Saturday, 31 August 2013

Weather Inversions are Freaking Ace

Especially those ones that happen at 5:30am on the day you're due to leave the Langdale Valley.

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Hell, even ones in crap weather aren't too shabby. But that's another story.
Taken: Langdale Valley, Lake District 21/7/13

Friday, 30 August 2013

"Wait... So There are Non-Hills in The Peaks?"

Yesterday I went to the Peaks. Nothing unusual in that in itself (hell, it was the second visit in as many days), but rather than me automatically setting off for the Hope Valley or even Edale, this time I set off from Fox House and wandered over a bit of moorland...

...And I still managed a tiny bit of elevation.

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The reasons for this changing of a habit of a lifetime were two-fold: 

  1. With the yeti away, I was hiking with my mum (who was unwilling to pay the extra to travel out of the Yorkshire boundary. True Yorkshirewoman).
  2. Following the massive walk I'd done the day before (the longest in at least a year), my feet were making it clear that anything too adventurous would not be tolerated.
So we made for Fox House Inn. And during the last few minutes on the bus, I spotted a pile of stones in the distance and quickly informed my mother:  "I want to go and look at those".

«

We set off and wandered around what I think was Burbage Moor for a while (moor boundaries: how do they work?). It took a hell of a lot longer to get to the pile of rocks than we'd anticipated, mainly because I kept wandering off to look at rocks further up on the moor. But we got there in the end after battling ferns, bugs, bogs, and crossing a stream (I hate crossing streams...). 

It turned out the pile of rocks yonder was in fact Carl Wark Fort. And also that it was a hell of a lot of fun to play on and scramble around.  Seriously. I am definitely fetching the Yeti here when he moves back to Yorkshire.

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There was even a decent scramble to the plateau - I had a lot of fun conquering it, and I was quite proud of my less-than-young mother managing it. Though as we were ascending it, two kids that had been trailing us were shouting to their dad that it obviously was a safe climb because "They're managing it!".
Apparently hitting other people's children isn't allowed, so I left it.

Mum's camera is buggered

Carl Wark was ace. I really loved it up there: plenty to scramble about on and damn decent views - I even got to see my usual stomping ground:


«(There's a lot of zoom going on here...)

I wanted to carry on towards Higger Torr, but my mum made the case that she was tired... and considering the state of my feet by the time I got home, it was probably for the best. 

Still, I know where the Yeti and I are off to once he gets back to the North. 
Who would have thought things that aren't technically hills could be so much fun...

«Still, being high up helps...


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Hiking Anecdote: "Then Descend"

Thanks in part to my less-than-ideal navigational skills, I'm quite keen on walking routes from websites like Happy Hiker, Walk Lakes, Walking Britain, etc. And on the whole they've served me well - indeed this one from Happy Hiker is now my go-to for when I'm going on my own or taking newbies (easy to follow, not a massive chance of getting lost, but still lots of fun).

But now my faith in these is being tested thanks to one walking route in particular from a site that I shall not name...

«*ahem*
Now I will give credit where it's due: the guide was very clear and very specific throughout the ascent. It wasn't the easiest of routes to get our heads round direction-wise (if the Yeti hadn't corrected me on five or six occasions, we'd probably still be there). So in that respect, it was really good.

«Plus it led us to this view, which was ace.

The problems started when we were ready to descend.

Admittedly the guide wasn't as vague as the title of this post suggests, but it could have been a little more helpful - while the guide on how to get to the top of the hill was 240 words long, the descent guide was a whopping 85. None of which mentioned painfully climbing down this:

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And where it did attempt specificity, it did things like mentioning certain stiles (which led to nowhere) rather than the ones actually needed.

And the bit that got us a most miffed: the ascent guide gives a decent bit of warning to areas that are steep, slippery and covered in scree. But that stuff was a cakewalk compared to the descent path the guide led us to... which it simply said was "steep".

«Um. There's a descent path in there somewhere...
Steep was an understatement. A fall each (and we never normally fall) and a pretty serious knee injury later, we were back on level ground, walking/hopping back to the car.

It's not put me off using guides in the future entirely, but suffice to say: the Yeti would probably let me navigate before he'd let us use a route from that website again.


Monday, 26 August 2013

Hiking Wishlist: Parkhouse Hill

I hate not having a car. 
Admittedly if I had one I wouldn't know what to do with it, but y'know someone (the Yeti) could then drive me to the bits of the Peaks or the Lakes or wherever that aren't within spitting distance of a train station.

So if the Yeti gets access to a car up North, or if indeed I ever learn to drive without looking like this, then one bit of the Peak District I want to visit is Parkhouse Hill.



Parkhouse hill stands at just 360m (with only 35m prominence), so it's not exactly a heroic undertaking, but it looks like fun... and, I must confess, I'm a little in love with its fascinating shape.



Plus the view from the top doesn't look too bad, either.



Sources: One, Two, Three

Kit Wishlist: Daysack

A bi-weekly feature wherein I drool over something I'd kill to add to my kit. Y'know, if I had anything resembling money.This week: An Osprey Rucksack

I haven't been doing much hiking of late thanks to a (re-aggravated) ankle injury combining with working pretty much constantly. However, as my ankle is feeling far better and as I've got a few days off this week, I figured I'd get a few days in this week.

Sadly, the Yeti is still in Shropshire so I'm missing both my hiking partner and my pack mule right now. I'm not totally averse to hiking alone (at least not on certain routes), but as my day bag is (1) massive and (2) in Shropshire, there was a distinct problem re: how I was going to carry my water, Snickers, and waterproof jacket around. 

So, for once, I decided on a logical solution and bought a day bag that was (1) Roxy-sized and (2) not in Shropshire. Sadly, as I don't get to start my grown-up job for almost 5 more months, my funds were limited and so I opted for a product by those friends of super skint hikers: Karrimor (who, incidentally, made my hiking trousers and sunnies). The bag's decent: looks like it'd do the job and only cost £12.

But if I did have money, I reckon I know what I'd go for...

Osprey Talon 22


I mean. Just. C'mon!

So in addition to being rather aesthetically pleasing (and, in the above photo, in my favourite colour), it continues to be awesome in other ways such as:

  • It's got Airscape back ventilation (slightly less sweaty backs!)
  • It's torso-adjustable
  • It's made of durable material but is still fairly lightweight (810g)
  • It's hydration compatible 
  • It's also is equipped to take a bike or climbing helmet - I'm not likely to need that feature, but it's still pretty cool. 
  • It was apparently awarded "Best in Test" in the Sept 2012 issue of Trail magazine.
  • And hugely importantly: it has a shit-load of pockets for easy and quick access (which, frankly, I love in a bag). 

There are videos about its awesomeness here and here

But with an RRP of £75, this is a day bag I might have to save up for.
But from the look of it, it will probably be worth it.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Random Rambling Photo(s): Breaking the Tranquility



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Oops

Langdale Valley 20/7/13

Back at Sea Level: Minor Updates

This is usually posted on Thursdays each week. So I'm more than a little late with this.

In truth, there's not an awful lot to tell in my day-to-day life: much of my last week in Shropshire was a pretty chilled out affair, and with the exception of one ace but uneventful day out to visit Manchester with my hiking partner of 2012 (who spent the first hour telling me what hills I should have gone up in Shropshire & Wales), my life has principally involved me throwing myself back into my day job.

But I guess there are a few small things I can update you on - many of which with pictures - so here goes:


  • Last year my Dad bought a new house and forgot to mention it. This year, he got a dog and forgot to mention it. So that was a nice surprise.
«Lola!

  • Manchester was cool; I'm still nowhere near used to the place, and the thought of moving somewhere that isn't in a field is worrying me a little (the perils of being raised near a farm), but at least I'm starting to warm to the pubs after last weekend. I'm a bit in love with Grand Central (looks deceptively like an old man pub but plays Anaal Nathrakh at 1pm on a Saturday), and though it was expensive, I really liked The Crown and Kettle - especially its ceiling:
«Also: the fact it sold Rekorderlig draft. With strawberries in.
My former hiking partner ("P") took the strongest liking to a pub called Monroe's - a Marilyn Monroe themed dive that played cheesy 60s music and was decked out in very unfortunate decor meant to convey 50s glamour. P has made if clear that if/when he visits me once I move to the city next year, we will be drinking in Monroe's every time.

  • I discovered Orange is the New Black, promptly watched all 15 hours of it in less than 4 days, and now I've stumbled across Archer. There are probably some chores that I should be getting on with...
  • Fun fact: I was with my first boyfriend for 6 and a half years. Of that, all but 7 months were long-distance. So then you think I'd be better equipped to deal with Sam living in Shropshire for the summer. Alas, no. I'm slightly losing my mind; I hate being apart from my partner in crime. Luckily he's back on Sept 1st, but until then we are abusing Skype. And his webcam features:
    «
So that's about it for now. Hopefully having a few days off this week will mean I'll be slightly more interesting in time for next Thursday. I make no promises. 
Hope your week's been more thrilling than mine, and that you have a good Bank Holiday.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Bitchy Bit: Labeling Photos

Bitchy Bit is my occasional feature in which I'll have a whinge about certain aspects of outdoorsy stuff - and some of the things that can come with having hillwalking as a hobby.

Today I'm starting with something unnecessarily petty: Photo labeling.

«Entitled: A Hill What We Saw In The North of the UK

Taking photos is pretty common in this business. Even if you're not one for victorious trig photos then chances are you'll have wanted to share the epic view from the summit once you've got back home. And I have no issue with that - hell I'm beyond snap happy when I get too close to a fell. My issue is when they turn up on certain sites with titles that are beyond vague.

Now I can't be the only one who pores over blogs, Flickr and even Pinterest when planning a hiking holiday. And when the Yeti and I have regular access to a car (one day...), it will only get worse.

So when I need inspiration for where I want to go and what I want to see, shit like this does not help:



"Lake District". Really?

Now just in case anyone doesn't know: The Lake District National Park is pretty freaking huge; about 885sq miles huge. Saying that this lovely scene is somewhere in that vast expanse does not really help. 

To be fair, I probably really am being petty and it's not that big a deal; I'm sure the Pinterester(?) meant well. But I'm not yet at a point where I can recognise areas yet (I even have trouble with some I've been to - I was convinced every other hill near Ambleside was Loughrigg Fell...) and so finding somewhere I'd love to visit coupled with a title that tells me no more than 'Yep. It's definitely within 100miles of your campsite...' is a little frustrating.

But maybe I'm being too harsh, after all on my first visit to the Lakes, I tagged everything with "Lake District" rather than Low Wray/Ambleside/Loughrigg Fell... but then again I didn't know what Cumberland was back then, either. 

Still, I might be being a little harsh on these poor bloggers/pinteresters(??)/Flickr members - but I guess I just want to be able to get inspired to read up on a place without having to turn into the hiking version of Sherlock Holmes.

Aaagh!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Rambling Ramblings: Hiking Partners

Nearly 2 weeks ago, I introduced you to my awesome hiking partner: The Yeti. Today, I'm thinking about my hiking buddies to date, and asking: 
What makes a good hiking buddy? 
(especially when you're a hillwalking newbie like me)


So here are a few traits (four explained in detail) that I reckon the ideal hiking buddy (especially of the novice rambler) would have...
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Trait One: Fitness

Now this is a double-edged sword, especially for someone like me who isn't going to win awards any time soon for speed or endurance (though I'm not too bad with the latter). Basically, not fit enough, the group/pair end up proceeding at a less-than-ideal pace, while a particularly high a level of fitness can result in the buddy getting frustrated at a lack of speed. I'm wording this a little awkwardly, and it's incredibly rare to find a hiking partner who matches your fitness (though I like to level the playing field by over-filling the Yeti's day bag...), but if you have to go one way or the other, I'd advise someone fitter than yourself: it gives you an extra kick up the arse, and it'll help improve your fitness in the long run. That said, if you do end up with someone fitter than yourself, then (as my own experience has taught me the hard way) you probably need that person to posses trait two...


Trait Two: Patience

Let's open with an illustration:

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My hiking partner throughout 2012 was not a patient man. I feel that this photo indicates this well. Now it's not entirely his fault: he's extremely fit, very quick, and... well... is pretty impatient by his very nature anyway. To be fair to the fella, he accepts this is a thing and so did take the time to wait for me and to help me over any alarming obstacles (I can't fucking handle streams), so I have to give him a lot of credit for that. But scenes like the one above were not exactly uncommon. So when your partner's fitness and/or expertise far outstrips your own, then for them to have a little patience is beyond helpful.


Trait Three: Expertise (including Navigational Skills)

I've already explained that I'm not allowed to navigate during adventures. I must be an armchair navigator (namely I can come up with routes and pore over maps all I like, but this stuff can't go unchecked by the Yeti, and he has the final call on the day). But general skills with a map are not the only thing: some people can work out exactly where they are in relation to the map (and to where you need to be) even on a big flat moor, and some know how to find north without a compass. Some people know the right technique for dealing with steep descents (as my first hiking buddy taught me), and others know the correct way to shift your weight as you scramble (thank you, ghyll scrambling instructor!). Whether it's navigation, nature, technique, or a combination thereof - if your hiking partner has expertise in these areas -and is willing to help you hone your own skills in these fields - then you're on to a winner.

«"Yep. That's definitely a hill."

Trait Four: Good Company

I've been lucky: everyone I've ever hiked with has been phenomenally good company. My hiking partner throughout 2012 is someone with whom I can still drink away an afternoon without getting bored. My current hiking partner is my boyfriend, so if I didn't like his company I'd be buggered. And the only other people who have been hiking buddies have been two of my closest friends from home. If your hiking buddy is a person of few words or someone who you don't have a massive amount in common with, then that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. But considering you'll be spending anything up to a day or so with this person, it pays to makes sure it's someone you can talk to, who you can have a laugh with, and who will make the experience even more enjoyable. 

«Vicki and Dave are particularly worth having around on Back Tor, for instance.

Other handy traits: 
  • Good photographer (well someone needs to take your heroic trig photo!),
  • Good packhorse (I can carry my own stuff. I just prefer not to...)
  • Driver (not as important if you yourself can drive. But as someone who has yet to learn, I can confirm it's nicer to fall asleep in the car coming home from a day hike than it is to do so on the train/bus. And if you're not on the passenger side: please don't fall asleep at the wheel).


Luckily, I have someone that ticks almost all these boxes (we're working on the photography) as my current hiking partner, but it's worth making a note of these things. If I've missed anything out, be sure to let me know.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Hiking Anecdote: The Navigator

I think I've mentioned before: I'm not allowed to navigate.

«OS Map Fort. Because that's what happens when you work too hard on a research proposal.

Now this doesn't seem entirely fair at times, after all: no one loves reading the maps like me, no one can spot a Peaks hill like me on the train to Manchester, and no one else drinks in the walking guides like I do. But nonetheless, I am not allowed to plan a route.

If I ever point out how unfair all of this is, the Yeti helpfully reminds me of our trip to Win Hill last June. Namely the bits where I cost us a great deal of time, got us completely lost, and managed to convince myself we were about 3 miles away from where we actually were ("we're either here or... um... here?").  

And then I can't help but remind myself of the time I horrified my ex by asking why everywhere sold Cumberland sausage while we were in the Lakes, nor how I sent my best friend into fits of giggles after being stunned that Liverpool was by the sea... while we were in Liverpool.

I'll give credit where it's due: the Yeti is a fantastic navigator.
I'm still learning how to use a compass while the Yeti is an old hand - while I still occasionally mix up fence markings on OS maps with walking trails,the Yeti safely navigated us off a mountain when I was completely stumped (the only route I knew involved ascending 300m more, then walking another few miles before descending... not ideal at 9pm). 

But I will say this for me:
Working out a way to walk 25 yards in an hour takes skill.

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Monday, 19 August 2013

This Didn't Suck: Buying Boots at Cotswold in Leeds

This Didn't Suck is the bi-weekly recommendation/bit of praise. This week, for the first ever installment, I figured I'd talk about when I bought that basic of basics: hiking boots - and how that did not suck.

This is a recommendation of Cotswold in Leeds, of my hiking footwear (Scarpa ZG65)... and an excuse for me to reminisce about how I got my beloved boots.

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My boots are really wonderful. I love them. I love them a bit too much, actually - apparently I once told the Yeti that if I could, I would marry my boots and keep him as my mistress. Whom I would pay in hikes. In the boots.
I try not to drink as much cider these days.

Anyway, when I announced I was buying my own pair of boots this March, I sought out advice from the font of all hiking knowledge: aka. the guy who'd dragged me up Kinder Scout 8 months previously. He gave me advice which included words like Gore-Tex and Vibram and, above all else, I was instructed to "go somewhere good. Go to Cotswold."

I live near Sheffield, which is hardly any real distance away from the gorgeous Peak District, so you'd think there'd be a branch there. Alas, according the branch-finder, my closest Cotswold is in Bakewell. Now as that's a bugger to get to without a car (and I had no car, and - at the time - no Yeti), so I decided the next time I was in Leeds I'd pop into that branch instead. 

And so, when I was in the city for work later that month, I wandered over (after I'd finished spending over an hour getting lost trying to find it). And by gods they looked after me. Which is especially good as I probably wasn't the easiest customer: I was (and am) enough of a novice to need a great deal of things explained and recommended to me, but also I was sufficiently educated to have a rough idea of what I needed (so I was quite fussy as well). But after an hour of pulling faces, umming and ahhing, and walking up and down those ace ramps, I had my beloved Scarpas. 

The staff there were brilliant: they knew their stuff, they listened to what I said, and they were unbelievably patient with me. If you need new boots, head over to your nearest Cotswold: if it's anything like the Leeds branch, you won't be disappointed. Plus, y'know, student discount. 

As for the boots themselves: Oh I love them so. The ankle support is brilliant: this is especially handy as (1) I injured my ankle quite badly at work in April and it's still fragile even now, and (2) when on hills, it seems my feet don't agree with the idea of walking like a normal human and so attempt to contort just as I put my weight down. In short: if it weren't for these boots, I'm not sure I'd have feet anymore. The grip is brilliant, and the fact they're waterproof means I can stop being such a girl when it comes to puddles.

For the hikes of 2012, I'd worn terrible zip-up boots for the jaunt up Kinder Scout (though I looked fabulous...), and the rest of the time I borrowed my then-boyfriend's mum's hiking boots. That might have been an error in retrospect: she took a size six, and when I was measured for my Scarpas, it turned out I was meant to be wearing a 7... Other than that, my only hike of 2013 up to that point (as the fella was now out of the picture) involved me knackering my Converse.  So the boots were a real step up for me (harhar).

I texted the hiking guru on the train back to South Yorkshire to let him know which boots I'd bought. He replied: "they're about as good an all-rounder as you'll get". Now he knows his stuff, and so do the staff in the shop - all I know is that they're comfy as hell, make me feel a lot more confident in my stride and scrambles, and that I can't help but wonder what I ever did without them.

Hiking Wishlist: Pike O'Blisco

I'm a bit in love with Great Langdale, if I'm honest.

The Yeti and I went there for a few days in July to celebrate me graduating my Masters (with a distinction. Not that I'm bragging, or anything...) after it was recommended to me by the bloke who was my hiking buddy last year (yet when I went with him to the Lakes, we went to Low fsking Wray. Don't worry, I've since told him off). One day I'll do a proper account of that mini-break, but the central theme of that time was that it was basically too freaking hot to do anything.

Seriously. The biggest ascension we managed was to Stickle Tarn (473m, apparently) and I even keeled over on the first attempt up there thanks to a hearty dose of heatstroke (I'm not designed for hot weather...).

Anyway, all this melting and whatnot meant that we didn't get to attack the one recommendation we had hill-wise for the trip: Pike O'Blisco.  So now, naturally, I want to go up it. At 705m, it should be a fair undertaking for someone as rubbish as me - but apparently the views are well worth it...


Even on less-than clear days:


Plus, it seems to have some decent scrambly bits....



Aye. That seems like it'll be quite a fun one.

Sources: One, Two, Three

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Well, Shit

I've been really awful this week.

Apparently eating too much Chinese food in various cities and overdosing on Game of Thrones (don'tjudgeme) will screw with your blogging. But to make up for it, there's a bumper week ahead.

I've devised a list of regular and semi-regular features (some of which were debuted in this blog's opening week) and you'll be getting the full force of them this week: so the weekly, bi-weekly, and the as-and-when features will all be on show this week to make up for the recent radio silence.

It'll be a bumper Bitches Love Hills.

So until then, here's a photo from my hike at the start of the week...

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Wales is pretty damn decent.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hiking Wishlist: Glaramara

Running a day late (forgive me: I was up a hill), here is your weekly dose of scenery porn!  



Now this is a hill that I've had a desire to wander to the top of for a year now - pretty much since I returned from my second visit to the lakes at the end of August 2012. This was pretty unusual in that it was one of the first hills that I stumbled across on my own - back then the usual tack was either for my then-hiking partner to tell me which hill we'd be ascending, and my wishlist was carved out from hearing the names of the hills in his anecdotes of previous hikes.

But Glaramara was one I found all on my own: I'd seen a photo from the summit and decided then and there that I wanted to see that for myself. In the end, the biggest move I made towards ascending that was to ask the bloke whether it would kill me (it's 783m, after all). Still, as we never returned to the Lakes together, it was never raised again. 


When the Yeti and I spent a few days in the Lakes last month we were based at Great Langdale without a car and in the middle of a heatwave that made it inadvisable to attempt much beyond Stickle Tarn (and even then we only managed that at last light). So Glaramara was out of the question on that visit as well.


But we'll get there one day. There's no way in hell I'm missing out on this...

Sources: One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Random Rambling Photo: 'Well Fuck You Too' Edition

«

Not helpful for those of us with zero navigational skill...

Taken:  6th Aug 2013 - The Wrekin, Shropshire

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Back at Sea Level: The Yeti

Back at Sea Level is a weekly thing wherein I'll mention something about my day-to-day life: i.e. the non-hilly bits. I know, I know. I'll try to keep it brief.

This week: The Yeti

Now since I launched this blog on Sunday, you might have noticed me making reference to "the Yeti". Other than him being someone who is flirted at for lifts and who carries the stuff, it might not be entirely clear who he is. In short, he's this guy:

«Melting en-route to Stickle Tarn

Confidant, pack-horse, smartarse, and hiking buddy & boyfriend to the bitch who loves hills.

Called Yeti because he's big (well, compared to me), strong, and ...um... hairy.

Oh, and excuse the purple rucksack: that's mine.

The Yeti is also known as "Sam" (apparently); he's a chemistry student, cyclist, and has a penchant for explosions and things that cause explosions (especially if they're armoured).

«

As for how he is on hikes: his mountain biking means he has a head for heights (and for ascending towards them), his strength makes him a fantastic pack-horse and scrambling buddy (the few times I've nearly fallen, I've been rescued by him) - and, what's more, he's a brilliant navigator... which is especially handy as I'm beyond awful with a map (more about that in another post).

So yeah. That's the Yeti. 
Everyone ought to have one.

«Because we have very little real maturity.


Other ace things this week:
  • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa - Film of the year. Do not miss it. (I cried laughing. I didn't even know that was really a thing.)
  • Randomly bursting into fits of giggles at the mere memory of Alpha Papa
  • Playing on the battlements at Shrewsbury Castle
  • "Thanks for leading us on a dead goose chase!"
  • Too much American candy
  • Securing Arcturus tickets
  • Watching this ancient Top Gear video over brunch.
  • Grope Lane. 
  • Oh, and the -um- Wasp Danish...

«O.O

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Rambling Ramblings: Hiking Snacks

I have a confession to make: I've never eaten Kendal Mint Cake. 

I know, no one is more upset about this than I am, but there you go. I keep saying I'm going to try it, but I just never seem to get round to it, and now that I've decided I shan't bother to have my first mint cake until I'm back in the Lakes (for authenticity's sake, I guess) then that puts another 2-11 months' wait onto the 297 month tally so far.

But I suppose many would argue that you don't need a hiking snack anyway, you can either rely on the calories you banked over breakfast, or sit down for a packed lunch at the summit (or both). 

Yesterday, the yeti and I had a packed lunch on a rocky outcrop just off the summit of the Wrekin. This is
«Nature: Complete with bottle-holders. 
the first time I've done anything like that for about 13 years. And to be fair, the only reason we'd done that was because we'd only had a small breakfast, had then been delayed setting off, and had been in Tesco anyway for cider and cookies (once a student...), so we acquired breaded items while we were there. 

Normally I'd consider a packed lunch to be a thing that you'd do on a day hike, and as the longest wander I've done since I got into this game last year was about 5 hours long (and about 30 mins of that was just me pratting about on Back Tor), I've never seen the need to pack real snap. My usual tack is to (eventually) get to the summit, celebrate with the mandatory trig photo, then have a snack to put me on for the descent... Then have a massive meal at the pub once we're back to base (and then piss off the yeti by taking photos of said-meal).  

As such, I find that taking snacks up there is the way to go. 

I never took snacks when I started hiking last year as my hiking partner for 2012 seemed to be under the impression that stopping for more than 3 minutes at a time was an extreme show of weakness, so when I started in earnest with the yeti this summer, I was woefully unprepared. When we did the Mam Tor circuit
«Pictured: Something completely pointless atop Win Hill Pike.
back in May (backwards, we later found out), we took a bag of Haribo star mix (which we nibbled at en route) and Fancie cupcakes. It was too windy to eat the cupcakes, and so we ended up saving them til we got home anyway, though it did end up spawning a ridiculous habit of ours for future Peak District hikes (see left).

It was only really when we went for a hiking holiday in the Lakes last month that I started to get my act together.

Now my snap pocket in the day bag contains cereal bars (high energy, tend to be slow to release) and Snickers (high energy, quick boost, surprisingly filling). Sadly, the yeti is very much opposed to nuts, so he tends towards Mars Bars rather than Snickers - and then tends to get hungry long before we finish the descent. It's the peanuts: apparently you're knackering your muscles and so protein is what's needed to repair the damage and to help you get fitter. 

At least that's what I got told when I was chided for ordering tomato soup after descending from Kinder Scout all those months ago.

But anyhoo. That's me. I'd be interested to hear what other people take for fuel as they go up and down the hills, and whether people tend to be the packed lunch sort, or gravitate towards something over-priced and over-filling at the pub once they've got back down. Can't just be me.


«Stickleburger from the Sticklebarn.
This>Snap box.