By: Blonde Two

Have you ever tried but failed to reach the summit of a mountain? Cadair Idris in Snowdonia is my example of this, I have attempted twice, from two different directions and not managed a complete ascent either time. Last week (week one of UK lockdown) I at last succeeded to summit but not quite in the way I had imagined. Cad-Stair Idris wasn’t my idea but it is a great one for those in self isolation or who are feeling that their once-a-day outdoor exercise isn’t quite enough. All you need to do is pick a mountain, find out how high it is at the summit then divide that number by the total height of your stairs. You can choose how long you want your attempt to take, I went for a week. Here’s how I got on.


Indoor exercise for UK lockdown

Cadair Idris is 893 metres high, which means that my version of Cad-Stair Idris required 297 ascents of my top staircase (I choose this less steep route after careful research). I started off doing repetitions of ten but by Wednesday had gained enough stair fitness to take on 20 at a time. The weather was fair but the wind got up towards the end of the week (this may have been the chick peas). With good visibility I didn’t need to use my compass but made good use of my map to check for height gain. My safety equipment included a t-shirt (except on Wednesday) and a pair of jeans. I walked alone (mainly because there wasn’t room for anyone else) but Mr B2 was on the helpline just in case (spare bedroom office).

Monday – Became slightly concerned about my navigation skills as I could see Haytor on Dartmoor from the foothills of Cadair Idris

Tuesday – Discovered that a barefoot ascent of Cadair Idris was more comfortable than I thought it would be

Wednesday – Walked a section of the mountain stark naked and dripping wet (I had left my shower towel upstairs)

Thursday – Cooked lunch on the Jetboil at the halfway point (don’t actually light your camp stove on carpet)

Friday – Did some scrambling (sore knees) and stopped to watch a pair of jays nibbling my nuts (a mountain first for me)

Saturday – Had a swim in Llyn Cau (rather surprisingly as warm as bath water)

Sunday – Celebrated summiting with the most comfy bivvy sleep I have ever had


Lose weight not sleep

There’s plenty for us all to be worried about at the moment but I have to say that, combined with my daily walk from home, I found walking up Cad-Stair Idris very helpful for my anxiety levels as well as my leg muscles. Exercise is going to require a bit of imagination and determination for the next few weeks but this game (and doing it via a Facebook group) has helped me remember how important it is for both physical and mental wellbeing. The real Cadair Idris is a lovely mountain and I am looking forward to going back there some day. Who knows I might even take seven days over it and mimic my experiences on Cad-Stair Idris (I might have a bit of explaining to do on the Wednesday).


World first attempt on Ever-Stair-Est

If you want to see some really impressive stair mountain climbing, check out Rory Southworth, a fellow (and very bouncy) Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion who last week hiked to Everest Basecamp! As for me, I am enjoying a stroll across Dartmoor’s North Lounge Moor this week!

World Record Step Up Challenge

Here’s some great news. We Champions will be taking part in the great Step Up Challenge and you can too. All you need to do is find a step (or lots of steps) at home, in your garden, or even on your balcony, and log your steps on the GetOutside website. For more inspiration, check out the GetOutside Step Up page. Thursday, midday, be there or be at the bottom of the mountain!