MKMC Meet – March 2016 – Bethesda, Snowdonia

11th – 13th March 2016

IMG_9546Shortly after 8 o’clock Friday morning, six MKMC members were on the road. There was a planned gathering at Montford Bridge Cafe near Shrewsbury for a late breakfast; then on to their destination, the Wellingborough Mountaineering Club cottage at Bethesda, North Wales. As the mountains came into view, it was obvious that there was a fair covering of snow on the higher levels, much to the consternation of some members of the group who had left their crampons and ice axes in Milton Keynes.

IMG_9538arrived and settled in at the cottage they set off for a recce around Llyn Idwal. They ventured above the snow line near Devil’s Kitchen, but without crampons it was very slippery, and after a short distance they retraced their steps back to the lake. They spent the evening keeping warm around the gas fire and welcomed later arrivals.

Saturday looked promising and club members set off in different directions. One group did a circular walk from Ogwen Cottage to Capel Curig via Y-Foel-Goch and back along the old drovers road. Alan M. and Jason went to the slate quarries and did Snakes and Ladders (and Tunnels). Bob and Sophie went for a run, and later Louie joined them and they went bouldering near Caseg Fraith in the Ogwen Valley. In the evening most of the group went to Plas y Brenin at Capel Curig to dine and listen to a short lecture by Rachael Crewesmith entitle “A toolkit for Adventure”.

IMG_9550Sunday was dry, calm and reasonably warm. Andy R. Alan W. and Gillian went walking in the Ogwen Valley. Alan, Andy W. and Jason went back to the slate quarries to climb at The Sidings. Andy W. climbed all the routes really well even though he hadn’t been climbing for a couple of years. Bob and Sophie went off in search of more boulder problems.

A fantastic weekend was had by all. Next month the club starts its camping season with a trip to Portland.

MKMC members attending: Alan M., Alan W., Andy R., Andy W., Bob, Sophie, Mac, Sam, Romi, Gillian, Jason, Louie.

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MKMC Meet – February 2016 – Clapham, Yorkshire

The forecast was looking “exciting” but that didn’t deter six hardy members of MKMC.

feb meet1First to arrive were Gillian and Adam, followed 15 minutes later by Alan and Andy W. Having got all their kit into the hut Gillian and Adam set off on a gentle drive to take photos of the Ribble Head Viaduct while Alan and Andy walked first to Clapham and then on to Austwick to book a table at the Gamecock Inn for the Saturday evening.

Back at the hut the last members of our party, Dan and Jason B. arrived in the evening. We whiled away the time watching ‘Beyond the Edge’ on a laptop, and Adam saved the Earth from total annihilation on his tablet.

feb meet 2Alan had been planning to walk the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, but the weather forecast ruled that out for him. Instead ⅔ of the group decided to do a circular lower level walk from Settle to Malham and back. We had arranged to meet up with Gillian’s party which we duly did on the limestone pavement above Malham cove. Jason was suffering from blisters and got a lift back with Gillian.

In the evening we had a very pleasant meal in Austwick and Shane and his 2 children joined us as they were heading South after a camping holiday in Scotland. Back at the hut Max (age 5) entertained us with his energetic style of dancing.

Sunday and we all departed our different ways.

Andy and Alan went to Ingleborough and walked the “Waterfalls Walk”. Jason and Dan went to investigate Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar. Gillian was feeling below par and decided on a leisurely drive home.

A fantastic hut, and despite the inclement weather a great weekend.

Attendees: Alan M, Andy W, Gillian, Adam, Dan & Jason B.

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MK Meet – Burns Night January 2016 – Dinas Mawddwy

MKMC “Burns” Meet – Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February 2016

IMG_9471It was cold and the wind was howling on top of Aran Fawddwy as Alan and Jason forged ahead with their walk. The ground underfoot was very boggy, but the Snowdonia National Parks Authority had thoughtfully laid wooden duck boards to ease the way. However, over the years, these have weathered and were now like sheets of ice making progress precarious. They were the advance party having arrived at Bryn Hafod Cottage at the foot of Cwm Cywarch on Friday morning. Once back at the cottage the fire was coaxed into life and through the course of the evening the rest of the members and friends of MKMC arrived.

IMG_9487Bryn Hafod is the club hut of The Stafford Mountain Club and lies beneath Cwm Cywarch, home to some classic rock climbs such as Doom and Will-o’-the-Wisp. It is well appointed and sleeps a maximum of 18. The lounge is comfortable and has an open fire, and kindling and coal is provided.

The promising weather forecast for Saturday proved correct with a misty start leading to a warm dry day. Club members opted for different activities.

Seven members headed off to walk the Cwm Cau Horseshoe, Cader Idris. As the party gained height they could see that the summit was in the cloud, but by the time they got there the mist had cleared and there were glorious 360 ͦ views. To the West they could clearly see Cyfrwy Arete, a majestic classic climb where other members of MKMC were having their own adventures. After a brief lunch stop it was on to Mynydd Moel and then the steep descent back to the cars.

IMG_9484Another group climbed to the summit of Aran Fawddwy from Bryn Hafod. Any snow that was still lying had now turned to slush, and conditions under foot were wet to say the least. The views from the summit were magnificent – well worth the effort to get to the top. The team continued their circular walk but didn’t quite make it back to the cottage before the rain set in.

The rest of the party had Cyfrwy Arete in their sights. Some members set off early and were up and off the mountain before dusk, others left a bit later and were benighted, although they did make it safely back to the cottage later that evening. Everyone in the climbing party agreed it had been an epic day.

areteIn the evening they had the Burns night celebrations and enjoyed haggis and all the accompanying veg followed by raspberry cream and shortbread. Burns poems were read and copious amounts of whisky were put away. The late comers eventually arrived back, a little wet but in high spirits, ready for their saved Burns fare.

Sunday was a day of cleaning and packing, then a final adventure and home. Our friends from the North (Fraser, Jason W and Martin) had brought their mountain bikes and did some MTB trails at Coed y Brenin. Another group set off to walk part of the Mawddach trail from Dolgellau and yet others did a circular walk from Penmaen pool. Bob and Sophie’s party went running first over the mountains and were the last to leave the hut.

All in all, a very successful weekend.

Participants: Bob, Sophie, Fraser, Jason W., Martin, Romuald, Alan, David, Jason S., Lizzy, Malcolm, Gareth, Susan, Hazel, Alex, Julia, Frazer, Martina, Ian, Anna.

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MKMC Round up of 2015

2 with 4 BeerOverall it’s been another very good year for MKMC with lots of activities undertaken across the year and good participation from the club’s members. We’ve travelled far and wide across the UK and we look forward to seeing where next years meets will take us.


Key Events from 2015

January 2015 – Burns Celebration Weekend was in the Ochils Mountaineering Club, Inverardran Cottage in snowy Crianlarich, Scotland.

February 2015 – This trip was to Chester Mountaineering Hut, Llanberis, North Wales. Snowy walks on the Glyders and Carneddau. Getting blown off Snowdon.

March 2015 – Club went to Wayfarers Hut in Langdale, Lake District.

April 2015 – A visit to Rushmere Campsite in the beautiful Wye Valley. Perfect weather and good climbing…..apparently!

May 2015 – May club trip was to St. Petrox Campsite in Pembroke, South Wales

June 2015 – The club’s meet was a return visit to the beautiful National Trust Campsite which nestles under the Scafell mountain range at the head of Wastwater, the deepest lake in England.

July 2015 – A Camping trip to the famous climbing area of Tremadog in North Wales

August 2015 – A first trip for the club to Northumbria to try the crags of the North East of the UK. Alnwick Rugby Club Campsite

September 2015 – A return to Tom’s Field Campsite in Swanage for a spot of cliff climbing. More good conditions, sport and trad climbing, long walks, long bike rides, ice cream, fish and chips.

October 2015 – Second visit of the year to Chester Mountaineering Hut above Llanberis, North Wales

November 2015 – Visit to the Gwydyr MC Hut in Capel Curig, North Wales during a weekend that saw 10 inches of rain fall in 12 hours. Wet and wild, scrambling and walking in the welsh mountains.

December 2015 – Xmas meet at Fallcliffe Cottage nr Hathersage in a very wet and windy Peak District

SundayInterspersed in all of these we’ve had a series of day walks organised to the peaks and local venues which have been well received and well attended. We’d like to thank Steve Scott & Stuart Riches for their efforts on these giving up their free time to organise and lead these walks and also Andy Russell for the same but he’s a committee member so gets little choice!!

There’s been a surge of new members recently which is excellent and they’re already getting on to the meets and being involved in the club. Really pleased to see the email address being put to good use. Just recently 2 ladies got in touch one starting and one re-starting climbing which almost brought a tear to our eyes as that’s exactly what the club and the email is here to do.

It’s been another record breaking year for the club with members up to 97 to date and still a high interest which can only mean good things for 2016. It’s been a great year for our club members who still seem to love there time with the club and promote our ethics of getting out there and enjoying themselves with like-minded people. They continue to spend time with good friends but also find new ones which we wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do.

The committee can only reiterate the point made at the last AGM that you can only get out of the club what you put in, the club exists for all of us with a valued few trying to pull the strings for everyone’s enjoyment. So it’s worth looking at the website again and the club’s facebook page to remember what a good year it has been.

See you in 2016.

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