However, nerd or not, 2015 is upon us and I need to start thinking what I'll be doing this year, especially as it's the year I will be getting ready for the big trip in the USA next spring - the Pacific Crest Trail. That is unless my employers get the arse when I tell them I'm leaving in just over a year, and fire me. In that case I'll do the PCT this year and panic like mad with only a few months to get ready. That would make any plan for 2015 go to cock.
But let's assume I am in Blighty MOST of this year....
- Well, firstly, I plan to record all my mileage this year, and I've downloaded an app to do so called "Walk log". Fiendishly clever name that. I am currently on 32.4m, all on the flat or nearly so. I reckon there's about an eighth of an inch of total ascent to report. I'll be doing a lot of miles locally on the flat this year to pursue my project of changing myself from John Falstaff to John Hazelstaff. In addition to that, all my proper walking will be logged, and I'll be ramping up the distances as the year goes on in prep for 2016.
- Next, I have a bunch of Wainwrights still to do, albeit mostly the smaller ones now, excepting Scafell and Slight Side. I think I have 56 left to do and I think I can get those polished off in the next twelve months. To realise this I will do a lot more wild camping this year so I can complete the list in fewer trips and make the bagging a bit more efficient. Some of the ones I have left are dreary and in some cases isolated having given up on walks during bad weather etc. one of those is Raven Crag overlooking Thirlmere. Sometimes it's nice to have a weekend mopping this kind of fell up. I did five or six last autumn on a Saturday just driving between them and scooting up and down quickly - like Binsey, Little Mell Fell, Great Mell Fell and so on.
- In mid to late April I may do a longish 'week' of desert training in the Mojave, perhaps getting 100 miles under foot. I will be hiking at the same time as the 2015 PCT crowd, so I get a realistic feel for the heat and water issues at the same time of year as I will be setting out for real in 2016. This will be tougher than the real thing as I will not have lost all the weight I will have over a year from now, but that simply means it will be a bit easier in 2016.
- Back home again, I want to take one of my dogs on the Coast to Coast walk. I have three dogs, two of which are very doughty, a West Highland terrier cross Maltese (...so a highland Malt!) and a Field Spaniel. The Spaniel is still a pup at only 6 months, so he will be approaching a year by then. I think he will have the legs for it, and I will find out more on the fells this Spring. The Westie, Jocky, has never given up on a walk with me - he's done about 65 Wainwrights - and seems to just keep going, but I wonder how he would cope day after day. I think he would be fine, but maybe I'll start training him a bit. The third dog in case you wonder is a lovely little cocker cross toy poodle. She's tiny. Actually she's done about 25 Wainwrights so she's far from idle, but I just don't think she'd really keep up the pace if we took her. Anyway, she's a lady and detests the rain. Funny dog - loves a bath and actively seeks out rivers, ponds and mud holes. But hates rain.
- I'd also like to do the Dales way this year, but pressure on holiday days from work might dictate I try to do the whole thing at an all nighter. It's about 36 hrs at my kind of pace with stops, but lots of people have done it and it would be a great challenge.
- ....erm. That's it. Oh, no it's not. My wife demands that I take her up the miners track. That didn't come out right. She wants to climb Snowdon, so that will probably be a weekender with all the dogs, or possibly a short week trying to knock off the Welsh 3000's. I've only done Snowdon, so it would be pretty good to do some of those.