Sunday, 31 October 2010

Monday, 25 October 2010

Old photo, circa 1962-ish..

This is my mum, her mum and her friend going for a weekend away in edale... 
Check out the mountain of kit my gran is sat on!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

A quick trip to Kinder.

A couple of weeks ago my good lady was going to her parents for the day and instead of taking me, she asked if I wanted to go out walking..
Not needing to be asked twice, I gave my sister a call to see if she wanted to go for a walk. She was happy to go out, but was wasn't keen about going up Kinder.
You see when my mum was young, she had gone up Kinder and she had hated every minute.. She had inadvertantly filled my sisters head with visions of a dready (wo)man-eating-bog trudge that should be avoided at all costs.

I eventually talked her round (but I'd trimmed the trip down to a simple scramble up Crowden Clough, around the edge of Kinder to avoid the boggy ground and down Jacobs ladder.

Setting off she put on a brave face Soon after she settle in and was having fun. We'd talked on the way and she'd reminiced about the fun she'd had doing her DoE. She had been over the great ridge, but not on Kinder before. As we passed into the bottom of the Clough itself, a pretty waterfall presented itself to us and she came to life, noticing more around her, becoming more animated about her surroundings. We chatted about what she could expect on the top and as the climb became steeper, I slowly built her confidence on the rocks, crossing the stream more than was needed and going over tricker sections, rather than round them. At one point, Trina said that if it got much more difficult, she'd need to turn back. I helped her build pride in what she had already done, as she had heard the bad stories of kinder and we were soon back on our way. As we neared the top and we came up to the scramble itself, She was ready. With the exception of one section that required something more technical than she had done before, she did brilliantly and once at the top, we followed the stream up the river bed to get a look around, and then followed another fork of the stream to find a sheltered spot to have lunch.
About this point it started to rain a little, but it didn't last long.
We followed the path around the edge of kinder taking in the view Which is always one of the strong points of kinder. We crossed through the blasted rock formations, and soon came to the head of the path that leads down to Jacobs Ladder.
I always forget just how steep this path is, or at least, appears to be. We carefully picked our way down, passed by a group of mountain bikers going the other way (If this was you, or you have done this - you are mad).
Soon after, we were off the hill and in the Nag's for a quick one before going home.

Did my sister end up enjoying her day out on Kinder? Have a look for yourself.

Friday, 1 October 2010

New Gear!

This is just a first look at some new gear I got for my birthday.
(Note: Although I've played with or used this kit, I havent been out on the hill with any of it yet).

The Berghaus Spectrum Fleece.
The thing that has impressed me the most is the zip.. Sad, I know but it's nice to find a zip that doesn't catch, gliding easily open and closed. It also has a small baffle behind it too to trap that extra bit of warmth. The jacked is a nice shade of bright blue with darker blue under the arms and side.
I've been out and about in this and it's looking great.

North Face Classic micro fleece.
Small, light and 1/3 zip. Very, very warm and it fits well too. Not a jacket like the above berghaus, but a great everday jumper or additional layering option.

Alpkit Numo sleep mat
This was a bit of a controvertial choice. I've been looking for a new sleep mat for some time. I wanted something lighter that packs smaller than the Vango trek mat i've been using. I looked at the Thermarest Neoair, Pacific outdoor ether (several variants) the Alpkit Aero and Numo and a few others.
I can't afford the Neoair. A few people pointed me to some bargins, but i missed some and others were for the short length. (I wanted a regular size). Also it had to be easily found as someone else was buying it as a gift, so saying "watch ebay and these sites and buy one when it's less than..." wasn't an option.
The Ether Elite looked like a good buy, but sold out.
I have 2 self inflating mats, so the Aero was out.
The Alpkit Numo fit the bill nicely. It's small and light when packed (nearly a kilo lighter than the vango mat!) and it blows up to a good thickness. I have tried it out and it is very comfortable. The only things Alpkit could improve would be that when it's being inflated/deflated the baffles at the end block a bit and means that a slow and steady approach pays dividends (it takes 11 big breaths for me to inflate this mat). Lastly the valve is in the traditional top corner of the mat. It'd be better in the middle of the top, allowing air out better when the mat is being folded and rolled.

I also got some drybags, which are although boring are good to have. I used the larger one (35l) for carting clothing around in the torrential rain today when i picked up my son from school.