A big thank you to Hamish. He's been making great use of a whole host of Alpkit gearwhilst adventuring on land and sea.
Alongside my work as a doctor, I moonlight in high level yacht racing. In 2010 I needed a new headtorch for the Round Britain & Ireland yacht race. I found Gamma, which made it through one of the wettest races of recent years unscathed. I’ve competed on top boats in races including the Fastnet race and Gamma has never failed me despite some serious soakings. My Filo jacket also sees service and has coped equally well.
Big trips on land are tricky when all my leave gets gobbled up sailing, but weekend trips to Brecon have tested Filo and Gravitas and they have not been found wanting. These pictures are taken on the way up to Pen-y-Fan via Cefn Cwm Llwych, across the saddle to Cribyn and back down Bryn Teg. This was the end, and the high point, of a long weekend in a shepherd’s hut at Aber – my fantastic girlfriend’s idea of a romantic weekend.
Lizzie has also been the lucky recipient of some Alpkit goodies. Recently it was Kraku and Koro stoves, Tifoon and MyTiMug to make a compact, lightweight cookset. With my Brukit we took a midweek trip down the Somerset coast to cook up dinner (tastier than it looked) on a cold November night. Even Barry island across the Severn looked pretty!
After a challenge, I undertook the fantastic Cateran Yomp with two gloriously nuts mates. Although 83km long, my compatriots were dismissive of the challenge due to their backgrounds in ultramarathons and iron distance triathlons. I disagreed. I was right. Although PipeDream, Mountain Ghost and Brukit weren’t needed for the event itself, they meant that I was well rested and fed before and after. As always, Gamma shone the way and we finished well inside the top 100, although we resembled zombies by the finish line. I cannot recommend the event highly enough – no navigation, excellent food, spectacular scenery, and fantastic camaraderie.
Last but not least, Lizzie has led me into ski touring. At the Wild Ski Weekend, hosted by the exemplary Glenmore Lodge, I had a whirlwind introduction to skins, crampons and navigation in blizzard conditions. I’m glad that Alex Reid, my guide, knew where he was because I might as well have been blindfolded. Filo, Gravitas and (as ever) Gamma all came with me, but the standout was my new Shuga gloves, which kept the heat in and the water out, in some of the foulest conditions this side of the Arctic circle. I’ve well and truly got the wild skiing bug, and the Definition jacket is top of my shopping list.
What next? Sea kayaking in Scandinavia is my Summer dream – midnight sun, a chance to try out my Hunka XL bivvy, and serious Instagram fodder. For Autumn, I’m trying to convince someone to team up with this ex-prop-forward for the Original Mountain Marathon. Winter, of course, will bring more mountain fun – is it too soon to try some alpine ski touring?
Fastnet rock in the 2017 race. All plain sailing at this point – six hours later we caught an unlucky shark around our rudder whilst doing 18 knots in the pitch black Irish Sea
Start of the 2010 Round Britain & Ireland Race, doing close to 30 knots out of the Solent in a westerly gale. After three days in a washing machine (we were bailing close to half a ton of water an hour), off Muckle Flugga in Orkney, we discovered that one of the crew had developed trenchfoot!
Thanks again, Hamish, for sharing these awesome photos and adventurous tales.We look forward to hearing more!