After reading the review on Hendrik’s blog, I’ve just got hold of a Velbon V-Pod tripod. It’s incredibly lightweight (< 280g on my scales) yet stable. The only downside I’ve seen (compared to conventional tripods) is that the lack of clamps means that each leg section must be either fully extended or collapsed, so setting it up on uneven ground is not so easy. You just have to put up with it at an odd angle and adjust the ball head to compensate. (more…)
It looked like for once I’d picked the right weather window. Plans for a day walk on Saturday were quickly rescheduled to include an overnight camp, with the extra flexibility in terms of time being counterbalanced by having to carry a heavier pack.
When you’re using maps (digital or otherwise) , the quality of the underlying information is all-important. For LandRanger and Explorer digital mapping, the OS has always provided data at a resolution of 254 DPI (Dots Per Inch : with 254 DPI, one ‘dot’ equals 5 metres on the ground). This is fine for most uses, but the shortcomings of this comparatively low resolution are apparent in a number of places. (more…)
I’m sitting at home with at least six inches of snow outside, an almost-unheard of avalanche warning for Snowdonia, and a glass of wine. Unless you love wading through thigh deep powder, not a good day to be tackling the hills. Instead, I realised I’d yet to write up this walk from February : a good day in mid-Wales in the hills north of Pumlumon.
If you’re walking from Maesnant into Cwm Rheidol, the twin bronze-age cairns on Carn Hyddgen stand proud on the skyline across the river, keeping a watching brief on proceedings. And there’s been plenty for them to watch over the years : Owain Glyndŵr’s famous victory over the English in 1401, The construction of the Nant-y-Moch reservoir, and the sea of encroaching windfarms. From a distance the cairns look reminiscent of Adam and Eve, the twin monoliths atop Tryfan – But that’s a trick of alignment and perspective : the cairns stand 6 metres tall, and 20m apart, so the ‘freedom’ of Carn Hyddgen can’t be easily gained.