Wednesday 3 December 2008

Paramo on Backpacking and Cold on Cairngorm

Backpacking Light has just published a feature of mine on Paramo waterproofs. You can find it here but you have to be a member to read it in full.

By coincidence I was out today in the Cairngorms trying the new Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock. The day began calm, clear and sunny though the temperatures remained below zero Celsius. In the last few days fine cold powder snow had fallen and covered everything – heather, rocks, ice, old snow, bogs – which made walking arduous and slow. In places the powder snow was a foot deep but nowhere would it support my weight. Crossing the moor to the east ridge of Cairn Gorm meant plunging through deep snow-covered heather with no idea how far down each step would go and whether my foot would land on springy heather, hard rock or wet bog. Once on the ridge the walking was easier as the bogs and heather had gone and it was just the variable depth of the snow that was challenging. Across Strath Nethy Bynack More was shining in the sun. But out to the west a thin dark line of cloud was slowly advancing. By the time I reached the summit of Cairn Gorm the cloud was thickening and the sun had vanished. The wind was strengthening too and it was bitterly cold. I was wearing a fleece top under my Paramo jacket and had the hood up over my fleece hood and was just warm enough while walking. The descent was even trickier than the ascent as I came down a steeper slope and there was much ice under the snow so I was constantly slipping and skidding and hanging onto my trekking poles. I finished the walk under heavy threatening dark clouds that shrouded the summits. The weather forecast warned of heavy snowfall overnight as I drove home. For once I was glad to be off the hills.

Photo info: The outer edge of the big storm approaching the Cairngorm Weather Station on the summit of Cairn Gorm. Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF-S 18-55mm IS@23mm f5.6@1/60, ISO 200, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.


  1. Paramo equipment gets so many rave reviews. The personal recommendation of so many has made me think of getting one. Great photo Chris.

  2. My wife would have loved that walk then - ha ha - she doing "ok" at the moment.


  3. Martin, Paramo is good stuff, I have 2 coats - in my cupboard ;-)

    Chris, surely you froze in that light smock?