Clothing fit for a mountain leader

I’ve been using Rohan clothing since the 1980s and it has always been my preferred clothing for my adventures and work around the world.

This February was a busy month for me with the following activities in my varied work programme:

  • British Heart Foundation ELS Heartstart First Aid course for members of the 18,000+ membership of the Walking the Brecon Beacons Group.
  • Introduction to Mountain Navigation course for members of the 18,000+ membership of the Walking the Brecon Beacons Group.
  • Hill & Moorland Leader Award navigation refresher course.
  • REC High Altitude First Aid Course for a joint Army/RAF group headed to Everest Base Camp in May.
  • Hill & Moorland Leader Award Training course

I thought it might be helpful to review some of my Rohan clothing which I used throughout February.

Vertex Jacket

I’ve been using two Pinnacle Jackets which utilise a 3-layer Barricade™ membrane which is the same as used in the Vertex Jacket. I’m a Mountain Training Instructor so I need to be totally dependent on my waterproofs - and Barricade delivers in this respect.

It’s early days with the Vertex Jacket but my first impressions are favourable. The Vertex Jacket is in a shorter style than the Pinnacle Jackets but this wasn’t a problem for me. I like the black colour and thought the fabric was very breathable whilst I was training clients on the steeper slopes of the Brecon Beacons.

The adjustable cuffs and pockets were well suited for my activities and the hood was easy enough to adjust. The Vertex Jacket is a useful addition to my outdoor clothing.

Summit Trousers

I’m using these to complement the three pairs of Striders I use on a regular basis for both indoor training and outdoor activities. I like these tough trousers in their useful stretchy fabric which I’ve found to be reasonably windproof. I like the thigh pocket on the left leg as I need to have somewhere quick and handy to store my gloves when I don’t need them. They are smart, for both indoor and outdoor activities and I’ll buy a second pair of these when I’m next in Rohan Cowbridge!

Icepack Vest

This is a really versatile piece of clothing and I’ve still got my first Icepack Vest from a few years ago. I wonder how the Icepack Vest would work with a hood which would suit me for outdoor activities. I wear this indoors and outdoors and feel comfortable using this product.

Sweater Crew

This is good and I’ve used it outdoors as part of my layering systems and as casual clothing at home and when travelling. I’ve got this in Deep Navy and really like this item so I think I’ll have to overcome my aversion to green and get the second one as the other colour is Evergreen. I wear this over a thin base layer and it seems to work well. My only criticism is that possibly the sleeves are a bit long. When I wore it with my Nordic Jacket in Stockholm during early March I found the fleece cuffs of the Sweater Crew were protruding. When lounging indoors though, I quite like the longer sleeves!

Weather System Gloves: Winter Waterproof

As a professional outdoor instructor, gloves are really important to me, particularly as I’m always taking them off for simple tasks and then putting them back on. With other gloves, wet fingers often don’t go back into the gloves properly so it takes time to adjust the gloves. This is particularly frustrating as I need to get on with whatever I’m supposed to be doing. So far, so good with these gloves though, but I’ll review them again after the winter season and when I’ve been out in more challenging weather conditions with them.

Silver Technology

I’m currently using the Core Silver Zip and the Core Silver T and like both of these tops. I think these silver tops are generally stronger and last much longer than merino products. I’ve got three Silver Ts, which my wife thinks I’ve had for ten years, and she always comments that they always look like new! Let’s hope these two latest ones last as long too.


I’m trying out Alpha Silver Boxers and Aether Boxers at the moment and it’s difficult to decide which is the better product but I’ll continue reviewing both whilst I’m out enjoying my active work programme on the hills and mountains of the UK. Both products fit well and seem to be durable and dry overnight after I’ve hand washed them.

Merino 150 Shirt

I liked the look of this so much that I bought two of them. Definitely a smart piece of clothing in my opinion. It fits nicely and looks good so it’ll be useful for several aspects of my work.

By Alan Ward, International Mountain Leader, Bigfoot Services

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