Have managed to procure 4 sets of spare crampon heel sections for our G12s. Basically we discovered back in January, whilst doing some pre trip training in Scotland, that the new G12s (which are great) have serrated rear points which get stuck on the rungs of the ladders. There were two solutions - one was to bring the foot slightly backwards before lifting and stepping forward and the other was to get new crampons. BUT seeing as most of the team had just bought new crampons it seemed a bit of a waste to get yet more pairs of crampons. Especially when everyone is spending so much already.
Now then, 'how difficult can it be to slightly alter the way you cross a ladder?' I hear you ask. Not actually that difficult. But when you extrapolate and bear in mind that we may have 30 to 50 ladders to cross and we'll be doing it at altitudes in excess of 5,500m and maybe in the dark with a heavy rucksack on over a yawning crevasse - suddenly it becomes a problem. And some of the ladders are strapped together to form a long wobbly bendy bridge - the most I have heard of to date was 13 (yes thirteen) ladders all connected together to form a bridge over a HUGE gaping chasm.
So back to the drawing board. File or saw off the serrations? Could do, but it seems a shame to adulterate a perfectly good pair of crampons. Try and balance on one rung at a time under the instep instead of placing the foot on 2 rungs and having the heel then catch? Hmmm - 13 ladders strapped together to form a bendy, wobbly bridge over a deep deep crevasse in the early morning whilst it is still bitterly cold and I still haven't quite woken up and you want me to make it harder than it already is - I don't think so.
Ponder ponder. So a quick call to the very helpful guys at The Mountain Boot Company and lo and behold they have managed to find 4 pairs of old style heel sections for us to borrow. Guys - we are indebted to you.
So the recent bit and pieces we've been working on are that we now have Sat comms (I'll be playing with it in the park on Sunday), the most comprehensive expedition 1st aid kit you've ever seen, batteries and solar power galore and movies on the iPad (just downloading Shark in Venice and Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus as we speak! Both truly crap films but we'll need a few light hearted moments to take away the stress).
I've managed to get Twitter to update Facebook (not that difficult) but try as I might the Blog and Feedburner aren't posting to Twitter which is something I may just have to just give up on. We'll just have to post the blog and then post a Tweet to let everyone know. Long winded and not very 21st Century but it will do.
The B&B is full, I'm working on the hill tomorrow and the weather's looking good. Couldn't have planned it better if I tried.