Oh, there were lots.
With regards to kit. I was mostly happy with it, but have decided on a few changes.
My sleeping bag has always been good for me, but I’ve never used it when I’ve been so bushed before and I suspect this is why I felt the cold more than usual. I had ways to deal with this, but would probably fair better if I could hit the sack and go to sleep, rather than scrabbling around in the dark for solutions.
So a new bag is on it’s way (how did that happen?) a Marmot Arete down bag from Webtogs. It has more down fill than my current bag and same pack size but is 200g lighter, so I’ll see how that feels when it arrives.
I got on fine with my Campingaz Twister stove and although that, together with my Snowpeak pots (courtesy of Martin Rye) aren’t too heavy, it is all quite bulky as they don’t stow away together. So, having caught a glimpse of Laura’s Jetboil, I had a quick peek at them online. Eventually, David took control and has ordered a Jetboil Flash in Violet for me. It looks beautiful and has the advantages I was looking for, lightweight and low bulk aswell as a tripod base for stability.
It’s beautiful too, did I mention that?
The only problem I had was the Travel Tap. It’s a great piece of kit for it’s ease of use and convenience.
So long as you’re called Popeye.
This trip, I was distinctly lacking in my consumption of spinach and I had difficulty squeezing the bottle to extract the filtered water. I also felt there was a potential problem with my hands having to be in contact with the bottle containing freezing cold water, as this is exactly the sort of trigger for my Reynaud's that gives me the most concerns and if I’m tired and cold, could be crucial. Alan found my eventual solution to these problems very amusing as he was the only one with full view of me squeezing the bottle between my knees whilst aiming the water flow into the tin between my feet.
What a sight!
The solution is, so far, a 1ltr Platypus Platy Soft Bottle. So far, because I now have to options. I can either go for the Super Delios filter which Alan demonstrated (several times) and looks like a really useful bit of kit, or drops, which Laura demonstrated (with my help for timing) both of which will utilise the Soft Bottle. I’ll have to make a decision sometime. Soon…
(The Soft Bottle is violet too)
As to the weekend, it was fabulous. Mike planned us a superb route, the views were stunning and the toil to reach them was certainly more than worthwhile. Many thanks for your planning and hard work.
The company was brilliant, we all seemed to have very similar humour and my ribs were certainly sore from all the laughing. At least, I think it was from the laughing and not the heavy breathing uphill… Thanks for all the support, encouragement and ideas, these will be invaluable in a few weeks time (three weeks, two days…).
I had an absolute blast, even the hard bits were worth every minute and I’ve learnt so much, about myself and my expectations and tips for successful routines. I was delighted to find I hadn’t packed anything that didn’t get used, with the exception of those few items you have to routinely take on a trip. So with the few kit adjustments I’m making, I should be able to take another 1lb 8oz off the overall weight, but it’s all going to be far less bulky which will make the most difference.
Onwards and upwards! (A little…)