header image 2  
Poetry from within

Striding edge

One way of getting to Helvellyn in the lakes,

Is an arÍte ridge, steep on both sides, no mistakes,

The name is famous far and wide,

In the wet misty peaks that often hide.

Sunshine reveals its beauty and splendour,

From below a gaze at its grandeur,

In winter it is not for faint hearted,

Many should think twice before they get started.

In a saddle below the summit,

Four of us paused before going for it,

As we looked up in wonder and glee,

A biker we did suddenly see.

Descending down this treacherous track,

Sliding beside his bike, without even a pack,

Special peddles he had on his mount to compete,

With useless plastic lumps on soles of his feet.

We watched while standing on a sheet of thick ice,

Wearing crampons, using axes with ropes, should suffice,

How he never slipped over either edge, to plummet below,

Is something I wonder often, I will never know.

We watched transfixed ready to act,

Get our carried rescue gear at the drop of a hat,

When he got to us, slipping and sliding on the ice sheet,

Stunned to silence we were, when he uttered ĎAy upí in greet.

Happy and not bothered was he,

Pink as red salmon, not a care to see,

So we watched him go while standing on our ice ledge,

Then we again turned to start up Striding Edge.

Chris Duncan