Archive for the ‘Walking’ Category

Scottish Islands Part 1 – Arran Easter

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

14 of us headed to Arran for Easter – camping at Lochranza.  The ferries from Ardrossan were all booked up well in advance so whilst some of us went over that way – others headed in from the North from Kintyre.

The campsite grew rather wet and squelchy over the course of the weekend – with a few tents requiring shifting to higher ground.  However, Sunday was the only wash out day (with various low level walks undertaken).  The other days were fine for trips into the mountains and ridges.  Due to the reversal to more wintry conditions it turned into more of a walking and cycling rather than climbing trip (so much for third time lucky!).

Annie and Pete E cycled around the island over 2 outings on road bikes.  Jamie and Esther also cycled on one of the days.  Most of us went up Goatfell at some point.  Karl went on a backpacking adventure testing out his new kit.  Paul and Jamie were the only ones to get some rock-climbing inclimbing at the crag above the campsite on Monday.

Great trip despite the lack of climbing – plenty of good walking/scrambling instead.

Lakes 42

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Lakes 42  (08/04/17)

Quite hard! – Simon’s post race analysis made it 40.5 miles and 3000m ascent.

 

The weather was great, dry and bright – would have been grim in the rain. It was very cold and frosty to start with (breakfast was 4:45am) for the 6am start from Askham, but things warmed up fairly quickly in the morning. We returned in one piece – 12 hours 36 mins later. The low point for me was the ascent of Place fell (Helvellyn felt fine) – Simon thought the reverse. We were miles behind the winning time – around 7.5 hours. But a good few hours in front of the last finishers. Soup, a cup of tea and cake awaits you at the finish. We were too tired for a pub dinner so just had a bit of quiche and a few snacks before going to bed.

It is a great low key annual event – with around 100 people taking part. Run by Nav4/Joe Faulkner. Supply your own map. No fixed route between checkpoints (which are old style orienteering clippers). There were 3 snack and refreshment stops en route (each time you pass through Patterdale and on the road at Thirlmere). No cut offs – just need to back before last orders!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Hills, Big Skies, Big Day

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

After reading a report on Walkhighlands.co.uk (recommended for record keeping) about a Grey Corries traverse from Glen Nevis I was keen to repeat this as it seemed to describe a more interesting outing than the usual route.

Mamores, The Ben, Other stuff

I left home at 7am (passing K on his way to work – SUCKER) and drove up to Kinlochleven, where I had unfinished business. I parked up at 2ish by the now defunct Hotel looking very sad and followed the track then path up the hillside towards Na Gruagaichean (1056m). Towards the top I left the path as it zagged away from the summit. A quick tick and I was back at the car just after 6, cup of tea and repacking my kit and on my way to Glen Nevis (via the excellent KLL chip shop).

Camp Site – Upper Glen Nevis

I arrived just about 8.30 at the car park and it was dark. A large team were heading upto the hut (complete with harnesses and slings for the bridge) and I chatted to a late-comer. I Packed my last bits into sac and set off into the dark by torchlight. A lovely wander up Glen Nevis, not too cold and easy underfoot. Soon past Steal ruins I sort of lost the path (it gets vague!) but I knew roughly where I was heading, to find a campsite close to the river quite a way up the Glen. Suffice to say it took longer than expected (as I misread the trip report) and I put my tent up about 11. I'd chosen my site well though.


Grey Corries Ridge

A glorious morning was just the start and the walk, although a bit harsh at the start was generally easier than I had expected, the views were of course stunning. Soft snow (I had no axe or cramps, deciding to leave them in the tent) was easy to walk on and disappearing from the southern aspects quickly. At the end of the ridge (three ~1100m Munros down) I

Steall Falls in evening light

dropped down to Stob Ban (4th Munro mere 977) and then headed back along its ridge, taking a heathery route down to a river crossing, nice for the feet, and back along he Glen to my tent. I made a brew, set a timer for 25 mins and crashed out. Disappointed not to have taken any evening food with me, I packed up and headed down, staying close to the river (the split path a little easier to follow down here) and back to the car.

Stob Ban from the North

The Climbers Club has a hut in Roybridge, 13 miles north of Fort WIlliam and I headed there. A brilliant warm comfy 4 bedroom bungalow, empty! The other 4 guests arrived back shortly, 2 from the pub having just climbed Point 5 (not at all jealous) after a 3am start and 2 more been to Knoydart (1 hour drive) and 11 hours on the hills.

Summit of SCE

Next day I had a few blister issues (bit surprising) and slept in and chilled with another member (Colin) before setting off 12ish to get some suntan lotion and bag the Stob Coire Easain pair of Munros just along the road (Fersit). Another cracking day, saw a few people (and an eagle) but all of them coming home, not surprising when you don't set off till 1.30 BST! Kicking steps down a north facing slope for 10m provided a little bit of a distraction and a lovely walk out along the glen and an old tramway. Back at car for 7.30 was about right for the day.

Looking back over the Grey Corries towards the Ben Nevis

My heels were a bit destroyed which was a shame as the weather was once more majestic for the drive home via Dalwhinnie. Scotland in spring, with some snow and sunshine really is one of the most beautiful places to be

Winter adventure talks series 2017

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

In the winter months of 2017, the club ran a monthly ‘adventure talks’ social evening at the Falcon tap pub in Micklegate, York. The idea being that we have a couple of short talks by members or visiting speakers about a trip they’ve been on, and get a chance to have a drink with friends, meet new members and find out more about what people have been up to, hopefully getting inspired for the coming year at the same time!

We’ve had some great talks this year, starting in January when Dave told us about his trekking and mountaineering trip through Peru and Bolivia, and Peter described his adventures horse riding and trekking in Kyrgyzstan.

February took us to New England with Carmen and Simon to see the fall colours and of course do some walking and climbing, and then over to Northern Sweden with Donal for a multi day hut-to-hut walk along the Kungsleden or ‘King’s trail’.

Finally, in March we got on our bikes with Chris who competed in the transcontinental cycle race from Belgium to Istanbul (everyone was exhausted just listening!), and then Rob gave an introduction to lightweight backpacking (with props!) along the Haute Route Pyrenees.

Many thanks to all the speakers for giving their time to put a talk together and present it, and to all those members who came along to support, hopefully have some fun and learn about somewhere new. Looking forward to more adventure talks next year!

Simons Seat Sunday

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Simon and I decided to get out for a walk on Sunday. Given the rather grim forecast I was surprised that 2 other members were willing to join us (Gordon & Peri). Our walk started from Barden Bridge near Bolton Abbey. We set off with no sign of snow and only slightly drizzly conditions – hopes of a wintry walk were low. However, I was enjoying the bird life – saw a number of red kites on the drive over and 1 shortly after leaving the car. We went through Strid woods and along the valley of desolation. It was not until we got much higher on Simon’s seat then we came across snow underfoot – and was definitely wintry at the summit. It was rather cloudy and with a chilly wind as we approached the summit –so the visit to the summit cairn was short lived. We managed to find slightly more sheltered conditions below a crag so stopped for refreshments. It then started snowing and continued for the rest of the walk. We extended the walk by going up Troller’s Gill – with a stop for lunch under the dripping overhangs and then back across moorland (where Gordon and Peri rescued a sheep with its horns caught on the feeder) to finish the walk by heading back along the river Wharfe with a number of bird stops – plenty of ducks and dippers in action. Good day out considering the forecast.


January Wales Meet

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

For the January meet we decided to try a different hut: Tal-Y-Braich, situated between Llanberis and Bethesda. Meet got off to an interesting start as we managed to lock ourselves out within 10 mins of arriving – doh. Just as well it was a dry, clear evening.

Nice little hut with a large wood burning stove. Living/dining area would be rather cramped if full – but good beds and view. Saturday was amazingly clear and sunny for the majority of the day. It was rather chilly for rock climbing & no winter climbing options – so Richard P, Liz and Mike headed off to do the classic Snowdon horseshoe.

Meanwhile Simon and myself walked from the hut to Carnedd Y Filiast to do The Ridge a Mod/3S scramble and finished by walking over Foel Goch to Y Garn and back again over Elidir Fawr, down to the hut. I carried a rope and slings etc just in case – which needless to say remained in the sack all day. Annie, Pete and Donal also walked from the hut taking a similar route without the scramble diversion, and heading on to the start of the Glyders.

Being the weekend before Burns night – we thought we would celebrate with a ton of haggis and mash. Simon lit a fair amount of whisky – which kept burning for sometime afterwards!

Sunday morning the weather was not so great – low cloud and damp. Hardly bad – but nothing like the previous day. Donal needed to head to Manchester airport so made a plan for a walk around Conway mountain. Most others decided to join in – not entirely sure if everyone went. Simon & I set off from the hut a bit later and also headed to Conway mountain – taking in most of the summits and stopping to watch the foals.

 

A wee solo jaunt up some Munros

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

The Club meet was in Wales this month but I just wasn't feeling motivated for it, and needing some fitness I headed up to Southern Highlands to bag some more Munros. I was alone this time as everyone else was on the meet, so I packed the car with tent, bike and a usual stuff and drove up to Glen Lyon

I pitched up later than expected after a delayed start and a detour around Stirling due to roadworks, and missed the Callendar Chippy (closes at 9 for info) but Tescos was open, and they sell wine , and chicken wings – read it and weep Jamie! I Camped by the dam I got an OK nights sleep and was on the hill for 8.30ish, just after white van man in running shoes.


Taking 1.30 to get up Stuchd an Lochain in absolutely stunning conditions I was soon back at the car for a brew and some wings. I headed up for the 2nd of the pair of opposing hills, Meall Buidhe escaping the cloud after 100m. Hard to describe the views, beauty and sense of peace up there. One of my best ever days in the Scottish hills.


Back at the car I made my way to the Wigwam campsite a mile south of Tyndrum, and I was the only camper! This place is great it has mini huts, great camp field, clean warm showers and toilet block and a fully kitted kitchen and dining areas and a little shop. It was like being a hut, 8 quid a night

Sunday was misty and after a return visit to the campsite to collect an allen key I set off at 9.30 cycling up the estate road to Beinn Mhanach I am not a great mountain biker, took me a while to work out how my gear changers worked! I cycled up the track in about an hour including some stops for route choice and poking about and pushing. A Straight 1.15 slog up the hill brought me to the summit cairn, and I was back down the hill in 40 mins and cycled back to the car in another 35min (no pushing downhill!).

A cup of tea or two and a shower after packing up my tent and gear and I was 'away down the road' as we say.

Top weekend if lacking a little sociability

More Pix https://goo.gl/photos/grYZm1tv9EacFMpR9

Beating the thaw

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Ingleborough and Pen-y-GhentAfter a dump of snow on Thursday night and some excellent-looking conditions on Friday, we were due a cold and clear day on Saturday before the warm and wet conditions returned a day later. So Carmen and I concocted a last minute plan and headed for the Dales.

Things didn't look promising as we passed Harrogate and all the snow had disappeared; even at Bolton Abbey there was very little left. But by the time we got to Arncliffe, the hills and valleys were all at least vaguely white – not what you'd hope for at this time of year, but enough to look pretty!

by Fountains TarnWe walked along the valley to Litton, then a rising traverse to the road between Pen-y-Ghent and Fountains Fell. A left turn led steeply uphill, preferring the wall to the path as this leads direct to the summit. The views from the top were dominated by Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent to the west, and Great Whernside and Buckden Pike to the east, the clear air unfortunately ending at a big blank of clouds over the Irish Sea preventing us seeing further.

Fountains Fell South TopWe descended via the south top of Fountains Fell (with a small stack of stones acting as a summit cairn) to pick up the Pennine Way. From the road we'd intended following the PW down to Malham Tarn, but the sun was getting low so we decided to stay high as long as possible to make the most of it. So we headed up east over Back Pasture – somewhere I've not been before, but well worth a visit for its unpolished limestone pavements. We then picked up the bridleway which we followed back north to Arncliffe just as the last light started to fade.

Back PastureUnfortunately we didn't have time to pop in to the Falcon, but by all accounts it hasn't changed a lot since its recent change of landlord and still serves beer from a jug (though these days has a couple of pumps in an attempt to enter the 20th century)!

Good to be out, and despite the fantastic weather we only saw 3 other people all day.

Some more photos here

Last minute lakes dash

Monday, January 16th, 2017

IMG_20170114_133511429_HDRWith winter making a fleeting appearance and complicated arrangements (when is it ever simple) K and I decided to head to the lakes for the w/e. Paul was in at 00:06 and Mike at 01:08 Sat morning !

A bit delayed we left York and headed across to Brown Cove Crags hoping for snow in the gullies to play in not expecting much in the way of ice. Leaving the car at 11 it's a short but steepish pull up to the cove in fantastic weather but not great snow. We had a rope and scrambling rack, single axe each and no idea what to head fr. the gullies, as we had been warned by a walker, were pretty bare, but the buttresses were rimed up and looking good. Turf varied between rock hard and soft and smears of ice were visible across the crag.

starting up
After some chatting we decided to have a look at Right Buttress Crack, a really obvious line today up the clean middle lump. We geared up, left the rope in the sac in case and quested off up the grooves. Nice route with some good ice, some good turf and lots of good hooks. The rock was really clean and not verglassed so I used my hands in preference to the axe quite often. The main middle pitch has chockstone which proved awkward with poor turf above so Paul and ignored it. Karl and Mike went around with an interesting traverse back into the groove. The top section K followed the footsteps and make quick work of a short steep section with a great hook but little else. Tis proved problematic for the rest of us and Paul ended up wandering around it with bruised ego, amongst other aspects.


Topping out in sunshine we did a bit of hill spotting before we headed the short walk upto Helvellyn in the cloud with very few people about. We returned via White Stones doing some excellent nav practice along the way. So good was the nav that we eventually emerged into the public bar of the Thirlspot Inn.

I had booked us into Grange CC hut and we all slept long and well after the curry and booze, as we knew the forecast was poor. Sunday was a tentative start and after much debate whilst drinking tea and watching the rain we headed upto Newlands Hause and bagged a couple of Wainwright's (Knott Rigg and Ard crags in the mist) a fun little jaunt. We took a look at the waterfall on return and tried to imagine it well frozen.


We returned to the hut for tea and our lunch and were home by 7 after cleaning up, nice little last minute trip.

Christmas & New Year Meet 2016

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

P1070868The advance team set off Crianlarich on Boxing day – with the others arriving on the 28th.  Conditions meant it was very much a walking or cycling trip, with the usual excess of food.

27/12/16 – Simon and I went off to do Beinn Mhanach and Beinn Mhanach – Beinn a'Chuirn summit  as we had not visited the munro top previously.  Recent rain and snow melt meant that water was reasonably deep in the numerous fords required to reach the hills.   Annie and Pete E overtook us (on their bikes) as they were heading up the same P1040625valley but intending to cycle around the loch.  We were surprised to see them cycling back towards us only 30 mins later!  Annie's bike had a terminal break – doh!

 

28/12/16 – With a bust bike Annie was P1040641now limited to walking.  We all went to do the Tarmachan ridge.  S & I had not done it since 02 and hoped to have views this time – but didn't.  But it was quite fun doing the whole ridge anyway – still snow on the ground – bit P1070781icy in places.

29/12/16 – Karl, Rob, Gav, Esther & Jamie went up Beinn a'Chroin & An Caisteal.  Annie came Corbett bagging with S and me – Creagan na Beinne.  We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves out of the cloud whilst traversing the summit ridge.  Rather windy-so were glad we found an isolated small crag to give us a bit of shelter for a late lunch.  Pete E P1070796with a functional bike enjoyed the cycle around the loch (abandoned route from 27th).

30/12/16 – Seriously wet and windy.  Esther & Jamie got dropped off at Bridge of Orchy and cycled back to the hut; Gav walked along part of the West highland way.  We dropped Rob off – so he could do Ben Challum.  Annie, Pete and Karl went touristing to Aberfeldy and shopping.  S and I did an easy Corbett tick – Meall nan Subh – taking in all the various summit cairns.

31/12/16 – Even wetter and still windy.  Esther & Jamie sensibly headed home.  Karl, Rob & Gav did Meall Ghaordaidh and seemed to enjoy it despite the weather.   S & I went and did Meall Odhar (a Graham) – downsizing in hills!  A group of kayakers looked like they were having fun in the rapidly flowing river.

1/1/17 – S, me, Annie & Pete did Stob Binnein (taking in a couple of extra summits) and Ben More.  Don't walk through the forest at the start – path is blocked by fallen trees etc – there is a vehicle track on P1040709the other side of the river (for hydro-scheme).  Great day out – made interesting by the strong winds – and cloud free summits.  Karl, Rob & Gav  did Meal nan Tarmachan summit – but abandoned the full traverse due to the wind – and enjoyed a pub visit instead.

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2/1/17  The others headed straight home after cleaning the hut.  S & I stopped off to do Beinn nan Imirean on the way back -a Corbett we had failed to get to the summit of 2 years earlier.  No problems this time – but no view from the summit.