Climbing: a collaborative poem, Annual Dinner 2019

At the 2019 Pinnacle Club dinner at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, our after dinner speaker (and Pinnacle Club member) Dr Julie Carter engaged us all in an experiment. She asked us individually to visualise ourselves climbing a favourite route and to then jot down on paper the name of the route and a few words describing how we felt about it. Our pieces of paper were then collected and Julie promised to make a poem from them. She has used almost all the words we wrote and has not added anything more. I hope you agree that the result is pretty amazing – a tribute to the power of collective imagination. Thanks, Julie!

A poem written by everyone who attended the Pinnacle Club Dinner January 2019

Learning the opening vista on Christmas Curry

A lifetime begins at Cubic Block

Coral Sea turns uncertainty to joyful elation

Merlin, first VS,

The beginnings of belief up Forbes Arete

Lighthouse Arête more joy

Little Chamonix, continuous joy

Overhanging Bastion at one

Gimmer Crack Alleluia Gloria in excelsis deo

Stretch and reach on High Neb Buttress, wind nearly teetering me over

The gift of trusting dimples and edges – innocence finding trust in yourself

Yellow Edge, Space and light

Equus, survival, slippery Hammer

Scary scary Bugaboo Spine

Top Sail, exhilaration

Eagle Front, mastery and pleasure

On the last runner on French Route, axes in the ice – strong

Dusty dry-bone wall Pocket Symphony, sea worn pockets warm on the palms

Troutdale Superdirect, breathe and push fingers horizontally into the crack

Ronson Kirkby, six metres of nothing and the sky unfolds

I will climb again and again first and last

Red rock Red Wall, sun’s rays aspire and accept

Freedom on the Red Edge, shared with a special climbing partner – Sally Kier

Soaring glorious Golden Compass

Red Edge, done well

Turquoise sea Little Brown Jug, warm golden rock, gulls crying

Mount Louis, too dry to make spit, no belays out there

Tryfan North Ridge, everyone at anytime the most perfect route

Professors Ice Fall, companionship and reliance

McGregor’s Slab Colorado, ‘Good job’ (in a long drawn out American drawl)

Sunny warm Assassin achieves success

Saxon, joyful surge the conqueror sublime

Feeling free and effortless on Ardverikie Wall three times

Fearful exciting joyful

Poetry in Motion, the feeling of climbing well

Zig-zig, I can do it

Goliath’s Groove, push and pull

Standing on a belay ledge on Chic view into the distance

Living totally in the present

South East Pillar satisfaction

Freedom Grooved Arete

Stretching on the East Wall Shrike

Never thought I’d be there Snake Dyke

Old Man of Hoy, sunshine space sitting next to puffins on the summit

Space and beauty on Piz Badile, long different exciting


Excitement happiness Dibona

Kinky Boots, Impossible alone but as a team we conquered the gaping zawn and ascended the slabby route above the crashing waves

Padding stealthily upwards on Grey Crag, no protection fearful

but now at the top it has given me life