Wednesday 31 October 2007

A Day At Hilltrek

Last Saturday I ventured south, “over the hill” as we say locally, from Strathspey to Aboyne in Deeside for the Hilltrek Event (see post for Oct 24).. Chatting to customers was a pleasant way to spend the day and I enjoyed myself. As a writer I spend a great deal of time alone at the keyboard. Meeting other outdoor folk is always welcome. One of those was Aktoman, who has already blogged about our meeting, with whom I had a long and interesting conversation. I also enjoyed meeting the Hilltrek people and seeing their store and workshop. Hilltrek makes some good looking clothing – and when I say make I mean make, right there on the premises. You can see some sewing machines behind me. Hilltrek uses top fabrics, including Karisma, in my view one of the best fleece fabrics but now mostly abandoned by bigger manufacturers for less functional but more fashionable fabrics. Karisma (which some readers will probably know under its Mountain Equipment name of Ultrafleece) is a very hard wearing fleece that is more wind resistant than standard fleece but still very breathable, unlike windproof fleece. Reminded of it by my visit to Hilltrek I dug out an old pair of Karisma trousers and wore them today for a walk in the dusk on a cold breezy day. They felt great. It’s good to see someone still making garments with Karisma. Hilltrek also makes garments from Ventile, including a useful looking single skin windshirt, Symapatex, Pertex and Nikwax Analogy, as well as being a major stockist of Paramo clothing. Hilltrek offers a made to measure service, which looks great for those of us who aren’t standard sizes (trousers are nearly always too long for me).

The picture was taken by Dave Shand of Hilltrek.

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