WorkShop Manual -Tips, Trix, & Topos
Improved Crampon/Boot Security - GW's modified Bail crampon straps
GW's custom anti-ball plates and Neoprene boot inserts.
NEOPRENE BOOT INSERTS (Nov. 2011)
BAGGIES: One of my friends, a former Olympian, is bothered by blisters so runs with plastic bags inside his running shoes to minimise friction. This would work with heavier boots and would also provide a vapour barrier in cold, wet conditions.
BOOTS TOO NARROW ACROSS TOES?
IMPROMPTU PUTTEES: Forget your gaiters and your are getting into snow country? Cut a hole in the toes of some old socks and create some tube puttees.
Tru-Boot Story from Rebecca Wayatt, Aspen, Colorado(1999)
Both the owner and boots have emerged battle weary but relatively unscathed. A testimonial to the quality construction.
I recall teaching a 4 day alpine rock-climbing course on the Remarkables . We did some great pitches, got snowed on and had to rescue a tent which blew into lake Alta. My old Mid Exits were soaked , so I plastic bagged my feet in dry socks for the exit "death march" in toasty feet. Get's easier? If it did get easy, then everyone would be doing it!
Buying Boots/ avoiding blisters
Next to food, the wellbeing of my feet is my highest outdoor priority.
To achieve the optimum fit, comfort and performance I follow the following steps when visiting a boot retailer:
BLISTERS: Some years ago I discussed mtn. medicine with eminent eye surgeon and mountaineer, Sir Randall Elliott. Contrary to my initial thoughts of performing operations with a Leatherman, he said. "Do you know what, I think, we really need in outdoor 1st aid instruction? Asked Randall. "Well… no? " I replied "Good blister treatment!" he stated. "If we improve our management of blisters and we’ll significantly increase the general enjoyment of the outdoors.
Remember to carry tape, a blister kit and 2nd skin and treat "hot spots" immediately. 2nd Skin is excellent for filling the crater left by a ruptured blister.
TRIX! CLIMBERS KNEE-the pre-op solution?
Three years ago I developed the "Wayatt Lock Step" to limit the jarring and impact load on the knees. Recently I came on another protective technique:
WRAP-UPS: Inspired by watching the Atlanta Olympic weightlifting on a rented TV, I summarised: "If weightlifters support their knees with bandages while lifting massive weights, why don’t bushwalkers and climbers do it before massive or awkward descents?
I put this to Ken Asher (Townsville Gym) as we crossed the Copland Pass last November. "We call them wrap-ups." he said, endorsing the concept.
I’ve since used them during the summer when I’ve had heavy loads or long descents and benefited from the additional support. To gain optimum support it’s important to buy quality, 12cm elastic bandages and wrap for supportive tension.
Combined with the Wayatt Lock-step, I think I’ve found the ultimate pre-op solution for fading climbers knees!
TRIX! LIPSCREEN NECK CORD by Ó Geoff Wayatt, MountainRec April 1999
Ever found yourself searching through pockets or pack for a tube of lip creme?
A few thoughtful manufacturers have included a colourful neck cord attached to their lip-creme easy access. If your favourite lip creme lacks a cord it’s easily remedied with a one meter length of soft cord knotted and taped to the base of the tube. Place the creme close to your body to avoid cord tangles and to keep the creme soft and easy to apply. Useful for tight belay ledges and -on the move-ski touring, kayaking situations.
Alternatively, a Sydney skin specialist/ ski mountaineering friend of mine who will remain nameless, keeps her "sun sense," a particularly stiff, but effective creme in her bra for convenient, personal use.
The concept can be extended to attaching a lighter, mini swiss army knife or torch for those who suffer frequent bouts of forgetfulness. "Now, where is that string?"
TRIX! LIGHTER LOOP:
Last Dec. I arrived at isolated Empress hut, Mt. Cook Nat. Park tired and keen to get a quick brew going on the stove. Often you can’t find matches quickly or there’s an old box sitting on a wet bench. On this occasion I couldn’t believe my luck.
Hanging from a nail above the bench was a lighter.
An ingenious climber had taken a "twistie" bread bag tie, formed a "horseshoe shape and taped it to the base of the lighter. It’s proved useful on my workshop wall could be securely clipped to that great key-ring clip some pack manufacturers put inside their top pocket.
TRIX! CONVERTING AN EXPEDITION PACK TO A DAY PACK
On day trips and climbs in the middle of an extended trip I have found carrying a bulky 80 litre pack an impediment. The simple way to reduce the volume is to tighten up the side straps. Unfortunately a bulky over filled top pocket tends to flop about and can be slow to clip and unclip.
A chance acquisition of a micro light karabiner led me to leaving it on the pack haul strap for a convenient clip-off onto my anchors. I then discovered I could stuff the top pocket into the throat of the pack leaving clear access to the pocket zip compartment. To secure the pack contents I simply clipped the karabiner attached to the haul strap to the compression buckle loop on the other side of the throat. If your pack doesn’t have the loops the add-ons involve very simple machining. Wrap the main pack straps away in the crampon shock cords. Try it and you’ll never have to experience your pack pocket thumping your head again.
"I was heel hooked by a Kea" – an easy explanation for those phantom face-plant crampon trip-ups, while view-gazing & crossing flat snow.
TARARUA OAT BISCUITS RECIPE
Rub butter into dry ingredients. Add golden syrup and water and mix to a "rolling out" consistency. Roll into 5mm thickness and cut 5cm squares. Bake in a slow oven until brown. The longer the cooking time, the harder the Tararuas".
(The biscuits get their name from the rugged and uncompromising Tararua Range north of Wellington.)
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