Sunday, 5 December 2010

Early season winter climbing

Reynolds text me last week asking if I fancied heading over to Wales for a spot of early season winter climbing. The idea appealed to me and over the course of the week we decided on a plan to bivi out in Devils kitchen in Cwm Idwal, and hit the ice early in the morning to avoid the queues. A great idea...until you consider the temperature will be below zero. That said we went ahead with our plan and headed into Idwal around 11pm on Friday night. We bivied out and heading for the ice in the morning. After some pleasant climbing we headed back down and back to the car. Based on crap weather reports we headed back saturday night. We both carried a large amount of kit with us, but which kit did well? And which didn't do well?

Champion kit:

Mountain Equipment Fitzroy:

A cracking jacket, I wore this all day climbing, during the walk in and in the morning in the bivi. It held up to everything Wales threw at us, snow, rain, wind, cold, not only that I didn't overheat in it (often a problem I get!)

DMM Fly:

A cracking all round axe, comfortable to use and ideal for UK winter climbing!


I love the Jetboil - simple as. Nothing better for making a brew and cooking up boil in the bag meals.

Vilified kit!

DMM Chokehold leashes:

Whilst I love the DMM fly, I HATE the standard chokehold leash, they are uncomfortable to use, hard to get off, and generally not user friendly. Fortunately the good folk at DMM sent me a free fitting kit for my DMM fly axes (I have the slightly older version that have follow bolts for clipper leashes). And I will now be buying some clipper leashes!

Leki walking poles

Titanium poles my ass! One of my poles snapped during the walk in to the first climb, not impressed in the slightest, I will be contacting Leki to try and get this fixed, details to follow!

All in all it was a cracking day! Good nick climbs, good company and ok weather!

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