In the Alps, the heavy winter snows and continuing cold weather have given perfect ski touring conditions for April and May, and the promise of great mountaineering conditions for the summer.
I hope this finds you well and enjoying the remarkable ‘spring’ that we are experiencing in the mountains across Europe!
In North Wales and the Lake District (where we run Alpine training of all kinds through spring and early summer) we’re enjoying the dream combination of good winter climbing conditions above 500m and sunny rock climbing on the lower crags and coasts. It’s likely that there will be snow in the higher gullies well into May – so if you’d like to snatch a couple of days of mountaineering action, get in touch with myself or Adrian (see http://www.alpin-ism.com/courses/ukcourses/index.cfm).
NEW EQUIPMENT PARTNER. Big news for ISM is that from this summer we will be working with a new equipment partner – Tierra (of Sweden). Tierra have produced high end, functional outdoor clothing for climbers & skiers for almost 30yrs – they are regarded as the ‘Arcteryx’ of Scandinavia. ISM guide Adrian Nelhams has been testing key items from the Tierra range all this winter - icefall climbing in the Alps and winter climbing in the UK. These were his comments on the Tierra ‘Roc Blanc’ Gore-Tex Pro jacket & pants:
“The jacket’s been great - really well cut & very neat fitting with no excess, but still allowing you to swing your axe without the jacket lifting or the sleeves pulling back. The trim fit also means you get a clear view looking down to access gear loops on your harness, which makes accessing ice screws on a steep pitch, quick & easy. Great functionality as well……with good length sleeves & Velcro wrist fasteners that work! A hood which takes a helmet without too much excess, under-arm ‘pit zips’ which sit just forward from where they traditionally do, which means they can be opened & closed with one hand which is great, 2 large size front stowage pockets - plus it looks great! The trousers are also trim fitting, a good length, seem durable & have loads of movement.”
Never before has Tierra moved away from their Scandinavian roots, but now they are targeting the UK market and ISM will be partnering them in that development, showcasing and testing the more technical products from the range and providing feedback for future developments. Tierra outdoor clothing will be available in selected outdoor retailers in the UK from this autumn onwards.
SUMMER ALPINE CLIMBING. As always we are offering the biggest range of Alpine courses available, and all at 2012 prices! Our instructional courses are world-renowned and progress through four distinct levels – for a brilliant 2-week alpine holiday we recommend combining an instructional course with a mainly guided one such as Classic Alpine Summits or Technical Alpine Summits.
EXPEDITIONS. There is currently ONE place left on our Tien Shan expedition in late August. Please go to http://www.alpin-ism.com/courses/expeditions/tienshan.cfm to see if it is the trip for you!
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