Awoke to a cold and overcast Tuesday morning in the Ribble Valley, the mist laid low over the river and the cloud was brushing the peak of Pendle Hill, not the most desirable walking weather but nothing stops the Chilloo Team!

Today was our Staff training day. Our aim was to learn more about our products, test them first hand against adverse weather conditions, bond as a team, get a little bit of fresh air and exercise and of course have fun in the process.

Setting off in our clambering clan was Lynne our Managing director, Janet the logistics expert, Lee our Warehouse operator, Ben our Columbia representative, Millie the Ski & Trek dog and Myself Oliver from IT, all of mixed abilities and experience.

For those who are not familiar with Pendle Hill or the Ribble Valley area, it is the gateway to walking, hiking, climbing, rambling, camping and general outdoor heaven that is the lake district, the Ribble valley is a hive of activity, famous for its rolling hills, excellent local food produce and outstanding views with the centre piece being the mighty Pendle hill Standing over 1800ft. (close to mountain status).

First task was to go through our route and get kitted out for the weather, as advised by Ben we went through choosing some of our new Columbia range Lee and I choose Chilloo’s current best seller Columbia Men's Deep Ghyll™ Shell, with our new Columbia Mens Altimeter T-shirt, and the previously reviewed Shastalavista walking shoe which was my firm favourite. Our glamorous ladies sporting the new season’s collections of Back Packing Beauty Waterproof Jacket and the new season Columbia Surefire Softshell along with Columbia Women’s San Gil Walking boots.

Once all comfy in our new clobber, we headed off to the starting point of our walk. Our route was starting from just outside the village of Barley and continuing up the steps to the summit, stopping off a few times on the way not only for a rest but to talk about how our new garments were performing and tested each technology Columbia has to offer, Omni-Tech, Omni-Grip, Omni- Dry, Omni-Shield and Omni-Heat.

Battling the weather we plodded on up the east side of Pendle, admiring the views of thick mist and cloud, gradually soldiering on up the steep stairway into the abyss. As the ground began to level an inaudible sigh of relief came from the team, we had made it, reaching the Trig point where the views (usually) stretch from Blackpool to the Lake District and beyond. Enough time for a quick photo and a cake then made our way back down where a well-deserved pub lunch was in order. As we all warmed ourselves we swapped experiences with the waterproof jackets, boots and rucksacks we had decided to take.

With Full Bellies we made our way back to put our new found product knowledge into effect. If you are considering venturing to the outdoors this spring/summer, don’t hesitate to come and see our showroom and put our product knowledge to the test, alternatively visit our website: or follow us on Twitter @SkiandTrek.