Ode to my Hiking Boots…RIP
I fell in love with you in 2012. The day I tried you on, I knew you were the one for me. You have made me more adventurous and led me to amazing destinations. Sure you stink, but we have been on so many incredible journeys. Each year as you became more trail beaten, you became more comfortable. I remember all the different locations we have travelled too. We have trudged up many mountain summits together… ecstatic on reaching the top. You have kept me warm. You have kept me dry. Thank you for being a trusted partner and helping me take only memories and leave only footprints.
Six years – Summits on Six continents
My boots had served me faithfully for six years covering many walks across the world. Here is a list of the highlight for each continent. Whilst we did visit the 7th (Antarctic) we did not step ashore, so no summit to climb.
Firstly a word on Altitude Sickness. It does not matter how fit you are, altitude sickness can affect anyone. In fact, the fitter you are the more likely you want to climb quickly. Climbing too quick to allow for adaptation of low oxygen levels at high altitude will result in Altitude Sickness, which in turn may result in death. About 20% are affected at 2500m and 40% at 3000m. Always ascend slowly and no more than 300m per day. It also pays to climb high, sleep low. We have been fortunate to not have experienced altitude sickness to date.
2012 – Asia
As part of our trek to Everest Base camp we ‘enjoyed’ a tuff summit trekking to the top of Kala Patthar (5,645m). This is the highest point you can reach in Nepal without mountaineering experience. The view from the top of Mt Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are spectacular.
2014 – Africa
Kilimanjaro is often underestimated. Typically only 50% of people attempting it succeed. With the help of the great group of guys at Team Kilimanjaro, we both managed to summit Kilimanjaro (5,895m). The trek itself was relatively easy – because we took it slowly. The day of summiting we left basecamp at midnight and reached the summit at sunrise. A hard climb…but so worth it. Unfortunately at minus 30 degrees Celsius we could not stay long. This is certainly the coldest I have been despite the many layers.
2017 – Australia
Ok, so we could hardly call this a summit. It is almost a travelator to the top with the well laid out paths. At only 2,228m, Kosciuszko hardly qualifies as a mountain. It is as high as we can get in Australia. We enjoyed an easy walk up and the views were spectacular.
2017 – Europe
One of our favourite climbs in Europe was the relatively easy climb up Mt Mongioie (2,630m). We enjoyed this climb led by our friend Lorenzo from Walking Liguria.
We had a light dusting of snow the night before the climb which added a beauty to the day. The Ligurian Alps are a spectacular part of Europe for trekking.
2018 – North America
We climbed the 3 well known peaks in Jasper, Banff and Whistler in Canada. The oddly named Whistlers Peak (2,470m) in Jasper was a great climb, slightly challenging due to snowfall. The view was spectacular and because we left early we reached the summit long before anyone else. So nice to have the mountain to ourselves. Whistler Mountain (2,181m) in Whistler (British Columbia) was another great climb again with a lot of snow around – this in summer.
2019 – South America
And then we get to South America, the eventual death of my boots. We decided to enjoy a day climbing Mt Lomas Blancas (3,650 M). What I really enjoyed about this day was that we had such changeable weather. Cold & Hot, sunny & very misty, calm & very windy. This all resulted in a day full of surprises. The views of the Andean mountains is certainly spectacular. Our decent involved a lot of scree which whilst fun, was ultimately the undoing of my boots. RIP old friend!