September Meet – Bryn Golau, Dinas Mawddwy, N.Wales

Friday 15th September

Jason and Alan set off early morning arriving in time for lunch. It took a little exploring to find the hut, which was a 15-minute walk from where the cars were parked. They decided to get the wood burning stove going to make the hut nice a warm for the rest of the party. Sufficient to say the smoke alarm was given a through testing! Alan hadn’t come across a wood burning stove with a flue damper – well that’s his excuse! After a late lunch they went for a leg stretch and exploration of the quarries to the West of Dinas Mawddwy. Andy and Rob, who were heading into the village to eat in the Red Lion, met them before they had returned to the hut. Difficult decision taken all four headed to the pub to eat. For future reference the Red Lion does really good food; the lamb and leak pie comes highly recommended. While enjoying the warmth of the wood burning stove, Peter turned up completing the party.

Saturday 16th September

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A walk on Cadair Idris was planned from the South side starting at Minffordd. The initial route out of the car park soon had us walking up steps through the wood, hard work but you do gain height quickly. A twice-crossed bog did give a brief rest overlooking Llyn Cau, before the ridge leading up Mynydd Pencoed. A final drop down to the col at the top of Craig Cau before the final pull up to Pen Y Gadair, the top of the Cadair Idris range.

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We stopped for lunch looking North toward Dolgellau in the distance. One thing we all noticed was the lack of people, compared with the ‘honey pots’ of Snowdonia and the Ogwen Valley. After lunch we headed along the wide grassy ridge to Mynydd Moel, which overlooked the Cyfrwy Arete. Which is 300m of climbing and scrambling – an ideal mountaineering day but it requires a long spell of dry weather. Next time. IMG_2715We had just crossed a style when the light rain got heavier and then turned to hail. Time for waterproofs. The decent from Mynydd Moel brought us back to the path from the car park and the tea room, for a cuppa and Bara Brith.

The food was so good in the Red Lion that it enticed us all back for a second meal. On arrival we found an obstacle course of old Sunbeam motor cycles surrounding the pub. Dinas Mawddwy was on the original test route for the more sporting Sunbeam models a 200 mile round trip. Their owners lovingly look after then now and do the trip in two days!

Sunday 17th September

Peter was off early to follow another passion, surfing. The rest of us headed up Cwm Cywarch to the start of the walk. The path up the side of Pen yr Allt Uchaf was so much easier on the legs than yesterday’s steps. IMG_2725On the climb to the summit of Drysgol the rain/mist came down and it was a return to the waterproofs. The mist made navigation challenging, however, OS Locate and OS Maps made things very straightforward. Two worthy downloads to supplement conventional navigation techniques. The summit of Aran Fawddwy brought a short rest for a drink and some food as well as donning extra clothes. The col between Aran Fawddwy and Glasgwn was a bog. Well, more like a swimming pool with some grass tufts thrown in. In places the path was wooden planks which sunk just below the surface as you stood on them. Wet boots offer no grip on wet wood. Time to move very slowly indeed. On more than one occasion there was almost a moment when one of us, well Alan and Jason, very nearly went in. One pool was so deep that Jason’s walking pole didn’t touch the bottom before its handle touched the surface of the water.

It was a relief to hit the ancient right of way and follow a more solid path back down to the cars.  A good weekend in a quieter part of Snowdonia.

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Chamonix August 2017

Monday 21st August

The meet kicked off with some sport climbing and a via ferrata. That evening was spent setting up at Les Arolles campsite and meeting Bob and Sophie – with the guided tour of their incredible van-home inspiring extreme jealousy.

Tuesday 22nd August

Cable CarAlan and Jason took the cable car to the Brevent and climbed the tremendously exposed Frison-Roche (TD-6a) after a tricky approach. Louie, Shane and Lexie enjoyed great views from the 2,965m summit of the Aiguille du Belvédère (PD-3a) and a bracing swim in Lac Blanc.

 

 

Wednesday 23rd August

cham2Shane and Lexie prepared to depart for Germany while Alan, Jason and Louie hiked in for multipitch sport on the slabs of Les Cheserys. The early hours of Thursday morning saw the most dramatic event of the whole trip. A drunk Australian (Shane not guilty on this occasion) mistook Alan’s tent for his own. However, before the intruder could climb inside Jason, bravely fended him off.

Thursday 24th August

ClimberWith the threat of rain in the afternoon, Jason and Alan decided to seek out a roadside crag in the form of Servoz, just a couple of miles down the valley. They found excellent climbing; steep but with positive holds. Louie teamed up with a random American to enjoy Voie Caline, a 350m bolted scramble at the gentle grade of 3c.

 

 

Friday 25th August

glasierJason and Louie caught the Montenvers train and descended exposed ladders onto the Mer de Glace. Using crevasse rescue skills practised on a metal post in the campsite the night before, they navigated their way up the glacier to some spectacular views and a great day out. Alan waited at the camp site for Juan (who had flown in to Geneva late the previous night) and the pair completed some more multi-pitch routes at Les Cheserys.

Saturday 26th August

Alan & JasonOn the last day of the trip, Alan, Jason and Juan caught the Flegere cable car to the start of Via des Evettes. This newly-installed via ferrata finishes with a “heart stopping” 50m Himalayan wire bridge. The intrepid trio continued onto a Via Corda, which they rated “great fun” and completed just in time to catch the last lift down.

As there was still daylight (and energy) left, Alan, Jason and Juan returned to Servoz for an evening session to complete unfinished business on several routes. Louie teamed up with a random to climb the Petits Charmoz Traverse (AD-4c), which has some great pitches, exposure and views, despite a dodgy approach.

All in all a fantastic trip and most importantly no injuries.

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Fraser Campbell memorial meet – North Wales 5th-7th May 2017

Our base for the weekend was The Chamois Mountaineering Club hut (next to the old Beacon climbing wall).

hutOnce again our hut was well appointed and very comfortable and we had good weather. This was a joint meet with Cleveland Mountaineering Club, of which Fraser was also a member, and the objective of the weekend was to have fun, and also celebrate Fraser’s life.

 

Friday

Dan, Andy and Kent had arrived at the hut on Thursday night, so first thing on Friday morning they headed up to Cefn-du and Bwlch-y-Groes before splitting up. Dan to descend to Llanberis while Kent and Andy continued to Moel Eilio.

Martina had arranged a tour of the DMM factory, also attended by Dan, Alan W, Alan M, Ian, Alkesh, David, Michelle and Jason. Everyone found the visit fascinating and Ian and Dan quizzed the guides with lots of technical questions.

Alan climbingMost of this group felt compelled to climb a few routes in the Llanberis Pass during the afternoon, while Michelle walked a circuit of Cefn-du.

Mac and Sam arrived in the afternoon and climbed No. 2 Crack on Tryfan Bach. 

The rest of the group arrived during the course of the evening.

Saturday

Summit TeamAndy, Dan, Michelle, Tudor and David drove down to Bleanau Ffestiniog for a walk around the Moelwyns. They Ascended Moelwyn Bach, Moelwyn Mawr and Moel-yr-hydd.

Kent, Alkesh and Matt went to the same place intending to climb, but were discouraged by the wind and ended up doing this route in reverse.

Alan W, Malcolm, Louie and Juan headed for Llanberis Pass again.

Mac and Sam climbed ‘Ordinary Route’, Idwal Slabs.

Gillian, Adam, Floyd and Alex took the Rydd Ddu path up Snowdon, with Floyd and Alex reaching the summit. 

Alan M and Jason went to Tremadog and scaled Nifl-Heim and The Plum.

Ian and Anna took the camper to Gogarth and climbed Resolution Direct.

Martina tackled a solo scramble up Carnedd Dafydd and summited despite the very exposed and windy conditions.

On Saturday evening MKMC and Cleveland MC sat down together for a dinner of soup, followed by haggis, tatties and neeps and steak pie. The evening was a fantastic success with a brilliant address of the haggis by Tom (CMC) followed by Burns readings (well done Martina, Michelle and Alan W). At the end of dinner Alan M read a short eulogy to Fraser.

Sunday

Dan, Andy and Kent chose to enjoy a large breakfast from the Siabod Café and then a walk round Capel Curig to ‘shake it down.’

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Gillian’s group went in search of the “lonely tree” on Lyn Padarn (and found it).

Ian and Anna went to Tremadog where Anna led both pitches of Scratch Arete and Ian led both pitches of Pincushion.

Alan W, Malcolm, Louie and Juan set out for Idwell Slabs. Malcolm and Juan climbed Charity while Alan W and Louie did Ordinary route.

Mac and Sam planned to do Flying Buttress, in memory of Mac’s first climb with Fraz. “C’mon youth, the weather’s shite. Let’s go and do a Diff in big boots.”

As it turned out parking in the pass was a real problem, so they headed off to Little Tryfan. Sam lead a couple of routes before they headed home in the late afternoon – still in the glorious sunshine.

Everyone really enjoyed the trip. Objective achieved.

Fraser Campbell

Welcome, or as Frasers might have said … ” Good evening Chaps”

Fras joined MKMC in 2012 and since then he had a massive influence on many of us that knew him. It is a privilege to have been able to call Fraser my friend. He was supportive, enthusiastic and a genuine, lovely guy who loved life.

During 2016 we suffered a terrible tragedy. I remember well the occasion when I heard the news. There were two things Fraser was passionate about:

  • One was everything to do with the outdoors.
  • The other was his family. I’ve had occasions when I was climbing with Fraser and he had to leave the crag early, not because he was tired or had had enough, but because he wanted to be home to put his little girl to bed.

Fraser was a big character who was never without a huge grin on his face – always a sense of humour.

Some of his words from e-mails that I had from him:

  • Referring to a climbing day – “Aye, I’ll have some of that”.
  • Or written on 24 December 2013 – “btw, days are officially getting longer. Summer’s practically here.  Shorts on, let’s go 🙂 “
  • “Right you lovely lot, weather looking good Sat. It stinks of gritstone, who’s up for a bimble”?

Fraser is sorely missed.

The sun is sinking low in the sky above Ashokan
The pines and the willows know soon we will part
There’s a whisper in the wind of promises unspoken
And a love that will always remain in my heart

My thoughts will return to the sound of your laughter
The magic of moving as one
And a time we’ll remember long ever after
The moonlight and music and dancing are done

Under the moon the mountains lie sleeping
Over the lake the stars shine
They wonder if you and I will be keeping
The magic and music

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April meet in Yorkshire

Lowstern hut was the venue and what a fantastic weekend it was. The accommodation was perfect as was the weather.  

Friday

David went for a leisurely potter around Clapham and the short walk to the reservoir. Then he struck up to the top of Ingleborough. He walked on to Ingleton, then back to the hut. Gillian, Adam, Floyd and Alex did the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. image4Andy, Dan & Kent did a circular walk from Lowstern hut via Clapham. They then followed Thwaite Lane to see the Norber erratics, Long Scar and back via Long Lane (Clapham Beck) to Clapham. Alan and Jason headed to Giggleswick South to do some sport climbing.

 

Saturday

David and Liz set off for Napp Scar, then Capple Bank and Horton for morning coffee. Then they climbed up Pen-y-ghent. Gillian and Adam, Floyd and Alex plus a friend of Gillians and her children did a fabulous 8.5 mile circular walk from Malham Village, past Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Tarn, back via Malham Cove. image2Andy, Dan, Kent, Matt & Romi did a circular walk from the hut. Clapham, Clapham Beck to Trow Gill. Then Little Ingleborough, Ingleborough and down the Dale High way to the junction with the Pennine Bridleway at the Ingleborough Nature reserve. From here they descended the Pennine Bridleway to Thwaite Lane and back to Clapham and the hut.

The Saturday climbers were Jason, Graham, Flick, Alex T and Alan, and they headed five miles up the road for a day of trad at Twistleton Scar.

image7Sunday

Gillian and her party did a 9 mile circular walk taking in Ribblehead Viaduct and summiting Whernside, the highest point in Yorkshire. Andy, Dan and Kent did the circular walk around the waterfalls at Ingleton before returning home. Jason chose to climb at Rylstone. The Sunday climbing team had two additional members, Lizzy and David.

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