James Goes to Plas Y Brenin

Towards the end of October I was lucky enough to be invited for a weekend in Snowdonia with Mountain Equipment. Along with sales reps from Mountain Equipment and Gore fabrics I was joined in North Wales by nine other outdoor industry employees from various parts of the UK. The main aim of the weekend was to learn about the technical aspects of Mountain Equipment clothing and Gore-Tex and to test some of the garments in the field. At our disposal were the excellent instructors and facilities at Plas-Y-Brenin the National Mountain Centre.

For the duration of the trip I was issued with an Ogre Jacket, Karakorum Pants and a G2 Alpine Jacket . Having been to Snowdonia on several previous occasions I was expecting mother nature to provide the appropriate weather to enable me to rigourously test the clothing but amazingly we stayed dry for both days. We completed a scramble up Tryfan on the first day and on the second I enjoyed my first taste of climbing outdoors when I climbed the Cneifon Arete with Russ from Gore. Even though the conditions were very favourable for this time of year, we were buffeted by 50+mps winds at times and we had to cross a waterfall on the approach to the Cneifon arete. I found the Ogre Jacket and Karakorum pants kept me bone dry and at no point did I feel any chill from the wind. The Ogre is a tough and simple jacket which I loved wearing, the hood works very well. The high cut of the Karakorum pants kept the wind out and I never got any cold spots. Under the Ogre I chose to wear the G2 Jacket with just a merino baselayer and it proved to be a good combination. While the G2 can be used as an outer layer it also proved to be a versatile mid-layer and surpisingly breathable when I was exerting myself.

I had an great time in Wales and I picked up an amazing amount of new rope skills, navigation skills and mountain experience in a short space of time. It was a great opportunity for me to wear Mountain Equipment clothing in the environment it was designed for and it peformed beyond my expectations. Many thanks to Mountain Equipment and Plas-Y-Brenin.