Saturday 17 March 2012

TGO 2012 My route outline


There's a new craze sweeping across computers all over the World.

But, not to be left out in the World of Boggersphereland - here is an outline of the route I'll be taking in May.

Yea, I'm copying others, but I like thinking positive thoughts about May too!.

Total distance is 327 k and there are 17 Munros along the way.

There is no map, very simply, because I don't know how to attach a map!

The outline is just a list of starting and finishing points. If you take it that any Munro within the general direction from A to B, will be gone over, this will give some idea of the detail. One Munro is missed out because I've already been up and down it, but all the others are new to the list-ticking. (I don't like list-ticking! I do like the opportunity to be in Nirvana land!)

The other thing about my route this year is that I intend to stay up in the clouds. All the bits between the Munros will be as high as I can make them. Last year I killed my feet crossing endless, pathless, heather, and, peat, and, potholes .............................. I hate heather! As most of the heather was lower down, I'm going higher!

(I know .............. I'll still get endless, pathless, heather, and, peat, and, potholes - but I'm into positive thinking!)

The start is at Lochailort. (Hotel)
Then day 1 is to Oban Bothy (camp)
Day 2 is to Gualann nan Osna (camp)
Day 3 is to Invermallie Bothy (camp)
Day 4 is to Laggan (Hostel)
Day 5 is to Garve Bridge (camp)
Day 6 is to Newtonmore (Hostel)
Day 7 is to Minigaig (camp)
Day 8 is to path E of Loch Tilt (camp)
Day 9 is to Spittal of Glenshee (camp)
Day 10 is to Glen Clova (Bunkhouse)
Day 11 is to Tarfside (camp)
Day 12 is to North Water Bridge (camp)
Day 13 is to Montrose (Hotel)

This year, unlike last year, will not be too warm/not be too cold. Any rain will fall at night. There will be slight breezes to blow off any midges. Ticks will stick to deer and sheepI will manage to climb all the Munros on my route this year.

 In  my dreams!

I'll be using my Trailstar again.

Last week I did a 6 day trip in the Peak District (around the TGO dinner at the Snake Pass Inn) and used the gear I'll be using on the TGOC. Only problem is that the nights under the Trailstar were too warm! May cut down on the down.

54 days to go.


Friday 2 March 2012

PHD Sigma pullover

Here's me celebrating two months, this year, without buying any gear.

But, the PHD sale starts on Monday.

Sigma Pullover |  price: £132.00
But, this isn't in it.

So, yesterday I ordered one.

Ok, ok, I've said I wouldn't, but.....................

I've had a PHD Sigma vest for years. It is superb.

Sigma Vest |  price: £92.00

I've wanted, but resisted a PHD Sigma pullover, for years - hoping that it would be in a PHD sale, like the PHD Sigma vest was. But, when I saw that it wasn't in the sale, I had to place an order.

With the Sigma pullover, I like the idea of a light, warm top with handwarmer pockets and with a hood. In a large size and with a hood, it will probably weigh in at just over 400 grms. It's light for a robust piece of insulation and I just know it will be used a lot.

I had desired the Sigma pullover for a long time and had read good write ups on it.

It's easy to be swayed by the manufacturer's blurb, or, indeed testimonials on their gear (I too have written testimonials on PHD gear - obviously I've been delighted with the gear that I've written about). But, it's good to come across Blogs, or, Forum comments that reflect the views of folk who use the gear in all the sort of conditions that you want to use it in.

Eg. there's a OM contributor by the name of JimboJames1972. He rates the Sigma over any of the usual contenders around this sort of weight. Having read his posts in OM and knowing that he uses gear in real conditions, then I can respect his comments on gear. The drishell outer I know to be good as I have drishell stuff already.

Oh, and I have accumulated loads of PHD gear - all top class stuff ....................................................................and, made in England.

Now, it will take at least 4 weeks to arrive. It's worth the wait.

This will probably be the last piece of gear I buy this year.

Update 13/03/12

It arrived while I was away for 6 days backpacking in the Peak District - and attending the TGO Dinner at the Snake Pass Inn on Saturday.

First impressions - superb!

It is, as expected a great piece of insulating kit. The usual PHD quality gives this a luxury feel and fit. The hood is particularly impressive. When fastened up it sits snug around my head and moves well when turning from side to side. The handwarmer pockets are tunnel type and there is a small zipped pocket inside on one side.

If I compare the Sigma to my Patagonia Nano Puff pullover, the Sigma is in a different league. Of course, this is exactly what I wanted. The Sigma provides more warmth and with the hood, would be robust enough for any really cold damp conditions. Whilst the nano Puff is more of a mid layer, the Sigma is more of a stand alone top for all but the wettest of wet conditions. It will be great to throw on as a belay type top, or, to wear when walking in particularly cold conditions. I could have done with Sigma when skiing on minus 20c days back in January. (The Nano Puff, plus an R1, plus a Cioch Harta just about kept me comfortable!).

One point about advertised weights: most Companies will show an average weight, or not say what size the weight is for. The PHD weight shown is 360 grms (Just noticed - 05/12/12 - that the weight is now shown as 450grms, which makes more sense). Make it a Large size and add on a hood and this takes the weight up to 560 grms. For roughly a 100 grm fill top this is still pretty impressive. Compare say to a Montane Flux which has less fill and weighs more - but of course a fair part of the extra weight is the zips.

Now, if the weather can only get right - it is still early spring and it  still can get very cold - then I'll be able to use the Sigma for real. If it continues warming up I may have to wait a while to use it for real.

But, I have a piece of gear I've desired for years and it is superb!