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.
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!