OK, so the flights are booked and the commitment made. We start climbing Mt Kilimanjaro on 14 January.
Time to start training. Remember, until this folly overtook me, I’d never climbed a hill in my life. At least, nothing serious… like a Munro, a Corbett or an Alp.
I love the Alps, the Pyrenees and the Atlas. From a cable car, or the train.
But, I like to try different stuff (especially if a physical or mental challenge is involved). Or travel.
So on the first Saturday morning of July I set off to bag my first Munro (gee, that makes me cringe just to write it – what a cliche). I must be middle class, middle aged and Scottish after all.
Anyway, by lunchtime (late lunch, I admit) along with Ione, Richard and Paul, I was perched on the top of Beinn Ghlas guzzling my sandwiches. The other three are experienced hillwalkers, so I owe them for dragging me along. And for choosing the steep route rather than the gentle one…
It was tough, but worth it.
Next – maybe Ben Lawers or Ben Vorlich sometime in August. Ben Nevis is tempting, but it’s such a long drive to get there.
The expedition organisers give out a training schedule, so I know I’ll have to step up the pace in October at the “12 weeks to go” milestone. Meantime, a few days walking in the Austrian Alps and staying in a hütte at the start of September.
By January I have to be ready to walk uphill for 5-6 hours each day at altitude, for 6 days. Should be fun.
© iain taylor 2011