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Meall Glas, Pure Class!

By Phil 2017.02.06 in Munros

Yesterday I managed to bag my 53rd Munro and finally get to experience some proper winter conditions this year! Three mates and myself headed north to attempt Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil. Due to the amount of snow, occasional whiteout conditions and lack of daylight, we only managed to complete Meall Glas. It was still an epic eight hour hike ascending over 1177m in height.

Below are some photos from the hike.

Got to have a whiteout selfie now and then

Time to get emergency shelter out for lunch stop

Plenty of deer about as we descended

Glen Shiel Ridge

By Phil 2016.06.07 in Munros

Last weekend a group of us headed to Ratagn and stayed at the hostel on the edge of Loch Duich. The plan was to do the epic Glen Shiel Ridge and bag ourselves seven Munro’s in one day.

The Murno’s included, Creag a’ Mhaim, Druim Shionnach, Aonach Air Chrith, Maol Chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain and Creag nan Damh. We had perfect weather conditions and some stunning cloud inversion views.

Below are some photos of the hike which took us twelve hours to complete.

Group summit selfie

My friend Bridget taking a break and admiring the views

Time for a short rest at the summit of 7th Munro before long descent down

A day trip to Isle of Skye to recover from previous day’s epic hike

Pentlands Stroll

By Phil 2016.04.30 in General

One good thing about living in Edinburgh. You don’t have to travel far for a decent hike. Here are some photos from yesterdays hike.

Englishman, Scotsman and a Cockney Conquer Some Munro’s

By Phil 2016.03.01 in Munros

Last week Alex, Rory and myself decided to take a week off work and head north to do some Munro’s. We had no plan other than to follow the weather and do as many Munro’s as possible. What a week it was. We managed to do nine Munro’s in total with some perfect winter conditions along some occasional whiteout conditions.

I met Alex and Rory during our Toubkal Two Valley trek in Morocco in October 2014 and have kept in touch ever since.

The Munro’s we completed were Mayar, Driesh, Tolmount, Tom Buidhe, Carn Aosda, Carn a’ Gheoidh, Carn a’ Mhaim, Mount Keene and The Carinwell Munros. Below are some photos from our awesome week of winter fun.

Fjällräven Keb Eco-Shell Jacket Review

By Phil 2015.10.29 in Product Review

Last weekend I finally got to put my new Fjällräven Keb Eco-Shell jacket through its first real test in the rain during a hike through Dollar Glen in Scotland.

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I ordered my Fjällräven Eco-Shell jacket from my friends at The Sporting Lodge where they also sell the anorak version.

The first thing to say about this jacket is that it is fluorocarbon-free and made from 100% recyclable polyester, meaning it’s environment friendly too. Hence the Eco in the name.

The jacket is slim fit and although I do wear size Medium in some of their products, I sometimes find the outer garments are slightly bigger fitting on me, so I went for the Small size in the Eco Shell jacket, as I have done with my Fjällräven Greenland jackets I own, so might be worth trying it on to get the size which suits you best.

It’s lightweight, weighing only 524g (for Medium size version) with a hardwearing stretchy feel material and doesn’t make the horrible rustling sound like some waterproof jackets I have worn in the past.

There are two large chest zip pockets on the outside, each with a small mesh pouch inside for things such a mobile phone. The chest pockets themselves could easily hold a folded map. There is also a zipped mesh chest pocket on the inside of the jacket on one side, which could be used for storing a wallet.

The jacket also has a two-way water-resistant zipper one either side under the arms with an inside protective flap, which is easy to open at both ends for ventilation.

There are no side hip pockets on the jacket, which when wearing the jacket out on the hills with a rucksack they would be covered by the rucksack belt and not easily accessible anyway.

The hood is fixed and has three way adjustment chord system to allow you to adjust to your requirements. There is also plenty of room for the hood to fit over the top of a helmet you might be wearing for winter or other technical activities.

All the zips include a long chord which makes them easy to access and use when wearing gloves when in wet or winter conditions.

The hem of the jacket can be adjusted using the drawchord and is cut slightly longer on the back, which I think is a great feature and gives extra protection from rain which may run down your back between your rucksack or from the outside and bottom of rucksack.

The cuffs of the jacket can be adjusted using the Velcro straps.

Verdict

Overall I’m well impressed with this jacket following its first real test in the Scottish rain. When I removed the jacket after the rain had stopped, my mid layer top was completely dry. There was also no sign of condensation inside the jacket like I have experienced with some waterproof/shell type jackets in the past. The jacket also offered great wind protection during my hike when it wasn’t raining. I look forward to using this jacket more during the upcoming winter mountaineering season as well as the more wet days on the hills over the coming months. As the jacket is fairly light for the protection it gives you, I will also use this more in the summer months to replace my lighter showerproof jacket when on longer treks. It offers great wind and rain protection and keeps you dry, which is what you want from a waterproof jacket. It’s lightweight and environmentally friendly too. What more could you ask for. Now I just need the matching trousers.

You can see the official Fjällräven video about the Keb-Eco jacket below:

No Ordinary People

By Phil 2015.08.30 in Iceland

Last night after setting up camp, our group of Beardy Trekkers headed to the canyon on a short hike from our site.As we arrived at the canyon the views were once again stunning. We could see the large glacier all around us as the sun started to set above the mountains. Unfortunately the best photos are on my DSLR camera as the battery on my phone died, so will hopefully post more at a later date  

  
We decided to hang around for a while taking photos as well as shots of the full moon behind us. It was a magical night and perfect way to spend the last night camping. Even Alex, the usually quiet cockney member of our group commented that this was one of those nights that we would all remember. I don’t think I will ever forget the deep red colour above he mountains. I have seen nothing like it before. Joe commented: “This has been the the best night of my life ever! Honestly!”

  

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We returned to the the camp site sitting drinking the remainder of our local alcohol hoping to see the Northern Lights which had appeared the previous two nights, however they didn’t show.

The whole group woke around 6:00 to get ready for an 08:00 start on our final leg towards Laugidalur.

  

   

  

  

The two youngest of the group Megan and Sophie asked if they could join our Beardy Trekkers group as they thought we were fast and would like to be part of the “Pro’s” as Charlie had previously described our group. Of course we were more than happy to accommodate more members and were also joined by Lucy. 

By the time we started the trek the sun was shining and everyone was in great spirits with the thought of beer and civilisation at the end of the day. Megan, Sophie and Lucy were so happy that start singing the song “Ordinary People” by John Legend. 

    
I decided to stick with Megan, Sophie and Lucy and their singing rather than the Beardy Trekkers. Even Joe was impressed with the singing and think he has them earmarked as backing singers. I asked if they did requests and knew any Blondie. Obviously Blondie was way before their time but they did know “Tide is High”

The final day was another hard slog across more volcanic ash fields and another very icy river crossing before finishing off with an ascent through trees and what I guess Iceland would call a forest, as Iceland don’t have many trees. It was quite strange seeing such landscape after days of volcanic ash tracks and rocky landscapes.

        
As you may have seen from earlier posts that us Beardy Trekkers like to grow an adventure beard during our treks. I have to say the weather caused real havoc with most of our beards with only Rhiannon and Rory’s beards surviving the whole trek.

  

The song “Ordinary People” which Megan, Sophie and Lucy had started singing in the morning had stuck with me all day.

The reason the song had stuck with me was that the whole group were certainly no ordinary people. There was a wide mix of age ranges, from as young as 18 right up to Joe aged 53 (or 56 as Charlie announced on bus recent U.S. Radio interview about their Coldest Crossing). All with different ability. Some had never even done any hiking before. I remember Ellie saying the other day “I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m hiking in Iceland. This is awesome! I have never done anything like this before.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing. Some people really struggled and we lost one person last night after pulling calf ligaments and the guys had to arrange to get them transported back to Reykjavik and go to hospital. Also one person was ill from the start but with help from the whole group they made it to the end.

   

 
To me the real stars of this whole trek have been Charlie, Stefan, Archie and Angus. These fours guys have been amazing, so organised and professional from start to finish.

This whole trip was a reccy for their attempt to be he first to cross Iceland from North to South in the winter unsupported which will take them a month to do.
They were also supported but a great set of guys who were part of the film and camera crew hoping to join the guys on their winter expedition.

All four of them were superb at everything they did. From Charlie carrying people across rivers in his baywatch speedos and organisation, Stefan reacting like a ninja to any situation even those who weren’t in our group and to Angus and Archie supporting and helping Charlie and Stefan in everything they did.

I took 7 of my experienced hiking friends with me and every single one of them could not believe Charlie and his team were only 19 years old and are going attempt Crossing Iceland in the winter, yet at the same time every single one of them know they will do it. We experienced some harsh conditions during this summer trek so can’t imagine what they will experience during winter.

One thing I can say is that Charlie, Stefan, Angus and Archie are “No Ordinary People”. These are a great group of guys and a great team and we all have no doubt they will do The Coldest Crossing this winter. We all felt privileged to be part of their summer expedition.

Takk guys and good luck for The Coldest Crossing

  

Welcome

Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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