by Mick Ryan – UKClimbing.com The Christmas Crack This morning, 25th December 2008, Stanage Edge in the Peaks. What am I doing here? Like the seventy-odd other climbers present, and let´s face it we are odd, we are here to climb Christmas Crack, first climbed by George Bower in 1926. It´s a fine English tradition on the UK´s most popular cliff, followed by pints of Cumberland ale and carols in the Scotsman´s Pack in Hathersage. Larger than life Dick Turnbull was there as he has been since 1921 directing operations and Gordon McNair was there in traditional climbing garb; plus fours, tweed jacket and cap, with a traditional short-handled alpenstock – useful for dry-tooling the rounded breaks and final big flake crack. Many Father Christmasses were in attendance. PHOTOS: Spot The Dick (Turnbull) Gordon McNair dry tooling, in tradition garb, up Christmas Crack Donna Claridge and Dick Turnbull sprint up Christmas Crack. Double Bum Shot: Congestion on Christmas Crack (FA: George Bower 1926) Busy car park at Stanage on 25th December 2008 OK! Forum discussion suggestions…. George Bower´s motto was, ´What man has done, other men can do´, which is true but as more men and women do it, the wait gets longer. Should there be a time limit of 15 minutes for each Christmas day ascent? Other hot topics perhaps….. – Is Christmas Crack really Hard Severe? – Did George Bower over grade for publicity reasons in an attempt to make a ´name´ of himself and secure lucrative sponsorship deals. – Should ascents of Christmas Crack on Christmas Day be banned by the BMC to reduce erosion Here is one suggestion by Frank the Decorator and Richard Wheeldon which may solve the erosion/congestion problem.To reduce erosion (and defuse short tempers) should six routes either side of Christmas Crack be renamed just for Christmas Daywith a Christmas theme which will open up more routes for the assembled throng. These are Frank´s and Richard´s suggested name changes. – Easter Rib to become Rudolph´s Rib – Hargreaves Original Route to become Santa´s Original Route. – Central Trinity to become God the Father, the Son and the Holy Christmas Spirit. – April Crack to become December Crack. -Black Magic to become Christmas Spirit. – The Flange to become The Crib. Merry Christmas.