28 Holywell Hill
Hertfordshire AL1 1BX
For Google Maps, please click here.
This summer(08) Mark Southee climbed the Goutier Route on Mont Blanc in snowy conditions. He used his FurTech jacket and added a synthetic insulated top for the cold and windy summit. You can see his pictures here. There are some great shots of the grand couloir, ascent to the Goutier Hut and the Bossons ridge. Also, a nice picture of the Aig. de Bionnassay.
SR Cunningham Outdoor Centre
1,2 & 3 Rydal Road
(Opposite the quaint Bridge House, not far from the main car park.)
SR Cunningham Outdoor Centre
(Over the humped back bridge from the High Street. Parking next to the shop.)
The tests they conducted show the limits of using a short rope when a slip becomes a fall and demonstrate the difficulty of using an ice axe brake to recover. However, used correctly, in the right circumstances, a short rope can stop a small slip or stumble from going out of control.
This link indicates the calories (actually, kcalories) burned for various activities. You just need to enter your weight. The kcalorie burn rate is also approximately proportional to the food and water required, heat produced and insulation needed.
Dr Mike Stroud was Sir Renaulph Fiennes' oppo on a number of adventures, including the unsupported Antarctic crossing and 7 marathons on 7 continents. He is (or has been) an adviser to British Special Forces and this book is highly recommended to anyone interested in endurance sports or extreme conditions. More than that it is an inspiration for fitness into "old age".
Apparently it takes a couple of weeks to acclimatise to intense heat in the desert and jungle. This training aid for the American Rangers was of particular interest to me, having spent a few years in Oman where fell running was seriously hot and climbing involved blowing on finger tips as we climbed rock that felt like it was part of a central heating system.
Unfortunately 75% of heat adaption is lost within about 3 weeks.
Climb Magazine can be very entertaining. In this months issue (April) mountaineering superstars talk about their mistakes.
Without comparing myself to them, here are some of mine:
Andy Kirkpatric's PsychoVertical blog offers a host of tips on climbing fast and safe. You don't need to be an extreme climber to benefit from his experience... excellent!
All Climbing is a US blog by Tom Markiewicz which does exactly what it says on the tin.
Eric Horst's blog covers lots of aspects of training for climbing.
Active Brits' Blog for hill walking, scrambling and climbing.
Tom Mangam's "Two Heel Drive" blog from California links in to loads of hiking and backpacking stuff from around the world.
Cameron McNeish is the editor of TGO. Here's his blog.
http://lighthiker.wordpress.com/ is appropriately named... interesting posts.
There's an interesting account of a "snow holing" trip on the Ben at this blog: http://www.skunkbag.co.uk/blog/index.php
This link gives some background about the clothing worn by Mallory during his final day on Everest and how it was recreated and tested. Download Everest.pdf
Was he the first to reach the summit? Did he succumb to cold?
Testing of the recreated garments suggests that they provided enough insulation (and a surprising degree of wind resistance) while moving, but would not have been enough for a bivouac, so a simple accident resulting in a broken leg may have precipitated his demise.
Here's what OutdoorsMagic had to say about it:
Further information is available here.
This link details the results of lab tests on a range of waterproof breathable fabrics at various humidities. The slope of the graph indicates the difference between hydrophilic and microporous membranes.
FurTech garments were not available for testing but I would expect to beat all other types in both graphs.
This link details some interesting findings measuring humidity in waterproof clothing. In part it concludes that hydrophilic membranes recover faster than microporous membranes after rain/condensation, though they don't breathe as well in the first place.
FurTech garments weren't available for this test but I would expect far better results for dry, wet weather and recovery breathabilities.
Chris Townsend is an exceptionally experienced gear tester, author and photographer. He is the Equipment Editor for TGO magazine which has excellent reviews of lightweight hill walking equipment. Chris also has extensive ski touring experience.
In email correspondence he has given some insight into his experiences using a variety of waterproof breathable garments:
"I've found that when the outer fabric wets out the condensation increases in all membrane/coated fabrics (all types of Gore-Tex, eVENT, Sympatex, all the PU coatings) but I have found that it builds up slower in eVENT. However all garments need reproofing when the DWR wears off or condensation appears much more quickly. I don't think eVENT needs reproofing any more often than other fabrics. It all depends on how long the DWR lasts.
However even with a good DWR and no wetting out I can still produce much condensation in all these fabrics, especially in prolonged rain. Paramo is far more breathable and my first choice as long as it's cold enough (mostly October to May). The oddest one of these fabrics is Paclite. I find this very breathable and condensation free for a time but once condensation does appear it gets very wet inside very quickly. In other fabrics the build-up is slower and more regular."
"I haven't noticed fabrics that breathe well wetting out sooner. I have noticed steam coming off garments that breathe well - this has happened with Paramo and Buffalo clothing, never with membranes or coatings.
With membranes the most breathable garments I have ever used were ones with a waterproof breathable inner and a separate windproof outer - like the Paramo construction but with a membrane inner. Rab and Craghoppers both made garments like this, using Sympatex and Permatex. With these garments the wetting out of the outer didn't make anything like as much difference to the breathability as with garments where the membrane is laminated to the outer. These garments were tough - I used a Rab one on my round of the Munros and Tops ten years ago and it was still waterproof at the finish."
Chris hasn't yet had the opportunity to test FurTech garments.
His own web site can be found here.