The Christmas Crack This morning, 25th December 2008, Stanage Edge in the Peaks. What am I doing here?
Like the seventy-odd other climbers present, and let's face it we are odd, we are here to climb Christmas Crack, first climbed by George Bower in 1926. It's a fine English tradition on the UK's most popular cliff, followed by pints of Cumberland ale and carols in the Scotsman's Pack in Hathersage.
Larger than life Dick Turnbull was there as he has been since 1921 directing operations and Gordon McNair was there in traditional climbing garb; plus fours, tweed jacket and cap, with a traditional short-handled alpenstock - useful for dry-tooling the rounded breaks and final big flake crack. Many Father Christmasses were in attendance.
OK! Forum discussion suggestions....
George Bower's motto was, 'What man has done, other men can do', which is true but as more men and women do it, the wait gets longer. Should there be a time limit of 15 minutes for each Christmas day ascent?
Other hot topics perhaps.....
Here is one suggestion by Frank the Decorator and Richard Wheeldon which may solve the erosion/congestion problem.
To reduce erosion (and defuse short tempers) should six routes either side of Christmas Crack be renamed just for Christmas Day with a Christmas theme which will open up more routes for the assembled throng. These are Frank's and Richard's suggested name changes.