Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Preparing for winter

Some of you may have twigged that in a couple of weeks I am returning the Nepal to lead the Adventure Peak's Ama Dablam Expedition.

For most people, this type of Expedition requires a big build up to allow normal life to continue with minimum disturbance.  In typical fashion, I have 3 weeks to get my life in order.

This is normally not an issue but considering that I am coming up to the busiest time of the year i.e. winter and have not only got to organise everything Di Gilbert Mountaineering but I always have to organise Skimo Scotland which continues to grow each year.  Knowing that I will be returning to Scotland when winter could be in full early season condition, I am having to get everything organised now.

I have been asked once again to be one of the MCofS speakers for part of their Winter Lecture Series and as part of this I had to send off a small bio for the website.  I included the following:

"Di's number of outdoor boots far outweighs the number of stilettos she has and has far more rucksacks than handbags."

So since I had to find these, to ensure that they still fitted my feet (*phew*), I thought that I would start to winterise my kit.

Really, how many rucksacks do I need for winter?  By the looks of it, 5.

I know it's silly but every rucksack has its own job.

To explain:  

Deuter Guide Lite 28 SL - the old style with no extension to the hood.  My smallest, lightest and most compact rucksack which is perfect for autumn type walking and personal winter walking (i.e. I don't have to worry about taking all the kit that I need to carry when working).

Deuter Guide Lite 28+ SL - with extension to the hood.  I can just squeeze all my winter climbing equipment in this (except crampons) so it is perfect for winter mountaineering and climbing.

Deuter Guide 30+ SL - much heavier fabric than the Lite rucksacks so perfect to stand up to the abuse that winter throws at us.  I can easily get all my winter climbing equipment in this little puppy and all my group equipment.

Deuter Freerider Pro SL - its pink, what more can I say?   Seriously, my ski touring rucksack when I need to access things at different stages in the day depending on what I'm doing - there's loads of different compartments.

Deuter Guide 40+ SL - perfect sack when away for multi day adventures and I need to carry the kitchen sink.

Don't get me started on ski boots:

or mountaineering and climbing boots:

So, I really do have more rucksacks than handbags and more boots than stilettos.

Very big note to self:  Miss Gilbert, looking at the boots second in from the left.  Absolutely horrified at the state of these boots, must have been a quality last day of the season for these in the bog.  Next time, remember to clean!