out there Been there, climbed that? Send us a picture!
4 Trail july 2012
contents out there skills
Where this month’s issue will take you...
Why our uplands have been ablaze recently
Man-leggery and more... 12
Trail readers revel in hillwalking’s must-do pose
K2’s darkest hour
A mountain tragedy, captured on canvas
Scrambling: get started 44 Want to get a foothold in that grey area between walking and climbing? Read this!
How to avoid being struck by lightning; sleeping bags for women; keeping track of trekkers; is a tight or baggy base layer better?
Ennerdale: for ‘Lakeland’s finest walker’s mile’
your trail Trail talk
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The world of hillwalking – according to you lot
MSR stove offer!
3 Peaks: Ben Nevis
The Other Glyders
The ultimate guide to the UK’s highest It’s not just Glyder Fawr, Fach and Tryfan... There’s more to the Glyderau than meets the eye!
Why we love...
... Wainwright guides’ precious printed pages
It’s Britain’s biggest – Ben Nevis. peter macfarlane
8 Trail JULY 2012
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A very impressed Ben Nevis virgin – page 28.
Fire on the fells...
Ennerdale, Haystacks and High Crag from Black Sail. This month, all this can be yours... ÂŠ Stewart Smith / Alamy
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Ennerdale lake district
Not so much a peak as a range above a valley, you couldn’t call Ennerdale’s skyline a secret. Indeed, the balcony where this photograph was taken is often referred to as Lakeland’s finest walkers’ mile. Though from wherever you regard this Northwestern Fells valley, it certainly feels like you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary. Home to Pillar and its heritage-rich Rock, Haystacks, the famously remote Black Sail Youth Hostel and the underrated High Stile ridge, arguments flash as to which side of the valley is the wisest walker’s choice – the one with the better view, or the one that is the more satisfying underfoot. Happily, with this month’s Route 1, you can do both!
do it! ›› turn to page 103 july 2012 Trail 17
Ben Nevis from Carn Mor Dearg. It might be spring, but no-one's told The Ben!
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Where? Ben Nevis, Scotland What? The Three Peaks part 3
The gnarly – but straightforward – Carn Mor Dearg Arête and The Ben’s stunning north-east face. © Peter Chisholm / Alamy
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CENTRAL HIGHLANDS, SCOTLAND Height 1344m/4,409ft Summit GRID REF NN 16675 71283
The Three Peaks
Welcome to the final part of Trail’s celebration of the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland – and we’ve saved the best till last! So here it is: your ultimate guide to Britain’s biggest... july 2012 Trail 21
RUCKSACKS may seem
pretty universal bits of kit, but regular scramblers tend to go for narrow packs with minimum features. Wand pockets and bungees might be great for stowing gear on the outside of your bag, but they’re likely to snag as you’re making your way up gullies, so a clutter-free sack is the way forward. And of course, your backpack’s likely to be battered as you scrape your way up a climb, so a tough bag made from tear-resistant material will have a longer life.
Scrambling is more involved than just walking up a steep hill and using your hands to stop you falling. The more severe the scramble, the more like full-on rockclimbing it is. However, even with straightforward Grade 1 scrambles there are some easy foot techniques you can employ to help your upward progress...
Padding This uses the friction between the sole of
your boots and the rock to advance up a surface that lacks any obvious ridges or footholds – providing it’s not too steep.
Edging On an edge that’s too narrow to get your
for scrambling need to be flexible and robust. You don’t want the crotch splitting as you stretch for a foothold or holes appearing in the knees the first time you scuff them.
whole foot onto, you can still get purchase on the rock using the edge of your boot. A stiffer sole helps, and some scrambling boots even have a ‘climbing zone’ just for this purpose. Although your natural tendency would be to lean in to the rock, it’s better to keep your body as upright as possible and to balance your weight over the hold.
Bridging When moving up a gully, chimney or
corner, bridging the gap by placing your feet on opposing vertical faces is a comfortable way to support your weight, and it also keeps your body slightly away from the rock. This makes it easier to observe the route above or below you, and plan where your next move will take you.
This technique utilises vertical cracks in a rock face as solid footholds. You insert your foot into the gap, toe first, with the upper part of your boot against one side of the crack and the sole against the other. Then, by rotating your foot in the gap you effectively wedge your boot in place, allowing it to support your weight.
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Where? Snowdonia, north Wales What? Peaks less travelled
The Other Glyders
Walked Glyder Fawr, Fach and Tryfan and think the Glyderau are ticked off your list? Think again… Words phoebe smith Photographs Tom Bailey
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hen it comes to the Glyders, whether you know it or not, you have a choice. You can do what 99.9 per cent of us hillwalkers do – enjoy a cheeky scramble on Tryfan’s north ridge, head up to Glyder Fach to do the obligatory ‘jumping-up-and-down’ shot on the Cantilever Stone, gaze in wonder at Castell y Gwynt as you tick off the splintered summit of Glyder Fawr before patting yourself on the back and heading to Y Gribin or perhaps the � Devil’s Kitchen to pick up the path back to the car.
Discover the Glyders often ignored on the northern end of the range, here scrambling on the ridge of Bwlch y Marchlyn.
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one-person tents what we tested Snugpak Ionosphere Gram-Counter Gear Litehouse Solo Vango FORCE TEN Helium 100 The North Face Mica 1 MSR carbon reflex 1 Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 Vaude Power Tokee Ultralight 1P Nemo Obi Elite 1P
£130 £143 £220 £220 £325 £330 £360 £450
It’s just you and the view with a one-person tent.
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Stoves test graham thompson photographs tom bailey
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There’s a wide variety of fuels and stove designs out there to choose from. Here are some of the highlights...
here’s nothing better than making a brew or even cooking an elaborate meal outside your tent as the sun sinks over the mountain tops. Of course this idyllic dream is much easier to achieve if you pack the right stove – and so it pays to decide what you need before you buy. For an overnight trip a basic, lightweight gas stove is ideal, being compact and simple to use. But as you travel further afield obtaining gas can be more difficult, and so other fuels have their advantages. Petrol is available in all parts of the world, but it is not the safest fuel to use. Methylated spirits is not always easy to purchase and
its performance is slow, but it is relatively easy to use. Traditional hexamine solid fuel blocks can be stored for many years but their heat output is poor. So a stove that can burn a variety of fuels has definite advantages. Stove designs can be simple, light and affordable, or they can be more stable, heavy and higher in price. Others are more efficient and easier to use when you want to cook more than a basic brew. So choosing a stove is about weighing up the pros and cons of different fuels and different designs to find which suits your needs. Here’s a cross section of options to help you choose...
stoves Jetboil Sol Ti £140 at a glance Fuel type gas Includes dedicated pot and burner Packed size 10.5x15.5cm Weight 240g plus fuel Website www.jetboil.com
This is the latest incarnation of the Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS), which revolutionised solo backpacking when it first appeared on the outdoor scene in 2001. The secret to its efficiency is the dedicated cooking pot with a heat exchanger at the base. The system is also incredibly compact, as the burner can be packed into the cooking pot. Furthermore it is also very easy to use as there is a clicker ‘piezo’ ignition on the gas burner. The standard Jetboil now comes in many incarnations, including the popular Flash costing £95 and weighing 397g. But this new Jetboil Sol Ti weighs just 240g, thanks in part to it having a smaller 0.8 litre pot, rather than the 1 litre pot provided by the original PCS and the Flash. The pot is also made of titanium to save weight. As the pot is still quite deep and narrow it is not ideal for cooking elaborate meals, though Jetboil does sell a range of utensils with long handles so you can more easily stir the contents of the pot. Jetboil stoves work particularly well with dehydrated meals and are ideal for fast and efficient basic camp food.
best for efficiency
MSR Whisperlite Universal £125 at a glance
Fuel type gas, Coleman fuel, unleaded petrol, paraffin Includes windshield, inverted gas canister support, liquid fuel pump Packed size 17x10x12cm (plus fuel) Weight 500g plus fuel Website www.msrgear.com
The MSR Whisperlite Universal has been developed from the MSR Whisperlite International, which has been the mainstay of backpackers who needed a petrol stove that would perform in the toughest of conditions anywhere in the world. The advantage of the new Whisperlite Universal is that in addition to burning Coleman fuel, petrol and paraffin, it also burns gas, so no matter where you are this stove will perform well. On first appearances it does resemble the £100 MSR Whisperlite International, as it has a fold-out burner that connects to a fuel bottle via a feeder pipe. But you now get the option of changing the fuel line jets to accommodate a gas cartridge being fitted to the fuel line. The fuel line has also been specially developed to allow the gas cartridge to be used in the inverted position, which improves performance, particularly in cold weather. The low profile of the burner coupled with its 19cm diameter pan support means you can use large pans on it too. The result is a stove that can be used anywhere on gas as well as liquid fuels, making it the ultimate stove for when performance really matters.
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