I am torn between keeping private and sharing the most profound experiences of my life. I love Stanage, as I love life itself. It has been the place where I have had a great many of the most enduring experiences of my life. On one hand it is a very private place, albeit shared with some extraordinary people over the last 40 years. On the other hand I feel compelled to create work and a need to share the emotional space that comes from these happy memories and the great joy that it gifts me.
I know that I am not alone. Stanage has always been an important place to me, as it is to hundreds of thousands of other Peak District Lovers, Climbers, Runners and Walkers alike. I imagine that the experiences however varied amongst us all have one great big common thread of love. A love of the wild cragginess, a love of the unpredictable weather, the wide open views that take you away and a love of all the wonderous detail of the wildlife, the flora and the sheer spectacle as Stanage Edge changes through the seasons. All of which is freely accessible, freely open to those who venture and free to share with your nearest and dearest.
If you count up all the different things you have done on, or under Stanage, it is quite bonkers.
Stanage Activities over the last 40 years.
( Disclaimer: many of these activities were a long time ago and I am aware that they are now not all possible).
Climbing, Running, Mountain Biking, Camping, Paragliding, Flying Drones, Video production, Powerkiting, Bivvying, Barbequeing, Backpacking, Mountain boarding, Skiing, Photography, Stargazing, Bird watching, Picnicking and general partying.
Among the more exotic activities listed are Paramotoring, Tunnelling through snow cornices and Lugging up and photographing a four poster bed.
Many of these activities, especially when sleeping in the Van after yet another domestic dispute, were moved on as they should have been by Park Wardens. This was nearly always with good grace, dignity and affection as by the likes of the recently retired Bill Gordon.
A spiritual home
Stanage Edge has been a very special place in my life, where all the various aspects of my life have come together. I have had so many wonderful moments and great experiences with amazing people and quiet moments staring into a Curlew’s eyes on a stone wall, or just quiet time getting fit or pondering life’s detail all alone.
Whatever has gone on over these last 40 years and wherever I have wandered, it really doesn’t matter. However many continents’ mountain ranges you may have climbed on, tear inducing vistas you may have visited … home is home and The Peak District is the Peak District.
So here we are… Product No. 1 – A Stanage T Shirt. It took a while to put this together and literally hundreds of ideas were thrown away before I felt that I had something worthy to show people, something worthy to share and something that really is from my heart and all those great stories of a lifetime of living with one of the worlds’ greatest icons – Stanage Edge.