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Oread Mountaineering Club Newsletter October 2010


(Alps)2010 – Fixin -  L’Amour Foot - Simon Pape leading.

Editorial. (Last Date for next edition 26/10/10)

October is the real start of Autumn with the leaves turning and the first frosts of a new winter. Hopefully we shall be having an Indian Summer when you read this and members will be off around the hills and crags enjoying themselves. Mike Wren should be over his substantial fall by now and hopefully back on the rock. The Tan yr Wyddfa meet on the 9th/10th is an “open” meet with no leader, so if you fancy a couple of days in Wales soaking up the sun of Autumn, get along and do it! Might be an idea to check with Colin that beds are available first. It is also worth noting that our Curry Meet is on All Hallows Eve! Could be a spooky affair!

Winter Lecture Programme 2010/11

Tony Howard

The 2010/2011 Winter Lecture Programme will start on Tuesday 5th October.  We have, I hope, another exciting series of talks for you.  They will all be at the Royal Oak in Ockbrook, starting at 8pm – as usual.   This year we will kick off with the Members’ Evening - where 8 or 9 speakers will talk for about 10 minutes each.   If you would like a 10-minute slot, please let me know ASAP, providing me with a title and/or a resume of your topic plus what format you would use.

November’s talk: Alan Hinkes: ‘High Altitude Exploits’

I’m very pleased to announce that on Tuesday 2nd November, Alan Hinkes will be talking to us about his high altitude exploits.  As you will know, Alan is the only Briton to claim ascents of all 8000m peaks. He began with Shishapangma in 1987 and for example climbed K2 in 1995, Everest in 1996, Nanga Parbat in 1998 and Kanchenjunga in 2005: a fantastic achievement!

We are very lucky to have Alan talking to such a small audience as ours.  This has only been possible because he is a personal friend of Sally Dipple.  Because the Club’s costs for this presentation are a lot higher than normal, the Committee has agreed to an increase in door-fee for this lecture.  That is £2 for members and £3 for non-members. It’s still less than the price of your first pint of the night! So I hope you will turn out en-masse for what should be a superb evening.

Could you please let me know if you intend to come?

The next two lectures after that are:


Jack Ashcroft / Steve Christian

The TMR (Tour de Monte Rosa) / Ice Climbing

Ben Bransby & Adam Long

Voie Petit - Grand Capucin & Lotus Flower Tower


I hope to see you at these as well.

Tan yr Wyddfa Meet 9th & 10th October 2010.

Open Meet.

This meet has been published for some time but has no leader. South Cheshire Mountaineering Club have now booked 16 beds. This means only the Oread room is free, but if you still want an Autumn weekend in Wales please give Colin a ring and book your place.

Heathy Lea Meet 23rd & 24th October 2010

Steve McDonagh.

The summer months are behind us for another year. The nights are rapidly closing in and after work mid week climbing on the local crags is, alas, no longer practical for many of us. However, it is still relatively warm, and a dry Autumn can offer very pleasant weekend climbing and socialising on some of Derbyshire’s many scenic locations.

I have been very lucky with the weather this year, and have climbed once or twice a week outdoors since the spring. One of the most enjoyable days was at Stanage. I had already climbed several quality routes including the brilliantly named Agony Crack. However the last route was probably the most enjoyable. It was Hollybush Crack. Only a VD but an excellent route none-the-less, and most importantly it was my mates first ever lead outside (worth a pint or two in the pub!).

It then occurred to me that routes of this quality and at this grade are rare away from gritstone. It also occurred to me that on reflection many of this year’s most enjoyable routes have been on the local gritstone crags. Some like ‘Checkers Buttress’ (Froggatt) are well known, others like ‘Lyons Corner House’ (Millstone), I had never heard of before. Locations such as Stanage, Millstone and many others still offer multitudes of reasonably graded quality routes that I have never climbed. Hence I am keen for more, before the frost numbs the fingers.

On the weekend of the 23rd/24th of October I will be holding a club meet at Heathy Lea. If anyone would like to join me for a sociable couple of days climbing on the grit stone edges you are very welcome. The hut has recently been refurbished and is very comfortable these days, but spaces in the cottage are limited. If you would like to book a bed let me know. (telephone & text: 07794214391)

Tan yr Wyddfa Curry Meet 30th 31st October 2010.

Tony Howard.

It’s autumn & time for another Curry Meet.  Regardless of the weather a good time is guaranteed for all – cragging, walking or whatever!  Nick often gets into the ‘whatever’. I will waddle up a crag or walk in warm gentle precipitation.  The hut is even more comfy cosy & smart now than it was last year, with everything working – thus making your stay even more pleasant.

The cost for the food will be about £5-6/ person, for everyone who signs up.  This will be payable on the weekend! I will buy the last of the food on the preceding Thursday or Friday. So if you have signed up and for some reason you cannot make it, please let me know by Wednesday 27th at the latest, to avoid being charged for the food.  An earlier notification would also allow me to offer your place to someone else.  Bring your own wine, beer, whisky, gin, vodka and rum.

If you would like to come along & if you would be willing to do some cooking, please let me know ASAP.  Home: 01332 273307 Mobile 07762 268181  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

61st Oread Dinner -20th November 2010

Victoria Paterson.

The next annual dinner will be held at 7.00 p.m. (for 7.30 p.m.) on Saturday 20 November at The Bluebell Inn, Tissington.  The cost is £16.50 per person or £12.95 per child for 3 courses  (a cheese course can be included for an extra £1.50 per person) The venue is a little out of the way with not a lot of accommodation nearby - The Bentley Brook Inn in Fenney Bentley being the nearest @ £80.00 per double room per night and so to this end I am looking into the possibility of arranging a minibus/small coach starting in Derby and picking up larger towns/villages along the way, probably following the A6 through Duffield, Belper then Wirksworth, Ashbourne, Tissington. This is just a possible route as I am not sure where the highest concentration of Oreads can be found aside from a Wednesday night!

I will be publishing the menu and asking for choices and payment from early September onwards.

If anybody has any questions about the dinner then please don't hesitate to contact me, home telephone is 01332 200167, also emailable at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , if anyone leaves a message I will of course return it.

News, Articles and Reports from Meets.

The Bernese Oberland 2010 – A positive spin.

Dave Mawer

Disappointed that the summer Alpine meet may have received negative press in the latest newsletter, I feel it my duty to set the record straight. I only hope my scribbling will make it to print…………

Our journey to the Bernese Oberland was broken by paying a visit to the fine crags of the Saussious guided to the door by our newly purchased SatNav. A little polished and hot for my liking but it did the job of erasing the stresses of travel for mad dogs and Englishmen. Driving away from the crag I treated the family to a spot of bird spotting along the river, spoilt by an angry French woman on the wrong side of the road. Oops that was me, easily done when you start to relax into a European holiday.


Thomas and Me at the top of 'Dousche Inclusive' on the Gerstenegg slabs of the Grimsel Pass 

Armed with a handful of guidebooks and excited by the limitless potential of rock in the Grimsel and Sussten passes, we pulled into the campsite greeted by the familiar faces of families, Christian, Hayes, Gibbs, Pape, Lancaster, the Bachelor van (Roscoe’s, Wilson and Snod) and the Odd couple (Green and Hopkinson, only joking ;-), to be later joined by the Mowbray’s.

Then it began to rain. Not to be deterred we spent a couple of days at a fine crag called Schillingsflue above Meringen (where according to local legend meringues were invented). Steep would be one way of describing it but with plenty of jugs (and bolts) to pull on, those present had some fun. Richard in particular as he tried to avoid the abundant mosquito population the crag housed.

With a clear sky full of moon and the promise of some good weather the next day, Team Oread prepared themselves with some alcohol fuelled big ball antics. However those over 30 were put firmly in their place by the spectacular arrival of Kyya the talented circus performer. Wall to wall blue sky lured several van full’s of climbers up the Grimsel Pass for a taste of slabby Granite. Gerstenegg was our choice and Victoria, Tullan and I climbed Alpine Absteig with its glacier polished F5a opening pitch, cleanly despatched by our 7 year old. Eight enjoyable grippy slab pitches followed descending in grade from F4b to F3a, some with only a single bolt between belays. Fuelled by jelly babies we reached the top and returned to the van for a cup of tea with the next band of rain hot on our heels. Unfortunately, others were treated to a bit of a dowsing, tee hee.

The wet theme continued but a contingent made it to Lammi on the Meringen side of a spectacular Gorge walk on a worryingly suspended wooden walkway above a boiling glacier fed river. Lammi, another steep limestone crag with “friendly locals” stayed dry in the heaviest of rain, unlike my flip-flop clad feet.

The next day started wet and after a gruelling mountain bike ride Kyya and I joined everyone on a walk in the sunshine to the magnificent Riechenbach Falls above Meringen, the scene of Sherlock Holmes’ and Moriarty’s final duel.

The two days that followed were as good as it gets in the mountains. Victoria and I climbed Fair Hands Line on Handegg closely followed by Pete, Dave, Chris and Snod (and nearly by Richard and Simon who, after an unlucky slip and a monster fall, limped away to lick his wounds). This fine route up a huge chunk of rough hewn granite had everything from F6a slabs to steep F5c cracks and corners. Although it could be climbed bravely on bolts alone, a mini trad rack kept our eyes within their sockets. A novel quad busting descent down a set of alarmingly steep concrete steps alongside a cable-towed carriage deposited us back in car park only 30 minutes from the top of the route, very civilised!

The Swiss National day drew many of us back to Gerstenegg to sample some more Granite slabs. This one had a beach enabling us to work on our tans, or so the guide book stated, but the boys both large and small had some fun damming the stream at the bottom of a crag that was reminiscent of a mini bolted Etive slabs. Team Mawer lived up to their reputation of sand-bagging and pointed a young Miss Hayes up the wrong route. (But she did manage to get up a F5c+ with only a little fall and the tiniest of flesh wounds!) The day was rounded off with fireworks, yodellers and bratwursts, but not necessarily in that order.

The next day the rain really did set in with the Swiss tourist board doing their best to hang on to tourists with their bizarre forecast of rain, cloud, lightening and sun every day for the foreseeable future. This began to dampen even the hardiest of spirits as mutinous whispers of sun kissed rock surrounding Dijon spread from van to van. But not without another visit to the reliable dry steepness of Lammi for more chest beating.

Guided by the Mowbray’s to a fantastic wooded campsite overlooking rural France close to the vineyards of the Bourgogne, virtually the whole meet (bar the Lancaster’s who continued their holiday in Croatia) transplanted itself to the sunshine. Mortified to be beaten by a bearded caravaner who shall remain nameless, our van sheepishly took its place around the best camping spot on the site with its own campfire circle. What followed rounded off our holiday nicely as memories of Swiss rain began to fade as we climbed by day and consumed quantities of wine and cheese and burnt everything in sight. The old school French bolted crag of Fixin was visited over the next three consecutive days providing fun for everyone, on routes from F2b to impressive displays on F8a’s by a young Master Mowbray. Even a soon to be “Red Bull” sponsored editor was seen to be enjoying the climbing. The campsite swimming pool was the scene of many rowdy games of water polo and their home made pizzas we devoured were excellent.

Out of our sixteen days holiday we managed to climb for twelve and by the end I could barely move. On a closing note, I never wore my waterproof trousers once, so it was never that bad, was it? Thanks to all who went, for a great holiday.

Lyme Disease – Be-(a)ware.

Richard Hopkinson.

Within the last year two members of the club have had Lyme disease. So as one of the victims I thought a short article might be appropriate as Lyme disease is picked up in the outdoors doing what we do. Some of the information below has been taken from a website “Netdoctor”, there are many more giving information. The main point is to be aware of the potential problem, and not to ignore the symptoms. In its early stages the disease is treatable with a high success rate by antibiotics. Just because you have had a tick bite does not mean you will get Lyme disease. It is still quite rare but getting more common, as are ticks, which seem to occur in most of our upland areas now. Scotland seems the worst though, and both cases were from Scottish ticks.

What is Lyme disease

Lyme disease is an infection that derives from a tick bite. The disease has a variety of symptoms, including changes affecting the skin, heart, joints and nervous system.

The tick (shown below) often buries its head into the skin.


What causes Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is caused by an infection from a micro-organism, itself transmitted by a bite from the wood tick, a blood-sucking parasite which normally lives on deer.

A tick will settle anywhere on a human body, but prefers warm, moist and dark places like the crotch or armpits.

When the tick has found a suitable place on the body, it sticks in its probe to draw up blood, exposing the host to the risk of infection.

What does Lyme disease feel like?

Simply seeing a tick somewhere on your body does not mean that you have contracted Lyme disease. Unfortunately, not everyone knows when they have been bitten, so consult your GP if you detect the following symptoms.

  • A red spot around the location of the tick's bite. The spot will gradually grow bigger, often with a pale area in the middle. Often called the “Bulls eye” spot.
  • The “Bull’s eye” can also appear at other places on the body where the tick has not bitten. Some people get many red spots.
  • Usually one to four weeks will pass between the bite and when “Bull’s eye” appears.

Some patients with Lyme disease feel like they have caught influenza - the symptoms may be:-Drowsiness, headaches, mild fever, joint and muscle pains, swollen lymph glands. These symptoms can become chronic.

What complications may occur?

There are a variety of complications that may occur:-

Skin changes in older women around the bite, up to several years later.

Various effects on the nervous system occur in about 15% of cases. These can be serious, can need hospital treatment and in very rare cases lead to death.

Lyme arthritis can develop in a joint or joints, again serious and can become chronic. It can also affect the heart!!

How does the doctor make the diagnosis?

A diagnosis of Lyme disease is more likely if the patient remembers a tick bite and presents the doctor with the “Bulls eye” rash.

To make a firmer diagnosis the doctor may take a blood sample to determine whether the patient has developed an antibody towards Lyme disease in their blood. This is not however always conclusive. Further tests nay be required if complications are suspected.

Possible further development.

With immediate and appropriate treatment the rash will often disappear within two weeks. Even without treatment, most cases of the rash will go away without leaving permanent effects. But treatment lessens the risk of later symptoms in your nervous system and joints.

If the nervous system, joints, or heart are affected, two to three years may pass before the symptoms go away.

Minimise the Risk

Assuming your not going to take up tiddlywinks, Cover up, don’t wear shorts.

Do a tick inspection after a day out. The less time it’s on you the less likelihood of infection.

Remove any ticks carefully, use tick tweezers. If you squash them you’ll push the “shit” in them plus your blood back into you, increasing the risk of infection.

Check you clothes, they can lurk on them for some time.

Brenda Allen.

Brenda Allen, wife of the late Fred Allen, has passed away after a long illness.
The funeral will be held at Markeaton Crematorium on September 17th at 12.00.
Brenda will have many friends who are members of the club.

R A (Dick) Brown  (1927 - 2009) Climbers Club Member 1951 – 2007

The following article has been sent by Pete Scott from the Climbers Club Journal. It records the loss of a well known figure from the early days of the Oread, who climbed with our club during this period including travel on the South Georgia Expedition. Ed.

R A (Dick) Brown was a member of the Climbers Club from 1951 until his resignation in 2007 when Parkinson's disease finally forced him into full time nursing care. He was one of a strong group of CC members centred on the Sheffield University Mountaineering Club who were active in the Peak District in the 1940s and 50s.

Dick began climbing towards the end of the second world war whilst still a schoolboy and soon gained the reputation of being a fine mover over rock. He was active in his early years on Wharncliffe Crags producing 'Grammarian's Progress' amongst other climbs in 1944. The 1951 guide, 'Climbs on Gritstone Vol 2, The Sheffield Area', notes his 'searching wistfully for unscratched rock' on Stanage Edge in 1945.  From 1949 onwards he was a guiding light in an SUMC group which produced the first clean ascents of Rivelin Needle and 'Altar Crack' on Rivelin Edge, opened up the closely keepered Bamford Edge and recorded the climbs on Bell Hagg Rocks. He contributed the sections on Wharncliffe and Rivelin to the 1951 guide though his guide to Bamford Edge did not appear until the 1957 Volume 4 of the Gritstone Guide Series, some years after it had been written.

By the early 1950s Dick had acquired a taste for polar mountaineering after accompanying a number of Oread Mountaineering Club expeditions to the Lyngen peninsula in Arctic Norway.  In 1951, on his birthday, Dick with Stan Moore made the first ascent of the north-east ridge of Rukisvagagaissa ('Birthday Ridge'). In 1953 he made the first ascent of the south face of Jekkevarre, the highest summit in Arctic Norway, and in typical Rabelaisian fashion named his last major rock climb in the area, 'Storre Slangetind', when he with others made the first ascent of the great pinnacle of the Laksevtinder valley. Dick's tally that year was ten major peaks, three of them first ascents, and six new routes. In 1954, again with his friends in the Oread, he left for the Antarctic with The British South Georgia Expedition 1954-55 and severed his connection with the Peak District.


His gritstone swansong was his involvement in the artificial ascents of 'Croton Oil' on Rivelin Needle and 'Black Hawk Bastion' on Stanage Edge, frequently criticised by some who can have been little more than a sparkle in their grandfathers' eyes at the time of the events. Most gritstone crags in the Peak at some time received his attention though he never ventured on to the great limestone crags, apart from the myth-enshrouded attempt on the High Tor at Matlock in 1954, when Derbyshire police proved infinitely more troublesome than the rock. It must be said that much of the myth was inspired by Dick himself, though he was keen to set the record straight and early this year charged me with that task.

Dick was an iconic figure in the SUMC. He had entered the university to study medicine in 1945, left to complete his national service as a Bevin Boy in a South Yorkshire mine and returned two years later to read geology. Much more time was spent climbing than studying. His idiosyncrasies of dress and transport marked him out in Sheffield society. His second row forward's rugger shirt led to his name 'Numero Cinq' in Chamonix; he turned up to climb Black Hawk Bastion in white tie and tails after a 'night on the tiles'; and his 1925  motor cycle captured the attention of other road users, frequently the police and sometimes his insurance company. His claim to be the only man arrested for piracy within the bounds of the City of Sheffield contained more than a grain of truth; a particularly rowdy evening ended in the early hours with a cruise aboard the boat keeper's launch in Crookes Valley Park interrupted by the arrival of the constabulary.

Although Dick's last years were blighted by Parkinson's disease, he had a good life. He was lucky in his choice of wife, Liz., who predeceased him. She was a strong, truly worthy and resourceful spouse. When she had not seen him for months after he had gone to South Georgia with the  Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey she visited him in Grytviken, overcoming problems of travel and accommodation by securing a job as a cook on a whaling ship. His friends remember Dick as a great character and an excellent companion in any situation, be it on a cliff or at a party. His passing has robbed us of a source of much fun and pleasure. Although his reputation will live on, I doubt that we shall see his like again.  

Frank Fitzgerald, October 2009


Photos from Harry Pretty’s collection – South Georgia 1954

Letter to the Editor.

08/09/10, Dear John,

As usual I read your September Newsletter with much interest. As for the photograph on page one, I rather think you were asking for suggestions as to who was who, so here goes:-

The date was 1960 and in the Bernina Alps as you say. The place of the assembly was on the Italian side somewhere near the Rif. Bignaini below the Sasso Rosso. That refuge, new in 1960, no longer exists. The party, left to right are Janet Ashcroft, Jack Ashcroft, Colin Hobday, John Fisher, Laurie Burns and Chuck Hooley. June Tulfer (Walker) was with us but not featured. I joined Jack and co. from the army barracks in North Germany where I was stationed 1959/60. Yes, the anoraks and ice axes were mainly ex WD, but my black beret was current WD obtained from the QM stores of the 14/20th Kings Hussars to which I did not belong, but was closely acquainted!  We had a fine time having youth, energy, good weather and the Swiss Franc/£ exchange rate at 12 Francs to the pound. I think it somewhat less today?

Yours, John (Fisher)

Contact Detail Changes.

Michael Bate (Treasurer)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Hut Bookings for September.

Please note that hut fees should always be paid to me and no one else. Colin Hobday. 


Oct. 8/9th.       Lanchester MC.      cottage

Oct. 22.23rd.   Flyde MC                cottage

Oct. 29/30th.   Manchester Uni.      possible booking?

Nov. 2/6th.      Surbiton Kingston MC    cottage


Oct. 8/9th.      South Cheshire MC   16 beds

Oct. 15/16th.   Loughton MC            16 beds

Oct. 18/22nd.  D. Appleby                12 beds

Oct. 22/23rd.   Midland Ski Club       16 beds

Oct. 29/30th.   Oread meet

Nov. 5/6th.      Aylesbury CC              16 beds



Forthcoming Meets


Tues 5th

Members Evening Royal Oak Ockbrook

Tony Howard

01332 273307

Sat 9th Sun 10th

Tan Yr Wyddfa

Open Meet at hut


Tues 19th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook



Sat 23rd Sun 24th

Heathy Lea

Steve McDonagh

01332 202714

Sat 30th Sun 31st

Tan Yr Wyddfa Curry Meet

Tony Howard

01332 273307


Tues 2nd

Alan Hinkes Royal Oak Ockbrook

Tony Howard

01332 273307

Sun 7th

Dovedale Dash

Rob Tressider

01629 823953

Tues 16th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook



Sat 13th Sun 14th

Bonfire Night at Heathy Lea

Pam Storer

01623 432560

Sat 20th

Annual Dinner

Victoria Patterson

01332 200167

Sun 21st

Post Prandial Walk

Colin Hobday

01332 551594


Tues 7th

Royal Oak Ockbrook

Tony Howard

01332 273307

Sat 11th Sun 12th


Rob Tressider

01629 823953

Tues 14th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook



Wed 15th

Black Rocks

Steve Christian

01629 825292

Sat 25th Mon 31st

Christmas at Tan yr Wyddfa

Rock Hudson

01159 333031

Copyright – Oread Mountaineering Club.

Editor: John Green, Ivy Cottage, Church Lane, Morley Derbys. 01332 832101

Email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.