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Welcome to Obergurgl

After spending my Christmas in Lapland, it was soon time to move on to the next adventure. Ski seasons have always been on my to do list and so hence I decided to try my luck on getting sent out to join the current season. My work in Finland was for a company called Hotelplan which is the parent company of three ski holiday tour operators (Inghams, Ski Total and Esprit). Whilst working in Finland I was informed that there was the possibility to go onto do a ski season, so as soon as I got home I was on the phone in order to try sort something out.

It took a couple of weeks to sort out but I was soon informed that I would be going to a resort in Austria. Originally I wanted to go to one of the resorts in Switzerland or Italy as I am yet to visit these countries however from past adventures I knew how beautiful Austria was and so was super excited. Packing my bags within 12 hours of leaving I boarded the plane and was soon on my way to the next adventure…

Coming into Innsbruck

Touching down in Innsbruck I was so thrilled to be back somewhere with great mountains looming. Unfortunately I did not have any time to look round Innsbruck (being the only city close to resort) which was a shame, however I will certainly make time to head back there on a day off.

Journey time to resort was an hour and a half on board one of the tour coaches which to my surprise was only carrying adults. The reason this was a surprise to me was due to the fact that Inghams, Esprit and SkiTotal are family holiday tour operators, and yet this coach was lacking in the younger generations.

It wasn’t long before I arrived in my resort for the next three months, Obergurgl, although us cool kids / seasonaires call it OBG. Remember that as I will probably naturally just put OBG rather than Obergurgl in future blog posts. To my surprise OBG is a small village however it has so much packed in. The main high street boasts several ski/snowboard shops, a bakery, hairdressers, bars, restaurants, fast food takeaways and cafes are just some of the services available. As I arrived the first thing I noticed was the fact that everyone was walking around carrying either skis or a snowboard, I knew then that it was going to be an awesome place to live. The chalets are your typical Austrian style buildings, each with a unique name and picture painted on the side. First impressions were certainly satisfactory, there wasn’t a negative in sight.

Balcony View

After a short wait in the main office, I was taken to my accommodation. I am staying in one the guest chalets (Verwall – pronounced ‘ver-val’) which is a smart and relaxed chalet. My room has everything I could need; a bed, a Television (with uk channels, a sofa, breakfast table, a wardrobe, a kitchen with microwave, fridge, sink, hobs and storage. The bathroom is modern and clean, again with everything that a bathroom needs. Leading off from the main room is the balcony with an amazing view of the slopes and the mountains. I found out later that evening that I would be joined by one of the guys I was working with in Lapland (Saul), who would be arriving the next day.

Due to arriving late I was very lucky with my accommodation. The other staff (12 in total) are all sharing, that’s two bedrooms and one bathroom between 12 of them – no thank you.

It was only after arriving at my accommodation that I found out that I would be working for Esprit. Up until then I thought I was going to be working for Inghams.

Front Garden

So that is my first experiences of Obergurgl. What a great first impression and I am looking forward to living here for the remainder of my winter season. I am really excited to explore the village further and most importantly head on up the mountains.

First day of work tomorrow so wish me luck…

Happy Adventuring

The Wolf

Blog Posts, Reviews

Review – Altura Mayhem 2 Waterproof Jacket

Before departing for Scotland in October I decided it was time I brought myself a new mountain biking jacket as my old jacket (coincidentally also Altura) had seen better days and getting on the small side now. So hence I went shopping in search of a new bit of kit. Spending nearly the whole day trying jackets on with brands such as Endura, Fox, Troy Lee Designs, Gore and Raceface, I finally found the Altura Mayhem 2.

Altura Mayhem 2
Altura Mayhem 2 Waterproof Jacket

First Glance:

It is certainly a good looking jacket. Appreciatively not everyone likes colourful gear (or the colour red for that fact), but it stood out. The red and black with neon yellow highlights really works well together and tells people “this guy knows what he is doing”. Saying that it is not so bold that you would look better suited sitting on top of a Christmas tree rather than a bicycle. Picking it up, I was reassuringly surprised on how light the jacket was, as some feel more like motorbike jackets. The seems looked neat and tidy, the zips were waterproof, it was a good first impression.


What do Altura say about their Jacket?

The ultimate all day trail jacket, providing protection from the elements, constructed from highly durable waterproof fabric.

Tech Spec:

Price – £119.99 rrp

• Altura Shield™ technology is engineered to provide protection from wind and water whilst still offering high levels of breathability
• Altura Draft Venting ™ strategically located venting zones allow for enhanced breathability and thermoregulation whilst in the riding position
• Altura ErgoFit™ 3D patterning engineered for a more comfortable riding position
• Zippered hand pockets and chest pocket
• Internal media port
• Waterproof/ Breathability rating: 20k/20k
• Relaxed Fit


First Outing:

Fort Williams UCI World Cup track seemed like the perfect place to test out the Altura Mayhem 2. The ground was saturated so hence there was plenty of overland flow as the water tried to wiggle its way down the mountain side. For me that meant lots of spray coming off my tyres. Luckily I was equipped with a shiny new jacket. The Mayhem 2 was extremely comfortable to wear, both on and off the bike, thanks to the Altura ErgoFit 3D design. I only had a jersey underneath the jacket despite the weather being brisk, however I did not feel the cold whilst riding. When I stopped for lunch I did get slightly on the cool side but that was to be expected.  The jacket kept me dry from all the spray coming off my tyres and I should add when cleaning, mud came off easily with a wet cloth. Equipped under each arm (if the weather gets warmer) is a ventilation zip, although that was not needed in my case. I was really pleased with my first outing in the Altura Mayhem 2 jacket and I made it home warm and dry.

IMG_3307
UCI World Cup Start Gate

Water-resistant not Waterproof

As I was so pleased with my first outing in the Altura Mayhem 2 jacket, I decided I would wear it for a day of hiking to see how it would fare. The challenge you ask? I’m in Fort William, so Ben Nevis of course. For those that don’t know Ben Nevis (part of the Nevis Range) is the tallest mountain in the UK, sitting at 1345 metres above sea level according to Wikipedia (1397 metres according to my Suunto Traverse). Setting off it was soon clear I had picked the wrong day to climb Ben Nevis. Very poor visibility, -1 degrees C, heavy rainfall and wind speeds of 45 mph with gusts of up to 62 was what Benny had to offer me.

Climbing the first 900, I didn’t really notice the rain however as I started to climb higher it was like having a bucket of water chucked over me. With in a short amount of time my jacket had wetted out and I was soon soaked through. Once I broke into the cloud bank, the temperature plummeted and I could really feel how soaked through I was. I put my hood up in attempt to hold what little heat was left in the jacket. Unfortunately the hood is what lets this jacket down. Being the same material as the rest of the jacket with no reinforcements, it has no structure or strength and it flaps around in the wind. Several times it would blow off my head, exposing me once again to the bitter weather. Saying that however, the hood does have draw-cords attached which meant I could elasticate my hood to my head and summit the mountain.

IMG_3522


Conclusion 

All in all the Altura Mayhem 2 is a great lightweight waterproof jacket.  It has everything you would expect a premium brand like Altura to offer. It is comfortable, affordable, and can tackle those wet days riding.

So okay, perhaps it couldn’t handle Ben Nevis but I am not sure I would be riding in those conditions. Concluding, it is the perfect jacket for the damp days out riding. It is packable so can be chucked in your rucksack yet comfortable to wear all day long. MBUK ‘Best Value’ Jacket Award Winner. I would certainly buy this jacket again and would certainly recommend it to the mountain biking community.

 

Happy Adventuring

The Wolf

 

 

 

 

Blog Posts

Welcome

Good Morning Everyone.

As this is my first blog post I want to use it to tell you what my blog will be about, what I’m about and lastly what to expect to see from me in the future.


So first of all, who am I?  –  My name is Joe and I’m an outdoor adventurer. Ever since I was a child I would enjoy nothing more than playing in the woods and exploring the national parks on our family holidays. Going through high school I was a keen kayaker and mountain biker and would compete in both. With the mountain biking I still compete occasionally. That falls down to if I’m near a race at the time and happen to have my bike with me.  After that I studied outdoor pursuits for two years, which was based at an activity centre. This gained me several NGB (National Governing Bodies) qualifications and more importantly experience in leading adventure sports and skills and tricks in the outdoors.  Since that I have worked on outdoor centres, a short stint at Go Outdoors, seasonal work (summer and winter) and then a bit of private outdoor work. During this time I was constantly gaining new qualifications or learning more advanced techniques to constantly better myself.

That brings us on to now. I am passionate about travelling; seeing new places, meeting new people, experiencing cultures and having an adventure. Unfortunately traveling and blogging is not easy to make into a full-time job so what I do is a big mix of seasonal work, private expeditions and sports coaching with my own travels chucked into one big pot. This allows me to travel and still live the adventurous outdoors life that I want to lead.


What is my blog about and what can you expect?  –  We have established that I am a traveller and adventurer, so believe it or not my blog and site is exactly that. As I travel the world and lead expeditions I will be blogging along the way with my thoughts, recommendations, gear reviews, hints and tips and of course lots of photos.

On my site I have a page dedicated to Kit Lists (see menu). This is where I will post all my kit lists for each expedition and adventure so that you can see what I take, what I used and what I would take/leave behind if I was to do it again. My kit lists will be everything from one day adventures to months of traveling and cover nearly every sport going from walking and cycling to snowboarding and kayaking. Hopefully this page will give you the help and guidance that you need when it comes to packing for your own adventures and expeditions. If you have any questions or would like help building a kit list for your adventure then please get in touch and I will personally help build a kit list for you and your adventure.


Hopefully my first post has given you a little insight to who I am and what to expect from my page. Thank you for the taking the time to read this and I hope you enjoy my travels and blog which is to come.

Happy Adventuring

The Wolf

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