Google+ The Norris Files: January 2011


Trail Run

A trail run at Daisy Hill today. I'm not exactly sure of the distance but around 10km and 100 minutes of running. Unfortunately the GPS batteries were dead so I wasn't able to record the route or any data. It has been some months since I was last at Daisy Hill and the rain and floods made the vegetation very green and overgrown and many of the regular bike trails have been closed for maintenance. However, I did run quite a few trails today that I'd never ridden before on the bike. In summary, I good run and the new La Sportiva trail runners held up well being comfortable and providing plenty of grip. In short, trail running is way more enjoyable than pounding the pavement.

Iceland North-South Traverse

Its early days still but I'm planning a North-South cross country traverse of Iceland in 2013 or most likely 2014.

Darling Downs Tour Update, FLOOD!!

Torrentail rain turned into devasting floods so this tour appears doomed for the near future. Although the flood waters have receeded the newspapers are reporting widespread damage to roads and bridges in the area so I think it will be wise to put this trip on the back burner for a while. In a months time I will check on the state of the roads and bridges to see if I can finally make this trip become a reality.

Gillespie Pass Circuit Update

Plane tickets, car hire and the first night accomodation have now been booked for this trip so its all systems go. I should consider some alternate options in case the weather turns foul but I may wing it and speak to DOC if this hike becomes a no go and get there ideas for a different hike.

Out with the old in with the Lynx

I made the change from boots for hiking to trail runners today. Not that I have ever been a full boot convert as my Scarpa "boots" are only ankle high and not a full boot. In some respects my Scarpa boots have served me well taking me on two trips to New Zealand including many hikes and riding the Queen Charlotte Track and the Otago Rail Trail. They also saw me through a 5 week tour of Europe with many walking miles covered including hiking in Switzerland and riding in the South of France. As well, they have been worn on many rides/hikes around Brisbane in addition to my South Australian trip. They also saw duty as my work shoe for around six months. Despite this they have held up considerable well with no obvious signs of falling apart.

However, they have there faults. They have given me many blisters but that has mainly been when I have been covering many miles on pavement. I always get hotspots on my toes and front part of my foot with these boots particularly when walking downhill. But, the main reason I will no longer hike in the Scarpas is I have lost confidence in them after a heavy fall in them when crossing wet rock. Since then when scrambling, climbing or anywhere near a wet surface I have no belief that this boot will keep me upright. Definitely not what you want when hiking!

I had read good reports from long distance hikers about the La Sportiva Fireblade trail shoe so I decided to try them out. Turns out the Fireblades are obsolete and have been replaced by the Lynx model. K2 Base Camp had a few of the old Fireblades on sale for a very cheap price but it was obvious at a glance that the old Fireblades and the new Lynx runners have little in common. Commenting on this to the sales guy he explained that in Europe trail running has exploded in popularity so La Sportiva had made the decision to pour research and development money into that market and the result is the Lynx trail runner. This made sense as the Fireblade is a very basic looking shoe where the Lynx is visually a fully optioned trail runner.

Time will tell how the Lynx rates as a hiking shoe but one thing is very obvious, it will have way more grip than my Scarpa boots. Now I need to get some miles on them and get them broken in.



Long term review 22/5/12;

My main complaint with this shoe is that it offers very little  toe protection. As a result, I have lost a few toe nails when hiking with these shoes. They dry out very quickly when wet, even after creek crossings, and to date I have noticed only a few minor foot hotspots towards the end of a long days walk. I have a decent amount of confidence in the grip they offer other than on a steep muddy slope which I suspect no shoe would have handled that well. When they wear out I probably wouldn't purchase these again, only because of the limited toe box protection they provide