Review: Black Diamond Stance Belay Parka & First Light Hoody

I have long been a dedicated fan of synthetic insulation. The last 12 years of winter climbing in Scotland have taught me many things about surviving brutal winter conditions in the mountains. Among the most critical, is that if you want your insulation to fight with you to the very end as you do battle on …

Review: Rab Alpine Bivi Tested!

This review is a quick follow up to this post from back in February: https://scottbecker.co.uk/2019/02/08/review-rab-mythic-sleeping-bag-alpine-bivi/ At the time I discussed the features of Rab's top end Alpine Bivi bag, but had yet to personally test it in action. Having recently come home after almost two months in Patagonia for the winter season, I can assure …

The Sharp End: testing top of the range pro shells from Black Diamond

As I packed my bags to return to the wild mountains of Patagonia this winter it became pretty clear to me that I was going to need a serious clothing system. With some ambitious plans in the pipeline, I needed hard shells that could do everything. I needed  comfort for the brutally long approaches, as …

Patagonia winter solo attempt: Aguja Guillaumet

Mention solo climbing to anyone and you will inevitably get mixed reactions. Some people will immediately conjure up extreme images in their head of the most insanely epic freesolo climb they have ever heard about, before promptly calling you crazy. Others will take a more pragmatic approach in their judgement, considering the practical issues and …

The Waiting Game

After a few busy months I am lucky enough to find myself back in Patagonia. It’s been a tough winter for me in the northern hemisphere with poor climbing conditions in Scotland and all the pressures of normal life taking their toll. Down here time seems to move more slowly and this seems to be …