Showing posts from October, 2011

New winter kit - first impressions

Someone (probably famous) once said that "life is 95% anticipation" and for me that has been true of the last month while waiting for my new Yukon down jacket from PHD and, more recently, for my SkyHigh 1000 sleeping bag and Hunka bivy cover from Alpkit . So after a long weekend, with the Monday and Tuesday off work, and after a few initial issues with Alpkit's online payment service (which was sorted out by Alpkit after a quick phone call - their service and support was impressive and I would recommend them in a flash) I arrived early to the office to find 2 boxes awaiting me......  Excited? Oh yes! PH Designs - Yukon down jacket Now PHD (Peter Hutchinson Designs) has a fairly impressive reputation when it comes to serious down clothing and just casting your eye over the front page of the website yields some fairly heavyweight quotes, so I was expecting big things from this jacket. So, first impressions.  Well to start with the jacket is super light, 450g, a

A rare day off

Today I find myself slightly at a lose end with the weather in usually sunny Romsey putting a temporary hold on my plans to get out on the bike and get some miles in before the winter mountaineering course with Talisman Mountaineering , that is rapidly drawing closer. Realistically the only way that, in the next 9 weeks, I'm going to achieve anything close to a decent level of fitness is to haul my ass out on my trusty Cannondale CAAD7 road bike (or turbo trainer in the garage when its too dark or raining!) as much as possible and to get down to Calshot for climbing as often as I can.   When I booked the course over Christmas I had the confidence of time on my side in regards to training and its been one of those things that I've managed to overlook until it hit me this weekend that I haven't done nearly enough to make the most of my trip to the Cairngorms. I fell into that category of people who used to exercise a lot (gym 4 times a week and cycling 2-3 times a week)

Onwards and upwards

At last, I've finally managed to pull my finger out and get that all important card that lets me climb, on my own, at Calshot activity centre. Now this is something that, if I'm honest, I've been "wanting" to do since climbing there during my time at Scouts during the 90's but having no friends outside of Scouts that had any interest in climbing this got pushed to one side and almost totally forgotten about. Until I started cycling with Matt and discovered that he was an accomplished climber and could take to me Calshot which re-kindled the fire to "do more climbing".   From here I decided that I'd complete a course and the attain the necessary accreditation (basically a rubber stamp from Calshot) that allows me to turn up and climb solo (clearly I'll need someone to belay me!). This turned out to be slightly ill fated though as my first attempt at booking a climbing course ended in cancellation due to lack of participants and th

A week in the Lake District - Oct 2011

It's been a long time coming... ....and on the 1st of October 2011 "it" finally arrived For month's I'd been going over and over all the details in my head and planning the week-long trip to High Lorton in the Lake District. There's too much to cram into one blog post and I don't really want to post a day-by-day account of the trip as I'm sure that no one but me will find it that interesting!  So here are the main details of the trip, I'll expand on the walks as necessary and give as much detail on routes, weather, kit etc as I can. Where we stayed High Lorton, Cumbria.  About 4 miles from Cockermouth and 8 (ish) from Keswick.  The cottage was ideal for us, big enough to while away the rainy, windy days and within budget!  High Lorton made an ideal base to explore from with the lakes of Buttermere and Loweswater only a stone's throw away. It's worth pointing out that Keswick is a mecca for outdoor shops and I spent a good few h