Grit Flick Competition Winners

© Mick Ryan -

The Grit Flick competition was a great success. We had around 100 entries from which I have chosen the best 10 each of whom win one of our Great Gritstone Goody bags worth £60.

Congratulations to Jon Fullwood, Mark Marsally, Liz Fowler, Andy Cooley, Richard Hannam, Ben Bravington-Sim, Callum Urquhart, Tom Adams and Chris Brown.

Gritstone appears to be a lot of things to different people. We had several variations on the theme of 'God's Rock', but the best was from Jon Fullwood:

"Gritstone is technically God's rock, but he's not having it back!"

and one for the atheists from Mark Marsally:

"Gritstone is nature's answer to over confidence."

Another recurrent theme was that of the love - hate relationship. At least three entries likened gritstone to marmite, but the best love - hate suggestions were from Keith Bradbury:

"Gritstone is not that difficult to climb hard on, rarely in condition, over hyped, given too much importance in the public consciousness, credited with an undeserving mystique, and yet still continues to be one of my absolute favourite types of rock to climb on in the whole world."

.... and Liz Fowler....

"Grit is too hot, too cold, too windy, too full of midges, too likely to cause (more) photos to exist of me dangling from my gear, too addictive!"

... but this was probably most concisely put by Andy Cooley as:

"Gritstone is a dilemma."

Then there were a number of anagrams, but I liked Richard Hannam's the best:

"Gritstone is... an anagram of 'tiger snot'."
David Noddings and his shadow on Crescent Arete at Stanage  © Alan James - UKC and UKH
Perfect grit on a perfect winter's day

A few people tried the more difficult task of getting a little poetic about it like Ben Bravington-Sim:
"Gritstone is the mentor of masters and the mother of mysteries."

... and Callum Urquhart ...

"Gritstone is...........a gargoyle's back, dark and arched, each movement up it filled with trepidation knowing that you'll be thrown off and humiliated (or worse!) should you stray. The line of accent has an ugly charm, incomprehensibly natural, that rewards commitment and punishes the faint of heart. Should you overcome the polished spines, slimy pockets and warty pebbles, you momentarily extend the route; face contorted in a manic smile, eyes wide open and tightly shut all at once surveying all that lies before you.
Gritstone is ........incomprehensibly natural."
A number of people submitted scientific definitions of the rock, including some quite long and in-depth description, however the following caught my eye since Tom Adams managed to incorporate the word 'lithological' but didn't get all text book on us:
"Gritstone is the lithological embodiment of beauty AND the beast."

... and finally we had a few fully-fledged poems, of which Chris Brown's was the most appealing:

"Gritstone is vicious.
Can I have my knuckles back?
I must learn to jam.

Gritstone is subtle.
Sloping holds and rounded breaks –
Strength's not everything.

Gritstone is fragile.
Clumsy climbers, modern cams:

Gritstone is precious.
Chipping, brushing, chalk tick marks.
Are we this selfish?

Gritstone is spiteful.
It has been called God's Own Rock.
Well, he can keep it."

And finally my own offering which didn't win a Gritstone Goody Bag:

"Gritstone is a verb!"

Grit Flick Packing Prizes   © Mick Ryan -
... and here's me, packing up the gritstone goody bags

A big thanks to Martin Panton at Marmot, Chris Rowlands and Simon Marsh at DMM, Rockfax guidebooks and of course Alastair.

And if you didn't win, you can buy Grit Flick at

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16 Nov, 2009
Nice to see poetry winning a prize on UKC!
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