Lightweight axes are all you need, they can happily take digging through frozen verges to save your mothers motor…
Elsewhere, Berghaus insulation is really proving it’s worth, Phil packed the synthetic Ignite Belay Parka (proper look imminent) and I took the Extrem Down Duvet. They’re both belay jackets and sized to go over other layers which they do perfectly, and this has suited the weather, I don’t think I’ve ever walked with my insulation layer on so often as I have so far this winter. The Down Duvet has really grown on me, I’m not sure how warm it is compared with the Rab Infinity, too many variables, but it is more protective feeling, more psycholigically soothing when it’s freezin’. Sometimes that’s totally worth the extra weight, but not when you’ve got a sleeping bag too. I think that makes the Extrem the day-jacket and the Infinty the camp jacket maybe?
I had the Haglöfs Cirque on for a few hours, and I used four of the pockets simultaneously, that’s including the internal bottle one to thaw out my iced-up Robinsons Lemon.
I also quite happily wear a single-pocket smock in winter, this leads me to believe more than ever that folk dissing lightweight gear are just talking shite, the fact of the matter is you adapt to what you’ve got, it’s how good the features are, not how many of them there are. Six pockets or one, don’t care, I’ll make it work for me if it’s been sewn together right.
It’s a cracking jacket in general, and does feel quite a bit different to the Crux which I’ve used which I said it was an evolution of, it turns out that there’s a lot of changes, it really is a different beast.
Despite the lack of on-the-move accessible pockets, I took my old Alpiniste 45+10 again, it’s just so damned comfy, and with Phil trying the Berghaus Arete 35 it was an old school battle of the brands.