Planning

Posted by: Filopastry

Planning - 05/01/09 11:53 PM

I'm planning my first coast to coast walk for a couple of us to do and am wondering how long it takes to prepare a walk typically.

Is it too ambitious to start planning in a couple of weeks and to set off mid April?

At the moment, I'm just browsing around, reading people's journals and looking at potential places to stay. It suddenly feels a little daunting having to buy maps (which one?!) and plan a route without knowing much about what lays ahead!

How long to people normally take to plan these things?
Posted by: canmal

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 01:32 AM

Plan now for accommodation. Planning lets you have fun anticipating the walk.Maps let you imagine your route and are even more fun. There's plenty of advice on this site if you search around a bit.If nothing else, act on something. Suggest you go get map(s) it will help you through the winter.
Posted by: flatlands

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 01:39 AM

Hi Filopastry, welcome to the forum. Your 1st Coast to Coast walk and bet you can't wait, lots of surprises for you. I'm doing the Coast to Coast in April and this is my 5th crossing, never tired from this great walk.

I know from my first Coast to Coast in 1990 and never really planned it as such, although I was camping with b&b and yha on spec. But times have changed and one needs to book up, even in April.

What you need know, how many miles can you do in day. Bearing in mind in the Lakes can be hard going, maybe a rest day is a good idea.

A good guide book is a must and a bible, but which one is the question, lots to choose from. You might like to take the O.S. Explorer OL4 and OL5 for the Lakes section. I have Martin Wainwright's Coast to Coast guide and that has the colour strip map inside.

So it's a case of how long is a piece of string! So are you camping or b&b maybe youth hostels. With the former, no problem. B&B & yha best to book up, esp Grasmere & Keld.

I'm planning middle of April (hopefully) or May. 12-14 days, camping. My planning is what gear to take, where to camp.

The best thing about the Coast to Coast is you are never alone.
Posted by: HB

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 04:42 AM

Hi there filopastry, it's never too early to plan, and you most certainly need to get the accommodation booked. If you need to get fit enough to do the walk, then you should start now.

I, along with four other grandmothers did the C2C walk for the first time last June and I would love to do it again, but this year some of us are planning to do Hadrian's Wall.

Take a look at http://famousfivegrannies.walkingplaces.co.uk/ if you are interested in reading about five old ladies doing the walk in 13 days!

Good luck, I look forward to reading your journal when you finish.
HB
Posted by: Filopastry

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 09:23 AM

Thanks all for the great replies. And HB, I've already read your brilliant account of the walk! Really enjoyable reading before heading to bed.

So far, my preperation has only been to order Authur Wainwright's book and so I imagine based on your reply, Canmal, that it is as well to decide on sleep over points before planning the walk?

I know everyone stops in different places but based on miles I was thinking of the following

Ennerdale bridge
Rosthwaite
(Grasmere)
Patterdale
Bampton
Orton
Kirkby Stephen
Reeth
Richmond
Ingleby Cross
Great Broughton
Grosmont
Robin Hood's Bay

Some days are quite long though (about 20-23 miles) so may take some revising. But is this the correct thing to do? Decide on where to stay before anything else? And do those stopping points sound respectable?
Posted by: Mark Bradshaw

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 10:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Filopastry
Thanks all for the great replies. And HB, I've already read your brilliant account of the walk! Really enjoyable reading before heading to bed.

So far, my preperation has only been to order Authur Wainwright's book and so I imagine based on your reply, Canmal, that it is as well to decide on sleep over points before planning the walk?

I know everyone stops in different places but based on miles I was thinking of the following

Ennerdale bridge
Rosthwaite
(Grasmere)
Patterdale
Bampton
Orton
Kirkby Stephen
Reeth
Richmond
Ingleby Cross
Great Broughton
Grosmont
Robin Hood's Bay

Some days are quite long though (about 20-23 miles) so may take some revising. But is this the correct thing to do? Decide on where to stay before anything else? And do those stopping points sound respectable?


I walked from Reeth to St Giles Farm to lessen the miles between Richmond and Ingleby Cross,which is basically walking across fields and along roads (fascinating history attached to that section,BTW).
I did:
St Bees to Ennnerdale Bridge
Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite
Rosthwaite to Grasmere
Grasmere to Patterdale/Glenridding
Patterdale to Shap
Shap to Kirkby Stephen
Kirkby Stephen to Keld (then got a ride to Reeth,and then a ride the next morning back to Keld)
Keld to Reeth
Reeth to Brompton On Swale/Scorton
Scorton to Ingleby Cross
Ingleby Cross to Blakey Ridge (a twenty miler,but the most easily navigable of the route)
Blakey Ridge to Grosmont
Grosmont to Robin Hood's Bay.
Nimrod
Posted by: GaryB

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 10:48 AM

A mate and myself did this using B&Bs in 2006 and we used a Cicerone guide and OS maps as we went 'off piste' at times to 'bag' Great Gable, Scafell Pike and Helvellyn.

Our stops were:

Moor Row (we didn't get to St Bee's until the afternoon)
Rosthwaite
Grasmere (via Green Gable, Great Gable and Scafell Pike)
Patterdale (via Helveylln)
Shap
Kirby Stephen
Reeth (via Swaledale)
Danby Wiske
Chop Gate (vis Skugdale rather than the usual route)
Grosmont
Robin Hood's Bay

As you can gather, this took 11 days. There were a couple of long treks involved (Kirby Stephen - Reeth is 23 miles and Reeth Danby Wiske is 25 miles), but they were do-able as the terrain was relatively flat.

We had a timescale to do the walk in and mountains to bag, so we needeed to get some miles in on the 'easier' days.

If I were to do it again, which I want to, I'd stay in:

St Bee's
Ennderdale Bridge
Rosthwiate/Stonethwaite
Patterdale
Shap
Kirby Stephen
Gunnerside
Richmond
Ingelby Cross
Chop Gate
Grosmont
Robin Hood's Bay

Again 11 days, but no mountain 'bagging' in the lakes.

On all my walks I've booked first and worried about the distances later!

As the others say, the planning is half the fun of the walk in my view.
Posted by: Filopastry

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 11:33 AM

Cheers for the information.

My rough plan there, was keeping in mind what I have read based on other people's accounts; that the Lake District involves the greatest level of ascent and is possibly also the most fun part. So I was looking at maybe spending a slightly disproportionate amount of time in the Lakes to

1) Enjoy the environment at a more leisurely pace
2) Make sure we weren't being to ambitious by having to cover a great number of miles while also having to do a lot of climbing.

I'm aware the number of miles increases greatly once we hit the edge of the Lake District but I was assuming we'd cover much more ground, with it being much flatter.

Again, I'll have to read up a bit more before making any firm dicisions.

Other points of concern were/are making sure we stay in as populated a place as possible as I have visions of arriving somewhere desperately hungry and thirsty and there being nowhere!

Also, I'm slightly terrified of getting lost so I hope 5-7 hour planned walks will offer enough time for us to 'get back on track' before the sun goes down!

Maybe I worry too much!
Posted by: GaryB

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 11:43 AM

I found the Cicerone guide very useful in that respect as they mark the route you should be taking on OS map inserts, so, allied to an OS landranger, you shouldn't get lost.

I agree with you that it is better to spend more time in the Lakes and so would reommend the Grasmere stop over as that splits Rosthwaite - Patterdale section in to two roughly 8 mile walks which will allow you to go 'off piste' if you want to.

Take the Swaledale route to Reeth from Keld if you want to avoid too much climbing, but beware of the squeeze stiles if you've short legs and a fat arse like me!

Good luck with it all and enjoy it!
Posted by: Stottie

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 12:26 PM

Hi Filo
The Coast to Coast is a big walk if it's your first multi-day attempt.
Maybe it isn't your first, but reading between the lines of your questions I got that impression.
Fitness, and confidence in your kit and navigation, are essential. Almost as important is the ability of your group to function well.
One long weekend of walking together usually shows where the rubbing points will be (inter-personal difficulties, I mean), but not even such useful knowledge can guarantee that someone won't want to throttle a once-beloved companion after five days on a longer trail!
The Lake District provides an early and tough test of your readiness, and it's too good to rush through anyway. Long days down Swaledale and across the plain beyond Richmond are easy enough if that's what you want. The moors beyond Osmotherley have a lot of short climbs and steep descents, but by that time you'll be fit or fed up and it therefore won't be a problem.
Anyway, enjoy it, whichever way you decide to do it!
Posted by: Bliss 60

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Stottie
Fitness, and confidence in your kit and navigation, are essential. Almost as important is the ability of your group to function well.

I agree entirely with this, but the key issue I would suggest is having some idea of what you are capable of before you start is a good idea. If this is your first long distance walk, I'd make the following points:

1 if you haven't done long distance walking with a full pack before, it's a lot different from walking with a day pack. If you're not used to walking with a full pack and this is your first LDW, then you might want to think of using Sherpa's luggage carrying service. (NB. when I did the C2C, I met a guy who hadn't done any long distance walking before, started out carrying all his gear - knackered his knee - ended up having to get Sherpa to carry his stuff anyway (which I think they charge more for if its short notice) which also meant that he had to buy an additional day pack)

2 I put a thread on here a while back about the fourth day syndrome of long distance walking. Not sure if this is just me - but whenever I do long distance walking I find that - regardless of preparation - somewhere about the third or fourth day, I hit a wall and feel totally knackered. But if I walk through this and get through to the end of the day - by the next morning I'm feeling great and acclimatised to getting up and walking every day. I'm sure its different for different people, but you might find that you feel awful around about day 3 - but you should persevere because things will get better from then on.

I think your itinerary looks round about right for your first stab at an LDW - its more or less what I did - except that you are planning Richmond to Ingleby in one day. I split that at Danby Wiske - but regretted it because the Vale of Mowbray was not to my taste and I'd have preferred to have been over it one day - which is perfectly possible to do - starting out early and plodding relentlessly.

There are various options on the C2C you might want to consider, but if you're not confident and you want to find your feet so to speak - probably heading off up Haystacks on day two would be unwise. If the weather is good, I'd recommend coming over Helm Crag on dat three because its not that arduous and a much better route than down in the valley. On day four, you'll be able to decide once you get to Grisedale Tarn whether you want to tackle Hellvelyn or Friday Crag - rather than heading straight down to Patterdale - because both paths are clearly visible from the Tarn.

Moving on to Keld, if you feel like climbing at that point, I would strongly recommend going up Swinner Gill because the old leadworks are fascinating and the view over Bunton Hush at Gunnerside awe inspiring, but then heading down Gunnerside back to the Swale. I found the path over Melbecks Moor really dull. Just my opinion. I'd also recommend a path just before Richmond that heads down to the river which means you avoid road, and enter Richmond under the castle along the river.

You want to be booking accommodation pdq. The crunch points will be Keld and Grasmere probably - and so you might want to start with them.

Hope this is useful.

Posted by: Filopastry

Re: Planning - 06/01/09 10:44 PM

Thanks for a v. useful reply. Greatfully recieved.
Posted by: Oldun

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 09:32 AM

I agree with getting a company like Sherpa to carry your excess baggage for you. My first LDW was the Hadrians Wall Walk on my own, carrying everything that I thought I would need, plus things that I thought I might need, but very little of the things I actually needed. After 3 very long days the arches of my feet gave out and on the 4th day I collapsed owing to dehydration. My clothes and skin were caked in white salt, and I needed treatment to replace all the minerals I had lost. Since that time I got to know my physical limitations for an LDW well in advance and have always found a company to carry everything except my day pack. I now enjoy all my LDW's no matter what country I am in.
Posted by: Filopastry

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 12:00 PM

Sorry to be ignorant but what do you carry that makes your bag so heavy that you need someone to pick it up? Reading another thread, people were talking about only taking one change of underwear or in one case disposable underware, to help make their bags lighter.

I can only think I'll be carrying

underwear
about 3-4 t-shirts
2 tops
a jacket/hat (which I'll probably wear all the time)
a change of trousers
water
food
A map(s) (Which I've still not decided on)

I have obviously seriously underestimated what I'll need. What do others carry?
Posted by: tim smith

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 12:31 PM

i have used disposable under pants actually they were incontinent paper pants with out the padding and they were warmer than ordinary pants, i have a plastic box about a foot square and maybe 4 or5inches deep that i keep a change of trousers and shirt for evening wear, that is when backpacking.
it mostly a memory now.
Posted by: Tortoise

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 01:52 PM

Filo,

When I did it last September, I carried my own sack, and it included some of my wife's gear as well - it ended up at around 15kg overall - but I wouldn't recommend that necessarily if you're not used to it.

As long as you're not camping, you can get away with going quite lightweight really. It's often quite feasible to give a few things a quick rinse and dry them out overnight.

Looking at my kit list, a few other odds and ends you might consider...

Waterproof trousers
Gaiters
Lightweight shoes (for evenings)
Compass
Map case
Guidebook
Toothpaste
Tooth Brush
Shaver
Sun cream
Book
Binoculars
Camera
Mobile
Chargers?
Loo paper
Penknife
Torch

and of course, 2 pebbles from St Bees!
Posted by: Filopastry

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 02:00 PM

Yep, I suppose it all adds up; a first aid kit also!

For the purpose of keeping all my information in this thread, can I ask about maps?

I was reading earlier the thread about maps and which are best to use; most seemed to agree the best ones are those out of print.

Can anyone tell me if Henry Stedman's Coast to Coast path 3rd Ed offers walkers decent maps? Does it offer maps for multiple stop points (for eg I intend on staying in Orton instead of Shap)?

It's here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coast-Path-Briti...6546&sr=1-5

Thanks
Posted by: Tortoise

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 02:32 PM

We used the Stedman guide. In most respects, it's excellent and worth buying asap as it has lots of info on planning as well as the actual maps - accommodation, distances, eating places, etc, etc.

The maps are hand drawn with lots of writing actually on the maps themselves, the theory being that you don't need to keep referring to the text, just the maps. It's all there, but because it's in black and white, it relies on lots of symbols to indicate the type of path, etc - so not actually as easy to read as proper coloured maps.

As long as you've got reasonable eyesight(!), it's good though. And yes, it does cover all the main off route alternatives like Orton.
Posted by: Harland

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Tortoise
We used the Stedman guide. In most respects, it's excellent and worth buying asap as it has lots of info on planning as well as the actual maps - accommodation, distances, eating places, etc, etc.

The maps are hand drawn with lots of writing actually on the maps themselves, the theory being that you don't need to keep referring to the text, just the maps. It's all there, but because it's in black and white, it relies on lots of symbols to indicate the type of path, etc - so not actually as easy to read as proper coloured maps.

As long as you've got reasonable eyesight(!), it's good though. And yes, it does cover all the main off route alternatives like Orton.


My eyesight isn't too bad but I coloured the maps in, blue for streams, green for trees etc which enabled me to follow it without having to put on my specs, however, when necessary the magnifier at the end of my compass helped out. I like the Steadman book although only if you follow the Wainwright route. Of course if you get "off route" (sometimes referred to as being lost) then not much help. A map is required and this will also help with knowing what you are looking at in the distance.
Posted by: Mark Bradshaw

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 03:33 PM

In regards food,if you have a good breakfast,you might find you won't need to carry so much food. I am a big eater,but breakfast tended to carry me over until the evening meal. You might want to take such things as dried banana,or boiled sweets to build up sugar,lost through effort. Water is a must of course........!
Nimrod
Posted by: tim smith

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 03:57 PM

they used to recomend barley sugar sweets , but the last i got it was on the packet '' sugar free''
Posted by: Lounge Lizard

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 05:16 PM

I have never let 'Planning' spoil a good Long Distance Walk.
I just decide which one to do, divide the mileage by about twenty-five to determine the number of days, book accomodation at appropriately located pubs and/or Youth Hostels, buy the relevant Ordnace Survey maps and then forget about it until the day before departure when I throw spare clothes and a few other essentials into my rucksack.
Never fails.
Posted by: Tortoise

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 05:31 PM

If you really literally did that, LL, you'd end up with some days of close to 30 miles (allowing for the fact that accommodation is rarely exactly where you want it). That certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea!

Of course, one can adjust your '25' figure appropriately downwards according to taste, but having the confidence to be able to deal with any eventualities met on a minimally planned walk only comes with a lot of experience.

Even then I personally prefer to do more planning - but maybe that's because I'm one of those sad cases who actually enjoys the planning phase as well!
Posted by: Oldun

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 06:28 PM

Some years ago the story went around about a Geneva business man who one day reached the end of his patience with his job and all the b..sh..t that went with it. So he upped from his desk and left the office and walked down to Nice with only his credit card in his pocket, buying what he needed on route. when he was tired he slept and when he was hungry he ate. No planning, no training, no kit, no maps.

My Russian language instructress was born in Siberia and when she was 16 yrs old her family all died. Being alone she had nothing to keep her there. So she walked towards the setting sun until she reached Austria, where she meet a German and after a while she married him. She said that she carried nothing with her except a long stick that she had picked up. When she was hungry she ate roots, berries or leaves. If she came to a village she stopped for a while, did some work for her lodging, and when she got bored she started walking again. She is now in her 90's and a very fit lady who stands no nonsense from anyone.

Is there a moral to these tales somewhere ?
Posted by: Filopastry

Re: Planning - 07/01/09 09:25 PM

That walking is more fun than earning money? smile
Posted by: canmal

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 01:59 AM

Hi Fi (I kill myself sometimes!) smile
In reference to your question re booking..I'm not sure how limited space is in b&b's etc, or how many people are going with you, but it would seem to me, if your not camping,accommodation availability would trump most things when planning your schedule.
We went with with 12 people (one non walking driver who dropped us off and picked us up) and booked a couple of self catering "bases". This gave us maximum flexibility as we could get picked up almost anywhere there was a road.You might not have that luxury.
Was it Stottie that said train with your group?..I agree wholeheartedly..nothing ruins things like a sulker!..find out who that may be beforehand!
If you were doing the c2c by yourself and didn't mind being sick eating wild berries (are there any in Apl?)you might not need to plan. However, to avoid being lynched by a mob would suggest some rudimentary planning happen, even if its just an escape route!
good luck, enjoy
Canmal
Posted by: HB

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 05:50 AM

Hi there Filopastry, well you have certainly got us all involved and a pleasure it is too, reading all the responses confirms that.

You know what they say 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail', so plan and prepare, and expect the unexpected so that you don't get any nasty surprises.

I too was apprehensive about doing the C2C, and asked for help from this site. There is so much knowledge here that you have a great choice of what bits you use and what bits you discard, but at least you will have the appropriate information to consider.

We used the SherpaVan system for taking our main luggage, and then had day packs, mine contained - waterproofs, gaiters, extra fleece, first aid kit, sun screen, mobile, camera, gps, maps & Steadmans coast to coast guide, spare sox (in sealed polythene bag), loo roll and trowel! food and cereal bars/energy sweets for that extra bit of sugar when needed.

Of course the rest of the group did not have to carry the gps, first aid kit, maps or Steadmans. They did however, carry their own loo rolls etc.

We trained as a group most of the time and with full day packs, weighed down with bags of sugar/bricks to make sure we knew what we could carry. Take a look at our training blog to see the fun and games we had. http://walking4mattandtim.blogspot.com/

Best of luck
HB
Posted by: Bliss 60

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 07:38 AM

Tortoise's list looks good. I'd add for consideration:

Some lightweight comfortable shoes to wear in an evening
A torch
A stack of large plasters

For me, footwear is important. I can take much of anything, but I hate walking with wet feet. So good quality boots and good walking socks - which can be difficult to wash overnight - so I personally take a number of them. I also have one pair of waterproof socks that come out for those really gruesome days.

I'm also something of a map person. I find that .a. I like to know what's around me and .b. I want the option to check out alternatives if I don't like what I'm walking on - particularly important on the C2C. So I end up taking OS maps - adds a lot to the weight - but that's what I personally like (the maps not the weight). I tend to post them home when I've done with them.
Posted by: Tortoise

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 09:54 AM

Thanks Bliss. I actually did include the shoes and torch but I'd agree that 'a stack of plasters' is definitely missing!

I always carry what I call an 'odds and sods' box which has all sorts of bits and pieces in (string, tape, safety pins, spare batteries, etc, etc) - and it also includes a few plasters. I'd left it off my list thinking it was maybe a bit excessive for some people, but the plasters are an essential.
Posted by: Bliss 60

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 11:04 AM

Apologies - I read it too quickly.
Posted by: pgt

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 04:58 PM

Hi Filopastry,
my comments, for what they are worth, would be

Kirkby Stephen to Keld in one day is possible but it is a long way.
So is Richmond to Ingleby Cross.
If you have an extra day to spare in your itinerary I would recommend doing what we did which was Kirkby Stephen to Muker and then have a short day from Muker to Reeth.
We then went from Reeth to Catterick Bridge (i.e. did not stop at Richmond) but we did have friends to stay with at Catterick which made this easier. This meant that we had two reasonable days walking (Reeth - Cattrick Bridge; Catterick Bridge - Ingleby Cross) instead of a short day (Reeth - Richmond) followed by a very long day (Richmond - Ingleby Cross).

As already mentioned the most important items of kit that you didn't have on your list is a first aid kit and also a few pairs of decent socks. It doesn't really matter how smelly you get but it's vital that you keep your feet dry.

Have fun.
Posted by: pgt

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 04:59 PM

Sorry, meant to say Kirkby Stephen to REETH in one day is a long way.
Posted by: pgt

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 05:13 PM

Oh, one more thing....

I used Martin Wainwright's (no relation to Alfred)guide.
The Coast to Coast Walk (Recreational Path Guide)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Coast-Walk-Recreational-Path-Guide/dp/184513222X/ref=pd_sim_b_3

It's got 1:25,000 OS Maps and loads of useful information.
I would definitely recommend it.
Posted by: Lounge Lizard

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 06:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Tortoise
Thanks Bliss. I actually did include the shoes and torch but I'd agree that 'a stack of plasters' is definitely missing!

I always carry what I call an 'odds and sods' box which has all sorts of bits and pieces in (string, tape, safety pins, spare batteries, etc, etc) - and it also includes a few plasters. I'd left it off my list thinking it was maybe a bit excessive for some people, but the plasters are an essential.


and condoms ?
Posted by: Mark Bradshaw

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 06:18 PM

Originally Posted By: pgt
Sorry, meant to say Kirkby Stephen to REETH in one day is a long way.



It is!
Nimrod
Posted by: matlock

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 10:01 PM

Bliss Like you I love maps so will be starting with 10 and then posting them home at intervals. Glad I am not not the only sad old b....... doing the walk this year.
Posted by: Mary L

Re: Planning - 08/01/09 11:25 PM

I think it depends on knowing your own abilities and style.

I'm an old bag; I slow down radically on hills, both up and down, and planned very carefully for 2007 using the trail profiles in one of the guidebooks. I applied Naismith's rule--doubled--and it worked out well.

I also planned for a leisurely 18 walking days, it being my first LDW. That was a good idea. Turns out I was not as good a navigator as I thought I was; but walking east to west I was able to get smarter before the stakes (and the hills) got too high.

My plan would not do at all for those chaps who blast through in 7 days, nor would theirs do for me.

Know before you go.
Posted by: tim smith

Re: Planning - 09/01/09 08:38 PM

Hello Mary L
nice to hear you back
Posted by: Mark Bradshaw

Re: Planning - 10/01/09 06:45 PM

Originally Posted By: Mary L
I think it depends on knowing your own abilities and style.

I'm an old bag; I slow down radically on hills, both up and down, and planned very carefully for 2007 using the trail profiles in one of the guidebooks. I applied Naismith's rule--doubled--and it worked out well.

I also planned for a leisurely 18 walking days, it being my first LDW. That was a good idea. Turns out I was not as good a navigator as I thought I was; but walking east to west I was able to get smarter before the stakes (and the hills) got too high.

My plan would not do at all for those chaps who blast through in 7 days, nor would theirs do for me.

Know before you go.



I think if I did it again,it would be over more days. 18 might be a bit too much - maybe 15 or 16.
Nimrod
Posted by: ksw

Re: Planning - 21/01/09 09:15 PM

Hi all - my husband and I are doing this walk the end of July - we have never done a long distance walk and never really used maps - we are in our 30's, in good shape and hopefully fairly intelligent - haha....
After reading through this thread I am starting to get a bit worried about the skill level needed to get through it without ending up like Liam and Maria on Corrie...
Everyone seems to be focusing so much on map reading skills.......
So far we have the following:

Stedman's Guide, Wainright's book, the two Harvey maps (East and West), a compass and a GPS(for walking) with all the coordinates of the walk inputted.

In all your expert opinions - do we have enough to make it out alive?

We have been offered the use of the O/S maps but I would rather not bring them as we will be backpacking for two months before we do the walk and we really can do without the extra weight during that time.

Thanks for your help!
Posted by: Harland

Re: Planning - 21/01/09 09:38 PM

So long as you can use a compass, the Harvey Maps and with the Steadman guide you should have no problem.
Posted by: ksw

Re: Planning - 21/01/09 10:09 PM

Define knowing how to use a compass smile

Neither of us has ever used one so I just did some reasearch and I found a place in Ottawa that gives courses on map/compass/gps reading........I am thinking we should probably take it...that will give me a bit more peace of mind....
Posted by: Harland

Re: Planning - 21/01/09 11:04 PM

Try looking at this, it isn't too difficult with a bit of practice:-


http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/mapshop/pdf/map_reading_made_easy.pdf
Posted by: Bliss 60

Re: Planning - 22/01/09 07:13 AM

Originally Posted By: ksw


In all your expert opinions - do we have enough to make it out alive?



I think that all of this talk here has over concerned you. The Coast to Coast is the package holiday of walks!!! You'll be very unlikely to get lost unless you do something stupid. The equipment you have is absolutely enough - probably more than enough - you may not need to use a compass on the whole walk - I didn't.

If you're reasonably fit, have a clearish idea of how far you can go in one day (taking into account if you're carrying a heavy pack or not) and don't exceed your personal limitations, are reasonably sensible and can read a map, can use a compass to the extent of finding out where North is so that you have the map up the right way - you are unlikely to have any navigation problems on the Coast to Coast.

And if all else fails - if you aren't sure about the right way - stay on the path and wait. The Coast to Coast is the most walked long distance walk in the UK - in July, if you have set out reasonably early - someone else is bound to come along who can give you advice if you have a problem. Chances are you'll meet up with other people doing the walk anyway and be with them over several days.

Please don't worry - no chance of you not getting out alive!
Posted by: Tortoise

Re: Planning - 22/01/09 01:44 PM

While broadly agreeing with you, Bliss - there's no way anyone's going to come to serious harm. But a map and compass can still be very useful.

If the weather's clear, they would rarely be needed, but when we arrived at Greenup Edge, it was in thick cloud. It was far from obvious which way to go and the mist did an excellent job of obscuring the possible paths and the few small cairns dotted about. Without a map and compass, we could have easily walked quite a way off route. Could we just have waited for someone else to come along? Well, possibly - but it was cold and wet and windy so it wouldn't have been my favourite choice!

True, there aren't that many parts of the C2C like this, but there are a few.
Posted by: Stottie

Re: Planning - 22/01/09 02:02 PM

Originally Posted By: ksw
Define knowing how to use a compass smile

Neither of us has ever used one so I just did some reasearch and I found a place in Ottawa that gives courses on map/compass/gps reading........I am thinking we should probably take it...that will give me a bit more peace of mind....

Take the course!
Complete the course!
Every year people set out on the Coast to Coast and Pennine Way and give up in the first couple of days. Sometimes it's because they can't read a map and use a compass, and sometimes it's because they aren't fit and practised at walking in the hills.
The Coast to Coast walk is generally easy to navigate, but if the mist comes upon you when you're at the top of Loft Beck or Greenup Edge or Nine Standards Rigg you will welcome the reassurance of your compass.
If the sun is shining you may well wonder what all the fuss is about, but believe me when I assert that navigation in our hills is every bit as important as having the right equipment and a decent level of fitness.
Posted by: Slogger

Re: Planning - 22/01/09 06:54 PM

If you have never really used maps or a compass, you wont have long enough to learn properly, unless you get out there in the hills and practise (a lot). Perhaps in the circumstances you will would be better off following the Wainwright guidebook as not every turn is signed. In areas like Greenup Edge, the top of Loft Beck and stretches between Boardale Haus and Kidsty Pike, you need to make sure you have company or some others, that you know are doing the route, to follow. These areas can be tricky in mist conditions. Dont worry too much there are usually plenty doing it, and by Patterdale you will probably know them all.
Dave.
Posted by: ksw

Re: Planning - 22/01/09 08:43 PM

Thanks so much for all your responses. We will take the course for sure and if we are lucky enough not to have to use the compass then at least we have some knowledge for the next walk (I see many walks in our future!)
Posted by: Lounge Lizard

Re: Planning - 23/01/09 04:33 PM

Just remember which way you are going, east or west, and you shouldn't go far wrong.
I never bother with a compass or any of that GPS gadgetry and just use what map reading skills I might have gained over the years.
Posted by: Tortoise

Re: Planning - 23/01/09 04:59 PM

I suspect we might have talked about compasses before, LL - and I'm puzzled by your continuing proud assertion that you never use one.

How have you avoided ever being on featureless tops or moorland in thick cloud? Or is it just that you adopt the approach that it doesn't really matter where you end up because you can always work out where you are eventually - even if it is in the wrong valley!
Posted by: Lounge Lizard

Re: Planning - 23/01/09 06:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Tortoise
I suspect we might have talked about compasses before, LL - and I'm puzzled by your continuing proud assertion that you never use one.

How have you avoided ever being on featureless tops or moorland in thick cloud? Or is it just that you adopt the approach that it doesn't really matter where you end up because you can always work out where you are eventually - even if it is in the wrong valley!


No, just a statement of fact, not pride.
But, yes, I have been in featureless places in cloud, and very occasionally been uncertain as to my whereabouts, but have just carried on regardless and eventually reached civilisation, and if I hadn't you know what they say about when your number's up.
And one certainty is that any comment of mine on compasses will soon get a response to help liven this forum up a bit.
Posted by: K

Re: Planning - 27/01/09 10:29 PM

Hi Filopastry,

I wish you all the best for your walk. My wife and I did the c2c in the first three weeks of June 2008. We were very busy beforehand and actually did the majority of our accommodation booking (B&Bs & a few pubs) in late April and early May; it is possible to book that late but we didn't always get our first choice of accommodation. Due to busyness we only had a week of training walks in the Cotswolds immediately before starting the c2c so we had some foot issues but we survived and had a great time despite some physical discomfort. I'd certainly recommend spacing one's "training" walks out a bit more than that!

As to your itinerary, it looks pretty good provided you are prepared to walk some of those long days. Personally, I prefer a slower pace and so our itinerary was considerably longer, taking most of the opportunities to break up the long days and taking a couple extra days in the Lakes for fun.

If I were you I'd definitely stop in Grasmere, so that then you could do the high level alternatives if you wish (weather permitting). As others have mentioned, Kirkby Stephen to Reeth is another long day. If you did that, I'd advise you to take the Swaledale low route from Keld to Reeth--it's beautiful.

Here is our itinerary (with a major diversion to Wasdale over the first few days since I'd always wanted to see it):

Afternoon arrival at St. Bees, walked SE down coast road 4 miles to stay the night at Beckermet
Nether Wasdale
Seatoller (took an extra day here because we love the Lakes--got to explore the Vale of Newlands which was gorgeous)
Grasmere (took two extra days here for same reason as above; I worked in Grasmere in 1992 so it was nice to visit once again)
Hartsop
Bampton Grange
Orton
Kirkby Stephen
Muker
Reeth
Richmond
Danby Wiske (actually stayed at Lovesome Hill Farm, 2 miles E)
Ingleby Cross (Park House)
Clay Bank Top (Chop Gate)
Glaisdale (a long day and my feet were killing me the last couple of miles!)
Hawsker
Finished at RHB in late morning the following day--a great time to finish as it was a simple 4 mile morning walk, so we had lots of energy to celebrate!

We used the Stedman 2004 edition (very good except for one directional error after Grosmont), and, since I love maps, we used the complete OS Explorer set. Had a compass but never used it as we had great weather with only a couple of hours rain on the entire trip.

Happy planning & walking!

K
Posted by: canmal

Re: Planning - 29/01/09 02:19 AM

ksw.
Perhaps I have misinterpreted you comments, but I hope you don't mean you are not taking any maps and intend to rely only on co-ordinates in your GPS?(if you have downloadable OS maps in your GPS you could have a technical problem.) If nothing else,you must take hard copy maps of somekind, along with a proper baseplate compass.Maps and compass "trump" GPS's(and guidebooks)..even if its only because they have no batteries to go flat!.Be aware that the map reading/ GPS course in Ottawa may not address the (preferable) use of UK grid system used in O.S. maps in conjunction with the GPS, but will be more focussed on the international lat/long protocols.Probably the maps they use for teaching will also not have anywhere near the detail of the OS/Harvey maps. You might want to take an OS map with you to the course just to make sure.
You should not be concerned that the walk is life threatening, but, by the same token, when you are tired, wet and hungry, and perhaps unsure, its much better to know that you can probably find your way to comfort with some confidence.We are not talking about a trip in unchartered territory here, but I really do need to dissuade you from listening to advice that has been given in this thread that may prompt you to think that navigation aids are not required.I simply have no understanding of why anyone would recommend not taking maps, compasses or anything else on this type of walk.(If anyone else has been on 9 standards unable to see more than 20 yards in the wind rain and fog, and think thats fun without a map please let us know!) The UK hills are to be respected. I know 99% of responsible hill walkers would agree with me. Especially those Mountain Rescue folk.
Posted by: canmal

Re: Planning - 29/01/09 02:24 AM

KSW... sorry...got on my high horse!..just saw your reference to Harvey maps and compass etc..I'm sure you'll be fine!!
Posted by: Lounge Lizard

Re: Planning - 29/01/09 05:52 AM

I would agree with carnal about the importance of taking maps.
As for compass and GPS, well I think we've had that discussion before.
Posted by: LE1

Re: Planning - 01/02/09 02:20 PM

Hi Filopastry and KSW
Have just been enjoying reading through this thread, and a couple of thoughts occurred to me -- did the C to C last year for first time, not my first LDW, but my most ambitious! I walked E to W with the Cicerone guide, the Ordnance Survey sheets 33 and 34 (which are now out of print)a compass, a mobile phone and a dog. The dog wasn't much use except as an appreciative companion! The mobile phone wasn't much use either, as usually no reception. I only used the compass once, after realizing I'd missed the turning ("..by a large cairn.." - well, define "large")for Moses Trod, and had gone quite a way off route. But it was a clear sunny morning, and I could soon see where I should be heading. When booking accommodation, (several months in advance!) I'd put in some extra nights for additional flexibility, which allowed me the option of not attempting to cross Lakeland passes in poor visibility (for which I was very grateful).
In the Lakes especially, I met quite a number of walkers who were walking W to E, and appeared to me to have seriously overestimated how far they could go in a day - it's already midday, we're on Greenup Edge, you've started from Ennerdale Bridge this morning and you're aiming to finish at Patterdale today?!
If the thought of smelly socks etc bothers you, look out for accommodation that offers a laundry service, for example, Park House on the route in Arncliffe Woods, just SE of Ingleby Cross.

Hope you enjoy it!
Posted by: LE1

Re: Planning - 01/02/09 04:36 PM

P.S. Whoops no, for Ennerdale Bridge, (above) read Rosthwaite!
Posted by: Slogger

Re: Planning - 01/02/09 07:05 PM

Many do Rosthwaite to Patterdale in one go. I went from Longthwaite to Patterdale in one go, but I was on Greenup Edge for around 11am, still got to Patterdale easily by 4.30pm. Instead of going via Grasmere, you purposely go via Wythburn or Steel Fell,and Raise Beck to Grisedale Tarn then follow Grisedale to Patterdale.
Dave.
Posted by: pgt

Re: Planning - 04/02/09 09:57 AM

There have been a few mentions of the Harveys maps on this thread. We found that they weren't actually that good especially in the Lake District. The OS 1:25,000 maps were far superior. i.e. much more detail which was needed at times.

So as this is thread is all about giving advice I thought I'd flag this up.

Just wondered what others thought.
Posted by: DollywagonDave

Re: Planning - 04/02/09 01:19 PM

Hello KSW,

If you're doing C2C at the end of July, there ought to be an abundance of company!

I, along with 6 companions will be leaving st Bees on August 1st (I, for the 4th consecutive crossing, they for their 1st)

I expect it will be a case of "one at a time please" at every stile!

I doubt, very much, that you will be fortunate enough to be out of sight of at least one coast to coaster and therefore the chaces of getting "lost" are about the same as Sea Shore Sam contracting charisma!!
Posted by: Slogger

Re: Planning - 04/02/09 07:24 PM

Thats the whole point of Harvey maps. They include all the detail hillwalkers and climbers need, and cut out the busy detail they dont need. I use both Harvey and OS maps. After OS maps it takes some time to get used to Harveys as Fellside definition is marked in a different way using shadings and colours, also objects that are most important are more clearly marked.
Dave.
Posted by: blahblah

Re: Planning - 06/02/09 11:14 AM

Im planning to walk in june with four others is there still a bunkhouse at the crown inn at shap ?? , do they do food?? cannot find valid e-mail address?