Archive for June, 2011

Sadly a YAC founder member Mr Tony Ruddock has passed away.

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Anthony Ruddock
12:00am Wednesday 4 May 2011

RUDDOCK Anthony (Tony) Died peacefully on April 27th 2011, aged 77 years. Much loved husband of Glenda and a loving father, grandad, great-grandad and a dear brother. _ Funeral Service on Friday, May 13th at York Crematorium at 2.20pm. Family flowers only, donations gratefully received in lieu for Mesothelioma UK Charitable Trust and The York Lung Support. A plate will be available at the Service.

John Skelton was another founder member.  He currently lives in the Slovak Republic.  He can be contacted by dialing the following york number. This is a real York number but is re-pointed to Slovakia at no extra cost to the caller. The caller only pays a local BT call cost.   York 898040  e-mail


The Cabin

Friday, June 10th, 2011

This year's late May meet was to Balgowan (near Laggan), and a new hut for the club – The Cabin.

As usual, Carmen and I went up a week early, to take advantage of the good weather that's guaranteed in May. Unfortunately they'd used up all the good weather in April, so we were left with a week of rain and gales.

There looked to be a brief weather window on Sunday and Monday, so we decided to take advantage of it. Setting off on Sunday morning from Old Atholl, we cycled up Glen Tilt to Forest Lodge. From here we walked up the glen to Tarf Falls, and took in the remote Munros of An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir before descending to the Tarf Hotel bothy. It was mostly sunny but with gale force winds making progress difficult; showers late in the day gave some good rainbows. A final wade across a knee-deep river took us to the bothy. Somehow, over 25 years of walking in Scotland, I'd managed to avoid staying in a bothy before – I hope they're all as good as the Tarf Hotel!

The forecast was for a dry start the next day, with rain and hurricane-force winds arriving in the afternoon. So we set the alarm for 6am, intending to walk back out over Carn a' Chlamain to Forest Lodge before the weather broke. Unfortunately it broke early and the rain was torrential and horizontal, so we went back to sleep until lunchtime. The bothy had acquired its own moat overnight, which at least meant we could collect water without leaving the hut. Then the rain stopped and the sun came out so we made a break for it. The eye of the storm lasted for less than an hour, and we were soon wet and struggling to make progress in the wind, despite some shelter from the hill. We admitted defeat at 800m and contoured round the summit to pick up the stalkers track back down. The cycle back down the glen was straight into the wind, and several times we had to get off and push the bikes downhill in order to make any progress.

We now abandoned all plans of camping, and headed for the hut, which fortunately was empty so we stayed for the week.

The best weather was usually to the north and east, so we planned accordingly. A walk up the Corbett of Corryhabbie Hill north of Grantown was followed by climbing at Logie Head – good climbing, and good for the ego as almost everything is grossly overgraded. We made the most of a slight brief improvement in the weather with a walk up the four Strathfarrar Munros – cloudy but mostly dry.

The rest of the club now arrived (Peter, Rob, Annie, Simon, Debra, Mike and Sharon), but sadly didn't bring any better weather.

Rob and Peter provided Annie with her traditional near-death epic, by taking her up an easy scramble in the rain on the east ridge of Beinn a' Chaorainn, while Simon and Debra did some Corbetting near Aviemore, and Mike and Sharon went mountain biking in a tea shop.

Fortunately we've already done everything near the hut so were able to head north east again, for a sunny (but very windy) walk up Ben Rinnes. This hill is a bit like Simon's Seat, in that there's a massive path to the top, which has lots of granite tors – perfect for scrambling and climbing, but with no recorded routes and no sign of any ascents. We did a bit of scrambling below the main summit, but the chief challenge was not being blown over so we mostly just looked. A number of isolated blocks looked like fun, but none had any easy way off so any route up would need to be down-climbed, and the easiest looked a bit too hard! The much larger face of the Scurran of Well looked to have promise – and probably does, but the cracks were wet (and vertical) and the faces protectionless.

On Sunday, Rob continued to break in his new fell shoes with a long very wet traverse of the Monadhliath hills in moderately foul weather (for some reason there was nobody else on the hill). Most of the others opted for something a little lower, and even fouind some sun on Druim an Aird. Meanwhile, we went climbing at Cummingston – a bit like Scugdale by the sea, and again with some very flattering grades. And also with a knee-wrecking VS chimney called Kneewrecker Chimney which duly wrecked my knees before I retreated.

Finally, as is becoming the norm, the sun came out on the day we were due to head home. Peter and Annie did some climbing between showers at Kingussie Crag while Rob got sunburnt ticking some of the Munros east of the Drumochter Pass. Carmen and I climbed at Polney Crag just outside Dunkeld – reminiscent of Tremadog with several 1- and 2-pitch routes and lots of trees. A really good crag, pick of the routes was Carmen's lead of The Groove (VS 5a ***), a rare example of a route that is easier for the short.

More of our photos here.
And Debra's