himself.

Anonymous said...

Michael, go back to painting your wee soldiers and Doctor Who figures yah tit. Get a grip, it's the WHW!! 3800 completers last year. It's only 95 miles!!

Kev freil said...

Stop having a dig at the guy.As my 8 year old daughter commented on finishing the W.H.W last December "Dad that was quite difficult".Sorry Akto' your a fair weathered walker whos head is full of 'Major expedition,wilderness baloney'.
Try running it over a 24 hour period,I have.
The W.H.W. is a moderate walk over undemanding terrain completed by thousands of walkers annually.Take a reality check.

Kev freil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dawn said...

Look guys I am not going to get embroiled in an argument here. However, we all have off days. It was Duncan who was doing the walking. It was his descision to pack it in. Why make excuses, why criticise? Duncan can hack the rain as well as anyone. Feet problems can be worriesome. Certainly I know, as someone who has been on the hill for more years than some of you youngsters have been around, that at times you just hit the wall. Kev, you, as a long distance runner ought to know that. Ok I have not run ultra distance but have a couple of marathons under my belt. Now please, let us all be sensible, I am not having a go at anyone. Everyone of us has the same interest at the end of the day. Dawn.

duncan/aktoman said...

yup, it is only the whw. It isn't difficult. For some people, running up ben nevis is a jolly. We are all different, have different levels of fitness and times we can spend on things. Each of us does what we can. Don't expect me to dangle from rock ledges just because a n other human can. What i write is what happens, not some sanitised version by some professional walkers and people who can, enviously, get out more than i can. Good luck, and best wishes to them all, but we all do what we can, and my alternative is to stick to the sofa and bury myself in my work and leave the outdoors to the fastwalkers who speed on past. I could write more, but i'm in a tent in a breezy glen nevis, with power back to the phone. Should i have used the word 'breezy' or does that sound like a moan? I didn't realise that people weren't allowed to feel depressed in the outdoors, i thought it was my frigging blog, not some cheery article for trail or TGO., but even they have things go wrong. Just like in real life.

duncan/aktoman said...

Kevin, as to reality checks, have a look at some of the photos of mike on here, he's an awful lot thinner than me, eats healthier and accompanied me up 3 munroes before problems with his legs got in the way. I'm the stereotypical one here, getting up thinking of work, comfort eating, painting wargames figures, having too little energy to do much else, but at least tries to get out when i can. Unlike real outdoors folk, who bounce up hills with never an unhappy thought, leaping rocky steps instead of worrying in case they fall to an injury. Gosh, i'm glad i'm the only one who dares get off their sorry arse and tries. But even my failing has at least brought some revenue into the local economy, so perhaps the destination isn't as important, especially as i've done the whw and the suw before. From each of them, i have learnt something about myself, yup, i'm a moaning, worrying git, but give me a couple of seconds and there'll be a broad smile as i see a cow looking wetter than i, or concern that a frog almost got stood on. Humanity is more important than completing. We all learn things from Nature, and it was good to see youngsters out in the countryside. Even if, like me, it takes them time to get back outside, at least try. Despite there lucky sods who are filled with selfconfidence and can march into the yukon with ner a bite o a fingernail. More power to your footfall. But i'm skint and have to go back to work on monday.

dawn said...

Amen to that Duncan. It is something I have learned over the years.There is no demand that I must get to the top of that hill, come what may. No urgency that I must get from a to b at whatever cost. People from all walks of life, from all age groups derive pleasure from just going out, having a potter along some designated path. For others the joy is getting off the beaten track, travelling the great unknown, tackling some great top and pushing themselves to their limits and beyond. To each an everyone I say well done, enjoy. Like Duncan, I can get depressed on the trail. The weather may be bad, equipment may be causing problems or just plainly, my heart is not in it. There have beentimes when I have thought sod it and packed it in. Similar circumstances happened on my last trip. Anyway Duncan, I am sure we will meet up sometime for a winter camp. Dawn.

Michael G Clark said...

I'm just wondering where the dr who convention thing came from? I attended a premiere for a film I produced recently (which is doing really well), then visited a dr who exhibition - seperate things. I don't paint soldiers or eat burgers either.

Thanks for the comments folks.

Story Quine said...

Dearie me, we are all getting our knickers in a twist aren't we? Duncan's right - it is real life, not a glossy mag. If he wanted to go home, then in this weather I don't blame the man! There have been floods in Glasgow and snow in the west, if you're sensible you don't stay out in that. Mountain Rescue must get fed up to the back teeth having to collect folk who have stayed out on the hills long after they should - that's not to say everyone does - anyway, get real everyone, with the best intentions...

Storyquine

mike knipe said...

Gawd, what a piece of nastiness.
I'm shocked.
I expect its a hazard of writing it as it is.
Its just sheer arrogance. I'd be really ashamed if I'd done that.

dawn said...

In all probability Mike, people where writing off the cuff as it where. Spur of the moment, spontanious sort of reaction. Certainly my reaction, as the old bushwoman/hillwalker, was a tad defensive. At the time a lot of the comments went out, Duncan was unable to communicate. Quite honestly, Duncan is a gentleman who deserves credit where credit is due. Nuff said. Dawn.

mike knipe said...

dawn - I've done loads of LDPs and long distance backpacking stuff, but the, apparently, pussycat Cumbria Way did for me this summer (weather warnings, an attack of D&V, floods (from the rain, not from me!), mud...... you get the picture. I called the wife from Keswick and she came and got me.
So, I'm sympathetic with Duncan's decision to cut the walk short.
There's no need to slag a bloke for that, even if the comments might have been a spur-of-the-moment thing, or two spurs of the moment....
Your final sentence is spot on, Dawn. The walk won't go away, and another time, different weather.....

Ralph Shelton said...

If you want a blog with nothing but 'back patting' then state that.

It's only real life. Some folk will write what they feel (not what you want to hear) and not what others want to read.

dawn said...

Yes Ralph I agree on that point. You only have to look on my blog pages to see That is also how I write. Mind, my other more personal blog did get me in to trouble with the police. Now then folks can we please draw a line under all this. Duncan must be wondering what on earth he has triggered off here.

Anonymous said...

My mantra for walking and ultra running is "prepare for the worst".Whether that be weather,physical or more importantly mental.If you start to have doubts about your own ability then you have allowed yourself to wander from your focus and failure is immanent.
It's not about body mass,income or the latest 'must have' equipment/clothing.The most important piece of 'kit' is the ability to dig deep when your mind and body are wanting to quit and retreat.To continue when your not enjoying it may seem pointless but it does take you outside your comfort zone and makes you mentally tougher and more prepared should the same situation arise at a later date.
If people cannot accept criticism on a blog then how are they going to react should a serious situation arise whilst 'on the trail'?From experience,not very well.

AktoMan said...

The only criticism I have from the comments above is that people are posting anonymously and not leaving a name or trailname. I don't want to remove the facility for people to leave comments without logging in (something I often hate doing myself), but I always add my name at the end.

As to learning from comments, yup. I wish it was easier for people to leave cross-references to their own postings, their own experience, but it is difficult (they allow the use of the a href tag). I'm going through the after-action report just now, as kit is going through the washing machine (something else I'll need to get fixed).

I really don't think that there is a link from criticism (and no-where did I see personal attacks against me. Vs Mike yes, but not against me) and pushing through to get a hike done. I have taken problems at online slaggings out with me to the hills, and they have niggled away, stopping me enjoying views and Nature. We all hike our own hikes, and deal with the daily grind differently.

I think the link is more between accepting constructive criticism versus negative criticism. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell the difference, and the subject may not have the experience to do so, or may be too self-conscious to see that words are supposed to be helpful.

I was out a few weekends ago in the Cairngorms, and spent the weekend after sorting gear that didn't cope. As a result, it coped well on the Way. My self did not. Should I push myself through 17 miles of road-walking each week end day? Should I be conditioning my brain to the tedium of repetitive scenery (ooh, a tree...ooh, an other tree)? But I should be going out and doing something like Bennachie, like I was doing last year, and tried this year before being laid up ill for 4 weeks.

Oh, and one final thing. Comments on the blog stay until after the event, and aren't real-world coaching sessions. Unlike the first time that I walked the Way, only one person texted me, mainly because they knew I had done this, and the 212 mile SUW last year. But I did find that knowing I had done this, or more, before was part of the problem. I was too comfortable. There was no challenge to push myself on to achieve. I had done it 2 years ago. I knew where I was pitching, what the terrain was like. I knew my gear could cope too. Why bother doing something that a young girl can walk and not find difficult.

I have no intention of running the Way. Why bother with making a holiday into a grueling challenge so that one looks good in front of the family and in ones self? Hike your own hike. Fair weather? What fair weather? 2 1/2 days of pain brought on by one incorrect choice. Is a 5-6 day trek not a major expedition for most people? Perhaps the brigade that can afford to jet round the world for adventure holidays and lead the Bear Grylls lifestyle see it as a short trail, but we aren't all trail-running people who think anyone slower is full of baloney. Quite frankly, this is why I avoid posting on many forums these days.

I read Muriel Gray's "The first fifty" book, and didn't think, "what a prat she is, I walked taller hills when I was a kid." I didn't think that she's selling books about a topic, when lots of people are compleating annually.

No, when I read Kev Freil's comments above, I thought, that this is why I don't post much on forums. Someone who doesn't know me is passing judgement on me. I really don't know why you take the British attitude of saying "Sorry" before calling me a "fair weathered walker, who's head is full of ... baloney". Heck, I have no idea who or what your background is, nor do I care. If you can't hack it that some people actually blog about our own little adventures, and do not have articles in magazines, then I suggest that your daughter gives you a lesson in the technology. It is undemanding, and lots of people are doing it.

Yeah, Anon1954_26Oct, there are people who hide personal attacks under apologies and snide words. It really just shows up a weakness of character. But I do not have the facility to edit out the vitriol, and I do not think I'd want to. I can either delete the whole message, or leave it in. Lots of people die because they haven't bothered with 'minor' expeditions. They haven't learnt from it, they haven't pushed their comfort zone.

I'd love to be able to disappear into the hills each weekend, but I cannot afford the time or money. Like many people, I have a life. This blog, as people who bother reading it know, is part of my way of keeping myself thinking about the outdoors. Unlike the many books that I bought to read and learn new skills from, but never got round to it, I find that this journal works. And if people can learn from my mistakes, purchases, thoughts, then great, or offer me advice, then great too. But if I have a direct question, I'll scour the forums or books for advice.

It is all a learning experience. Being reasonably new to the outdoors, I have had a lot of help, but sadly a lot of prats giving demeaning comments. A shame, as said elsewhere, many are the sort of things that are dealt with quickly in a face-to-face meeting in a pub, where body-language and tone, or mis-interpreted words, can flair up, and be explained. You can tell if the speaker has lots of experience, or is full of wind. You can tell if the person is genuine or not. Online, this becomes more difficult.

At the end of the day, I do not want commenters to have to sign in, as it deflates the flow of comments. I do find it difficult to take out constructive criticism from a list of comments if they are wrapped in snide, glib words and abusive attacks on friends. Like I say, such shows a weakness in character. When I find this happening to me, I generally delete the comment before posting it - I see enough arguments in real life without starting one for the sake of it.

AktoMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kev Freil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kev FREIL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AktoMan said...

I have edited out the mistaken identity that I made in a comment above, and the comments that were made my the poster, Kev Freil that led on to his statement "You should check your facts first before spouting your rubbish you vindictive little man....Oh and quitter!", and "A case of poor preperation leading to poor performance by yourself."

I will leave the link in to advertise the charity site that I thought the commenter was linked with: Joady MacRae's Fundraising Page. Where Kevin Friel is not the same as the Kev Freil who has posted .

I have also deleted out the comments from Kev Freil above that are full of vitriol, as he plans to do his GR20...

"I am preparing for the GR20 next Spring.Don't even attempt this with your 'skill base' as it will only lead to failure,but no doubt everyone will be able to read about it on your Blog.Technology is no substitute for ability."

BG! said...

One supposes that Kev Freil would also refer to all of the 2008 OMM participants as "quitters" as well, seeing as their event was curtailed too. Rather him than me!

We've all had to bail from something, sometime, it's no disgrace. Rather "discretion being the better part of valour", or "the head overruling the heart".

Factors beyond our control have a habit of intervening to lay waste the best planning and preparation.

I'd be honoured to walk with you, Duncan, so long as it's not the Yukon. I prefer fresh air in the outdoors.

AktoMan said...

I certainly can not, and would not compare what I did with the OMM at the weekend. A lot of racers completed, had a great time, and one chap on Radio 4 said how the pain he had in a previous year turned out to be a broken ankle, and he still finished the race.

These guys are racers, who train and prepare for the race. I go out infrequently and walk for fitness and cheap holidays. I get to see different parts of the country and meet some great people. People with different backgrounds, fitness levels, aims in life, age and gender. Seems the only trouble is online.