Category Archives: Walks

Free those maps

Steve Coast presentationLast night I was up in London to listen to Steve Coast’s 36th talk on the Open street Map project he created (slide show is on slideshare). This is the Wikipedia of the map world. Currently 15,000 people around the world are using their GPS systems to upload tracks and create maps.

The aim of OSM is to have maps, down to street level, that are free of copyright, Open so you can create mashups and Current so that the data is up todate for ALL of the world.

I first met Steve at Reboot8 in Copenhagen, where we had a few beers prior to the infamous boat trip 🙂 but for whatever reason I didn’t pursue the project.

However, recently I came across this great article by Dair where he found “examining the road network shows 89 “errors” in Google Maps:” in just Hayward Heath. So I was inspired to join up. David Earl

I did my first geomapping cycle ride (35miles) with David Earl last Thursday. David has mapped the whole of Cambridge on his own and his now tackling the surrounding area. I have still to get to grips with JOSM (the editor that converts your tracks to map elements that can be rendered so your data looks like a real map) although last night I heard about Potlatch which is a much simpler solution that is available when you upload the gpx files to the OSM website.

Last Sunday on my walk with Sally and Caroline I collected the street data for Perry and Grafham and the walk we did. I then used Mac Simple GPS to upload the data from the Garmin GPS upto my iMac and create a gpx file. This gpx is then uploaded to OSM as a trace . The street names etc can then be entered from my notes using JOSM.
Hours of fun to be had and another example of Coase’s Penquin at work

4 Everests in 22 days….

More interesting statistics from my GR5 walk across The Alps last year:-

GR5 Data from Memory Map
Date Place Ascent (m) Descent (m) Distance (km) Time Av.Gradient
02/09/06 Saint Gingolph
03/09/06 La Chapelle 1929 1306 14.9 05:53 22%
04/09/06 De Chesery 1750 764 17.5 06:04 14%
05/09/06 Samoen 500 1700 19.8 11%
06/09/06 Les Gets
07/09/06 Moéde Anterne 1894 620 18.4 06:28 14%
08/09/06 Les Houches 1043 2020 14.7 04:23 21%
09/09/06 Chalet Nant Borrant 1447 962 19.3 05:52 12%
10/09/06 Chalet de la Balme 2193 1683 23.4 10:40 17%
11/09/06 Refuge de Rosuel 1369 1801 21.8 09:11 15%
12/09/06 Val D’Isére 1401 1149 21.3 08:04 12%
13/09/06 Lanslevillard 1361 1732 29.3 10:26 11%
14/09/06 Modane 1005 1409 28.5 09:09 8%
15/09/06 Refuge étroite 1558 830 16.2 06:53 15%
16/09/06 Montgenévre 1800 1741 27.3 10:48 13%
17/09/06 Chateau Queyras 2012 2462 33.6 13:30 13%
18/09/06 Ceillac 1097 821 12.5 05:26 15%
19/09/06 Fouillouze 1703 1474 21.9 09:13 15%
20/09/06 Bousieyas 2201 2211 30.9 12:54 14%
21/09/06 Auron 1652 1915 20.9 09:42 17%
22/09/06 Roure 2299 2813 32.4 14:21 16%
23/09/06 Dalmas-Valdeblore 1321 1105 13.8 06:32 18%
24/09/06 Utelle 1737 2228 23.4 10:48 17%
25/09/06 Nice 1640 2438 32.9 10:19 12%
34912 35184 494.7
Number of Everests 3.9

As you can see the walk nearly equals climbing 4 Everests from sea level in 22 walking days. Hoping to make a youtube video of a 3D fly through of the walk….

A long days walk..

After doing my warming up exercises for the GR20 at the weekend with Sally. I thought it might be interesting to have another look at my GR5 walk last year.

Day 7 was one of my longer days. I left the excellent Chalet de Nant Borrant (1460m) at 07.45. By 10.43 I was atop Col de la Croix-du-Bonhomme (2483m). I negotiated the very narrow path on Crete des Gittes and arrived at Refuge du Plan de la Laie (1815m) which was going to my finish at 12.28.

Since it was a pleasant day and still so early, I thought, I would do the next day as well. The thunder clouds were forming as I arrived pretty exhausted, after all the bouldering, on the Col de Bresson (2469m) at 16.37.

I raced down the other side to arrive luckily at the Chalet de la Balme (2009m) at 17.10, just before the storm broke. A lucky escape.

Total ascent was 2193m and descent 1683m in a 23.4km route. according to memory map.

Here is the route plotted in google earth:-


Days 20&21 Auron – Roure – St. Dalmas-Valdeblore

Yesterday was another long day, 23miles with over 5500ft of ascent due to me being told that one refuge was closed and the other full.

I started with another piste, going up the hard way, to Col du Blainon then a lovely descent to Roya (whose gíte apparently has the best chef on the GR5) it then turned into a hard slog upto the Col de Crousette where you then have to continue climbing upto Stele Valette at 2590m (the last time over 2000m!), couldnt see The Med as it was to hazy, after which a further 5 hours of walking bought me to Roure, where Karen had booked me into the delightful Auberge Le Robur (003393020357) which literally clings to the hillside overlooking the 2000ft drop to St. Saveur- sur-Tinée. The chef rustled up a masterpiece veggie meal for me. A good ending to a hard day.

Today was lets take it easy day with a mere 10miles and ‘only’ 2600 feet of ascent mainly on tracks with several bar stops on the way.

Only two more days left now tomorrow should be Utelle and the then its Nice on Monday. Each day having around 2000 feet of ascent.

Sent from Geoff’s Treo650