Monthly Archives: March 2012

The meet met and then slept

I woke up at half six the next morning, the wind had eased right off and it was very peaceful.

I checked the Suunto in the porch, it was reading -4 degrees,I reluctantly emerged from my cosy down cocoon and pulled the faithful down troosers on and headed outside.

Sandy was just getting up as I sparked up the stove and admired the orange glow in the distance.

One thing I notice is that the Jetboil  does not have that roar that other stoves have, the association is a comfort thing on a cold morning !

I made my brew and set off up the side of Narnain hunting for a better view !

My hands were cold, my thumb and trigger finger painfully so despite being inside the Helix Gloves, it took a good ten minutes before they started to warm up !

I traversed the slope knowing fine that I was not going to make the top in time, opting for the uninterrupted view from the shoulder instead.

Ben Lomond stood in all its glory with the sun edging over its shoulder, behind me the Cobbler started to take on the orange glow.

I never get bored watching the sunrise or sunset in the mountains (as you might of guessed by the amount of pictures on here).

 

Brew in hand, it’s a good way to start the day !

 

I messed about trying to get a couple of shots, I knew exactly what I wanted but the timer was not playing the game !

 

Heading back down the hill I could see people starting move about at the tents, i stopped at “WEE H’S” tent as she climbed into the cosy looking Montura down jacket !

She had a cold night and was glad to be up and moving in the sun !

As stoves boiled water for brews, a plan was hatched to head up the Cobbler, I would of been as happy lying in the clear blue skies at camp, just being here made me a happy soul(and delay having to get out my PHD Trousers !)

We set off up the path, the guys with the Granite gear packs having the advantage of being able to compress them right down into a tidy looking day pack.

As the path steepened the ice got thicker and instead of floundering about trying to choose a grippy route I stopped and slipped on the Hillsounds, readers will know I normally use Kahtoolas but trying these I reckon I am a convert !

The plate increases the grip and gives a normal crampon style bite with each placement of the foot !

Just below the last bit before the summit I stopped to remove another layer, the sun was warm and as I packed my rucksack I spied an interesting gully to the summit.

Crossing the boulders I started climbing up the slope of consolidated snow to the saddle between the two summits, rejoining the others we decided what top to head for.

We caught some views before dropping back off the summit via the ascent path, passing all types of feck wits (that’s a technical term for accidents waiting to happen !) slipping and sliding on the ice, at point do you turn around and say “you should not be here, turn around and go back !)

Before long stoves were on and  tents were packed, we were headed  back to the car park where we  reluctantly handed back the  test kit :0(

Many thanks to John,Ollie and PTC for giving up the time and to all the fellow gear geeks that turned up too !

 

 

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The meet met ! Part 1

So PTC had organised a”Thing” for bloggers and gear freaks to come along and have a look at some kit.

The venue changed a few times but eventually set on Arrochar Alps.

A few of us RV’d at Tiso’s the day before for a pre meet meet, most of the discussion being about the weather forecast !

I lay on my bed that night with kit scattered all around me lethargic to say the least !

Saturday morning was not much better as the rain bounced off the window driven by the gusting wind, my warm duvet was way to inviting !

It had been a while since it had been in the hills, and as I drove up the A82 in no rush I looked forward to being on the ground again.

Arriving at the car park there was lots of people standing in Montura kit that we had seen at the snow baws show.

John from Ardblair had brought the samples and had also blagged himself some the nicer stuff to match his green Nathan Bottle.

Ollie from 9.9 distributed some Big Agnes bags and tents and top bags/ mat systems for people to try as well as Granite Gear packs to carry it all with.

Honey Stinger protein bars and chews were squeezed into spaces, and then with a quick brief on how to use the Leki poles we were finally heading up the main track.

The weather changed by the minute from sunshine to wind driven snow, the chat was good and everybody bantered away with each other.

Layers went off then back on again, once out of the protection of the treeline gloves and hats were the order of the day !

The 40mph gusts were going good guns so we checked out a sheltered spot at the back of the boulders, the decision was made to pitch the tents on the semi frozen ground.

I had the Helsport Ringstind Light with me, I was so close to taking the Haglofs Genius knowing the wind was going to be bad.

 

Ptc opted for the safe option of the mighty unflappable Hilleberg Soulo and it lived up to expectations as the wind swirled all around us flexing poles.

I walked up to the spot where we were going to camp, the wind was swirling all over the place knocking me off balance at times.

 

Back at camp people were in tents cooking food and others in small groups chatting away in the sub zero temps.

It got dark quickly thanks to the low cloud cover, the wind eased slightly and the temperature dropped further, the clouds parted giving glimpses of stars.

Half seven and it was biting cold so I jumped into the tent thinking about reading my book, 5 minutes later I was giving it big z’s !

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