The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 3 January 2016

2015: Illustrated

It has become something of a tradition that I round up each year with some illustrated walking statistics, so here we go with a review of 2015.

The headlines are:

Total distance walked: 1522 miles*

Number of walks taken: 238 (77 entirely without Mick; 11 partially without Mick).

Number of days on which I went out for a walk: 191 (down from 227 last year). Some Marilyn-bagging days have seen me take multiple distinctly separate walks in the same day, hence this number being lower than the number of walks taken.

Total ascent: 272,736’ (my highest ascent year to date)

Average ascent per mile: 179’

Number of summits visited: 164 (compared with 66 in 2014)

Number of nights spent in a backpacking tent: 26 (down from 32 in 2014)

Number of nights spent in Colin the Campervan: 106 (up from 99 last year)

When I started looking at these stats I didn’t feel like I’d walked that many miles this year, but it turns out that the total of 1522 miles makes it my fifth highest mileage year out of the last ten (which is as far back as records stretch) and you can see in this pretty graph how 2014 stacked up against previous years:


This is how the miles mounted up on a month-by-month basis:


The lack of activity in June, September and for the first half of October is justified by other projects which were occupying all of my time. There is no excuse for the second half of October and much of November - I was just plain lazy.

Sticking on the subject of ‘activity by month’, this chart shows the number of days I walked in each month:


And to save anyone from having to do any sums here’s a graph showing the average number of miles I walked per walking-day in each month:


Rather a come-down from 2014 when a couple of my most active months saw me average 19 miles per day! Overall my average miles per walking day was 7.1, but if I take the year as a whole (including those days where I didn’t go out at all) then the average across the year drops to 4.2 miles per day.

Turning my attention away from miles walked to look at ascent, this is how this year’s record ascent compares to previous years (my ascent records only go back to 2008):


and this is how the lumpiness was spread throughout the year:


To be more meaningful, this needs to be looked at in conjunction with the ‘miles per month’ figures to give an average ascent per mile for each month, which results in a different shape of graph:


The stand-out months were May (Marilyn bagging in Scotland, whilst Mick was TGO Challenging), July (GR10) and August (hill-bagging in Scotland). October looks impressive, but that’s because of the 7 walks I took, four were to the tops of hills.

Whilst we’re on the subject of ascent per mile, this is how this year’s average stacks up against previous years:


Being British, I’d best talk about the weather, hadn’t I? I’m not sure whether 2015 really was a good weather year, or whether this is just confirmation that I have become a fair weather walker, but 85% of my walks were completed in dry weather: image

I’ll include just one more chart (because I’m boring even myself now), and that’s the pie-chart of the shoes worn this year. A couple of pairs did get thrown away before the year was out, but a couple of new pairs were added to the extensive collection too, holding the total collection steady at {mumblecoughmumble}. Most notably, my Brasher Superlites went through 1000 miles on 30 December – which was one day before the left one ceased to be 100% watertight.


(*On top of the 1522 miles walked, my Fitbit tells me that I covered just shy of another 800 miles just in general everyday life, but those miles don’t count for walking stat purposes. Last year’s Fitbit total was only 550 higher than my ‘going out for a walk’ total; I think this year’s was higher in part because I did a lot of walking around the village streets to ensure that I met my Fitbit target ever single day (except the one day when I was too poorly to do anything) and in part because the steep ascents and descents in the Pyrenees saw me taking microscopic steps, making my Fitbit think that I’d walked further than I had.)