Sebastian & Erik Aller, two brothers from the Netherlands, are both bushcrafters and mountaineers and each own Hilltrek Braemar Ventile Smocks.
Here is Sebastions story of two winter trips wearing their Braemar Smocks.
(Apologies for showing pictures of snow in August!)
First picture was taken in a bushcraft trip to the Belgian Ardennes around Baraque Michel which is the highest “peak” of Belgium with 694m. We did a three day hike there in the weekend of December 4th 2010. Temperatures were around freezing and there was quite a bit of snow.
The other picture is from a 4 day hike through the Cairngorms (the Braemar windshirt in its natural habitat), which we did last January. No bushcraft this time, but serious hiking.
We started out from Aviemore and headed for Ben Macdui. First night we camped along the Allt Druidh river just outside Rothiemurchus Forest. Next day we went up to Lurcher’s Crag in order to make it up Ben Macdui, but due to our heavy backpacks and the deep snow on the slopes of Lurcher’s Crag we progressed slowly and had to end our 2nd day near the Lochan Buidhe. That evening the sky cleared an we had a magnificent sundowner and night at 1100m alt on top of about 1-1,5m of snow.
Next morning all hell broke loose as we experienced gale force winds in a total white out. Vision was close to zero, so we decided not to ascend any further, but navigate “Blind” on our compasses down the slopes of Lurcher’s Crag towards the ski station. Quite a nasty situation neither of us had been in before. Looking back it was a great trip and the windshirts performed brilliantly over our Buffalo Special 6 shirts that served as insulation layer.
Only minor is that the front pocket of my bro’s Braemar ripped when he tried to put the OS map -which was covered in a waterproof Ortlieb map pocket- into it. The front pocket was just too small. (The OS map was one of the Active Map Series,which is laminated and quite tough. We put it in the Ortlieb pouch because of the strong winds, so we could hang it around our neck) Back home we contacted your office in order to get some ventile fabric to fix the hole and to make the front pockets of both our shirts somewhat larger. Thanks again for sending a sample! My mom -who is great with sewing machines- did a perfect job at the pocket remake. The pocket now measures 40x28cm and works great with larger maps.
The complete sets of pics are also available on Erik’s facebook page