Arctic Circle Trail Day 2 – Caravan to Katiffik

Pack weights (kg): Gavin: 18.7 (no jumper) – Steve: 19.1 (no jumper) – Anna: 16.1 (no shirt)

Ready to start the day
Ready to start the day

The alarm was not met with much activity this morning, but breakfast was today taken on the front verandah. Despite snacking yesterday, there were plenty of bilberries left to add to our porridge. The brackish water from the lake had been fine for cooking freeze-dried meals and porridge but I drew the line at tea. I managed half a cup before throwing the rest away.

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Arctic Circle Trail Day 1 – The First Weigh-in

Pack weights (kg): Gavin: 19.7 – Steve: 19.1 – Anna: 16.1

Our hostel in Kangerlussuaq
Our hostel in Kangerlussuaq

It has been really sunny today. We were walking by 08:45, following the road west. The hoped-for 18kg pack did not materialise, and I started the walk with closer to 20kg. I’ve walked with more, though, and never yet had to carry ten days worth of food. I’m hoping for this weight to drop off quite rapidly. Today was the only day where we won’t have easy access to drinking water as we go, so my water container was full and contributing 2kg alone. It proved a wise choice to carry so much with the heat.

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Arctic Circle Trail Preamble – 2 Days in Kangerlussuaq

We flew in to Kangerlussuaq on Air Greenland’s sole airbus. Getting to Greenland effectively requires you to use the national airline and to fly from Copenhagen. Despite the early morning flight and the loss of four hours, we took advantage of the free drinks in-flight.

The plane flies in to the fjord from west to east, giving a glimpse of the ice cap ahead. It was a short walk from the plane to the terminal, where – as it was an international flight – we went through “security and customs”. This consisted of about four people standing around watching us file past.

The plane had been full, and the tiny baggage-claim room was crowded. The single short conveyor quickly delivered our bags, and we went upstairs to find the left luggage service. Run by the hotel in the airport, there are around 20 good-sized lockers next to the cafeteria. At 40DKR per day, they are not especially cheap, but this allows us to wear comfortable and clean clothes on our flights in and out of Greenland, and to protect our rucksacks from the rigours of baggage handlers by checking them in in large waterproof bags with fewer straps. The lockers are key-operated, allowing us to come and go as we needed. Continue reading Arctic Circle Trail Preamble – 2 Days in Kangerlussuaq

Home brewing – equipment selection

For a long time, I’ve liked the idea of home brewing. It’s been one of those things I keep saying

oh yeah, I really should get around to ordering some stuff and doing it

This started around 10 years ago with a home-brew kit: a thick goop that you boiled up with some water, added some sugar and left in a bucket for a couple of weeks. A while later I teamed up with a friend and actually ordered some stuff. Unfortunately, we never actually got around to doing anything with it.

That was then and this is now, however, and the idea has once-more bubbled to the surface (there’s a pun in there somewhere). Over the last year or so, I’ve almost raised the enthusiasm to dive in but always been stumped by the vast array of techniques and equipment and ingredients and just decided it’s too much hassle and I’ll look into it more later. Finally, this month, I resolved to get off my arse and sort it out once and for all, and on Sunday 16th January I finally hit submit on my order. Here’s a run-down of what I bought and why.

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Amazon Kindle

Kindle in Box

Back in August – the 20th to be precise – it was my birthday.

Despite the highly-useful stuff I want page, my parent’s didn’t get me a gift (there were reasons why!), and asked me to let them know what I wanted.

Originally, I was leaning towards a synthetic jacket to keep me warm in those cold Scottish winter days, but eventually I started hankering after an Amazon Kindle.

I suspect I was suckered in by a combination of advertising and a few other people I know having one, but once I’d had the idea it started growing quite rapidly.

When I was a kid, I used to read quite a lot, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found less spare time to dedicate to books. This year, however, I have made a conscious effort to read more and am slowly regaining my reading speed.

So when stock came back in, I was offered a Kindle and I jumped at the chance.

Today it arrived while I was at work, and was awaiting my homecoming.

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Munros

A list of the Munros I have walked up.

Name Height Date Climbed Accompanied By
Fort William
Ben Nevis 1344m 2/08/2008 Kat Sharp
Stob Bàn (Mamores) 999m 14/02/2010 Anna Maciejkowicz
Mullach nan Coirean 939m 14/02/2010 Anna Maciejkowicz
Kintail
A’ Ghlas-beinn 918m 3/10/2008 Alasdair Paton, Geoff Judd, Ivan and David Haigh
Ciste Dubh 979m 4/10/2008 Alasdair Paton, Geoff Judd, Ivan, Sandra and David Haigh

Climbing in Southampton

At first glance, the Southampton/Winchester area can seem somewhat devoid of places to climb; there’s no rock in Hampshire! But drive a little ways, and there are a range of indoor walls and options for outdoor climbing too.

Indoors

  • St Mary’s
  • Southampton Uni
  • Fort Purbrook
  • Craggy Island (Guildford)
  • Calshot
  • High Sports (Alton)

Javascript

Foreach

Javascript lets you have associative arrays (of sorts), e.g:

var myArray = {
    a : 'val1',
    b : 'val2'
};

If you want to loop over this array, you can use a foreach loop:

for( x in myArray ) {
    alert(myArray[x]);
}

This code will pop up a message box for each entry in the array. Because the key is assigned to the variable x, you can use the key as well as the value.