I booked this trip a couple of months back and I now notice it's guaranteed so that must mean more people have booked. Yay! I will be getting a regional flight from Edinburgh (although I live in Glasgow) and I will join the main group in London.
It would be good to hear from anyone else booked on this trip. I am so looking forward to it.
I'm definitely thinking about one of these 3 Canadian Rockies trips. Cant decide between them though.
Yeah I can understand your indecision. I also fancied the CANADIAN ROCKIES & VANCOUVER ISLAND trip but I wanted more of a challenge so I opted for TAB. To be honest most of the trips on Exodus look fab. Good luck with the decision-making.
How are you going to organize a flight from Ed to London (Heathrow?) when you dont know the guaranteed departure time from London until 2 weeks or so before departure? Unless of course you wait until 2 weeks before, but by then all the cheap flights will have gone.
If its a morning flight from London to Canada then the only option may be to go down the night before.
I did a wee bit of research on this and I actually looked at the Land Only option as I found cheaper flights. I then weighed up all the pros and cons and decided to book direct with Exodus as I found this to be the more financially secure option for the trip. They found me an early morning flight from Edinburgh with BMI who are partners with Air Canada so I have a "through ticket". If anything goes wrong with any of the flights/times change then Exodus need to work out an alternative for me. Yes this may mean I need to travel down to London the night before but I'm hoping not. There's always an element of risk with these things anyway. So here's my flight details:
01/09/12 AC6642 Air Canada (BMI) Edinburgh 08:40 London Heathrow 10:1001/09/12 AC851 Air Canada London Heathrow 15:35 Calgary 15:25
I did check with Exodus if this was enough time in between flights and they confirmed their recommended minimum is 3hrs so this just fits into it. Time will tell if it all works out.
I hope this helps.
I think i'll go ahead and book the september holiday on monday, once I can confirm with work about getting the time off.
Did a test-walk in the Pentland Hills yesterday to see just how walking fit I am (I normally just do a bit of running). Did 10k in 1h50m, with approx 380m of vertical (120m-500m). Of course the Rockies is much higher elevation, but with a bit more regular walking I should be fine.
I agree with you about just letting Exodus arrange all the flights - definitely less stressfull, and its more fun travelling together.
I live in Edinburgh, so hopefully they will book me the same flight down.
Fantastic! And you are in the perfect part of the world to train up for it too. The Pentlands on your doorstep .... perfect......it's a lovely place for a hike. Oh if you run Ian I am sure you will be fit enough for it. The hiking does use different muscles but if you are fit and healthy and aim to get a fair few hikes in before you go then you will be fine. That was a great time for your hike btw but hopefully you will go at a slower pace in Canada so the rest of us can keep up ;o).
Yeah! Just booked :-)
My first ever Exodus holiday! I have to admit I'm a little apprehensive about going on holiday with complete strangers, but from what I've read here it seems that everyone gets on, and soon all become friends.
Hiking def. *does* use different muscles than running ... I was a bit sore the morning after my 10k/2h yomp :-/ More walking in the hills definitely required before september.
.... well done you .... the first big decision of the New Year. I assume it's the same flights as me. At least we know there will be 2 on the trip anyway. LOL.
I've never travelled with Exodus either but they seem to have an excellent reputation. I have travelled solo on other trips before and I've always been lucky and met some really nice people. I think when you have like-minded people that are all there for the same reasons and who enjoy the outdoors then that's the main thing. You will always have different personalities but at least you all have the same goal and interests. And on hikes like this everyone struggles a bit at different times so we need to help each other out and support each other.
So now it's all about research and training. Bring it on! We have the Cobbler and Ben Lomond etc on our doorsteps so no excuses.
Hello Margaret and Ian,
I'm coming with you...Woo Hoo.
Got boots, got socks, got rucksack that might be too small but I think it will do, so I'm ready.
Are you still out there?
Fab you have booked up ..... exciting stuff eh? Oh it's amazing the stuff you can fit into a rucksack! Yeah I'm still here and trying to get myself fit for our big adventure. The time is flying by actually as I booked up a looonnggg time ago.
I booked ages ago as well Margaret, New years day I think it was, I didnt think to look on here before now.
There must be more of us as there are only three places left. It is very exciting isnt it? And time is going so fast.
I'm busy getting fit too. I live in Huddersfield so we have hills all around us and its not far at all to get into The Dales and The Peak District.
I cant wait to see those mountains!
Oh that's a part of the UK I haven't managed to get to ..... yet!
Yeah I am sure there's a fair few others going too and I know some people don't like chatting online but I think it's a great way to get to know people a bit before heading off on our trek.
Now it's maybe a lot of hope but I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Hahahhaha ..... a girl can but dream ;o).
Margaret, did you get to see the Northern Lights?
... but I'm hoping to see them in the Rockies Karen ;o)
Yo Ho Folks,
How's everyone's training going then?
I'm doing OK but I would like to be doing a wee bitty more now. Once the snow disappears from Scotland I may just get back out again ;o).
I wish we had some snow, we've missed out all winter and it looks like we'll miss out again :(
As for training? Well, I'm reading one of the recommended books and I nearly bought some waterproof walking trousers yesterday but they didnt have my size..ha ha!
I do a bit of running and cycling and stuff so I'm ticking over but I will get out walking soon. We did a bit a couple of weeks ago and had a weekend in Ingleton, its lovely there.
I thought I might have a look at the ramblers association as they do some challenging walks I believe. I cant go off on my own, I have no sense of direction and despite map reading lessons I just dont get it. I would never be seen again. I love walking and scrambling, I just dont ever know where I am. Dont leave me when we get there will you?
Yup snow..... last week Aboyne in Northern Scotland was 23 degrees and highest recorded temp for this time of year and today it was 3 degrees!!! How bizarre is that? Here's a link to some nice snowy pics I took in Jan (I'm in the pink ;o) --> http://s1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/mmclaughlan/Dumgoyne%20-%20Campsies%20-%20January%202012/
Oh I am so with you on the direction bit so let's not go out alone eh? I've booked a couple of hikes with the Lake District Walkers so you should check them out. My friend and I are booked on the Ben Nevis (CMD) and Aonach Eogach Ridge so I will do a bit more prep before then as they are both tough ones.
I think I pretty much have all the kit I will need but I will look at that nearer the time.
Its great to see your photos Margaret, that looks like an interesting place to walk. The photo sharing sites are a great idea aren't they?
We're hoping to get up to Scotland later in the year and walk up Ben Nevis, we can compare notes.
Walking is so much nicer than running, and better for you I think. It just takes so much longer, but you see more for sure.
Yeah Karen it should be fun to compare Nevis stories. And you're right about walking being better for you than running, especially on the knees, however the climbs we are about to do may not necessarily fit into that statement. LOL. Och well .... it's all about the adventure eh? I can't wait!!!
It snowed :)
and now its gone :(
Weyhey Karen .... at least you got to see some snow.
I've just had a wee look and our trip is howing as "unavailable" so it looks like we may have a "full hoose". Whoop whoop.
Ha ha... I saw that Margaret, great news, lots of new people for us to meet. Have you been to Canada before? I havent but I've wanted to see some of it for ages...cant wait!
Yep...at least I saw some snow. I was two hours late to work and my boots are waterproof, I now know.
Well Karen "full hoose" (full house) may very well be the first of many Scottish sayings of the trip - bet you can't wait eh? ;o).
Canada is a new adventure for me and one that I am very much looking forward to. I had also fancied incorporating a wee trip to Montreal as well but it's just not been feasible to fit it in (as it IS on the opposite end of Canada lol) but hey ho that's another trip for another day. I think we will be doing enough on this trip anyway.
Hi I'm coming too, Juanita, not a sping chiken though. walking on the Mendip hills to keep fit very little humps compared to Scotland etc so will have to climb them twice to get there. Thought might go to lake district for a yomp in July August. Bit aprehensive last organised walking trip was the Corfu end to end brilliant 10 days, stood on pantokrater looking down on the ospreys. Exodus have been great as will not be going hoem at the end as wnat to visit my aunt in Toronto so they have organised the flight therr and the flight home, Look forward to meeting you all.
Whoop whoop and then there was another. Nice to meet you Juanita, and I certainly aint no spring chicken myself ... just young at heart ;o).
Now here's a funny thing ..... when I was at school (a long time ago) I learned Spanish and as there was another Margarita in my class I was named Juanita, so it sounds kind of familiar to me.
Oh you should definitely take a wee trip to the lake district and that's grand news Exodus have been so helpful in organising your trip.
I look forward to meeting you all too.
Hello Margaret and Juanita,
I've just been reading about some of the places we're going to, its just too exciting! I'm going to put the Trail Guide down and go to the pub for a beer.
Its May already and I cant wait!
Exciting stuff eh? Time is flying by actually. I've bought the book but I just need to get round to reading it! LOL. I will .... soon ..... promise ;o). I have Nevis next weekend so I will let you know how I do. I'm a wee bit worried though as I was on Schiehallion last weekend and the top was all covered in snow. I'm doing Nevis via the CMD Arete route (hopefully) so the snow may have the final decision on the route. Time will tell.
Havent checked this forum for ages ... looks like its sprung to life! Bad weather and garden demolition have sort of curtailed my training this last few months. Definitely need to get more walking started soon.
As for gear, I havent a clue! Got some walking boots that are comfy, so thats a good start. What size and type of day packs are you guys taking? And what about sleeping bags? Any other useful wee bits of kit that are good when camping?
Did you do Nevis last weekend? I was in Ullapool, and it was just 2 degrees and snowed/sleeted occasionally ....really wierd to snow snow mixed with cherry the blossom :-)
I have an osprey rucksack which I bought for cycling so its not very big, in fact its only 11 litres, tiny! I did the three (yorkshire) peaks with it lasy year though and it was fine so I'm sure it will do and it takes a 2ltr camelpak.
My friend cycles off all over the place with her own tent and has offered to lend me her sleeping bag. I think its a down 4 season one and wont weigh much if she carries it on her bike.
I'm spending a bit of time in Calgary before the trip starts so I might buy a pillow there, a huge fluffy one...Lol
I really need to get out walking too. I thought I would be doing loads by now. I'm doing other stuff but its not the same as walking.
I think I will buy some poles as well. I've never used them before but they are highly recommended by my walking friends.
I hope you have a great time doing Ben Nevis Margaret. Let us know.
Aye aye everyone and .... Ian welcome back :o)
Ian - Re: rucksack, I will just take my usual 35l rucksack which is my bog-standard one for hiking. It's really up to you though and depends on what you want to carry. In saying that I don't usually fill mine unless the weather is really bad. Sleeping bag: I have a 3 season one and I'm still betwix and between buying another but I think I will probably just stick with that as it's done me in Scotland in Feb/March so it should be ok, I'll just take tonnes of layers
Karen/Ian - on to Ben Nevis ....eeeeeekkkkkkkkk. I did it this weekend via the CMD arete (ridge) route and it was scary stuff. There is SO much snow up there and it was probably the toughest walk I have ever done. 2 munros, a ridge in the snow, weather was sun, gales, snow, hail rain ..... you name it we had it. It was great to have achieved "The Ben" this way but would I do it again? Probably not and certainly not in those conditions. It ended up a really long day as my friend took a bad ankle strain so be we had 3000ft+ at snails pace on the decent (that part took us 6hrs and we got off the mountian at 23:00!!). Anyway I'm glad I've done it and it was for charity so all's good.
Happy Hiking you guys!
Wow Margaret!! I bet you feel great having done that but it sounds very hard....and scary. Well done!
You would have thought you might get better weather than that in May.
Did you have a guide or did you do the route planning and map reading yourself? The Rockies will be easy for you now, surely.
I'm rethinking my rucksack now, better pack it and see. We're off to Cornwall in a few days so hopefully I'll get some long walks in there, its a bit flat though. I did some hard hills today, but it was on my bike, so it doesnt count really except for a bit of fitness. I'm doing a coast to coast ride soon so after that its big walking time!!
Enjoy that lovely feeling you get when you've worked hard.
Oh Karen I am not very good at map-reading, hence the reason why I've chosen to do the Rockies as a guided trip. I used to think it's laziness but I actually think it's just something that doesn't really interest me. I know for safety reasons I SHOULD learn map/compass skills and I probably will at some point but ..... it will be because I have to and not because I want to.
When I go a walk I enjoy it from exercise and scenery point of view and I do a bit of research first and decide on route and things but ....... looking at map co-orinates just doesn't appeal to me and selfish as it sounds.... I want someone else to be responsible for the route & safety. So short answer is..... it was with a guide on this trip.
My friend and I go hiking on our own too but if it's something new or potentially dangerous we will pay for a guided walk and not take the risk. I am happier knowing I am with someone who has been that route first.
Re weather .... yeah even I was surprised by the crazy snowy weather in Scotland this year.
Re walks ..... by the amount of walking and cycling you are doing (and they DO count!) I am sure you must be pretty fit so you will be fine. And me - I just need to keep up the fitness (which is the hardest thing) and believe me Karen ... I don't find any hillwalk easy. I find them rewarding and tough but never easy . LOL.
Here's Nevis pics if you are interested --> http://s1101.photobucket.com/albums/g424/mmclaughlan/Fort%20William%20and%20Ben%20Nevis%20via%20CMD%20Arete/
Enjoy Cornwall and let me know what Coast to Coast you are doing on the bike.
Margaret I've just looked at your photos. They're fantastic...and very scary...are you sure it wasnt Everest you did? That was a trek and a half wasnt it? We've talked about doing Ben Nevis but I didnt know it was like that...ha ha...if we do it I'll choose July or August!
Thats a nasty bruise you friend aquired...ouch!
I cant show you any of my photos, they're all on facebook, unless you're on there? Mine are very tame in comparrison ..Lol.
You're a guiness girl ehh? Me too, but only in Ireland.
We're away to Cornwall in the morning, and I think it might be sunny! I sort of remember what that is like, just. We're staying very near St. Austell and I cant wait to see the sea.
I'm doing The Way of the Roses at the end of June with some friends. Its a ride from Morcombe to Bridlington using a Sustrans route so it should be very pretty. I think I'm going to miss the first 40 miles though (lightweight) as I'm going to a party....priorities and all that! Its an important birthday party.
Have you been to Cornwall? Its a long way down for you Scotts.
Yo Ho Karen,
Oh my goodness ... what a week you have had weather-wise for your Cornwall trip. I hope you had a blast.
No, I'm not on FB but you can copy the links to photo albums in FB and send them to non-FB people as long as you haven't locked security down to friends only for photos. Anyway, I'm sure your photos are fantastic.
Oh please don't be put off Ben Nevis as I did it the hard way and obviously the weather was very changeable. If you go up the "tourist route" it's a hard slog but there's a good, well-trodden path.
The Way of the Roses sounds like a lovely trip. And I have not been to Cornwall but I would love to go .... one day! LOL.There's just too many things to do and places to see eh?
I see the planned route for one of the walks has been changed due to a mother bear setting up camp on the trail ... ! :-)
I hope we get to see some bears! But not too close up...
The trail book I've bought tells you what to do if approached by a bear...so we'll be fine...Lol
It says, if approached by a bear, quickly smear peanut butter on your fellow hikers and leg it!!
This is the best bear advice I've seen .... :-)
Ha ha...thats funny!
Balance due ... that MUST mean the holiday is soon!!!! Whoop Whoop.
Is it ???
I thought it was next month. I better check, thanks Margaret!
I'm still counting down in weeks, not sleeps yet.
Don't panic! LOL. Mine is due 07/07 so there's a wee while yet but I got the invoice reminder in yesterday and thought ...eeeeekkkkkkK!!!!
I concur .... a bit early to count sleeps ...... or is it?
I've just posted my cheque, thats a definite then!
K (61, I'll be there a bit earlier!)
Nice one Karen! I forgot you were arriving early. I paid my bill too and I nearly cried when I transferred the money but ...... I am sure it will be worth it ;o).
So did Margaret, its lots isn't it? But you're right, it will be worth every penny.
I'm just testing out a sleeping bag now, then I'm ready...Woo Hoo!
Got my Exodus bag in the post yesterday .... its a bit smaller than I'm used to!
Also got new boots last week ... and have blisters on each heel to prove it :-( Think I'll send my old boots of to LSR to get new soles put on in case I cant get the new ones broken-in.
Aye aye Ian, I got my bag yesterday too. I have to say I didn't expect to receive a bag but I've probably just not read something ;o). I will be using my rucksack tho as it's better for back support. How's the training going? Managed many hills?
Eeeek to blisters but defo take old faithful boots.
I got my bag too, that was a nice surprise. I'm not sure if its big enough though, I'll have a practise pack. I've decided I need a bigger rucksack, my 11ltr wont do really. I think I'll follow your advice Margaret and go for a 35.
I bought some sticks too and used them for the first time last week, I really liked them, they stop your fingers swelling up as they do on long walks!
I suspect they encourage use of the bags as it makes loading the bus easier, but it probably doesnt matter too much for our holiday.
Choice of day rucksack is probably more important. I plan to use a North Face daysack, which I think is about 30ltr (its the same one I'll use as airline carry-on luggage)
Training hasnt gone as well as hoped ... too much rain! :-(
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