Wednesday 25 March 2015

Getting real - 78 days to go

It feels like its getting real now.  The overnight train to Munich no longer runs and I discovered that it would take me 3 days to get to my starting point if I went on the train.  This seemed to be an unnecessarily arduous start to the whole journey, so I opted for the easy alternative of a cheap flight to Venice from Manchester and then a train from there to Trieste.  It will be nice to start at the Med and Trieste looks an interesting city.  I'll then get a bus to avoid the tedious forestry roads and start at Cerkno as originally intended.

I've also booked the train back - just £58 from Nice to London and 8.5 hours.  A bargain! 

I've ordered some lightweight technical kit for the via ferrata and early mountaineering on my own.  I reckon my pack will be at least 10kg plus food and water, even with lightweight stuff, so I won't be zipping along.  If you fancy joining me for part of it, I will have a handicap!  Talking of which I could do with some more support for the mountaineering sections, especially Piz Bernina and Mont Blanc/Aiguille de Bionnasay, and friendly support in the valleys is always appreciated, so if you fancy it ....

my usual hill - whiteside pike on my 100th day in a row up a hill
I've not been doing any long distance training, having been worn out by intensive computer work, but I've continued to go up a hill almost very day - I've only missed 5 days since 5 October.  I'll get fit on the journey, or at least that's what I'm telling myself.  I've a family holiday over easter, then a 2 and a half week trip to Bolivia to make a film on the cochabamba project, then its only 5 weeks to go.  The countdown begins!


  1. Hi John, Great website and exciting trip planned. Me and the wife have hiked lots of long distance (maybe 8000 miles +) mostly in the US I wondered though how you plan the logistics of using technical gear for the high peaks and glaciers. Are friends bringing it out for you so you carry the extra gear for short sections, or are you mailing it forward via the postal service, or are you (gulp) carrying axes, crampons etc the whole way?

    Anyway looking forward to reading your updates and all the best!

    1. Hi Brian. As you summise, friends will bring out rope and maybe heavier weight boots for the high stuff, but mostly I'll be carrying crampons and ice axe myself as well as via ferrata gear, harness and helmet. I've invested in some lightweight kit though! A lot of it depends on the weather. If its bad, I'll have to bail out of the high summits. Hope its good!