UKC

A Look Back / Look Forward at Cliffhanger 2007/2008

© Keith Sharples
This weekend is the second Cliffhanger Event held at Millhouses Park, Sheffield.

Cliffhanger will play host to the British Bouldering Championships (the UK's finest rock climbers battling it out on a purpose built mega-wall), an orient style UltraSprint orienteering competition and open event, Mountain Bike trials displays by Ben Slinger, Scuba Diving instruction, an on-site North-Shore Mountain Bike course, an open Skateboarding contest, come-and-try-it Climbing Walls and assault courses, Angling coaching, a heap of demonstrations, and loads of outdoor bargains. Once you've paid your £5 to get in virtually everything is FREE!

For more information visit the website: www.cliff-hanger.co.uk

Keith Sharples (www.keithsharplesphotography.com) was there last year, and will be there this weekend. Here Keith briefly looks back and forward.


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The sweet-smile of success - Gaz Parry having topped one of the problems in the final round of last year's comp on his way to winning the mens' senior event. © Keith Sharples.

Take an uber enthusiastic event organiser and various sponsors together with a couple of dozen exhibitors and retailers, some 'try-me' sports providers, a wacky reverse-bungee-jump rig, many of the best boulderers in the country, a collection of wanabee Peter Pans and put them all into a town park in the midst of the wettest year on record for some time and what do you have? The answer of course - Cliffhanger 2007.

It might seem like a distant memory now but the monsoon rains started weeks before Cliffhanger 2007 and simply didn't stop. The entire country was nearly afloat and the emergency services were under siege; staff from the Environment Agency must have felt like Robinson Crusoe. Come the weekend of the event and the rain was still thrashing down. The marquee for the bouldering comp leaked, the try-me dive sessions were available virtually anywhere on the site and the outdoor dyno compo was rescheduled to grab an unexpected 'dry' snap. It might have been a total wash-out BUT for British stoicism. Thousands came, saw and left buzzing. The exhibitors exhibited, the retailers retailed, the boulderers bouldered, the fly-boys dynoed and all agreed it was brilliant apart from the weather that is!

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Cliffhanger - coming right up: click here for details

On the back of all that Cliffhanger 2008 will be in Millhouses Park, Sheffield over 12th and 13th July. Matt Heason, of Heason Events, is masterminding the show again; though hopefully he's in touch with the gods for this year and sorted out some decent weather!

And as for Keith Sharples Photography, I was there last year and I'll be there again this year – this time as official event photographer. Expect to see me legging it around with half a tonne of kit shooting everything that moves and perhaps even some of the stuff that doesn't. I'll also be reporting on the climbing action on UKClimbing.com so if by some heinous reason you can't make it along you can keep up with the action on-line.

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The Dyno Comp, featuring the Guiness World Dyno Record attempt, drew contentants and spectators alike. It sure looks like a long way up though - and this was just the warm-up rounds!... BTW, it's not essential to wear your boxers on the outside - though some reckon it helps...© Keith Sharples
Personally I can't wait to see the bouldering comp get underway – doubtless the setters will have dreamed up a whole bunch of gnarl-fest problems having had all year to think out them out. And then there's the dyno comp as well where hopefuls will be competing for the £1000 prize money as well as trying to knock off a new Guinness world record to beat that currently held by our very own Matt Heason – he of Heason Events.

There'll also be masses of other stuff to checkout as well including stunning photo exhibitions by fellow action /landscape photographers like Adam Long, Alex Messenger and Nick Smith, and climbing talks by top-climber Steve McClure and Rich Mayfield of Hard Rock 2008 fame. For those anxious to work up a sweat there will be lots to try from kayaking, kite flying, scuba diving, skateboarding, slack lining, orienteering and the definite 'hands on' pull-up challenge. For more details check out www.cliff-hanger.co.uk

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And it looks quite a long way down as well! This might hurt in the morning, if I land this badly !© Keith Sharples

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