Wednesday, 20 January 2016

2016 Targets

Lists to tick

My target ticklist has grown since this time last year as I have incorporated the Simpsons – a little known list of Lake District 2000-foot summits – to my existing combination of Nuttalls, TRAIL 100s, WASHIS, Bridges and Buxton & Lewis summits.  At the start of 2016 there are 349 individual summits on my ticklist and my goal of completing them in 2023 leaves 8 years to reach the target.

Still to be ticked at the start of this year are 215 of the 443 Nuttalls and 41 of the TRAIL 100 summits.

This coming year

In simple numbers, 12½% of my remaining summits based on my remaining 8-year target should be a reasonable goal for 2016.

Which means I’m aiming for 44 summits, amongst which should be 27 Nuttalls and 5 TRAIL 100s.

Included again this year are specific targets that have not been met in the last 2 years despite me highlighting them – the 6 Cheviot Nuttalls and Pillar Rock.  Despite its technicality, I’ve spoken to a couple of mates who are keen to join me on a trip to climb the Slab and Notch route of Pillar Rock, so hopefully I’ll actually get it done this year !

TRAIL magazine 7 summits challenge

The January 2016 issue of TRAIL magazine issued a challenge to its readers to list 7 summits that they would like to tick in 2016.  So for a bit of fun, I took it up and published my list on Twitter under the hashtag #trail7summits – keep an eye on this year’s blog entries will chronicle to see how I progress.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

A 2015 Summary

At the start of 2015 I had 307 summits on my combined ticklist of TRAIL 100 summits, Nuttalls, WASHIS, Bridges and Buxton & Lewis summits.  2015 was the second year of my 10-year completion target and had aimed to tick 34 summits on my combined list which would include 26 Nuttalls and 6 TRAIL 100s.

For the second year in a row I fell short, but not by so much.

Overall I :
            went on             17                                walks
            walked              118.5                            miles
            ascended          34,304                          feet
            walked for         70 hrs 36 mins             (including rest stops !)
            reached             29                                individual summits that I hadn’t been to before
            reached             12                                individual summits that I had been to before
            reached             25                                summits on my combined ticklist
            reached             8                                  previously unclimbed TRAIL 100 summits
            reached             15                                previously unclimbed Nuttall summits
            drove                 4254                            miles on trips to and from walks

As the year progressed and the numbers of targeted summits decreased, a Nuttall was demoted following a survey and a WASHIS was added due to a list compilation oversight.  But I added a number of unclimbed Scottish 4000-foot  and Irish 3000-foot summits as well as some Lake District 2000-foot summits from a historic list known as the Simpsons.

So following a demotion, an addition, the ticking of 29 summits as well as the expansion of my target list, what started as 307 summits ended as a list of 349 !  Still quite a bit of walking needed !

Of the specific summits that I stated were 2015 targets, I did manage to tick the 3 Dartmoor summits and Worcestershire Beacon which was quite a challenge to do on a single day out from just north of Liverpool !  And again I didn’t manage to get near the 6 Cheviot Nuttalls and Pillar Rock.

Although 2015’s figures are quite a bit better than 2014’s, it didn’t feel that I’d got out very much and the high mileage was due to a couple of family holidays being taken advantage of to get a single hill day on both of them.  Highlights of the year were Suilven, Pen y Fan, Cross Fell and Merrick – all well-worth the travelling and except for Pen y Fan, devoid of crowds.

Now let’s see what 2016 brings.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Christmas Carneddau

It’s not often I head into the hills without any previously unclimbed summits as targets, but this was one of those rare days.  My club had organised a day out in the northern Carneddau and had touched lucky with quite good weather following the country’s battering by Storm Eva over Christmas – it was the only day that was forecast to have a lull in summit windspeeds.

We started from Abergwyngregyn and walked up the road to the North Wales Path, following it eastwards before turning right up the track that led to the summit of Drum.  I’ve rarely reached any hill as easily as this, with the sun shining and no wind.

The ridge to Foel-fras was a different matter and my post-Christmas fitness was sorely tested.  I slowed down significantly and reached the top quite some time after the rest of the group.  From here though, it was mostly downhill all the way.  We descended to the col below Llwytmor and walked up the short rise to the summit which was a new Nuttall for me.

I had hoped to tick Llwytmor but wasn’t necessarily expecting it as walking with a group tends to lead to a route defined either by “follow-my-leader” or consensus.  With today’s company I would have been happy with just getting out on some high summits – which I hadn’t visited for over 27 years!

From the summit a spiked tor beckoned us to the far side of the plateau before we avoided Llwytmor Bach in the increasing wind and decided to take a beeline to the Afon Goch above Aber Falls.  The path to the side of the falls needed some care to traverse as the tributaries made the exposed rock somewhat slippery but after what turned out to be the crux of the route, the easy path led us back to the road for the last mile to the car park.