What do you do on a Friday night?

© Mick Ryan -
Thank god it is Friday! An arbitrary end to the week and then the fun begins, maybe. I was working hard all week on, and you were working hard all week on whatever you do....Tom Dixon (Geordie), seen below, was busy at Lakes Climber in Ambleside as a sales associate, but come Friday (and several other days - every other he says) he unleashes his wild physique on the 'woodie' they have somewhere in the bowels of the shop......I hope some of you are driving north or north-west, or even south to enjoy the weekend out of doors after a hard weeks work. But some have to train.

5.35pm, 14 March 2008.

Tom Dixon
© Mick Ryan -

Tom called me down to put my sad frame through some punishment on the woodie. As I got there I bumped into a dirty George Ulrich. George is the 19 year old young chap who in February repeated Dawes Rides a Shovel Head E8 6c and Impact Day E8/9 6c, two of Dave Birkett's Lake District testpieces. George was just returning from a session abseiling and checking the moves on If 6 Was 9 E9 6c at Iron Crag first climbed in 1992 by Dave Birkett, which received its second ascent last year by Dave MacLeod, who confirmed the difficulty. Today George did all the moves but said it was hard and he would have to train to stand a chance of success....and here he is with Tom, training...(George has worked all week too at Kendal Wall and route setting in Glasgow)......

5.50pm, 14 March 2008.

George Ullrich
© Mick Ryan -

5.56pm, 14 March 2008.

Friday Night Training - intense.
© Mick Ryan -

6.04pm, 14 March 2008.

Friday Night Training
© Mick Ryan -

I could only take so much of this training, at 46 years old you have to listen and watch your body. Too much brutal pulling and I could be out all year, so take it easy. After a few brief pulls on the woodie and some pull ups on the rings I head back to the house to cook. I like cooking, not for myself but for others. Mike Thomas (Scouser) was there just about to set off to Chamonix with his friend Alex Willey, but the forescast wasn't looking good. Mike was checking five different websites hoping to find a forecast for styrofoam ice conditions.

6.20pm, 14 March 2008.

Mike checking five different websites for the Chamonix weather conditions
© Mick Ryan -

Mike had been working hard all week too, at a cafe in Ambleside and at Lakes Climber; everyone it seems has a portfolio of jobs around here. Alex is another Charlotte Mason graduate who works at Lakes Climber. I gave them Jon Griffith's mobile number to double check the conditions in the Alps, if it is crap they are heading to Spain to clip some bolts.

6.47pm, 14 March 2008.

Alex and Mike about to leave to Chamonix
© Mick Ryan -

No they aren't taking the bouldering mats - they are on test for a gear review.

The lights went out, hence the head torch (an Alpkit on test), and the book is 'How To Cure Your Own Back' by McKenzie, highly recommended, not my copy but I do have a copy. We like to eat meat and five vege every night and I like cooking - but I've already probably said that.

7.04pm, 14 March 2008.

Slaughtering a cauliflower and a leek.
© Mick Ryan -

It's up early tomorrow, forecast is good, and I'll be setting off at 5 am to do the Fairfield Horseshoe, back at whatever, some UKC work then off at 6pm to Dove Cottage to an opening of a photographic exhibition by Henry Iddon.... you can see some of his work here

Sunday? No idea. Make me an offer!

Goodnight, time to have a fatty, watch the top 200 photos at UKC accompanied by some mellow music and drift off to sleep. It's been a good week and I hope yours has been too.

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15 Mar, 2008
Pretty good too though it sounds a lot less hectic than yours! Steady work on the Lofoten guide, interspersed with either a daily walk in the local hills or exploring futher along the Sentier Littoral that runs south from St Rafael, just to keep the joints from seizing up completely! There aren't any Gogarths down there but a few interesting bits and bobs - Chris
20 Mar, 2008
"What do you do on a Friday night?" "Time to have a fatty" 'nuff said.
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