NUNEATON MOUNTAINEERING CLUB
NEWSLETTER 23 June 2007
Edited by Colin Green
PROGRAMME JUNE – AUGUST 2007 Matt
June 15th – 17th 2007 North Wales camping weekend including instructor lead scrambling and climbing See Andrew for details.
June 23rd 2007 BBQ from 2pm at David’s. See below.
July 6th – 8th 2007 Lake District weekend in Keswick with Keith and Michele.
August 10th – 12th 2007 White Peak weekend or day trip. Cycling and walking with Eileen.
September 2007 Dates TBA Trip to the Mediterranean? See Debra for sun, sea and mountains.
September 2007 Dates TBA Cairngorm backpacking? See Matt.
October 4th 2007 (Thursday) Quiz Night, 8.30pm. Attleborough Liberal Club.
October 18th 2007 (Thursday) A.G.M. at the Liberal Club, Bull Street.
November 16th – 18th 2007 Betwys-y-Coed. Bunkhouse for Novemberfest. Get this in your diary. See Matt.
Other Events – all welcome!
Summer camping, barbeque & brewery trip in the Cotswolds. Date and venue TBA.
And there’s much more than this going on. Visit us on a Thursday evening from 8.30pm at Attleborough Liberal Club, Bull Street for impromptu activities, or ring Andrew on 01827 717 648 or Matt on 024 76 758 322 if you can’t get down.
DAVID’S BBQ SATURDAY 23rd JUNE 2007 2.00 PM-5.00 PM
On Saturday 23rd June 2007 we are to hold a BBQ for club members and guest/partners. Food is being provided at club expense so that all you need to do is to bring yourselves along together with your favourite tipples. To help plan for the catering, can you please let me as soon as possible if you will be able to come along and whether you will be bringing a guest.
PLEASE SUPPORT THIS CLUB EVENT
SOCIAL PROGRAMME Michele
There are various events coming up that people may like to partake of. If anything takes your fancy, contact Michele (024 76344079 or email@example.com). Obviously some things need tickets in advance so don’t leave it too late!
Saturday June 23rd BBQ at David’s from 2pm – contact David for details. Take your own drink.
Saturday 30th June Bedworth Symphony Orchestra summer concert.
7.30pm. Nicholas Chamberlaine school, Bulkington Road, Bedworth. Tickets £5 on the door
Programme includes Dvorak symphony No.7 and Khatchaturian Masquerade suite.
Wednesday 25th or Thursday 26th July Hound of the Baskervilles, Outdoor theatre at Tamworth Castle, 7.30
Future event for your diary
Thursday October 4th Quiz night, 8.30 start Attleborough Liberal Club.
COMING-UP NORTH WALES WITH ANDREW JUNE 15th – 17th
North Wales camping weekend including instructor lead scrambling and climbing.
See Andrew for details. Or alternatively just come along and do your own thing.
COMING-UP LAKE DISTRICT WITH KEITH & MICHELE JULY 6th – 8th
No firm plan at the time of going to press but see K & M for details.
COMING-UP PEAK DISTRICT WITH EILEEN AUGUST 10th – 12th
We hope to be based at the campsite belonging to The Royal Oak Pub at Hurdlow. It is intended this will be a trip for members and their families. The site is fairly central in the Peak District. For those who wish to be ‘tourists’, Ashbourne, Buxton, Bakewell, and Chatsworth are in easy reach (to name but a few). It is also in a good position for walking and cycling (right on the High Peak Trail). Details will follow shortly.
COMING-UP COSTA BLANCA (SPAIN) AUG/SEPT 2007 Debra
Mediterranean Summer Walking Holiday.
Were planning to take the week long trip sometime in late August or September to the Costa Blanca on the South Eastern corner of Spain. The main accommodation base will be in the small village of Castels de Castells. The village itself has a population of approximately 450 and is the source of the Rio Jalon (River Jalon) and is surrounded by some beautiful mountains, the highest peak being 1588m. The nearest large town of Jalon lies 20km away and the village is within 1 hour of the beaches, the Les Fuentes de Algar (The Algar Waterfalls) www.rentspain.com/destination-guides/algar_waterfalls/index.html <http://www.rentspain.com/destination-guides/algar_waterfalls/index.html> and the caves of Val de Ebo and Benidolieg.
The planned accommodation is a typical Spanish house which is comfortable and ideal for groups see <http://www.wildsideholidays.com/listing> . The house sleeps five in three bedrooms with all the mod cons. We will of course look for a larger place if we have the interest. So far Keith, Eileen, Les, Richard and I are planning to go. The price for the week is 245 euros for the whole group (approx £200) plus the cost of the flight from either Valencia or Alicante which ever proves to be the cheapest (approx £100).
Please let me know if you would like to come. The trip last year to Mallorca was a great success and Spain proved to be an excellent walking location. Hope to see you there.
COMING-UP BETWS-Y-COED NOVEMBER 16th – 18th Matt
A date for your diaries for the weekend commencing on the 16/11/07.
We have managed to secure a booking for a bunkhouse for our Novemberfest club bash. This year by popular demand it’s good old Snowdonia. The Eagles bunkhouse is in the village of Penmachno, which is 4 miles from Betws-y-Coed. A good location to reach the whole of Snowdonia. It also offers a variety of Forest and mountain biking trails. The bunkhouse is situated behind a real ale pub and if the web site below is anything to go by it looks quite cosy.
COMING-UP SCOTLAND FEBRUARY 2008 Matt
We have been discussing possibilities for next February’s Scotland trip. Colin suggested we might try in the Aberfeldy or Glen Shee areas. The distance from home is similar to Crianlarich and the roads are very good. Aberfeldy is well placed for the Ben Lawlers and many other mountains within a short drive. Glen Shee has a similar range of mountains to choose from, but also can offer skiing if anyone would like to have a go. All the places in question can offer a mountain guide/instructor if required. Cairnwell mountain sports also offer ski hire/instruction and several other sporting activities. All seem to offer a good level of accommodation. We can get exclusive use of a bunk house for up to 25 for the cost of £50 – 60 pp for 4 nights depending on numbers. Please view the web sites below and get back to me on the following questions. Would you be interested in a trip to Scotland next Feb? (no commitment). If so which, if any of the venues would you prefer? Dates available 14th – 17th Feb 2008 inclusive. If you have any other ideas please let me know. I know it’s a long way in the future but these places book up very quickly.
DAVID’S ROUND-UP 11th March
A stroll around Market Bosworth taking in the gated road heading south which is very pleasant. A visit to the church at Sutton Cheney was worth while. There is pub in the village which we bypassed. The route headed to the canal and the tea shop which has much improved. The return was via the tow path. 2 hours.
Morning – in nice sunshine (for a change) albeit cold, a walk over Loughrigg Fell, Ambleside. In the afternoon just before dusk a walk from Elterwater to Skelworth Bridge alongside the tarn.
From the Old Dungeon Gill Hotel, Langdale (warning – the car park is expensive). The Band, Bow Fell, Ore Gap, Angle Tarn and back in 3 ½ hours. Very poor conditions on top. Strong cold winds with minimal visibility. This was followed by another 4 miles from Chapel Style to Skelworth Bridge for another tea!
Snowdonia. From the eastern end of Llyn Ogwen in bright sunshine to tackle Pen-ye Ole Wen which was clear and no one else was about. Then on to Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn and Y Braieh and back to the car within 5 hours.
As this was a Bank Holiday weekend, all the camp sites were full. The weather was hot – a reminder that sun cream is now required rather than winter clothing! There were lots of insects out, which may not bode well for Scotland next month.
SCOTLAND (LOCH EIL) 31st March – 7th April Colin
It’s a long way to Fort William but if you start early you can get something worthwhile done. By lunchtime I was on the shores of Loch Venachar, (Callandar) looking at the Barrow’s Goldeneye (a rare duck) in warm sunshine before moving on to the head of Glen Ogle for an ascent of the easy Graham Meall Bhuidhe 719m. Afterwards it was a steady drive to Fort William and on to Loch Eil to meet up with Trevor and Sue and a week in a self catering cottage.
The next day we tackled Braigh nan Uamhachan 765m. Not one to trip off the tongue but a fine hill on the north side of the Glenfinnan road. Quite a few ups and downs on this hill and a bit of a walk out but another fine day in warm sunshine and there was even a bothy work party for us to observe in action.
The following day we went for Sgurr Ghiubhsachain 849m and Sgurr Craobh a’ Chaorainn 775m. If these were Munros next to the road and with straightforward names they would be justifiably famed for their rocky ridges and steep slopes. The SMC describes Ghuibhsachain as one of the finest peaks in the West and I would not dispute that. Glenfinnan has some cracking mountains but they remain little known as they mostly fail the 3,000ft test.
Oh no! Not another day of warm sunshine and blue skies. This time we headed for the peaks on the other side of Loch Shiel, Beinn Odhar Mhor 870, Beinn Odhar Bheag 882m and Beinn Mhic Cedidh 783m. The Odhar’s are steep and rocky and again cracking mountains. Here we passed the first and only hillwalker of the week after mourning the loss of the trig point which had probably been blasted apart by lightning. A huge chunk of the top was fully 50m away. Beinn Mhic Cedidh on the other hand was a steep grassy hill but from its summit we watched with interest a large grass fire moving across our line of descent. Choosing an alternative line we avoided the fire, which now covered an area about a mile square, but got onto some uncomfortably steep ground before having to move on quickly to avoid the smoke as the wind veered.
The following day was more relaxed though I did take in the minor top of Druim nah-Earba near Fort William. By Thursday it was still OK for April but not as fine as earlier in the week. Today we took in Meall Onfhaidh 681m and Meall a’ Phubuill 774m which were easy grassy hills but with a 400m re-ascent between the two which was rather a drag. We gave the nearby bothy a miss until the return journey and from above watched a party of twelve backpackers leave. A bit of big group for bothying.
By Friday I was as good as knackered so after taking in the modest Cruach Doire Raoigh I headed off to Arisaig and the delights of the west coast. T & S of course did a couple of hills. On the way home there was a diversion to Cairnpapple Hill but as the summit is almost next to the road it’s hardly a walk. Roll on the next trip.
RIBBLEHEAD BUNKHOUSE WEEKEND 20th – 22nd APRIL Colin
Colin and Ann got an early start (6.15am) from Coventry and by 9.35am were parked up on a fine morning at Tarnbrook in the Forest of Bowland. This is an area that had been on my list of places to visit for a long time so the opportunity to visit the area on the way to Yorkshire was too good to miss. The new Open Access makes the area much more user friendly for walkers and there were even some cheery waves from local farmers.
On Ward’s Stone 560m it was quite cool and there was mist drifting over the summit. However there were two trig pillars to record so there was a warm feeling of anticipation. As the afternoon arrived the sun came out and we saw our only other people on Wolfhole Crag 527m. By mid afternoon it was really summer like and our list of interesting bird life included Ring Ouzel, Red Grouse, Golden Plover, Curlew, Wheatear, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Grey Wagtail, Dipper and Common Buzzard. Excellent day. 12 miles.
Meanwhile Richard who a had dropped Rita in Blackpool enjoyed a walk from Austwick to Helwith Bridge in Ribbledale which took 5 hours including a pub stop.
Also Keith and Michele took in Pendle Hill north of Burnley. Starting from Downham the route went over Downham Moor to Pendle Hill 557m before going on to Upper Ogden Reservoir and Spence Moor. Bartley Moor was crossed before the concessionary route to Angram Green led back to Downham. 10 miles.
David, Eileen, Anne, and Keith walked from the bunkhouse anti-clockwise first tackling Whernside, then Inglebough and finally Pen y Gent finishing at Horton. The trip was approximately 21 miles, lasting 9 ½ hours and the total ascent being 1440m. For once the weather was good. It was overcast, cold on top, dry and not too windy. On the whole it was a good day out without problems.
On another note, there were possible strange encounters occurring in the bunkhouse! I returned after a pub meal at about 8.30pm at twilight. The bathroom door was closed and it was evident that someone was in there, which is a bit annoying when you want to go! I waited and waited. There was continued shuffling inside the bathroom. What was a bit strange was that the extractor fan kept being turned on and off. As this was connected to the same circuit as the lights I did wonder why any one would want to sit in the half light, but there are a few strange people in the club! There continued to be movement inside the bathroom. Eventually I gave up and decided to go back to the pub. On the way out I met Colin, Anne and Eileen, which was odd as I had presumed that it was one of them in the bathroom. It was time to investigate…..to find that the place was empty!
You must make your own assessment of this little story, and by the way, I had only one pint. Perhaps this may be another story for “Most Haunted”.
Keith, Michele, Colin and Richard set out from Ribblehead and climbed Ingleborough 724m by Park Fell and Simon Fell. It was cool on top so we sat behind the shelter for a bite to eat. Richard decided on a descent to Ingleton (nn pub visit!) visiting the River Doe waterfalls and returning to the bunkhouse via Twistleton Scar End and Scales Moor.
Meanwhile the rest of us descended, meeting at first David and Keith Hilton not far below the summit and then Eileen and Ann still climbing. Down in Chapel-le-Dale it was it was warm and sunny as we began the ascent of Whernside. There were dozens of people descending, too many for the normal greeting to all. The summit was reached in due course and a straightforward descent made via the Ribblehead Viaduct to the bunkhouse. 14 miles.
Colin, Ann, Keith, Michele, Eileen and Richard parked at a road end NW of Slaidburn in the Forest of Bowland. It was fair but overcast as we ascended the track trying to find a Ring Ouzel or two for Eileen. A couple were seen flying away but not as confiding as those seen on Friday. The heather was heavy going on the way to White Hill 544m and on top it started to rain. Richard decided to head for the car and wait for us in Slaidburn with Keith Hilton who had stayed in the village. The rest of us descended into Whitendale where the rain eventually relented. At the farm of Whitendale we began the ascent over the moor to our starting point reaching the cars by 3.30pm. 9 miles.
Initial reaction to the bunkhouse was ‘ this isn’t very good’, as the first to arrive tried to get the table to stay up in one piece and eventually decided to go and ask for another table from the pub rather than risk meals falling over the floor as it collapsed! However, the place grew on us! It was warm, had oodles of hot water for the shower (in fact, how often do you hear us complaining that the shower doesn’t get cool enough!?), was next door to the pub and had clean comfortable beds. It was cosy (or should that be too small!) and was in a great place to get out walking. All in all I think we would use it again but next time we would take some cutlery!
ALL AROUND THE WREKIN 28th April Colin
Keith, Michele and Colin parked up just south of M54 Junction 7 on a very fine morning. I would like to have told you a little more about the route, but remarkably I had no map better than a road atlas showing The Wrekin. (now corrected) Therefore the route was entirely in Keith’s hands. Nevertheless we passed Ercall Wood Top before crossing the Severn at Buildwas and re-crossing the river to reach the pub at Leighton for a pint. Finally we ascended The Wrekin 407m before returning to the starting point. A fine day though after 15 miles my feet knew they had been for a walk.
THE MENDIPS 5th May Colin
Tony Charles, Keith and Michele, Colin, Keith Hilton and friend Pam met on the north side of The Mendips where in 1762 the Rev. Toplady sheltered from a storm in a rock crevice and wrote the words of the well known hymn, ‘Rock of Ages cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee. A plaque marks the spot.
Climbing steeply out of the gorge we were soon onto grassland and heath and within an hour on the highest point of the Mendips, Beacon Batch 325m. It warmed up appreciably as we made our way through fields and woodlands to the path along the rim of Cheddar Gorge. This is no Grand Canyon but nevertheless quite impressive. At the bottom there was a pub and refreshment was taken. The walk back was steep at first but then over easier ground to the starting point. Not quite mountaineering but a splendid day out all the same. Pam’s feet suffered but that’s what you get when Keith Hilton tells you the walk is only eight miles! If amputation isn’t required I expect he’ll get some stick back at work.
MULL & BLAIR ATHOLL 11th – 18th May Colin
Colin and Ann.
With the weather set to be wet and blustery you can imagine our satisfaction when it was nothing of the sort but generally warm and sunny with some showers. The campsite at Craignure on Mull was fine once we had pitched the tents on the astroturf and gravel and there were even views from Cruachan to Nevis across Loch Linnhe for us to look at.
We tackled the best first and went straight for the Munro of Ben More 966m. The climb up the Abhainn na h-Uamba was steady and attractive and we made it onto A’choich 867m just as some mist and drizzle arrived. The rocky ridge to Ben More was mostly avoided in the damp conditions but once on top it began to clear and there was a very pleasant descent to the loch below in the sunshine. The following day we had a boat ride to Staffa from Ulva for a look at Fingal’s Cave which was well worth the £20 fee.
The Corbett behind the campsite was the next objective – Dun da Ghaoithe 766m. The lower slopes were a bit messy with excess vegetation but once higher the going was much easier. The summit is described as being one of the best viewpoints on the island and I would not argue with that. Arran, Jura, Rum and Skye were all in view as well as the much closer Sound of Mull, Loch Linnhe and surrounding mountains. The following day was set aside for a visit to Iona which is a bit of a drive followed by a short ferry crossing. A nice day out and there was even a Corncrake to look at too.
With the intrepid backpackers due to arrive at Blair Atholl on Thursday we reluctantly left Mull on Wednesday and set off to join them. From Blair Atholl we set off for the bothy of Allt Scheicheahan six miles away which was the appointed meeting place. Arriving at lunchtime we relaxed for a while before setting off for Beinn Dearg 1008m. Higher up it was cool and misty with some drizzle. We didn’t linger too long on top and were back at the bothy just after 5pm. Most of the others arrived at about 7.30pm with Alastair and Gary later.
Bothies are not the cleanest of places but this was not too bad. There was a sleeping platform upstairs but rather too much evidence of mice. At least it kept us in subject matter for the night. Later we had a fire set with damp paper and various pieces of wood that did not really fit into the fireplace. Damp heather kept it going until Alastair arrived having carried substantial chunks of wood from Blair Atholl. Excellent man. We now had far more wood than we could ever burn in one evening.
The following day Colin and Ann returned to Blair Atholl while the others headed off into the mist and drizzle above – but that is another story.
CRIANLARICH RECIPES Alastair
More from one of our leading celebrity chefs. The final instalment is not to be missed in the next newsletter.
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE (Alison Holt)
1t vanilla essence
1t baking powder
Melt butter in microwave. Add sugar and beat (with a wooden spoon? not a full-on beater). Add eggs and vanilla and beat again. Sift in dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine – no need to overmix. Pour into a greased and lined microwavable container (plastic is ideal but hard to find – I had to get mine in Spain).
Microwave on high power for 4-5 minutes until centre is dryish. The exact time depends on the container and microwave so experiment a bit – ours is just right at 4:30 minutes:seconds.
Leave to stand for 5 minutes or so then turn out onto a rack to cool a little.
MUNRO COLLECTORS Tony
Initially, on reading the article in the previous newsletter re. Munro collectors I was overwhelmed with an extreme fear at the thought of David chasing me across Mount Blair with Cameron Highlanders. I also knew I couldn’t face another incarceration at Her Majesty’s pleasure. However, after the initial panic had subsided, I began to wonder if the Cameron Highlanders really existed at all or were they just a figment of our editor’s lively imagination. So to clarify the matter I proceded to the appropriate website where I was informed that in 1961 the Cameron Highlanders were amalgamated with the Seaforth Highlanders and that ever since their ghostly apparitions have been known as The Queens Own Highlanders. As a consequence, my fears were somewhat dissipated although I could imagine that David clad in highland dress charging across the heather with claymore brandished aloft could prove an equally terrifying sight.
Not being very valorous I have decided that discretion is the better option, so below is my list of Munros to which I claim ascent: (Your editor has taken the liberty of re-organising the layout, apologies)
|TONY’S MUNROS TOTAL 25|
|NAME||GENERAL LOCATION||NUMBER OF MUNROS|
|Stob a’Choire Odhair||Bridge of Orchy||1|
|Buachaille Etive Mor||Glencoe||1|
|Buachaille Etive Beag||Glencoe||2|
|Beinn Sgulaird||Glen Creran||1|
|Ben Nevis||Fort William||1|
|Carn Mor Dearg||Fort William||1|
|Chno Dearg||Loch Treig||1|
|Spidean Mialach||Loch Quoich||1|
|Sgur Mor||Loch Quoich||1|
|Sgurr na Sgine||Kintail||1|
The list is now underway so it’s time to ‘out’ yourself and own up to your total. Corrections welcome. Totals will do, but complete lists (see Tony’s opposite) are also acceptable.
|Beinn Dearg||Blair Atholl||1|
SCOTLAND – BLAIR ATHOLL 17th – 20th May David
In attendance were Colin, Ann, David, Matt, Ian, Tony, Eileen, Sheila, Alistair and Gary.
Thursday 17th May – six of us travelled by train arriving at Blair Atholl for 3.30 pm. By then we all elected to stay in a B&B for the last night. A meal was obtained in the hikers bar with liquid refreshments to hydrate ourselves before walking into the hills to the bothy at Allt Scheicheanhan. Colin and Ann had already been in Scotland for a week and were in residence in the bothy when we arrived. Alistair and Gary had travelled by car and arrived later. The bothy had a sleeping platform which was suitable for all. However I preferred to camp which was further confirmed by Matt’s “mouse” incident. Following a scream and then silence (at which point I imagined that he had fallen down the ladder) we found Matt in a semi distressed state having put his hand in Sheila’s bag and on to a furry thing! He and Ian then also camped outside. This provided endless entertainment for the rest of the weekend.
Friday 18th May – Colin and Ann headed home. The rest went up Beinn Dearg 1008m. The weather was deteriorating as forecasted. It was very difficult to stand on top of the hill. On the other side a camp site was found next to the river in what seemed an ideal spot. The weather again took a turn for the worse. Several of the party tackled the Corbett immediately at the back of the camp. There was an interesting night with torrential rain and high winds.
Saturday 19th May – the bad weather persisted. The river had risen alarmingly and Eileen’s tent seemed to be sitting over a stream! On breaking camp, Matt, Eileen and Tony elected to go back to the bothy. The rest of us then set off to tackle An Sgarsoch 1006m and Carn an Fhidhleir 994m which Colin had previously described as being the “prize”. Both mountains are remote and are committing due to their position. The first hill was hard work due to the increasing wind speed which made standing and walking difficult. It was incredibly cold. At the col between the two mountains, Alistair and Gary returned to the camp site whilst Ian, Sheila and myself went on to finish our third Munro. The return was very difficult walking into the wind. By this time was I very tired but all faced a long return journey over another row of hills to join the river and then to the camp site to pick up our tents. After an awkward river crossing (which was worse for the others – but that is their story) we made it to a loch for another camp.
Sunday 20th May – the weather was good albeit cold. On to the fourth Munro at Carn a’ Chlamain 963m it provided good views. We waved at Alistair and Gary from a distance to realise later that it was not them (as they had returned to Blair Atholl by a different route). Whilst on top we met a couple who had been to the first bothy the night before and had cycled around. Rather bizarrely they had met Matt, Eileen and Tony to fill us in on their story – they had a difficult river crossing and 5 ½ hours of hard walking. There was a very long descent and walk back to Blair Atholl (a bike would have been very useful) to the first pub we came by to re-hydrate. The following day we had a good rail journey home during which time planning was set n motion for next May!
The best of the weekend were the good rail journeys, the B&B, 4 Munros and good equipment which remained dry inside. The worst aspect was the weather (so what is new!) and the re-hydrated foods.
A POEM FOR MATT Alastair
I don’t know the title of this poem by Ivor Cutler, but apparently it’s on his 1974 album ‘Dandruff’, and it’s also at the very end of the album ‘Defenestration’ by Jacky Tar.
I love mice
Mice are my brothers
Mice never bother me
Sitting at my tea
I give them half of what I’m eating.
Rats are a different kettle of fish
Faces ain’t so friendly
When they eat you in the night
You do not want to know
And they smell very, very strange.
ALLT SCHEICHEAHAN ANTHEM – A Windmill In Old Amsterdam
I saw a mouse!
There on the stair!
Where on the stair?
A little mouse with clogs on
Well I declare!
Going clip-clippety-clop on the stair
Written by Ted Dicks and Myles Rudge. Versions by Ronnie Hilton and also Freddie and the Dreamers.
For all the words just put ‘lyrics’ and the title or some distinctive words into Googe and up they will pop!