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Monday, 17 March 2014

TGO Challenge 2014: Taming Trinnie Trailstar

Being a Trailstar Virgin, it seemed sensible to get to know Trinnie more intimately. A rain and gale-swept hillside isn’t the best place for panicky fumblings with a girl in a flap.

A couple of sunny walks in the Great Park allowed me to try two pitching heights. The first, at 120cm looked like this:

TRINNIE SET AT 120cm 2

TRINNIE SET AT 120CM – CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

TRINNIE SET AT 120cm 1

TRINNIE SET AT 120CM – CLICK TO ENLARGE

It’s not a brilliant pitch, and it took me about fifteen minutes to get her this bad. I was trying for a high pitch assuming normal poor (not horrid) weather, so Trinnie is staked close to the ground. It seems pitched like this the doorway tunnel stands up proud from the flank, so I think it will catch the wind and we’ll be buffeted. However the doorway is quite tall, if a touch narrow.

So, on my next stroll through the Park I decided to try her at 110cm. This is how she looked:

TRINNIE SET AT 110cm  1

TRINNIE SET AT 110CM – CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

TRINNIE SET AT 110cm 3

TRINNIE SET AT 110CM – CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

TRINNIE SET AT 110cm 4

TRINNIE SET AT 110CM – CLICK TO ENLARGE

Again, I’ve set her quite close to the ground assuming poor weather. This time she looks quite a bit better, with fewer wrinkles, and from emptying her from my pack it took nine minutes to get her to this state, which is better, but certainly not quick enough if it’s peeing down with rain.

At this height the doorway tunnel is virtually flush with the her flanks which should make for a quieter night. Even thought the doorway is very slightly lower it’s more useable because of the increased width. Trinnie looks to be considerably more aerodynamic at this height with quite shallow angles, whilst still giving decent headroom inside.

I was interested to see how much load the central pole was taking, and trying to lift it when pitched showed that it was quite considerable. This led me to wonder if the pole will sink into peaty soils in stormy weather and so I’ve come up with a solution to that; I’ve punched a hole in the centre of an aluminium Jameson whiskey carton top so that the pole basket sits snugly on top. This lid is 92mm in diameter and has quite a deep rim so is very stiff. It has a surface area of 6645 sq.mm. My Leki pole basket has a diameter of 50mm, so an area of 1964 sq.mm. So using the whisky top gives well over three times the surface area, so hopefully more chance of resisting being shoved down into a peaty soil. It weighs 19 grams.

JAMESON WHISKEY LID SPREADER

JAMESON WHISKEY LID SPREADER

Robin has come up with another neat idea – tying a nylon loop of cord to the apex grosgrain loop to help packing in high winds; it will give me something positive to hang onto so Trinnie won’t end up in the North Sea two weeks before I do:

ROBIN EVANS’ PICTURE – THANKS ROBIN Smile

My next experiment will be to move the door position when Trinnie’s pitched with Oook installed – which will be pretty useful should the wind direction veer through 180 in the middle of the night. The theory’s fine… and I need to get Trinnie up in good order in two or three minutes.

Getting there.

19 comments:

  1. You're going to get wet knees man, wet knees. And a wet back. Twice warned:-) Mind you, I'm just wet......

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    Replies
    1. I'm an old hand: I always got both of those getting in & out of my Akto.
      Whenever I'm camping there are warm dry zephyrs (and Zodiacs to die for) or freezing ice covered tents. None of this rain & mizzle for me, Sir.
      Oh No!

      Delete
  2. Quite a scientific business, this. Make sure you allow for the phase of the moon. Gravitational waves a concern?

    But good to see a bit of considered planning going on. Also good that you had all these empty whisky containers lying around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I watched Andy Walker erect Treeza Trailstar quite a few times last year, and noticed that there was quite an art to it. Because of that I ordered Trinnie with enough time to ensure I wasn't going to end up wrapped up in a mess of ProSilnylon & guy ropes in the middle of a Scottish bog.

      The lunar cycle is important. It accounts for a lot of the madness in women, and Trinnie is a little minx. Will the gravitational waves make my rucsack heavier?

      Delete
    2. I forgot to post as "me" ... addon = Adam!

      Delete
  3. I had expected that the planning for 2014 would take account of the privations of last year. Although I had spotted the word "camp" appearing on our route sheet from time to time, I had, naturally, taken it as an adjective. It appears from the mighty preparations that you & Andy are making that I am wrong and you actually propose that we sleep, eat and indeed ablute alfresco.

    Are there no decent hotels on our route?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lord Elpus

      Have no fear, Dear Heart!
      Did you not also spot "YMCA" on the route sheet?
      As the Village People proclaim:

      "They have everything for you men to enjoy,
      You can hang out with all the boys...
      It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
      It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.
      You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal,
      You can do whatever you feel ..."


      Andy was most insistent that he was to share a room with you.
      You can do whatever you feel, warm and snug, together.
      :-)

      Delete
    2. Oh. Hang on.
      That was "Fife Arms, Braemar" and not "YMCA."
      But, wonderfully, the scansion remains the same.

      Delete
  4. I've just read a crackingly good idea over on Chris Townsend's place.
    He ties his Oookstar to his Trailstar which should make pitching the complete unit much faster. I shall try that out soon.
    Thanks, Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That's OUR TREE that is....
    We walked past there together just the other month darling....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Close, but no cigar, Sweetcheeks!
      "Our tree" is about 200 yards away, but we did pass by this fellow on the way to Windsor along the Gallop.
      :-)

      Delete
  6. The nylon cord loop the the apex grosgrain loop is a great idea, it is helpful in strong winds.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looking good Mr Sloman :)

    Good choice of colour too. I'll borrow that borrowed idea of the loop at the peak if I may. Mine is heading to the Arctic Circle with me in August...

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mike
      I believe Robin borrowed the idea from another blogger - the wonders of the blogosphere!
      :-)
      Arctic Circle, eh? That sounds like fun! What's the plan then?

      Delete
    2. Well, a bit of a hike on the Kings Trail in Sweden for the Fjallraven Classic. It's supposed to be a race, but thankfully most participants seem to have forgotten this. I'm planning on pushing along at TGO pace but that may depend on my hiking partner more than me. Hopefully he won't make me walk my legs off :)

      We've got another couple of weeks to tour around after that, and then we hop back on a Boeing 777 for the sunny isle.

      Delete
    3. I've always fancied the Kungsleden - I hope you'll write it up to let us all know how you got on. The scenery there looks utterly fabulous, Mike.
      Good luck!
      -)

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    4. Thanks, I'll write it up on the blog and log it on SocialHiking, just for you! :)

      Agree, it looks like stunning country. Not many pubs though!

      Mike

      Delete
    5. Cheers Mike!
      I'm looking forward to this one.
      :-)

      Delete

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