I am teetering on my seat, ready for the next bounce, holding on as our small Russian van is catapulting forwards through the vast emptiness of the Eurasian steppe. It is mind boggling that this morning we were in a sleek modern city full of people and now we are in this extreme emptiness.
It is cold and an icy breeze tugs at my hair. It feels surreal that I am in Southern California, that to the south I can see Mexico. I though this part of the country was hot sunshine and endless deserts, not post-holing through thigh deep snow!
I recently had the great pleasure of trying out two of La Sportiva’s approach shoes on a couple of hikes in Southern California. Fist up was the TX2 Leather shoes which I took up Cucamonga Peak in the San Gabriel mountains
Before leaving to climb in the Himalayas my biggest concern was how to keep warm. I get cold easily and particularly my feet tend to suffer. My toes turn into ice cubes and no amount of wiggling them around will get them back to life. I don’t only get cold feet, but I also have rather tiny feet. Which meant my options for high altitude boots were limited. In fact, there was exactly one shoe that came in my size, the La Sportiva Spantik.
Summer has abruptly ended, the chill has set in and the leaves are starting to turn. It was a good one, despite being away for work I snuck in a variety of climbs, ranging from alpine rock to glaciers and ice. Some long multi day trips with grueling approaches, the kind were no matter what pack you use it rubs and pulls and makes it feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders. Not this summer!
Most of the time we think of cross trainers for trail runs, hikes, or scrambling. As a scientist who spend a lot of my time in field I also think of them as work equipment. I am a marine scientist who work as an expedition leader, leading Citizen Scientists in various conservation project around the globe.