Sunday 29 June 2014

Rough Stuff Fellowship ride over Walna Scar

Todays ride over Walna Scar started at.....Bouth. Yep, Bouth! No parking at the start of the trail for us guys. We had 2 valleys to cross before we even set foot (wheel) on the target track. Heres a few pictures of our day....

Eileen approaching Colton Church at the end of ourfist track of the day.

The St. Johns Box at Lowick....We should have got some gear out of here if we knew what would happen later!!

The Coniston Fells from the start of the bridleway to Thang Moss and Torver.

Nick crossing one of the shallow fords on this section of track.

Coffee stop at the pub in Torver. Fortifying ourselves for the climb up past Tranearth to Walna Scar.

Some would say this is where all the Inbreds are born!

Gratuitous picture of my On One Inbred 29er on the top of Walna Scar.

fter the descent towards Dunnerdale we branched off to pick up the singletrack which leads over to the Lickle Valley. Here from the old slate quarries there is an excellent view of the Scafells and Harter Fell.

It was all going so well...Ian here having just ridden some quite technical sections........

....only to come to grief on a very simple section of trail. Here he's elevating his hand in an effort to stop the bleeding from what appeared to be a broken finger!
He's Northern tho' and a tough old bugger so after walking a short way he was soon back riding!

We did decide to stick to the tarmac for the return to the cars at Bouth. A route which was nothing if not "lumpy". We arrived back at about 7pm (I think?), a great ride in superb weather.

Friday 27 June 2014

Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp: A First Look

Folk will be thinking I've nowt better to spend my hard earned cash on than Backpacking shelters! This is far from the truth! As the TGO Challenge posts will show, I used a Nordisk Telemark 1LW, and was very happy with it. Of course during the Challenge one meets lots of other folk..."The Trailstar Trio", (you know who you are!) for instance. I can see the benefits of that type of shelter. But the shelter that piqued my interest more than any other was  (Colin Ibbotson) MYOG shelter. I had a brief chat at the Montrose site with Colin., his shelter is really quite superbly constructed. I understand he will be making some for sale in 2015. On my return I also had a brief twitter "chat", he mentioned the Six Moon Designs Deschutes Tarp, I looked it up and was immediately interested, however I couldn't find any reviews anywhere on the net. So I ordered one!......

It arrived on Monday of this week, I took it out on an overnite camp on Lingmoor Fell. It wasn't the best of weather for photos so I must apologise for them.
It pitches on 6 pegs, (I ordered 6 Easton 9"nails) this was my first effort! The pole is set at 120cm.
I had it seam sealed at Six Moon Designs ($20) the specs say 364g mine weighs 381g inc seam seal,

It was actually raining when this pic was taken, which I was pleased about! No leaks!
This picture shows the "pointed" back, which is similar to Colins shelter. This should spill the wind well.
This was my concern with both the MLD Solomid and Cricket..(perhaps unfounded).
Anyway I had a good nights sleep..and a great view through the drizzly rain across to the lights beside Windermere, this was one of the attractions of wanting a "tarp" type shelter!
This is just a first look, I'm looking forward to using it again in the near future, once I've used it for a bit I'll report back with my experiences.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Overnite Camp at Angle Tarn (The One in the Far Eastern Fells!)

This was an "after work start", but with the ample hours of daylight on the "longest day" and a great forecast I got parked at Bridge End. I was infact walking within an hour of leaving work in Kendal! I crossed the valley and made my way up to Chapel-in-the-Hause...

Just above the Hause, with Place Fell behind...and a motorway of a path!

Amazing light on Patterdale.

Tent pitched at Angle Tarn...lots of space here, but it's heavily used, my advice to take your water from the small stream and def use a filter!

After I'd eaten i walked up to the summit of Angletarn Pikes to watch the sunset. I was also treated to the late sun lighting up the tarn and High Street et al beyond.

So the sun sets on the longest day, goiung down behind Great Dodd.

Looking at this not every cloud has a silver lining....some are gold! :-)

I slept well, breakfast taken on some handy rocks.

This was never going to be a long walk, my main purpose was the camp. But I walked a different route back to the car. Looking back the reflections in the tarn were excellent.

Here I'm looking across to the Helvellyn group from Brock Crags.
from here I dropped down to Hartsop and followed the bridleway back to the car.
An excellent outing....I should probably mention all the above pictures are taken with my phone!!
How things change, its not even very new.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Nordisk Telemark 1LW....A Review.

A number of folk have told me to get on and do a review of this tent, Now I don't really "do" reviews...however here's my best effort. I would draw your attention to the post here I did on the tent when I first purchased it. Some of the pictures have appeared elsewhere on the blog, sorry for any repetition. The captions will be different I promise!

It packs very small as you can see above, thats a 500ml flask. I split it up for packing, and don't faff with a tent bag that was designed by someone who thought the fabric was being rationed!
The bag says 830g! My in use weight inc Brabantia binliner to store it in is 858g. this is where things become blurred. The sizes quoted are correct.
This tent is plenty large enough for me, but I'm 175cm tall and weigh in at I'm no giant! I also never take lots of stuff, I do like to keep my pack (I use it as a Pillow!) in the tent (if dry)
There's lots of length and plenty of width to keep all my gear to my right, ( I have used both a Neoair Xlite short and half Ridgerest)
The Bell was plenty large enough to house a wet pack, and still have room to cook (I use a Caldera Cone) and still be able to get in and out of the tent .
If at a guess you were 180cm or taller I think the headroom would become annoying?

The pole folds very short (41cm) and is a DAC Featherweight.
It is supplied with 4 DAC V channel pegs (11g each)anodised gold (why?), 4 pegs are enough to pitch the tent. The guy shown above is to tension the door/porch. (See below)
However there is 1 guying point either side of the hoop, I added some line to these and have used 2 more DAC pegs from another tent for these lines.
 On the Challenge I also carried a couple of "spare"carbon pegs. 12g 

Here we see the awning feature in use, although I have used my poles to support this rather than take three of the corner poles out as suggested. I have done this (usig a pole) with both an Akto and Laserlite in the past, Its handy for cooking under to limit the buildup of condensation.

Here we can see how easy it is to get a very taught pitch, I sleep well but was never troubled with flapping.
The Fly and groundsheet are 10D water ingress so far what more can I say. I would always use some polycro under the groundsheet anyway.
This is a good angle to see the slightly laid back angle of the hoop, which is then braced by the angle of the hoop guys. The shallow angle faces the direction the wind is blowing from, the pole sleeve is "within the fly not external like most outer pitching tents. This makes it more slippery, from a wind point of view.

Another image to show the good sized bell.
What I don't have is a picture to show the condensation! There was on many nights during the Challenge heavy condensation on the inside of the fly...but none inside the inner.
The inner is very well proofed, I tried to force water through it, and failed.
On of the main attractions to me was easy,quick pitching, it goes up in a couple of minutes a real bonus when its raining or you're tired.
The inner and fly are very easily detached and connected.
There are 2 negatives I've found...firstly when the fly is very wet the pole "grabs" the fabric and becomes difficult to thead through its sleeve. Secondly the seperation on the shallow angle is only probably 5cm...when the door is open this then sags and rests on the inner. Perhaps as the tent ages any condensation could be forced thro by this?
I suppose the test of any product is would I spend the money on the same tent again? Truthfully I would, I consider it a much better tent than a Laser Comp, more like an Akto in its stability and ease of pitching (easier actually) but of course almost half the weight.

I have formed the above opinions over 15 nights use in varying conditions. I also bought it with my own hard earned cash, I have no alligence to any manufacturer, importer or retailer of outdoor equipment!
Hope the above helps someone out there.

Saturday 14 June 2014

TGO Challenge Day 13 Wed 22nd May

North Water Bridge to Nether Warburton  13.2km - 163m ascent - 192m descent
So the beginning of the end.....I was up and away at 5.15am! Madness? Well no, I wnted to beat the forecast rain. I'd spent so long walking in the dry it seemed a shame to get wet so close to the end! It seemed hard to pick a route which had much offroad betweeen these to points. However the minor roads I used were very quiet, a bonus of the early start.

Across the Norh Esk again, which gave access to the minor roads to Marymill.

The minor roads here reminded me of rural France.....don't know why? 

The "track" up to Morphie was rather imposing, it was blowing a fair bit over the top of the Hill of Morphie. I had to put my Buff Mitts on!!

Having crossed the busy A92 it was downhill all the way to the dunes at Nether Warburton and the North Sea.

So here it is the North Sea, I arrived at 8am. Not surpisingly I had the beach to myself!

Except for the wind!
Despite my best efforts to write in the sand, the wind was blowing sand into my beautiful artwork as fast as I was writing it!

Well I'm still smiling!
I'd rarely stopped smiling since I'd started at Sheil Bridge almost a fortnight before.
It had been a great 2 weeks, it was a pleasure to meet all you folks both on the trail and at camp/hostels, you're the ones who made the journey special.
Many thanks to all who've persevered looking at the blog posts of my Challenge. Your kind comments on the photo's and putting up with reading my poor grammar.
Thanks again :-))

Friday 13 June 2014

TGO Challenge Day 12 Tues 21th May

Tarfside to Northwater Bridge  26.9km - 209m ascent - 377m descent
Today provided the "prettiest" part of my Challenge. It was actually going to be my foul weather alternative when I submitted my route, but I'd left things open in my own mind. A mention here for @akkw1803 who gave me the location of the "new bridge" Thanks Andrew! I was fortunate to have the company of Peter Dixon@munro277  Lee Taylor@Leerockwell15 and Matt Holland@OutdoorsMH.

Leaving Tarfside....

For a second breakfast at the "Retreat", and very good it was too!

We waded the North Esk to gain the track on the other side.

After which we passed through Keenie and then walked above the river on what appeared to be a new bulldozed track.

Having descended back to the riverside we followed the track, which eventually led us to the "new bridge". This gave us access to the path to "The Rocks of Solitude" 

The path, carved out of the rock twists and turns above the river, the picture doesn't do any justice!

Here lower down the valley the river widens once more and tumbles over these low rapids.

The fresh leaved Beech trees gave welcome sdade on what was turning out to be a hot day.

A map of the walk...highly recommended!

The Blue Door Walk...Great!!

Once across the B966 the river can still be followed almost into Edzell. Arable crops on our righthand side.

Another Challenge institution "The Tuck Inn" we did!

It was road for much of the way from Edzell to Northwater Bridge. Its a very long, straight road, here we look back.....

.....and here we look onward! :-(

Eventually we arrived at Northwater soon filled up with Challengers. A tentspotters delight!
This had been a much better day than expected, the North Esk was a grand riverside stroll.