It’s a bit late in the day?

“Hi, how are you doing?” said I,
“It’s a bit late in the day to be setting off?” came the reply.
Luckily I was in a good mood.

I left the carpark in trail shoes with the LaSportiva Trangos bungeed onto my pack to stick them when I was off the first km of tarmac (boots remember, if I push my luck early on my feet well get shredded). I had to get a photie of some kit for a Trail Used&Abused and it had been dark or wet or both all weekend. The Kilpatricks were sticking with that programme, but I had to try and make the best of it, and as I neared the crags the rain stopped just long enough for me too get a handful of photies of a grinning simpleton with a beard. Then the rain came back on and the camera went away again.
I wandered around a bit, it was quite nice, very fresh and I cursed the timing of my visit. I could have been off on a wee adventure, but dinner awaited and I headed back down far too soon and far too clean.
I spotted the Trangos still bungeeed to my pack as I swung it onto the back seat of the motor. I’ll try them outside next week then. They’re very good on carpet, I’ll give them that.

29 thoughts on “It’s a bit late in the day?”

  1. you’re up late – cool photo though, I love the way it looks like you’ve been superimposed, ghost-like in the foreground, as if someone was taking a simple empty landscape photo, but when they saw the final image, this brightly coloured smiley beardy person had materialised in front

  2. Which Trangos? I got a pair of Trango Alps in the autumn (like the Evo, but with a less climbing-biased sole, and a higher ankle. A little heavier, or course…) – very pleased with them so far: great on the easy scrambles I’ve done since getting them, and brilliant in the fresh snow on Cadair Idris a week ago. Comfy, too…

  3. Das, the camera was struggling with the low light and I ended up all smudged in that one. Only a single actual usable one from the whole bunch. Ach.
    I wasn’t up late by the way, the post was programmed in at 9pm last night :o)

    BBF, done that countless times. There are days when you just can’t face it. The wind in your face all day, the piles of wet gear to sort out at home.
    I kinda like coming down in the rain after a clear ascent though, it’s like “Ha! I fooled you!”.

    Roddy, it’s the Trango S Evo, a blue and silver affair. I’ve been wearing them at home to try and get my feet ready. The ankle is pretty flexible, the sole looks good for scrambling, and the look like a great crampon platform, and they’re light.
    I looked at the Trango Alps as well, I asked for either those or the Evo. Hopefully I’ll have similar good results to yourself.

  4. Christ, you all did better then me, I packed up on Friday night. But lay in bed until 11am on Saturday, after MWIS confirmed nothing was going to change weather-wise…

    Still, I have a good feeling about this weekend… :)

  5. The “climbing zone” on the Evo S sole looked worryingly like a “falling on your arse while descending wet grass zone” to me. Not a good look if you’re wearing cool blue boots…

    I’d be interested to know which crampons you like with them.

  6. Vorlich, the long range forecast does indeed say “tent” with a hint of “inversion”…

    Roddy I had a look at the toe zone. I have a Stanley knife handy if it all goes wrong on the first trip!
    I’ll try the AirTechs and G12’s on the Evo’s, although I think the G12’s might (literally) be a little long in the tooth for the good ankle flex. Dunno, we’ll see.

  7. Ah,I had the wind ,hail and rain in our faces all day,flailing around on Fairfield in the snow,ice mud and slush.Girlfriend cowped over doing her knee and hip,my vision was swimming in and out and i wanted to throw up for half the day,pretty much forgot to eat or drink i think,managed to get a bit off route at one point (I know,I know …).

    Still,it was nice to get out :)

  8. It’s amazing the things people DO do. And not necessarily outdoorsy people either. I sold a bunch of gear yesterday to a chap going up Aconcagua, and he was buying literally everything from scratch, baselayers up. Clearly not a regular mountain guy, just someone in need of a challenge in our cosseted society. It’s easy to scoff, but you have to give the guy tremendous kudos. I hope he makes it – despite all the financial and physical pain, the sense of achievement at the top of such a peak must be quite something.

    Ah, we’re all just masochists.

  9. Good on him. Trying is greatly to be praised.

    I think that must be a lot of fun, both buying all your kit from scratch and working with the customer who’s doing the buying.
    With someone who know’s their stuff there’s an opportunity for getting the kit just right for the customer and making a real difference to their enjoyment and chances of success.

    Masochists? Sometimes, aye. Gritting your teeth into a blizzard is oddly enjoyable.

  10. I was all set to get the Trango S Evos a couple of weeks ago – the women’s fit is light blue. But then I came across the ORANGE Kayland boots :-) (sorry to keep boasting, ptc*).
    Actually, the Kaylands fit better anyway!

  11. As someone who did start from total scratch last year I can say it IS a lot of fun this gear buying. Not so much though when you realise you’ve spent a small fortune on sh*t stuff mind you. But hey we live and learn by our mistakes.

    Good on the Aconcagua guy, we all need a wee challenge in our lives (whatever form it takes). Now, I’m still thinking what my next one could be but the current one is trying to get the Christmas shopping done! It’s murder, I can’t decide what to buy folk… :o)

  12. Christmas!! Aaaargghh :O)
    My allergy to it is becoming physical… went in to WHS this lunchtime to buy my pitiful handful of obligatory xmas cards, stood in front of the shelves, felt the voices in my head screaming “it’s all cr@p”, walked out again empty handed (well, after 5 minutes of therapy laughing at Trail’s 1/2 page on constructing a snow shelter!! ;O)

    Wandered up to Tesco to try again – did exactly the same…

    So this afternoon the John Muir Trust benefited from some online card shopping :) I wonder if they’ll arrive in time to send this year…?

  13. It’s alright Kate, I’ve been in the loft looking out the tree and I found Karrimor Alpiniste boots. In purple :o)
    Might take them out for a spin…

    Aye, Christmas shopping. Soon… soon… Cards as well… maybe…

  14. In saying that, it’s a total joy watching Holly this year as she’s really getting into it. This will be the best Christmas for years.

  15. Yeah – I think we got it more or less right. Some stuff he didn’t get – boots, for instance, as we don’t have any plastics in Kensington right now, and a sleeping bag, as we didn’t have anything in that was quite warm enough (MH’s Phantom 0 goes down to -20, but you need another 5 to 10 degrees of warmth or so). Plus an expedition backpack, a big 90 litre plus monster. Plus a proper down parka, as I don’t like our current down range (one lovely piece from Norrona apart). Arguably he still has just under half his expenditure to come. Expensive stuff, high-altitude mountaineering.

    The process was helped by his guides having given him an extensive list of stuff, along with suggested brands and specific products. Most of which was perfectly sane, some of which was bizarre. You have to assume they know what they’re talking about, but – no fleece? No silk liner for the sleeping bag? And why recommend non-membrane softshells and then put down MH’s Synchro as a recommendation?? I thought the headtorch pick was a little off as well – BD’s Icon is rather bulky, the new Tikka 2 XP looks like a better bet. We managed in the end though, striking a happy balance between his desire to stick to what he knew to be safe (the list), and my desire to fix some of the, ahem, obvious omissions.

    My favourite kit list eccentricity, however, is for Kilimanjaro, faithfully repeated by literally every single person going up the darn mountain – “I’d like a 5 season sleeping bag, please”. Well, for one thing, people seem to cope fine and spend far less with a regular 4-season (-14 or so) bag , but for another – 5 season? What on earth’s the fifth season? “Badass winter???”

  16. Don’t start me on season ratings! They should be banned forthwith from everything.

    Good job by the way, the customer was lucky to catch you!

  17. I have a pair of Trango Alp’s. Been using them for a couple of years with G12’s in the errmmm, Alps :-) Cracking boots, comfy and light.

    I tried a pair of Scarpa Freney’s briefly but found them heavy and very uncomfy. Strange, I used Scarpa’s for years but I think they’ve changed the shape of the last and they ar enow quite high volume, whi9ch my feet aren’t.

    Until recently, I was still using plastics for all my winter/alpine stuff but they are now reserved for technical ice or high altitude (if I ever get really high again)…

  18. I’ve got Scarpa Mirages that I might break out again this winter at some point, they take the Airtech GSB’s.
    I went to leather for winter when Salomon brought out the Super Mountain Guide 9’s (I think that’ was the name?), very different at the time, great boot.

    I can’t believe I’ve gone all boots….

  19. So many people get caught out with this. The original Scarpa “British” last, BX (or BXD for the ladies) was/is more or less medium volume, by UK standards at any rate. Not as narrow as Asolo/most La Sportiva, but fairly regular. The BA last (used on, say ZG65s) is really wide and high volume all over – chap in the store on Sunday was a 47 in a BA boot but a 48 in a BX boot. A more recent last, DL, as used on the 2 most recent versions of the Manta, is absolutely bloody massive. Why Mantas are still so popular I don’t know, you have to have duck feet to fit them properly. The AE last on the Freney is also high volume, although FT (Cristallo and Charmoz, from memory) is middle-of-the-park medium volume with fantastic heel hold, fits almost anybody.

    Basically, it’s a common shop assistants’ myth that Scarpa = narrow. This simply isn’t true any more, if it ever was, and it’s a tad annoying how quickly such myth-memes spread.

  20. I think folk, especially the media, like maxims like “Scarpa’s are narrow”, it simplifies the task of task of looking for or discussing something.

    Bloody annoying though, and it has a huge affect of what people buy and therefore their enjoyment.

    One good one is “You need a 65 litre rucksack for backpacking”. I know a pack that was tweaked to reach that capacity just because if it was above or below it wouldn’t sell because it didn’t have the magic number on it.

  21. My memory of Scarpa lasting predates the invention of the BX nomenclature. This was when there was just one fit per manufacturer and you had to find the one that suited you. I had a pair of Galibier Super Guides then moved on to Scarpa Fitzroy’s when they were iron hard Gallusser leather…. 3kg a pair. Hmmm. Them were the days….

  22. Made me smile there ACS. Me and our lass went to kili a few years back,we took the bags we had at the time. A ME and a Blacks synthetic probs down to about 0 or -2 ish. I went and bought two fleece throws from argos folded them in half and sewed the edges up. add a platy hot water bottle ,sorted :)

    I have a pair of zg10 i use when it gets snowy now, they are a cracking pair of boots,warm dry and comfy (for me),pretty high volume in the toe and width as you say,but not sloppy in the heel.

  23. hehe! Excellent! I love the hot water bottle idea. That’s such a good idea, and so simple I never thought of it. I’ll be passing the recommendation on.

    Quite apart from anything else, do these people who recommend “5 season bags” even THINK about the cost? I mean, you can buy a really good synthetic that will go down to about -12 or so (more with a liner) for about £100. Which is fine. But a bona fide badass -20-and-lower bag? I’d be very surprised to find one for anything less than £250, and at the top of the range anything between £400-600. And Kili folk are all too often buying everything from scratch – what’s the sense in buying something they’ll only use once? It would be appear to be a particularly pusillanimous bit of backside-covering.

    Ah, boots are boots, you know? Scarpa are well made, although they’re not immune to things going wrong. I love my Zens – such a comfy, well-cushioned pair of approach shoes, they do everything on the mountain and off – but get really pissy when the reps come in from Scarpa and Grivel and tell us at enormous length why their boots and crampons are better than the competition’s, rudely dumping on Asolo and La Sportiva in the process. Come ON. At a certain level boots are boots and they either fit or they don’t, and that’s all there is to it. Plus, it’s just very classless and rude: both Arc’teryx and Haglofs are excellent at telling us about the virtues of their product without being grossly rude about the other brands we stock, or indeed being rude at all.

    So yeah, Scarpa are kind of in my black book right now, particularly after the recent disaster with GSB and the Manta. Which IMO gives them no right to lecture anyone about how boots should be made.

  24. This is just making me think about camping you know.

    Talking about the hot water bottle, I used a single walled mug last week so I couild keep my hands warm on it. I could give it a wee re-heat on the stove too.

    Interesting comments about Scarpa and Grivel, especially having met them earlier in the year at KORS, I see what you’re saying.

  25. Well i can’t claim any kudos for the water bottle idea, the water was boiled for you after the evening meal, just seemed kinda obvious to warm your tootsies on it !

    I think the only thing i bought for that trip was the fleece blankets .Even though most of our kit wasn’t exactly stellar, it did the job, i’d have baulked a bit if i was doing it from scratch. You did see lots of shiney stuff to be sure :), and to be fair lots got left behind for the porters etc, which was great.

    Scarpa adopting a holier than tho approach,whod have thunk it ,must be the Italian in them ha.

  26. Warm feet in your sleeping bag really can be the difference between sleep and misery ’til dawn.

    Ach, maybe it’s just that some brands think they’re popstars!

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