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Winter Wandering

Image for article Winter Wandering

What will winter bring? Christmas holidays and weather are inevitable, but what sort of weather we’ll get is unknown!

I’m dreaming of a cold crisp winter; Derwentwater looks spectacular when frozen and covered in snow. Work, weather, house and head colds permitting, I’ve made a start on covering all the Wainwright tops this winter. The clock change and Sunday brought boggy Borrowdale, Rossthwaite Fell with a cloud inversion on Glaramara, the need to navigate around to Allen Crags and Seathwaite Fell. I need to plan where our next 11 will be this week. I’ve always liked the cleanness of Harvey Maps and love the new Ultramap XT40 (£9.95) pocket-sized edition; you don’t need long arms to fold it, all the Wainwright summits are shown in bold red print, quick to locate and easy to route-plan.

I’m using the Salomon XA Alpine running shoes as we’re going to need to be moving fast collecting the 43 summits a month; I’m counting how many miles they do. I’ve already started carrying a head torch but have my Kahtoola microspikes in eager anticipation (and the Christmas cake). I’m planning on saving some of the summits for my skis - Skiddaw, Blencathra, Helvellyn and the Dodds - winter had better not disappoint!

We’ve been testing the Arc’teryx Phase AR and Arc’teryx Phase SL, Patagonia Capilene Midweight and Patagonia Capilene Lightweight and Icebreaker base layers all year, and the results have been quite interesting. If it doesn’t fit you, you don’t like it; simple. There hasn’t been one out-and-out winner, and it’s been clear the choice of under-layers is a very personal one. If the fit was correct, our testers became choosy about which neck line (crew or zip) and which weight; light can be too light for some, or too heavy for others. This is where buying in a shop must be better than online; you can feel the fabrics, try the different fits, and decide on which weight or style you prefer. My personal choice is man-made fabrics when I’ve a high output of energy, but a merino layer on a piste skiing holiday. I have friends who prefer merino for everything, and others who will only use synthetic; both have their place. Without doubt, what goes next to your skin is going to add to your enjoyment of the day.

Just in case it’s a grey winter, I’ve already booked our alpine sun and ski holiday. I know sun and snow can’t be bought, but I’m ready with my layers. We have a great range of ski clothing this winter from Eider, Salomon, Schoffel and Arc’teryx. I personally prefer to wear the Arc’teryx Shashka Gore-Tex shell (£520, men have the Arc’teryx Rush), or a Gamma MX Softshell Jacket (£260) with layers depending on the weather.

I’m hoping to replicate last Christmas day where we sat outside under blue sky with friends eating a none-traditional feast. Going early season skiing is always a gamble; last year lots of the snow had been man-made, but a couple of years ago we were snowed in to the resort. Ski holidays aren’t a cheap option but we’ve always found it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends, and it helps to burn off those extra calories which were over-indulged over the festive period.

A huge well done to all those people who took part in the #runeveryday in October, there were some brilliant images shared on social media. I hope it hasn’t worn you out and you’ve been inspired to go out in in all conditions…. what will your New Year’s resolution be?

10 December 2016 by LisaBergerud

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