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Showing posts from March, 2010

Gear Ponderings

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This winter has certainly got the old brain cells ticking over with regards to kit choice. Before I got back into walking seriously in 2005 I'd never really been out in  winter. Oh how that has changed. Even with its added dimensions which make it even more challenging for me, I can safely say it is my preferred season for walking, especially when you get a winter like this one.

Up until this winter I've been tweaking my kit to help me deal with all the issues that plague me year round, when I'm moving I can run hot but as soon as I stop I cool. It seen my kit choice evolve from the standard base layer, fleece and hardshell to Icebreaker 200 weight merino layer and an original Paramo Velez. This combination has been a good servant in the 4 seasons in one day winters that I'm so used too with only occasionally having to tweak further by doubling up the merino or adding in a powerstretch if its been really cold. For me Paramo has solved the problem of getting as wet insi…

Abort! Abort! Abort!

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Best laid plans and all that....................
Typical, we'd planned the weekend for months, a first porper Scottish hills outing for Andy & Janet coming up from the flatlands of the East Riding and a birthday celebration for Sandy and the weather decides to revert to type.
We parked at Mamore Lodge which is closed at the moment with an uncertain future. Pity as the location is absolutely top notch. Let's hope someone has a vison for the place. Even before we left the car park we'd been hit by a few showers. This was going to be a test of the waterproofs. Louise was wearing her Velez Adventure Light for the first time on the hill, Andy had his Rab Demand Pullover out for its first outing and Janet borrowed my Haglofs Oz.. The rest of us were in our usual stuff.
Looking down Loch Leven
We sort of had a plan for a route, head along the West Highland Way and go up to the beallach between Stob Ban & Am Bodach and decided from there where to go next. As we walked along Sa…

Weekend Adventures

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Its been a busy week with no chance for me to sort the photos from last weekend and write the trip up. It'll just have to wait as we're off for more weekend adventures :-) Destination Kinlochleven, an old favourite of ours with so many hills to choose that are never the same on any 2 visits. We'll be showing Steve's brother & sister-in-law the joys of this area for the first time - just a wee bit different from the flatlands of East Yorkshire they are used to. There is also the prospect of them walking in snow for the first time. 
It also happens to be Sandy's birthday weekend so we'll be celebrating that too. Oh for weeknd adventures :-D

Lochinver Pies

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It can't really be classified as gear but to my mind, having the right grub with you is just as important as what you're wearing. It's for that reason that I have just gone and spent a small fortune on some of the best tasting pies that I have ever had so that we have some lovely grub for our trip next weekend.
We'd been told about the famous Lochinver pies ages ago and when we were up in Ullapool last year we made a special trip out to Lochinver for these sought after items. They were just the ticket for our long day out on Suliven. Tonight I was reminded about them and decided it was time to make use of their "Pies By Post". Roll on next Thursday when they arrive :-D

Shopping

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I had an interesting day yesterday, gear shopping with a friend who needed kitted out but isn't really a gear junkie (yet!) and admits she hasn't really the patience to shop around. We'd had some discussion about what she needed to get, boots, waterproof and possibly pack if the budget allowed. Sandy had already given Louise some advice. He was even tempted to come join us but the lure of some hill time kept him away, just.

There are quite a few places to go gear shopping in and around Glasgow each with their own pros and cons so I knew we were unlikely to be able to get everything in one store. It was going to be a very different experience to my normal round of these shops. This day out was me acting as Louise's personal shopper and I was trying hard not to enforce my personal preferences onto her. I was also shopping with someone who is the standard sized woman not a taller than average, larger feet than average woman.

First stop Tiso Glasgow Outdoor Experience for …

Fairfield by the side door

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There are just so many options of nice short jaunts from Ambleside but we'd decided on Fairfield in the hope we'd get some nice sunset shots. As I'd spent so much time drooling in the gear shops in the morning it was going to be a quick dash up from the A591 rather than the full classic horseshoe. Arriving at the lay-by just before 2pm we headed up towards the side of Tongue Gill aiming for Grisedale Hause.
Seat Sandal, Great Tongue & snowy Fairfiel Brow
The weather peeps had promised that as the day went on it would clear but we still had lots of dramatic clouds floating about with glimpses of blue sky. Amazingly for a Lakes wander we had been going for about 45 minutes before we started meeting people on their way down. Those that we spoke to appeared rather high from getting down through the snow - what were we about to encounter? From Grisedale Hause it was just a straight pull up the snow covered Fairfield Brow to the summit plateau. Crampons weren't required as…

Heading South

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The shackles of work have been thrown off for a few days. Much debate about what to do especially with the continuing snow and its condition. As ever the weather forecast gave us the nudge of where would be best. Time to go play south of the border as The Lakes are also covered in snow and that doesn't happen that often. There is also the opportunity for gear fondling in Ambleside too..................................