So many new shinys…

This ultra race I’ve entered has caused a fair bit of kit purchasing, new sport means new gear and I’m still having to purchase the odd bit of climbing gear. So what’s come through the front door?

Firstly – the OMM i-drate, a 12ltr backpack that’s just about the right size for the run. It’ll make a perfect daysack for summer, the colour is garish and will go with my yellow Berghaus perfectly. The 80s fashion for colour is back in yeh? They won’t miss me on the hill. It’s not ideal, I’d have liked two bigger zipped pockets on the hip belt but it will serve my needs. I’ve had to buy a Source Wide bladder thingy to go in it… this is great for a bladder but I really do prefer bottles, the OMM sack is designed for both and the race will necessitate both too. I’ve ran 17 miles with it on (in one go!) and not a bit of rubbing from the harness. Yep, OMM harnesses fit me like my skin.  Compressport Calf Guards in the Ultra Silicone variety, oh er mrs, have been used a couple of times now in training and I think without them I’d be looking at a far more torturous trip to Gateshead. I’m happy with them so far but I do think they have something of the school kid about them – I bought white, in the hope they will reflect all the glorious sunshine we’re going to enjoy this summer. There’s Ron Hill shorts, Nike short (very!) shorts, Hilly socks that are twin skin and amazing, plus a host of products that will hopefully stop my arse crack from chaffing if it’s a hot and sweaty race. I really, really, really hope they work.

On the climbing front, there came to be in my possession a fine pair of Edelrid Merlin Half ropes. Dry treated and 8mm in size, they’re light, well made and go well with my living room. I’ve had to pay for mine, unlike my mate Joe from South Africa who’s sponsored by them but it was having a good look at his gear that made me purchase these, rather than going for Beal or one of the other more common names in the UK. Now at 8mm, there may be an issue of compatibility with some belay plates and having just lobbed my Buggette of Main Wall on Cyrn Glas, I’ve purchased a Reverso 4, the latest incarnation no less. It’s a joy to behold, it really is. Why is my van not that colour eh? I’ve bought another Buggettte too, they’re so light at 26g, there’s no excuse for not carrying one as a spare and if I’m climbing on my ropes, who’s to say my partner will have a small enough belay plate? See, thinking ahead. Another DMM Dragon cam brings the collection up to four and just for completeness, I purchased a set of matching DMM Phantom krabs – climbing gear can make me a little OCD.

All that’s left is to use and abuse, then report back but so far, so good.


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