I was lucky enough to be invited to the outdoor retail show by PTC.
As I have said before I am not one to play about with kit in shops etc, I would rather buy something on a trusted recomendation and use it.
I dont look too deep into things unless I really have a big problem with fit etc.
We left early on the Thursday morning and after negotiating the confusing streets of Keswick we arrived fashionably late for our first appointment.
I am not going to go into huge detail about various products as that’s the job of MR PTC.
What I will say after a mind stewing day of chatting to UK suppliers, that 2010 looks like it is going to be a good year for gear !
UK suppliers are fighting to get a price fix from European manufacturers to ensure that there be no price hikes mid season.
The pound Euro battle is causing gear prices to rise dramatically, mixed with the increased cost of manufacturing and materials.
Bad news for the “Joe Blogs punter ” at the end of the proverbial pooey stick !
I guess we will just have to be a bit more selective as to what gear we replace or add to our wish list for next year.
A couple of highlights of the day apart from being entrusted as photographer ( I did forget a few times and was reminded by PTC taking the camera from me !) were the following:
Some nifty shoes from the guys at 5:10 as brought in by Big Stone
Its nice to see something different in shape, colour and design
These below caught my eye
And a derivitive of an old favourite of which I had a pair of the originals.
This is a slightly changed Canyoneer and the great thing is its in orange !
I think these will be going on the wish list with the new dry suit for winter Raft Guide Courses.
On that tangent we were speaking to Si from Lyon Equipment and he showed us a crevasse rescue kit in a nice wee bag which has a white outline so that you know what goes where or in raft guide terms what has been nicked on a rescue course !
This in essence is a Z drag system which gives you mechanical advantage to pull your mate vertically out the crevasse without the need for 20 Sherpa’s !
In rafting and paddling we use this horizontally to pull boats off rock or tension lines for rescues.
Half climbing shoe half approach shoe this is a lovely concept.
Whats more it has a big brother in the form of a mid !
The sample above happened to be a 8 !
Which in the interest of research I tried it on.
It is a stroke of genius and I will be having a pair !
The only thing is I have to wait till spring next year and they will be approx £150.
Some of the new Exped sleep mats are looking good and I think will give the neo air a run for its money.
We were luckily enough to score a pillow each which you will see pictures of soon on the next oot !
Rabs has put some effort into its range for next season seeing a good mix of nice colours (orange) and a wee bit more shape to their jackets.
This put them up there on the possible list for a new jacket.
The head has been changed on the Camp walking axes to give a very distinct and comfy shape.
Also on show on this stand was Tendon ropes who do an “indoor ” rope for more sustained use eg centre use.
A new one to me and PTC was Fizan poles of which I think you may be seeing a bit more of giving the weight and the cost.
We dragged our selves round Ambleside to look at yet more kit but after being spoiled we were un impressed with stock !
After a quick and healthy chip stop we were on the road home.
Tired we stopped of at Gretna for coffee and cake with a free chuckle chucked in.
The next day I woke to being a burst bagpipe !
Kit hangover ! I dont know how PTC and the other guys do it all the time.
Worth it though