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Getting back into hillwalking

Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:25 am

litljortindan wrote:I've found setting myself a target of one per month has worked to keep me going and I've also employed the favourite wee hill approach to re-start but after minor injuries and once after a touch of the dolldrums. Maybe try that favourite wee hill at sunset or sunrise as another means of seeing it in a different way?
I did a lot of walking in the 80s and 90s then went off the boil a bit in the 2000s. I think that promise to myself of a monthly walk and also keeping a blog here has helped a bit. Into my fifties now I know obviously that my final hill walk will arrive one day so I feel an extra impetus to grab opportunities as they arise.


Yeah it's a good idea. I took someone else up a wee nearby hill last year; he hadn't been before, so it was a new perspective for me to be 'the guide'. I've been browsing photos from the last few years of various walks and hills I've done. I actually go out by myself a lot. I've been to Arran, Mull, the north west, etc., just on my own steam. I guess the momentum slowed a bit!
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby chickadee » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:27 am

I went! On Sunday I went up West Lomond and it was a nice sunny day. The weather suggested it might not be so pleasant elsewhere, so I decided to stay local and do a familiar, easy route.

I realised also that sometimes the good weather weekend coincides with a weekend I can't go out because of being female and associated issues. It annoys me that for nearly a week every month I'm basically 'out of action'. I think that also demoralises me a bit. I guess I need to just try to go out as much as I can the other weekends.

Also low-level walks... Forgot how much I loved those! I'm off to Wales this week so will see if there are any straightforward low-level walks, even though it's forecast to chuck it down.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby PeteR » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:34 pm

Glad you got out :clap:

I had a similar situation a few years back, where I completely lost confidence in my ability to get to a summit. Started lots of walks, but turned round disappointed part way through the route. I eventually got my mojo back on Stob Ghabhar, which had been a bit of a thorn in my side for a while.......I can still remember sending MrsR a text from the summit to tell her too :D Since then I haven't looked back in terms of getting out, whatever the weather.

I do though have a similar mental block over my final few Munros, despite MrsR very generously encouraging me to get out and get them done. I just cannot muster the enthusiasm to undertake the long drives to any of them (they are all long days unfortunately). I make lots of plans.........then do something easier and/or closer instead.

That said, I have in the last couple of years really enjoyed discovering the "lesser" hills in the form of Grahams or sub 2000s to augment Munros and Corbetts (oh, and the Donalds too). So I still get myself out every weekend I can, even if it is a smaller hill or two or three. I find it rewarding to just "enjoy", rather than chasing targets (even if I will be rightly happy to have those last few "bigguns" done eventually :lol: ).

I also used to have a fear of getting lost or heading off a hill in the dark, but logically I realised that even if I was ever "temporarily misplaced" the chances were I would have sufficient daylight to get back to somewhere known and then be safe. I've overcome that fear so much so that now I get myself "temporarily misplaced" on a regular basis and love it :D

I think for me it was a case of embracing my fears and realising that, unless I was doing something totally reckless, I can only learn from whatever the experience is. As a result, whenever I do get a seed of doubt sprout up in my mind I give myself a good talking to and remind myself of all the much more challenging routes I've enjoyed without mishap.

Now..........I just need to climb me those four small hills......... :lol:
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:17 pm

HI Chickadee.

Yes, I seem to recall you did post something along these lines previously. But there’s no harm in re-posting an ongoing topic as – clearly – it elicits all sorts of response. :clap:

I think the advice given here by the good WHers is all pretty sound (apart from the doggy thing! :lol: ). Like you, I seem to lose my mojo occasionally. For a few years I was aiming for c.30 Munros a year. (I’m only free every second weekend, and I don’t walk in Winter). But last year for various personal and professional reasons, that dropped right down to half that. I used to beat myself up over slipping behind my target; but I’ve gotten a bit more relaxed about it. :wink:

Like you, I enjoy my own company and do the vast majority of my Munros (110/147) solo. But that’s not to say that you can’t have some ace days in the hills in good company.

If you’ve finished your distance learning course, and you have more free time now, why not hook up with a local walker? (there’s plenty of good guys in Fife and vicinity); maybe aim for a more taxing hill in good company, and this will perhaps ignite your enthusiasm again?

I have a short list of high-profile / dramatic hills I want to bag this year (I started it a fortnight ago with Ben More Assynt and Conival :D ); and I find this has re-boosted by appetite a bit.

I find the weather helps too; there are few things more miserable than traipsing up and down mountains when its lashing down and freezing cold; that’s enough to sap anyone’s enthusiasm. So maybe try and save your walks till days when you reckon it’s going to be dry or otherwise favourable conditions.

Good luck in re-connecting with your MoJo. :)

LF
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Sunset tripper » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:50 pm

Lightfoot2017 wrote: why not hook up with a local walker? (there’s plenty of good guys in Fife and vicinity)


:shock: :shock: :shock: ................................................ :D
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby mrssanta » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:14 am

I'm surprised nobody has commented on your mention of "female issues" but if that is totally stopping you going out one weekend a month it might be worth going to see your GP about it. It's likely something can be done about that.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby teaandpies » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:39 pm

mrssanta wrote:I'm surprised nobody has commented on your mention of "female issues" but if that is totally stopping you going out one weekend a month it might be worth going to see your GP about it. It's likely something can be done about that.


What were/are you expecting people to say about it?
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:00 am

Some good advice above, and I'm not sure I can add much.

However, having had a period of far less activity in the outdoor a number of years back, I also found myself lacking motivation to get back into it. In the end, this came from different angles - canoeing, mountain biking - but once I realised I just loved being outdoors, listening to the land, moving at my own pace through the world, taking it all in, I knew I couldn't give it up. I also came to accept that for me its about being out there, and the journey through the country, rather than attaining targets and ticking lists. (not knocking that, as most tickers I know love the journey too, and its simply a different way to motivate yourself)

As I walk when alone, I notice more of the little details I miss walking with others, and find they're just as interesting as the bigger picture. I learn lots through this, about wildlife, plants, geology etc, and often look things up on my return.
When walking with mates, its a different day out, more "fun", and I'm more likely to go for a challenging day with others. Just as good, just different.

Photography is an interesting one. Sometimes its a big motivator, sometimes you can forget that its not about the photos and get less motivated when the day is dull. Again, I look for the little details to make a picture interesting. I'm even guilty of thinking about the Trip Report as I walk/canoe and find myself almost commentating to myself as I travel.

I get that the hassle of getting to and from the hills can make it seem too much, but its worth it, and often the journey is enjoyable too. As my alternative would be sat at home doing nothing much, I'd far rather travel somewhere and then find the weather rubbish so do a shorter walk, than sit at home doing nothing. Its just great to be out and about seeing the countryside and broadening the mind.

One last thing I first realised when canoeing. Every time I am out for a day, there will be (at least) one special moment that sticks in the mind. Now I realise this applies equally to walking. It might be the sighting of a rare animal or bird, the excitement of a short, unexpected scramble, a simple moment where the cloud breaks and the sun beams through, a tiny hidden waterfall, even the "bad" stuff like heavy rain can be special when you have the right gear and watch the water tumbling off the hills.

Dunno if any of this rambling helps! Keep looking for those little moments - they will be there.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby basscadet » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:37 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Some good advice above, and I'm not sure I can add much.

However, having had a period



:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Yes the ladies things shouldn't hold you back.. If your problem is just disposing of the ickies, then you should try a mooncup - I wont go into fine detail but very handy :wink:
But if it is actually pain or woosyness thats holding you back, then go see your doctor, you shouldn't have to waste a quarter of your life because you are of the fairer sex..
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:47 pm

basscadet wrote:Yes the ladies things shouldn't hold you back..


I wondered if anyone will ever touch upon the subject :lol: :lol: :lol:

This issue can be a problem for hillwalking ladies, I always hope that it doesn't collide with weekends, but one can't fight the nature and sometimes, I have to put up with all the side effect of being a woman... I usually end up picking easier routes and (what's more important) less popular ones. Having leaky trousers doesn't bother me that much if there's nobody there to see it :lol:

A few weeks back, I ventured out on the hills with a bladder infection, and had to look for suitable bushes every half an hour. Now, that was a challenge :roll:
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby teaandpies » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:43 am

RTC wrote:
teaandpies wrote:
mrssanta wrote:I'm surprised nobody has commented on your mention of "female issues" but if that is totally stopping you going out one weekend a month it might be worth going to see your GP about it. It's likely something can be done about that.


What were/are you expecting people to say about it?


"It might be worth going to see your GP about it" seems a useful suggestion. - More useful than having a go at the person who made the suggestion.


It was a go. It was a genuine enquiry.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby mrssanta » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:51 am

teaandpies wrote:
RTC wrote:
teaandpies wrote:
What were/are you expecting people to say about it?


"It might be worth going to see your GP about it" seems a useful suggestion. - More useful than having a go at the person who made the suggestion.


It was a go. It was a genuine enquiry.

well, Chickadee mentioned that once a month she is unable to go into the hills because of being female. Nobody commented on this over the following 24 hours although a number of people commented on other aspects of her post. This surprised me.
I thought that as nobody else had commented I would do so, as I think it is a really important subject.
Too many women think that being stuck in the house once a month is inevitable. It isn't. I'm not going to give medical advice on an open forum as this would be unethical, but there is plenty that can be done.
There is also the issue of disposing of the "ickies" as basscadet nicely put it. I'd second the idea of the mooncup. I wish they had been around when I was at the appropriate age. One advantage of being "past it" I suppose.
Cheryl Strayed in her book "Wild" gives a rather detailed and hilarious account of using a natural sponge when she did her Pacific Crest Trail adventure. The whole book is hialrious actually, and serious in equal measure, very much worth a read.
Maybe we could start a thread on "leave no trace for girls"?
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby teaandpies » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:37 pm

well, Chickadee mentioned that once a month she is unable to go into the hills because of being female. Nobody commented on this over the following 24 hours although a number of people commented on other aspects of her post. This surprised me.
I thought that as nobody else had commented I would do so, as I think it is a really important subject.
Too many women think that being stuck in the house once a month is inevitable. It isn't. I'm not going to give medical advice on an open forum as this would be unethical, but there is plenty that can be done.
There is also the issue of disposing of the "ickies" as basscadet nicely put it. I'd second the idea of the mooncup. I wish they had been around when I was at the appropriate age. One advantage of being "past it" I suppose.
Cheryl Strayed in her book "Wild" gives a rather detailed and hilarious account of using a natural sponge when she did her Pacific Crest Trail adventure. The whole book is hialrious actually, and serious in equal measure, very much worth a read.
Maybe we could start a thread on "leave no trace for girls"?


I suppose a majority of the forum users are male and can't fully relate or appreciate specifics. I can only speak for myself here but that's why I avoided it really.
I did think about replying touching on the subject of the being stuck in the house for a week. It seems a bit excessive given the way advertisements for lady products seem to suggest that nothing should hold you back but I couldn't word it without out it sounding ignorant (which I unintentionally am on the issue I guess) and as demonstrated but RTCs reply to me already in this thread already reading words can easily be misinterpreted.

About disposal, don't you get little hygiene bags to store the ickies? So why not just carry them off them off the hill like you would normally rubbish?
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby Sgurr » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:23 pm

One advantage of being a really heavy user of those products up to age 50 is that my system was totally primed to produce red blood cells when required and I never got altitude sickness unlike husband. This may not be scientific. Disadvantage was that I paid an unfair share of tax.
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Re: Getting back into hillwalking

Postby KatTai » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:45 pm

mrssanta wrote:well, Chickadee mentioned that once a month she is unable to go into the hills because of being female. Nobody commented on this over the following 24 hours although a number of people commented on other aspects of her post. This surprised me.
I thought that as nobody else had commented I would do so, as I think it is a really important subject.
Too many women think that being stuck in the house once a month is inevitable. It isn't. I'm not going to give medical advice on an open forum as this would be unethical, but there is plenty that can be done.
There is also the issue of disposing of the "ickies" as basscadet nicely put it. I'd second the idea of the mooncup. I wish they had been around when I was at the appropriate age. One advantage of being "past it" I suppose.
Cheryl Strayed in her book "Wild" gives a rather detailed and hilarious account of using a natural sponge when she did her Pacific Crest Trail adventure. The whole book is hialrious actually, and serious in equal measure, very much worth a read.
Maybe we could start a thread on "leave no trace for girls"?


I'll 3rd the mooncup, so much easier (and saves a fortune and is much better for the environment). However, if it is more serious than that do see a doctor. One of my friends at Uni had a terrible time and was left basically crippled by pain and she was put on medication that significantly reduced the problem. It was a bit of trail and error - she suffered side effects from the first couple of medications she tried - but once on the right medication for her it meant she could do normal things again. And no one was stepping on eggshells around the flat lol
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