Showing posts with label Outdoors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outdoors. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 March 2013

What we did last Summer!

As we look forward to a gr8 summer this year, we thought to reflect on some golden moments in 2012. Which started with gr8trails filming its first video in the cold and crisp Dark Peak, Derbyshire. You can watch the fruits of our labours http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nULokc63sY on our very own YouTube channel.

Pre Easter we managed to get out walking in North Wales to experience the most spectacular cloud inversion around Snowdon and the Glyders. We experience cloud inversions quite rarely, but to walk along the top of the Glyder range above the clouds and look across at Snowdon, Crib Goch & East/West Peak as if they were islands in a sea of cloud, was something special.
April, saw us return to Scotland with some beautiful  snow covered tops. Walking with stunning views over Loch Tay and down Glen Lyon. We found a great little hotel on the shores of Loch Tay, the Ben Lawers Hotel, which made some fantastic full Scottish breakfasts, gr8 for a full days hill walking.
Somehow we managed a quick bike round the North Face trail at Grizedale with its wide fireroads and tight technical singletrack and northshore, this is a mountain bikers playground, whatever your ability and experience. And from the tops of the forest you are rewarded with views across to Coniston and over Lake Windermere.

Late April, caught us walking a well known route round the valley of Nidderdale, Yorkshire Dales, which is also gr8 mountain biking territory. With some cool views of the dam at Scar House Reservoir. If you ever head that way, there’s a remote walk around both this and Angram Reservoir.









Early May saw us in the Lake District for a spot of walking and mountain biking. We know a great little route round the Elterwater and Langdale Valleys which we just thoroughly enjoy. Add to that a little wander up the ridge onto Coniston Old Man from the 3Shires Stone for some awe inspiring views over south Lakeland and the Irish Sea.



At the end of May we came back to one of our favourite haunts in the Lake District; Waterhead and Ambleside. From there we walked the Fairfield Horseshoe and got the bus back into town! (after rehydrating at a local establishment at the bottom of Heron Pike. A well earnt dinner in the Priest Hole, Ambleside was much appreciated by all.

The Island of Skye beckoned us in June, and we were blessed with the weather. To be honest, we’ve never experienced such consistently good weather on this Isle in all the years we’ve been visiting (and the midges weren’t biting too bad then either!)






We were headed Wales direction also in June, staying at the lovely hotel the Gwesty Gwernan Hotel and Fishery. We can’t recommend this little, hidden, boutique hotel enough. From its doorstep you can walk the slopes of Cader Idris or bike down the estuary from Dolgellau to Barmouth.



We returned to more local hills and the Peak District in July, with an easy walk from Jane Eyres Hathersage. This is a history rich, beautiful area within easy reach of a lot of the UK’s population but sadly most people don’t make the most of what they have on their doorstep – we guess that makes it more special for the people that do visit! gr8 for walking, biking, climbing and caving.





High Summer at the end of July, we ventured back to the Lake District. This time staying in the hidden Newlands Valley at the working Littletown Farm Guest House. From here you can venture straight onto Catbells and High Spy to look down on Derwent Water & Buttermere. A days biking at Whinlatter Forest (which also has Go Ape high ropes), finished the weekend away. Don’t forget the sensational ‘thunder and lightening’ homemade ice cream you can get with their homemade chocolate brownies at Littletown Farm (which has since been renovated).

Our Autumn months had us biking back in the Lake District around Rydal & Loughrigg Terrace, the Yorkshire Dales up and down Wensleydale before turning north again to Scotland, for some early winter walking in the Cairngorms over the New Year.











We hope that a little of this has inspired you to get out there this Summer to enjoy what truly is our green and pleasant land. Or, if you don’t have the confidence as to what to do, where to stay or where to go, then join us at one of our recently announced Summer 2013 weekends, on our events blog, clickhere.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Gregory Z35, an understated, lightweight hillwalking pack, again with cavernous versatility!

Gregory do it again!, from off the shelf, the Z35 sets out to impress. Just like the Gregory Miwok18 action pack, loading the Z35 with gear from my old hillwalking pack, it still had more than enough room to spare.

Like most good sized daywalking/guiding packs the Z35 follows the typical design, of main compartment with drawstring top access and flip over top hood. The additional feature is the front zip access to the main compartment, allowing you to retrieve/stow gear without having to release the hood buckles and drawstring. A great idea when you need something in a hurry eg waterproof top and trousers!


The main compartment is expansive, fitting at least the quoted 35litres of gear inside. The hood follows the same voluminous theme, with 1 internal and 1 externally accessed zipped pocket. We like, the under hood pocket zip, opening in such a way that all the contents don’t fall out when opened!, like in some other packs available in the market – something to look out for. Nice addition of a key loop in the top pocket too!

The main compartment also has a top tensioning webbing strap and quick release buckle, allowing quick stowage of a loose fleece or to keep the contents of a half filled pack closer to your pack and maintaining your centre of gravity.

Hydration bladder can be stowed within the main compartment in its own pocket, with a fabric port for your drinking tube on both sides of the pack, allowing you to route down either shoulder strap.

There’s also all the normal things you’d expect to see on a pack of this quality; haul loop, high vis hits back and front,  adjustable chest strap, high wicking mesh on all contact areas, mesh side bottle pockets, walking pole loop, hard wearing diamond ripstop fabrics etc, etc.

Whilst out walking, the shoulder/waist straps & unique Jetstream Dynamic Transfer System keep the pack close enough to your back, whilst not impeding movement or knocking you off balance. The Jetstream system keeps the pack off your back to allow airflow, but not too far off to unbalance you when walking. Forward pull/quick release waist straps/buckles are intuitive to use and ensure a snug comfortable fit round your waist. The integral zipped waist compartments on both! waist fins, allow easy access to snacks on the move too.

This pack also features an expandable, easy access front pocket for stowage of a map or waterproofs whilst on the move, ensuring there is no need to stop whilst out on the hill. There is also a zipped pocket for stowage of the inclusive waterproof pack cover.

Overall, again very impressed with this Gregory pack. It looks sharp, is understated in its capacity, is lightweight and offers abundant versatility.

Enjoy your walk! Don’t forget the rest of your essentials on our recommended kit list.

A broader range of Gregory packs & Source hydration bladders are available from our retail partner Ellis Brigham, Mountain Sports. Click here to find out more about the broader Gregory pack range our recommended pack brand partner and hydration partner, Source.