Wainwright Rewind: Kit Tested on 214 Peaks

Wainwright Rewind: Kit Tested on 214 Peaks

214 Wainwrights in 7 Months: A Kit Report from 400 miles of Winter Trails.

Words by: Luke McLuckie

 Since moving to the Lakes in September, I have been the embodiment of the “weekend warrior”. Virtually all weekend days have been allocated to Wainwright bagging, initially as day hikes, progressing to trail and fell running as my fitness grew. As I touched the final Cairn of my 214th Wainwright fell, Arnison Crag, last month, I thought it apt to reflect on the pieces of Epicentre kit that have served me well on this adventure.

Scott Supertrac 3:

The workhorse of the winter has been the Scott Supertrac 3. 214 Summit Cairns touched, with 400+ miles underfoot, and yet they are still going strong. I found the Supertracs came into their own when trail conditions deteriorated. On wet and muddy trails, the 7mm chevron style lugs offer incredible traction that I found confidence inspiring. This grip allowed for great stability on fast descents, even in appalling conditions. Surprisingly, I found the Supertracs to be exceptionally grippy on snow, particularly the patchy slushy stuff that is often found up high in winter. I was also impressed by the durability of the rubber outer sole, with minimal wear to the lug depth, even after a 400-mile battering (including some extensive road sections). On sentimental value alone, these shoes will remain as an ornamental piece of mine, a memento of this winter’s wainwright round.

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Arc’teryx Norvan 7 Vest:

Lightweight, breathable and comfortable, the Norvan 7 vest was perfect for my light and fast bagging missions. Faced with massively vertical days, the convenient pole storage was much appreciated. So too was the zippered phone pocket. This sits close to the body, preventing battery drainage from extreme cold. The low profile and simplicity of this vest also made it comfortable under a running rain jacket. It is hard to describe how convenient this was in the changeable conditions of the winter fells. Coupled with easy-access back pockets, a full day of peak bagging was often done without taking the vest off.

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 Artilect Boulder 125 Half-Zip:

The base layer of choice for this winter was the Artilect Boulder 125 Half-zip. Even when the snow hit, I found it to be comfortable as a single layer. Insulating enough to be golden down to 0 degrees while running, but breathable enough to stop me overheating during high efforts. The key to this, is the perforated side panels, providing excellent ventilation to the warmest parts of the body. It was only when the winds picked up, that I would supplement with a running jacket to seal out the breeze.

The real superpowers of this piece are the merino properties. Naturally anti-bacterial, the Boulder can be worn for successive days without the onset of that classic running stench. This was invaluable in squeezing in back-to-back weekend long-runs, negating the need for extra tees on overnight camps.

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Arc’teryx Incendo Short:

Durability and fit are the key with these shorts. In hand, these feel rugged and well-constructed, evidenced by the battering I have put them through. Tired legs have led to many stumbles on the fells, but these shorts have held up well. Unbelievably versatile, a DWR finish prevents instant wetting out in rain showers. At the same time, a quick-dry nylon lends itself to cooling post-run dips in the lake. Traditional pockets are found on the sides, as well as a rear pocket for gels and keys. These shorts are truly an all-rounder, great for year-round mountain and everyday use.

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All of the above pieces of kit have proven themselves to perform in the depths of a long, muddy, rainy and even sometimes snowy winter in the fells. Not to be retired, this gear will get further trail use, with the exception of the Scott Supertracs, these will sit on my mantlepiece.

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