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  • Writer's pictureAsh

What's your 5pm-9am adventure?

It is so easy to forget that 'adventure' doesn't necessarily have to take a long period of time.

If you have a 9am - 5pm job, then you have a whole 16 hours to go and have a massive adventure. Every single day! It might not be a long time, but it can still be really special.

Any adventure needs a bit of planning, some good experience to draw on, and depending on the adventure, a little bit of kit.

Here is a Sunday night adventure - leaving at 5pm, and back home for breakfast and a cup of tea, before being back to 'normal' for 9am.

This gave an amazing view of the milky way, spiralling over the top of Cadair Idris - my photography isn't good enough to capture it yet, but you get the idea. In your adventures look with your eyes. Burn that image into your memory!

In terms of kit for this (the overnight temperature was -8C) it was relatively simple.

In addition to normal winter walking gear, in my case Paramo (I took crampons in case I needed them to cross any icy areas in either direction). Back up batteries / headtorch are essential too.

For my "B&B" it was my 30 year old (first used on the Tour du Mont Blanc in anger 1990!) solo tent - so many memories of Mountain Marathons and backpacking trips in that tent. It'ss served me well.

Sleeping bag, another long term buddy for winter, rated to -15C it was more than adequate for keeping me warm.

I only have lightweight sleeping mats, so I used two, a 3/4 length one underneath, and then a full length one on top.

Personal admin is critical - sweat gets cold really quickly when you stop moving, so dry clothes in camp makes for an immediately warmer night. For hanging out outdoors to look at the stars, I rely on a really good synthetic belay jacket.

I ate a good meal before heading out, and so just took a litre of hot Ribena in a flask, and a couple of trail bars.

All in all a beautiful night, and home to watch the sun rise over the tops that I had just been on.

In terms of whether everything went to plan - not so much. I'd taken really lightweight tent aluminium pegs, which, jammed in gaps in the frozen rocky ground, didn't enjoy a blustery bit of weather at 4am. Announced by a slightly cold bit of tent inner to the face! After a quick look at the situation, I decided that rather than trying to reset the tent - after 6 hours good sleep I'd decamp and get back down. That dark, starry, headlight lit walk off in itself was a beautiful journey. As I picked my way through rocks, ice and along the high ground, I enjoyed the solitude that this slightly unplanned part of the adventure offered me. Next time I'll pack my bomber pegs!!

So, there's a 5pm - 6am adventure - next time I'll get that to 8am.

This comes with a little request - if you have any doubts about your experience, equipment or the conditions, don't just assume it'll be okay. A bad experience will change your enjoyment to fear, and that's not okay. Even worse if you have to call help, you'll be putting our wonderful voluntary Search and Rescue teams at risk too.

Don't avoid the adventure, just get someone who does know what they're doing to show you.

Go on then, what will you do for a 5pm - 9am adventure?

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