Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Preparation for a day-hike

Hi all,

I've been doing quite a bit of walking around Lothian and Ayrshire, but tomorrow will be my first practice of a section of the West Highland Way itself!

It seems most of my student friends are frantically moving from university to private accommodation for the summer this week, so it seems it will be just two of us tomorrow, myself and an old pal from my University of St. Andrews Judo Club days, Jamie.

The original plan was to head up from Edinburgh by train, but seeing as it's only us two, we are going to drive up through some fantastic countryside on the A85 to Crianlarich.

We plan to leave the car parked in Crianlarich around 9.30-10am, and walk up to Bridge of Orchy, some 13miles away. This is "Day 4" of the Charity Challenge, and is probably one of the easiest and most beautiful sections of the WHW.

We will have plenty of time to cover the distance in a safe and enjoyable manner, as Tom says "The West Highland Way is a marathon, not a sprint". Our last train back from Bridge of Orchy to the car at Crianlarich is at 18.57, which is ample time for the distance, even at a leisurely pace.

Another reason I chose this leg to practice on is that I want to check the exact location and state of the Crianlarich Youth Hostel and the permitted no-facilities campsite at Bridge of Orchy for Days 3 and 4. As the old saying goes "Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance!"

Ok, so, on to risk and contingencies/responses:

Risk Event
1. Severe weather: Likelihood (L - 1); Impact (I - 5); Detection Diff. (DD - 0)
2. Transport problems: L - 1; I - 4; DD - 3.
3. pre-hike injury: L - 1; I - 5; DD - 0.
4. during-hike injury: L - 3; I - 5; DD - 0.
5. fatigue: L - 3; I - 5; DD - 0
6. route closure: L - 1; I - 5; DD - 0.

Risk Response Matrix
1. Severe Weather: Response (R - not possible); Contingency (C - cancel hike); Trigger (T - weather on site)
2. Transport problems: R - reduce; C - cancel hike; T - check state of car and road reports
3. pre-hike Injury: R - reduce; C - reduce hike length; T - check health during morning stretches and prep
4. during-hike Injury: R - reduce; C - summon emergency driver, set up bivvy, inform mountain rescue (if appropriate); T - Injury Incident
5. Fatigue: R - reduce; C - rest, bivvy, head to closest train station, inform emergency driver and/or mountain rescue as appropriate; T - Fatigue Incident
6. Route closure: R - not possible; C - find alternative activity, inform emergency driver; T - on site.

I will make sure Jamie also has the contact details of my dad, the emergency driver.

I checked the weather here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/st/oban_forecast_weather.html

In terms of kit for the day-hike:

backpack containing
warm kit: fleece, hat, spare socks
waterproof kit: jacket
foot admin: ZX tape, food powder, spare shoes and socks
technical: map, compass, whistle, torch, pencils, notepad, camera, insect repellant, sun-cream
food and drink: cold food, hot water flask
emergency kit: energy sweets, 2 man shelter, charged waterproofed mobile phone, cash, debit card
entertainment: ipod

Okay guys, if there is anything I've overlooked, or anything you like to mention, please send me a message!


1 comment:

  1. A few wee things I forgot to mention: a pair of scissors, antiseptic wipes (wetwipes, etc.) bandages, and a lighter.

    Well, that's the kit all packed!

    It is always very important to be properly fed and rested before a hike, so tonight I treated myself to a Domino's pizza and watched one of my favourite films: Takeshi Kitano's "Zatoichi".

    Now time for a good night's sleep!