Saturday, February 16, 2008


I wrote in a very early post that I couldn’t make up my mind between Paramo-style raingear for the Challenge and the stuff I’ve got. I’ve decided: The stuff I’ve got. A Scot helped me make the decision.

H. did a term at the University of Edinburgh in 2001 (most of which I think she actually spent in the mountains), and we visited for Thanksgiving. At some point, I went off to Tiso’s looking for a pair of boots. After the usual sorting, fitting, wandering, and pondering, I narrowed it down to two possibilities, and the salesman had a preference. He set one pair aside and presented me with the other. “These,” he said, clearly bestowing what he thought was very high praise indeed, “are adequate.” I bought them, and they were ... adequate.

I’ve decided that my Marmot Precip jacket and Red Ledge Thunderlight full-zips are adequate, too. They are reasonably light, reasonably ventable, and reasonably breathable under the right conditions. And I own them, along with reasonable things to wear under them. Getting outfitted Paramo-style would cost almost as much as my flight, and though I’m persuaded that for Scottish conditions the gear would be superior to what I’ll be wearing, the fact is I don’t walk all that often in Scottish conditions. My summers are warmer, my autumns are drier, and my winters are colder. (I don’t talk much about spring: mud and black flies—a good time to repair what’s broken.)

So adequate it is, and onto The List they go.

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