Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Friday, 27 May 2011

TGO Challenge 2011 - Index, Gear, etc

Thanks for your kind comments, everyone.

Thanks also to any Challengers who may read this, for helping to make this year's Challenge so friendly and sociable, and to Mike for keeping me company. It was great to meet Colin Crawford - my vetter, fellow bloggers Louise and Laura, and many other new and old friends at Montrose campsite and at the Park Hotel last night.

Mike and I only used two B+Bs - at Oban and at Bridge of Gaur, where Eddie and Heather's hospitality was unforgettable. We hope to visit you again soon.

The staff at Ballater, North Water Bridge and Montrose campsites were all very friendly and helpful, given their sudden bombardment by lots of bearded backpackers, Ballater in particular being extremely kind in letting 20 of us sleep in their back office rather than throwing us all out to find B+Bs in conditions that were too dangerous for camping.

An index for this year's postings will be provided in due course.

But for now, after yesterday's wonderful evening celebrating the successful conclusion of a Challenge in wet conditions, but mainly applauding Roger Smith's efforts as coordinator over the past 20 years, I'm already moving on to the next trip.

Today's image is one taken last Sunday from the summit plateau of Ben Avon.

Here are a few initial comments concerning kit:

Star performers: RAB SuperDru jacket, RAB Bergen overtrousers, and Sealskinz socks worn continuously for 8 days - no water ingress at all with any of these items.
Phoenix Phreerunner Goretex tent - used and abused for many years - slight ingress in a major storm was easily dealt with using a J-cloth.
Scarpa Infinity Goretex lined boots - these old boots were supremely comfortable, any slight seepage being easily dealt with by the Sealskinz socks that dried overnight.
Karrimor XXL dry bag (new) - the only dry bag used, for everything, and it worked.

Problems: Sealskinz gloves - very soggy when wet but dry inside unless you insert (with difficulty) wet digits. Not suitable for severe weather. Any suggestions?

Major concern: frayed hip belt, both sides, on Go-Lite Quest rucksack. This three year old rucksack has been worn for around four months in total. It's irreparable, so had a disappointingly short life despite good weight and comfort.

Ortlieb 2 litre water carrier - seam failure on this old piece of kit.
Avon Skin So Soft - turned out to have crystallised despite a 2012 sell-by date.
Lifeventure silk liner - worn seam at bottom - had to tie a knot in it; these liners seem less than durable.
Matches - didn't take enough! Bought a lighter at Dalwhinnie.

That's all for now from the 2011 TGO Challenge. Thanks for watching!

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


Gayle said...

Our bottle of Skin-so-Soft crystalises every time it gets too cold (which is a bit of a problem when the midges are out on a cold morning) but returns to its liquid state when it warms up. Were you looking at yours on a cold day?

Nigel said...

We had the same problem with the sealskin gloves. We bought ultra thin silk liner gloves which slip into the sealskins even when sopping wet :)

GeoffC said...

Thanks (and well done) for posting the regular updates on this TGOC. I've been following them regularly and wondering how people had fared with the weather - really wild stuff!.
I had a problem with the hip-belt strap on my Golite Quest, it tore out where it meets the pocket. After a bit of chasing around I received a replacement and it seems fine so far.

Alan R said...

Hi Martin,
My sealskinz gloves were hopeless and leaked within an hour of getting wet.
However yours seem to be ok. Therefore instead of replacing them what about trying to prevent the outer from getting wet by using an over mitt similar to these.
They are very light weight and can give you the option of using them alone or supplementing them with the sealskinz in the cold.
Hope this helps.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks for those comments. The rucksack, I fear, is dead. Irrepairable. Duggereb, as Poor Mike would say. I think I may try an Osprey - their waist belts look stronger.
Regarding the gloves, I do have overmitts, so I may try them over the Sealskinz, and silk liners sound a good idea. The gloves are perfectly ok for low level stuff anyway, but could be a problem in cold wet conditions at high level, when the obvious solution may involve carrying several pairs of gloves. I think I'll try to get some thoughts from Chris Townsend on this. The gloves were the only weak link (albeit important) in my kit, but it didn't really matter as we didn't stay high for long enough in wet weather for cold hands to develop.

Mac E said...

I see you had a bit of an issue with the Avon SSS, exactly the same thing happened to 4 bottles I had in the garage, interesting comment regarding temperature so I'll bring mine in to see what happens.

Still using the Phreerunner? amazing and great to hear that people are still using them.


Phreerunner said...

The annoying thing about the Avon is that I seem to have been carrying a bottle of useless crystalline gunk around for ages - I resent the waste of energy! There were no midges, but my fingers got a bit chapped. An ideal use for the SSS, I thought, but all that did was make an ugly stain on my trousers. Lipsalve did the trick, but I doubt that works on midges! It wasn't cold, so I think the Avon product just wasn't suitable.
...Unlike the Phreerunner tent, which leaked less in a storm than Mike's new Power Lizard, but I have recently had all the seam tapes replaced. I don't really expect it to last much longer, but the Goretex, which I occasionally re-proof, still works very well indeed.