More by accident than design, the Ben Lomond night jaunt saw a bunch of stuff make it’s debut, Mostly because it was the first thing I saw when I got home and started packing.
Tha Haglöfs Grym boots got their first trip with crampons (Grivel Air Tech Light) and they did well. The ascent was issue-free, a felt a little loosening, but I tightened the laces before I put on the crampons and all was well after that. The sole is a good one on its own, very grippy, and they Gryms were fine with the “New Classic” plastic cradle binding of the Air Techs. The upper is super tough, so there was no pressure from the straps. I know they’re billed as a trekking boot, but they’re a winter boot for sure.
My feet did get tired on the descent, I’m just not used to boots these days. So odd having no foot movement for all those hours, it really does affect the way you walk.
The Macpac Amp 25 was packed for the first time and I think I like it. Great size, great harness, lots of handy stowing options. The back is narrow to allow free body movement, so it can “float” a little which is a little unusual, but it still feels secure. You can minimise this anyway if you use the compression straps and pull in the top tensioners in (which must be the only time I’ve seen them be effective on a pack with a small capacity)
The reflective logos are rubbish though, they’re peeling off already.
Buffalo Mitts and Windshirt, pile, pertex and purple, and they look like they were made in 1973.
The mitts are great, the XL’s fit over my liners and I stayed warm in the biting cold of the windchill. There’s a good bit of dexterity in there, weight and cost are minimal. I’ll need to fit loops on them or I’m going to lose them, but seeing my snotters freeze on the shell while that thin pile kept fingers warm just a few millimeters away made them best pals.
The windshirt is heavy, has quite a poor cut I think, the stitching is 1st Year Home Economics standard, the collar has that stupid velcro on it for the rubbish hood that no one buys. But, it’s comfy, I’ve always loved pouch pockets and it’s er, purple. So I shall endure when the time suits.
I wore the Haglöfs Lizard Top, and all I can say so far is that it fits well, layers well, and with Chocolate Fish Taranaki merino under neath, the Buffalo windshirt over it and a Montane Flux over that, the only condenstaion I found anywhere despite getting warm on the final couple of km’s back to the motor was on the contents of the Flux pockets, my camera and snack wrappers. Seriously, bone dry underneath. Bloody marvellous.
The Flux itself was brilliant of the move in the bitter cold and high wind. The pockets were used constantly, the hood was up and down and I was warm.
I got my CAMP Corsa Nanotech out for the first time in ages and it was joy to use it again, the home made leash was light and worked fine.
My new flask was a joy. It’s a 500ml Thermos, with a rubber ring on the body so you can grip it with Buffalo Mitts (I assume…) and is anodized a nice bronze green colour (I got in Gaynors, that we extra shop they have round the corner). My cuppas were hot, simply poured without any levers or buttons and plentiful with about six cups worth in there.
My Jacaranda fleece hat again had a starring role, the Mountain KIng Trail Blaze poles were there as ever, I wore Wigwam Canada socks, the biggest socks I have ever owned, duvets for feet.
The main thing was nothing annoyed, or failed or was really noticed, and that was what I wanted. I knew my feet would get tired, and I was glad to get the boots off, but I had no blisters or bruises. I can’t believe how much slower I was in stiff boots and proper long-spiked crampons though, it was like having velcro on my feet.
PS I forgot to mention that Harvey sent me their Ben Lomond map a couple of weeks back, and this was its first trip too. I look forward to their Lomond/Arrochar Alps British Mountain Map.