Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
The Shortest Night
By Kenny Stocker
20, May, 2013
The shortest night of the year is fast approaching and so we start our annual campaign to consume as much of that daylight as possible.
If you are in to subterranean activities that might not mean much to you, but if you prefer to keep your head above the ground that means (in the UK) you get a whopping 16 hours 38 minutes of play time. It doesn't get any better than this, soon the nights will be closing in, squirrels hiding their nuts and you will be thinking darn, where did summer go! Let's get down to business and explore a few ideas for making the most of it.
It might be a bit too late for you to enter an organised event like the Mountain Mayhem 24 hr mountain bike race but why not create your own mission? A couple of years ago Ken and Col did just that and took advantage of the shortest night to cycle the 100km around Lord of the Loops after work. They were back in work the next day, but as this years solstice falls on a Friday night you can have a lie in!
Our boulder mat engineer Ben plans on making a quick exit from work and heading out on to the Grit, he will probably pack more in to that evening than he would during a full day in winter, but what if you are lucky enough to be able to take the whole day off work?
Earlier this year Paul Swail did the Nose in day, but unless you already have your flights booked you might struggle to fit that in to the weekend. It is 900 metres high so you could try and link Grooved Arete, Belle Vue Bastion, Pinnacle Rib, Overlapping Ridge Route, Gashed Crag and Munich Climb on Tryfan. Pack a cheese fondue, dress up like the Huber brothers if you must but be sure to take a headtorch in case you push it to the wire!
Other team Alpkit plans include:
Dave Garry's plan A is to top out on all the 3000ft peak in North Wales as quickly as possible.
Paul Errington is planning to make an overnighter on a 150 mile coast to coast Lightweight Solstice Raid.
Lee Peyton is going to be supporting team mate Garry on the West Highland Way Race.
Ken and Col have plans to roll their bikes out again and ride the 260km back to Cambridge where they grew up.
As much as we love the extra daylight hours vampires are going to hate it. Be one for a night and set off in the dark and return home before the sun rises over the horizon! Try a torch lit paddle down your local river or lake. How far do you think you could go and get back before that fiery ball in the sky boils your blood?
It just happens that this year the shortest night coincides with a full moon, so if the threat of boiling blood is too much for you why not dig out your werewolf costume and take a stroll to the top of your highest mountain and get up close to that silvery disk. Go with some friends and we guarantee you will have a howling time.
Here are some other daylight intensive activities happening around the world.
24 hours of Le Mans - France
24 Hours of Light - Canada
Silverton Alpine Run - Colorado
Need more ideas? see our The Longest Day article.