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Showing posts from January, 2012

Raining again on Dartmoor - Postbridge to Dartmeet loop

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Why on earth are we doing this?  At 11am while walking across the open, wet, muddy, rain swept Dartmoor plains we both were asking ourselves this very question - albeit silently as neither of us wanted to look up from the course ahead and the possible shelter that the nearby woods offered.....

A bit of background information;
So we were here for an evening and meal at River Cottage HQ (Donna's Xmas Present), an event much anticipated by both of us, but we'd both decided that we'd drive down after work on Friday giving us the day before the meal to go for a walk - and Dartmoor seemed like the nearest place offering decent walking - so out came the OS maps and a circular route from Postbridge to Dartmeet was settled on and uploaded on to the trusty Garmin Edge 605.


Saturday 21st January 2012 - 8:30am
After driving down to our B&B (Hedgehog corner near Axeminster) and awaking to the pattering of rain and a decent breakfast we headed off on the 90 minute drive to Postbridg…

Winter Skills Course - Part 2, Kit and reviews

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This post carries on from Part 1 of my Winter Skills Course blog.....

Kit List and reviews

Deuter Guide 45+ rucksack - this rucksack is fast becoming my favorite mid-sized bag for any activity.  My first real test (here) was in the South Downs but since then it's followed me on the majority of my walks and hikes.
This was its first outing in snow, ice and the vicious wind of the Cairngorms and it performed amazingly.

I used Alpkit stuff sac's to keep everything dry and compartmentalized but other than that kit went in and that was that.
The ice axe straps took a bit of getting used to but once figured out they're just as easy to use as any other system.
Size is ideal for winter day and even light overnight trips and even with my Alpkit SkyHigh bag, bivvy bag and cooking gear I still had enough space for everything to fit neatly and for the pack to remain comfortable on my back all day.

Haglofs Rugged Mountain Pant - these were a bit of an impromptu purchase I'll admit (&…

Winter Skills Course - Part 1

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Ok, so its not quite on par with "that" picture of Cory Richards from the recent film/documentary "Cold" (view trailer here) but it was the start of my introduction to Winter Mountaineering and to my winter skills course with Talisman Mountaineering in the Cairngorms, Scotland.

The idea for doing this started about 6 months ago after the last trip to Scotland and our climb of Ben Nevis via the CMD (read blog entry here).  We'd both decided that we wanted to do something "a bit more challenging" and we also wanted to become more confident in the hills, in a more alpine setting, so that we could start to look at challenges further afield (French Alps, Canadian Rockies) with a view to exploring these in 2012.

A course seemed the best, and safest, way to enhance our skills and to get the best out of our first Scottish Winter experience so we started to look around for a 5 day course that we could take over the Christmas Break.
There are loads of courses,…