Tip of the Month
Late summer and early autumn is a great time for having wild-camping and bivvying adventures. So, here’s an old Army tip for packing and organising your gear, whether you are going to camp or bivvy. Unless weight is the over-riding factor, it’s almost always worth carrying a bivvy bag regardless of whether you are already carrying a tent as well. It helps keep your sleeping bag dry in the rucksack and in the tent (when condensation can be a problem).
Many people carry their sleeping bag in its stuff-sack or compression bag, packed right down at the bottom of the rucksack. This creates a small cylinder of concrete which takes up a large chunk of space in the rucksack but makes the nooks and crannies of space around it virtually unusable and inaccessible.
Instead, pack your sleeping back inside the bivvy bag and then, starting from the toes of the sleeping bag, start stuffing it down into the base of the rucksack. Be strong and assertive, and keep pushing it down inside hard. At first, you will think that it’s taken up 80% of your rucksack (and it might have), but as you pack other items on top, you will gradually push the sleeping “maggot” further and further inside, compressing it all the while, until it has perfectly filled every space at the bottom of the rucksack. When you arrive at your camp or bivvy – hey presto, it pulls out in a second and is already waterproofed and ready for use!
Quote of the Month
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Ueli Steck, 2017.
Route of the Month
My favourite crag anywhere is Gimmer Crag, perched high above Langdale in the Lake District. Superb views, excellent rock, multiple aspects to choose from according to the weather, and a brilliant selection of routes in every grade range. It’s hard to beat. One of the best routes here in the middle grades is the classic route The Crack, or Gimmer Crack, (Very Severe, 4c, ***)
Photo of the Month
Traversing the pinnacles on the Aonach Eagach in typically dramatic conditions, on the recent Scottish Ridges trip.
- NNAS Navigation Courses. A course each month at Bronze and Silver levels. The Bronze ones are already scheduled (see Facebook/Meetup) and the Silver ones will be announced soon to run over the autumn months.
- 7-8 October. All Round Mountaineering Course (Wales).
- 28-29 October. Basic mountain walking skills (Lake District).
- 25-26 November. Mountain Navigation Course (Wales).
- 9-12 February 2018. Introduction to winter mountaineering (Cairngorms, Scotland).
- June 2018. Subject to confirmation – Kilimanjaro.
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