Newsletter 31 – April 2009


NEWSLETTER 31                       April 2009


Edited by Colin Green


PROGRAMME               APRIL – SEPTEMBER 2009   Matt

April 4th                                                  Snowdon horseshoe with Debra.  You’ll kick yourself if you miss it.

April  Friday 24th                               NMC 10th Anniversary meal.  Check it out with Eileen.

May   14th – 18th                                   Backpacking in Scotland.  Location – The Grey Corries.  See Matt or David.

May   TBA                                            Brecon Beacons day walk.

June 19th-21st                                          Great Langdale, Lake District.  See David for camping and/or seeing the sun up on solstice weekend.

July 10th-12th                                          Kettlewell, Yorkshire Dales camping weekend.  See Michele – you know it makes sense.

August 7th-9th                                        Peak District with Debra.  Weekend camping or just come for the day.

Aug 24th –  3rd Sept 2009                     Pyrenees with Eileen.

September 2009 TBA                           Backpacking in Scotland.  Matt or David.

Also                                                       Saul has expressed an interest in doing the length of Hadrian’s Wall.  Any takers?

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


10th ANNIVERSARY DINNER  Friday 24th April         Eileen

The Club will have been running for 10 years this April and we have decided to celebrate the with a get together and a meal at The Chase Hotel, Higham Lane, Nuneaton on Friday 24th April 2009.  Arrive 7.30pm to eat at 8 pm.

I have booked a private room and the food will be ordered off the normal menu which has a good range of sensibly priced dishes (the most expensive three course meal is in the region of £15.00) so hopefully it is within everyone’s budget and can cater for everyone’s tastes.

I have contacted as many of our past members that I have contact details for and have invited them to come and join us for the meal, so it would be good to have a good turn out of our present members on the night.  Husbands, wives, partners and friends are also welcome.

It should be a great social evening, one not to be missed so get the date firmly fixed in your diary.

I would be pleased if all those coming to the meal would let me know by Friday 17th April 2009. You can contact me in person at club night, by phone on 02476739012 or by email

I look forward to hearing from you.



An ever popular walk with Debra out in front as a follow up to her lead ascent of Tryfan last year.  One not to miss.
BACKPACKING – THE GREY CORRIES  14th – 18th May      Matt
We have managed to get reasonable priced train tickets  for the backpacking trip in May.  The plan is to get off the train at Corrour Halt at approx 15:30, waking in a few miles before camping for the night.  The next day we are planning to move the camp to the lochan beneath Stob Ban, and then bag it with minimal gear.  The next day we will walk the main ridge of the Grey Corries and camp near the Steall Falls.  On the final day we can walk out to Fort William or do the CMD arête, weather and energy permitting.  The final night will be spent at a B&B or hostel in fort William TBA.

If interested the cost of the train ticket is £68.00.  Also allow about £25.00 for the B&B (Hostel accommodation is available for £15 – £17).  You will need suitable camping equipment and sufficient food for 3 nights in the wilds. Contact David or myself if interested.


ANYONE FOR BACKPACKING?     Two days in the Lakes     Eileen

I am planning a short back packing trip in the Lakes either late May or June.

This came about because Anna who has never had the opportunity of backpacking or wild camping said that she would love to have a go but can only be away for one night.  She also particularly wanted to go to the Lake District.

An exact date or route has not been finalised but we were looking at 23-24 May or end of June.

At the moment there are 4 of us – myself, Anna, Ann and Shiela but if anyone else is interested please let me know.



BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT       Information via Debra

Kim and Alistair are proud to announce the birth of their first child. The beautiful Isobel Amelia was born at 02:39am on Thursday 19 February at Warwick Hospital weighing 3.1 kilos (6lb 13 oz).  All are doing well and even after sleepless nights and constant feeding they are both enjoying getting to know the new addition to the club.

A big hello and welcome from all at Nuneaton Mountaineering Club.



For all of you who haven’t tried it yet…you don’t know what you’re missing.  The photo section of the club Facebook page is offering a great selection of action and group pictures of most of the recent trips we have taken part in.  If you would like to take a look log on to Facebook at and create you own profile and find us on the ‘Nuneaton Mountaineering Club’ page in the groups section.  Keith and I have uploaded the most recent programs and newsletters for potential members to see.  We currently have 14 Facebook members.


SPANISH PYRENEES  23rd Aug – 3rd Sept 2009    Eileen
I would like to put the above proposal forward for the Nuneaton Mountaineering trip abroad.
I have looked at flights and the cheapest I can find are:-

with BMI Baby from Birmingham to Barcelona, Monday 24th August £26.04 returning on Thursday 3rd September £26.04.
With Easyjet from East Midlands to Barcelona, Wednesday 26th August £25.99 and returning 3rd September £36.93.
(We could of course go from East Midlands on 26th August for £25.99 and back to Birmingham on the 3rd September for £26.04)
I have not as yet looked into accommodation or route but would anticipate spending a day or so in Barcelona, then hiring a car and heading for the mountains.
I would like to hear from anyone interested in this or any other proposal as soon as possible, to get the cheap flights we must book soon.  Cheers Eileen.



As a BMC associate member you are entitled to discounts at the following stores and centres.  Discounts are usually around 10%.  I’ve got the club’s BMC membership card if you need it.

ALL OVER            Black’s, Millett’s, Mountain Warehouse

ON LINE                Extreme Outdoor Clothing

BIRMINGHAM:     Cotswold Outdoor, Rock on, Snow+Rock

HINCKLEY            Striding Edge        (Has either moved or no longer in business Ed)

LEAMINGTON      Lockwoods

WARWICK            Escape 2

RUGBY                  White and Bishop


BMC NEWS  via Matt

Issue 7 of the BMC Midlands Area newsletter is now online, keeping you informed about what’s happening in the region; with all the latest news, upcoming events, club and wall information, and more.

The newsletter has been produced entirely by the volunteers of the BMC’s Midlands Area, and is intended to keep you informed of the work they’re doing on your behalf. Feedback is welcome, as are contributions from climbers and hill walkers about their exploits locally and further a field.

The next Midlands Area meeting is at 7.30pm on Thursday 26th March, at the Holywell pub in Hinckley.

Come along and get involved.  See the newsletter for further details.

Tony Ryan, Information Co-ordinator, The BMC, 177-179 Burton Road, Manchester, M20 2BB,
Switchboard: 0161 445 6111, Direct Line: 0161 438 3334, Fax: 0161 445 4500
Registered in England and Wales, A company limited by guarantee Number 2874177.


DERBYSHIRE EDGES  7th February 2009   Colin

Colin, Andrew and Felicity had a splendid day on the Edges from Baslow.  Parking on the roadside (better than the car park at £4.50) the most difficult manoeuvre of the day was getting out of the car onto icy pavements without doing yourself an injury.  The snow was right down to the town and above there were blue skies and bright sunshine.  Needless to say it was a delight all the way to the Grouse Inn.  There were lots of photographs and good views of a snowy Kinder in the distance.  A return was made along White Edge.  Walked in snow all day but it was cool in the breeze.


10th Anniversary Dinner – Have you booked your place yet?

Check it out with Eileen.


NMC have been notified of vacancies for Field Assistants with the British Antarctic survey for the coming Austral season and Winter 2010.  Mountaineering and leadership skills are essential.
For further details please visit


PEN Y FAN  14th February 2009   Colin

Keith, Michele, Colin and Anna made it to the foot of the Brecons on a cool and misty morning.  Now, never let it be said that your editor only ever comments on the misfortunes and mistakes of others, while glossing over his own shortcomings.  Fifteen minutes into the walk Colin realised that he had left his crampons in the car. To return or not to return – that was the question?  Some time later Colin reappeared with said crampons and from then on it was a certainty that they would not be needed.  Taking a diversion to collect Y Gyrn Anna managed to get a foot full of snow and slushy water which required socks wringing out.  Higher up there was some proper snow on the ascent to Corn Du but almost everything had been blown off the summit ridge.  At Pen y Fan the descending ridge to the north looked nice so we took it, admiring the tracks left by a skier who had previously skied remarkably close to the edge of the cwm.  Good day out despite the mist.  Thanks to Keith for driving.


SCOTLAND, NEWTONMORE   19th – 22nd February 2009   David

Newtonmore Bunkhouse

This provided good quality accommodation with three rooms (4, 4 & 2 beds). The communal area was just right for 10 people but the log fire did make it rather hot. The owner was a bit of a card in that he had lots of rules (eg how to put the shower curtain inside the shower – with diagram). The guest book contained some direct criticism of the owner, and rather than delete it he had left it in with his own comments – quite bizarre).  When speaking to him however, he seemed reasonably normal. The accommodation was about 15 minutes from the station, and a stones throw from two pubs which did serve food.

In attendance – Colin, Ann, Keith, Michele, Sheila, Debra, David, Steve, Matt and Les.

Day 1 – Friday 

David, Matt, Les, Steve and Debra, caught the bus to Dalwinnie this was expensive for a short journey of £6.30 each. Nonetheless we tackled A’ Bhuidheanach Bheag via the track to the quarry, not that we saw it due to the snow and ice. On the whole the going was reasonably hard with little to see although the weather did slightly improve as the day wore on. Matt’s plan was to reach the top of the return route for 2pm to ensure that there was time to return to Dalwinnie to catch the train back to base. On reaching this point it seemed to me to be a shame to miss the second Munro even at the risk of no transport back. Not worrying about the consequences, Steve and myself nipped on to the second top of Carn na Caim. At this point the wind intensified and was bitterly cold. We elected for a direct route back to the road in the far distance with a steep decent reaching the road 20 minutes after the train had left.  Intending to hitch back, we were rewarded by being seen and collected by Keith & Michele.  930m  6 ½ hrs.

Day 2 – Saturday

David, Matt, Steve and Les.  As we had no transport we walked from the bunkhouse (increasing the distance by almost 4 miles for the day), to take in Carn Dearg.  The wind was the most significant feature making a tough day a very hard day.  On the whole the weather was grim.  There was a lot of water, bog, heather, peat hags, more water and a snowfield  which was steep all the way to the top of the ridge.  Steve kick stepped most of the way.  We had earlier met a chap who said that he had to crawl on his hands and knees to the summit due to the wind – by the time we arrived, it was strong, but not that bad.  This was a tough day, arriving back after dark with a trip to the pub. And then emptying the boots of bog and water. 1045m, 8 ½ hrs.

Day 3 – Sunday

Colin, Ann, David, Matt, Steve, Keith, Michele & Sheila.

This was a straightforward day, with the advantage of getting a lift to the furthest car park rather than having to walk as we had the day before. The weather was cold and windy but much less so than the day before. This took in A’ Chailleach and Carn Sgulain (my 140th Munro). A good day out. 900m 6 ½ hrs.


Many thanks to Michele, Matt and Ann for the meals and for those who assisted.

There was a fair amount of wildlife including ptarmigan, lots of white mountain hare, deer and buzzards, and lots of noisy birds at twilight.

There was an interesting return home by train for David, Matt and Les.  Our train being cancelled and being left on the platform at Newtonmore still after 3pm. The last train was caught home arriving back at midnight – not a journey to be repeated.

Overall, the verdict was another cracking weekend.


Not yet to booked your place for the 10th Anniversary Dinner?

See Eileen ASAP.


SCOTLAND, NEWTONMORE 19th – 24th February 2009  Colin

The Newtonmore Hostel was good.  We had sole use and it had all the facilities we needed.  It was purpose built; clean, good drying room and the bedrooms fitted the personnel present.  The owner Pete was a bit delicate and there was a surfeit of notices.  Most people don’t need a notice with picture to show you how to put the shower curtain inside the shower but presumably experience had taught Pete that some hostellers do need guidance on this matter.  There were also some pretty forthright comments from other guests about the way in which Pete ran his hostel, and equally robust replies from Pete himself.  But hey! This is Pete’s place and if you don’t like it there is other accommodation in town.  I’d have no problem using his hostel again.

Note must also be made of the new scientific discoveries made on this trip.  Previously unknown species of bird were observed by some members that are yet to be fully described.  As well as Chaffii and Ptarmigii there were also Crowy things lurking in the hills and around the town.  The Editor waits for confirmation of these new species with bated breath.

Day 1 – Friday

Colin, Keith, Michele, Ann and Sheila used both cars and organised a linear walk.  From Dalnaspidal Lodge we ascended into increasingly white-out conditions to A’Bhudheanach Bheag 936m via a minor 936m top.  Descending we met the other group as it was clearing and from then on enjoyed views for the rest of the day.  For lunch the five of us easily snuggled into one of the group shelters before moving on to the second Munro Carn na Caim 941m.  Despite descending a north facing slope there was less snow here than the south facing slope of ascent and after a bit of a walk out easily reached the car for 4.25pm.

Day 2 – Saturday

Keith, Michele, Ann, Sheila, Colin and Debra drove to Garva Bridge further up the Spey Valley.  It was breezy and overcast and there was an impressive flow in the Spey and the side rivers.  Further up we needed to cross a minor stream but followed it for the best part of a mile to ensure we got across dry shod.  Climbing the heather was heavy going but eventually we reached Greal Charn 926m.  Here it was misty, blustery and cold on the fingers (and other parts) so with no good reason to stop for long we descended, missing out a minor top and descending long snowy and boggy slopes to the valley below.

Day 3 – Sunday

Les and Debra headed for Aviemore and the funicular railway to Cairngorm while the rest of us ascended the long slopes to A’Chailleach 930m on a much improved day.  Most of the snow had been blown off the summits but there was still plenty on sheltered slopes and in the corries.  Moving on to the unremarkable Carn Sgulain 920m, we continued on the high ground (two ptarmigan) to Am Bodach before descending for the long damp valley and a return to the starting point.

Day 4 – Monday

While the others were heading for home Colin, Ann and Sheila stayed on at the Strathspey Mountain Hostel just down the road in Newtonmore.  We would have remained at the Newtonmore Hostel but unfortunately he was closing for a couple of days.  Sheila believed that new hostel was probably the shortest distance she had ever travelled to a new accommodation base and I can’t think of a shorter one either.  Here there were few rules and when you left you were asked to put the key under the dustbin.  The jolly Scotsman who ran the place was laid back but you felt that you might not have wished to break any rule he set whether or not it was illustrated with a diagram.

From Balsporran Cottages we set off for A’Mharconaich 975m which involved crossing a bit of a stream.  Safely across we ascended the ridge into mist and onto the top where it was cool and breezy.  A pity, because this route would have been quite nice in good conditions.  Descending some sizeable snow patches we made it to a col where we came out of the mist temporarily.  Climbing to Geal-charn 917m was easy and a straightforward descent was made to the starting point.

Day 5 – Tuesday

Drove down to Cuaich were we left Keith and Michele’s car on day 1 and did Meall Chuaich 951m.  There was a  4km walk in before you get to grips with the hill but otherwise straightforward.  We got very close to some mountain hares and ptarmigan and reached the summit just after the mist came in.  Another walker arrived soon after us, the first we had actually met on any of our hill days.  We came out of the mist not long after leaving the summit and lower down we looked back to see that the top was clear!  Eight Munros for us during our stay in the area and if David doesn’t get a move on I’ll be catching his first round up with my second ascents!!  On Wednesday we left having a straightforward journey with the exception of being near to the front of a traffic queue for half an hour in the vicinity of Dunkeld.  Thanks to Ann for again letting us use her car.  Nice motor.


There is still time to book your place for the 10th Anniversary Dinner.

Friday 24th April 2009.

The Chase Hotel, Higham Lane, Nuneaton.

7.30pm for 8pm.

ARENIG FAWR  7th March 2009    Colin     NMC 10th Anniversary walk

There were 13 of us on this walk: Colin, Len, Keith, Michele, Debra, David, Anna, Ken, Saul, Eileen, Ann, Sheila, and Veronica.  That’s the same number as there was ten years ago on 27th March 1999 – scary.

Which reminds me of the story told to me by my friend Roy who was once sitting by himself in a local restaurant.  He was approached by a lady from a group on an adjacent table and asked whether he would consider joining them on account of the fact that there were 13 of them and he would conveniently make 14.  Personally, despite the kind invitation, I would have considered leaving at once lest I finished my days in some wicker basket on a remote Scottish island.

Of interest also was the make up of the group.  Seven women and six men.  Not often the chaps are outnumbered!  The day began well enough with us all arriving at a similar time.  By the time we reached the little bothy on the shores of Llyn Arenig Fawr the first rain showers were arriving.  Soon afterwards as we gained height we entered the mist and the wind began to pick up.  Lessons began to be learnt.  Anna was in trainers as she had left her boots by the house door.  Keith had forgotten his coat but had borrowed a spare one from David and Debra had forgotten her No 1 mitts.  The sad tale continued as Ken had his spare clothes in his rucksack without a rucksack liner and more than one person failed to put on their over trousers until their walking trousers were already soaked.

Continuing into the blustery wind and rain we eventually made the top of Arenig Fawr 854m where there was a thin covering of snow.  We had a bite to eat at the shelter but the prospect of continuing directly into the wind gained no supporters so we turned our backs on the elements and returned by the same route.

The intention had been to eat out on the return journey but as we were finishing relatively early we contented ourselves with finding a nice café in Bala for a pot of tea etc.  Sadly Veronica had got quite wet and cold and absented herself from the tea room in favour of sleep.

Not a remarkable day but one none of us will forget anytime soon.  Thanks to Keith/Michele, Eileen and Ann for driving.  Anyone for Arenig Fawr in 2019?



Dear Colin,  This message was sent to me in error by my old pal, “Arctic” Willie.  Despite Arctic’s typically fulsome and forthright language I have reproduced the letter in full.   Andrew

Message reads:


Have just finished reading the February 2009 edition of your newsletter, and feel must congratulate you and your contributors on same.

This marvellous periodical will give every walker something to chew over along the way.  Deliciously compiled like the rich segmented sections of some ideal fruit, nut and chocolate bar, it can be savoured in chunks, gorged in slabs or kept secure as hard rations for emergency use.  Only wish I had had a copy when my tent was blown to buggery that November night by Sprinkling Tarn.  An organ of this calibre is an asset to any organisation.

Yours etc,      “Arctic” Willie.



This entry was posted in 2009 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.