My feet are under the table for the first time in a week and a half. I see that things have moved on quite a way in Blogland. I've got a whole bunch of reading to catch up on! For my part, a weeks holiday on Texel followed back-to-back by two days in London for business are now behind me. Both trips delivered almost everything I could have hoped for. A welcome break and a fruitful meeting.
The period wasn't devoid of outdoors stuff either. Whilst on Texel I managed to pick up a pair of Haglofs Ray Trousers and got to spend some time in my Haglofs Oz. Okay so the environment and temperatures on the north sea coast of Holland in May aren't the most representative you could find but we got some stormy, wet weather at the front end of the week which gave me an excuse to pull on the Oz a couple of times. I've at least acquired a better feeling for the fit. I was a bit concerned about the freedom of movement. It's a snug fitting garment for me in a large and as such doesn't give much scope for donning insulation underneath. I've now worked out that a micro fleece in combination with a micro fleece Gilet works quite well. The combination puts less insulation on the arms and keeps the Oz reasonably loose around the arms and shoulders whilst giving me enough on-the-go insulation for the full range of temperatures I need to be prepared for in Norway. I also like the idea of having two light fleece tops rather than a single heavy one. I'm now a little more confident about taking the Oz instead of a full jacket to Norway but I need to dwell on that one a bit longer. The strong westerlies definitely taught me that I need to follow PTC's advice and stiffen the peak of the Oz with some wire though (more on that later). The Ray pants are great: fit well, cut the wind, are comfortable, stretchy and, whilst the DWR is new at least, repel water like a dream! They've already made the kit list for Norway.
The holiday also provided me with a week of afternoons were I could pour over the map of Rondane while the kids slept. A few exchanges with Willem-Maarten have provided a first sketch of the route. The group are due to get together on Sunday to bang heads over the finer points of the route and kit lists. We need to get a move on because the date for the trip is now fixed. We'll be in Rondane from the 3rd to the 7th of July. Two short days and three full days of backpacking!! So far, weather permitting, it's looking like we'll touch all three of the main 2000m massiefs in the heart of Rondane on three big days. A traverse of the full ridge from Hogronden to Digerronden, a crossing of the the DNT route over Vinjeronden and Rondslottet and a traverse of the ridge from Veslesmeden to Storsmeden together with an outing to Sagtind are all on the cards. The more I trawl the web and soak up the cartography the more aware I become that this is fine wild country. The info given on the Scandinavian Mountains site has proven most useful.
Finally, why did the holiday and London trip only deliver almost everything I'd hoped for? Well, I thought I was being clever when I booked a midday flight back home since I reckoned I could nip across to Covent Garden and pick up some bits and pieces from Ellis Brighams (the weak pound is still a big pull). However, after beating my way through the streets and tube for half an hour during rush hour I arrived at the shop only to realise it opened on the strike of ten. Lesson learned: time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. I was tempted to hang around for an hour but the risk of missing my flight was just too great. The bits and pieces will have to be ordered on the web and shipped. On the up side though, at least I'll be getting another box in the post!!