So as I think I mentioned in a previous post, I decided that my old boots might just not see me up Kilimanjaro. I have of course heard that the porters run up there in God knows what on their feet, but I am not a porter – I don’t have their fitness, their knowledge of the mountain, their gusto, their youth. Moreover, my old boots (I’ll put a picture of them on here sometime) love them though I do, are not waterproof even, and so if we get wet at all, which may well happen, I am left high and very wet and miserable. If you get wet up there, you can’t exactly put your boots by the radiator to dry overnight and get your socks dry. You are stuck, for seven days and nights, with what you have on your feet.
I also have bloody awful feet. Apart from being heavy on shoes, and that is an understatement, my feet blister just at the thought of blisters. I can (and have) had really bad blisters in flip flops. Maybe I should go up Kili in my slippers then? Well, then I’d get blisters for sure.
So anyway, as I think I had mentioned way back a month or so ago, I had trundled on down to Blacks last month (who incidentally today announced very sadly that they are closing 89 of their stores), and tried on various different boots. So I went back yesterday and did the same again. I didn’t like the Scarpas (too clumpy), or the Merrells (just didn’t feel ‘mountainy’ enough), and so on. I settled on what I had tried on previously, the Meindl Burma Pro MFS. Meindl are apparently a German company, and I’ve never had a problem with anything German that I have ever bought.
The boots feel fantastic. They did cost a total arm and a leg (£175 if you are curious), but they make you want to walk. They sort of make your feet ‘rock’ forwards, and I cannot wait to get to try them out.The MFS is for Memory Foam System, which apparently moulds to your feet as you wear them. That might be bunkum for all I know, but what matters most for me is that they are comfortable, they are high and hold your ankles firmly, they look to be fantastically well made (and for the money so they should be), and they give me confidence that I can do anything in them, which is all I can possibly ask.
I want to go the Lake District this weekend for the first time in what seems like forever to try them out. There is nowhere else that I could think of going, and I think I have to go and see my favourite mountain, Helvellyn, to christen them. I have just googled Helvellyn, and came across the following, which I have no idea if am allowed to reproduce here, but just look at these pictures – I mean, isn’t it absolutely STAGGERINGLY beautiful?
So I am also reminded of my favourite Wainwright quote, which I shall put in full in another post somewhere later (perhaps this weekend when I hopefully am there), which talks about Helvellyn’s ‘mystical quality’, and uses the words ‘legend and immortal’ – can they even be understatements?
So if not Helvellyn, before I get too carried away, maybe it will be the Fairfield Horseshoe. It’s a good walk, at about 13 miles, and has about 3,500 feet of ascent. Better still, it starts and finishes pretty damn near my favourite pub in the whole world, The Golden Rule in Ambleside, which I haven’t been anywhere near in a long time. Could be a good weekend I think – any takers?