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Winter hill walking

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Winter hill walking

I found a new interest last year during the summer and autumn months, hill walking in the Mournes near where I live. Mainly up and down the Sleive Donard many times.
I want to get started early this year as I am registered and have my flights booked for a sponsored walk up Ben Nevis in September. I have been up a few hills in the Belfast area within the past few weeks and have realized that my clothing is far from adequate for this time of year. I want to get back up the Sleive Donard asap but at twice the height of Divis in Belfast, it would be very stupid for me to set out with the clothing I have.
Anyone know of a good, low priced online retailer for this type of clothing. I mainly just need gloves and windproof, waterproof, warm trousers. I already have boots, jackets, hats etc.
15 REPLIES
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Re: Winter hill walking

What happened to the bike Sean?  Wondered if you could take up the hills! 
Anyway, I'm all for walking - good exercise without punishing the joints, free and eco-friendly.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

OH Yes, I am still on the bike. Haven't quite got the confidence on it yet to take it up the Mournes, maybe later this year. I usually just take it around the bumpy, rocky tidal pathways around the shore of Strangford Lough beside my house.
Would need to pick up a rack for the car to get it down to the Mournes also, also on the to do list  Wink
Definitly something about hill walking though that makes me really enjoy it, especially standing at the top of Sleive Donard on a clear day (which is about one out of every ten days I have been up there  Embarrassed)
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

go for Windproof first then breathable then waterproof
http://GOoutdoors.co.uk  have a sale on
http://www.blacks.co.uk/home.html

down jackets
Extreme http://keela.co.uk 
http://berghaus.com
recomended  outdoorresearch.co.uk
highly recomended http://mountaim-equipment.co.uk
fleeces
http://regatta.com have a good range
recomended hhttp://ellyhansen.com
highly recommended also outdoorresearh
trousers
http://sprayway.com and http://montane.co.uk
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

The most highly recommended clothing is from Paramo although it is expensive http://www.paramo.co.uk/en-gb/index.php and if you will be regularly winter hill walking in the rain then they are probably recommended
Regarding Montane - I use Montane Terra - they are extremely light and comfortable BUT they are only shower proof and in a heavy shower with wind I get wet legs. When I bought mine the Terra XT wern't available so I don't know how good they are.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

the ones I was looking at were the Montane Venture, got the recommendation as best Buy in the current Country Walking mag  cost top end though £120
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

You can get them much cheaper but if I was paying anything like that I would go for Paramo Cascada http://www.paramo.co.uk/en-gb/garments/detail/index.php?pgc=NIKWAXANALOGYTROUSERSCASCADAMENS
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

Wonderful, isn't it? I used to do a fair amount of hillwalking, missed it a lot whilst I was ill, and have recently started getting back into it.. Cheap fleece gloves are available everywhere, and I doubt you would need anything more. As for waterproofs, I swear by Gore-Tex personally, but isn't isn't cheap. The big advantage of breathable waterproofs is that they are also windproof and if there is any chance of rain you can just wear it without worrying about getting hot and sweaty. There are plenty of cheaper brands of breathable fabrics, though. Try Mountain Warehouse as well as the others already listed.
Most outdoor types recommend a layered approach to clothing. Start with thin thermal baselayer, then perhaps a thin fleece shirt, followed by a thick fleece jacket, then a waterproof shell. You can then use different combinations depending on the weather at the time, and can fairly easily adapt to changing weather during the day. Don't forget overtrousers as well, or at least gaiters that will keep your legs dry if you walk through wet undergrowth.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

What you may need (I do with poor circulation) are waterproof gloves or over gloves as wet cold hands are very uncomfortable
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

Quote from: Denzil
Cheap fleece gloves are available everywhere, and I doubt you would need anything more.

I was wearing exactly that recently while up the hills around Belfast one day. Cave Hill then Divis at only 1568 feet. I thought I was going to need hospitalized afterwards for hyperthermia!
I would really like some proper clothing for standing on top of Sleive Donard at 2789 feet in a brisk northerly January breeze. Even during the summer months last year on most days I found myself reaching for my woolly hat near the top of Donard.
Thanks for all the links, I am having a good look through and will be well prepared next time.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

But like many of us I no longer have much natural insulation on my head  Wink
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

you dont have to stand on top of a mountain to appreciate windproof, A sea wall watching birds can get B cold.  I have also stood on top of the Gross Glockner pass 2571 M in early October with a long GorTex coat on and was B cold as well
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

Hence the need for the layering approach. Any waterproof will be windproof, but won't give you much insulation. Use a waterproof (and ideally breathable) shell to keep you dry, and wear appropriate layers underneath to keep you warm. You also need to consider your activity level, naturally. You need more warm stuff if you are stood doing nothing than if you are hiking up a mountain.
That means you can have one good waterproof you can use all year round, and you don't need to have a light one for summer and a padded one for winter. There are a lot of shell and fleece combination jackets around which are worth considering. This means you can zip the fleece into the shell to form one jacket, or separate them if you prefer.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

Its the endless cycle, tearing layers off while on the steep inclines, then putting them back on when stopped for a break only to start tearing them back off once you get moving again.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Winter hill walking

Never mind People have driven Model T Fords to the top of Ben Nevis  Cool Roll eyes Cool Shocked