Thursday, 5 October 2006

Gear 3: Grivel Nepal Plus SA

It was an accident. I didn't mean to buy it, but I can resist everything except temptation [quote]. After work, I popped into Nevisport to buy the latest TGO magazine, and had a look at their range of screw-in stoves, which turned out to be the MSR Pocket Rocket. I'll stick with my trusty Primus Gravity gas stove. Heavier, but a low profile. What honestly puts me off going back to screw-in stoves is the higher centre of gravity. Last year when camping on Ben Hope, the whole pan arrangement of my cheap stove toppled over. Gear failure gets me thinking of improving things - in this case a more stable cooking system as I can't be guaranteed good ground conditions.

Anyway, so I'm walking to the till, and my eye falls on a range of ice axes. The cold snap last night must have had a subconscious effect on my brain, the sales lass asks if I'm interested, "yes" says I, and she sorts me out for the correct length. Money exchanges accounts, and she kindly wraps it securely so I won't get suspicious looks walking back to the flat with it.

Grivel Nepal Plus SA, 66cm long, the 'plus' has a rubberised grip on the shaft. Approx weight 0.6kg (bathroom scales).

Manufacturer's info sheet (with photos).

Side of Meall Odhar

Rationale: I need to get some practice in trekking in snow, lifting my "comfort threshold" in that respect. At Easter, I turned back quite quickly because of the snow and ice - next time, if the conditions are okay, I'd like to just have some fun practicing self-arresting, and just getting used to the snow. Then sign up for a proper training course. I'm the same with scrambling: it terrifies me. The few times I've had to clamber over rocks at altitude, it's been a real brain strain. I've too much of an imagination and can see my body bouncing off the rocks below as a foot slips. Silly I know, so I'll need to get some training in to push back the boundaries of what I'm happy doing.