Testing kit

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I’ve been climbing mountains since 2006 and over the years you learn what works/what doesn’t, what’s good/what isn’t etc.  Kit is a very important and personal thing.   Basically it’s got to work, it’s got to be comfortable and it’s got to be a nice colour so you like it!

Some of the kit that I am taking on this Everest trip is new to me and/or hasn’t ever been used by me in such an extreme environment.  Therefore I’ve had to check a few things out.

You may remember a blog a few weeks ago where I was paragliding for the first time in my fat suit, I mean my RAB down suit.  The biggest concern was that the suit would still fit inside the harness and that I could actually fly in it.  The suit fitted perfectly into the harness and was extremely comfortable to fly in.  That was a good kit testing day, with the best possible outcome.

Squash flying in RAB downsuit

While training I’ve been wearing lots of the kit that I’ll be taking on the trip.  It’s been good to get used to it and to see how it functions.

A good friend of mine suggested that I take my carabineers (the small metal clips that attach my harness to the paraglider – a very vital piece of kit!) and freeze them to see that they still work in very low temps/freezing – which it is likely to be on Everest.

Freezing carabineers!

I’m happy to report they still worked perfectly!

Keeping my hands warm is always a major priority for me on a mountain and it will be more important than ever on this trip.  When I fly my arms will be raised and my hands must work to control the paraglider.  I cannot afford to let them get too cold.  I will be wearing RAB expedition down mitts on my hands.  I decided that there was no one better to check these out than my 90 yr old Grandma who feels the cold more than any other human being on the planet!  Her exact words were, ‘ohhh these are lovely and warm, if a little big!’

Grandma checking out my down mitts!