Thursday 5 February 2009


The two elements of kit that have been bothering me the most are those that protect my hands and my feet.

Strathpuffer destroyed my hands. The cold, wet and constant pounding got to them. Even after a couple of weeks they still don’t feel quite right. I’ve talked to a few people about this and the general consensus seems to be “Pogies rock! Don’t worry so much”. I’ve got a set of Epic Pogies on order.

Last week Jim had a big bag of Mountain Equipment Gloves for me to try as one of the Alpkit guys (Nick?) designed them all. The current plan is to take three sets of Windstopper gloves use underneath the Pogies and to rotate them so they are always dry. I’ll also take a set of warm pile lined/Goretex mountain gloves. I have a set of down mitts as well, but now I'm thinking they’ll be overkill.For my feet I’m planning on using:
Smartwool Liner socks
Smartwool Mountaineering Sock
Scarpa Mirage GTX boots
Superfeet insoles. (All from Snow + Rock)
Neos Navigator 5

I played around with a few set-ups at Snow + Rock but these boots fit really well. I’ve never seen Neos over here, but they are seriously good. The set-up was super warm even after trudging around in the snow for hours. The only thing I might change is the socks. I may change to sythetic/blended socks so they dry quicker.


Johnny said...

You are going to love the Neos Navigator 5 I use a pair over here in Northern New York for riding, snowshoeing and winter camping. My feet have yet to get cold using them. -37F has been the coldest temperature I have been in with them.

Ride Fast

Nick said...

You decided on the Powergrips yet?

Shaggy said...

there on there now!

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Hi. I've never done anything like you're about to do, but I cycle commute year round in Helsinki, Finland. Cycling in subzero temperatures for about an hour or just over, going to work, I've been quite surprised that keeping my hands warm isn't very hard. I've ice climbed in Scotland, Finland and Norway for many years and have never found the perfect glove system - but interestingly with riding, I've found that just a loose fitting pair of windproof gloves keeps your hands surprisingly warm once your body has warmed up. I've always been very sceptical of windproof fleece or similar, but the one place it does seem to work is for your hands on the bike. If it is colder than -10 I might take goretex mitts but I very rarely actually wear them.

On the other hand, keeping my feet warm is a total hassle and much much harder to do. So with those amazing looking Pogies plus other gloves I reckon you might be sorted, but look after your toes! I came very close to getting frostbite in them just riding home from work a couple of years ago!

Have fun and take care of your toes!

Aidan said...

Hands and feet are a very personal. I rode with pogies and my lobster gloves one day at -25C in Alaska and got frostnip while two other riders just had pogies and liner gloves but stayed toasty.

The Epic pogies are super-warm so they should do you well. FWIW, I'm using Dogwood pogies (easier to get hold of but hardly any insulation) with liner gloves and Black Diamond ice climbing mitts when I need them. For -10C in Finland, I only needed the liners.