Walking up Mount Misery

It’s four weeks now until I head off to France to start the Camino, and today I did a training hike up a mountain near where I live. It’s called Mount Misery, and now I know why.


The climb (850m) was very steep in parts, and the descent down the other side was on goat tracks that were near vertical at times. I had my backpack loaded to 10 kgs, including food and water, and so it was probably a good test for the first day from St.Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles – although obviously that first stage of the Camino, a total of 28km rising to 1470m, is going to be much much tougher. (Today’s walk was about 9 kms)

However, things which pleased me today were these:

  • My Asolo boots handled the climb and the descent well. I now have my socks (thick Icebreaker merino), insoles (Superfeet) and lacing absolutely right for my feet. No blisters!
  • My dodgy knee held up, particularly going down the mountain. It was very tricky on a rough track that was incredibly steep, but the knee gave me no problems. Probably the yoga I’m doing has helped more than I realised.
  • The pack, even at 10 kgs, was manageable. The heaviest it seemed was when I was hauling it onto my back! Once on and buckled up correctly, the weight didn’t seem to be an issue. That said, I still want to try and lose about 2 kgs from the pack, and about 4 kgs from my personage. (I currently weigh approx 78 kgs.)

I’ll see how my legs feel tomorrow morning when I wake up – but at the moment it was a successful test run. Bring on the Pyrenees!

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