NUNEATON MOUNTAINEERING CLUB
NEWSLETTER 27 September 2008
Edited by Colin Green
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 2008 Andrew Holder
Our annual general meeting is on Thursday, October 16th, at the Attleborough Liberal Club. It is a great chance to make your views known and shape the way the club develops.
If enough people want to, we can get rid of the old bunch of scoundrels on the committee and elect an entirely new bunch of scoundrels.
Here is the agenda as it stands at present. If there are any other issues you would like to be discussed and decided on by all our members please let me know by Friday, September 15th, and I’ll circulate a revised version of the agenda.
for the annual general meeting to be held on Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 8.30 p.m. at the Attleborough Liberal Club, Bull Street, Attleborough, Nuneaton.
1 Apologies for absence.
2 Minutes of the last AGM.
3 Reports: chairman, secretary, meets secretary, treasurer.
4 Setting the subscription rate for 2008-9.
5 Election of committee for 2008-9. Nominations are sought for all of these positions:
• Meets secretary
• Social secretary
6 Election of officers for 2008-9. Nominations are sought for these positions:
• Web site
7 Appointment of auditor
8 Dates of future meetings: committee planning AGM 2009
9 Any other business.
PROGRAMME SEPTEMBER 2008 – FEBRUARY 2009 Matt Liggins
August 26th – September 6th Tatra Mountains in Poland.
September 20th Snowdonia. Tryfan with Debra
September 11th-15th Scottish Highlands. Backpacking in the central Cairngorms area. Youth hostel in Aviemore on first and last nights. Contact David or Matt
October 18th – 19th Clun Shropshire. YHA weekend. Contact Michele
November 14th – 16th Howgills / Lakes. Novemberfest Weekend. Tarn Outdoor Centre. Contact Matt.
December 13th Peak District with Eileen. Location TBA
January 10th-11th 2009 Lake District. Langdale YHA weekend. Contact David.
February 19th – 22nd 2009 Scottish Highlands. Southern Cairngorm area. Newtonmore Hostel. We have exclusive use of the hostel. Limited to 10 places. See Matt.
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/
COMING-UP TRYFAN with Debra 20th September 2008
No information at time of going to press but reserve this date for a popular ascent, no doubt involving Tryfan North Ridge and the Bristly Ridge on Glyder Fach if conditions are fine, or not so fine if you just want to go for it.
COMING-UP CLUN 17th-19th October 2008 Michele
I have now filled the places I had booked at Clun Mill Hostel. If anyone else would like to come they will need to contact the hostel directly and book themselves in, if there is still room. There is also the possibility of a day trip on the Saturday.
SOCIAL PROGRAMME Michele
There is plenty going on locally – if you fancy any of the following events or want to know more contact Michele.
Friday 26th Sept. Stand-up comedy night, Bedworth Arts Centre. 7.30pm. £8
Friday 10th Oct. ‘The Other Woman’ (play), Atherstone Memorial Hall, 8pm, £8.50
Saturday 1st Nov. CBSO at Bedworth Civic Hall,7.30pm. Programme includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. tickets £8.50-£24 (I suggest something in the middle of the range!)
November 22nd – ‘Hoedown’ in Hinckley
This is a barn dance with live music. A group of us went in April and had a really good fun evening.
November 28th – Ken Nicol and Phil Cool in concert (Folk) 7.30pm. Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton. £12.50
November 29th – Bedworth Symphony Orchestra concert at Nicholas Chamberlain school 7.30pm. £5 Programme includes Mozart piano concerto no.23
TEGG’S NOSE 9th May 2008 Michele
Despite various club members being in Scotland – some back-packing and some on Skye, there was a good turn out for the day walk in a lesser known part of the Peak District (at least lesser known to us!).
Two full cars containing Eileen, Keith H, Len, Mark, David, Rachel, Debra, Keith K and Michele met up at Tegg’s Nose Country Park near Macclesfield. It was a hazy start to a very warm day but everyone realised that we were starting at the top of a hill and therefore the end of the day would involve going uphill!!
Of course, that meant that we started by going downhill – past Clough House and then back up the other side of the valley via the edge of Macclesfield Forest to Shuslingsloe (with it’s trig point at 506m). Here Rachel finally allowed us to have elevenses at 11.45!
It was then downhill again to Wildboarclough. Various members of the party were not too happy at passing a pub without stopping but at this point they did not know that there was to be another pub in a short while – the Wild Boar Inn at Wincle, where we were all glad to stop for some refreshment.
The afternoon took us to Greasley Hollow and Rossen Clough where we picked up the Gritstone Trail and eventually back to the cars. The final uphill to Tegg’s Nose was quite an effort for just about everyone but as we had walked 15 ½ miles and done 860m of ascent it was felt acceptable to be tired!
RAPID SPREAD OF LYME DISEASE CIEH PRESS RELEASE Debra C
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is calling on the Government to tackle the growing public health threat posed by Lyme Disease and other pest related illnesses.
According to the National Public Health Service in Cardiff, there are an estimated 800 Laboratory cases of Lyme Disease confirmed annually, however this figure does not take into account between 1000-2000 cases each year that have been diagnosed and treated by GPs. Lyme disease is caused by infected ticks and can cause symptoms from a rash to blindness and paralysis. Treating Lyme disease is often complicated by the fact that it is often misdiagnosed and underreported.
Recent developments in pest-borne diseases in the US and Europe and the spread of Lyme disease in both Europe and
Northern America, have signalled strongly the crucial need to carefully assess the potential threat of urban pests to
The call to action coincides with the launch of a World Health Organization book entitled ‘The Public Health
Significance of Urban Pests’, which urges governments to better address the rising public health threats posed by pests
Commenting, CIEH Chief Executive, Graham Jukes said: “We strongly urge the Government to take greater responsibility for pest management and to raise the profile of diseases such as Lyme disease. Over the past decade we saw how West Nile Virus spread from small area of the USA to a disease that now affects the whole country.
“Lyme disease in this country is spreading and the number of cases is rising significantly. This is a misunderstood
disease that can cause untold misery to its victims. We urge the Government to make this a notifiable disease.”
The National Pest Advisory Panel (NPAP) of the CIEH is currently drafting some guidelines on tick management which will be available later this year.
The CIEH has developed a summary of the WHO book highlighting the main findings from a UK perspective. Please visit: http://www.cieh-npap.org/documents/Urban-pests-publichealth-significanceJULY08.pdf.
A full version of the WHO book is available as a PDF on the WHO website at:
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is the professional voice for environmental health. It
ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members; in the belief that through environmental health
action people’s health can be improved
The CIEH represents over 10,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. For more
information about the CIEH visit http://www.cieh.org/
For further information please contact Andrew Hamadanian, CIEH Corporate Communications Manager.
Tel: 020 7827 5922. Mobile: 07944 262 100. Email: email@example.com
SKYE 10th-22nd May 2008 Colin and Ann
A blow by blow account could take up some space so I will restrict myself to the highlights.
Staying at Sligachan bunkhouse for the first few days we drove down towards Blaven on the 11th in a rather depressing shower of rain. Nevertheless upon arrival it began to clear and we set off up the hill. At 430m the route steepens and higher up there are boulders but no difficulties (in clear conditions). At the top it was hazy and the famous view of the Black Cuillin was hardly discernable. The traverse to the South Top is easy by Skye standards but we left another walker pondering whether he was going to attempt the ledge. The descent was steep with scree but without problems.
On the 12th we walked straight from the bunkhouse and headed for Sgurr nan Gillean. This is a magnificent peak with some proper scrambling at the top. I had forgotten quite how steep and rocky the top was, but its not graded Grade 3 for nothing. At the summit there is only room for a handful of people as the ground drops away precipitously all around. As a return by the same route is required for scramblers we were content to descend with a group of three climbers who had just completed the ridge and were therefore in a charitable mood. A couple of hundred feet down when easier ground was reached the climbers shot off while we surveyed the scene and surveyed the route for the following day.
On the 13th we took the rope and climbing gear. The route to Coire a’ Bhasteir is straightforward and impressive and we then headed further uphill to Sgurr a’ Bhasteir. The rope and climbing gear seemed very heavy on the ascent but the rocky ridge and then easy ascent to Bruach na Frithe made it worthwhile. Moving on we took in the little summit of Sgurr a’ Fionn Choire before the intimidating traverse below the cliffs of Am Bhasteir. At the col on the far side we kitted up for Am Bhasteir. The ridge is steep and narrow in places but the gear was for a descent and then re-ascent shortly before the summit. We set up the belay. Ann found the location exposed at first (it was) but once I was over the edge the foot holds became apparent and all was well. The re-ascent was much easier as you could see where to put your feet and we both got up and down without incident. Fortunately there was no-one else around as we spent quite some time here but the sun was shining and at the end of the day there was a drink in the Sligachan to help us re-hydrate.
After a rest day we set off on the 15th from our new home at Glenbrittle Youth Hostel for Coire a’ Ghreadaidh. This was the only day we encountered mist and it was down to about 500m. The GPS got us to the base of the stone shoot and then it was just a matter of climbing to the very small col of An Dorus. Here there are rock steps on both sides of the col which lead without further difficulties to a Munro each side. First we tackled Sgurr a’ Mhadaidh. The first couple of moves were a bit of a puzzle but after that all was well. The descent was just an undignified lower over a slab. The other side is supposed to be harder but went without incident both up and down. On top it tried to clear but never quite managed it.
The 16th was a top day. We had met a couple of climbers and they offered to take us to the In Pinn. After a practise abseil in the coire we gained Sgurr Dearg and set about roping up. The East Ridge is only moderate with good holds but the exposure is considerable. It is also a two pitch climb so the stance half way up was cosy. Once on top all that remained was the 20m abseil. Back on terra firma Ann and climber Martin, who lives in Wales, sang the Welsh national anthem to the assembled throng. Even today Ann is still on a high from the experience. Colin is chuffed too.
The 17th was a relatively easy day as we only climbed the single Munro of Sgurr na Banachdich directly from the hostel. There was scree but no difficulties to the summit. Colin then went out for Banachdich Central
ANN CLIMBING THE ‘IN PINN’ PITCH 2
Top while Ann chose to give it a miss. Not a bad decision in the end as Ann was able to help me locate the footholds on the descent.
After another rest day we set out on the 19th for our finest mountaineering day of the trip. The walk to Coir’ a’ Ghrunnda is a scramble in its own right but the coire is truly awesome being just a mass of rock. After climbing boulders we ended up on the ridge and made our way with light scrambling to Sgurr nan Eag. The route to the next Munro involved traversing Caisteal a’ Garbh Choire and Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn before we got to grips with Sgurr Dubh Mor. The route up and down was Grade 2 and potentially intimidating. Re traversing Sgurr Dubh an Da Bheinn we dropped down and skirted below the TD Gap to the Bealach Sgumain. Here the SW Ridge of Sgurr Alasdair is Grade 3 and accessed via a chimney which looks fearsome but much easier upon inspection. The route then leads up scree and rock and comes out on the ridge with some formidable drops down to Coire Lagan on the left. The summit of Sgurr Alasdair is a wonderful place but there is still a short Grade 2 ridge to descend to reach the top of the Great Stone Shoot. The shoot almost did for Ann’s knees as we slipped and slid over 1200ft down to Coire Lagan – it seemed further. Glenbrittle was still almost two thousand feet lower and a welcome sight. 11 hours 55 nimutes.
The final Munro on the 20th was Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. Back in Coire Lagan we skirted the An Stac screes on the left to reach Bealach Coire Lagan. The ascent and descent of Choinnich is Grade 2. We were both tired after previous exertions and conscious of not wanting to make a mistake. Choinnich is not all gabro and many of the slabs are covered in grit and pebbles. Careful manoeuvring was required in places. After photos, as usual, we cautiously descended and not until we were safely back at the bealach did I get my congratulatory 12 Munro hug from Ann. All that was left was the descent of the An Stac screes which went easily enough before we descended to Glenbrittle and a celebratory ice cream from the campsite shop.
All achieved we headed for home staying at Crianlarich on the return journey. Wonderful trip.
THE INACCESSIBLE PINNACLE
ELIDIR FAWR & Y GARN 8th June 2008 Colin
Colin, David and Rachel parked at Ogwen Cottage on a warm sunny day with clear blue skies. Walking downhill towards Bethesda we continued for about 4 km before making our way steeply uphill towards Carnedd y Filiast. The going over grass and heather improved with height and eventually we picked up a path that led to the Carnedd y Filiast North Top 721m. Any suggestion that this walk was constructed purely to attain this new Nuttall top would be scurrilous and if such is said in public I will consult my legal team.
The top of Carnedd y Filiast 821m was soon reached where David decided to take the easier option and miss out Eilidir Fawr. Nevertheless Colin and Rachel pressed on but I must advise anyone who is due to walk with Rachel to make sure that they get in front and set the pace, because despite her many charms following her uphill is exhausting work.
Replacing our steps from Elidir Fawr 923m we made for Foel goch and Y Garn 947m before making for the top of the Devil’s Kitchen. David had long gone so we descended with almost no one around despite the crowds below. The only group we saw on the descent were poorly equipped for the high street let alone steep rocky ground. Sandals just will not do! David was found at the drinks and ice cream shop so we joined him for some re-hydration. A fine day.
BLACK MOUNTAIN CAMPING 11th-13th July 2008 Colin
The venue was the Black Mountain Caravan & Camping site south of Llandovery sorted out by Michele. For those interested in birds it was next to a Red Kite feeding station so there were plenty of kites flying around and about. Keith and Michele had a short Friday walk on Foel Fawr 616m where they waved goodbye to Nick who decided to camp out for the first night. Len and Jan arrived in their new motor home and Colin and Ann soon afterwards making up the weekends complement.
On Saturday there were showers but Keith, Michele, Colin, Ann and Len set off from the camp site for Black Mountain. On top (Fan Brycheiniog or Carmathan Fan 802m) it was cool and blustery but fine once we were walking again. The route continued over Bannau Sir Gaer 749m and Waun Lefrith 677m before we made our way across acres of grassland to the bridleway heading to Llanddeusant and the campsite.
On Sunday Len and Jan headed home but Nick survived his night in the hills to join us. From the A470 just north of the Storey Arms we climbed in very pleasant conditions to Fan Frynych and Craig Cerrig-gleisiand both 629m. Afterwards we made our way to Fan Fawr 734m and its nearby trig point. Descending we reached the Storey Arms and returned to our starting point via the Taff Trail.
An excellent weekend. Nice meal at a pub in Llangadog on the Saturday evening and some splendid hospitality in Len and Jan’s motor home.
NEW WELSH HEWITTS? – THAT’S NUTTALLS AS WELL!
Yesterday we carried out detailed GPS surveys with Leica Geosystems of the two Welsh 609m hills, Craig Fach and Mynydd Graig Goch, in order to see if either/both reached 609.6m (2000 feet). We were able to quite quickly ascertain that Craig Fach was lower than 2000 feet by about 1metre. However, the results for Mynydd Graig Goch (End of the Nantle Ridge – Ed) were very close and we are now awaiting data verification from the Ordnance Survey. We will announce the exact results of these surveys once we have obtained this verification.
John Barnard. From the RHB website 12th August 2008.
DROSGL, BANC LLECHWEDD-MAWR and DISGWYLFA FAWR Colin
Where I hear you say. West of Plynimon I reply. Maybe none the wiser but this is one I did on my own and you may be thankful that you weren’t available. On 20th July I crossed the dam over the Nant-y-moch Reservoir passing the ‘Road Closed’ sign as there was no evidence it was closed. Other traffic was using the road so I parked up and set off towards the hills. Drosgol 550m was not too bad but the deep vegetation was tiring. A new bridge over a major stream made Banc Llechwedd-Mawr 560m possible but it was steep and seemed a long off. Returning to the bridge I then followed the river for a kilometre or so over some of the worst vegetation in creation. Tussocks, holes, grass and heather up to my thighs, slime and bog made every step a real effort. I’d have made quicker progress wading knee deep in water up the middle of the stream. Eventually I got across the worst of it probably lucky not to get a twisted ankle or broken leg! Taking a short cut over Cefn yr Esgair in the rain was a pleasure by comparison.
Down the valley I was sufficiently recovered to tackle Disgwylfa Fawr 506m. Approaching the summit were two other walkers who turned out to be Charles and Jill Levinton and we arrived at the top almost together. ‘Are you bagging hills? ‘the man said. ‘Yes’ I replied, ‘And so are you I believe as there are few recreational walkers on these lonely hills.’ I was right, and after a few photographs of each other we exchanged e-mail addresses and went our own ways.
BERWYNS 26th July 2008 Colin
Keith, Michele, Colin and Rachel arrived at Pistyll Rhaeadr on a sunny morning with the car park quickly filling up. Climbing above the waterfall we continued up the river with some heavy going higher up as the vegetation thickened. Once on the ridge walking became easier and we quickly passed Meol Sych 827m and onto Cadair Berwyn 827m. From here we continued to Cadair Bronwen 784m before dropping to the col with Tomle. Descending to the valley below looked unattractive so we re-ascended to Cadair Berwyn before dropping down to the ridge ging out to Godor. The walk to Godor took in a couple of other tops but also required some backtracking before we were able to descend to the main track – more excess vegetation – and a welcome drink at the café. Good walk anda nice day.
KINDER SCOUT 2nd August 2008 Colin
Colin, Nick and Anna arrived at Blackden Beck at the base of the Snake Pass after a very wet journey. Fortunately there was only a short shower soon after leaving the car as the rest of the day was a mixture of cloud with some sunshine. Colin gallantly offered to carry Anna’s second new pole as there was no strap on the back of her rucksack but only managed to achieve the loss of a snow ring which fell off the end of the pole – sorry. It took a long time to climb the beck but once on the plateau the better path made for easier going. We did a bit of pacing and compass work and eventually crossed the plateau via the 590m trig point. At the head of Crowden Brook we headed for the summit but realising we were running out of time turned and crossed the peat at its widest point! Finding a Mountain Rescue navigation box on the plateau provided some interest but otherwise we descended without incident on the open slopes alongside Blackden Beck. Good walk with much better weather than forecast.
EXMOOR CAMPING TRIP 8th – 10th August Michele
The August Club trip was to the Doone Valley in Exmoor.
Matt was the organiser but unfortunately work commitments meant he couldn’t go so he suggested two possible campsites and let us get on with it!! We couldn’t really decide which site would be best so we decided on Cloud Farm. Cloud Farm is in an idyllic setting in the Badgworthy valley but there is limited flat ground for pitching and it got quite muddy too!
Mo, Nick and Mark arrived first and found a fairly flat area for us to camp. They then went off walking onto Exmoor. Keith and Michele arrived in the early afternoon and pitched their tent before also heading out onto Exmoor for a lovely walk in the summer sunshine. In the evening we gathered round our disposable BBQs and later made a campfire. As we weren’t sure whether Kim and Alastair were definitely coming, we hadn’t been able to keep enough space for another tent so when they arrived at 7.30pm there was ‘no room at the inn’ so to speak and they decided to go to the Doone Valley campsite up the road. They actually did well by this as it was flatter, less crowded and cheaper!
When Saturday arrived it was with the forecast wind and rain. We went out anyway, walking to County Gate (the border between Somerset and Devon) and then onto the coast path to Lynmouth. Here the party split, some staying around Lynmouth and Lynton and getting a (open-topped) bus back as far as County Gate whilst Keith and Michele walked back, mostly along the River via Watersmeet.
Everyone was fairly /very wet by the time they returned to Cloud Farm so it was a very anti-social evening, each staying in there own tents!
Sunday dawned a much brighter day. We decamped in the dry then drove to Allerford (near Porlock) and did a nice half day walk to Hurlestone Point and Selworthy Beacon before driving home.
It would have been better in wall to wall sunshine but was still a nice weekend away.
THE LAST WELSH TRIG BUILTH WELLS 8th-10th August Colin
Sadly I missed the Exmoor trip as I wanted to take the opportunity of meeting some serious baggers/triggers/geocashers for the occasion of Rob Woodall’s last Welsh trig on Red Hill.
I travelled on Friday to a very good campsite near Hundred House a few miles before Builth Wells. Not an area I have ever visited before but one I shall return to. On the Friday I climbed (well about 300 metres along a road) Mynydd Eppynt. Not too difficult you may say but I waited until 7.30pm as it’s on a military firing range and the red flags are apparently always up. Needless to say I saw no-one and was quite content not to do so.
Saturday morning was wet. I sat in my recently purchased tent thinking – shall I bother going out – but the call of the wild was too strong. The first hill Pen y Garn-goch was alright until I got to within 75 metres of the summit. Here I was faced with a seemingly impenetrable wall of young plantation. I stumbled through the thickets and eventually came out near the trig point in a clearing invisible from more than a few metres away. Returning seemed easy enough as I could clearly see the larger trees of the main forest only metres away. After a fight in the trees I got stuck in the branches and could see neither my feet, the sky or ahead as the branches were so thick that I had to turn away to avoid the millions of pine needles before pushing forward. What fun, and by the way I was also being rained on and it was misty! Back at the car I was comprehensively wet but I pushed on to the next hills Crugiau Merched – steep and wet, Mynydd Cynros – excess bracken and Pen-crug-melyn – teeming it down.
Sunday I met up with the A team. You may believe I’m moderately eccentric, amongst other things but this crew take some beating. Mythydd Phillips – a man who has 16 and soon to be 17 rounds of the Nuttalls! What do you do if a new one is discovered I asked him. Go and climb it 16 times to bring it up to par he replied. Ted Richards – a man who has walked the coastline of England and Wales (3,500 miles). Roland and Ann Bowker – the grandparents of British bagging. Rob Woodall a man (as has Ann Bowker) who has climbed everything in the UK except the St Kilda sea stacks. Mark and Leanne – a younger couple who seemed normal but talked of nothing but geocashing. (That’s taking your GPS or map and compass to find an obscure box, who’s location you can find on the internet, but hidden to make it difficult. You then log it and exchange one of the items in the box with one you have brought along for that very purpose. You then travel some distance to do another, and another etc. Apparently there are thousands of these hidden all over the UK and you collect as many as you can. One or two seemingly normal people I have omitted from the list above. Nevertheless it was sociable and we climbed Colva Hill in the morning and Red Hill in the afternoon with lunch at Hundred House between.
CLIMBING – THE ROACHES 16th August 2008 Colin
On a day where the forecast was iffy at best nine of us managed to get up to The Roaches for some climbing. Keith and Michele, Keith H, Colin, David, Saul and Anna were ably marshalled by Steve and Eileen. Looking for something easy we headed for Prow Corner VD but as it was busy and occupied we slung a rope down alongside what turned out to be Chalkstorm E4 5c. Needless to say even with a bit of roving off line only Steve got to the top. Prow Corner became available which was much more like it before we moved on to Maud’s Garden VD. Here even Saul gave it a go and got to the top while others tried Contrary Mary VS 4b and Broken Slab S.
An enjoyable day and it never did rain on us. Best entertainment was provided by Keith K who never did quite manage to throw the rope from the top of Maud’s Garden to the bottom. It snagged in a tree and on various rocks before we eventually had to climb up to retrieve it. Also Saul had a close shave when he disturbed a mouse just about to tuck into his sandwiches. A nice cup of tea too at the café down the road.
CARNEDDS 23rd August 2008 Colin
David, Colin, Anna and Saul arrived at the eastern end of Llyn Ogwen with mist on a number of adjacent mountains. The climb towards Pen yr Ole Wen was warm even with the broken cloud above and at the top there were even some blue skies and sunshine. At Carnedd Dafyedd 1044m there was a cool breeze but it was still a fine walk along the cliffs to Carnedd Llewelyn 1064m . From here we descended SE and continued on to Pen y Helgi Du 839m where the skies began to look more menacing. Descending southwards we eventually caught the rain and by the time we had reached the A5 were quite wet. The walk along the main road is never that exciting but at least it eased off as we reached the car while we sorted ourselves out. A cup of tea at Ogwen ensured we were ready for the long drive home.