Its funny, my interest in kit roller coasters like the Scottish weather !
Sometimes its pushed on by getting involved in a new sport or rekindling interest in an old one I participated in years ago .
Every now and then a new “thing” comes out and you say wow at last some innovation & sometimes you go to trade shows or outdoor retailers and think “wow how uninspiring”.
I have been to a couple of shows this year including Snow Baws and ROK, PTC could not make them so the banter was on a back foot straight away.
I dropped in on Si from Lyon Equipment to see what treats they had.
Firstly was the changes on the Petzl head torches, the NAO has been leading the way with Reactive lighting and a rechargeable battery that is more programamble than Dr Who’s Tardis !
This has continued now into the Tikka R+ and the Tikka RXP to expand the Performance range of which we might see more of on here.
The “bog” standard Tikka
get a wee makeover so that the shape continues through the range.
Petzl have also expanded into ropes, which I guess is no surprise as they make everything else Climbing !
Another Big brand that Lyon has is La Sportiva
One thing we normally skip past on the fast & Light mantra is big boots !
But La Sportiva have been working on their Nepal boot,offering different models to suit use and shaving grams off for the weight weenies.
And some rather techy light weight Trango Cube boots at only 1350g
Thing I have noticed with both these boots is that although they are high up the ankle La Sportiva have managed to keep flexibility in the upper boot so they feel like you have a shoe on but have a bit of protection from the upper boot from debris getting in the top and smacking your ankles off rocks.
La Sportiva are branching into the Ski Mountaineering and Skimo market big style, their boots look amazing as does the new range of apparel and its not all tight fitting lycra either !
Lots of people are making Dry bag rucksacks, I am not sure how the market is in Scotland for these and have yet to see someone walking up a hill with one on their backs !
But I guess for commuting etc they can be handy.
Aquapac have taken their experience in making stuff waterproof into a simple but functional pack with a nice back system.
28Ltrs on the Toccoa makes it a handy size for all sorts of trips.
Jumping stands I gate crashed John for Ardblair Sports.
Aware of time we got down to the highlights of the stand.
Hillsound have expanded the family of crampons with the Trail ultra.
The blurb says “Made from high-strength stainless steel, this crampon brings the Trail’s legacy of superb traction performance to those needing to travel faster and lighter.”
At 404g for a medium it puts them 20g lighter than the standard Trail and mixing in the pattern from those and the free step.
I have been wearing a few pairs of Aku boots with mixed results, mostly positive !
On the subject of a bigger boot like La Sportiva Aku have been shaving the Grams off.
The Montagnard Gore has a carbon Mid sole a primaloft lining and still manages to weigh in at 1020g .
Again the boot has a snug shoe like feel with a really nice flexible cuff.
330 squids a pair it defo an investment !
We bantered about Leki poles but I got so caught up in the chat I did not take pictures but safe to say there will be some pole chat on here soon !
At ROK there was the usual brands but the show had a different feel !
Keela had some stuff on show that is a departure from their heavy weight uniformed org gear.
OMM have upped the anti and tweaked their range a fair bit which was nice to see, Ark appear to have respected the heritage of this brand and where it is in the market place instead of reducing it to a low end Sports direct alternative !
A new brand to me was Aclima, a Scandi brand that makes wool products.
There was some interesting stuff on the rack for sure !
So there was some good and bad as always and it was good to catch up with some of the regular contacts.
The most asked question ?
Where is Petsey ?