Outdoor Gear Blog - CheapTents

CheapTents Outdoor Gear Blog

…not just tents…a camping equipment blog too!

Mike Dunne at the bottom of a crag

Climber Mike Dunne

Regular followers of our blog will be familiar with Lake District climber Mike Dunne. If not, you can read about his climbing adventures and his perspective on climbing in our previous blog posts. For this post we caught up with Mike to find out what he’s been up during 2013.

Over to you to Mike…

This summer I spent a good chunk of time living in my van on the Cumbrian coast surfing.

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Mike Dunne stands at the base of a crag

Climber Mike Dunne

This time last year we were contacted by climber Mike Dunne in response to our blog post about raising the profile of up and coming athletes. Mike told us about the soloing that he’d been doing in the Lake District and we subsequently published a blog post about his climbing thoughts and experience. Mike has since moved away from the soloing and is now leading. Over the course of the year he has been very active climbing new routes and we are proud to announce that we are supporting Mike by promoting his climbs on our blog. Below Mike talks us through some recent Lake District climbs, which include Woden’s Wotsit, Samurai Jack, Rashòmon, Karma Kings and Ephliates, May you Live Forever.

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Snow covered mountains

Nanga Parbat (Killer Mountain)
Source: Flickr by Faisal.Saeed.

Whilst it is fairly true to say that health and safety regulations protect us from harm, injury and death in many circumstances, they can be a bureaucratic nightmare that end up stopping us from doing things that we enjoy. Some people believe that we live in a Nanny State that has taken health and safety so far that it is impinging upon our civil liberties.

Outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, climbing and mountaineering carry risks and as such health and safety must be considered, especially by companies that provide guiding services or by schools and other groups that take children on these activities. However, the inherent risk is one of the aspects of outdoor activities that makes them so rewarding. By placing health and safety restrictions on outdoor enthusiasts is our personal freedom being curtailed?

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Mountaineer Matthew D Thornton with winter tools

Matthew D Thornton summits Stob Dearg in winter conditions.

What’s the best way to the summit of Mount Everest? You could answer that it is the south col route from Nepal or maybe that it is via the north east ridge from China. Either way, the journey really starts at a point somewhere else altogether.

In order to stand a chance of reaching the summit you will require mountaineering skills and experience of climbing at high altitude, as well as physical and mental stamina. Proper planning and support are also essential. It can take several years or more to develop these skills.

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Paul Roberts climbing a crag

Paul Roberts climbs Pitch 2 of the El (5.8.3)

Following on from our recent blog post, in which solo climber Mike Dunne talks about his loves and hates of the climbing in the Lake District, we are pleased to present a post written by a climber from the United States.

Paul Roberts is from New York state and has spent the past 3 years climbing in many parts of the USA, from New Hampshire to California. In June this year he’ll be launching a cross country/get to college/climbing trip that will take him climbing all over the country, ending in Prescott Arizona where he’ll be studying adventure education and environmental policy at college.

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Mountaineers wearing crampons cross a snow field

Snow traverse using crampons. Source: Flickr by ribekak.

If you are thinking going mountaineering then you will need to get some crampons, this may also mean buying new crampon compatible boots. But what if you’re thinking of going hill walking in the winter? There may only be small sections of the hike where there is hard snow and ice. You may feel that buying crampons and compatible boots is too expensive and unnecessary. Fortunately there is a solution! Winter hardware manufacturer Stubai have brought out 4 point and 6 point crampons which can be fitted onto most B0 boots.

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Mike Dunne tackles a bouldering problem

Mike Dunne on his bouldering problem 'Samson'
on the Isles of Scilly

We always enjoy hearing from you, our readers, about the adventures that you have been having in the great outdoors. Not only that, we like to give you the opportunity to use the CheapTents blog to promote yourselves if you’re looking for sponsorship. Recently we were contacted by Mike Dunne, who loves climbing in the Lake District. We asked him to tell us about his climbing experience, his thoughts on the climbing scene and who he rates as a climber.

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This weekend news headlines read “man falls 1000ft from mountain”, the mountain in question was Sgurr Choinnich Mor, around 5 miles east of Ben Nevis. The climber in question was Adam Potter, an experienced climber from Glasgow.

Sgurr Choinnich Mor

Sgurr Choinnich Mor, The Aonachs and Bealach Coire Easain - Source Flickr by pamilne

At 2.30pm on Saturday, just moments after reaching the summit Adam began to fall. As his friends looked on in horror Adam tumbled down the mountain 1000ft, approx 300m and 1/3 of the mountain’s height, glancing off 3 craggy outcrops. As he tumbled off each outcrop Adam must have felt almost like he was flying as he plummeted.

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The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation UIAA have produced an instructional video about ice climbing which they have posted on YouTube and is embedded below. It is called Basic Ice Climbing and is presented by four-time world champion ice climber Ines Papert. Considered the best female ice climber in the world, Ines Papert specialises in climbing frozen waterfalls, so she certainly has the necessary credentials for the ice climbing instruction.

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Swiss Alpinist and speed climber Ueli Steck is famous for his fast and lightweight approach to the world’s hardest and highest mountains. Sponsored by Petzl, Scarpa, Leki and Mountain Hardware, Ueli Steck has set the speed record for the Matterhorn (1 hour 56 minutes), Grandes Jorasses (2 hours 21 minutes) and the North Face of the Eiger (2 hours 47 minutes). Has has also summitted Gasherbrum II (8035m) and soloed Makalu west pillar (8463m).

The Matterhorn is one of the most famous Alpine Mountains

Speed climber Ueli Steck climbed the Matterhorn in 1 hour 56 minutes. Source: Flickr by Jeff Pang.

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