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					RMC Newsletter
September 2001
Forthcoming Attractions
5th-7th October 26th-28th October 16th -18th November 7th-9th December 13th April 2002 Old School House – Chapel le Dale Work Meet, Cwm Eigiau Cottage Bowline CC, Brynrefail YMC Hut, Copperrmines, Christmas Party Annual Dinner – Princethorpe, Woodhouse

Old School House Chapel-le-Dale


his is the next meet in the outdoor meets Calendar and is taking place from the 5th-7th October. See the map on the next page for details of the location. A few club members will realise the hut location is very close to the Old Hill Inn, so expect a relaxing night out in the company of quiet, ordinary people & a beer or two. At the time of writing access to Pen-y-ghent is restricted but all other hills, crags & caves are open. In the event that there is another outbreak of foot & mouth disease the intention is for the meet to go ahead as a cycling meet. Contact a committee member the week before departure for further information.

Note that updates to the Website are advised by e-mail. If you are not getting any updates please check that your e-mail address is shown correctly in the address list at the back of this newsletter. An examination of the list shows that almost half of all RMC members now have an e-mail address.

The end of Foot & Mouth?



opefully the RMC can return to a full meets list now that the outbreaks are relatively under control. Most RMC members will have noticed that five outdoor meets have had to be cancelled or relocated this summer as a result of disease outbreaks. The hut is now available for booking again after a summer of very light use. At the time of writing all events in the above list are going ahead. Check the website or contact a Rugby based member before departure!


he RMC website is now fully functioning but still needs more photographs in order to reflect club activities. If you have anything suitable please email it to admin@rugbymc.uklinux.net.

Christmas Party
ncredibly only nine weeks away! Get the date in your diary now. A food booking form & information sheet will be issued closer to the meet.

Page 2 Page 4 Page 4 Page 7 Chapel le Dale – Where is it? No Pigne, no gain – Rob Smith Winter Climbing – Nick Beale Crossword Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Presidents Meet – Rob Smith Membership list The successful use of Ronhills as a contraceptive device – Harry Dickins


Chapel Le Dale
5 – 7th October 2001

Meet up on Friday Night in the Old Hill Inn (Marked as “PH” on the above map approx. 500m NE of Chapel-le-Dale).


Bob Downes Hut, Froggatt
14th-16th September


eter Nesbitt has attended his first RMC meet since March. Pete made a quiet entrance using the front door of the Chequers Pub, Froggatt at around 8.00pm on Saturday night. Most RMC members where taking an easy pace realising there was a long evening ahead. Indeed from 6.30pm to 8.00pm average beer consumption of those present was around two pints per person, by 8.30 it had reached five. On return to the hut Phil Scott tried to sober himself up by making a cup of coffee. Unfortunately he was immediately handed a glass of wine and a glass of Whisky and was forced to put the coffee down. For the record attendees where TC, CBD, Phil Scott, Rob Smith, Atch, Fobb, S. Carter, Jez, Briggs x 4, Martin Scarratt. CBD went for a walk, others did some rock climbing.

Frog Island Brewery
20th September


round 18 people, of which at least three quarters were RMC members, made it to Northampton for an alternative Thursday night out. Kevin Queley led a direct line from the railway station, correcting for magnetic variation, across a six lane highway for a pre brewery beer at a location it was obvious he had visited before. With everyone in a good mood we entered the brewery some time later in high spirits. The set-up was a simple affair based on the well-proven formulae of drinking as much beer as you like for around five quid. Any one who was interested could also have looked round the brewery, most of which was constructed from second hand equipment from the dairy industry. With a world-class knowledge of the Herefordshire Dwarf Hop industry forever installed in our brains we set off for home. Thanks to Phil Scott for organising this event.

Alps 2001
Capital Expenditure
I have been under considerable pressure, mainly from Rob Smith, to publish the following graph showing group expenditure on the recent RMC trip to Arolla, Switzerland. I have no idea why.

Alps 2001 - Expenditure
Richard Calver Rob Smith Charlie Hockenhull Paul Fobbester Kevin Queley


John Smith
Karimore 2001


ohn Smith is looking for a partner for this years Karrimore event. Peter Nesbitt has not yet fully recovered from his tropical illness and has had to drop out. A relieved John Smith states that Christopher Bradley-Davies is the prime contender to fill the place. Christopher Bradley-Davies was unavailable for comment.

No Pigne, No Gain
Rob Smith


wenty years after joining the RMC I finally made it to an Alpine meet, licence to go away on meets and climb regularly throughout the year meant that it's been only fair to devote annual holidays to family pursuits. This year however was different, Megan and Jennie were asserting their independence and doing their own thing and provided I promised to take Gwyn somewhere exotic later in the year, it was in the bag, a two week pass to go to the Alps. Following convoluted planning nine of us, including Oscar, met up at Arolla. After a day pottering about, a decision was made and we booked into the Vignettes hut with the Pigne d' Arolla as our objective. The whole process was new to me and I had to learn a set of fresh techniques including packing your sack for an alpine ascent then emptying everything out and repacking with half the amount. After lunch we set off for the hut; a three hour walk according to guide book time. The clear sky and baking hot sun meant we were soon up to around gas mark four, particularly Kev under a layer of sun block of Goth like thickness. I didn't seem to be going too badly by my standards, I mean I'm used to bringing up the rear. Then it struck! With hindsight I think it was a combination of .... a combination of altitude, heat and altitude heat & dehydration, I could dehydration… see Tom was suffering too but this was no consolation as the snow slopes up to the hut seemed to go on forever. I dragged further behind and started to feel worse and worse. I must have looked rough as a German accented climber paused as he overtook me then when he caught up with Fob at the hut suggested that I needed assistance. Fob, bless him, bounded back down to me, carried my rucksack for me and gave much needed encouragement on

the final stretch. By this stage I was feeling pretty low “well this is it” I thought. “I'm just one of those people who can't do this lark.” The prospect for the rest of the trip was looking about as grim as my face probably did. I felt better after sitting in the shade drinking water and was able to face dinner and the sumptuous dessert, one pineapple ring served in a plastic cup. By now I was pretty much restored and spent the time until dark taking in the superb views and firing off photos. Next morning we didn't have to race off too early and were roped up and heading off up by about 5:30 am; Tom, Richard and Kev on one rope, Charlie, Fob and myself on the other with Steve Carter opting to go solo. The route followed a steepish rising traverse to start with then settled into a …. basking in the sun on straightforward snow plod for the rest of the way. the summit…. Compared to the day before I was feeling exp onentially fitter and with Charlie setting a steady pace had no problems at all. The sun rose and we took the guidebook's advice and paused to take in the view behind as the Dent Blanche, Dent d' Herens and Matterhorn revealed themselves, Fantastic! We kept pretty much to guidebook time and reached the top at around 8:00 am, Steve passed us on his way down not far from the top and the other three were a couple of hundred metres in front of us. Basking in the sun on the summit the views were brilliant and I felt like the proverbial dog with two appendages, my first alpine peak had been well worth the wait.


Winter Climbing
Nick Beale Episode 1- The good bit
Cairngorms (16th to 18th Feb) vertical ice curtain flowing from a chockstone constriction. Stuart was able to set up an ice thread, peg & screw to protect the moves, which involved placing both axes high over the bulge & bridging wide on rock ledges to overcome the chockstone.....a lead I fully appreciated when my turn came to second it. An easier snow pitch helped reduce the pulse rate & once again we were treated to a wonderful vista across the Cairngorms . Feeling totally energised we reflected that weekends don't come any better than this!!


tuart's invitation to a climbing trip to the Northern coire's came at an opportune moment. Conditions had stabilised since the major snow dump 2 weeks earlier and avalanche risk had fallen to moderate. Combined with a very favourable 3 day forecast , the timing seemed perfect. Stopping en route at Edinburgh Thursday evening, we arrived at coire cas early Friday morning & headed for Coire an t-sneachda, which was busy with folk on winter skills courses , although the climbing routes were relatively quiet. Stuart led off on Aladdin's mirror(I), (sister route to Aladdin's couloir & at approx. 180m amongst the longest routes in the coire) in perfect neve . At the first stance we were able to watch climbers on the ice pitch of Aladdin's mirror direct (IV)....impressive stuff.. 5 more pitches of similar terrain saw us dog leg back into the couloir to summit in glorious sunshine. Returning to the coire floor via Fiacaill a choire chais we were belayed under a fusillade of ice awaiting our turn for Red Gully(II) . Stuart completed the short but steep ice pitch in fine style, taking advantage of an in situ peg to provide some welcome pro. Thereafter the climbing became easier, opening to a funnel shaped snow gully. We topped out in late afternoon & headed back via the ski tows to arrive in semi darkness at coire cas. Saturday's conditions were warmer giving poorer snow conditions in Coire an t-sneachda, but Twisting Gully(II) nevertheless provided a superb snow route in fine surroundings, with ample belays throughout the 4 pitches and a moderately steep finish to outflank the cornice. We …. leaving me resorting returned via the goat to a couple of pegs to track to find better calm the nerves…. snow in Central Gully (I), a thoroughly enjoyable route offering good rock protection lower down but higher up protection was sparse, leaving me resorting to a couple of pegs to calm the nerves & a request for Stuart to lead the final run out. Sunday saw a return to better conditions, a hard overnight valley frost stabilising the snowpack. Despite an early start we arrived at a coire cas car park teeming with skiers & climbers & walked into Coire an Lochain, traversing across to belay under the vent , a grade II but with a short ice pitch at II to IV dependant upon conditions. The crux arrived quickly in the form of a

Episode 2- The Epic!!
Everyone has one-here's our story… Ben Nevis- 17th March


nspired by our earlier visit, we headed to Fort William on Friday evening with the news that the Ben was being reopened the following morning. A 6.00am alarm call, breakfast and we were ready to go......nowhere. Ominous sign no 1- a flat tyre was perhaps a pointer of things to come. However, a rapid tyre change still saw us depart the Torlundy car park by 7.30am. Gearing up at the CIC hut , our original intention of Raeburn's easy route was changed due to cornice hazard, and we continued around to coire Lies to tackle a grade III on the little Brenva face called 'cresta' and allegedly 250 metres... Late morning, belayed on the snow slopes just below the face , Stuart set off on what was to become the first of his 11 lead pitches .Pitch 1 was steep and intimidating, but on super ice giving good placements and occasional screw protection. Pitch 2 involved a dog leg right through mixed ground & further ice. The next 2 pitches offering more ice, narrowing into an impressive gully and leading to a sheltered belay. Height gain was noticeable as we compared our progress against a backdrop of the Carn Mor Dearg Arete opposite. Ominous sign no 2- Stuart's hammer had lost a centimetre off the pick during the last pitch. We swapped hammers and the climb changed to a long snow climb on easier terrain , albeit with Stuart having to run out the next 3 x 50M pitches with little opportunity for running belays. By this time we were well & truly committed & high on the face at a similar height to the Carn Mor Dearg Arete.


The afternoon had flown by & we realised it would be a tight call to finish before dark. Ominous sign no 3- A glance at the guidebook showed that the crux was near the top. The party who had started on the adjacent route to ours were now immediately in front of us and going for the direct finish (IV) through steep & chandeliered ice. We elected to go out rightwards to find the 'easier' finish. The quality snow & ice of the earlier pitches deteriorated into mixed ground with soft snow & dripping ice. When the call came to follow the next pitch I realised that Stuart must have had to push himself hard over very difficult mixed ground and I was relieved but deflated on reaching the belay..... the prospects for immediate progress seemed daunting, & light was fading fast. The only feasible option was to traverse right to reach a corner where upwards progress looked possible via a rock step. Dropping rightwards from the belay the climbing became increasingly worrying. A leader fall here was out of the question. Ominous sign no 4- Stuarts glasses lens took a 'cresta run' all the way down.....perhaps this was just as well as he had just reached the crux & the view was not pleasant. Barring upwards progress was our rock step, which turned out to be bordering on vertical and covered in thin ice, almost verglassed in places. Stuart hammered in a wire & clipped it for psychological needs only. He then proceeded to thrash his way up in a fury of axe placements & front pointing , a tremendous physical & mental effort . One cool customer indeed..... By the time I was ready to second , the light was fading fast but I decided to 'go for it' rather than risk delaying further by putting a …. sparks and the smell headtorch on. of cordite adding Traversing on this unwanted atmosphere…. ground was nerve racking & by the time I reached the ice pitch it was virtually dark. Praying that I would not fall I struggled up to place my axes & tried to gain some purchase in the

thin ice, sparks & the smell of cordite adding unwanted atmosphere as axe met rock. Seconds later one of the axes ripped & I experienced the ultimate brown trouser experience, dangling 1000 feet above the coire floor (sorry Paul, 303 metres as I'm a metric climber) from what I was later to learn was a TAxe snow belay.... Another frantic effort and I arrived at the belay .We donned headtorches & were mightily relieved to climb the final snow slopes ,summiting at around 8.30 pm.

…. a leader fall here was out of the question….

250 metres?- I don't think so…

With no moonlight & the wind kicking up spindrift we remained roped up & headed off to find the sanctuary of the summit survival shelter...jaded & emotionally spent by events of the last few hours we took the prudent decision to 'quit whilst we were ahead' & spend the night in the shelter rather than risk a plummet into 5 finger gully. Inside the shelter we pooled our collective emergency gear- a useless poly bag and a mobile phone with no signal & settled down for what was a sleepless, but safe haven for the night... At first light we set off in a bitter wind across the bone hard plateau & headed for home, finally getting a signal on the mobile as we contoured back round towards Fort William & were able to 'head off' the mountain rescue team from scrambling. As we walked passed the early morning hordes heading up the Allt a'Mhuillin some cheeky bastard commented 'have you had enough already!'.... Walking past the golf course we discussed taking up the noble game..... Returning home , my pathetic attempts to give up climbing were met with a flat refusal by Sue.....''not after all the money you've spent on gear mate''...... Nick Beale & Stuart Page. PS- special message for Steve Carter- you may like to try this route to recover a small wire some 60M from the top.

Cwm Eigiau
13th-15th July


his meet was a short notice replacement for the Foot & Mouth affected visit to Wooler. The weather was, on the whole, excellent for Cwm Eigiau and some impressive routes were climbed on Craig-yr-Ysfa. Steve Carter and Paul Mcmahon were on fine form and climbed something very technical looking and well over my capabilities. Charlie &


Fobb made an evening sunshine ascent of pinnacle wall. Tom & Jenny climbed all the usual summits with Oscar, who was markedly better behaved than he had been in Arolla.

St Davids


hill Scott, Charlie Hockenhull, Fobb, TC, Jenny and Oscar made it over to St Davids one weekend in early July for some excellent climbing and walking. This has been the third consecutive visit to this location which has been blessed with blue seas and sky. Without a doubt we are due to cop it next year. All the usual climbs around the red wall area where successfully completed. A second attempt to climb St Nons pinnacle was made but tide levels seemed to be three feet higher than last year and a traverse to the foot of the climb was not possible.


Pam Jenkins


he RMC contains more Archers fans than probability would dictate. Compared to society as a whole we also seem to have more than our fare share of crossword fanatics. John & I have spent considerable time wondering how these two pastimes can be combined. Attempts combining archery with scrabble were eventually disbanded and an Archers based Crossword was devised. Uniquely among crosswords Richard Calver should find this one just as hard as anyone else. A bottle of Koonunga Hill, which John is paying for, will make its way to the first correct answer received. Since shortly we will both out of the country please send your answers to Paul Fobb at 13 Cambridge St Rugby. In the event that no correct solution is received the closest will be declared the winner. My decision will be final, all correspondence will be read in disbelief and thrown in the recycling bin.

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3 6 10 13 15 16 17 18 22 23 24 25 26 Nearby Cathedral City. Has a bungalow at the bottom of the garden. Middle name of Davids first daughter. Famed for his part in the Borchester mail van robbery. Highest point in Ambridge? Drab colour associated with the smartest place in town. Jack Wooleys faithful companion for many years. Celebrity golfer who celebrated forty years. Saw Elizabeth Archer topless before Nigel, always mucking about. He used to live in Sunningdale. Up market alternative to the Cat & Fiddle. Walter Gabriels junkyard. Drab character who shared his name with a crossing point between Burnley & Halifax. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 14 17 19 20 21

Home of Walter Gabriel. Convicted for armed raid on the Post Office. The most sizzling surname in Ambridge. Rivalous nearby village. Drifts through the centre of town. Famous for its bypass. Twinned with Shuila. Best chef in Ambridge. The good golfer at Lower Loxley. Author of “Hello me old pal, me old beauty”. Had a hole in her heart. Fell on Jethros head. Daughter of Jethro. Home of the Tuckers. Owner of Hermes, Persephone & Demeter. Shula's place of work, Tommys view of himself?


The President Less Meet
Rob Smith
Okay, missing one year is excusable Atch but two years in a row! Especially when you let slip that your reason is that “I've arranged to meet some friends”. Right then we know where WE stand. Impeachment proceedings are being inaugurated as I type (Or they would be if I knew what impeachment or inaugurate meant!). Following three years of mixed fortune with the weather on our camping Presidents Meets, it was back indoors at the Chamois Hut near Llanrug this year. Some other regulars had better excuses than the President and couldn't make it so attendance was slightly down on recent years though numbers were swelled by the children, the RMC does seem to have become remarkably adept at breeding in recent years. Saturday was hot and sunny and tempted all out on the hills; Ogwen was the main centre for climbing. Combining routes from the foot of the slabs to the top of the Glyders was the most popular plan, it was just a shame that apparently all of the climbers in Wales that weekend had the same idea. The clubs walkers ranged far and wide, Snowdon seems to have been the favourite destination, particularly among those with children. Several people commented on how fit the Jones family must be as they looked remarkably fresh on the summit, (there were however give-away traces of soot!). The evening was spent over the usual three Bs; barbecue, beer and banter. Added entertainment was provided by Charlie, or rather was provided by Bob Jones who in the morning told the kids that Charlie would be performing magic tricks that evening. Charlie was eagerly followed around for hours before finally shaking off the gang. Small Child: “Where's Charlie the Magician? We can't find him.” Bob Jones: “ There, I told you he's magic, he's disappeared!” Next morning saw the usual Presidents Meet Sunday late start with parties heading off for the beaches, walking or even climbing in the pass. All had a good time, you really ought to try and get along one year Dave, you never know you might like it.

Cedryn Quarry, Cwm Eigiau, Snowdonia.
Cedryn is an example of a small quarry of a type once common in North Wales. The quarry, in Cwm Eigiau, was opened in 1827 and had closed by 1868. On the hillside can be seen the workings where the slate was quarried, split and dressed. In the foreground are the remains of the mill where slab was produced from the slate. The two areas were connected by an inclined plane and tramway which crossed the river by a now vanished bridge. The quarry was connected to Dolgarrog from the 1820's by a primitive narrow gauge railway which incorporated a further four inclines. Further up Cwm Eigiau was the quarry of that name which was operated by the same company.


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