by Kevin Howett
The number of entries was up on last year with seven prose and seven poetry submissions. Several of the poems in particular were good. The subjects for the prose ranged from - The Champion from Nick Bullivant (winner of past competitions), a ghost story based upon the meeting on the hill of a modern-day walker and a Highland Games competitor; to a humorous sketch about the relative merits of 'wellies' and 'brollies' when out on the hill from Pat Brown and several descriptive pieces about the ascents of various routes (Triple Buttress Without Stilettos by Kate Rennie; New Year on Ben Nevis by Roland Ashcroft; The Bramani Route on Punto Russica by Toby Johnson, and Columbine and Polymonium by Liz Bibby, a section of the John Muir Trail through the Sierra Nevada).
The Winner in this category was Ruaridh Pringle's moving description of how a young climber loses (and finds?) himself in a solo of a hard winter route - The Gully. Ruaridh receives £100. The runner-up was Liz Bibby who receives £50.
In the poetry section, the general standard was high. The winner was Ian McCabe of the Ochil's MC (who receives £50) Ian actually submitted four poems all of which held the judges interest. However, one in particular was felt to be head and shoulders above all the other entries.