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Published: September 7th 2011
Off to Win Hill
Day one: A 15 mile ridge walk
We organised a final training weekend to do some hiking in the Peak District over the Bank Holiday. Unfortunately we don't have any lofty mountains in England on which we can emulate the heights we will have to climb in Tanzania so the Peak District would have to do!
The first day we completed a 15 mile hike which including walking along 'The Great Ridge'. It included summitting two 'peaks' but at only 462 metres (1516 ft) and 476 metres above sea level it isn't quite the same as the 5,895 metres (19,341 feet) we will be doing in Tanzania!! It was a stunning walk and one we would recommend anyone visiting the Peak District.
The hike was only supposed to be 12 miles but we covered an extra 3 miles after some errors in navigation so in all it took us 7 hours. Luckily we will have a guide on Kilimanjaro so hopefully shouldn't be getting lost at any stage!
The second day we opted for a shorter but steeper climb in the same area. This was very similar to the conditions we expect on Kilimanjaro with lots of loose shale and rock on the ascent making
for difficult climbing and more concentration required. It was also slightly higher than the first day at 636 metres. Halfway up the rain swept in and we had a good 20 minute downpour which at times came in sideways due to all the wind. It cleared for a while allowing us to get some nice views and photos but it wasn't long until it was back again. 4 hours later we were finished after completing 5 miles.
On our final day we decided to just complete a short walk to finish the weekend before heading back into London. So we picked a relatively easy walk at 3.5 miles through the rolling hillsides. We knocked that off in just a few hours and completed our three days of hiking without incident.
Whilst we couldn't quite emulate the conditions that we will face in a few weeks time, we feel confident that we can physically hike on back-to-back days without too many problems. Throw in a few thousand metres of altitude and it might be a different story but we have 5 days to get up there so there will be no rush!!
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