December Meet – Fallcliffe Cottage, Hathersage, Peak District

Friday 1st December

Alan, Jason and David did a circular hike from Grindleford to Burbage, Stanage then back to Grindleford.  The later arrivals were all very grateful that they had the fire going by the time we got there and overnight the hut warmed up nicely.

Saturday 2nd December

Alan, Jason, David and Graham did a circular hike from Edale, up Grindsbrook Clough, Fox Holes, Swine Back and back to Upper Booth / Edale along the Pennine Way.

Gill, Adam, Floyd, Alex and Malcolm did a five mile circular hike from Castleton, going up Cave Dale behind Peveril Castle, exploring all the nooks and crannies in the gorge, past Hazard Mine, Windy Knoll and back down again past the Blue John, Treakcliffe and Speedwell Caverns. It was a great route but a tad muddy.

Saturday night was our Christmas dinner, expertly prepared by Alan M and his merry elves, Turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas pud and Malcolm’s wonderful mulled wine.

Sunday 3rd December

Alan, Jason, Graham, Lizzy, tall Adam and Malcolm all did a circular hike from Tideswell Dale, through Millers Dale, Cressbrook Dale and back to Tideswell.

Gill, young Adam, Floyd and Alex drove to Stanage Edge and did a lovely hike along the top, taking in the trig point with no name at 457m close to Cowper Stone and going almost as far as Crow Chin in the other direction. We had great views all the way. We forgot to check out Robin Hood’s Cave and will have to go back!

It was a great weekend, thank you to Alan M for organising!

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Chair’s Report at 37th MKMC AGM 27th November 2017

Evening everybody and welcome to our 2017 AGM. I’d like to start by thanking all of you for attending – I’m sure the pizza has nothing to do with why you’re all here!

In some of the apologies for absence tonight there were a couple of votes of thanks to the committee for organising trips and just as importantly writing the reports as members do enjoy reading them. I’d like to add my thanks to all of my fellow committee members for all the work they do behind the scenes organising trips, social gatherings and all the other things that go on. Thanks folks.

What have we got upto in 2017, well this new ‘committee’ year started with the December Christmas meet at Fallcliffe Cottage in the Peak District. With another of Kent’s legendary Christmas meals on the Saturday evening. Kent, I’m sure I speak for all those who attended when I say thank you for your cooking.

January was the Burns meet at Chester Mountaineering Club hut in Llanberis.

February was Little Langdale in Lake District.

March back to North Wales and Caseg Fraith in Ogwen Valley. Over the weekend we had five different groups summiting Tryfan by different scrambling and climbing routes. There was a trip to Plas Y Benin on the Saturday evening for a bar meal and one of their talks. Fantastic weather for March, so different from last year’s March trip!

April Clapham Hut in North Yorkshire.

May was a bitter/sweet joint meet at the Chamois Mountaineering Centre, in North Wales, with the Cleveland Mountaineering Club to remember Fraser Campbell who sadly died last year. Martina organised a trip around the DMM Factory complex on Friday morning. It was really interesting seeing how all the shiny stuff we rely on to keep us safe is made. I’ll remember the thump of the hot forge presses and the heat as the big oven was opened. Saturday evening saw a traditional three course Scottish meal, neeps, tatties and haggis – naturally. Tom from CMC gave an excellent address to the haggis. After dinner there was a Robbie Burns poetry reading competition between tables. Both winners came from MKMC!  I can only remember the last line of the poem, “I wud ne give a buttn for her!”  Alan M read a moving eulogy to Fraser.

June first camping trip of the year to Eskdale in the Lake District.

July was an introduction to rock trip in the Peak District camping at Hardhurst Farm in the Peak District. Introducing some of our newer members to the joys of outdoor grit climbing.

August was the trip I’d most liked to have joined to Chamonix. I was really envious when uploading the trip photos and report to our website. It sounded such a glorious adventure.

September saw a return to huts in south Snowdonia unfortunately damp weather put paid to my plans to climb Cadair Idris by Cyfrwy Arete. So we all walked up it instead! On the Sunday the guidebook description of a, ‘boggy col’, did not do justice to the ground we crossed. There were wooden planks so the bog did not swallow you whole. At one point Jason put one of his walking poles into the water, the handle got wet and the pole hadn’t reached the bottom!

October was another wet weekend in Wales at the Karbiner Mountaineering club hut. We paid our dues for the excellent weather in March.

November saw a return to the Lake District, Seawaite in Borrowdale this time.

As well as these trips we had monthly film showings at the Chrysalis Theatre – thank you Martina for arranging them on our behalf. Gill and myself also went to Abingdon for the Banff Film Festival World tour. I’ll be going again this year, anybody is more than welcome to join me. Hopefully, it will be a straightforward journey home this time.

We’ve had some committee members attending BMC training events at Plas Y Brenin and YHA Lee Valley. Interesting events where we learnt a lot. I discovered a whole host of things to think about at the Lee Valley Committee Member training day. Hence an item later on the agenda.

We do have Andy, Stuart, Alan and Ang stepping down from the committee today. I’d like to thank them for all they have done for us while serving our club on the committee. If you’d like to join us on the committee please do volunteer, it’s only one meeting a month.

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November Meet – High House, Borrowdale, Lake District

Friday 3rd November

David, Alan and Jason arrived just after 1 o’clock and did a ‘warm-up’ walk along Stonethwaite Beck. The rest of the group arrived during the course of the afternoon and evening with one member (who shall remain nameless) going to the wrong Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley.

Saturday 4th November

Saturday dawned a little moist, but as the day progressed the cloud lifted, and there were some spectacular views from the tops of the mountains. Everyone did the same route walking to Sty Head. From there most of the group did the climbers traverse below Napes Needle before ascending Great Gable, then on to Green Gable via Windy Gap. For the last part of the walk the group split to take different routes, but all paths led to Sourmilk Gill and the return to High House.

The evening was spent at High House sitting around the stove, which threw out copious amounts of heat. There was drinking, playing games (Bananagrams using Scrabble letters, cards) and listening to David and Alan playing folk tunes on the violin and accordion.

Sunday 5th November

On Sunday everyone headed off for a final adventure, depending on which car they were travelling in. Groups headed off to Clough Head, Cat Bells and a circular walk from High House to Watendlath.

A brilliant weekend in a fantastic venue – definitely worth many more trips.

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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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