Performance apparel and equipment brand Mountain Hardwear has ensured a safe Winter season for the Lake District Fell Top Assessors and the walkers and climbers they protect, continuing its three year partnership by equipping the experienced team of three with its latest range of clothing, accessories and equipment.
It was a very disappointing winter season in the Lakes, particularly compared to the winter before, but Fell Top Assessors were a huge help for non-local climbers like myself trying to suss out the conditions, as well for walkers - keeping them informed so that they could be safe. I suspect their reports probably kept a fair few of the more enthusiastic but less experienced climbers off the cliff and particularly out of the gullies when they weren't in proper winter condition too.
It did feel this winter that conditions for winter pursuits in the hills of England and Wales have become even more marginal than perhaps they've always been.
On a totally different note, great of Mountain Hardware to sponsor them, but is their gear very available in the UK currently? I haven't seen many people wearing MH stuff in the last few years when I've been out and about in the UK hills, nor do I remember seeing it for sale in shops?
It's probably quite telling that I wasn't aware, given my shift in focus from winters being a season for ice axes (and all things pointy) to boulders (and all things chalky/rubbery).
When it comes to Mountain Hardwear, they've definitely had a challenging few years within the UK market but are making a very definite comeback. Things like the Fell Top Assessors are an indicator of the direction they're hoping to go too, with grass-roots support of actual 'real life' + on the mountain projects (i.e. NOT highstreet!!).
They've come back on board with us too, so expect to see some reviews later this year. I believe Dan has got (or is getting) one of the sleeping bags from their Lamina range, so watch this space...
With regards to shops/stock, I'm unsure but can certainly ask.