Saturday, 15 February 2014

Mountain Equipment Eclipse Review

In recent years I have decided to move away from using soft shells in my mountain layering system to rather favoring fleeces. Fleeces are, generally, lighter than soft shells and tend to wick better. 
There are lots of fleeces on the marked and personally I like the light weight, well fitted sort of technical fleece.
Over the past few months I have been testing the Mens Eclipse Zip Tee from Mountain Equipment and here are my thoughts on it. 
First of all its very well fitted and isn't baggy, on me at least. If something fits one person it doesn't mean it fits the next but if you have a sort of athletic build then this will be fine.
The eclipse tee is very warm. This is some what of an advantage if your climbing in cold conditions but I have found it a bit too warm whilst dry tooling, even over the winter months!
I have used the eclipse quite a lot since getting it and it still isn't showing any signs of wear. I usually find that in products of this nature the thumb loops get damaged quite easily, but that is not the case with the eclipse. 
My review so far has been praising the eclipse, but if your reading a review I suppose you want to know what I didn't like. Not much is the answer. Everything on the fleece I have liked, however it is missing something; a hood. I am a big fan of hooded fleeces. I prefer not to wear a hat under a helmet in winter and instead use the hood from my fleece. There is a model of the Eclipse which has a hood, imaginatively called the Eclipse Hooded Tee, which I imagine is pretty great.
I really like this fleece. It is well fitted and warm, so great for winter adventures. The only thing it is missing is a hood. With the hood I would give the a maximum 2 thumbs up but without I'm afraid it has to be 1 thumb up and 1 thumb down.
The Mountain Equipment Eclipse Zip Tee is available from with 10% off. 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A Busy 2014

So I have been sort of neglecting my blog recently but this has mostly been due to me being really busy!
I have loads to tell you about, but I will be brief to avoid making it into too much of an essay.
Team GB in Romania
During January I competed in the Ice World Cup in Korea, Romania and Switzerland. Despite me never challenging the top climbers at all I have learnt loads, had so much fun and made loads of new friends.On my travels I have also been to some cool mixed climbing crags. We were shown a newly bolted crag in Romania and then went to Kandersteg whilst in Switzerland.

Saas Fee Structure
Saas Fee Qualifiers (Photo Credit: Matt Pritchard)
Romanian Qualifiers (Photo Credit: Anna Wells)
My best performance was in Korea where I just went out there and climbed as I didn't have a clue how I was going to do. Hopefully next year I will be selected for the team again and I can do a bit better!
After returning from Switzerland I went straight to the BMC international meet. This was a week were UK hosts, of which I was one, showed loads of foreign climbers around the winter scottish highlands. I didn't really get very much done as I missed the best days to go to university but I did manage to climb The Seam, Unicorn, a new route in the Cairngorms, DTS Spirit and Fast and Furious in my wellies (well I took a victory whipper from the final hold on this).
The Seam (Photo Credit: Piotr Sulowski)
Unicorn (Photo Credit: Piotr Sulowski)
Unicorn (Photo Credit: Piotr Sulowski)
F+F (Photo Credit: Piotr Sulowski)
Since the meet I have managed one day out on Ben Nevis where I climbed Route 1 with its Direct Winter start.
Route 1 Direct Start
In addition to my ice axe related adventures I came joint first, with a very strong boulderer, in the Edinburgh Universities bouldering competition last week held at the CSE climbing wall. I was quite surprised at this since I haven't rock climbed very much at all in the last month or so.
Competing at the CSE (Photo Credit: Steven Barnes)