Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system!

Posted by: vfrracer

Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 24/05/10 05:29 PM

We have just done a training walk this weekend where we parked at Crowden car park and walked to Edale and then on sunday waked from Edale back to Crowden. I am due to start the walk proper in 2 weeks and now am having serious doubts about my capabilities...I have been training for over 12 months, and yes, I have aches and pains that I would expect after walking approximately 30 miles in 2 days, but I have to be honest my feet are blistered and I am hobbling around today...Is the first section really that physically demanding in comparison to the rest of the walk? Bearing in mind we did the section twice in 2 days? Or are my girly feet just not up to it? A gentleman we bumped into crossing the snake pass on our way back to Crowden reassured me that it is easier once you get north of Crowden apart from the Cheviots but by then you are in a flow and the first day is the killer!
Posted by: vfrracer

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 24/05/10 05:42 PM

And also, would anyone feel it is 'cheating' to start our walk from Crowden as we have already done the Edale to Crowden section this weekend and the thought of doing it again is killing me!!
Posted by: slowcoach

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 24/05/10 07:33 PM

Really, a lot depends on a number of factors relevant to your individual plans.

How far are you intending to walk each day? You are less likely to suffer aches and pains if the distances are well within your capability.

The effort expended each day can vary greatly according to the weather conditions. Middleton to Alston (or Garrigill) can be a pleasant 2 days walking under benign conditions. Easy climbing, good views, and a well trodden path which is relatively problem free. However, if the weather turns nasty the walk is exposed, gets the full force of any wind and rain and can be a real nightmare, even with the best waterproofs.

How are you overnighting? A good hot bath can work wonders each night (as many who have stopped at the now closed Uswayford will testify.

What are you carrying? A day sack or all the gear on your shoulder. This makes a difference. Is your sack comfortable?

If you are capable of walking the distances you have planned and have quality gear then there should be no real problems.

My concern is why your feet are in such a poor condition. If this is going to be a factor then you could experience real problems. Look up the threads about others that have suffered blisters etc and try out some of the ideas.

Try footbeds (but get good quality ones from a specialist shop)
Try two thin or one thick pair of quality woollen socks.
Adjust your lacing by asking for advice from a specialist boot shop_.... this can make more difference than you can imagine.
If these ideas fail then you really should consider changing your boots.

The Pennine Way is a national trail an, as such, has no predetermined "rules". There are no restrictions whatsoever on how you do it. Some say that it should be done in one go, some say in two weeks, others put s variety of self-created restrictions on the manner of doing it. The bottom line is that, if you walk between Edale and Kirk Yetholme on the official route you have completed the Pennine Way. North to South or south to north. One/two/three weeks/ one go / three weeks over three years it matters not one iota. You have already walked between Edale and Crowden, so, if you are happy to count that as your first section then go ahead and do so. It is how comfortable you are with the idea ... It took me over 46 years but I have done it just as much as everyone else!!

Get out this coming weekend and try some of the boot ideas .... and, good luck!
Posted by: Stottie

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 24/05/10 10:02 PM

Well, with two weeks to go you must be feeling worried.
If you haven't had blisters in your training walks, you've got to think what was different last weekend.

1. The terrain is hard.
2. The weather was hot.

There's no doubt in my mind, and experience, that the best way of avoiding blisters in hot weather is to stop every 2 hours for 10 minutes, and take off your socks and boots and give them a chance to dry. If necessary pt on a pair of dry lining socks.

Between now and the start of your walk, give your feet a good swabbing with surgical spirit at least once a day. This will harden the feet.

Don't give your damaged feet too much exercise because you;ve done all you can to raise your fitmess level. Just make sure you minimise the weight you carry on your back, and use trekking poles to reduce the pounding on your feet and joints.

On my first PW mtrip back in the Dark Ages I suffered an injury a few weeks before starting, and the first day was hell. After that things got better. You've got to be a little bit bloody-minded to win through, and the PW is undoubtedly a mental challenge even if you stay fully fitso Good Luck!
Posted by: slowcoach

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 25/05/10 06:36 AM

Different people have different ideas ... each has its own virtue and works for them. Personally, I wouldn't recommend removing ones boots at all once you have started unless they are very uncomfortable (in which case you need to reassess whether you should change them) or whether there is a stone etc in it.

Feet can swell slightly during walks, especially on hot days, which may cause problems in refitting them again. However, you need to establish what works for you.
Posted by: Slogger

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 26/05/10 08:39 PM

Your feet must be moving at least slightly in your footwear to get blisters from walking just 15 miles each day. Your socks could be a big factor, Thorlo Mountaineering and Trekking socks or Bridgdale fully engineered socks are the best imo. If going for Thorlo socks, because of their superior cushioning I find I need to purchase my boots a size bigger than normal.
As for the route, I found Edale to Crowden quite comfortable apart from the humid conditions when I did it. I mean once you have done the pull up onto Kinder Plateau and descended to Mill Hill, there's no real climbing to do, just the long descent to the reservoir at Crowden. After that a couple of easier days do follow at normal average pace.
You will feel stronger and more able to cope after day 3 and don't forget a good supply of Compeed for those blisters. Pop them first dry them off and apply Compeed you wont believe the relief and you will be able carry on walking.
Good luck.
Dave.
Posted by: Kate's Dad

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 27/05/10 08:30 AM

The PW is a tough start, we were told that loads drop out at Cowling - something to do with the village being on a good bus route east and west to big cities, rail links and home. And then there are other very tough stages that follow - if it was easy everyone would be doing it! Fully agree with the compeed advice. I look at a pair of boots and get blisters so have invested in all sorts of remedies over the years - compeed up there with the very best. Slogs also makes a good point about boot size. We put on thick socks, our feet get hot and swell and yet we buy the same size as our normal shoes. Stupid really.
Posted by: bogstomper

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 27/05/10 11:17 AM

If you're up for it you could do what I did!
I completed the walk last year, but the first day was the most gruelling. I set off from Edale @ 6.30am and after walking 30 miles spent the night at a brilliant B & B, in Diggle called the Newbarn, Harrop Green farm.
It was the ultimate tester and sorted the men from the boys!
There are lots of wild campsites after Black Hill. Hope you enjoy the trip and all the best!
Posted by: Slogger

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 27/05/10 05:47 PM

Bogstomper,
You did the same first day as me then, presumably, as far as the road at Standedge. I didn't set off until 9am though as my wife had stayed with me at the B&B in Edale the previous night and got to Standedge about 7pm. I camped on a little bit of flat ground just over the first stile after that main road.
Dave.
Posted by: Gregg

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 27/05/10 09:34 PM

Just before my annual LDPs, I always do two 14 or 15 mile days back to back and pay attention to my foot/boot situation. That is, where are hot spots appearing and how soon. Then I can apply preventive plasters to toes, etc. on the first day of my walk and shortcut any blisters forming. Last year, I walked 14 days with no blisters. This year, I walked 11 days with two blisters (I pushed my self too much on the second day). Compeed took care of them promptly.

If blisters appear on the first day, you may be pushing your pace too much or your boots my not be right to your particular feet. The boot could be too narrow, too short or the shoe box may not be big enough. Boot problems may not show up on day walks, only on multi-day walks with 15 miles or more, imo.

In short, your problems may not be as bad as they seem but could be easily corrected by preventive care.
Posted by: beefy

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 27/05/10 11:15 PM

Originally Posted By: vfrracer
I have aches and pains that I would expect after walking approximately 30 miles in 2 days, but I have to be honest my feet are blistered and I am hobbling around today...Is the first section really that physically demanding in comparison to the rest of the walk? Bearing in mind we did the section twice in 2 days?


Gotta say if your feet are that bad after 2 days walking with 12 months training behind you then something is seriously wrong with your footwear!
The first section is tough (it's a mental thing) but it's just a warm up for things ahead. Get over the first few days and suddenly that 16 mile stretch at the start seems like a short day when you are hitting 20-25 miles per day.
Posted by: beefy

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 27/05/10 11:20 PM

Some on here would frown at 25 miles.....try 30!choose your own pace....all fear disappears after the climb up Jacobs Ladder no matter what your pace
Posted by: vfrracer

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 24/06/10 08:26 PM

My feet held up to the onslaught!!! and I have to thank Stottie for the surgical spirit tip- think that was the key!!

Thanks for the encouragement, but all this macho competition on daily mileage id wasted on us... our longest day was 20 miles, but we still made it in 19 days with 1 rest day!!How on earth anyone could walk more than 20 miles a day is beyond me so well done to anyon who did/does this!
Posted by: Nick Mac

Re: Crowden-Edale-Crowden- shock to the system! - 25/06/10 04:00 PM

There is nothing wrong with being blistered on the first few days of the Pennine Way, it has been like this since all the stone slabs were put down.

The first year I walked it I did Edale to Stanedge in one go. Even though I set off in the dark and completed the day in the dark there was not one blister to be seen.

Since then I accept that I will end either of these days with collateral damage.....