Last week the Berghaus retail training team were joined by employees from various outdoor stores for a training event in Scotland where they testing our Extrem range of gear out on the hill. Here retail trainer Sarah gives her account of the trip.
The attendees at the event comprised mainly from Snow and Rock with a handful from our own Berghaus stores and Nevisport staff from all over the UK.
We kicked off the training event with a trip to Livingston with a tour of the GORE-TEX® factory giving an insight into Gore’s expertise.
As the course attendees were travelling up to our great venue at Glenmore Lodge Scotland, the temperatures had started to drop and snow had started to fall which we were all hoping would settle so over the next few days we would have some winter conditions to test all the latest Berghaus Extrem gear.
Mick Fowler one of Berghaus’ sponsored athletes joined us to give a lecture on his latest climbing adventure in China. He talked passionately about his gear testing and new innovations coming through from MtnHaus™, Berghaus’ innovation and design team. Mick’s passion really shone through during his presentation, especially when the audience realised his 30 days holiday he receives whilst working full time for the tax office all go on his expeditions and none are spent with his family.
With Mick setting the snowy scene with his photos and films from his expedition everyone was nervously excited and anticipation was growing to get out onto the hill. So we didn’t waste any time and we had everyone kitted out with Berghaus active shell jackets, baselayers, hats, gloves, a fleece and a new Hydrodown™ insulation jacket. We also made sure everyone was kitted out ready with ice axes, crampons, helmets ready for whatever the elements’ had to through at us.
We all made our way to the starting point, Cairngorm Mountain top car park, the visibility was poor at 100m and the cloud level was below 600m. The conditions were interesting with no sun, wind chill of around -10 at times and white out most of the time.
After a great day out on the hill it was then time for an inspirational talk from our own Para-Olympian Berghaus sponsored athlete Karen Darke. Karen’s talk started from the beginning of when she had a life changing accident to all of the adventures she has lived since then.
At 8.30am the next day everyone was ready to get a full day out on the hill as the sun was shining and the wind had dropped slightly. Visibility was a totally different story today and we could see for miles. The terrain was quite different with the snow feeling crusty on top of really frozen ground often in deep above the knee. Due to the conditions we made the decision to put on our crampons and helmets as the snow was showing ‘interesting’ complexion (according to our guide) this helped us safely reach the top of the scramble.
Above we were digging avalanche test pits. The guide then mentioned something about testing the layers with your nose???
After another great day on the hill we had a surprise in store for the group and asked for 2 volunteers and their bathing suits to meet everyone at the pool. We met the Snow and Rock lads in their swimmers and handed them each a down jacket and asked them to go for a swim. We had ‘are you for real???’ looks but they did as we asked and went swimming. Unknown to them, one was the new Hydrodown™ and the other was a normal down jacket. After they lashed up and down in the pool for about 10 lengths and totally saturated the jackets, they got out and wrung out the jackets and got everyone wet who was watching with their silly antics. The reason behind doing this was to demonstrate even after the Hydrodown™ was completely saturated in the pool after only a couple of hours it had lofted back up compared to the non treated down.
A great time was had by all!
For outdoor clothing from Berghaus including waterproof jackets, women’s rucksacks and more then please visit our online store.
You can find a wide range of gear for climbing, trekking, mountainaineering and other activities.