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A Mid-Week Mission | The Alps with GORE-TEX

Mollie Hughes is a Tiso Ambassador, two times Everest Summiteer, Adventurer and Motivational Speaker based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Earlier this year we sent Tiso Ambassador Mollie Hughes and her team on a mid-week mission to the Italian Alps to test our new season GORE-TEX products.

Accompanied by award-winning mountain sports photographer Hamish Frost, the team faced challenging weather during their trip. Fortunately, adverse weather conditions tend to create perfect GORE-TEX testing conditions!

This is Mollie’s story…

Day One

Early on a Wednesday morning we took the first Skyway lift from Courmayeur and within minutes were standing outside the Torino hut at 3,375m. We had two full on days of Alpine climbing planned and a stack of new season GORE-TEX products to put through their paces.

Our first objective was the Aiguilles Marbrees Traverse. As we approached our route across the glacier clouds swirled above our heads periodically shrouding the entire mountain. We quickly gained the ridge and enjoyed some fantastic climbing along our South – North traverse. Within an hour of climbing we were completely engulfed in thick cloud, cloud that wouldn’t let up for the next 48 hours.

Some of the most exciting new bits of kit we had to test on day one came from RAB. This Peak District based brand have moved their entire range of waterproof products to the GORE-TEX family this season, incorporating some very innovative designs and technology in the process.

On day one I tested out the new RAB Ladakh GORE-TEX hybrid jacket which uses a combination of two GORE-TEX fabrics. The body of the jacket is developed with breathable GORE-TEX c-knit: a soft-to-touch, no crinkle fabric. Then, on the high-wear areas such as where your rucksacks straps lie, this jacket uses rugged GORE-TEX pro for maximum durability. This hybrid creates a comfortable, breathable and incredibly durable all-mountain jacket which really came into its own along this exposed ridge line.

As the wind whipped across the Marbrees, Jon was very thankful that he had chosen to test the new RAB Infinity down jacket! This jacket is stuffed with incredibly warm 800 fill power down. The outer fabric is developed with GORE-TEX Infinium windstopper. This bomb-proof outer prevents the elements from getting into the down so it can maintain its loft and therefore its warmth.

Day Two

Our second day in the Alps took on a distinctly Scottish feel. We prised ourselves out of our warm beds at the Torino hut, out of the door and straight into strong winds, near constant whiteout and rocks covered in rime ice. Not the most pleasant way to wake up at 5am, but we knew it would be the ideal scenario to test the rest of our GORE-TEX clothing. However, with the dire weather and a grim forecast, the options for what we could climb were limited. We opted to head over to the Petit Flambeau within easy reach of the hut and traverse the ridgeline.

For days like this, whether you are in Scotland, the Alps or further afield you need to be able to pull your hood up and feel invincible inside of your jacket. The Arc’teryx Beta AR jacket which Jon tested on day two was just the jacket for the job. This rugged GORE-TEX Pro shell has your back in just about any conditions.

During our two days of climbing we were also testing the new Mountain Equipment G2 pants. These trousers are developed with GORE-TEX INFINIUM soft shell fabric, making them completely windproof and highly water resistant. I really enjoyed testing these trousers on this trip, unlike the usual hard shell trousers I would wear winter climbing in Scotland they offer so much more freedom of movement and breathability. With their high water resistance and versatility I am looking forward to wearing them for many climbing trips this coming winter.

The two days we spent climbing together in the Alps absolutely confirmed to us that with the right kit and the right team, you can still have a lot of fun even when the weather closes in!

From RAB’s new GORE-TEX line to the use of innovative GORE-TEX INFINIUM technology, we have fully tested these products in demanding mountain environments and are excited to share them with you. Come and try the new range for yourself in stores across Scotland and online – you won’t be disappointed.

All photography and film by the immensely talented Hamish Frost

Featured Kit

The trip turned into a great test of the latest gear as the weather certainly put it through its paces. Here's the key items we tested!

RAB Women's Ladakh GTX Jacket | This is a fantastic all round option for all mountain sports. Gore-Tex Pro material is ultra waterproof and breathable, and combined with a heavy-weight 70D face fabric covers the high wear areas over the shoulders and down the outer arms. Lightweight Gore-Tex C-Knit panels make up the back, torso and under arms providing increased breathability.

Shop RAB Ladakh GTX

Mountain Equipment Tupilak The Mountain Equipment Tupilak jacket is made in a cardinal orange 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro 8OD fabric to ensure ultimate weather protection, breathability and comfort. The Tupilak jacket is a streamline yet comfortable alpine fit that is designed to be a versatile shape for both daily wear and adventuring.

Shop Mountain Equipment

RAB Muztag GTX JacketThe Muztag is at the top of the pile. Gore-Tex Pro material is ultra waterproof and breathable, and combined with a mid-weight 40D face fabric covers the high wear areas over the shoulders, across the front of the jacket and down the outer arms. Meanwhile lightweight Gore-Tex Active panels make up the back and under arms providing increased breathability where you need it most.

Shop RAB Muztag GTX

RAB Infinity Light Jacket Designed for mountaineers operating in mixed conditions, the Infinity Light Jacket is a lightweight solution for those looking for uncompromised protection. The robust GORE-TEX® INFINIUM™ with WINDSTOPPER® technology outer is highly breathable and has a soft feel to touch. Easily deflecting wind and rain, the Infinity Light has protective stitch-free overlays and minimal seams to shield its wearer. Inside 800FP R.D.S Certified, Nikwax® treated, European Goose Down is held in a narrow boxwall construction, trapping heat and maintaining core warmth.

Shop RAB Infinity Light

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