Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Trostan Snowboard Project

I went for a drive up to the Antrim Hills on Saturday and was surprised at the amount of snow compared to last week, I got this idea in my head that if I hiked it up to the summit of Trostan from Glenariff forest park I could maybe snowboard it all or most of the way back. I set off this morning and was on the hill just after 10.00. It was a bit of a slog to be honest and to add to the pack weight (35lbs in fact) I couldn't wear my Snowboard boots so had to carry them clipped into the bindings and wear a pair of lightweight boots that I could shove in the rucksack on the way down. I wore my HiTec V Lite Fast Hike Mids (nice name!!) but I used a pair of Breathtex boot liners as the boots themselves leak like a sieve in spite of their claim to be waterproof. The Liners came from an Army Surplus store and I'm pretty sure they used to be actual Gore-Tex, the credit crunch must be affecting the armed forces. Anyway, they worked brilliantly, the snow was knee deep in places but my socks were still dry when I got home 5 hours later.

The attempt to decend by snowboard was a bit of a disaster to be honest, it was a virtual whiteout so I couldn't really pick a route and kept ending up in dead ends between peat hags or bailing out thinking I was heading for a drop off. I managed to try out a new Wood/Alcohol combi stove prototype that I've been working on though, I used it in alcohol configuration with a Jason Klass style tealight and it managed to heat enough water to re-hydrate my pasta (Bachelors Cup Pasta) but a slightly larger capacity would be better, the tealight only held about 1/4 fl/oz.

It wasn't exactly the kind of day I'd envisaged but good fun none the less. If the snow lasts I'll try again from the North side which might well be a better option.

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