Thursday, 30 April 2015

Everything is now in storage and becoming officially a 'homeless nomad' is in sight ... just 3 more days left of civilisation. It's at times like these, things like wills have to be thought about and written, as well as ensuring that everything is left 'neat and tidy' - just for that 'just in case'.  Although I am not worried about the trip, that I suspect will be like an extremely long (with slightly hotter and colder moments) Highland Way in Scotland, however, there are plenty of unknowns.  Similar to the Highland Way, it is a stunning path trodden by many; either day trippers or long distance walkers but the mountains are high, crossings are water power dependent and I mustn't forget the rattlesnake on day 2 of my 10 day cycle πŸ˜„.

I had a second pack today and it's in... tightly ... but it's in.... 65 litre rucksack with room even for my boil in the bags - the greatest camping must haves not only for hygiene reasons and to save on the washing up, it means that left overs can be stored and eaten a little later or the next day πŸ˜„.

 hmmm and I have found another disadvantage to technology - I now have to carry a charger pack AND sola charger - just so that I can maintain some of the technology ... although I have to say I am extremely tempted to just bin the lot for the sake of weight carrying. oh how times change and certainly not a consideration 15 years ago πŸ˜„

Sunday, 26 April 2015


Oh dear! I did the first trial run of packing my kit today - using a 40 litre pack. All of my kit was put in ( yes, the idea is small and light) but sadly there was not enough room for the additional 6litres of water that I also need to carry. It would have been fine if I didn't have to carry both hot and extreme cold weather gear ( yes, deserts are extremely hot in the day but bitter cold at night and the snowy and windy mountains are different beasts). These conditions are my daily consideration from the start!

I have to say, I did giggle today as I was cutting my toothbrush in half ( just to be able to save on space and weight!) and deciding that 3 sets of socks for a 10 day cycle is good enough and as for deodorant? Nahhhh that's for Manning park (the end) ... so I will post that along with a spare set of clothes, shower gel and of course a razor!! πŸ˜„

It's been a long time since I had to use or think of the tricks of the trade in order to lighten the load and save space .. and although I am having the moments of 'what am I doing' and ' do you realise that it is 16 lots of the coast to coast trot or  John o'groats to lands end nearly thrice over'!! I have a huge sense of excitement and fear.

As I dip into other people's blogs, finding comfort that others have survived and gone before but equally fear that where others love the thought of seeing a rattle snake, big cat or bear ... I have to say, I'm not so keen. I did however giggle again, when in one blog, the advice given when seeing a bear was to make yourself as big as possible and don't run.... I couldn't help but be reminded of Jimmy Carrs performance a couple of years ago, whose advice was exactly that, but I thought it was a joke!! aaaahhh dear... who's to know that you have to make yourself look big for a bear and throw dirt at a rattle snake! but it's ok...rattle snakes venom only kicks in after 24 hrs .... plenty of time to reach day 10 of the stage (if I am on day 9 of the cycle* that is!!!).

So,  with a 65 litre rucksack on emergency order .... I will have to wait until Tuesday until I do pack no.2!

p.s and for those who are wondering, if you are at all, no, I am not taking a GPS.... I had one, but the batteries have leaked (clearly not from over use) ... and I haven't got enough time to work out how to use another one ( nor the first) .... compass and map .... that's all I need ..... I think πŸ˜„

*i use the term cycle as the point in time/ days that I will be able to pick up fresh supplies for the next 10 day trek... carrying  112+ days of food  for the duration would be impossible... but 200 miles is ok..... I think?!?!!
new email set up for these treks -  

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The route ...

Ok, so this is it!  The route and mileage.  If I can stick to this plan, it means that I will arrive at the end of the trial just before September - but that's 1.5 months ahead of what they suggest.   However, these check points don't include the 'detours' due to the fires or fallen bridges and trees.  Last night I had to breathe and state the big task, break it into small chunks .. then achieve.... so with that in mind - its only 27 check points ..... or when I get to 15 it will be down hill from then.... 7.50pm - just had confirmation that I have the permit to walk the trail .... cutting it fine, just like the fire permit, USA permit and the Canada permit that needs to be posted to a point near the trail because I have cut it too fine! However it does seem to be working at the moment .. 

Distance (mi) Elevation Gain (ft) mi/day ft/day Trail
US/Mexico Border to Mt. Laguna 42.3 mi 5,570 ft 22.9 mi 3,021 ft 1.8
Mt. Laguna to Warner Springs 67.3 mi 3,567 ft 27.6 mi 1,463 ft 2.4
Warner Springs to Idyllwild 69.0 mi 10,211 ft 22.2 mi 3,280 ft 3.1
Idyllwild to Highway 18 95.5 mi 12,307 ft 23.1 mi 2,974 ft 4.1
Highway 18 to Wrightwood 89.5 mi 8,090 ft 25.2 mi 2,276 ft 3.6
Wrightwood to Agua Dulce 90.8 mi 10,615 ft 23.7 mi 2,770 ft 3.8
Agua Dulce to Highway 58 (California) 112.2 mi 12,128 ft 24.2 mi 2,612 ft 4.6
Highway 58 (California) to Kennedy Meadows Store 136.2 mi 15,310 ft 23.9 mi 2,690 ft 5.7
Kennedy Meadows Store to Muir Trail Ranch 153.4 mi 25,228 ft 21.4 mi 3,524 ft 7.2
Muir Trail Ranch to Reds Meadow 50.4 mi 8,434 ft 21.3 mi 3,565 ft 2.4
Reds Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows 36.1 mi 4,626 ft 23.1 mi 2,962 ft 1.6
Tuolumne Meadows to Echo Lake Resort 151.8 mi 19,905 ft 23.0 mi 3,011 ft 6.6
Echo Lake Resort to Sierra City 103.1 mi 10,906 ft 24.3 mi 2,570 ft 4.2
Sierra City to Belden 91.6 mi 10,876 ft 23.6 mi 2,802 ft 3.9
Belden to Old Station 88.5 mi 10,330 ft 23.7 mi 2,766 ft 3.7
Old Station to Burney Falls SP 45.9 mi 1,457 ft 29.2 mi 928 ft 1.6
Burney Falls SP to Castella 82.9 mi 8,000 ft 24.8 mi 2,395 ft 3.3
Castella to Seiad Valley 155.6 mi 15,309 ft 24.7 mi 2,431 ft 6.3
Seiad Valley to Crater Lake (Mazama Village) 168.3 mi 19,416 ft 23.8 mi 2,743 ft 7.1
Crater Lake (Mazama Village) to Shelter Cove Resort 81.8 mi 7,002 ft 25.5 mi 2,180 ft 3.2
Shelter Cove Resort to Olallie Lake 140.9 mi 13,331 ft 24.9 mi 2,358 ft 5.7
Olallie Lake to Timberline Lodge 54.2 mi 4,885 ft 25.2 mi 2,270 ft 2.2
Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks 47.8 mi 4,140 ft 25.4 mi 2,200 ft 1.9
Cascade Locks to White Pass 147.7 mi 20,822 ft 22.5 mi 3,170 ft 6.6
White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass 99.0 mi 9,185 ft 25.0 mi 2,323 ft 4
Snoqualmie Pass to Highway 2 74.5 mi 13,450 ft 20.8 mi 3,748 ft 3.6
Highway 2 to Manning Park 187.2 mi 30,213 ft 21.6 mi 3,480 ft 8.7
Totals: 2,663.5 mi 315,313 ft 23.6 mi 2,796 ft 112.8

or in visual form: x40 of these ....

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Lovely to clear the mind and put plans into play. Tonight was spent at Wigmore Hall. Small, but perfect to hear the opera singer (and the negative club talk! hmm tut tut!!!)

I hope to be able to pack in a couple of live gigs before I head out into the wilderness.... it's definately something that I will miss : feeling and seeing the music pulsating and dancing around the room... not sure the rattlesnakes will create the same atmosphereπŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

I hope that tomorrow .... I will book the flights for the South pole .... then it will be real .... ultra real ... it's always interesting to have a 'warm up' of 2800ish miles across the desert, forest and mountains before going into the major event πŸ˜„..

What is interesting is that before this time, I always had another to consider and very happy to contain..but the lid has been taken off in all areas of my life .....

and so here it begins.... πŸ˜„

Next task has been sorting out the fundraising for these trips. I have decided to support Cancer research and have a just giving site. Please support this very worthy cause ... every penny counts πŸ˜„

Emma tamsin fundraising page

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ok, time to start on the bucket list! Tomorrow I will find out if I'm all good with the injections that will allow me to do the PCT and South Pole trek. Who knows?!?!? ... but by tomorrow at 8pm I will know for sure πŸ˜„..... it's too exciting for words!! πŸ˜„

3.15pm: Just out from the Doctors..... I am fully vaccined and ready to go (although let's hope that I don't get bitten by any dogs!!) .... equipment has now been bought (ice axe and water purifier included) and just working out how to actually get to the start of the trail that's miles from anywhere.

This really is too exciting for words .... especially as the 60 day skip to the South Pole plan is coming together too!

I guess this is THE opportunity of a life time .... and boy will I go for it πŸ˜„πŸ˜„