Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winter hiking

I've arranged a weekend to head up to the lakes to have some fun in the snow. Only problem is I'd already agreed to partner up with some of the students at my school for the RAB mini marathon in the peak district on the same weekend. The idea is that because you have to 18 to take part we partner teachers with student teams and they act as a chaperone. One of the other teachers is a keen fell runner and I'd expressed an interest. Before Christmas, however, no-one had signed up. When the snow came I contacted Martyn about going to the Lakes-he's free-job's a goodun. Except now three students have signed up and three are possibles. The event takes teams of two-if the three sign up by the end of the week they'll need me-if not, I'm free and while the mini-marathon will be fun, compared to wandering round with an ice axe and a flask of Jura it seems a poor exchange. My son Solomon is teething and it's unfair to leave my wife with him two weekends in a row. I'll just have to pray that this generation really is as apathetic as they say!
Anyhow down to gear choices for the weekend, which is what this blog is really all about. Pack choice is easy-It'll have to be my Golite Jam as it's the only bag with the capacity I want. I could use the murmur with my crampons strapped on, but that would be a pain-also, I would be pushing the carrying capacity of the murmur I suspect. It's strange to think that when I got my Jam I was going from a Karrimor Panther. At 600g, the Jam was about 1/4 of the 2.2kg weight of the Panther. My Z pack is less than 1/4 of the weight of the Jam! The only other alternative is my Golite Dawn at 400g- it might be a little snug though.
Last year I used Hedgehog Mids with my Kahtoolas. I've got some low-tops now and I might use them just for kicks and because I can! I've bought some Berghaus Glacier Gaiters which are a fantastic fit round the shoe and should keep out the snow.
The real quandry for me is shelter. Reason says I should take the laser competition. Martyn carries a Microzoid which is not big enough for two to play cards and drink in and the laser can cope with most of the weather that is thrown at it. I still haven't had a chance to use my cuben poncho and bivvy combination though. If the weather is anything except windy or heavy rain, I could easily be tempted. My winter bag combination (My minim Ultra inserted in a Vango Venom) fits inside it and if we get a clear night, it should be an amazing experience. I'll see how the weather goes.....

No comments: