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The Next Challenge

Climbing Cader Idris

Now that the #1000daysoftaijichikung challenge is well under way on TikTok, it is time to turn my attention to my great love - mountain walking.

Over the years I have lived here, I have summited Cader Idris in the South of the Eryri National Park, North Wales, UK many times. An embarrassingly large number of times in fact. Each spring since 2019 I have promised myself to do it "just one more time", but events have conspired against me. Companions and Friends have gone to the Great Mountains in the Sky. If I leave it any longer I might not get the chance, so, let the challenge begin.

Today is the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year. It seems fitting to frame the challenge in terms of Lunar Months. 3 seems a fitting number, but I reckon it will take me 4 for me to be happy enough with my overall physical progress - got to get this left leg working efficiently - otherwise I risk the chances of yet another fall. Not going there again.

I am going to give myself one more Lunar Month to consolidate the gains I have made since the Winter Solstice. The cold weather seems to be slowing me down. The Target date, therefore would be May 22 2023. This falls on a Monday. I need someone to accompany me, thus for convenience sake it will be Sunday 21 May.

On this day I will once more be at the summit, sitting outside the hut, on the bench, breathing in the cool spring air and drying out in the sunshine. I am there already.

I am going to kick off in the car park at Ty Nant. The routes up Cader Idris are some of the steepest ascent of any hill/mountain outside of Scotland. I am going to walk the Pony Path, the easiest, in my mind at least. It's not the going up that bothers me, it's the coming back down. The potential for a slip and fall is high. The Horseshoe coming back down to the Minfordd Path from Mynydd Moel can be a bit grueling on tired legs and the general exposure of that slope can feel a tad daunting at times. Next time.

This route gives me the best chance with only 2 quite steep sections. The last of which is, of course, the final stretch, to the Car Park, down some of the most treacherous man-made steps in the Park. Horrendous they are. The descent from the Spot Height (Older 1:50 maps) at the top of the zig zags was,traditionally, performed at the run. Alpini style. Just to get it over and done with. Past times for the summit and back have been in the region of 1Hr. 50 Mins. Naturally I am going to give myself the best chance, allowing for a round trip of up to 8 hours. I will be starting between 08.30/09.00 . With the aim of being on the summit by 13.00. with at least an hour for lunch, this should put me back in the Car Park around 16.30

Over the next couple of weeks I will be putting my legs and my head under a bit of a challenge or two, so that come 22 February I can make a full assessment and devise my training plan for the following 83 days.

Edit Wednesday March 1st.

Please note that I have set a new Date of Midsummer's Day - Thursday 22nd June 2023.

To account for having injured mself just after this announcement

Although there will be posts on my TikTok profile on a regular basis, most of the training and the challenge itself, will be documented on my Youtube Channel. (links at the top of the page)

Maybe I will see you on both.

To those of you already following my antics, thank you very much





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