Richard’s Birthday Celebrations

Sunday morning I felt a little rough! I’m not a great drinker and after a few darker than I’d normally like pints of beer – preceded by a large gin and tonic – this fact was thumping away on the inside of my head to remind me that these drinks don’t mix, and especially don’t mix well with my drinking ineptitude.

Why was I feeling a little rough? Well, the previous evening a bunch of us had gone out for dinner in the Pheasant Inn in Keswick to celebrate Richard’s birthday…

Richard's birthday revellers...
Laetitia, Pete, Keith, Justin, Chris, Adele, Roger, Fiona, Ali, Richard, Rachel, and Ian

On Sunday the weather was supposed to be far nicer than Saturday, but as it turned out it was decidedly wet and extremely windy – perhaps the perfect way to clear my head – a trip out in Langdale for a bumble. However, it really was very windy and several gusts of gale force wind nearly blew us off our feet, so we decided to curtail the planned scrambling ascent of Jack’s Rake and do a little micro-navigation practice instead.

Pete points out, with a blade of grass, a tiny ring contour for Richard to find

The sharp eyed might notice my new jacket… I’m feeling quite smug, I’ve been sent a fantastic piece of outdoor clothing to review, a Berghaus Velum jacket. The Velum is from their EXTREM range, so it’s a proper technical jacket…

Several years ago (like 15 to 20 years!) Berghaus gear was the “must have” kit for all self respecting serious users and mountaineers. Jackets like the Mera Peak were like a kind of uniform. Then, perhaps because of this success they kind of went mainstream and everyone from those walking their dogs and skiing to those plodding up wet British hillsides had one. However, Berghaus have come back from the brink of becoming quite unexceptional to once again commanding a position as a technical high quality clothing manufacturer. I think the likes of Leo Houlding and Mick Fowler getting involved in product design as part of their sponsored hero lineup have to take some of the credit for this renaissance. Particularly in their EXTREM range.

Purportedly this is Berghaus’ most breathable 3 layer GORE-TEX® active shell. I’m not sure if that means there is a more breathable shell jacket that is not one of their “active” jackets or not. However, I can report that it is certainly super lightweight, definitely three layer (which is good for durability – I’ve had lightweight two layer jackets that delaminate in just a few months), and very breathable.

Berghaus say:

The Velum GORE-TEX® Jacket is designed for mountaineers looking to travel fast and light.

This is certainly a great jacket where weather protection, weight, and function are important factors on your list of buying selection criteria. Oh, and it looks pretty good too – although I’m not at all sure about the day-glo “Green Sheen” colour option, whereas my more traditional “Intense Blue” is very nice…

The jacket was looking pretty sharp even if the model looks a little rough!

Adele had wanted to join our walking team but as it turned out the volume of wine she’d consumed, combined with general tiredness from her recent Nepal trip, got the better of her, and so the walking, navigating, and wind-surfing team was reduced to just me, Richard, Laetitia, and Ali.

Richard, Laetitia, and Ali below Pavey Ark
Saturday's torrential rain meant the streams were quite tricky to pass!

After that, and a little moss and lichen naming interest, we headed back down to Chester’s café in Skelwith Bridge for massive portions of lemon meringue pie! :yum:

Lemon Meringue Pie!

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