Re: Expedition 15 - Carneddau - Trip Reports

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Paul Saunders, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Judith wrote:

    >> So, in summary, all of you who think that URW Expeds are too "tough"
    >> (or too easy) should come along anyway. There's plenty of scope for
    >> splitting the group into those who want to push themselves and those
    >> who want to take things a little easier....

    W. D. Grey wrote:

    > I can agree with most of what you say Judith, or at least half of what
    > you say. The last sentence doesn't ring true.

    A large part of the problem is that we tend to plan a long walk, which
    most of the attendees expect or feel obligated to do, and the short walk
    tends to be thought up on the spur of the moment, as a kind of last
    resort for the few who don't feel up to doing the long walk.

    This creates the perception that a short walk is somehow inferior, and
    that being in the "slow group" is a bad thing. Probably because many
    people attach negative connotations to the word slow. Yet walking
    slowly gives you more time to appreciate your surroundings and a short
    walk allows you to get to know an area better, rather than just racing
    through it.

    The problem is that no-one ever bothers to properly plan a short walk
    before the expedition, so many probably aren't aware that a short walk
    is even a possibility. There may be people out there reluctant to
    attend because they think the suggested walk is obligatory and don't
    feel up to it. If more emphasis were placed on planning a short walk
    that may encourage more people to turn up.

    > For example Paul S knows the walks I like, and can do, but there are
    > never any walks of that nature suggested and no one wants to do walks
    > of 5 to 6 or even 7 miles without any macho scrambling

    Yes, it must be said that Bill is capable of more than simply strolling
    next to a river. Not long ago we climbed (walked) Bannau Sir Gaer from
    Llanddeusant, a 9km walk with 550m of ascent, and we took our time over
    it. Naismith's time for the walk is 2h 42m, but we took 5 hours. No
    need to rush, better to savour it.

    If this weekend's walk was a long/hard walk then the above could
    probably be described as a medium walk, certainly harder than a
    short/slow walk. Perhaps this sort of walk would better suit the kind
    of people who aren't turning up at the expeditions because the long walk
    puts them off?

    If three walks could be planned for each expedition, a short, medium and
    long, perhaps more people would be inclined to attend and there may be a
    decent number of walkers on each of the different walks.

    > or lovely rocky ridges!

    I think you misunderstand the meaning of "rocky ridge" in the context of
    Saturday's walk. It was no Crib Goch. Although there were a few
    scrambly bits for those who wanted to do them, those bits were avoidable
    and most of the walk was in fact along grassy paths. The "rocky ridge"
    reference meant that it was a ridge, i.e. higher and drier than the
    surrounding land, and it had rocky crags here and there, which you had
    no obligation to scramble up. It's not as if we were walking on solid
    rock with steep cliffs on either side. You said yourself that you like
    ridge walking in the Beacons.

    > I would love to be able to join in to the full, and I can complete
    > decent walks in spite of the opinion that seems to be prevalent.

    To a certain extent it all depends how you define a decent walk. The
    "problem" with Snowdonia is that these are the highest mountains in
    Wales, and are thus the steepest, highest and rockiest. By definition
    therefore, a "decent walk" in Snowdonia is necessarily going to be
    harder than a "decent walk" in the Beacons, which is much gentler in

    The bottom line is that there aren't many easy, or even medium walks to
    be found in Snowdonia. Even a short walk tends to be very steep and
    include a lot of ascent. For the kind of moderate walks that you prefer
    the Beacons is a much better location.

    If you want less emphasis on hard walks, perhaps the answer is to visit
    an gentler location, of which there are many throughout Wales. The
    Dartmoor walks were particularly easy compared to all of the Snowdonia
    walks that have been done, and the Peak District walks were well within
    your capability too. The unavoidable fact is that an expedition planned
    for the second highest mountain range in Wales isn't going to have many
    options for a "medium" walk.

    > I regret that I shall have to reconsider my future attendance at
    > Expeditions as far a walking is concerned. I don't want to walk on my
    > own due to the lack if interest in lesser but still invigorating
    > walks.

    Which means we need to choose some gentler areas to visit.

    > The Expedition has developed an uk.rec.hardbastards element
    > which does not give encouragement to those less fortunate to join in.

    But if those people who don't want to do long hard walks contributed
    more to suggesting and planning moderate walks, more would be inclined
    to come along. It's just that most of the people who make suggestions
    tend to be the ones who like long walks.

    We definitely need more discussion beforehand (there was virtually none
    this time), and that discussion should give a lot more emphasis to
    moderate walks rather than hard ones. At the moment the hard walks tend
    to be the norm. Perhaps a moderate walk should be suggested as the
    "main walk" with a long walk an option for the few hard men who simply
    have to walk a long way.