Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Mid Wales

Friday, October 1st, 2021

Originally scheduled for last year, we finally managed our planned return to the excellent Bryn Hafod hut in the beautiful Cym Cywarch valley. We'd hoped to climb on the Cywarch crags, perhaps even managing an ascent of Doom from which we retreated on our last visit due to wet rock. But heavy rain over the previous couple of days ruled that out, so on Saturday, 6 of us drove west to Cadair Idris for a climb or scramble (depending on conditions) on the Cyfrwy Arete.

The cloud was low as we approached, but there was a team high up on the crag and the rock was dry, so we decided to stick with Plan A, which was Table Direct (VDiff) followed by the arete itself (Diff). Reduced to 5 courtesy of Karl's dodgy knee we climbed as a 2 and a 3, Carmen and I going first.

The VDiff seemed easier than the Diff that followed but the climbing was good throughout. The cloud lifted and the sun came out, with some good views of the crowds on the tourist path, but we met just one other pair on the crag.

After sitting in the sun for a while, we decided to head for the summit. From there we walked out to the subsidiary top of Mynydd Moel and back, hoping to bump into the others on the return. Of course the clouds dropped as we approached the descent path so we headed down the killer screes and back via Fox's Path to the car park, where we met the others picking blackberries.

Meanwhile Pete and Aoife went for a walk in the Arans above the hut – misty on the tops but stayed dry and they almost had the hills to themselves. And Ann and Pete went mountain biking round Lake Vyrnwy – I don't have details but tea shops were probably involved!

The traditional over-eating duly followed with a chunky soup from Pete E, Mexican tortillas from Pete B, and a rhubarb and newly-foraged blackberry cake from Pete W.

The next day the same 6 headed for Barmouth Slabs for a spot more climbing, but without the long walk in. The rain started as we parked the cars. Light at first, it stayed light until we'd decided to climb anyway and were almost at the top of the first routes. It then became heavier, but most of us decided to keep climbing anyway and managed another route in the pouring rain (fine leads by Carmen and Rob) before running away. Not quite what we'd hoped for but fun in a type 2 sort of way! A nice crag, if polished, one to return to in better weather sometime.

Pete and Aoife went for a very wet run along the Mawddach trail from Barmouth towards Dolgellau. The sun came out so they went to the beach and Pete had a swim in the sea before the rain returned so determined to enjoy their 'day at the seaside' they bought chips and then went to the amusements!

All in all, another excellent meet. And we still need to return to the hut so we can manage an ascent of Doom!

Some more photos here

Bank holiday in a hut – hooray!

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021

After the last 18 months or so, the lifting of restrictions meant that the possibility of hut meets going ahead again became a reality in August, and a small group headed to the Yorkshire Ramblers’ Club Lowstern Hut just outside Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales. The weather forecast was looking good, and we made plans on friday evening while settling in and poring over maps and guidebooks as usual.

Saturday began with a dry sunny morning, and breakfast outside on the benches overlooking the rolling countryside at the back of the hut was a great way to start the day. After waving Simon, Carmen, Ann and Peter off on their bike ride, David and Kasia headed to Giggleswick North for a day of bolt clipping. Aoife and I went for a walk up Pen-y-ghent, avoiding the traditional 3 peaks route and choosing to have lunch on Plover hill to the north meant we missed the crowds, and the biggest gathering was probably for ice creams in Horton in Ribblesdale on the way back. Back at the hut the cyclists returned having been over 40 miles and 1300m ascent to the forest of Bowland and back. Needless to say a YAC size curry in the evening went down well, followed by excellent cake from Kasia. 

Hull Pot and Pen y Ghent
Perfect Cycling Conditions in the Dales

Sunday began with an early start for Simon, Carmen, Aoife and I who headed to the Howgills to take part in the Kong mini mountain marathon – a 4 hour orienteering event. A challenging course with plenty of ascent and descent as we attempted to choose the most efficient route to collect the most points without being late back and loosing them all again. Carmen took a gamble which paid off, giving her the best result of us all and finishing well up the field – an excellent result. The post event soup and cake in the Tebay village hall gave us the chance to compare routes and catch up with Alan, another YAC member who was there for the day.

Aoife on another steep Howgills ascent

While we were in the Howgills, David and Kasia were enjoying the sunshine climbing at Robin Proctor’s scar, and Peter and Ann went for a walk taking in the Norber Erratics, Crummack Dale the hamlet of Wharfe, as well as a cafe stop. Back at the hut we enjoyed drinks out in the sunshine before Peri arrived just in time to join us for Carmen and Simon’s delicious vegetable stew and more cake from Kasia and Ann.

Ann Chillin'

Simon and Carmen

Bank holiday Monday brought another day of fine sunny weather. Aoife and I headed out for a walk on Peter and Ann’s recommendation pretty much repeating their route from the day before. Simon, Carmen, David and Kasia made the most of the weather heading to Attermire Scar for some more climbing, led there by Peri who took them on what she describes as a ‘long shortcut’ ! Ann and Peter probably went biking again, but I can’t remember where although I’m pretty sure a cafe was involved.

So an excellent weekend and great to be back in huts again after so long, as well as catch up with members old and new. Fingers crossed for more of the same from now on.

Carmen on the sharp end
Kasia and David at Attermire
Makes the uphill worth it 🙂

Little did we know . . .

Friday, November 20th, 2020
The Hut

The March meet was at a new hut for the club, the Peter Llowarch Memorial Hut near Capel Curig. Due to a combination of injury, prior engagement, and looking at the weather forecast, attendance was the lowest we've had for some time, with only 5 making the journey.

The first difficulty was finding the hut, which involved parking by a farm and walking down a track. We arrived in 3 separate groups, and each one managed to walk down the same wrong track and try to gain entry to the wrong building! When we eventually found the right place, it turned out to be one of the more rustic places we've stayed, with no electricity, no lighting apart from candles, and just a small wood-fired stove for heat. But at least we had gas for the cooker!

As is normal for our Welsh meets, the weather was a bit rubbish. But that didn't stop Joe heading off for a trot round the first part of the Snowdon Horseshoe, starting with Lliwedd, over a surprisingly busy Snowdon, before descending from the dolmen at the col before Crib Goch.

Ann and Becky sensibly opted for a low-level walk around the Crafnant Valley. And Carmen and I went for an extended run, starting straight up the side of Moel Siabod into the mist and rain, before descending to Capel, up and over the hill to the Crafnant, and back over the pass to the hut.

That evening, the hut began to grow on us, as the stove warmed up the small central room and the cooker made a vague impression of heat in the big kitchen. As usual, we all ate far too much!

On Sunday the forecast was similarly poor so Joe went home. The rest of us risked heading for a coastal walk near Little Orme, and we rewarded by sunshine and a mostly dry day, though bitterly cold in the strong wind. We passed a monument which we thought must commemorate some Victorian battle, but which turned out to have been built a few years ago by a local hotel. On over the top of Little Orme. And to finish, we found the local seal colony at Angel Bay.

All in all, a successful meet. The hut was basic, and you wouldn't want many more than 5 staying there in cold weather, but as a summer venue it could be pretty good, with lots of space outside and views over the surrounding hills. And if we'd known then what we know now it would have been a sell-out!

Roll on 2021…

Every season except winter

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

This year we had the biggest New Year meet turn out for years, filling Blackrock Cottage and with people camping in vans and even staying at the ski centre up the road. So it shouldn't have been surprising that we also had some of the worst weather, with a massive thaw stripping pretty much all the remaining snow, and heavy rain and strong winds putting the high summits out of bounds.

Of course we didn't let this stop us getting out! Corbetts were climbed near Glen Orchy (Beinn Udlaidh was not in, unless you're into climbing unfrozen waterfalls in spate). Others did the Corbett above the Kings House before retiring to the bar. Trade at the newly rebuilt hotel certainly benefited from the bad weather, though private functions made it residents-only for the last few days. I don't think most of us will hurry back, it's lost all its old character and now feels (and looks) more like a motorway service station.

On the worst weather day an intrepid few of us did a walk over a couple of small hills on Rannoch Moor (hard to stand up in the wind even at under 500m) and back along the West Highland Way to the hut. Others went to Fort William for the local Park Run, followed by woodland walks and mountain bike trails.

Jayne led a big group in a circuit of Buachaille Etive Beag, staying low to avoid summit storms. Some fun and games were had trying and mostly failing to cross the normally narrow stream – the exception being Pete and Aiofe, who were rewarded by having to cross back again a mile or so upstream. We almost managed to stay dry until the last stretch back to the Kings House. Meanwhile others cycled down the road to Kinlochleven and back over the Devil's Staircase to the hotel.

More rain on the Monday morning led most people to the Ice Factor climbing wall, Warwick taking the opportunity for a run over the Devils Staircase. Carmen and I risked the forecast of an afternoon improvement and were rewarded by sunshine and views in the last hour before sunset.

Finally, on New Years Eve, those of us who remained were granted an exceptional day's weather – cool and clear with blue skies and light winds, fantastic conditions despite the near complete absence of snow. Peter and Ann took the train from the coast to Bridge of Orchy and cycled back through down the glen.

Carmen and I did a long walk from Ballachulish up the remote Corbett of Fraodhaidh. Pete led the others up Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh, the two Munros behind the hut, taking in a fine scramble on the way.

The usual New Year's eve festivities followed, combined with a birthday cake for Noemi, and with far too much food courtesy of Karl who we unwisely left to do the shopping! We even all managed to stay up beyond midnight, partly because the forecast was back to wet and windy so there was no incentive for an early start. In the event it wasn't too bad, but the previous day could hardly have been bettered, and we all headed home.

A load more photos here

Coniston Coppermines

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019
The hut from over the valley

This Autumn has been exceptionally wet and there was no let up all weekend for the December Coniston Coppermines meet. It was fully booked with 16 sleeping in the hut and Peri in her van.

Wet walkers

There was poor visibility, very wet underfoot, strong winds and clothing was tested to its limits with constant driving rain. But it didn’t stop a large group walking up Coniston Old Man then onto Wetherlam.

Raven Crag scramble

Simon and Carmen squeezed in a scramble on Goat Crag before heading onto Coniston Old Man too and managed to get a quick picture before the clouds immersed them again.

Caption competition

Russ, Pete B and Donal went off mountain biking and Mike and Louise went road biking up Wrynose Pass. With such a wet weekend every possible hook, door, nail, and rack was used to hang wet gear as the drying room was minuscule but thankfully we had 2 log stoves for drying gear and keeping us all cosy.

As usual there was plenty of food with 4 courses and extra delicious cakes made by Alan. Jayne’s fancy swirls on the casserole ended up as rocks but plates were soon emptied and everyone make space for Peri’s mince pies giving us a festive theme for the last weekend meet of 2019.

Crafnant Valley – June Meet

Saturday, July 27th, 2019

Not sure what happened to everyone else, but only 5 of us made it to the meet in Wales. The hut is situated in a lovely location and weather was good on the Friday evening. Simon & I were surprised to arrive first but Donal, Peter E and Anne had travelled together taking a slight detour en route to the hut. We were able to spread out and have a couch or armchair each in the large lounge. Saturday saw Peter E and Donal heading off on mountain bikes to cycle the Marin trial. With nobody to climb with (and somewhat stormy looking skies at times) Simon was first out the hut for a run over Carnedd Llewellyn, out to Drum and back via Lyn Eigiau.

Meanwhile Anne (feeling under the weather) and me (with stitches freshly removed from knee) went for a bimble from the hut around the 2 reservoirs – Llyn Crafnant and Llyn Geirionydd, a late lunch stop by Llyn Crafnant and a coffee from the café. We checked out one of the sport/dry-tooling crags on the way back to the hut.

Nearly back at the hut we bumped into Simon returning from the his run. Donal was already back inside having suffered from hayfever on the ride. So only Peter E left to return – which he did a short while later complete with bleeding and deeply cut knee. He had fallen off shortly after Donal had departed. Anyway he was happy having completed the trail, been nursed and given free tea and cake by the café!

On Sunday, Simon & I drove off and went to RSPB Burton Mere on the way home for a bit of wandering and birding. The others went for a walk over the hill from the hut to Llyn Cowlyd reservoir which they enjoyed apart from the final re-ascent through the bracken where presumably Peter E picked up his collection of ticks.

Everyone loved the hut & location for a change. Will have to return to sample the climbing there sometime or test the mammoth fire.



Costa de Langdale

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Langdale in November, pack your waterproofs and hope for the best. Except we should have packed our shorts and vests as this was incredible weather.

Staying at the Wayfarers excellent Hut (for the last time before they became a mixed club) we were 20 odd people over the weekend. The oddness level varied as people came and went at different times

On Sat 4 teams headed for the ever reliable Raven Crag, south facing low lying and crammed with good routes (and other people) Rob and Pete B did a bunch of routes that Rob thought he hadn't done before (he had!) Peri, Adam and Andrew ticked some classics (Revelation HS & Bilberry Buttress VS) and Mike and Paul were encouraged to tackle Pluto (an excellent HVS 5a traverse) amongst others. Dave W climbed with a new recruit Daniel and Simon and Carmen were hoovering up routes at minor crags and most of us met up at the Far East single pitch venue as the sun was going down.

Retreating to the ODG for a beer we met up with the walking team ( Jayne, Karl, Donal, Toasty, Richards H &P, Ann … ) who'd been up to Jack's Rake and beyond, and Pete W who'd tagged a run on the end of the valley.

Abandoning the drinkers a few of us headed back and commenced a Roast Ham and ten veg for 20 people, which was a tad late but worth the wait. Suitably stuffed we retired for the evening of gentle banter then not so gentle snoring.

Next day 3 teams headed for Pavey Ark, Pete B and Rob did Coati (VS) followed by Crescent Slabs while Mike S and Andrew did the slabs then got on Golden Slipper (HVS *** with a queue to match and still on my list to lead). Peri and Adam also tackled Coati, starting a little later and finishing well late (after we had all gone back to York!)

Simon & Carmen went climbing easy stuff on Harrison Stickle in the chilly wind and managed three fairly long routes. Richards P&H headed for the very local Scout crag and had a successful day bagging quality easier routes.

Another large walking team headed out to the end of the valley to the Crinkle Crag, Bowfell area in stunning weather. A scramble was tackled and great fun had, sorry no pix as yet…

We all (bar Peri and Adam) made it back before dark and headed home – quality weekend in a great place

More Photos: so many great ones …..

Newlands Valley August Bank Holiday

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

For the August bank holiday we headed to the Newlands valley (Stair) to avoid the crowds in the Lakes.  Good turnout for the trip – 15 of us present at some point over the weekend.

Saturday – Simon & myself walked from the hut up towards the head of Newlands Valley to climb Direct route with bolt finish (allegedly S **)  on waterfall buttress and then grey slab (VS 4b **) on grey buttress.  The first route wasn't worth any stars (damp/wet, mossy & vegetated) second one was though (clean, solid rock, variety of moves).
Mike & Rob  set off just before us and were a little further up the valley on Miners crag – words from Rob.  "Miners Grooves, horrible approach pitch, pretty good P2 & P3,  Jezebel , terrible P1 and start or P2, with 10m of good climbing  and Tahulah – great clean climb on good rock !  I actually quite liked the crag (remote, quiet, easy to get to, sunny after 11)  but the starts of these ** routes are wet, mossy, sh!te.  I will certainly be more circumspect about belaying well out of fall line with this sort of route.. obvious in retrospect but maybe a reminder for others".  I hope Rob's foot improves soon!
Meanwhile Natalie and Russ went for the classis of Troutdale pinnacle on black crag followed by Little Chamonix at Shepherds- somehow managing to time things right and avoid queuing.   Peri, Adam and Andrew also went to black crag in the hope it would be dry enough to do The Shroud and The Mortician. Arriving there they found The Shroud was absolutely soaking. The Mortician looked as if it might be dry after the first pitch so we started up that, but bailed when they found the second pitch was a river. So like everyone else on the crag they defaulted to Troutdale Pinnacle which was lovely.  "A really enjoyable day out even if we had to change our plans".  Annie and Donal went for a mountain bike ride  around Blencathra and Skiddaw – which they seemed to enjoy a lot.  Dave D having reclaimed his car keys from M&S (don't ask!) arrived at the hut after a walk up Helvellyn (apparently that's where the crowds were).  Unfortunately Saturday turned out to be by far the best day.  Sunday and Mon am were wet.  There were 2 walking groups up Newlands valley on Sunday – taking in Cat bells and the ridge along Newland valley.  Natalie extended the walk somewhat by running back to Keswick and meeting Emma for a session at the wall.  Meanwhile Simon, myself and Alan took part in the 3rd race of the Kong mini-mountain marathon series, which started off from the outskirts of Ambleside – cloud was down in places, windy in places and rather wet, especially when wading through bracken – all good fun. Monday am most people left decided to leave the Lakes as it was still wet.  But some stopped somewhere en route for a bit of exercise – Annie did a walk from Arnside, Donal cycled round Dalby forest, Natalie, Russ and Mike went bouldering sans mat at Roundhill, Simon & I stayed in the Lakes for a trip to Leighton Moss.  C3 and Karl were heading to the Keswick show – but opted for Netflix instead.
Good weekend – despite the weather, good curries and cake.

 

Cairngorm winter – February 2018 Glen Clova

Monday, February 19th, 2018

The Scottish trip in February saw us heading to Glen Clova in the southern Cairngorms, keen to make the most of a good forecast and hopefully some great conditions. Axes and crampons were sharpened, skis dusted off and way too much food packed as we made our way to the newly refurbished Braedownie hut, which is owned by the Carn Dearg MC.

A few keen members had gone up early to try and get an extra day in. On Friday Paul and Jamie took the gear for a walk up Corrie Fee, sadly the conditions weren't quite as good as hoped, and all the gullies looked a "bit deathy" (Jamie's words!), so they followed Simon and Carmen up the buttress of Craig Rennet (deep, soft snow and heather).

Rob takes up the story for Saturday: "After much discussion and lots of delays while waiting for the rain to stop, Jamie, Paul, Rob, Dave, Russ, Dan and Peri headed off towards Winter Corrie in the light drizzle. The Walk in is quite straightforward and takes a little over an hour. We were greeted with a view of much snow and huge cornices overhanging the main buttresses. The line of Diagonal Gully did appear to have lots of ice on it but we decided against it. Peri retreated back to the hut before taking a stroll to Corrie Fee, the rest of us made our way to the centre of the Corrie and had a lunch break by the huge boulder.

We picked a route up the eastern (less loaded) slopes which was cornice free and with rocks to join up in a route to the rim. We all trudged up, put our crampons on before tackling a few rock steps on the way to the top. Dan ran laps around various bits of the slope with a huge grin on his face.

We topped out in calm, bright sunshine and blue skies and were rewarded with wonderful panoramic views. The team then plodded to Driesh summit and hid by the trig point before splitting up. Paul, Jamie and Dave route marched over to Mayar and down the Kilbo path. Rob Dan and Russ navved back to the corrie and descended the spur, which was occasionally eventful with deep snow and large patches. At the bottom, they crossed the style of doom and the found the bridge which made a short walk back to the hut".

While they were all playing in Winter corrie, another group of 6 headed further on to Corrie Fee to have a look. Again this was found to be powdery and unconsolidated, although everyone managed a route of some kind, sticking well clear of the unstable looking gullies. After ascending the left hand side buttress, Richard and Pete continued over the plateau to the Munros of Mayar (928m) and Driesh (947m) in the sunshine, with some great sastrugi patterns to admire on the way across.

Jamie: "On Sunday, being pretty knackered and thoroughly sick of carrying a big sack, I went for a wee run in the snow, telling Paul I'd be back in an hour, which turned out to be 13km, climbed to over 700m (at the shelter) and took 2h15m. Only out by 125%!" .

Pete, Mike and Richard having seen the cracking conditions on the plateau the day before were keen to get the skis out and head up for a day tour. After boot-packing up Glen Doll they popped the skis on at the forest edge and skinned up Jock's road past the emergency shelter to tick off their first munro on ski (Tolmount, 958m).

The tour continued over the Munro Tom Buidhe (957m) as the viz came and went in the strong wind, and then the cloud came down properly, resulting in some challenging navigation to get off the plateau. Turns out trying to estimate how far you've travelled and contouring on skis is pretty tricky! Sadly they couldn't do the best downhill ski sections justice in the white out, and found their way down corrie fee before hiking back through the forest to the hut.

Monday was the day to travel home, and with a poor forecast most were planning short trips out before hitting the road. This resulted in a pleasant group walk up to Loch Brandy from the valley bottom behind the hotel. Some carried on to the Corbett 'The Goet' (Ben Tirran) unfortunately no views to reward them, but they did find a bothy to eat lunch out of the weather. Peri went for a 'powder swim' up driesh in an 'epic' amount of snow following fresh falls overnight getting some fabulous views before the clag blew in.

Apologies I don't have a record of what everyone got up to, but all agreed it was a great weekend of winter adventures, hanging out in the mountains with friends, and of course calorie loading YAC style!

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.



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