the fun begins…

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…

view from the summit

It was tough, but worth it.

on the descent (phew!)

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

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