Archive for the ‘Weekend Meets’ Category

Tremadog September 2018

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Only 7 of us stuck with the plan and went to Wales on Friday night.  A few cried off due to poor forecast – but the forecast turned out to be ever changing.

Saturday morning was meant to be dry but it started spitting soon after we went to the upper tier of Craig Pant Ifan. Jayne came up with us – but then headed off for a walk/scramble up Moel Hebog and dropped down to Beddgelert before heading back to the hut. She enjoyed a long walk, arriving back at the hut via a lift from a friendly bus driver.

The rain held off for a while so we got a few routes done before the rock was saturated again. So we went back to the hut for some food and drink and warm up. Come 3pm the rain had stopped and sun gradually came back out – so Simon and I, Peri and Dave D headed out and climbed Christmas curry. We had the crag to ourselves. The first 1.5 pitches were on wet rock but after that it was all dry and lovely later afternoon.

Meanwhile Peter had been out on his bike from Tal y Bont, on A496 between Harlech and Barmouth, a circular route taking in Pont Scethin, 12 miles, hard and short, pushed up the two steepest hills, one customary crash on way down Bwlch y Rhiwgyr. Rich arrived Saturday evening and was soon telling stories of D of E chaos. Soup, sausages, veg and scones were swiftly consumed. This was accompanied by squeals and swearing as the size of the kitchen spider was realised (by Peri). Has any of us brought it home??

Sunday morning was dry and soon turned sunny. Rich was going to climb with Dave D but injured himself on the way to the crag – so Dave D, Peri and Pete B climbed together in the Yogi area – climbing Yogi and Smarter than the Average Bear. Meanwhile Simon & I climbed Valerie's Rib Direct, Tro and a newly cleaned Quercus.

Meanwhile Jayne and Peter went for a walk – Rhinog Fach starting up Cwm Nantcol then via Lyn Perfeddau and Lyn Hywel – and were rewarded with good views and mountain goats. Back at the crag the rain started just as we were finishing climbing and we managed to be back in the hut when the heaviest shower arrived. The walkers soon returned.

A good weekend's climbing/walking/cycling despite the weather forecast. Never fully trust the forecast!

 

The Heat is on in Wales

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Rob under tension

The June weekend meet saw nine of the club members heading to North Wales to stay in the really nice, if a little quirky Chester Mountaineering Club hut located part way up the main tourist path from Llanberis to the Snowdon summit.

With the recent dry weather all the mountain routes and generally damp north-facing mountains and crags were in fine condition.

Saturday Peri and Dave W took on the ambitious link up of Main Wall on Cyrn Las (HS) and Gambit Climb (S) on Clogwyn y Ddysgl. A big day out and two top 50 routes, sounded excellent and one that's definitely going on my list to do one day. Dave headed home quite late but satiated.

choo choo

A handful of us took the opportunity to join the crowds on the Snowden track and head up to cloggy, a place I have heard a lot about but never climbed. Jamie, Rob and I headed for Llithrig HVS 5a a three-star historical classic according to the
guide, some exciting climbing and fun to be had on the tension traverse.

Carmen and Simon also headed to cloggy tackling the three-star VS Great Slab, another one for the list. We all met at the top and descended together and with queues on nearly all the easier routes (VS/HVS) on the eastern buttress and time running out we all headed to far west buttress and made a mass ascent of Slab Climb Right-hand a starred HS. Nice climbing in the evening sun proves there is the odd easier route at cloggy, but don't expect much if any gear.

Pete W and Pete B headed to the pass to climb on Carreg Wastad, clocking up a bunch of stars with the excellent Crackstone Rib (S), Skylon (HS) and The Wrinkle (VD). This would have been a decent day for most but not Pete W who decided a short jog halfway up Snowdon and back would be a nice way to round of the day.

On Sunday we somehow all managed to survive my cooking with no lasting effects and awoke to another gloriously warm and sunny day.

Pete W’s mate Rhys joined us for Saturday night and they planned a nice gentle ride by the coast for the Sunday, only a 100k I think in the end!

Pete B, Rob and I made the most of the dry conditions and headed up to Gambit Climb (VD in our guide!). Finding the start was a little tricky but once on the route, all was clear, lots of short awkward corners broken up by ledges. A tough short and well protected final pitch (4b ish) brought us to the ridge and a gentle stroll back to the Pass.

This time Peri and Jamie climbed in the pass on Dinas Mot and tackled The Cracks (HS) yet another top 50. Carmen and Simon were first on Main Wall in Cryn Las, confirming its quality when we met up in the pass with Simon declaring it possibly the best route he’s ever done.

Suitable Knackered we all jumped in our various modes of transport for the journey back to York. A great weekend in Wales with even better weather, unfortunately, the tick list isn't getting any smaller, at least I managed to climb on Cloggy.

Lakes meet in January 18

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

 

12 out of a possible 18 of us made it on the Lakes meet in the end with various ailments causing last minute drop outs. The semi-healthy remainders made it to High House – a great spot in Seathwaite (just past the farm) which was soon cosy downstairs thanks to the 2 pot bellied stoves.

Unfortunately, as per YAC tradition things had warmed up a bit prior to the meet. Paul & Jamie went across on Friday and failed to find climbable routes on Gable and so went for a walk instead trying to check conditions elsewhere. Undeterred on Saturday Rob, Liz, Pete W, Jamie and Paul headed out for a look at Great End and a walk over to Scafell. The conditions at Great End were lean but Custs Gully (I) looked ok and a bit of fun so we headed up as a team. The usually banked out steps were short icy pitches, made all the more interesting with a single walking axe and crampons each. It was a fun way up to the plateau. Conditions on top were very wintery, good neve for the walk across to Scafell where we stopped for lunch. Back to Esk Hause were we de-cramped and took bets on the how long we'd stay on our feet (about 25 seconds for the record before one of us went flying). Two headed down to the hut under Great End crag and the rest over Allen Crag and Glaramara, the final hour or two in the dark meant we ended up below rather than above raven crag on the decent but a short detour took us back to the path and finally the hut in the rain. An excellent day out.

 

Simon and I took a similar route but starting over Seathwaite Fell and over Great End (missing out Custs gully), finishing off the day with a steep descent off Glaramara. Alan went to Scafell via the corridor route – we bumped into him at his lunch spot just below the summit and parted company at Esk Hause. Pete E and Annie went to Esk Hause and Glaramara before spending far too long in the pub 🙂 Karl took some route via Glaramara to the pub.

Saturday evening we ate lots of soup (thanks to Rob), followed by plenty of haggis, mince pies, some interesting parcels from Jamie and finally Christmas pud. Karl rapidly ate lots and fell asleep (glass in hand, quelle suprise!). On Sunday Karl & Liz headed straight back, as did Alan. Not sure whether Annie and Pete got anything done on the way back. Rob and Paul went towards Great End (about 30m) but returned to the hut when the heavens opened. Jamie didn't even get that far. Meanwhile Pete W enjoyed a long run up to Honister and back over the ridge to Cat Bells and back via the valley.  As my head was hurting and we had a new toy (camera) – Simon & I went to Leighton moss (RSPB reserve) bird watching – which was good, a great reserve with plenty of hides, we didn't spend long on the raised platform as the wind was bitter.

Note quite the winter climbing weekend we were hoping for – but still a good weekend away.

 

 

Wales Early December Meet

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Seven of us made it to Wales for the early December meet – only to find that the cold conditions earlier in the week had gone and were replaced with somewhat milder and damp conditions- doh.

Not deterred by the damp – Paul, Rob and Mike went to do the grade 3 scramble the ridge on Carnedd y Filiast.  However, low cloud and a misreading of the guideback saw them ascending a different line to that intended 'ended up climbing some loose flaky slab then a horrible damp gully followed by quite a nice slabby arête possibly the upper section of Hawkwind or Brocken Edge?'

Simon & I went for a walk/jog from the hut over the Creigiau Gleision summits  and Craiglwyn back via various tarns (one with a swing) and forestry tracks.  We were first back (slightly unusual occurrence) got the fire going and started chopping.  Meanwhile Justine & Gav did a  similar but lower level variant of our walk/run (sensibly deciding not to take in the summits due to a lack of waterproof trousers) – it was rather wet!

Saturday eve we sat around with a roaring fire and consumed my rather green (possibly challenging) soup (spinach, pear and Roquefort).  This was followed by a great chilli from Gav (nicely spiced with hot and mild variants on offer).  Then when we didn’t really need to consume anything else we moved onto mince pies, cheese & biscuits (thanks to Pauls early Christmas leftovers) and port.

On Sunday, Paul, Rob and Mike undeterred returned to find the correct scramble – and believe that they did helped by somewhat better conditions and people ahead of them on the route.  They moved together roped up for protection utilising spikes and threads for runners with the odd gear placement.
– "Great scrambling with lots of options to make things easier or harder and really nice that the ridge takes you all the way to the summit, would have been even better in the dry (can confirm it is good in the dry – did it in January!).
– Got some nice views of the main Slab witch looked really good, need to go back on a sunny day and do some of the routes".

Simon & I went for a walk/jog up and down Moel Siabod – note rocks are very slippery in the wet.  We even had short spells of sunshine before conditions greyed up again.  Justine & Gav also did Moel Siabod with a slightly later start.  Back to the hut early, a bit more cleaning & packing and we were off early – time for Simon’s winter boot shopping in Joe browns before the drive home.

An enjoyable weekend – if not the snowy conditions we had been hoping for.

 

Patterdale Pogg-out

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

This weekend we were at patterdale in the Cleveland clubs hut, but without the drunken offensive violent member in tow. Friday night's entertainment was Richard H's Pizza Carbonella.

Sat dawned dry but not too clear and teams headed out in all directions. Simon and Carmen running south over the Dodds collecting Wainwrights in quite an impressive haul starting at Sheffield Pike area and ending on Arnitson Crag (despite some impressive nav errors). Donal pushed a lump of iron up a hill to access the High Street plateau and long ride, bringing quite a lot of the hill back with him on his bike.


Karl tackled the classic round of Striding and Swirrel Edges and pub. Dave Wiffen made the day trip and teamed up with Mike Shaw on Pinnacle Ridge before heading over to Helvellyn. Mike W clocked up a 60 mile road ride to approach is annual 5000 mile target, but did have to visit Shap for his sins. He was rewarded with a huge Staveley breakfast before an up'n'over Kirkstone pass and coast to the hut with mud to rival Donal.

Richard, Richard (that's two people) and Annie went Wainwright bagging close to Brothers Water – taking in Hart and Dove Crag and Red Screes and Middle Dodd. Paul ran a slightly brownian route to the Helvellyn ridge before traversing all the way to Red Screes and back to the hut. En-route he met Karl, Dave + Mike, RR+A and Rob. Rob was on a bit of a mission (see other blog soon) to finish the Wainwrights, which he did at 1.30 on High Hartsop Dodd (a pimple!) shortly after meeting RR+A. Paul caught him up with 100m to spare for the top out then headed off to catch the others whilst Rob started the long walk back to Grassmere to collect his car and arrive last back to the hut at 4.30

Karl was back first and set about raising the temperature of the whole valley using just the coal stove as his weapon. A standard YAC feast ensured lots of bodies stuffed with excess garlic bread lying around moaning before we even got to sample Carmen's Rice Pud with chicken bones lemongrass. Of course, we managed that and quite a deal of wine & beer to boot. Karl rounded off his day with a snore fest comatose on the sofa.

After a warm night with some Everett-esq snoring from Richard H we were greeted by a spectacular day- there seem to have been a frost everywhere except in a 10m radius of the hut! Richard P headed off to bag a few Dodds on his way home, Mike broke the journey home with a bike ride but on icy roads was a little spicier and harder than expected. Annie and Richard H headed east from the hut around Angle Tarn and Place Fell.

The rest of the team went to Pinnacle ridge which was in spectacular condition, dry and empty. Karl came with us for a bit but walked directly up St Sunday so he could get home early in prep for a mammoth week of traveling and teaching. The slog up to the start is a bit tough but short and we all arrived after 1.15 hours or so (despite two separate routes). Paul and Simon raced off, followed by Carmen and Donal. Rob and Mike got waylaid sodding about on all the variants they could find, descending as fast as ascending. This soon turned into a team sport and culminated in 3 variations of the crux pitch and 3 of the chimney/rib a little further up by 3 or 4 people.

Eventually we had to finish and head to the summit of St Sunday before a leisurely stroll to Grisedale Tarn and back along the valley. What a cracking short day – 5 hours hut to hut.


The hut was duly cleaned, tea and cake consumed and most people were way before dark.



Simons Pix on FB:

YAC meets Brian

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

9 out of 15 who had originally signed up braved the trip to Wales to meet storm Brian.  Admittedly Wales was not the best place to be heading during the storm – but as it turned out -things were not entirely bad.

On Saturday Mike, Russ and Dave W complete with wet suits and buoyancy jackets headed off for a gorge descent – which they seemed to enjoy. Karl thought better of it and drove around Wales to buy some bolts and café visit.  Pete W and Richard P went for a run from the hut taking in Moel Hebog having to brace themselves against the wind to reach the summit.  Afterwards they went around the copper mines next to the hut.  Annie decided to get the steam train from Bedgellert to Porth Madoc  -so Simon  & I decided to join her.  I insisted in going in the open carriage – we were already wearing full waterproofs from the walk to the station – so it seemed to make sense!  Annie had a whale of a time waving and whooping as we steamed along.  After a café stop at the station and a quick trip to Cobb records (S remembered the store from his childhood) – we left Annie and jogged/walked our way back to the hut, via the part flooded gorge side path and then the hills behind the hut.  Annie got the bus back to Nantmoor and walked back from there.  We all got  rather wet and windblown but enjoyed getting out and earned ourselves lots of lasagne and peaches and brandy (plus merignues and shortbread) for dessert.

On Sunday Richard P was the first out the hut  – went for a run before the drive back to York. Dave W and Mike headed for Idwal slabs – where the did ordinary route followed by an alpine style ascent of the Sub Cneifion arete.  Annie now a fan of the bus went off to Porth Madoc for a walk around the coast.  The rest of us went for a walk up Llwyd.  The weather had vastly improved – still windy but very little rain.  The scramble at the top of LLwyd was interesting with the occasional gust of wind.  We found shelter for lunch in the mines on the way back down and then had coffee and cake (well some of us had cake) before returning to the hut to pack up.

All in all a good weekend despite the forecast. The new hut was good – but with a few teething issues heating/hot water and door wise.  Having said that – the hut was plenty warm enough.

 

Roaches – wet and dry

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

For the July meet YAC returned to the Don Whillans Memorial Hut located at the foot of the Roaches. I was pretty keen to go and experience staying in this historic hut which is partly built into to the rock…..

The forecast for the weekend didn't look great and it rained heavily Friday night, even with the improves to the hut we had water running from the ceiling and had to deploy a few pots and pans.
We awoke Saturday morning to find the rain had stopped and the sun was out.

Carmen and Simon were out first as usual and head for the upper tier along with Annie who headed of for a walk followed by myself Russ and Danny. Many of the routes were still damp from the nights rain so we chose a route that looked dryish, Crack and Corner a 3 star HS. This turned out to be a really nice route and a popular one, after doing a few routes on the lower tier Jamie, Pete B, Peri and Dave D headed up have a go at the same route and show us where we should have gone on the second pitch – whoops.

Next up, Black and Tans, a top 50 severe then Saul’s Crack a Joe Brown route and another great climb. Jamie and Pete tackled Rotunda Buttress VS followed by Damascus Crack a route I would recommend, while Russ made an accent of Bachelors Buttress witch has a fairly bold start.
We finished off with an accent of The Sloth, a route first ascended by Willans himself, and one I’d heard lots about. Seen as the rock had dried throughout the day I had no excuses a fitting end to a great first day.

Surprisingly after Jamiie got a bit carried away with the chillies in the evening meal there seemed to be no lasting affects and Sunday was much the same rain during the night meant a damp start but the sun came out and dried things out.

Simon Carmen and Annie headed for Roaches Skyline followed by Jamie Dave and Pete while after a bit of wandering myself Peri Danny and Russ stayed on Upper Tier, this time climbing on the Simpkins Overhang and Wombat areas. Routes ticked on the Sunday included Wallaby Direct, Inverted Staircase, Contrary Mary, Runner Route and Light House.

My first trip to the Roaches and a really good weekend with some classics climbed and some to go back for ie Valkyrie.

Miles from anywhere

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

I've fancied a trip to the Rugby MC hut at Cwm Eigiau ever since walking past it more years ago than I care to mention. And at last I had a chance, as the club had booked what is essentially a locked bothy for the weekend.

For once, the weather gods were on our side, and the recent hot sunny weather lasted through to the weekend. We even had a north-facing crag to climb on and avoid the worst of the heat!

The approach is by a 45 minute walk along a good track (which we still managed to take a wrong turning on). Most of us walked up, but Donal and Mike cycled. And Karl cycled up later on his new bike looking like he'd thoroughly enjoyed it and in no way swearing like a trooper. Luckily he was too tired to throw the bike back down the hill.

On Saturday, while Karl and Charles went walking on the Carneddau, most of us headed for Craig yr Ysfa. Carmen and I toyed briefly with trying Mur y Niwl (VS recently upgraded to HVS) but wimped out using the heat as an excuse. So we did a terrifying scramble/climb up a wet vegetated groove to reach the ledge at the foot of Pinnacle Wall instead – a fine Severe involving a long descending traverse along a quartz pavement followed by a long crack to finish.

Next we turned to the classic VDiff Amphitheatre Buttress. I'd done this many years ago and hadn't been impressed, but Carmen hadn't so we followed Dave and Donal up. Much better than I remembered – I must have been in a bad mood last time! And we bumped into Rich P who though not on the club trip was staying on the opposite side of the hill at Capel Curig.

Jamie Russ and Paul took advantage of the dry weather to make an ascent of Great Gully, a very (very) traditional VDiff. At least they thought they were taking advantage of the weather – instead they found the route wet and dirty, character building stuff.

On Sunday Karl headed home, Donal went biking, and Paul went for a run, while the rest of us returned to Craig yr Ysfa. Jamie and Dave went up Amphitheatre Buttress, Dave must have enjoyed it the day before!

Carmen and I opted for Nether Climb – a 1-star Severe in the old guidebook, but without any logbook ticks on UKC. As this suggests, the route was a bit on the dirty side!

Pitch 1 was broken and vegetated. Pitch 2 was better, though bold and tricky given the lichen, closer to VS 4b. Pitch 3 I've no idea about, as I went entirely the wrong way! The way I went was hard (VS 4b ish) and led nowhere, so I took a rope-drag-tastic line up some broken grooves and back left to regain the arete. As luck would have it, this brought us almost exactly to the top of the correct pitch. So far so bad, but pitch 4 was superb, almost worth the trauma of getting there! And the final pitch was also pretty good.

All that remained now was to get back down, which was a minor epic in its own right, descending a steep and extremely exposed rake, well worth roping up for.

That was quite enough for both of us so we returned to the hut, met the others, and headed off.

A really good weekend, and a good though basic hut in a fantastic location. We'll undoubtedly go back, though it might be a bit grim in bad weather.

More photos here

Dodging the rain in Northumberland

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

With a mixed forecast and coming so soon after the Skye meet, numbers were predictably down for the late May Bank Holiday, and in the end only four of us made the trip north.

We camped at Greencarts Farm, a nice enough site but they didn't make any attempt to keep the party goers quiet and they continued their merry making late into the night, every night.

On Saturday, Carmen and I made an early start to beat the expected rain and headed for Crag Lough.

We started with a few obscure but good routes around West Corner at the far right of the crag, before heading left for Jezebel Direct, a great VS 4b lead by Carmen – no stars in the guide, whereas the disappointing and vegetated indirect gets 3 – perhaps they got them the wrong way round! It started drizzling so we started to head back, but it dried off so we finished with 3 routes at Peel Crag near the car park. I backed off leading a VDiff, but I'm not going to mentioned that.

10 minutes after we drove off, the heavens opened and we had a cracking thunderstorm for 45 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, Ann and Peter did a circular mountain bike ride starting from the campsite and getting as far north as Bellingham, The route crossed Simonburn Moor, where they had major mechanicals and both Peter's pedals collapsed! After this the track cut into Kielder Forest at Stonehaugh and then headed for Bellingham where they had a tea stop at the Rocky Road Cafe. The way back took them on the Sandstone Way, a marked route. Signposting at Shitlington Hall was hard to follow and they ended up at Esp Mill where the house owner plied themwith elderflower cordial (!) before directing them back on route.

Shortly after they were caught in and drenched by a ferocious thunderstorm at Gofton Burn. At this point they decided to cut the route short and and after a long downhill stopped at Simonburn for (yet more) tea and cake and to dry out. Two miles later they were back at Greencarts.

Sunday started damp and very windy, so we went for a run along Hadrian's Wall for a couple of hours until things improved. Then we headed back to Crag Lough where we repeated a couple of routes we last did a decade or more ago, and I finally got round to leading Hadrian's Chimney – a great route of its type, better and harder than it looks.

Ann & Peter did an 8 mile bumble from Belsay taking in Bolam Country Park, Salters Nick, Shaftoe Crags and Shortflatt Peel Tower, great views from the Devils Punchbowl. Refreshments after at Belsay village shop.

Bank Holiday Monday lived down to the stereotype, and rained. So we all went home.

A few more photos here

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.