You’ll be skipping up the mountainside in no time!
Let us know how you get on in the comments
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. There’s no more putting it off; we’ve recovered from The Beast from The East…but have you recovered from The Beast from the Feast? …[pause to appreciate / let the tumbleweed pass]…
Yeah that’s right, The Beast from the Feast, that extra layer you’ve been carrying around with you since Christmas! Well with Spring either here, or just around the corner (I’m not too sure on the technicalities) it is 100% time we set about slaying that beast.
There’s nothing worse than being put off of taking on an outdoor challenge, or even as was the case with me in 2017, taking on a mountain which is within your abilities, but that you simply cannot appreciate due to being physically pushed so far. So this year we’re taking our training seriously, and we want you to too! So once you’ve made that summit, you can at least take it all in without flailing around gasping for air.
So whether its getting #SummitFit for that summer expedition you’ve got planned, maybe you’ve got a challenge coming up (shout out to the 3peakers), or maybe you just want to get in better shape for the summer months; whatever your reason – we’ve got your back with our #SummitFit series; from videos, podcats, and resources; we’re inviting you to get involved with us at doah_adventures on our #SummitFit campaign!
So whatever you’re work-out looks like – don’t forget to use the #SummitFit and let us know what you’re up to by tagging in all the right places.
First Up in the series, we’ve got a minimal-equipment, 5 min, fat burning workout, put together by our very own Mike Wilson, who so happens to be a qualified Personal Trainer. So keep an eye out as we’re publishing TODAY; at 5pm…so it will be ready for you to check out after work.
This year Adam will be taking on a challenge for Sport Relief, and the best part is that he doesn’t even know what the challenge is yet…because YOU have the power to decide his fate!
So here’s the plan:
– we will post out on Twitter our ‘challenge Adam’ tweet.
– you guys RT like crazy, because the number of RT’s will directly correlate with the extent of his challenge.
– on the 16th March Adam’s Challenge will be announced; general ideas at the moment are; 1RT = 10 Burpees, or maybe 1RT = 100m added to a run … it depends heavily on the number of RTs we get! But for sure we will be pushing Adam to the limit, probably beyond his limit because we want to make him suffer…obviously. So if you have any other ideas…drop them in the comments!
– then keep an eye out during Sport Relief Week, for updates, and to witness Adam getting obliterated by your challenge!
Obviously while you’re here head over to the Sport Relief Website to make your donations, or to just find out more about the great work they do.
Let’s get to it…
In today’s edition: Exercise in the Cold! ⛄
After the shell shock of an afternoon arriving in Marrakesh [as explained in Pt 1]; we were about to see a completely different side to Morocco. We had some brief complications with our breakfast, and by complications, I mean, our breakfast was served in an entirely different building on a completely different street…delicious nonetheless. Being rushed along by our driver we knocked back our mint-tea and bundled our gear into the minibus, sat ourselves down, and anticipated the days ahead.
It didn’t take long before the echoes of the bustling Medina were out of earshot, and we had views spanning across vast desert land; with the occasional village…and occasional luxury apartment block being constructed.
We could soon make out the mountain-scape through the morning haze; and we suddenly found ourselves being thrown about in the van by the twisting mountain lanes…if nothing else, the adrenaline release at least made up for the lack of Red Bull in my bloodstream.
Arriving at the beautiful mountain village of Imlil at around 09:30 / 10:00 we swiftly unpacked, and then re-packed our day 2 kit onto the Mules, before sitting down to share a mint-tea whilst going over the itinerary for the next few days with the guys at Aztat Adventures.
The first part of our journey was through a shaded woodland; and being Walnut season, we could see locals up in the trees harvesting the nuts. The shade was welcome, as it was around 35C in the sun; and of course the woodland wouldn’t last forever!
The woodland gave way to the dried river bed; which in the Spring is a popular resort for locals to access clean water, fresh from the snow-melt from the peaks of the Atlas mountains.
The river bed was easy going on the legs, but extremely hot, which made it tough – there was another smaller mountain village ahead; which marked the half way point to our lunch break.
As we made our way through the village; we found ourselves outside of a primary school; with the children running about around us; which was awesome.
Now over more rocky terrain; we trekked on for around another hour until we can to our lunch stop. where we had a feast cooked up of pasta, vegetables, fish, and bread. The locals cater to our westerner sugar dependant needs too by stocking fizzy drinks ( Coke, Fanta etc. and a load of chocolate bars too!). The rest was welcome, more-so to have a break from the heat; things had been easy going to this point, and we had a sense of anticipation still of bigger things to come…
…and bigger things came indeed! As I mentioned before, we had packed the mules with our kit for day 2, and in our wisdom, this included our coats, gloves, waterproofs etc etc etc…so of course it rained, hailed, and rained some more! So here we are, in all our plastic theme-park chic ponchos…I don’t care. I know these are the gripe of many a seasoned hiker…but guys, they DO serve a purpose; sure they make you look like a complete idiot, but
a) it was hot
b) we kept dry
c) they weigh like nothing.
So you can be uptight if you like, but I say embrace, with due thought, the £1 poncho. Like…if you’re on-top of Nevis , or in the Valleys of Snowdon and you have a poncho but no 4 or 5 other layers…like you’re an idiot. But there definitely is a time and a place for them…well, the time was the end of September and the place was hiking up the Atlas mountains.
The weather sure made it a slog; a fairly gradual ascent wasn’t too tough on the legs, but the changes in weather made it mentally tough. The Mountain Refuge was in sight after a further 3 hours of trekking; arriving at around 5:30pm
The facilities were basic, as to be expected, but comfortable and actually, when you’ve hiked for 7 hours, and are 3600M up…amazing.
The lads in our group all had the upper bunk of a dorm; which eager to rest-up we climbed up to have a chat and relax…of course, our bed collapsed…of course. Luckily no one was squashed, and after some not so convincing handy work by the guys running the ‘tuck-shop’ we were told it was safe, and to jump back up. Which we did after dinner, and a chamomile tea…which for some reason had the same effect as drinking a pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea.
The night was drawing in; and with a wake-up call waiting for us at 4am we headed off to bed at around 9pm. Legs aching, and mentally exhausted from the weather extremes, I don’t suppose our minds could comprehend the next days task…the 13,500 ft summit. We could over hear some mumbles from the dorm from a couple of lads who were prepared to opt-out of the summit attempt… no chance we thought… we’re here to do this thing.
So all that was left to do, was contemplate and digest the days events, and anticipate the next… and of course, taping up our feet in preparation!
Join me on the summit attempt in Pt. 3 (Toubkal Breaketh the Man) where we set off in pitch darkness, taking in views of the Milky Way, an eating breakfast by head-torch; experience our first ice and snow hike…and where I almost pass out on two different occasions due to the altitude…
Keeping Fit and Eating Well – For people with no time at all.
It’s an age old problem, and it’s only getting worse. Modern life seems to be chipping away at our ‘spare time’ at an ever increasing rate; and this can leave us feeling as though we’ve lost a grip on our lives, stuck an ever state of response.
I’m sure you’ve probably already gone through all the ‘Life Hack’ lists, productivity tools, and life strategy blogs desperately trying to make sense of things. I’m here to tell you, you don’t need a life hack, oh and by the way, what the heck is a life hack anyway? You don’t need a productivity tool, and you don’t need a life strategy. What you need, is to take some action, meaningful action. This is much tougher than people first imagine, and that’s evident probably in your own patterns of behaviour; so let’s take a look and see what’s up.
You can send a rocket from Earth to Mars; but where does the maximum amount of energy get used – on the surface of Earth…once its outside of the atmosphere it barely uses any energy, yet travels at mind boggling speeds, for mind boggling distances. The same is true for creating momentum in your own personal goals. Here we’re focusing on Keeping Fit, and Eating Well…but the same principle applies to almost all aspects of life.
The truth is, until you have a compelling enough reason to do something; you’ll shrug it off until tomorrow; and as we all know, tomorrow never comes. For me personally, this came in the shape of a 4167-metre-high mountain, Mt. Toubkal. Suddenly what was once an ‘I should’ be getting in shape, became an ‘I must’ get in shape – and as soon as this shift has been made, guess what, I found time to work out, and I found time to eat well. For me it was a gargantuan mountain, for some it’s a wedding dress preemptively bought a size too small, and for others it’s a health scare.
What’s key is taking that shift from a responder to an instigator of change; that’s where all the best results are generated, all the success, all the awesomeness you gain from taking control.
So my fitness regime now occurs anytime between 10pm and midnight, due to the usual pressures of life…work, over 100 miles of daily commute, a baby, a toddler, a cat, a partner – I don’t have a plan, I don’t stick to a routine, I take the most basic action…and it’s the one you should take…just get your shoes one get out the house and MOVE. That’s the first step, and often the toughest to take.
As for eating well? Literally. This is the most needlessly over-complicated concept in modern life, in my opinion. Let me just quickly clear some things up for you real quick.
1. You will not get lean in 15.
2. Food doesn’t have points IRL.
3. If you take a cheat day you’re cheating yourself.
and to sum all of that up…
You either want to eat well, or you don’t. Or some days you will, and some days you won’t. Whatever it is ultimately you’re in charge, you’re calling the shots, so don’t feel guilt for eating a cake, or a pizza, or whatever your food-vice is….OWN THAT, ENJOY IT. It’s your body, and until you have parity between what your body looks like and what you want it to look like you won’t be happy, so just be aware of that, consciously aware of that, and take it all into your own hands.
Set yourself an event, commit to something, if you jog – sign up to a fun run; this way you will have reasons pulling you towards a goal. So stop reading blogs…you should have your running shoes on already!
Select a hike a little shorter than the distance you can normally walk on a level or paved surface. To estimate the time required to hike the trail, figure a pace of roughly 2-miles per hour. Next, review the elevation changes and add an hour to your estimated hiking time for every 1000 feet of gain. After you’ve been out once or twice, you’ll have a sense for what distance and elevation changes work well for you.
Once you have selected a trail, obtain a map of the area and review reports and data. There are some excellent online resources available. Find out if the trail is a loop, or if you’ll have to backtrack or spot a second car. Take note of any intersecting trails where you could potentially make a wrong turn. I also like to look for a good lunch spot such as a lake or peak with a view.
Leading up to your hike, and again a few hours before, check the weather. This will give you valuable information on how to dress and what to pack. If the weather is forecast to be awful, it will give you the chance to change plans instead of getting surprised on the trail.
It’s important that someone not on the hike knows the itinerary and what time to worry and call for help. Note I didn’t say, “when you expect to be done.” The “worry time” may be several hours later than your planned finish to allow for slow hiking, amazing views, or perhaps a sore ankle causing a delay.
Another option is to carry an emergency device such as the SPOT tracker, which allows you to summon emergency assistance by satellite. One caveat, devices like the SPOT are not an excuse to shirk responsibility for your own personal safety – they are a backup.
The 10 essentials have gradually shifted from a list of items to a list of systems. These are the systems you should pack to stay safe in the outdoors, including facing a potential overnight. Depending on the length and remoteness of your hike, expand or minimize each system. For example, on a short summer hike near services, a compact emergency blanket should be fine. However, a remote winter hike would require something more extensive. Here are the 10 essential systems:
Ten Essential Systems
This list may look daunting, but once you tailor it to your hike, it won’t be so bad. Many of these things are what you’d pack for a picnic.
Painful feet can ruin a hike. Invest in quality hiking shoes and socks. This doesn’t mean heavy leather boots, there are a lot of “light hikers” available that require little break-in compared to the old hiking boots I started with. Also, don’t skimp on socks and for goodness sake….no cotton! Wool or synthetic socks are the way to go. Also pack blister dressings just in case.
Once your feet are taken care of, dressing right is key to comfort on your hike. Skip cotton anything, it gets damp and stays that way leaving you feeling clammy and causing chafing. Instead go for synthetics. To easily adjust for your temperature and the weather, wear layers that you can add or shed as needed. Lastly, pack an extra warm layer beyond what you think you’ll need, preferably something that will block wind too.
Okay, now that I’ve told you to pack all of this stuff, I’m going to tell you to keep you pack light. This means opting for the lightest of each item. For example, a travel size tube of sunscreen instead of the NoAd 16-ounce tube you found on sale.
When you first get on the trail, you may feel like powering forward like a hero. However, you’ll be a zero by the end of the day if you don’t pace yourself. Instead, pick a pace you can maintain all day. It might feel a little awkward at first, but after a few miles, especially uphill, you’ll be glad you saved your energy.
The beautiful trails we love will only stay beautiful if we care for them. Take time to read the Leave No Trace Seven Principals and follow them. It’s up to every outdoor enthusiast to take care of our natural spaces.
Our plans are now pinned down for the summer season and man we’re pumped for it! Everything between now and August will be leading up to our summit attempt of the immense Mt.Toubkal , the highest point of North Africa.
This will no doubt be our most challenging adventure to date and we cant wait to share the experience with you all.
Between now and then however we have loads of awesome things lined up…not least the Orwell 25 Mile Challenge next month!
Stay tuned for more regular updates…
Last week we bid farewell to Remy; he’s off to solo around Asia with nothing but his backpack and camera. We’re not convinced he’ll get up to much; literally the guy is asleep way more than he’s awake – (see loving montage below) –
So while he’s off for a 6 month nap in Asia; we’re a man short – and well, three’s a crowd. So if you fit the criteria below – get yourself over to the contact page and let us know in 30 words or less why you should become Remy 2.0. Applications should a) make us laugh b) make you sound awesome and c) give us 4 reasons to say yes.
– spare time on occasional weekends for a hike
– enjoy idiot banter in car journeys
– eat two meals from a 2 for £10 menu (post-hike)
– get up and down a mountain without medical assistance
– do one armed pull-ups (neither can we but we try – well, Remy can, but he weighs like 7 stone. Probably)
if so..then we want to hear from you. No joke, we’re genuinely looking for a stand-in member of Dorks On a Hill (also if we like you more than Remy, we can replace him on a permanent basis).
Pictured: View from Mt Snowdon; Snowdonia National Park.
The CADS – Skin
Tellison – Say Silence
Hellogoodbye – Debatable
Foals – Out of the Woods
Klaxons – There is no Other Time
The Count & Sinden – After Dark