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© Mick Ryan After the clocks go back, many mountain rescue teams report an increase in callouts to those not carrying a torch. To avoid benightment and bewilderment in the hills, here follows a couple of useful links and a round up of a few headtorches available this Autumn/Winter.
"You want to squeeze in an extra multi-pitcher on Gable Crag but it takes longer than you thought. Someone in your team sprains their ankle near the summit of Glyder Fawr and you have to snail pace it back to Ogwen Cottage. At sunset you find your path blocked by fallen rocks and the alternative route involves a 7km detour... Although good planning and solid daytime navigation are your first defence against getting caught out after dark, there are still loads of reasons why darkness can catch you out while still far from basecamp."
Here follows a selection of the latest headtorches for Autumn/Winter 2011, priced from £12.50 including P&P to £85, along with handy accessories: the Petzl CORE rechargeable battery and the Mammut Ambient Light headtorch light diffuser.
The new X-Shot Ambient Light converts the X-Shot from a torch to a diffused light.
Mammut X-Shot RRP £85(See below)
A new multi-functional headlamp designed with mountaineers in mind. Total Reflex Optic combines HiFlux LED for the spotlight with two lateral definition LEDs for the floodlight.
More info on the Mammut website.
A full-featured, super-bright headlamp, the Spot is the light to own if you can only have one. it boasts an array of lighting modes customizable to any fast-paced activity.
More info on the Black Diamond website.
Petzl Tikka Plus2 RRP £40
The Tikka Plus 2 headtorch integrates two light sources for versatility: one white, high-output LED and one red LED. The white LED delivers an impressive 50 lumens in maximum mode and lights up to 35m. In economic mode, it can reach a burn-time of 140 hours. The red LED provides spare lighting to preserve night vision or to become a safety strobe light for biking etc.
More info on the Petzl website.
Petzl CORE rechargeable batteryDesigned for the TIKKA 2 - ZIPKA 2 line of headlamps, the CORE battery offers an advantage over regular batteries. It is very easy to insert and can be charged via any standard USB charger: a cell phone charger, a multimedia device, cigar lighter charger, or even a solar panel, a portable energy source, a computer, etc.
The CORE offers excellent performance at low temperatures, thanks to Lithium Ion Polymer technology. With the OS by Petzl software, the user can customize headlamp performance in a number of ways: for example, to adapt the lighting intensity or battery life to the type of activity.
The Alpkit Gamma £12.50 (inc P and P)
A compact, lightweight, multifunction LED headtorch. The main XPC Cree LED produces up to 88 lumens for maximum illumination, whilst to save on battery life the 5mm LED offers ample light for many night time tasks. The red and green lights offer versatility in the mountain environment for maintaining night vision and reading contours. A rear red light on the battery pack with optional strobe mode adds further functionality, ideal for added safety when walking down dark country lanes. The Gamma can also be easily mounted on handle bars or helmet for bike use.
More info on the Alpkit website.
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