It’s 2012 already, where an earth did 2011 evaporate to?
Last year I boldly lay down a ‘Statement of Intent’ for the year in a vain effort to force myself into attempting some outdoor activities way outside of my own personal comfort zone. In the main I managed to achieve all that I set out to do – see A statement of intent 2011 (update), in fact I enjoyed putting the challenges down in writing so much that I feel compelled to do it again this year.
So here it is the Statement of intent for 2012!
1. St Peter’s Way – to hike the 72.4 Km (45 miles) of this LDW from the village of Chippping Ongar all the way to the isolated 7th century St Peter’s Chapel situated out on the furthest reaches of the Dengie peninsula, wild camping overnight along the way.
2. MTB the length of The South Downs Way – a two or three day off-road mountain bike extravaganza involving cycling the 100 odd miles all the way across the South Downs from England’s old capital Winchester to the famous Beachy Head promontory on the South Coast, bivvying or camping overnight enroute until the eventual finish and being able to claim an official certificate (for my own vanity) from the ‘National Trails’ organisation as proof of evidence. This is to be attempted with a riding companion (once coerced into it) so as to have some mechanical back-up whilst out.
3. Microadventure 1 – a morning of sea-kayaking & coasteering followed by hiking the South West Coast Path from Crantock to Portreath (around 23 miles), along some of the most rugged and beautiful coastline that England has to offer, camping or bivvying out on the cliff-tops or down on some inaccessible beach.
4. Microadventure 2 – a camping trip deep into the Cumbrian Mountains where I shall hike up to the remote and wild plateaux of Great Moss nestled beneath the towering mountains of the surrounding Scafell Massive. There I will set-up a wild-camp for overnight before attempting a dawn ascent of two nearby peaks – Esk Pike & Bowfell, both gained via the approach route of Esk House then returning via Ore Gap in a large circular route descending back down Yeastyrigg Crags following the remote and craggy Eskdale river all the way back to the small village of Boot and hopefully a warm and inviting pub for what I am expecting to be a hard earnt pint.
5. Camp & Hike in the Western Isles of Scotland – it’s long overdue and now time to visit the mountains of Scotland and see for myself their majesty and magnificence. But I also desperately want to visit one of the wild Scottish Isles I have heard so much about, so, I’ve came up with a plan to get the ferry across to the Western Isle of Arran and spend a week there camping on the island while exploring its many mountains and renowned rugged coastline. The island is known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’ so I’m hoping that it will fit the bill perfectly.
6. The Buttermere Round – to attempt this high level hike over 10 major summits across terrain described as such in the trail guide, Terrain – pasture, steep sided valley, packhorse track, tarn, narrow col, broad ridge, scree, rocky knolls, broad complex col, road pass, steep fellside, narrow ridge, rocky summit, steep slopes and minor road! This impressive hike contains 10 major summits, 20 kilometres of distance and over 1800 metres of ascent. Done as a One Day Epic or split over Two Days with a night spent in a remote mountain bothy.
Of course there will also be all the usual stupidity on the Mountain Bike and a few other long weekends of hiking and climbing thrown in for good measure wherever and whenever I can.
Again I want to reach higher than my grasp and hopefully I’ll grab more than I anticipate!
I hope you will be able to join me once again on my journey through 2012 and that it may additionally inspire you in some small way to get out into the great outdoors and have a crack at a mini adventure of your own.
All the best for this year and may 2012 be your best year yet!