LYON EQUIPMENT COMPETITION: A Grand Day Outby Michael Ryan Feb/2009
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The list of entries so far is below (closing date for entries is Midnight on Monday 9th March):
Click to read individual articles in this series:
The chalk storms, the rain dribbles, the soup is simmering on the stove, the fields are barren, the cows are inside, the first lambs of the year shiver, the trees naked, the climbing walls are packed, the grit is good. A magic day when the ice is like styrofoam or perhaps there is only a dusting that can hardly be called winter conditions. The ridges are celestial on a frigid blue sky day, the craic is fierce, the company essential and at the end of the day the warmth and glow of the pub awaits whatever your winter adventure. If you get sick of it all: the wet, the permanet gray dome above us and the too often too warm for winter weather that blesses our pestered isle, you can always fly off to Thailand or Spain or Norway! This is what it is all about; out there doing it and enjoying the outdoors in all its wintery glory - and yes we've all experienced the best of days even when it's drab. You learn to make the best of it in the UK.
A Grand Day Out is another creative competition and a chance to express yourself and share your adventures.
You have to submit around five hundred words and one photograph describing a Grand Day Out in the winter, this winter or winters' past. It has to be outside, not down the climbing wall: it can be bouldering, ice/mixed/snow climbing, alpine, winter walking, sun rock, trad climbing - a good day out on the hill or at the crag. What you write about and how you write is up to you: prose, a poem - there's an example below. The photo must be related to your words. If you have drawing/painting skills feel free to submit an illustration as a jpg.
Lyon Equipment have been very generous once again and we would like to thank them for their support of UKClimbing.com and the UK climbing and outdoor community.
Midnight on Monday 9th March. Depending on the number of entries they will be published between today and the end of March. Winners announced in April.
Submit up to 500 or so words. No text speak please. Use capitals at the beginning of each sentence and full stops at the end of a sentence. Please spell check and read through your essay. Readability and legibility is increased if you use paragraphs. Please use paragraph spaces by hitting return and leaving a white space. All this helps in editing and formatting which is a big job for us.
Submit your words and photograph here. Photo upload is at the base of this page. Make sure you caption your image.
In the Summary title field put Lyon Equipment A Grand Day Out Competition and your name. MAKE SURE YOU SELECT, "Competitions" under category.
Frank Bennett and Paul Cornthwaite of Lyon Equipment are the judges.
It's that weekend: Big Snow™ has begun. The BBC have branded it and are now marketing the hell out of it: schools off, industry at a standstill, £3bn lost, wheels spinning, sledges sliding, rescues in the hills and hourly weather updates. The statisticians are going crazy and the weather girl has something to talk about. The country wasn't at a standstill, but I'm sure more than just myself got the impression that it was.
It was cold and gray. Flurries were flying as we sped by Brough on the A66 and I pondered whether my 47 year old bones, tendons and muscles would be able to function in such arctic conditions?
My friend Tom Dixon to my left is 'just a boulderer' and young enough to be my son. He was at Earl yesterday with a large crew. Today he's just along to barrack us, hence his comments about his old friend, Adam 'Noddy' Noble. Naked Dave, who we just picked up from Morland, is in the back seat.
We are all to meet at Slipstones, the others, Adam, Bridget and Major Tom coming from Kendal.
Someone is holding back, watching each others beta, learning the moves. Then they pounce! When the time is right, when the others are exhausted, their arms turned to ashes and the skin on their tips raw and exposed; Jerry Peel, the master strategist, steps forward and is first up. Victory is sweet. It's cold and the clouds are assembling in the west, soon like rushing bombs they'll bombard us and drops will fall. The Black Sheep in the Bay Horse are calling.
A grouse laughs, we all laugh back.
Every weekend we used to go to a different gritstone cliff to boulder, but Slipstones was our favourite and today was one of the best days despite the impending gloomy weather. Usual crew; Rad and Jane, Micky J, Dave Barton, Rona, Roy, Alan, Ian, Andy, The Peels, Jerry and Gill, and Gibby.
Thud! Another one hits the hard-packed ground, knees bent. Uh! Goes right up your spine. Then another suiter steps up. I never ever managed to get up a problem first with that crew. Not that it mattered, we were tight and great company. And then I left the country.
"Whatever happens we have to make sure that someone burns off Noddy, and several times."
Different time, different faces, same cliff.
Adam pinches the aręte with his right, feet smearing on dimples. He reaches with his left but is just short. Naked Dave falls off, then Major Tom. First problem and it's a tricky one. What happened to warming up? Almost impossible today. I hung back of course, I'd learnt from the master strategist. Then stepped up and climbed the problem first. Today the hard-packed ground was covered in foam pads and a slight dusting of snow flakes. Things change but not that much. The snow flurries increased and the wind picked up. Feet and fingers never got warm but we all got some in and the banter was constant and warmed our hearts.
The Bay Horse in Masham. Roaring fire and good ales, authentic decor. It's changed a little; two flat screen TV's tuned to Sky Sports play Chelsea vs. Liverpool and all the Sunday papers are there. An insane little black dog that looked like Gnasher out of the Beano jumped on our laps. In days gone by we would drink three or four pints of Black Sheep, even those driving, and then speed back home to Skipton down roads free of cameras. Today, Bridget and Adam, the two Toms, Naked Dave and myself sat down for Sunday dinner and a couple of pints maximum.
On the long drive back to Ambleside I shared my iPod music with Tom.
He hated it, said it was too melodic.
Things change but not that much.
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