Nov 11, 2013

Hill climbing

On Sunday, I decided to go out, although weather was really foggy and a bit damp. I wanted to test the elevation measuring in the GPS device, so I headed to the highest hill around, Jouppilanvuori. It's a man made hill and is a downhill skiing center in winter. There is a proper road to the top on the other side, but I decided to take the footpath on the north side, which I hadn't checked before. You can see it in the photo, going right in front of the tall fir trees.

This is the back side of the hill, so the terrain is more uneven than on the side that is used regularly.

The footpath went zigzagging up the hill and got narrower, but it has clearly been used. I know that at least mountain bikers use this side for riding downhill.

At this point I really didn't know how long the remaining path was, but I saw that this shortcut would take me straight to the top, so I decided to try. After all, the worst thing that could happen was that I'd slide down on my tummy and get a bit dirty. That didn't happen, although I did slide down on my knees a bit a couple of times. Too bad I didn't take a photo of the shortcut once I got up the hill. I'm sure it was a hilarious sight.

The visibility from the top was exceptionally poor. On clear weather, you can see the entire town center and the church clocktower.

The GPS signal got lost when I was climbing the back side of the hill and was only found again once I was at the foot of the hill on the side shown in the photo above. I understand why it would disappear at the back of the hill, but it should have been found again when I got to the top. I guess I'll just have to try again some other time, although the fog shouldn't have anything to do with it, considering how good the signal reception was later on my walk.

Once I got home, I uploaded the GPS data to the Garmin Connect site and checked how much of the route I got. The satellite photo shows the footpath quite clearly and if I hadn't taken the shortcut, I would have had to walk quite a bit around the hill to the proper road on the south side.

After all the sliding in the mud and fallen leaves, I decided I needed better walking shoes. The ones I had yesterday have too hard soles with too shallow pattern. So I went looking for something with better grip and also better water resistance, and found these.

They feel very good, but the real test will come when I go for a longer walk. 4-5 km should be enough for finding out how good they are for walking. The soles are made of two types of rubber and should be good for slippery surfaces.

Update: I may have figured out the reason for the disappearing GPS signal. There is a radio mast (or a cell tower) on top of the hill and I suspect it may be the reason for the blocked signal. That would be logical as the signal came back once I got further away from the tower.

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