NUNEATON MOUNTAINEERING CLUB
NEWSLETTER 25 January 2008
Edited by Colin Green
PROGRAMME JANUARY – AUGUST 2008 Matt Liggins
January 12th – 13th 2008 Lake District weekend. Windermere YH. See David.
February 7th – 11th Onich. Central Highlands. Based at Corran Bunkhouse. See Matt.
BOOKINGS BEING TAKEN. DON’T MISS OUT.
March 8th Shropshire walk with Eileen.
April 12th – 13th North Pennines with Colin. Possibly staying at Dufton youth hostel.
May 10th Peak District. Wildboar Clough with Keith and Michele.
May 10th – TBA Scottish Highlands. Isle of Skye. Stay for a week or more. See Colin or Ann.
May / June TBA At the end of May or the beginning of June
Backpacking to the Glen Carron area of the Scottish Highlands. See David or Matt.
June 21st – 22nd North Wales. Midsummer Madness camping & BBQ with Debra near to Dolgellau.
July 12th – 13th SouthWales. Camping with Matt in the Black Mountain area. (NOT BLACK MTS)
Aug 9th – 10th Exmoor. Camping in the Doone valley. See Michele
Other Events – all welcome!
Sept date TBA Poland High Tatra mountains. See Eileen if interested.
Summer Anyone interested in doing the coast to coast? See Ann.
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. And don’t forget our website at http://www.nunmc.org/
MEMBERSHIP FEES Eileen
Membership fees for the coming year are now due. Fees remain at £15.00. Cheques for payable to Nuneaton Mountaineering club.
COMING-UP WINDERMERE YOUTH HOSTEL 11th – 13th January 2007
The January “Winter” weekend will be based at Windermere YHA from the Friday for two nights. You will be aware that there are a host of good mountains within easy reach and hopefully we shall have snow. The cost of accommodation is £14 per person per night. There may be a slightly higher charge for those who are not members of the YHA. If you wish to join this trip can you please contact David as soon as possible either directly or by email.
COMING-UP SCOTLAND February 7th – 11th 2008 Matt
After a few changes the present plan is to go to Onich in the Central Highlands based at Corran Bunkhouse. This is located between Glencoe and Fort William just a short distance beyond the bridge over Loch Leven near to the Corran Ferry. http://www.corranbunkhouse.co.uk/
COMING-UP SHROPSHIRE with Eileen March 8th
No firm plan as yet but put it in your diary.
Residential trips policy on pricing and bookings
The following is the policy as agreed at the A.G.M.
1 Residential trips will be costed on a break-even basis, but the organiser may add up to £2 per head to cover unforeseen expenses.
2 You will need to pay a deposit at the time of booking to secure your place. The amount of the deposit will depend on how much the organiser has to pay in advance to secure the accommodation.
3 Deposits are not returnable.
4 You will be expected to pay the balance between 4 and 6 weeks before the trip. If you don’t, the organiser may offer your place to someone else.
5 Any amount left over when all the expenses have been paid will be added to the club funds.
The proposals were accepted, except in respect of accommodation such as campsites, that did not require a deposit.
SCOTLAND 20th – 24th September 2007 David
In attendance were David, Matt, Ian, Sheila, Paul and Alistair.
Thursday 20th September – we all travelled by train and were able to arrive despite a potentially fraught journey as all trains from Nuneaton had been cancelled. We had sufficient time at a new Indian Restaurant.
On Friday we travelled by bus to the Ski Centre. As last, a problem arose, this time in the form of the weather forecast. That day the wind speed was at 40 mph and was due to increase to become even stronger over the next two days with predicted winds of 70 mhp by Sunday afternoon. On that basis we abandoned our original plan to head to the other side of the range as this would have involved retracing our steps on Sunday in potentially dangerous conditions. Instead we headed out on Plan B. We headed up Ben Macdui taking an easy 3 hours to reach the summit where it was pretty windy and very cold but with good views. We headed down a shoulder from Sron Riach towards the col to lead to Carn a’ Mhaim over very difficult bouldery terrain. On the ascent, the wind speed increased blowing over one member. It was decided to descend to the valley to the west, whereas Ian decided to go it alone to the top. For the rest of us there was long heather decent to a suitable camp site where we rejoined Ian. 17 ½ km 1050m, 8 hours.
On Saturday – after a rainy night, Alistair decided to go back on his own and Paul took a similar decision except that he walked with the rest of us for an hour and headed off to our camp site of October last year and walked out the following day. For the rest of us we intended to tackle Beinn Bhrotain. After leaving the track we headed down the valley but were unable to find a crossing of the River Dee. After a difficult and very tiring walk through heather heading up stream, we came to the point were we could not be bothered and undertook a river crossing and then later a second crossing up Glen Geusachan. By this time it appeared that we would be joining Paul. However, after a hard three hours from the camp we ascended up a steep trackless path into the area of Coire Cachnam Fionn and then alongside a very steep stream to the top. The effort was great but worth it for the views. Moving on to Monadh Mor we camped alongside the Allt Luineag for a windy night. 17 ½ km, 8 hours.
On Sunday – we took in the ridge of Sgor Gaoith to re-join the same track as last year through the woods and back to the road and Aviemore. On meeting the others we adjourned for a couple of pints and a fish n chip supper. 7 hours.
The best of the weekend were 4 Munros and good equipment which remained dry inside including a new roll mat. The worst aspect was the failure of my gas canister. The jury is still out on the Strerripen.
SOCIAL PROGRAMME Michele
Sat 2nd Feb 7.30pm Concert by Bedworth Symphony Orchestra. Programme includes Bruch Violin Concerto no.1 Tickets £5 on the door.
Sat 1st March 8pm at Atherstone Memorial Hall. ‘No Hall Too Small’presented by Hank Wangford & Reg Meuross.
Fri 7th March 8pm at Atherstone Memorial Hall.
Mrs Gerrish’s Guesthouse presented by Ministry of Entertainment. Tickets £7.
Until 17th Feb Antarctic Witness – photographic exhibition at Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery, Riversley Park.
Photographs taken by Frank Hurley, official photographer to Shackleton’s 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole. Of the 500 photographs Hurley had taken on this legendary expedition, only a small number were saved when the expedition ship the Endurance was crushed.
The powerful images exhibited are taken from the surviving original glass plate negatives, which have been preserved in the photographic collection of the Royal Geographical Society.
Contact Michele for more info.
Michele and Debra hand over a cheque for £50 to the Mary Ann Evans Hospice.
Taken on November 23rd at the hospice Debra and Michele are seen handing the cheque to Janet Griffin, fundraising manager at the hospice.
Nuneaton Mountaineering Club (N.M.C) held a fund raising event for the Mary Ann Evans Hospice on the 4th October 2007. The quiz night raised £100 which was equally divided between the hospice and Edale Mountain Rescue Team.
The cheque (£50) was handed over today (23rd November 2007) in person to Janet Griffin (Mary Ann Evans Hospice) by Debra and Michele of the N.M.C.
PENMACHNO BUNKHOUSE WEEKEND 16th – 18th November 2007 Colin G
On Friday most people just travelled up to Wales but Mark and Richard made the 7-8 mile circuit of Llyn Brenig just north of the A5. Meanwhile Keith and Michele tidied up an odd Nuttall by gathering in Moel yr hydd 647m to the west of Blaenau Festiniog going up by the quarries and descending via Llyn Cwmorthin.
Eventful was the circuit of Ian, Matt and Steve who were thwarted on the western Moelwyns by the closure of a useful lay-by on the Gospel Pass. Not to be deterred however, they made it to Blaenau Festiniog for a round of the Manod Mawr hills. Somewhere on the ascent of Moel Penamnen 623m Matt lost his flask. Disaster was however averted as Matt had a very good friend on hand to share his coffee with him. Sadly at Manod Mawr North Top the immense quarry and the gathering gloom defeated our heroes and they descended without having gained the highest top. Who says we only climb the hills to bag summits.
Saturday was more active despite the poor forecast.
David writes: Matt and myself made an ascent of the north east ridge of Y Garn. The weather conditions were poor with high winds increasing with more height. The weather forecast had predicted winds of 45mph, which seemed about right when we reached the top. Needless to say it was very cold and wet. On the way up we saw the other party making an attempt of the other ridge, but were thwarted by the conditions. On our descent we managed a few words with them as they were making their ascent and thereafter we took in the Gylders coming down to the east of Bristly Ridge. A good day in foul conditions – 5 ½ hours 1190m.
A trip to a local pub with a real open fire finished off the walk – and a really good meal at night prepared by Matt with help from others.
The other group consisted of Mo, Ann, Steve, Debbie, Sheila, Ian, Les and Keith H. The object was Y Garn East Ridge Grade 2. However the rocks were slippy and most of the harder moves were side stepped. It was cloudy and wet with a very blustery wind but still busy on top. Foel Goch was taken in before the descent steeply into Cwm Cywion and the tea shop in Capel.
Richard and Mark walked from the bunkhouse to Dolwyddelan on the Blaenau road where there just happened to be a pub. The return was made by paths and forest tracks. 9 miles.
Keith, Michele and Colin tried the Manod Mawr hills from the end of our valley at Cwm Penmachno. A way was made between the quarries before the ascent was made. All the hills were climbed but not in the order envisaged. Only 80 metres from the top it was realised that the central hill was being climbed rather than the southerly one. A correction was made, the massive quarry circumnavigated and Manod Mawr 661m attained before the north top was rounded and Moel Penamnen gathered in. There was little reason to linger on the tops as it was cold and blustery but it remained mostly dry and there was no mist.
David continues: On Sunday Mo and myself went up to the castle at Llangollen meeting many of the others who had a similar idea followed by a visit to the tea shop before heading home.
An excellent weekend in accommodation rather up market from what most people refer to as a bunkhouse. Congratulations to all concerned with organising the weekend and the group meal on Saturday evening. Mumble, mumble to those who cleared off to the pub downstairs without having done any of the cooking or washing and clearing up!
DAVID’S DIARY David
27th October 2007
Nick and myself undertook a 22 mile bike ride on cycle tracks though the centre of Derby. It may not sound interesting but was well worth the trip. On the north side we came across an old medieval abbey which was converted to a pub. It would have been worth the stop just to have a look, but was even better as they served good ale and meals. A trip along other routes took in a tea stop just in time for when the light faded and the rain came.
10th November 2007
On the Saturday, Tony and myself travelled to Hartington (this time without a puncture). The weather was grim, being wet, cold and windy. The walk started in rain and continued, taking in various dales including Mill Dale with a trip to the pub at Alstonefield. Although they were serving food they would not serve a simple meal of a bowl of chips unless with a full meal – so beware.
Friday 28th December 2007
A walk in the Peak District with Matt. The weather forecast was wrong again! The prediction was heavy rain and high winds. Whilst it was not sunny, the weather was overcast with a little rain with wind that was largely behind.
We walked from Hartington south towards Wolfscote Dale and then ventured past Narrowdale Hill to the top of Hope Dale. The pub was closed! On a speculative detour we ventured to Alstonefield for a couple of pints. The staff at The George were their usual happy selves! The 6X and Burton ales were fine but the Pedigree was lacking something. We then walked down to Wolfscote Dale and then headed back to Hartington. A good walk and day out. 5 hours.
YHA GROUP MEMBERSHIP David
The Club is now a member of the YHA for England & Wales effective from 17th December 2007 for one year. When making a booking you will need to quote our registered name and our membership number. If you need the club card, please contact me either by telephone (number is on the circulated list) or by email.
MUNRO TOTALS – The ‘outed’ list to date.
Colin G 284
David F 128
Nick B 40 NEW
Ian A 30 NEW
Tony C 25
Keith K 6
Michele K 6
Eileen W 4
Paul S 4
Steve D 2
Debra C 1
A recent look through the list of compleationists (sic) on the SMC website provides some interesting information. As of 2nd January 2008 there are 4006 people who have owned up to having finished the Munros and it is a certainty that there are others who have not ‘outed’ themselves as yet.
Also multiple completions are by no means rare.
By my reckoning Hamish Brown, Andrew Fraser, Matthew Moulton, Michael Slater and James Gordon have 6 complete rounds.
Robert McDonald and D Whalley have 7 while the big three start with Robin Howie with 9, Stewart Logan with 10 and Steve Fallon with 13 rounds!
Steve completed his first round in 1992 with following rounds in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. ( ) Space left vacant for expletive.
Knowing how excited you all are about hill lists you might like to try this website which can be found at http://www.hill-bagging.co.uk/ . It’s really called The Mountains of England and Wales and you can browse various hill lists including Nuttalls, Marilyns, Hewitts, Wainwrights Deweys, Humps and County Tops.
Interestingly there is also a home page on the site about the Mountains of Scotland and of Ireland. Here you can see all those Munros, Corbetts and Grahams as well. Endless fun for all the family.
So, do you know where the highest points of Warwickshire and Leicestershire are? Now’s your chance to find out!
By the way, a Hump is a hill with a relative height of 100 metres. In England, Wales and the Isle of Man there are 822 and 2994 all told (as of 21st September) according to Rob Woodall on the RHB website.
HOPE TO SEE YOU IN EDALE Michele’s Press Release reproduced in full
Mountaineering Club braves arctic weather to present charity cheque.
On December 8th, members of Nuneaton Mountaineering Club walked in Edale. The walk took them onto Kinder Scout, one of the highest areas in the Peak District National Park, where they were faced with hail and snow. The walk had been arranged so that the group could then visit Edale Mountain Rescue Team to present a cheque. The cheque was the result of this years fundraising event, a Quiz Night held in October. The quiz night raised £100 which was divided equally between the Mary Ann Evans Hospice and the Edale Mountain Rescue Team. The Club received
a warm welcome and tea from the Mountain Rescue Team at their base in Hope.
The Edale Mountain Rescue Team is the largest of 9 teams operating in the Peak District. Just like the lifeboats, they rely entirely on volunteers and need to raise all their own funds. Although the Club is very safety conscious when out on the hills, it is aware that accidents do happen and is keen to support this potentially life-saving work. More information about their work can be found at http://www.edalemountainrescue.co.uk/
Nuneaton Mountaineering Club meets at Attleborough Liberal Club every Thursday at 8.30pm. There is a planned programmme of events for walking, climbing, backpacking, cycling, camping and canoeing. For anyone who enjoys the outdoors and is interested in joining us please take a look at our web site for more information. http://www.nunmc.org/
Picture of members of Nuneaton Mountaineering club handing cheque to Edale Mountain Rescue and search and rescue dog, Tyke.
Colin’s notes on the Edale to Hope walk 8th December
Colin, Ann, Michele, Keith K, Eileen, Keith H, Mark and Steve met at Hope railway station for the 9.39am to Edale.
As it was raining properly we were all kitted up as we ascended Grindsbrook. Higher up the rain turned to snow and there was a moderate cover on the plateau. It was also misty and there was a stiff wind blowing ice crystals and hail around. Heading eastwards along the south rim we were not the only walkers braving the elements. The GPS kept us on track and we descended Crookstone Hill back into visibility and with the snow turning to rain. We didn’t quite make it to Win Hill but instead took a couple of valley paths and ended up at Hope station at 3.20pm with it still raining. Adjourning to the Edale Rescue headquarters there was tea and biscuits and a very informative tour.
THE LONG MYND 15th December Colin
Colin and Andrew started from Little Stretton and on a cold morning made an ascent of Ashes Hollow to Wild Moor and descended to Ratlinghope and the pub at Bridges for a mug of tea. The re-ascent of The Long Mynd went easily enough with some superbly frosted trees, vegetation and fences to enjoy. The descent to Little Stretton was via Round Hill and the wonderful ridge overlooking Ashes Hollow and Callow Hollow. Tea and cakes were then taken in Marshbrook where friends of Colin live.
CLIMB EVERY BUILDING From BBC News sent in by David 19th Dec.
Man held after climbing building
A man who scaled a 27-storey building in central London has been arrested for allegedly wasting police time. Hundreds of workers stopped to watch as the man, aged 45, climbed up Portland House in Victoria Street without ropes. Onlookers used phones to take pictures as Alain Robert reached the top of the office block, having stopped to rest on several window ledges on the way up. Police taped off the area and later arrested him on suspicion of criminal damage and wasting police time.
Chalk and bandages
Marcus Tucker, 27, a software architect who works on the 16th floor of the 320ft-high building, said an e-mail had gone round saying somebody was climbing up. “Somebody went down to speak to one of his accomplices and found out he was doing it as a protest against climate change. “He came crawling up past our window. There was a crowd of people right by the window so I couldn’t get as close as I would have liked.” Mr Tucker said the climber was using only his bare hands, “with a little bit of chalk, and some bandages on his fingers”. “About 10 minutes after he came past the window we heard the cheers from people down below, so I presume that’s when he reached the top.” Mr Tucker said he did not see the climber come back down, and said he presumed he had used the lift or waited for police to retrieve him.
His co-workers had clapped and cheered as the climber made his way past their window, he added. Police said Mr Robert was bailed until an unspecified date in February. The French climber says on his official website: “Spiderman is my nickname, but I have no supernatural powers. When I climb skyscrapers, there’s no special effect. No safety net.”
Mr Robert has so far climbed more than 70 of the world’s tallest structures, including the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Which reminds me of the Batman episode where he is thrown from a skyscraper. Despite descending at an increasing rate of knots he grabs a convenient rope with his teeth – upon which Robin utters the classic phrase, ‘Holy molars!’ Ed
Completion of Wainwrights, 26 October 2007 – From the Internet
214 Wainwright Tops With Ben – My 6 Year Old Son
On 26 October I finished all 214 Wainwright tops of the Lake District, but more remarkably so did my 6 year old son. In doing so he became the youngest person to achieve this particular challenge, but perhaps more remarkable, is the fact that we only really started bagging the peaks this year and this led to some quite long walks for a 5 or 6 year old – up to 23 miles in fact! It’s been a privilege to share this adventure with Ben who has definitely caught the bagging bug. Ben climbed his first Wainwright aged 2 (Lingmoor) and ended on Tarn Crag at the age of 6 years 4 months 27 days. On the way we’ve climbed Scafell Pike and Great End in conditions of hard neve, backpacked over Scafell, High Street and the Langdales and scrambled up some of the classic ridges. Ben is enthusiastic for more, so I can see another challenge coming next year. John Fleetwood.
FROM BMC SUMMIT 48 David (Markfield Quarry)
A successful opening meeting was held in the Midlands to discuss the potential purchase of Markfield Quarry by the local council for use as a conservation and recreation site. The meeting was chaired by Colin Knowles and attended by more than 30 people including representatives from the local council. The open meeting set up a Markfield Quarry Coordination Group to negotiate and develop an agreement with the council with regard to climbing access at Markfield. The group will report its progress to the Midlands Area committee of the BMC.
SCOTLAND February 2008 CORRAN FERRY Free for pedestrians
This ferry is very close to the Corran bunkhouse and provides access to the hills of Morvern and Ardgour.
Monday – Saturday leaves at 06.30, 06.50 and thereafter every 20 minutes until 08.50 then 09.15 and afterwards every 30 minutes. For a return from 09.30 the ferries are every 30 minutes until 21.00 and finally 21.20.
On Sundays ferries are every 30 minutes from 08.45. For a return they are every 30 minutes until 21.00 with the final ferry at 21.20. If you need the last ferry then you’ve had quite a day.
Cars are £5.20 each way. Nothing extra for passengers.
SCOTLAND February 2008 CORRAN WALKS Colin
By now most of us are getting used to the Scottish mountains and know our way around a Munro or two. Consequently a list of the Munros in the vicinity of the Corran bunkhouse might only be telling you what you already know. Therefore, I shall confine myself to a few of the hills that you might not otherwise think of.
Walking from the bunkhouse has its merits so what about Beinn na Gucaig 616m Map 41 063653. Not the highest hill but a continuation to Doire Ban 566m 090643 and Tom Meadhion 621m would be a really stiff day in anyone’s book. Alternatively take two days for the set.
Immediately on the other side of the Corran ferry, which is walking distance from the bunkhouse (see piece on Corran Ferry) there is the splendid viewpoint of Sgurr na h-Eanchainne 730m and Druim na Sgriodain 734m Map 40 978656. A ferry ride is always nice, especially if it is free, but there is some steep ground to negotiate.
Munro wise the closest are the twin peaks of Beinn a’ Bheithr – Sgurr Dhonuill 1001m and Sgurr Dhearg 1024m seen to advantage when traveling south over the Ballachuilish bridge. Parking is possible in South Ballachulish and there is a route through the trees to open ground.
Close by is Sgor na h-Ulaidh 994m Map 41 111518, the least climbed of the Glencoe mountains but there is some steep ground here and an ascent might depend on the conditions.
If you fancy a couple of Mamores you’ll have to drive to Kinlochleven or Glen Nevis. From Polldubh in Glen Nevis ascend the valley to the south to the col east of Stob Ban 999m Map 41 148654. Tackle it this way as the ascent to the summit from here will be the crux if conditions are icy. Then continue to Mullach nan Coirean 939m Map 41 122662 before descending into the forest to Polldubh. If the ascent of Stob Ban looks a bit steep the day will not have been wasted as the slope westwards to Sgor an Iubhair 1001m (deleted Munro) and on to Am Bodach 1034m Map 41 176651 may be preferable.
If you wish to get to the snow without that tedious ascent then Aonach Mor 1221m map 41 193730 and Aonach Beag 1234m may be for you. The Nevis Range Gondola http://www.nevisrange.co.uk/winter/index.asp ascends Aonach Mor to about 660m at the cost to you of £8.75 return (£7.75 for seniors). First ascent is 9am weekdays or 8.30am weekends with final descent depending upon the light. Check by telephone on 01397 705 825. Remember however that you’ll be above 600m all day and above 1000m for 5km. Also if you miss the last descent it’s a drag to walk down. By way of compensation however this is a great location with close up views of the Nevis range, Grey Corries and Mamores etc.
For the connoisseur/collector prepared to travel (that’s David to you and me) the attractions of the two Loch Lochy Munros must be irresistible. Meall na Teanga 917m Map 34 220925 and Sron a’ Choire Ghairbh 935m Map 34 222945 are most easily accessed from Kilfinnan to the NE.
(Look out here for the affable old farmer who engages you in polite conversation before requesting a parking fee! There is no requirement to pay as the parking is on the side of a public road. Nevertheless such was his engaging conversation that the last time I parked here with Trevor and Sue we coughed up). There is also the slightly longer more mountainous traverse from near Clunes to the SW which involves less driving.
On the Oban road there is also Beinn Fhionnlaidh 959m Map 50 095498 at the head of Loch Creran. Use the car park at Elleric as marked on the map and it’s a steady ascent of about 4 miles to the top.
THE NEW CRAG CODE OF CONDUCT BMC
ACCESS – check the regional access data base (RAD) on www.thebmc.co.uk
PARKING – Park carefully – avoid gateways and driveways
FOOTPATHS – keep to established pathways – leave gates as you find them
RISK – climbing can be dangerous – accept the risks and be aware of other people around you
RESPECT – Groups and individuals – respect the rock, local climbing ethics and other people
WILDLIFE – do not disturb livestock, wildlife or cliff vegetation; respect seasonal bird nesting restrictions
DOGS – keep dogs under control at all times; don’t let your dog chase sheep or disturb wildlife
LITTER – “leave no trace” – take all litter home with you
TOILETS – Don’t make a mess – bury your waste
ECONMY – Do everything you can to support the rural economy – shop locally.
PS – my thoughts were that this was not particularly well worded and probably missed many real points. David F