Monthly Archives: June 2009

Its on its way !

Finally had a chance to phone PHD with my details so they can send me the my bespoke Minimus in Gold dri shell !

I will get some picks up when it comes in.

Woop Woop

All I need is time to sneek out and give it a try !

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Mid Week Mission

After getting back from Cyprus I caught up with PTC at Tiso to run an idea or two past him as well as to catch up after his trip to The Haglofs Bunker.

After a brew we decided that a wee mid week mission would be a plan as the weather was holding and I had no weekends free.

We drove up the Loch Lomond road with the usual slow traffic and parked up at Bridge of Orchy.

We had planned a while back to do Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh but ran out of time so opted for something a bit closer.

After some deliberation on footwear we set out, I was wearing a pair of La Sportiva Skylites which I have worn most of winter on training runs.

Ptc was struggling a bit in a new pair of Haglofs Crags, well they were straight out the box !

We pushed on up the heavily eroded path heading for the saddle between the 2 hills.

It had been years since I had been up the 2 peaks and in winter too.

The terrain appeared to be very different in the summer greenery.

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We headed round the shoulder of Beinn an Dothaidh and after a quick trot up the boggy slope we appeared on the summit plateau and were greeted by the clouds creating amazing shapes and shadows and some interesting colours as the sun was setting.

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As promised by the MWIS forecast the temperature started to drop quickly as we pitched the tents on a small ledge that ran around the side of the hill.

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In an attempt to bring the Haglofs Genius down to a more acceptable weight I had ditched the inner and just brought the footprint and fly.

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With the tents up it was time for a brew and some dinner as we realised it was 10pm !

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The temperature was very low now as I lay in my PHD bag(no not the new one) on top of the clear-view, this turned out to be a good combo for the conditions as I had a comfortable night at a pleasant temperature.

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I had an Expedition food Beef Chili for dinner which was very nice, if you don’t like spicy food then its not the one for you !.

I had another brew and watched the sky changing as PTC jumped about taking photos, not wanting to get in his tent in case he missed something.

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I woke up about 5am and checked the weather, gloomy mist was upon us so no sign of a sunrise !

I went back to sleep for a while then put the stove on for a brew, as we sat about drinking coffee the mist lifted and we were gifted with amazing views again.

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It was still fairly chilly as we finished packing up.

I put the Kazoos on as it was not shorts weather at this point.

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We descended without the help of the traditional path, choosing instead an “easy grassy slope” which was slightly more adventurous !

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Before we knew it we were back on the main track and passing people on their way up the hill.

After a wee jog to the car it was back to usual !

A crawl down Loch Lomondside at a painfully slow pace and then back to work for the afternoon, well I say work, I had a group down the Gorge.

My kit selection is getting easier and I am pleased with everything that I am using.

I did end up with a large blister on my right heel which I just cant figure out as I have had no problems with the Sky lites before!

Surprisingly despite a week of doing nothing in the sun my fitness is not as bad as I thought.

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Yes !

update coming very soon !

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Clever stuff

I had a wee chat with Paul and George from Tacticom Radio Systems a while back about getting some VHF handsets for work.

They supplied us with some nice wee IP55 rated sets due to being in the elements and proximity to water.

At the South-side festival the other weekend I had used the radio that was in my pocket and then bent over to pull a kayak up out the pond, my heart sank when there was a splosh and the radio sank to the bottom !

I could not see it as the kayaks had stirred up the bottom so I came back 2 mins later and I could see the radio sitting on the bottom.

I reached in to about elbow depth and pulled it out, immediately turning it off and removing the battery.

I left it for an hour and then switched it on and hey presto it worked fine.

Lucky !

I also managed to get a hold of  a couple of Wintec GPS sets that plug into the VHF hand sets allowing you to transmit your position to other sets on your frequency ! Genius.

The GPS unit is also a speaker and microphone allowing you to store the radio out of the elements in a jacket pocket or rucksack lid pocket.

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PTC and I used the briefly on Ben Lui and we have also used the with Duke of Edinburgh award groups out on expedition.

The great thing is you can be sitting on high ground and track each groups progress with the handset.

Each handset can be set up with a name and then you can track that handsets speed bearing etc

It has all the normal features of a GPS including compass, altitude etc

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The handset also has a man down button which will alert other handsets of your location and guide them into your position.

A great bit of kit for mountain rescue teams and people like Forestry workers who may be out on the ground alone and in remote places that have no mobile signal.

Handsets can also be tracked by a base unit connected to a computer at HQ allowing ” big brother” to watch where everybody is.

It only ways 100g as well so you hardly notice it on your pack.

I have always been a big fan of radios for events etc and this to me makes plenty of sense.

Some people may think the price tag of over £200 a bit steep but like the Spot tracker you are buying piece of mind and safety for your staff.

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