You might remember that I climbed Ingleborough Mountain last year and if you follow me on social you will also have seen I climbed Cadair Idris not too long ago. Cadair Idris is Wales second highest mountain (Snowden being their highest) and it’s stunning! Compared to Ingleborough I preferred climbing this one as there’s less flat walking coming to and from the mountain. I also think the views here are far more gorgeous. The issue I did have is that it was a lot harder, both physically and mentally to climb up and down than Ingleborough.
Before climbing Ingleborough my body was a lot more fit. I regularly went running and I cycled to work most days. Prior to Cadair Idris I’d hardly done any running and not much cycling either. The reason for this has been the winter wether, dark morning and evenings and me being slightly lazy. Coming down Cadair Idris, I made a promise to myself this has to change and since I’ve been cycling most days, still no running but I’ve upped my game in number of days I also go to the gym. It’s now 4 instead of 2 and more cardio exercise then previously. Go me!
The mental fitness is harder to overcome. I don’t particularly like heights. Heights standing on a ladder, stepping stool or a couple of stories high are the worst. When it’s so high I can’t grasp how high I’m not as bothered but when I’m on a steep mountain walking down, the fear really kicks in. I had to stop and close my eyes a few times coming down Cadair Idris. It didn’t help a long way down of it was basically sliding around on pebble stones. I know I can expect lovely steps or a escalator but some conditions are worse than others.
Like with Ingleborough, I manged to climb Cadair Idris in a regular pair of sneakers. I wanted to invest in a pair of walking shoes prior to the climb but never got around to it. Sneakers might not be the best choice but I like that I can move around easily in them and that they’re light. The disadvantage is that they’re quite slippery and had it rained, I would have come sliding down.
In summary, I need to run more, cycle more and buy a pair of walking shoes. Most likely a pair which will allow my ankles to move freely as I think a pair of boots will make my feet heavy and restricted in movement. I’m not sure what to do about my night freight but I refuse it being an issue in forthcoming mountain climbs.
How do you feel about mountain climbing? Is it a walk in the park or do you sometimes struggle like I do? Have you got any tips on how I can combat my fear of walking down mountains?