Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (Kit conundrums and trusting the long range weather forecast)

Hmmm, what a difference a few days makes. One minute I was worrying about staying cool, sunscreen and forest fires, now it looks like I could be in for a right mixed bag including some pretty persistent precipitation. My planned four day backpack over the western Hardangervidda is nigh.

Base layers - I'll still be going with synthetics. Hot conditions or a bit of warm rain and I still think synthetics quick drying capabilities will trump my usual merino. The stink factor is not an issue for me, I'll be on my own. If I was sharing a tent I might be more thoughtful and wear merino but quick drying is the name of the game for this trip. I may switch from a short sleeve version to a long sleeve 1/4 zip though. I'm still undecided about leg-wear. I was all ready to rock my favourite trail running shorts the entire time but now I'm leaning towards my nerdy but practical 270g Mammut convertibles and separate underwear to give me more options.

Insulation - I usually take too much, often a synthetic filled insulation piece (Montane Flux jacket or Rab Generator vest) and a fleece jacket/vest. This time I'm just taking my Flux. It will probably still be a bit too warm (I can see a Prism 2.0 purchase on the horizon) but if it starts snowing....

Rainwear - Everything stays the same. The Rye recommended Amphibians will get much more use now and the Tuff Bags are back in the pack after a rush of blood to the head the other day that saw them jettisoned just to save 75g. The Atomic DT's ability (or lack thereof) to 'breathe' will be severely tested. It's ultralight weight means it's great at staying in the pack as a just-in-case but it's less-than-eVent ability to breath may prove decisive if I have to wear it all the time. At least it has a killer hood in case the rain comes in sideways...

Lotions and potions - Sunscreen could be reduced to a more manageable size and the Hydropel could prove very useful if constantly pruned feet lead to blisters.

One thing I have to bear in mind is that the long term weather forecasts, while claiming to cover the Hardangervidda mountain plateau are in fact based on Eidfjord which sits much lower in elevation on the shores of the fjord below. There will still be snow underfoot in places on my intended route and a bit of light rain may manifest itself more as hail or sleet up at 1400m.

Plenty to cogitate.

6 comments:

Nielsen Brown said...

Yeah been watching the weather too. I have 6 nights out in Jotunheimen and I think most of the of the time it will be damp. As for gear final decisions on Paramo versus Montane will be made on Sunday.

Martin Rye said...

Scotland then. Wet, warm, and snow. Kit for Scotland I reckon would be good there? You did not mention the Pinnacle. Remember to pack it tall and slim - so the weight is as close to your centre of gravity and have a fine walk. The Amphibians look baggy but I have never had a sore spot, or wet feet. I forget I have them on some times.

Holdfast said...

Nielsen - I was looking at a map of Jotunheimen this afternoon. Stunning geography, should make for a memorable trip. Lets hope your clothing choices help make it memorable for the right reasons!

Extra fuel and an ultralight fleece vest have been added to my pile to combat the expected weather.

Holdfast said...

Martin - Yep, the 2009 Pinnacle and the short NeoAir arrived yesterday afternoon. Just in the nick of time! No chance of a shakedown trip so thanks for the Pinnacle packing tip. It actually seems way 'more' of a bag than I'd feared. The Amphibians look do seem a little baggy but I have high hopes and they're still a whole lot better than the appalling Sealskinz which fail in the basic design.

Nielsen Brown said...

I have admired Jotunheimen from Rondane and been keen to visit so this is my opportunity. This trip the plan is the low level crossing from West to East (transport related decision) though if the weather is okay I hope to climb Glittertind. I will save Glacier walking for another trip.
The photo of Hardangervidda plateau looks great, another trip to add to my list.

Have a great trip,

Holdfast said...

Nielsen - I will be following your progress avidly. If I get phone signal out in the Hardanger I will mobile blog my progress.