A few months ago Adidas got in contact and sent me some gear to try out. Whilst they didn’t want me to review some of it I did as I thought it was some really good outdoor kit. Especially their Terrex range. So the next few posts are on various pieces of equipment they have handed me for review.
Giving it’s full name, the Men’s Terrex Swift Light 2.5-Layer Climaproof Storm Jacket, is really nice lightweight jacket. It will never replace the need for a proper full on waterproof jacket in the UK, after all when it rains it rains here. When this jacket came into its own was on the numerous days I headed out teaching rock climbing on days where it wasn’t going to rain all day but it was going to rain at some point.
It basically meant I could take a very small bag rather than take a larger rucksack and deploy the jacket at a moments notice. It has stood up to the rigours of numerous days multi pitched climbing and seems to have held up well compared to other super lightweight jackets I have had in the past. My climbing helmet also managed to fit underneath the hood, although it was quite tight.
I only had one day where the jacket failed to perform, although if I am totally honest no jacket would have performed in the conditions. The day was a hot humid day with persistent drizzle. On the sweaty approach the jacket wetted out, inside and out. However after reaching the base of the grade III scramble and slowing the pace down the jacket and I soon dried out. I don’t think it was necessarily the breathability of the jacket, as I am pretty sure any material would have stopped breathing in these condition, or certainly failed to cope with the pace of the initial approach.
My jacket was red, and I thought looked really good, although I am not sure that they are still making this jacket. I did notice that there was a similar design but in much pricier gortex.
All in all i felt that this jacket was a real eye opener for the outdoors, coming from Adidas which whilst a mature company is relatively young in the outdoor industry. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on what they are doing for the outdoor user.
There are other reviews of Adidas Equipment:
Men’s Terrex Summer Alpine Pants & TERREX Hybrid Primaloft Jacket
Men’s Terrex Korum Down Jacket
Men’s Terrex Solo Approach Shoe
Just heard from Alan at Rockfax that North Wales Climbs (If you buy it from this link more money goes to the NWBF) has made it to Cordee the national distributor for these type of things. He should get some in Sheffield by Monday, meaning later next week I should hopefully have a copy. I have mentioned it before but it is always anticlimactic when you finally get a book to print. The journey has long been over and to be honest I am usually well and truly on my way on a new project (Surfing and coding a new coaching website).
It seems with all rockfax guides that there is some flack, yet I find it hard to get involved to defend something which I think will defend itself when people see it in shops. I am also sure that the sales of this book will be something that whilst it might not silent the harsh critics, it will make it easier to see it as some tribal angst. You would never expect a Man City fan to cheer on the United after all.
Behind all the banter I hope people see the craft that went into getting some of the topos shots, a few of which are more than a crag shot and instead stand up as landscape images in themselves. Often sitting for an hour just to get one shot of one crag. The double page actions shots that capture the sense of place and adventure in the routes I have come to know and love in north wales.
Above all though I will remember the process of this book. The hard work and fun I have had with my good friends all across North Wales. The good times and the bad, fair weather or foul. The book essentially takes nearly 20 years of climbing experience in Snowdonia and puts it into one amazing book.
It seems like the week for books, as my own self published book, Hanging By A Thread: The Science, History, Technology and Culture of Rock Climbing and Mountaineering has also made it to printed form as well as kindle and iPad versions. I thoroughly recommend this books as a reasonably cheap christmas present for climbers and mountaineers. As it takes a sideways look at our sports history through the eyes of how science and technology have effect the very culture of climbing.
Two of the stand out chapters for me as the author are the Space Race and Rick chapters. In particular the risk chapter explores why we as climbs indulge in life and death pastimes. Rather than ‘Because its There…’ the book turns to scientific research into risk-taking behaviours and might leave you wondering what of the motives best fit your reasons for rolling the dice of life.
If you get either book from amazon or iTunes then please review it, as it does really help sell these books. Which allows me to do more of what I love, which is writing and playing about life in Snowdonia.
So the surfing theme has continued unabated. Yesterday was good, the waves cleaned up towards the end of the session and I had a few good rides. I was in two minds whether to head out today as the forecast was 30mph onshore winds.
After a brief um and err I thought I would chance it and headed out to Anglesey, and went straight to Cable Bay and was rewarded. The surf was the biggest I have been out in, but at least it was peeling and a friend had given me the knowledge of using the riptide to get out the back. So I suited up and join the two other surfers in the water. I don’t think I would have gotten in if they weren’t there.
I followed one of their heels as he made his way out back and it was all rather exciting as the waves were pretty big for a green horn. I sat out there and watch the two guys rip across the waves and had to commit. Like something out of a cartoon I paddled furiously and felt the wave start to take me. Popping to my feet the nose of the board digs in and I was fully expecting the usual face plant down the wave, but dug my back heel in and somehow made the bottom turn and then ripped along the wave all the way back into the rip.
I would like to say all the waves were like that but there was some face planting and some getting nailed whilst paddling out as a big sets of waves came in. A few good waves in the hour or so I was out was enough for me.
I know this isn’t climbing, but hopefully some of my readers will find it interesting. As whilst I still rock climb my motivation for doing the same routes time and again was diminishing. Having spent the best part of a year focus on books both the North Wales climbs and Hanging by a Thread, I essentially needed a fresh challenge. Something to see me through the long winter months when work is few and far between.
So took up Surfing, something I avoided for a long time because I feared that this would happen and I would become obsessed. What I find good about being at the beginning of the learning curve is every wave no matter how big, small, clean or messy is a learning experience and progress can come reasonably quickly.
To prove I am still a climber, I went to the all in the evening and somehow I came 4th in the first month of the Beacon Aggregate after two people came joint 2nd, not bad for a 38 year old! Mind you Caff and Pete haven’t entered, giving the rest of us mortals a fighting chance!
I have a few websites and often finding the right type of icons for them is a chore. Especially if I have to design them myself. I added some to my snowdonia mountain Guides website a while back from the great elegant designs website.
I was trying to find the full set again today for another website I am working on and eventually found the original source. Anyway the designs are below.
I just got an email about some article that John Redhead was trying to get published by a magazine. Apparently it has cause controversy and I needed to know about it and link to various blogs over the whole thing and highlight the issues.
Well to be honest I just don’t want to fuel a fire that was as predictable as giving matches to pyromaniac in the tinder dry outback of California. It’s John Redhead, he wouldn’t bother to put pen to paper if there wasn’t some axe to grind, person to wind up or group to alienate. Don’t get me wrong I love that stuff but I accept that it’s JR being JR.
Part of the whole thing is apparently the email he received back from the editor. In particular he picked on this quote from JR piece ‘muscled women athletes are not at all feminine’ stating he finds it offensive and misogynistic, as I do. I have quoted it here, totally out of context and there in lies the problem. How can we be expected to have an opinion on something we have not read and to be honest are unlikely to even if it was published. If JR was to write a book about his climbing as Dawes did with ‘Full of Myself” then maybe I’d be keen to read it, but maybe not.
JR was essentially a climber of the 1980’s and his ethical stance was strong if you ignore the placing of a bolt on or near what became the Indian Face, chipping numerous routes on the slate (albeit well). However the article was apparently more about climbing and commercialism. Which I whilst I am sure he has strong opinions about, they aren’t necessarily ones I or others need to here.
Yes, print media is tied to advertisers, so are many of the internet sites. The difference is that if we want a print media for climbing to exist then it is a necessary evil. I am pretty sure the magazine in question only survived once the new editorial team came in reducing the production cost by around 25%.
I write for magazine occasionally and they don’t pay well, but at least they pay. That is only possible because of the advertisers pushing there wears. If you want good writers then you need to pay them.
If you want my opinion having written and advertised online and in print media. In my heart I feel print media is on borrowed time against the online alternatives, as the metrics for online advertising seem much higher than in print for my coaching business.
If you really want the links then say so and I’ll add them, but personally it is a storm in a tea cup. On the plus side the surf was good today!