August 10, 2020

The Big Shakeout!

There now follows the tale of the Big Shakeout, & my grilling with the Grimester & Andy Kirkpatrick.

The Alpkit Big Shakeout was an event that I had been looking forward to it for ages. Organised by our good friends at Alkpit, it promised to be a fantastic weekend.
The last Shakeout was pretty special. The Balkan Bandits being one of the best live bands I’ve seen in AGES!!! Cliffhanger is always a great Do, but this Shakeout promised to be a bit different. A new location, different format & a shedload of activities. A mid-October slot was always a bit of a risk weatherwise, but at the start of an especially crappy week of weather, the 5-day forecast for the approaching weekend just got better & better & better!
Col from Alpkit offered me the chance to do a slot about the Rally at the WORD OF MOUTH evening:
Hosted by the formidable Niall Grimes, supported by the man, the legend, Andy Kirkpatrick. Both well-established climbers/mountaineers, and especially well-known in outdoor circles as two very, very amusing gentlemen!

We arrived Friday morning to help set-up shop & then began the countdown to my 10:20pm slot. I had prepared a semi-speech, but having seen Mr. Grimes in action before, I knew that that this would all fall to pieces in the first 2 minutes! If you imagine Donald & Davy Stott, of Vic & Bob fame, that’d be pretty close in relation to the tangent that this pair would go off on…
A really brilliant & varied cast were up on stage. Beth Monks, Nigel Vardy & Pete Rhodes, to name but a few. Tales of expeditions to far-flung places.
I started by confessing that our adventure had not yet begun! With a backdrop of slides, the Grimester & Andy K were good to me. We talked about the various countries we would pass through, problems we may face, our likelihood of arriving at UlaanBaatar and the hope that Lina would have passed her test before July 2012!

All in all, a very interesting & enjoyable experience. As I said, if I only raise one pound as a result of my talk, it will have been a success. At this stage, awareness is one of the most important things, & judging by the response I had from people over the weekend, tales of our madcap adventure had certainly done that!

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