Bouldering Try-out and Big Shakeout a Great Success

© Alan James

The Rockfax Bouldering Try-out session at the Burbage South Boulders was a great success. Around 50 people turned up throughout the day and enjoyed perfect conditions on some great problems. There were also 8 different brands of pad on show with multiple different models. At one point it seemed we had almost enough pads to carpet the entire space below the Pock Block.

Luke Green, chased by his shadow up Wall Past Slot V0 at Burbage South  © Alan James
Luke Green, chased by his shadow up Wall Past Slot V0 at Burbage South
UKC Gear, Oct 2013
© Alan James

We ran a little prize-draw on the day with 5 new pads up for grabs plus a few other great prizes. The winners were David Espley, who won a Black Diamond pad; Phil Welch, Mad Rock pad; Ben Bishop, Metolius pad; Owen Keane, Snap pad and Luke Green who won the second Black Diamond pad. There was also an Edelrid bouldering bucket for Guilia Forlati and Miki Keane, and Climb X packs for Simon Hoss and Rebecca Ting.

Some more photos below from the day.

Lev and Emma trying problems with Andy Moir.  © Alan James
Lev and Emma trying problems with Andy Moir.
© Alan James

Stephen Horne and Andy Moir carrying some of the pads back at the end of the day  © Alan James
Stephen Horne and Andy Moir carrying some of the pads back at the end of the day
UKC Gear, Oct 2013
© Alan James
Lots of attempts were made on the classic Pock-man during the Bouldering Try-out Session.  © Alan James
Lots of attempts were made on the classic Pock-man during the Bouldering Try-out Session.
© Alan James

We also have a report below from Col Stocker about the Big Shakeout....

Big Shakeout 2013 - fusion of adventure and entertainment 

Outdoor equipment specialist Alpkit and their event partner, activity provider Thornbridge Outdoors, declared this years sell out Big Shakeout weekend a resounding success. The sun arrived in good form to welcome 500 'Shakers' onto the Peak District site, all brimming with excitement to see what was in store. With a strong mix of entertainment, fun and adventure the weekend provided a relaxed environment in which to learn new skills, get inspired and make new friends.

“Perhaps the best family and outdoor festival" Dom Bush, adventure film maker.

Maintaining strong roots with the companies ethos, festival guests were personally welcomed by Alpkit staff and volunteer shaker-makers, while Alpkit founders served at the bar, stood by the gate and cleaned toilets... it's an event as raw and as genuinely Alpkit as you will find. 

Vin Cox hosts a chat with Ron Fawcett, Emily Penn and Joe Beaumont in the SteepEdge cafe.
© Alpkit

But in its third year it is also refined and capable of pulling in some of the most interesting names in their field. Alpkit chose people they like and admire, so setting the tone for the weekend and kicking things off was adventurer Alastair Humphreys. Following this up on the Saturday night in the packed SteepEdge cafe was former round the world bike record holder Vin Cox, his guests adventurer and artist Emily Penn, Joe Beaumont and the legend that is Ron Fawcett was a surprise to many.

The Big Shakeout has always been an intimate event allowing festival goers to enjoy a host of live music and lectures split across a number of small venues. The Blue Monkey Bar hosted the Saturday Shakeout meal along with a packed and distinctly blues music set. Outside at the Fire Stage there was a more intimate setting for live music next to the roaring fire, which kept onlookers warm as the cold evening drew in. Later on musicians met there for an improvised jam, an ephemeral experience for anyone lucky enough to have been present. 

With the growing number of people attending the Big Shakeout each year, Alpkit opened a second bar in the Yurt. From its day use of hosting yoga sessions it switched to an intimate evening venue for leading winter climber Dave Garry, alpinist Paul Swail and swashbuckling adventurer Dave Cornthwaite to recount tales of daring deeds to an audience lounging on bean bags and supplied by the Sprits Bar manned by Alpkit staff.

The Blue Monkey Brewery put on the popular bar for us, manned ably by Alpkit Staff and Shaker-makers.
© Alpkit

During the day courses were led by folk like International rock climber Gaz Parry and expedition paddler Chris Eastabrook, some of the best coaches in their fields. But it is far from an elitist environment, the majority of courses on offer were introductory activities run by festival partner Thornbridge Outdoors covering climbing, caving, mountain biking, bushcraft, navigation. These were backed up by a solid choice of on-site activities running continuously during the day for families and young adventurers, from woodland crafts to skyropes. 

Col Stocker from Alpkit, “Looking forward to Big Shakeout 2014 both ourselves and our partners are extremely excited about the future of the event. We will not be sitting back on this years success, but look at improvements and added features to give an even better experience next year. We will not be changing our ethos though and so will of course be working very hard to maintain that friendly, relaxed vibe that so many people like about this weekend”

Ed Chard runs through some essential rope management skills on his Rope Escapology course.
© Alpkit

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