Sunday, April 13, 2008

Newbies trying out Adelaide Bushwalkers

An easy weekend doing some pack-carrying hikes - ideal for beginners - with Adelaide Bushwalkers

Kuitpo Forest

Since I have only done one hike with Adelaide Bushwalkers (ABW) before, back in July in Mt Remarkable National Park, and with the new hiking season just started, I thought I would join in on this "beginner's hike". This year I'm doing two weeks with the Friends of the Heysen Trail, but apart from that only 3 other walks with them, and a handful of catch-up walks with friends so I can finish the Heysen Trail on August 16. So I will have more weekends available to hike with ABW, especially after August. I quite enjoy pack carrying, and camping out overnight. Also, there seem to many more young people in ABW than in the Friends of the Heysen Trail.

There were eleven of us, 6 beginners - Debbie, Joyce, Sam, Liz & Steve, and myself (who had hiked once before with ABW) - and the rest regulars. Debbie, Joyce and Sam were all pretty new to pack-carrying and camping out overnight. It was great to meet so many newbies, and I think they found much comfort in each not being the only one.

The hikes were fairly easy, only 3-4 hours each, although a little faster than I would normally walk with a pack. Of course the newbies found them more difficult, carrying a full pack isn't easy. There is also very little in the way of hills around Kuitpo Forest. On Saturday, once we had set up camp at Chookarloo Campground - nice - and I found one of the newbies using a very heavy item to in setting up their tent - no wonder the pack as heavy - we did some orienteering nearby with a map and compass. Pretty cool stuff, although thanks to the work of my secret agent my feet were bloooody painful by now.

Fun times that night cooking our meals, all the regular hikers getting a bit of a laugh watching the newbies try to master their hired trangiers, when we all had easy-to-use fuel cell burners. Cruel trick that. Still being the fire ban though we had no campfire, but sat around a candle instead - seriously - it was the only light though and surprisingly bright.

Sunday was easy hiking too, although Liz dragged it out a bit because we weren't that far from the cars, although that's a credit to the newbies though who were obviously coping well. For lunch we rendezvoused at the bakery in Meadows - nice one.

Hiking with ABW is cheap, the weekend cost us each $3 - the cost of camping in the forest. The newbies who hired their gear from ABW would have paid $3-$5 for each item (pack, tent, trangier) which is also very affordable.

Stats: Saturday
  • Distance: 14.7km
  • Start time: 10.00am
  • End time: 2.20pm
  • Moving duration: 3h 12m
  • Stationary duration: 1h 08m
  • Moving average: 4.6km/h
  • Overall average: 3.4km/h
  • Max speed: 8.5km/h
Stats: Sunday
  • Distance: 12km
  • Start time: 8.30am
  • End time: 11.30am
  • Moving duration: 2h 36m
  • Stationary duration: 24m
  • Moving average: 4.6km/h
  • Overall average: 3.9km/h
  • Max speed: 6.6km/h

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Training times improve

Beating our best times down towards our goal-times

Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit

We hiked the week after our 4-day Easter hike, improving our uphill time by 3 minutes - our first significant improvement in uphill moving time (we've only previously made improvements in our stationary uphill times). Tim carried a heavy pack, Kate did not and nor did I (I didn't feel that great so opted out of the pack-carrying). We also set a goal to reach by December - 45 minutes uphill with 5 minutes stationary.

The following week, Tim was away in the Flinders, leaving Kate and I to hike. It made more logistical sense in terms of driving to meet at the summit and hike down to Waterfall Gully before returning back up. Physcologically this seemed harder, but perhaps due to that and our improved fitness (?) we significantly improved our times - beating both our downhill and uphill times by 6 minutes each to 34 and 48 minutes respectively, and reducing our stationary uphill time from 14 minutes to 10 minutes. We think we hiked faster downhill because we weren't tired from the uphill, and then we hiked back uphill faster because we were already warmed up and had been hiking fast. There might be something in that.

View a map from a previous day of the same hike.

Stats: Sat 29 March
Uphill: Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit
  • Distance: 3.89km
  • Moving duration: 52m (last time 55m)
  • Stationary duration: 14m (last time 14m)
  • Moving average: 4.4km/h (last time 4.2km/h)
  • Overall average: 3.4km/h (last time 2.9km/h)
  • Max Speed: 8.9km/h
Downhill: Mt Lofty Summit to Waterfally Gully
  • Distance: 3.7km
  • Moving duration: 45m (last time 40m)
  • Stationary duration: 1m (last time 3m)
  • Overall average: 4.9km/h
  • Max Speed: 14.7km/h
Stats: Sat 5 April
Downhill: Mt Lofty Summit to Waterfally Gully
  • Distance: 3.36km
  • Moving duration: 34m
  • Stationary duration: 1m
  • Moving average: 5.9km/h
  • Overall average: 5.5km/h
Uphill: Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty Summit
  • Distance: 3.36km
  • Moving duration: 48m
  • Stationary duration: 10m
  • Moving average: 4.6km/h
  • Overall average: 3.8km/h