I was amused when I read an article from The Guardian which was sent to me by a friend. Written by Kevin Rawlinson and carrying the snappy headline 'Mountain climbers face off battle over method of scaling the heights' , the unintentionally hilarious piece detailed a shadowy band of Cumbrian trad extremists waging war on dry toolers under the banner of 'the People's Climbing front of the Lake District'!
Now some people who tune in occasionally will have picked up on my distain for the dark art of dry tooling, which for the uninitiated, is climbing rock faces using winter climbing gear and usually on fixed protection. Thankfully, the DT geeks are usually banished to dark and dank venues which are deemed unsuitable for real climbing. Anyway...the shadowy People's Front have targeted Hodge Close Quarry near Coniston where they have trashed the fixed protection before sending an email to the BMC saying 'it does not approve of encouraging the destruction of traditional rock routes in the Lake District'. I'm not sure if there's a You-Tube clip of them wearing balaclavas in front of a pirate flag and a framed picture of Ken Wilson; threatening a holy jihad on unbelievers and.... Stevie Haston?
Telegraph pole climbing: A sub-sport of dry tooling
Naturally this extreme action has led to harrumphing in the circles of power and influence with leading mountaineer and Cumbrian resident Alan Hinkes declaring 'It's a shadowy thing because they are not declaring who they are' ( Yes they are Alan. They're the People's Climbing Front).. 'which is vigilantism in one way'
It would be tempting to set up a North Wales branch of the movement and call it 'The Popular Peoples Climbing Front of North Wales', but then we're getting into Monty Python's Life of Brian territory....'Are you the Popular People's Climbing Front?'...'Feck off...we're the People's Climbing Front'..if there's one group we hate worse than the Alpine Club it's The Popular People's Climbing Front!!!'
So despite my sincere sympathies with my climbing soul mates up North, I would just say to them, live and let live lads. You know what the man said......'All we are saying, is give Piers a chance'.