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The Bert Awards
Jim in full flow
Jim "Diver" Clarke (waving his arm) proudly re-tells his experience? don't think!
Below is a list of all the winners (post 1991) of the Bert Award. Click for an account of the exploit.

Jim "Diver" Clarke

Jim was attempting to cross a stream by way of improvised stepping stones. To slip off a greasey, wobbly, uneven stone and end up standing knee deep in water is not particularly uncommon, or noteworthy. However, witnesses to the event were highly impressed with the way Jim managed to turn a simple slip into a headfirst plunge that would have graced any high-board diving championship. There was some debate as to whether there were one, or two twists before the pike.

Alan "Ditch" Pryke

Many of the IWCL were intending to do a route starting with Catbells - the so called "B" team. There was only one witness to this event - Andy Crane. The following is in his words..."It was a typical IWCL morning. I was sharing rooms (as Acting Man Servant) with Alan Pryke, and after a late start (I had to re-make his tea) we chased after the 'B' team who were going up Cat Bells. After a while, Alan realised his intimate knowledge of the highways and byways was less than perfect and we ended up on the wrong side of the lake. In attempting a rushed three-point-turn on a steep, wet, leaf covered lane, we slid off the road and grounded the Granada. Balancing on our undercarriage, no wheels had traction!!"
They were blessed by an amazing stroke of luck, when a group of rugby players came jogging round the corner, out for a training run. Alan flashed a leg, and his YMCA rugby club membership card, and they stopped to help. Lifting the car was childs play to them, and Alan and Andy were soon back on the road.
continuing in Andy's words..."We arrived late at the walk and promptly ran all the way up Cat Bells to catch up the "B" team, and partly to hide AJP's shame of failing to find one of the Lakes most famous walks."

Brian "Guidebook" Davies

Steve "Wrynose" Porter

Alan Pryke plus fellow passengers, had stayed on the Thursday night at the Woolpack Inn. There had been portents, when, on the Wrynose pass driving over to the Woolpack, Alan's party encountered ice on a hairpin bend. Steve Porter had driven up to the lakes early on the Friday morning to join them for the walk. It was a cold, but clear, day when the group finished doing a walk in Eskdale - possibly up to Scafell. It was nearly dusk when, driving back over the Wrynose pass, heading for the Glenridding Hotel, a straight uphill section of road with about 20ft of sheet ice was encountered. Water had run off the fell and frozen. Several cars had stopped, unable to get up the icy slope. Intrepid Alan, backed down a bit, and then charged up the hill, like Schumaker, with the engine of his empty car at high revs. The band of assistants waited by the ice ready to leap out and give a helping shove. This they did, but Alan failed to reach the dry road above the ice. It took two further attempts before Alan made it. With the technique now perfected, we managed to assist a stranger make it up the slope. Now it was Steve's turn.....We waited patiently by the ice while Steve reversed down to maximise his run-up. Up he charged. Once on the ice, however, he decided to change up a gear. This caused him to lose momentum, stop, and then slide back down - causing the "pushers" to leap out of the way. Once again, Steve had a go, and once again changed gear at the crucial point - and once again slid back. Steve was then given much advice on what not to do. There were a few more failed attempts. It was getting gloomy by now, and there was a real prospect of him having to drive round the coast road instead!! Finally, despite the engine whining in 2nd gear, Steve managed to resist the temptation to change up and with a final push, made it. A relieved bunch got back in the cars and made it to the Glenridding in time to eat.

John "Wetherlam" Rendle

David "Catbells" Mathews

Toj "Skoda" Graham

Having set out with the A team to do a long walk above Ennerdale, some of us soon found out we should have been with the B team. Toj, suprisingly, was especially suffering and the reason was quickly apparent. He had followed the firmly established 'Graham' grunge style of forgoing any sort of technical equipment development, and had laced his boots with bailer twine - missing out every other hole - to achieve the sloppiest fitting boots ever having been known to have walked the hills. Hence mega blisters. Three others in the party, Gibbo (Martin Gibson), Stef (Stefan Vince) and Donald, seized upon the opportunity to whimp out and volunteered to escort Toj back to the arranged rendezvous. It was a long walk back to the cars and Toj was making very slow progress, in severe pain, and had almost ground to a halt. As the track we were now on was negotiable by vehicle, his two vallient escorts, who were getting cold at this pace, dumped Toj and strode off to get a vehicle. On arriving at the rendezvous it was quickly realized that our pick up team would not be arrivng for some time, as there was a rugby match on TV and they would be ensconsed in the pub for some considerable time to come. Stef noticed a lone couple parked up enjoying the view, after a quick tap on the window it was barely cracked open. In best concerned style Stef asked if they may be kind enough take he and Gibbo along the trail to collect an injured companion? Apologetically the driver declined to help pointing out two young children occupying the back seat. Stef withdrew saying he understood, and that he would not have asked if he had realised the car contained children. After a while conscience got the better of them. "How far up the track is he? how will we recognise him ?", they asked. Instructions were issued and off they set. Fifteen minutes or so later they arrived back in the car park with Toj looking rather larger than life, somewhat embarrased, but very very grateful for the ride in the rather small Skoda.

Greg "Jeopardy" Maddox

Tim "Sherpa" Whiteley

Andy "Dryfeet" Burr

Doc "Mobile" Holliday

Mobile phones are best left to the present day technocrats such as my grand daughter. I either can't work it, the battery is flat or when I feel I am getting somewhere there is no signal. My first bad experience was unsuccessfully trying to ring my wife. My son subsequently wanted to know why I had sent him half a dozen blank text messages. Another time on a pensioners walk I took the TV remote by mistake (probably about as much use as a mobile in my hands) On the day in question I was getting out of a car and my mobile slipped out of my pocket and bounced straight into one of those enormous Lakeland rainwater grids. My only slip up on the actual walk (Whinlatter Hob crag Ladyside Pike and Grisedale Pike) was to fall off a bridge, well more of a fence and unfortunately Bert was close at hand and duly observed. Thats all it takes although in my case Bert got to know from a certain D.A.M. person about my mobile phone exploits and that settled it

Fergi "Lords Seat" Mistit

Ray "Complicity" Beach

If you have read the founding episode of the Bert Awards, the name Ray Beach, is mentioned. Despite the spotlight falling mainly on Bert, Ray was just as much involved. He was just as experienced. After more than 20 years hillwalking, he also should have known which end of the compass pointed North. After bearing sole responsibility for what was really a joint misadventure, Bert decided it was Ray's turn to be honoured, and duly presented Ray with the award for retrospective participation.

Donald "You Turned" Edwards

The Bert Award. The best yet! 2005 proved to be the pinnacle (so far) in terms of "Bert" award excellence. Bowfell featured for the third time. The first Bert award exploit has been documented, but there had been an earlier walk where Bowfell was to be the objective - approached from Glaramara and Allen Crags. On that occasion, encompassed by heavy mist and idle chatter, the whole party of probably 24 managed to find themselves on Scafell. They had completely missed Esk Hause and Angle Tarn! For 2005, the three participants were all respected as "A" team material equipped with all the latest poser gear, including GPS!! Bowfell was achieved in good visibility via Crinkle Crags. The route would carry on north to Angle Tarn, before descending Rossett Gill back to Langdale and The Old Dungeon Ghyll. Alan Pryke and David Gunson followed in the heels of the ever voluble Donald. The group stopped for a short break at the tarn. That was probably their undoing. "Keep to the path on the left of the stream" says Donald, heading off at a rate of knots. They were soon descending quite steeply. The others weren't too sure that this was right but Donald was insistent. "There's only one valley!", "This IS the right way!, I'm not turning back" were various reassurances being called back by Donald to the doubting pair. Eventually much later, and by now in the dark but moonlit valley bottom the leader eventually agreed to get out the map and GPS. The GPS pinpointed there true position, almost off the map way off course and a big climb back up to the top of Rossett Gill There was debate afterwards about whether they would have been quicker continuing down Langstrath to Stonethwaite. After all it was only about 7 miles! There was no phone signal in Langstrath but as soon as Alan reached the top of the pass he was able to call Bert firstly to ask if he would divert to the pub to let the others know that they were all OK but running late, but equally to let Bert know that he had a certain candidate for THE AWARD! Well Done!, Donald "You Turned" Edwards.