Earlier this year I travelled to Italy with fellow Rab Professional Tom Randall. Tom was going to climb some of the world’s hardest finger cracks and attempt his then unclimbed project. I went to take photographs and eat pizza.
The 7 Sadhu pics were taken in situ at the Pashupatinath Temple near Kathmandu using a portable studio, They were then printed life-size and cut out by hand before getting pasted up in the streets of Sheffield.
In September 2013 I ran my second School of Adventure Photography at Thornbridge Outdoors as part of the Alpkit Big Shakeout Festival. Seven photographers took part in a series of informal lectures, discussions, critiques, editing sessions and loads of picture taking. A feature of the workshop is the bag of nice things and this years goodie bag was packed with some lovely stuff very generously donated by Rab, Wild Country, Beta Climbing Designs, F-Stop and Clif Bar.
Beta Climbing Designs had kindly provided a Snap bouldering mat as a prize for the best picture of a Snap mat in use and Alpkit were offering a prize for the best photograph of the weekend.
Thanks to Helen, Stephen, Lisa, Lilla, Chris, Melinda and Ned for a great weekend, I really enjoyed looking at your wonderful photographs. And thanks to Alpkit for making it all possible.
Just over two years ago myself, Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker when to America for two months on the Wideboyz off-width climbing tour and road trip. We needed a 3-man mountain tent that would accommodate us for two months in a variety of weather and terrain. We took a Alpkit Zhota. Of course when you get hold of a new tent you should always try and pitch it in the garden or your front room. You need to see how it goes up and where the all poles go. But predictably we didn’t and so of course inevitably we ended up pitching it for the first time jet-lagged in the rain and dark at 3am in the Wyoming wilds of Vedauwoo. But it was fine, it was quite easy. And so having got the Zhota pitched the three of us tentatively piled into it wondering how we would fit and how we would cope with living in such close proximity to each other for the next two months. It was quite exciting zipping up the zips and discovering the various pockets and places to hang things and we settled down nicely with plenty of space and lots of head room. The only downside proved to be Pete’s ridiculously broad Alpkit Wideboy sleeping mat which enabled him to claim more than his fair share of space and Tom’s dangerous bag of dirty socks and pants.
As the trip continued we subjected the tent to all sorts of abuses: It was harassed by a moose in Vedauwoo while Tom hid up a tree, It was anchored by one guy line to a spiky bush in Canyonlands on the night before the first ascent of Century Crack. Then worst of all we left it untethered and unpegged in the desert above Moab while we were out rock climbing and the whole thing and all its contents blew away . We were quite upset, it really had just disappeared into the desert. So we looked and we looked and we looked and then we found it about a kilometre away. It was stuck upside down in a thorny tree. The whole was still intact, the flysheet still attached. There were some small rips in the top of the flysheet which we easily repaired.
Over the years I have used quite a few high quality mountain tents in a whole variety of terrain and conditions. I have used Terra Nova Quasars and Hyperspaces and I have used North Face and Mountain Hardware tents. I would definitely say that the Alpkit Zhota is up there amongst them in terms of quality. The Zhota is very durable and is very well made. The Zhota is great 4 season high mountain and expedition tent and I would happily sit out the worst weather in it .
For more information go to the Alpkit website here –https://www.alpkit.com/tents/zhota
F-stop Gear who make some excellent camera bags for adventure photographers have just released a nice short film called F-stop Life in Focus featuring fellow F-stop Pro Tim Kemple [vimeo]http://vimeo.com/64505042[/vimeo]
The Wideboyz film is now available for sale and download on the Hot Aches site – http://www.digitalgoodsstore.com/c/udeRKd/pPjjsd
The blurb says it all – The world of offwidth crack climbing is a strange sub-culture rumoured to be dominated by knuckle-dragging, bar-brawling dirt-bags! The climbing is tough, painful and bloody. Two climbers from England, Pete Whittaker and Tom Randall, set out to explore this world and climb the world’s hardest offwidths. They complete a brutal two-year training regime, mostly spent hanging upside down in a suburban Sheffield basement, before embarking on a tour of the USA. The tour culminates in the first ascent of the ultimate offwidth test piece, Century Crack, the world’s hardest offwidth.
Buy the Wide Boyz film here – http://www.digitalgoodsstore.com/c/udeRKd/pPjjsd
Here is Mountaineering Instructor Ed Chard talking though his recommended equipment for Scottish winter mountaineering and climbing.