Date & Time: 5th June 2006. 2 pm at Keswick then off for the walk.

Location of Start : Uzzicar roadside car park in the Newlands Valley, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 233 218 )

Places visited : The miners track up to Barrow Fell, and return via the northern spur towards Braithwaite.

Walk details : 3.6 mls, 1,250 ft of ascent. 3 hours including stops to chat.

Walked with : A group of seven staff of George Fishers plus two colleagues from Beta Climbing / Montrail Ltd.

Weather : Overcast and sunny periods with a warm humid breeze.

It's a matter of shoes . . . . but are they trail shoes or trainers, running shoes or boots ?


Montrail were in Keswick to show us their range of stock

and to take us out on the fells to actually try them out.


There would be four sessions over these two days

so this afternoon the group I was in

gathered after lunch to get kitted out with suitable footwear.



We drove the short distance to the Newlands Valley

and gathered round on the grass bank alongside Uzzicar for a short pre-walk discussion.

Talking over - time to get testing.

We took the miners track which climbs between Barrow and Rowling End, the outlier of Causey Pike.

Another party below, gill scrambling down the beck - its a bit like fellwalking up and down constantly wet paths.

Now there's a daft sport, but on a hot day like today, there's no doubt they would be cooler than us.

Further up I tried out the Gortex shoes for water proofness by walking in the stream - guess what - my feet stayed dry !

So we all continued onward and upward . . . . dry shod.

( Thinks bubble . . . why was I the only one asked to stand in the stream on the way up ? Have I been using the right soap ?)

Turning to traverse along to Barrow Door. Off the rough stony path onto a smoother, dusty one.

Chance to try out the cross slope characteristics.

Eileen and Lisa stop to admire the view over the Coledale Valley

obviously testing the comfort fit whilst standing still.

The summit of Barrow and the excellent view of Skiddaw, Derwent Water and the Keswick area below.

A good place for another discussion.

Simon explaining the design and characteristics of the Stratos Light Boot.

Ian took over for a discussion about the other shoes, the Continental Divide and the Ventana, and how they have been developed for different types of running events, and how they perform on and off road.

( No, he was not demonstrating a shoe characteristic here, just starting to get up at the end of the talk )

Down hill traction and grip test

combined with a nice view of Braithwaite.

" These shoes feel as light as air "



We returned via the path above the forest which starts above Braithwaite Lodge Farm

and then back to the shop where we reluctantly handed back our test shoes.

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Shoes tested : Continental Divides ( Running Shoe) Ventana (more of a performance walking shoe) and Stratos (a light weight 3 season Gortex fell boot)

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Our thanks must go to Simon and Ian of Beta Climbing for spending time with us to explain the gear

and to Mark Hartell who entertained us with an illustrated talk in the evening about record breaking,

Fell Running and his Challenge Events worldwide.


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( Please note - any opinions here are purely personal and may or may not reflect those of Montrail or George Fisher Ltd.)

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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed . . .after a de-brief in a friendly pizza restaurant.

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Previous walk with Montrail - 10th May 2005 Latrigg with Montrail Shoes.

A previous time up here - 13th October 2005 An short afternoon on Barrow Fell