a Decade ago I sat deep in conversation with Rob Whittall. We’d just come back from an expedition to the Himalayas, where both of us had failed to enjoy the cumbersome weights of the paraglider bags that had hung from our backs like Quasimodo’s hump – ironically they even made us walk like him! We’d been humping (excuse the pun) 35 kg around in our unshapely, poorly designed sacks for days on end. It was agony. Clearly something had to give, and hopefully it wouldn’t be our backs. We looked at what gear we could leave behind next time and realised we already had it down to the bare minimum. Lightweight fabrics hadn’t reached the market yet, so losing much off the wings was out the question. Only one area of our kit stood loud and proud as the obvious place we could lose weight: our harnesses and bags. I mean, for a starter, surely we didn’t need both?

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