Lancashire Mountaineering Club

Lancashire Mountaineering Club
January 2012 - E-News

Quick Links


The response to the request for news and articles has been very encouraging and the January newsletter has been produced with the minimum of arm twisting. A very big thanks to all who have contributed to its publication. I know this is a statement of the obvious but without your efforts we wouldn't have a newsletter.

Needless to say we need more news and details of the goings on in the LMC. So please get cracking on your pc and don't forget to include some photos. I asked Brian Guilfoyle to write something for the newsletter but he replied that he only writes for money � mainly letters to charities, wealthy footballers and the Dept. of Social Security.

Prior to taking the editor's job I hadn't truly appreciated how much is going on in the LMC. There is a lot happening. There are reports of members skiing, ice and rock climbing, doing large mountains and plenty of mountain walking and biking. Jason has produced an attractive meets programme for the year with a huge range of UK and foreign ventures planned. Similarly, following the successful outcome of our contretemps with the Snowdonia National Park Planning Authority, the schedule for completing the Welsh Hut is now back on track. Well done to the members leading this project for not giving in and pursuing this matter with vigour. Who says we are not an active club?

In the last newsletter I foolishly stated that it was the intention to try and produce two LMC journals per year in addition to newsletters. I was quickly told by those who know better, that this was overambitious and unlikely to succeed. It was not put quite as politely as this but the censor prevents me printing the exact phrases that were used to describe my plans.

Therefore, on reflection, the newsletters will be used to carry meet and project reports plus longer articles. Hopefully this will allow members to keep up-to-date with what's going on in the club as opposed to reading about events months after they have happened. To accommodate this additional material, David Toon has kindly designed a text that cleverly allows you to click onto specific articles, photos, maps etc and, also, links to various topics. The result of this rethink is that the newsletters will be significantly bigger than originally envisaged and, hopefully, more comprehensive in scope. I know that LMC members are often reticent in expressing their opinions but any thoughts about improving the quality and content of the newsletter (e.g. shoot the newsletter editor) will be appreciated, I think!

To some extent this new approach may make the journal redundant. However I think that we will just have to see how things pan out over the next few months and not be too prescriptive.

Please send info to the Newsletter Editor, Roger Finn (tel: 01600 773203)


Tuesday Evening Climbing Meets

Through February and March the Tuesday meets will continue to use the superb facilities of the NW indoor climbing walls which offer some exhilarating climbing.

So, whatever your ambitions and grade of climbing, please come and join us � you will be most welcome. The meets list is on the website or feel free to contact: Jon Banks 07790 484358

Upcoming Meets

Forthcoming Meets and Major Projects

Sports Climbing, Verdon Gorge - Easter 2012

David Toon has confirmed that the trip is going ahead during the Easter holiday (6th � 15th April). Anyone interested needs to get in touch with David Toon � 07764857221

Wednesday Walk in Wicklow May 30th - 1st June 2012

The Wednesday walk planned for the last week of May this year will be part of a three-day, mid-week meet in Glenmalure in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Easily reached from Dublin, the mountains contain some of Ireland's richest scenery. Accommodation has been arranged at Glenmalure Lodge, a delightful cosy pub with plenty of atmosphere. The Glenmalure valley itself has a wide variety of walking routes for all grades, including some fine approaches to the Lugnaquilla massif, which is Wicklow's only Munro. The next glen, Glendalough (about 20 minutes by car), which is probably better known for its round tower and early monastic settlement dating from the 7th century, has some very good rock routes as well as superb walking.

Liam � Cl�irigh

For more information click here

Yosemite � Autumn 2012

Plans to visit Yosemite and the High Sierra are well advanced with a number of members expressing definite interest and commitment. If you would like further details please contact Richard Toon � 01257 791011

Public Announcements: forthcoming marriages

Lancashire Climbing

The engagement is announced ("and not before time" I can hear you say) between Julie Harold and Dave Sudell. We are all absolutely delighted that Julie and Dave have decided to finally "rope-up" together. The wedding takes place on the 17th Feb. and we all wish them good luck, happiness and a wonderful future together.

Words of wisdom on the subject of marriage from a prominent member of the LMC: "Nivver wed a woman with a fortune. My wife had five pound, her own tent, an I've nivver t'heard last of it".

Hut News

Cae Ysgubor: Calling all workers!!

Those of us old enough will remember this tune as the opening bars to Workers Playtime. The BBC Light programme � oh happy days!! Enough of this rambling senility!

As you know the LMC is back on track with its project to build a hut in North Wales near Beddgelert. This is known as Cae Ysgubor . We already have the foundations completed and the building sub-committee has initially pencilled in three sets of working days for 2012.

They are all Thursday late morning until Sunday:

  • March 22nd � 25th
  • April 26th � 29th
  • May 24th � 27th

It is all too easy to leave it to others but for this project to be completed the core team are going to need the support of every member � not all the time, but if each member pledged just 20 hours of time over the next couple of years that would be some 4000 hours!

I hear you say "but what skills have I got that would be useful?" For every bricklayer to keep laying requires a backup crew to supply mortar, move bricks, keep them supplied with tea � just to name a few.

To begin with facilities will be limited � though we do have a large steel container on site that serves to store equipment and has brewing facilities. During the camping season tents and caravans could use Mr Porters site which would give you access to his excellent facilities.

The aim for this season is to get the external block walls and roof completed. With enough help we also would like to clear and level the area above the hut which will make an excellent camping spot. We also need to trench and lay a water pipe from our abstraction point upstream.

Once we get a feel for the speed of building more dates for 2012 will be decided on.

What do I want you to do now? If you have block/brick laying skills your contribution during these first three sets of dates would be extremely valuable. Jim Cunningham or myself would urgently like to hear from you. If you could give some time (we don't demand all 4 days!!) as a "go-fer" please send me an e-mail or give either Jim C or myself a ring. We need more go-fers than bricklayers!! It might be sensible if you were able to say in advance when you would be helping so that tasks and equipment could be organised.

Please make 2012 the year when the only new mountaineering hut being built in North Wales starts to take shape.

Chris Walker -On behalf of the Cae Ysgubor building sub-com.

Hut Bookings: The Loft

  • 19th - 20th January
  • 9th - 10th March
  • 18th - 19th May
  • 8th - 9th June
  • 20th - 21st July
  • 14th - 15th Sept
  • 28th - 29th Sept
  • 19th - 20th Oct

Dave Suddell - 07812 390263

Committee News

Chairman's Ramblings

Well 2012 arrives and the best news for me personally is that I have moved into my new house. 'So what' you might say, we all move house from time to time so what's all the fuss?, but for me this means moving out of the caravan we've been living in for the last six months. Not any caravan but a 1993 four berth touring caravan, which surely must qualify me for membership of the LMC elite group of caravan enthusiasts. The low point was seeing fungus start to grow out of the continually damp carpet ... and not having any suitable menus to make use of this unexpected addition to our larder. The high point ... errr... there wasn't one. More importantly moving into the house takes me a step closer to resuming normal climbing activities, so you may see me outdoors in 2012.

Chris Walker has prepared a note on Welsh hut activities for this newsletter and this gives the dates for working weekends in 2012, the first being 24th/25th March, so I hope you'll take this opportunity to support the LMC's welsh hut project and join Chris and others in some exciting blocklaying activity. No bricklaying skills are needed. There are many ways you can help out either with technical skills or less technical labouring or supporting the team in other ways. To see the new hut come out of the ground will be really exciting given the hard slog to get this far.

The committee met on the 12th Jan and there were only five of us. There should really be about a dozen of us 'though quite a few people are away skiing or climbing at the moment which I suppose is an acceptable excuse for people in a mountaineering club. We spent quite a bit of time talking about Blea Tarn, the good news being that discussions are now proceeding well with the Trust regarding the renewal of the lease on the hut. The Trust want us to put in a new water supply so that our supply is completely independent of Blea Tarn House, and at some point we'll probably also need a new septic tank. As a club we need to make sure that we make use of this excellent facility which is in one of the best bits of the Lakes, hills and crags on the doorstep not to say the ODG and NDG available nearby for refreshment purposes!

The committee is also looking at options for the caravan at Tyndrum as we have to vacate the site later this year. Any thoughts on this will be appreciated. Should we look to find a new site for the 'van in Scotland or should we concentrate efforts on the Welsh hut and Blea Tarn which will both need a lot of work over the next year or two to fulfil our plans?

Andy Bond

Meet Reports

The Somme - with Goretex but no shells! - Chris Walker

Who said the Wednesday Wanderers were fair weather walkers! As a variation on our last three circular walks spread around the winter solstice we decided for 11/12 to do a linear walk � The Ribble Way from source to mouth (nearly!)

Week 1 saw a large number... Continue Reading Here

Wet, Weary, Wednesday Wanderers - Jim Cunningham

It was the fifth day of the great "Ribble Way" expedition - the exploration from source to sea of the Redoubtable River Ribble. The weary wanderers had wound their way from the wonderful wolds of upper Ribblesdale, through the hinterland of Horton and finally after three exhausting days had arrived in the market town of Settle.

The weather had been abominable... Continue Reading Here

Mountain Bike Meet: December 2011 - Jason Whiteley

A very cold, blustery and at times wet day was enjoyed by ten members on the December ride, based at Grizedale Forest in the Lake District. However, we didn't just have the weather to deal with as the forest had been closed due to the Grizedale Rally taking place that day! Despite this, we managed to circumnavigate the forest without causing any issues for us or the rally and had a great ride, with great views at times when we were not surrounded by trees. It really is fantastic being able to see some old favourites such as the Old Man and the Coniston Fells from another angle.

From Grizedale we went South and then West, crossing the ridge and eventually descending to Coniston Water, and thence on to Mark and Janette Braithwaite's for a welcome brew and lots of cake. The ride back was hilly, very hilly, and steep in places, but we got back in time for more tea and cake in the Grizedale cafe after a ride of just under twenty miles. Well done to all for turning out on a testing day, especially David Medcalf who had pneumonia! This year I'll make sure that wherever we go there isn't a rally on!

The Loft, Blea Tarn Farm: 14/15th January 2012 - Roger Finn

Lancashire Climbing

Over the course of the weekend, fourteen members assembled at various times to enjoy what was an excellent meet. The meet leader, Brian Guilfoyle turned up which in itself was something of a talking point, he having in the past pioneered the leaderless meet.

On Saturday the weather was beautiful with crystal clear skies but bitingly cold. The road up to Blea Tarn was a little hazardous in places and but could be negotiated with care. However all present decided to leave their cars in the yard and walk from the hut.

Various groups set off to do different things. Our leader, together with followers, walked to Red Bank along the fell tops to the north of Great Langdale and returned via Lingmoor. Yet another party wandered up Great Carrs and Swirl How before descending over Wetherlam to Little Langdale. This was a day of outstanding views with the Lakeland hills on dramatic display.

The senior Smiths appeared on Saturday evening exulting in Blackburn Rovers' triumph and rise from the Premier League relegation zone. A one way discussion about this went on long into the night until Mr Smith, an apologist for Blackburn's owners, the philanthropic and much maligned Venkys (Indian poultry giants) was told to cluck off.

Sunday saw the welcome arrival of Jim Cunningham. A large party ascended Pike O'Blisco via Red Tarn before dropping down to the Blea Tarn road. Another group included Cold Pike in their round. They then walked over the shoulder of Pike O'Blisco to Blake Rigg before dropping down the side of a steep gully to Blea Tarn.

Many thanks to Brian for leading the meet. Also Dave Lomas should be mentioned in dispatches for his outstanding repair of the water boiler. Similarly thanks are due to Mark and Ian for repairing the surface of the car park and filling in part of a water eroded gully in the yard of Blea Tarn House.

I have not used The Loft for many years and staying there served as a reminder of its wonderful location. It convinced me that, if possible, we ought to continue the developments started by Josie and Bernard (and now the McClellans) and finish the job.

LMC Annual Dinner: 3rd December 2011 - Jo Whiteley

The scene was set � The Castle Green Hotel in Kendal, bedecked with Christmas hats, party poppers, noisy balloons and kazoo-like trumpets � what could possibly go wrong when a group of LMC members descend for the social event of the year, the annual dinner? From vuvuzela-esque renditions of Christmas Carols (remember how annoying they were at the World Cup � multiply that by a hundred!), to inappropriate balloon releases during the Chairman's speech, it's fair to say that the dinner this year lived up to it's fun, if slightly raucous, reputation!

Attendees came from far and wide, consisting of founding members, new members, guests of members and many more in between, with the dinner providing a great opportunity to catch up with friends old and new, enjoy fine food & drink and, for the energetic amongst us, participate in some (semblance of) ceilidh dancing! There was also the customary raffle, with a bumper haul of prizes this year � thanks to all who helped with these � stand up bingo and roll a pound, which all helped to raise a fine sum of �220 for the club.

An advance party of members arrived at the hotel on Friday night, and enjoyed a fine walk above Kendal on the Saturday before the dinner. Further members arrived on Saturday afternoon to make use of the fantastic leisure facilities at the hotel, and the Sunday saw many more members heading off for walking, climbing and biking in the Kendal area � proving that although we love a good social, we also take advantage of being in the beautiful Lake District to participate in the activities we love too. We got some great feedback from members who filled out the feedback form on the night, so watch this space for information about an even better dinner this year!

Across The Roof Of The World - Bernard Smith

Walking Club Lancashire

There was a feeling amongst the more senior members of the Club that another trip to Nepal was in order before the bionic knees and hips wore out. In view of the makeshift nature of the likely participants it was thought wise to avoid actually climbing anything. A trek seemed to fit the bill, but where? As we had previously visited the Everest, Annapurna and Rolwaling regions we thought a look at the eastern part of the country would be a good thing and a trek to Kanchenjunga base camp was eventually decided upon. But as is the nature of these things we are never satisfied with one objective and so, for afters, we would visit the base camp on the north side of Everest, motor on to Lhasa and go by rail to Beijing, a not inconsiderable distance. In order to facilitate this ambitious sports plan Walker Tours sprang into action with the usual enthusiasm that Chris generates. Ably helped by others, particularly Jim, the itinerary became reality.

Continue Reading Here

LMC Trip to Nepal, Tibet and China - October to November 2011 - Journal of Dave Fisher

Dave Fisher has produced a comprehensive journal of the LMC Kanchenjunga Trek and subsequent visits to Everest base camp and China. The journal contains detailed maps of the trek and some magnificent photographs.

Access Dave's journal here

Thank You

The LMC welcomes contributions to its newsletters. Please send text and photos to Roger Finn Copy for the next newsletter should reach him by the 31st March 2012.

Also grateful thanks are extended to all those who have kindly contributed to this newsletter and especially David Toon for providing all the clever bits that make the thing work.

Roger Finn, Newsletter Editor

If you would like to contribute to the newsletter or e-news then please contact the editor.