Lancashire Mountaineering Club

Lancashire Mountaineering Club
November 2011 - E-News

LMC Newsletters

Regretfully newsletters have not happened for some time. This is a pity because invariably members looked forward to receiving them and they served a vital role in letting everyone know what was happening in the LMC. The club is intending to try and publish newsletters on a regular basis and probably the easiest way to do this is by email - so welcome to the LMC's first enewsletter! Non-email users will not be left out; they will get the information by post - second class, of course.

The initial thought is to try and publish six newsletters per year supported by two LMC journals. The newsletters will be short (in future probably no more than two sides of A4) and used to distribute club news, advertise events, provide meet details, spread gossip and anything else that springs to mind. The idea is that the content will complement the club's website, support communication, help share knowledge and raise awareness of what's happening in the club and elsewhere.

It is hoped the journal will be a more substantial publication than the newsletter and used to recount and record what members are doing in the mountains. It will consist of meet reports, articles, and, of course, anything else that springs to mind. This is the intention but doubtless things will change according to circumstances.

It goes without saying that, to work successfully, the publications need your input. This is real opportunity to promote meets and events, let others know what you are doing or have done and, comment about club issues or any others for that matter! So get cracking, put keyboard to paper and start sending in items for inclusion.

The next closing dates for copy are as follows:

  • Newsletter, 20th Jan 2012
  • Journal, 20th March 2012

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


Upcoming Meets

6th Dec 2011 - Members Photo Competition

The LMC photo competition and show will be taking place on Tuesday 6th December at the Belmont Bull starting at 8:00 pm. For new members this is a great chance to fine out about the club and meet our members. The photo's are from club meets across the year, so you should see what members get upto through out the year! Feel free to bring any friends or family they will be made welcome. If you have done anything interesting mountaineering, walking, climbing, Skiing trips feel free to enter some slides yourself! No pressure!

Please note all photos should have been taken between 01/09/2010 and 01/12/2011. If you have any queries regarding the competition please drop email to This is always a fun and successful evening, so hope to see you there!

  • Peak District Walk: Sun 11th December
    Details from Jason Whitely 07765 004222
  • Giggleswick Wall: Sun 18th December
    Details from Dan Baron 07900 907522

Tuesday Evening Climbing Meets

The Tuesday meets happen all year round whatever the weather!! It's fun, it's challenging (if you want it to be) and it's a good social time.

The summer months take us outdoors to a varied range of crags and quarries which cater for beginners to extreme climbers. In attendance are the regular 'rock jocks' who rarely miss a week to the occasional and then the lesser spotted climbers!! If the weather is inclement 'the' indoor wall alternative is always available and has unfortunately been put to use over the recent summer seasons.

Now we are in the darker evenings of autumn - the indoor meets have taken over. Once again we have a fine range of venues here in the NW and we make use of them. This year has seen an innovative, new approach with the club deciding to use Westview Leisure Centre in Preston, as its' regular / 'base' wall. It will give a regular point of contact for prospective, new and longer term members wishing to make contact or join us. Thus, the current schedule revolves around a fortnightly visit to Preston. Other venues visited include, Warrington, Stockport and Manchester. So, if you fancy stretching those limbs, enjoying the company of other social & serious climbers and have time available on a Tuesday - please come and join us - you will be most welcome.

The meets list can be found on the website or feel free to contact: Jon Banks 07790 484358

Meets 2012

Currently Jason is putting together the meets programme for 2012. If you have any ideas about what you would like to see included or burning ambitions to do something completely different, please let Jason know.

Jason Whiteley - Email Jason


With the onset of winter, members' thoughts will be straying to the delights of snow covered mountains and the possibilities for ski mountaineering, cross country and downhill skiing. Trips will be advertised by email and in subsequent newsletters, but you can keep abreast of what's going on by accessing the LMC website.

Future Projects

Already a number of interesting projects are in the pipe-line:

Ice climbing in Rjukan , Norway. 2012

Gareth Snell is proposing a trip to Rjukan in the last two weeks of February. Rjukan, in the scenic wilderness of Norway, needs no introduction to LMC members and is undoubtedly one of the best areas in Europe for ice climbing. With tons of ice, short approaches and one of the world's longest ice seasons, it offers beautiful climbs for all abilities. With more than 150 ice routes from WI2 to WI6, there is enough ice here to satisfy even the most demanding of climbers. Also the area is renowned for its skiing of all varieties. Currently flights are available from Manchester with Ryan Air for £90 return. Last year self-catering accommodation cost £450 for four people sharing two rooms for 6 days. A hire car will be required which will work out at approximately £400 for 6 days. If you are interested please get in touch with Gareth ASAP using his email address.

If you are interested please get in touch with Gareth ASAP using his email address.

Gareth Snell -

Adirondacks - February 2012

The "Dacks" are to the North of New York State, about 3 to 4 hours drive from Manhattan. There is some superb ice climbing, and the ski resort of Lake Placid is close by. Nancy, our LMC member in New Hampshire (currently recovering from an operation on her bunions - plastic boots might be worn in a month or so!!) has agreed to fix up bunkhouse accommodation and probably point us in the direction of a few good lines. The idea is to go for a two-week period, around mid-Feb to Mid-March. We could then get in a week of steep ice climbing and a week of piste skiing and/or ski touring. Of course, some folks might just want a one-week trip. There are already expressions of "interest" from Will, Roger, Steve, Andy, Dave, Cathy, Nigel and Gareth.

Please contact Richard - 07771 946641 or; Will - 07765400985.

Sports Climbing, Verdon Gorge - Easter 2012

The Verdon Gorge is an immense and magnificent canyon in Provence. The scenery here is astonishing and the place a mecca for multi-pitch sports climbing. There are routes encompassing cracks, pillars and seemingly endless walls. The climbing is generally of a technical nature, and there are over 1,500 routes, ranging from 20m to over 400m. It also offers an amazing variety of walking, cycling and canoeing in a spectacular setting.

David Toon has confirmed that the trip is going ahead during the Easter holiday (6th - 15th April) and would love to hear from others who may be interested. There are EasyJet flights which depart 13:15 - 6th April - returning on 17:25 - 15th April from £162.34 to £175.29 (paying by Credit Card). The plan is to rent a car in France but this will be arranged once numbers are known. Obviously these flights will be much sought after so, if you are interested, please contact David ASAP.

David Toon - 07764857221,

Yosemite - Autumn 2012

Some ideas for a trip to Yosemite in Autumn 2012 have been s been proposed by David Toon.Yosemite is a rock climber's paradise and, if by reputation only, probably needs no introduction to LMC's rock jocks. Adjacent to Yosemite is the High Sierra. This is a very special area for both climbers and walkers. Guide book writer, Ralph Storer, describes it as "one of the most beautiful and hikeable mountain ranges in the world. It contains a wealth of finely sculptured mountains, enchanting lakes and beautiful alpine meadows." As if the scenery is not enough, apparently the Sierra has the mildest, sunniest climate of the world's mountain ranges.

The current idea is to go in late September/early October when the Yosemite is at its coolest. However the arrangements are still in their formative stage and open to negotiation. If you are at all interested, please get in touch with David ASAP

David Toon - 07764857221,

Short Meet Reports

Wednesday Wanderers

Walking on Wednesdays started in 2002. I had retired, I could walk any day, I realised, not just at weekends. Great! A friend and I, also retired, started. Brian Guilfoyle and I were shortly joined by Pete Melling. Having tried one of two other weekdays we eventually decided upon Wednesdays.

From a small start big thing grow; and so it was with the Wednesday Walkers, although that appellation did not surface until some time later. The group has gradually expanded, as more people have reached retirement, so that on some Wednesdays we have had as many as 18 people walking. LMC members approaching retirement or newly freed from the daily grind that can be paid employment have asked to be listed among the weekly email recipients of Wednesday walking details, and almost all have joined the walks (where are you, Steve Lyon?).

We walk for about eight or nine miles each week, and range over a wide area: Bowland, the Lune Valley, the Ribble Valley, the Dales, the Peak District. Walks are usually followed by a session in the pub but, due to certain pernicious influences, tea shops appear to have come into vogue.

"Who are we, where are we and where are we going?" is our mission statement - I think. All are welcome to join in on what appears to have become a most popular LMC weekly meet. For further information please contact Derek.

Derek Miller - 01772 864753

Mountain Bike Oktoberfest

The MTB Oktoberfest took place this year at Urr Lodge, Haugh of Urr which is a few miles north of Dalbetie and had an excellent turn out with over twenty attendees. Saturday's adventure was to take the 'Ae Line' in Ae Forest a good route having some interesting terrain made challenging by constant drizzle and muddy track. More sedate riding was had by the folks who cycled down to the coast via Dalbetie Forest. Super evening meals and very good beers were taken in the Lauri Arms in Haugh of Urr.

Sunday more rides to the coast and Dalbetie Forest with the thrill seekers heading for the forests of Kirroughtree and Mabie, where our group had a great time despite the drizzle and mud on the Phoenix Trail. This was another very enjoyable LMC weekend, special thanks to Jason who organised it.

Dave Sudell

News from Nepal

A report from our Foreign Correspondent (AKA the Club President and MD of Walker Tours PLC) confirms that that the expedition to Kangchenjunga was a great success if a little damp. Apparently the trip was hampered by poor weather but the crucial crossing of the Sinelapcha La, at a height of 15,400 ft, was successfully accomplished. By the end of the trek, 150 miles and goodness knows how many metres of accent were completed. The LMC team is to be congratulated. Not bad for a group with an average age of 73!

Rumours circulating about the demise of Brian Guilfoyle have proved premature. Following an attack of falling over, Brian received some air assisted first aid said to have run to many rupees. Was it worth it we ask? Was it an unlucky repeat of the dreaded bar room lassitude which has sadly afflicted past LMC expeditions? These questions remain unanswered. Apparently he has now fully recovered and rejoined the party for the trip to Everest Base Camp and then on to China.

Editor's note: The report from our Foreign Correspondent must have been sent on a Chinese PC because the whole thing came through in Mandarin. Fortunately I was able to take the message down to Monmouth's Chinese takeaway, where the cook, with the help of the lad behind the counter, helpfully translated the thing into English. Apologies if anything was lost in translation and please forgive the chop suey stains on the paper.

El Chorro

Having decided that some autumn climbing in the sunshine would be a treat after the long damp summer here in the UK we gritted our teeth and booked for Malaga with Ryanair. The good thing about Malaga is that excellent climbing can be had in the hills only a 45min drive from the airport. The Rockfax guidebook is very good and gives lots of advice on accommodation, travel etc so we booked a cottage and a hire car and jumped on board a plane at Liverpool. The initial shock was being issued with cycling shoes by the trolley dolly. I mean this is a cheap flight but pedalling! (just joking). We were soon stepping out into the rain of Spain, picking up the car, shopping and doing some scary driving on the slippery roads eventually arriving safely at our destination of El Chorro.

Bright sunshine awoke us the following morning and we climbed at Valle de Abdalajis a south facing crag having a good selection of grades 4 & 5, i.e. easy ones for us please! Over the week we enjoyed excellent climbing at various sectors of the Escalera, Arabe and Frontales crags as well as a revisit to Valle de Abdalajis. All the crags we visited were south facing and at this time of the year are for the most part bathed in lovely warm sunshine. The rock we were on was very well bolted and by our standards hardly polished. Access to the crags is easy although a car was needed for our trip to Valle de Abdalajis and for a lovely drive up the Valle de Mijas for fantastic views of the crags and around to Alora.

We soon realised why the locals carry umbrellas on their evening walk as sudden downpours can happen. We were once caught in a five minute shower and the crag was dry again after twenty minutes.

The few other folks we encountered were from France, Germany, USA, Chorley, Preston, Kendal etc but all in all it seemed very quiet.

Notes: Everyone was using the Rockfax Guide. You could avoid renting a car by accessing El Chorro by train and easily spend a week walking in to the local crags. Local talk is that use of the tunnels is still being done without problems. The days were warm i.e. vest and light trousers or even shorts for those with hairy legs. Evenings were chilly needing fleece and for the last few propane heater in the cottage. Campsite seemed to have closed up weekend of our arrival. Shops for most of your needs are on the outskirts of Malaga although there are a couple of basic stores in El Chorro. We didn't eat out much but the village has a restaurant and bars which seem to be quite nice. For non climbers there are some very nice local walks and lots of potential for ATB's.

A brilliant week in a lovely place, good chill out and very good climbing. Oh and the brandy!

Dave Sudell

Committee News

Chairman's Ramblings

The following was obtained by hacking into the Chairman's Raspberry.

2011 has been a year of mixed fortunes for the club, starting as it did with the news that the planning authority had objected to our Bedgellert hut building plans. Luckily, and with some expert planning advice from fellow climber Jim Metcalf, the challenge has been rebuffed and we are able to start work again early next year. Excellent news!

Still on the hut front we are in discussion with the National Trust about our plans for the Loft. The idea is to improve facilities by developing the byre underneath (more about this in the next newsletter - hopefully). When using the Loft please make sure you respect our neighbours and follow the guidelines for access etc.

My main message at the AGM this year was basically get out into the hills ... and start coming on club meets because meet attendance has been down this year, excepting of course the Wednesday Wanderers! We have an active meets programme but people need to come on the meets for it work.

Andy Bond

Notes from the Treasurer

LMC Subs

As raised and discussed at the AGM, all members are encouraged to pay their LMC subs via direct debit rather than by standing order. By paying by direct debit not only does this reduce the administration burden on both the Treasurer and the Membership Secretary it also means that members will receive their meets card within the first weeks of January rather than mid-February for those paying by Standing Order.

Direct debit payments will be collected on the first working day of January each year. As a reminder membership subs for 2012 are as follows:

  • Student - £18
  • Full - £30
  • Joint - £45
  • Family - £7 additional fee per child (u18) in addition to either Full or Joint membership fees

If you wish to change your membership type could you please let the Membership Secretary know before January.

BMC Subs

The LMC is obliged to pay a BMC subscription for each member of the club to ensure that our public liability insurance remains valid. However, if you have multiple BMC memberships, by virtue of being a personal member of the BMC or having membership of other BMC affiliated clubs, a refund of your multiple memberships can be claimed from the BMC.

This can be refunded either to yourself, to the LMC or another club you may be a member of. To arrange this, forms can be downloaded from the membership section of the website or direct from the BMC. Please note that you will have to apply to have your multiple memberships refunded annually.


The Annual Accounts were approved at the recent AGM. Copies of the accounts were distributed both at he AGM and also via email. If you would like a copy of the accounts then please email the Treasurer at or phone on 07789 658 096.


As discussed at the AGM, the Club's sub-arrears were in excess of £800 having arisen over the previous 3 years following the removal of the standing order discount at the AGM in 2008. All members in arrears have been notified and asked to make up the arrears ASAP, any members who are still in arrears at the January renewal will have their membership to the LMC and BMC suspended until such arrears are fully paid. As a reminder in accordance with the club's constitution, membership of the club runs from January to December each year and membership subs must be paid in full by 31st March at the latest.

200 Club

Members are encouraged to join/continue playing the 200 Club. The 200 Club raises funds for the club with a monthly cash price up for grabs - circa £80 - with two bonus draws at the Wasdale Meet & Annual Dinner when the jackpot is doubled! The more who play, the bigger the pot!

John Toon

Notes from the Membership Secretary

To maintain communication it is essential that we have up to date personal details for you. If you have changed your phone number, home number, or email address please let the membership secretary know.

Kate Hawkins -

Thank You

Many thanks to those who have kindly provided information or written pieces for this newsletter. Apologies to those whose words have been mangled in an effort to fit everything in. We need more content for subsequent editions, so please get cracking and start sending me news, articles, ideas, comments etc. preferably with photos. Also a big thanks to David Toon who has designed and published this newsletter. I am going to buy him an expensive drink at the Club dinner - anything up to the price of small rum.

Roger Finn, Newsletter Editor

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