Revenge of the Lawn Beaten by Norwegians in race to Summit of Mount Culver
And so the snow fell last Wednesday night and, Pavlov-dog-like, the Revenge of the Lawn Mountaineering Team felt compelled to spring into action. Looking around for a suitable target, they were excited to find that no one had ever managed to climb the southern face of Mount Culver under snow, although they were somewhat worried about the fearsome reputation of the myth-like creatures that were said to inhabit the cliffs of this mountain. It sure didn't take long for the team to assemble though and drive quickly to Yaverland car park: the team sensed there would be others trying to reach the top first.
The signs looked good as there were no other cars in the car park and the snow was unspoiled. The team set off at a good pace, but were somewhat dismayed at discovering groups of footprints leading off towards the foothills of Mount Culver. However, the spirits lightened as the further they proceeded, the more the number of footprints faded away: it was obviously only intrepid dog walkers or sledding kids. They hadn't ventured far up the mountain slopes, before turning back
The forbidding southern face of mighty Mount Culver.
They were making good time and soon reached the Gateway of Begrudging Emptiness: two gate posts, with no gate and no fence, that continually shifted across the snow and tried to lure unsuspecting climbers over the cliff.
The legendary Yeti Sheep of Poseidon were encountered next, as dark black smudges in the snow. With the body of a ram and the head of a horned demon, these creatures can send a chill up the spine of even the most hardened warrior. The team came across this sturdy enchanted flock, standing stubborn, legs locked in aggressive roadblock stance, barring the route: barbed wire one way, the cliff edge the other.
The team were forced to make a long detour through The Hungry Ground. Disaster was never far away and they soon learned that the name of this area was very apt. The team almost lost a member, when Baptist fell down a small crevasse, which suddenly opened up underneath him. He plummetted violently a good four feet down into the yawning chasm, coming to rest, with a damp patch and a slightly bruised finger.
No sooner had he been extracted from the hole, than he ran into deep Snow Pools of Seduction of Lower Culver, full of quick-snow. Once in these treacherous snow pits, the quick-snow flowed seductively and sensuously round one's groin area, inducing such strong erotic sensations that the prey begs to be left in the pits, only to die of hyperthermia. Despite his screams of protest, the team dragged the throbbing body of Baptist out of the hole and up towards the summit.
In the distance, the team could see the bounding and undulating body of the Rabid Rabbit of Redcliff, left there by Vulcan to guard the higher reaches of Mount culver. Its normally graceful sleek body seemed strangely awkward, as it tried to make a series of drunken, flopping leaps. Brandishing a giant carrot, we gingerly crept slowly forward, keeping a low profile, but our anxiety turned to relief, when it became clear that poor Vulcan's Guardian had in fact a very bad case of myxomatosis. We quickly and quietly made our way past, wondering what vengeance Vulcan would wreak on discovering his favourite Guard Bunny had been immobilised.
The Humming Siren Gatepost of Whitecliff soon came into view, perched close to the cliff edge, from where it lured the unwary over the edge to their deaths on the rocks below through its enchanting and irresistible tuned humming. With beeswax stuffed in their ears, the team made its deaf way past the gate, thereby avoiding their seductive fatal lure. Our cameraperson managed to capture half a minute or so of its sweet humming, before he was forced to leave, as the humming was melting the beeswax.
Several hundred metres on, the team removed the beeswax, and prepared for the final ascent to the summit. Suddenly, the team were frozen in nauseous horror on seeing a double set of empty footprints snaking up towards the summit. Their only and barely-suppressed fear had been realised: it could only mean that the Norwegian Expedition were ahead of them in the race for the summit. As the bitter freezing air bit into them, they quickened their jealous pace. Many in the team tried to fool themselves that the tracks were a figment of their delirious imaginations or had been made by a herd of cattle.
But the truth became painfully clear, when we came across the frozen dead body of one of the Norwegian Expedition, lying lifeless and abandoned in the snow. The Norwegians are ruthless like that.
The desparate obsession of the Norwegian team was all too evident and soon in the distance, we spotted them in their high-visibility jackets approaching the summit monument, the Obelisk of Infinite Pointing. Our hearts dropped and disappointment filled every pore.
We ditched all our equipment and ran for the top. We had to negotiate some precipitous cliff-like slopes, which required "roping up" with the teams scarves.
With all our layers on, it took us a while before we neared the summit. When we arrived at the monument, we were greeted by a triumphant gloating Norwegian, who ...
... then took to taunting us with (Oh, humiliation upon humiliation) a pointy finger.
We sadly walked away, our heads hung so low and sheepish, that ...
... team leader, Captain Quaker-Oates, was reduced to wandering off towards Culver Cliff edge to face certain death in sub zero temperatures, inaudibly muttering something no doubt epic and thought-provoking.
... and so there was nothing left to do but trudge sadly back to the team car, incomplete and with morale in tatters, almost in tears. The Norwegians had done it again, but at a cost that Revenge of the Lawn would never have considered.