Judging by the number of meet reports and articles about various other events it would seem that the winter months have seen a very active LMC. The April newsletter has accounts of climbing, walking and biking with some fantastic photos, plus news about huts. Perhaps one of the highlights is an amusing article by Edgar Davies describing a meet at Cwm Eigiau in 2010; just a little late Edgar, but your excuse about computer problems is not unreasonable.
Additionally the newsletter carries details of the extensive and wide ranging programme of meets for the Spring and early summer months. There's always a sense of promise about Spring, a promise of more time spent in the hills. It's not always the case, of course, but perhaps it just seems that way.
On a practical note the Club has taken the view that those with no email connection will not be disadvantaged and will receive a printed version of the e-news. The problems with this are the obvious. Postal costs are high and set to rise dramatically. Also some poor s-- has to print, collate and post the documents (thank you to Janette and Mark Braithwaite). If you receive a printed version of the newsletter, it will greatly help the club if you can find some way of accessing the newsletter other than by post (e.g. via work, friends, the library etc.). Please let Kate Hawkins (the Club's Membership Officer) know if you want to be removed from the postal list.
Once again, a very big thank you to all who have contributed to the publication of this newsletter. It really is appreciated! Please keep the articles, meet reports and photos coming.
Please send info to the Newsletter Editor, Roger Finn firstname.lastname@example.org (tel: 01600 773203)
End of one season � beginning of another
Tuesday 20th March saw the end of the indoor evening meetings season for another winter. The venue was (rather fittingly) Westview in Preston and a good turnout from members echoed the pattern for the season. The idea to use Preston on a fortnightly basis seems to have been successful, seeing consistently good attendance from established members and as a base for meeting prospective new ones. Other consistently popular venues have been Warrington and Manchester, while others have provided alternatives and welcome occasional challenges.
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
On the 20th October I hope to complete my first (and only) round of the Corbetts. I would be delighted if other members of the LMC can join me. Beinn Mhic Chasgaig in Glen Etive is the chosen peak, and the weekend will be based at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. This has a good reputation for food and accommodation with an excellent and large bunkhouse. Also the Tynvan is just 5 miles down the road.
I am unable to guarantee the weather but will stand a half of shandy (bring your own straw) plus a very generous amount of fine single malt as befits the occasion. A Saturday evening meal will be arranged.
I do hope you can join me.
Yours hopefully of fine weather - Ian Aitcheson
Congratulations to Julie and Dave who �tied the knot� on the 17th February 2012 and what a brilliant event it was. We all wish them many, many years of happiness and a wonderful future together.
Many of you will know that Pete has had a hip replacement. You will be please to know he is progressing well. Pam, his wife and main carer, states that �he is well on the way to recovery. I am looking forward to seeing Pete out on the fells in the not too distant future and as often as possible.�
The hut at Beddgelert has finally started to take shape after a year�s delay due to planning problems. About 800 blocks were laid, a quarter of the total needed. The weather was perfect and despite a slow start due to rusty skills and complex radon protection measures our target of four courses was achieved.
We had over 30 tonnes of supplies delivered, but unfortunately the delivery lorries were not able to reach our site, due to a narrow exit from the campsite. This meant all materials had to be unloaded on the campsite, about 50 metres from our site and then transported by wheelbarrow. We had sufficient labour to transport the materials used, but there is still a lot on the campsite.
Labour was largely provided by retired members � Jim, Dave F, Chris, Nigel, Ian, Edgar, Richard, John, Graham and Cathy. Mark and Janette and Robert Smith and Katie joined us at the weekend. In total about 30 person days of hard labour were put in � thanks to everyone. Thanks also to Dave and Cathy who provided accommodation.
By the time you read this, another working weekend will have taken place. The next session will be Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th May and volunteers are needed.
With sadness the days of the Tynvan are numbered and its removal from the site at Tyndrum scheduled for October. Currently there are no plans to replace it.
Sorting a new lease is proving long winded and the matter is now with the National Trust�s solicitors. The new lease will include the Byre underneath the Loft and the combined building could form �luxurious� accommodation. Well perhaps not quite five star but certainly a hut with an inside lav, showers and separate living and sleeping accommodation. That's the theory but there are outstanding access issues that remain to be resolved
A condition of the planning permission granted for the change of use of the Byre and its incorporation into the Loft was the demolition and removal of the Solitary. LMC�s arsonists undertook this task recently and the Solitary is now but a few lumps of charcoal.
The inspiration behind the Solitary was former President, the late Arthur Hassall. In 1968 Arthur, on behalf of the club, acquired the building which was originally a private chapel. It was moved on the back of a lorry from Preston to Blea Tarn. With the permission of the then farmer, it was cunningly sited out of view and there remained for forty four years.
In fact the LMC was resident before the arrival of the Snatcheral Trust. As such I suggest that the Trust probably had a legal duty of care to look after us rather than bully us out. I would emphasise that this is just an ever so slightly biased personal opinion.
The hut was the Club�s sole accommodation for many years. The last night I spent in the Solitary was with Tim and John. It was both happy and sad, with memories and tales and beer flowing. But our stories are small beer compared to the tales recorded in the hut Log book......!
Unobtrusive and barely noticeable to passers by, the Solitary was much loved by many club members, and the history of the refuge is rich with stories of wild adventure and raucous nights, as the elements howled outside and the elements flowed inside - bothy rules applied. However with limited facilities, the hut became less used over the last few years. It seems the modern generation of walkers and climbers have become soft and forgotten how to shit in the woods; I mean cross the field to the Loft, where �adequate� facilities lie. It was with great sadness that, on Saturday the 3rd March 2012, with Tim�s skills learned from the inner city riots, we reduced the building to ashes and closed a chapter on the history of the LMC.
The resident arsonists were: Mary, Josie, Tim, Big John, Bob, Dave, Chris, Mark, Ian and Bernard. My apologies if I have missed anyone out or added your name when you weren�t there!
Dave Suddell - 07812 390263
Well it doesn't seem all that long since the last newsletter but there has been quite a bit of activity over the last couple of months both on the hut front and meet activity as well. The Welsh hut working weekend seems to have been very successful with a frenzy of block laying activity which has seen the hut emerge from slab level to become a structure with partly completed walls. Many thanks to the team that worked hard over the hut working weekend at the end of March to achieve this. Sadly this did not include me sadly as I was engaged in my own project so to speak being the renovation of the place I like to call home but which still resembles a building site. Work is a welcome respite.
The first Tuesday in March social at the Belmont Bull was an opportunity for Bernard to present a quite breath taking slide show of the Nepal/ China trekking trip by LMC members last year. I only turned up at the half time break but was able to see all his slides of the Chinese part of the trip which was mainly travel across the Tibetan plateau towards Everset base camp on the north side of the mountain. This is real mountain desert territory and reminded me a lot of the Karakorum which I visited several years ago. Cold, dusty, inhospitable but still very spectacular mountain scenery and shows well how the Tibetans (and LMC members!) have adapted to this very harsh environment
On the climbing front I have managed a few indoor evening climbing meets, not exactly the real thing but enough to reassure me that my body still works, which at my age is a welcome relief. I need to get some training in before the Lewis-Harris meet which I'm organising at the beginning of June. What better way to celebrate the jubilee than hillwalking on these remote Scottish islands, enjoying some scary sea cliff climbing or simply absorbing the spectacular wildlife and scenery? A thought which motivates me as I continue what seems to an endless routine of decorating, stripping down woodwork and the like....'
It was autumn, far from the nearest road and up in the hills of Lochaber. They were unpacking their rucksacs by the light of a candle when suddenly there was a bright flash and a whoofff as one of the guys was enveloped in flames. By the time the others had hustled him down to the nearby burn, quenched the flames and returned, their kit and the interior of the bothy were in flames � the lone fire bucket wasn�t enough.
The guy survived his burns, none serious, but the bothy, Gleann Dubh Lighe is now a roofless shell and waits for a total re-built. The cause of the conflagration; a faulty seal on a screw-in gas cartridge; a Chinese cartridge it was said! Lest you think a leaky cartridge is so rare, read on.
We bought a couple of cartridges last autumn, stuffed one of them in a cupboard as a spare. Only when the door was opened later and smelt the stench did we realise we had a leaking cartridge � it was, Made in England. The leak came from the seam where the screw-in top was swaged onto the cartridge.
The lone candle was said to have been far away from the cylinder when the fire started, but there was enough gas leaking � take care!
My first meet this year was to Helvellyn in early February. The weather forecast was reasonable for the day of the meet, however it had put some snow down over the previous couple of days so the drive up to Glenridding was taken very carefully over icy roads, with even the motorway over Shap being treacherous in places.
The meet was very well attended with sixteen of us setting off up the valley of Glenridding Beck towards our mountain. Many of the party were carrying two ice axes with the intention of climbing one of the gullies on the East Face. At Red Tarn the party duly split, with five heading up Swirral Edge, opting for the snowy ridge rather than a gully. This route did turn out to be great fun, with the narrow ridge proving entertaining all the way to its exit onto the summit plateau. The summit was fairly busy, with space around the cross-shaped shelter at a premium due to most of it being banked out with snow! Our descent over Raise and down into Keppel Cove was a nice relaxing way down, followed by the required beer in the Traveller's Rest.
Reports from the climbers were of a good day out too, with three parties attempting different routes in difficult conditions, with soft snow and not much in the way of belay anchors other than frozen turf. The parties all finished their descents at different times, but all managed a quick well-deserved drink in the Travellers' Rest on the way back to their cars.
Thank you to the hardy folks who turned up at Whinlatter on the cold and snowy morning of my meet. This was such a contrast from the previous day when the club�s arsonists had been complaining about excessive heat from the great fire of Blea Tarn. Eight hardy bikers managed to negotiate the snowy North loop of Whinlatter without major mishap and a few followed up with a very pleasant whoop of the South loop. As ever, a great LMC day was had by all, sorry about the mud!
It's strange how things work out sometimes. The Helvellyn Meet had sixteen people attending on a weekend when the weather was OK but the driving conditions to get there were not the easiest. In comparison, the Blencathra Meet had four attendees and the weather was fantastic, with great views of a frosty landscape.
Mark, Janette, Lucy and I, plus Harvey on his four legs, parked at Scales and headed up the mountain via Sharp Edge. The rocks were very tricky in places due to a sheen of icy grime, making sections of it very thought-provoking! At least it was sunny and not blowing a hoolie like the last time we had a meet up here.
The views from the summit were atmospheric due to the wispy cloud that keep lifting then moving in again, sometimes obscuring Skiddaw in the distance, sometimes framing it. We departed, leaving a growing number of people from a coach party to enjoy the sunshine, in the direction of Foule Crag, and then on to Bannerdale Crags to the East. A lunch stop on the descent allowed us to bask in the warmth of the sun for a short while, before continuing back down to the cars and the pint in the White Horse. Well, it wouldn't be the same without a beer after a great walk now, would it?
Joe & Dan
It started with the usual Alpine start, 10am at McDonalds with a hangover. Joe Boyd and I had arranged to meet up with Dave, Kate and Will and travel on from there together. When we arrived at the quarry it was quite busy with a few large groups. Joe, Will and I headed for the back wall which was curiously named the Chocolate Blancmange wall, Dave and Kate headed for the main wall. The back wall had a few low grade climbs to warm up on and we ticked off a couple of these and then headed over to the main wall. Its worth noting that the quality of the back wall routes is very poor and they contain a lot of loose rock, some of which I accidentally dislodged and hit Joe with, fortunately he wasn't injured. We moved onto the main wall and found the routes to be of a much higher quality and on more compact rock. Joe and I climbed Schools Out F6A+ and Rotund Rooley F6B, Dave, Kate and Will climbed amongst others Legal Action F6C. All in all it was a good day out and nice to get back onto the rock after the stop start winter climbing season.
Led by Dave Fisher, seven wanderers (Mary, Pat, Ian, Jim, Graham and Roger) assembled at Long Ashes for a superb walk in glorious Spring sunshine. Taking advantage of bits of the Dales Way, local footpaths and ancient packhorse trails, the walk explored some of the moors above Grassington.
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The expedition started somewhat later than planned, getting away from Y�at Tal-y-Bont well after dark at about 9.30pm on Friday night and then drivng our way to the gated road SW to the barrier and car park. From here the route was on foot, into the night against a decidedly fresh head-wind and periodic showers! We duly set off about 10 pm for what should have been a comfortable one hour walk.
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The LMC welcomes contributions to its newsletters. Please send text and photos to Roger Finn email@example.com. Copy for the next newsletter should reach him by the 30th June 2012.
Also grateful thanks are extended to all those who have contributed to this newsletter and especially David Toon who spends vast amounts of time interpreting my notes, laying out the newsletter and linking it all to the LMC website.
Roger Finn, Newsletter Editor
If you would like to contribute to the newsletter or e-news then please contact the editor.