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Chiz Dakin in the Sierra Nevada, Spain


Welcome to our Christmas and New Year edition. A rather large 3.5meg of news and interest. December brings the shortest day and the knowledge that the days will get longer, and with luck, the real snow of winter will arrive. With this in mind we are continuing our system of email organised winter meets in Scotland during the winter months. I shall be running a meet in January at our Welsh hut, in the hope that some snow will be around to allow a little winter climbing and walking. Whatever happens on the weather front, I hope everyone has Happy Christmas and you are blessed with health and happiness in the New Year and enjoy many happy days in the mountains in 2010.


Get Well Soon!

Members of the OREAD would like to extend their best wishes to James Tubby, who is currently in hospital after being knocked off his bike on his way to work. He has suffered a serious back injury and will be stuck in hospital for a while. He is on the mend and recovering well. We're sure he will be back on his feet soon. He was wearing a cycle helmet which took a bash and no doubt saved his life. All the best to James with his recovery and we all hope to see him climbing back on his favourite slimy green routes at Black Rocks in the near future.

Bullstones Sat.12th - Sun. 13th Dec. 2009. Derek Pike.

Unwitting victims to the last two attempts that I have made to run this meet successfully will probably be keen to avoid this year's debacle. Knowing nothing of the area I have decided on a trip around the Forest of Bowland. Careful perusal of O.S. map OL 41 or Landranger 103, will bring forth such words as swamp and spring. Hailshowers Fell may or may not live up to its name. It is possible that the sun may shine in which case only the lower halves of our bodies will get wet.

We shall meet on Friday night at the Crowtrees pub and restaurant, ( G.R.780558) this is off the south side of the B6478 Tosside to Wigglesworth road. If it appears that you are entering a caravan cum holiday home site you are in the right place. Parking courtesy of the landlord, although he might be expecting to sell us some beer and a few dinners on Sunday. After suitable lubrication a walk in a northerly direction will take us to bivvy at or near Whelp Stone crag ( G.R.759592).

The morning will find us trying to get to Bowland Knotts,( G.R. 726607) if this is successful we shall continue in a roughly westerly direction to Cross of Greet (G.R.683608). Moving now in a more southerly direction we come to White Hill. Those members who expect the meet to live up to its name may wish to visit the Great and Little Bullstones a little further to the south whilst I shall bear west and south heading for Dunsop Bridge and the village hall ( G.R.658501) where we are booked in for the night. There is a cafe in the village but no pub for at least two and a half miles. Sunday will see us returning to our start point, probably by the shortest route. Any more info required or to arrange lifts please phone me. See you all there.

Wednesday 16th Black Rocks. Rob Tressider.

Usual format for this enticing meet getting us psychologically fit for the rigours of a hard winter's climbing. The first folk usually arrive soon after work and things are in full swing by 7 o'clock. I have arranged with the Rising Sun for a pie and pea supper in the region of £3 per head. And they will expect the first to arrive soon after 7 and the latecomers around 9 o'clock. If you'd be interested in volunteering for a bit of a litter pick in daylight before the meet, please let me know and I'll try and sort something. I have been to this annual fixture every year since 1977, but not this year, I'm sorry to say. Jane and I will be in Copenhagen.

Christmas and New Year at Tan yr Wyddfa. Rock Hudson.

The end of another year! Come along for a few days at Tan yr Wyddfa, it's an informal meet, you can do whatever you like. There will be a buffet meal on New Years Eve. Please bring along some food and drink. Book your place with Colin Hobday until 15th December and me after this.

New Year Walk, January 1st 2010. Clive Russell

The change from our traditional venue arises from advice from on high, (about 1.6 metres actually), that the George is less welcoming than formerly. We shall meet at Ilam Cross (in the village, but not up the youth hostel drive), at about 10.45, ready to move off a few minutes later, for a leisurely stroll up the Manifold, via Throwley Hall, crossing the river at the stones below Beeston (water level permitting) and so to the Royal Oak at Wetton. Doubtlessly, a plan will evolve for the return, but that will be allowed to occur in the mellow surrounds of the hostelry.

Jersey, Easter 2010 April 2nd - 10th Derek Pike.

Following a successful holiday to Jersey at Easter this year I find that I am now organising a Club meet to Jersey for next year. Considering the time of year the weather we had this year was very good with only one bad day and that cleared up for the afternoon, this does not mean that I am promising a week of sunshine.The island which is only about eight by five miles appears to have something for everyone from climbing, walking, cycling plus some gorgeous beaches. We shall be camping at the Bleu Soleil campsite in the north west of the island near to the best crags and a fifteen minute walk to the beach or the pub which ever takes your fancy. The campsite which unfortunately boasts a yellow and blue colour scheme has the usual facilities plus a good cafe cum restaurant and a hot tub. You may bring your own tent or rent one of theirs already erected. Your own two berth tent for seven nights £80, four berth £150. Rent a tent around £215 for two people. Bookings for the ferry if done through the campsite will save you around £100. [Condor ferries from Poole to Jersey via Guernsey, around 4 hours sailing]. Bookings to or I will book it for you if you wish, If you are intending to come for only a few days it is possible to fly direct to Jersey from Liverpool from around £60 return. A hire car for a short stay will probably not be needed as the campsite is only about 3 miles away from the airport. One benefit of taking your car to Jersey is that when you get there, there is no long drive to your final destination, around 20 minutes should suffice. Anyone taking a caravan or campervan will have to get a permit from the site owners. Caravans are only permitted to travel to the campsite and back to the port, and campervans must return to the site every night, no overnight parking in lay bys is allowed. A 1-25000 map of Jersey is available from the Map Shop Upton upon Severn 0800 085 40 80 or www. Jersey Climbs by Kevin Eloury is available from Cordee books Any further information required please phone me

Winter Climbing 2010 Simon Pape.

The best way to get out winter climbing seems to be prepared to go where the conditions are good when the forecast is good! Easier said than done. Last winter we managed 2 or 3 weekends good climbing in this manner. Communication is normally by e-mail, but telephones work too. So if you want to go up to Scotland this winter or even get out closer to home if conditions allow, please let me know and I'll try and put you in touch with like-minded Oreads. Simon

The 2010 Meets List ( for publication in January ) - leader vacancies. Mike Wren.

Feb 13-14 Fylde MC Hut Stair 
May 1-3 Early May BH - Gower was the original thought, but note... 
Northumberland meet the next weekend, so a leader might like to pick another venue? 
Leaders, please step forward, names to me by email please

News, Articles and Reports from past meets.

Heathy Lea Bike Ride, October 24/25th 2009 Colin Hobday.

Seven people assembled at Middleton Top on Saturday Morning in thick mist and a light drizzle. All departing at 10.30 and by the time we reached Longcliffe the weather had already deteriorated into a steady rain. Onwards towards Elton and the café where we were to meet up with J. Ashcroft. However, arriving in Elton, the Café and Pub were closed, only open on Sundays and no Jack to be seen. We pressed on to Youlgreave where everybody piled in, dripping wet, into the warmth of the George Pub for sustenance. The high light being the enormous Chip and sausage butties of which the Pikes had made the mistake of ordering two. But with the arrival of Jack, he soon tucked in and shared the surplus.

After a lengthy lunch break there was still no improvement in the weather. but still onwards we went, via Conksbury Bridge and descended into Bakewell in a torrential downpour. Regrouping under the butcher's canapé then as if by magic, as we crossed the river bridge in Bakewell to go up towards the station, we had blue sky and sunshine. A T-stop in Endsor Village and through the Park with lovely autumn colours and herds of red and fallow deer. Then out into Baslow via the "kissing gate" - rather tricky with bikes. On arriving at Heathy Lea, Pam and Nick had been earlier to deliver the new kitchen units and had kindly lit the fire for us. Mike and Sue Wren arrived and a pleasant evening was had with good food in the "Robin Hood". (under new management)

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and with the clocks changing to Winter time we enjoyed an extra 40 winks.(Special thanks to Derek Pike who had made a special journey to the hut on Friday night to stock up with breakfast provisions for all of us). Team Pikelet set off early while the rest got ready performing with Annegret's Bike brakes yet again; it became the pattern of the day. The main pack set off in pursuit of the Pikelets into a head wind via Baslow, Hassop, Great Longstone and Ashford in the Water at which point Annegret was hurtling round the village on the wrong side of the road, until it was pointed out to her that in the UK we cycle on the LEFT.

A long climb up past Sheldon and across the Top to Monyash, where we encountered a procession of a dozen vintage tractors, on a single track lane, Arriving at the café in Monyash, we were greeted with a big smile from Derek saying "what took you so long? I have been here for ages." Joan had decided to call it a day and went back to Heathy Lea, where she left the bike and with a cunning plan travelled by bus, having to change 3 times, in order to meet us at Middleton Top. We continued out of Monyash up the hill to Parsley Hay with a strong head wind and squally showers, where we joined the trail. Annegret decided to purchase a bell and a cycle stand in the bike shop, which had to be fitted immediately. With a tail wind and squally showers we made good time down the High Peak Trail finishing at Middleton Top, where we met Sue and Joan. So ended a good weekend, even if the weather was rather unsettled. Thanks to Chiz, the official photographer, and all the others who came: D & J. Pike, R. & C. Dakin, U & C Hobday, J. Ashcroft, M. & S. Wren, & A. Siebert .

Bonfire Meet at Heathy Lea Dave Roscoe

Well, this time, rather than provide "perfectly conditioned!!??!!" bottled beer, I followed Neil's example and put my contribution of 5 gallons into a barrel. All the beer (10 whole gallons) was drunk! So, from Neil and myself "THANKS" for the vote of confidence. The meet was very well attended and ... thanks to the efforts of Victoria ... there was a splendid bonfire. There were even some (rather) haphazardly set fireworks (thanks to Pete and Snod), which were much appreciated. What has become clear is that, next year, it will be well worthwhile putting a bit more "organization" into the evening itself beyond just the beer: for example:

1) creating a safer (and therefore more relaxed) environment for the setting off of fireworks ... perhaps by clearing a bit of space specifically for the purpose;

2) perhaps thinking a bit more about food? Rather than use the pub, maybe provide bbq facilities?? Or perhaps arrange for some hot food (eg: basic stews + bread) to be provided?

Anyway, once more, it was a jolly good evening! So, thanks to all!!

Heathy Lea - It's been a busy year! Pam, Steve, Snod and Michael.

Heathy Lee has had much attention over this summer and already this is having an impact on its use especially with other clubs. Thanks to all the OREADS who attended the bonfire party, 40 in all, and made it such a success. The feedback both from OREADS and visiting clubs has been positive and we ourselves feel positive that we can easily cover the increase in overheads next year. These are some of the more significant improvements that have been completed in the last 6 months:-

  • The damp in the cottage has been fixed with the rebuilding of the adjoining barn wall
  • Two new chimney pots mean both fires are back in working order
  • A new kitchen has been installed with electric cooker
  • The porch roof has had the leak repaired
  • Considerable tree felling has brought the daylight back into view!

    We are still plodding on with improvements and are in desperate need of YOUR HELP. The remaining work is mainly easy jobs and painting, and can be easily split into small tasks of only one or two hours and can be carried out in the rain. So please think of us if the winter weather impedes your outdoor plans. Just give Mike a call and he will fill you in. We would also welcome hearing from anyone who could occasionally pop into the hut just to make sure everything is still OK, so if you live close or regularly pass by please let us know. As we are committed to spending as little as possible we are also looking for donations of 1 Fridge, 4 Dining chairs, 10 Paving slabs, Cushions and pillows

  • Our aim is that Oreads will once again enjoy using the hut on a regular basis so even if you don't feel able to help, then please come along and see the improvements for yourself. The Heathy Lea Hut sub Committee, Pam, Steve, Snod and Michael.

    Oread takes desperate measures to reduce costs!!!!

    Winter Lecture Programme 2009/2010 Tony Howard

    Our last lecture, on trekking in Ethiopia by Mike Wynne was well attended (about 50 people) and very well received. He inspired us with his tale of a circular trek along a ridge in the Simien Mountains. It sounds like a good one to do sometime.

    Our next event is our annual Members' Evening and takes place at the Royal Oak: Tuesday 1st December - at the usual time of 8pm. Nine people have volunteered to talk for 10 minutes each. These & their titles are listed below.


    Malcolm Leick...............................Morocco and the Todra Gorge 
    Annegret ..............................Via Ferratas somewhere? 
    Jack Ashcroft - 10 minute slot .............50 Years Ago! 
    Chris Wilson................................Lycian Way in Turkey.... 
    Neil Wetherstone............................Downfall 
    Colin Hobday................................Oread New Year at TYW! 
    Paul Bingham................................My 2009 upland birds" 
    Freda Raphael...............................Taiwan 
    Ian Spare...................................Snow shoeing somewhere? 

    The remaining programme list for the rest of the season is as follows. 

    5th January Mike Mortimer New routing on the North Side of Jebel el Kest Morocco 
    2nd February Nick Evans + C Radcliffe Hot Rock: Four Italian Volcanoes' + 'The Alps 2009' 
    2nd March Paul Bingham Svalbard, days without nights at the north pole rim

    It should be a great evening - which I commend to you. The bad news is that I won't be there myself: Jackie & I will be visiting our daughter in Strasbourg. However, the good news is that my place as MC for the evening will be taken by a well respected and well known mountaineer! That is our very own President! Steve Christian will as usual be 'accompanying him on the organ' - ably assisted by Colin Hobday! [Don't try to visualize this in colour.] If you are a speaker, please provide your visual material to Steve or Colin before 8pm if you can. I hope you have a good evening. I'll be thinking of you all from my bar seat while sipping red wine in my most refined manner. I hope to see you at the following event when, on Tuesday 5th January, Mike Mortimer will be talking about 'New routing on the North Side of Jebel el Kest, Morocco'.

    New Members.

    David and Victoria Mawer were elected full members at the November committee meeting. We wish them well in their climbing with us.

    BMC Subscriptions and Opt Outs.

    From Dave Turnbull, Chief Executive, I am writing to update you on two important matters which have been the subject of consultation and discussion over the past few months - namely the BMC's position on future membership subscriptions, and the results of the Opt-out consultation exercise. I would be very grateful if you could pass this information onto your members. Firstly I would just like to say many many thanks to all those clubs who took the time to submit responses to the Opt-out consultation. 127 out of the total 234 clubs sent in completed feedback forms and many of these included detailed written feedback as well. In summary:

  • 1. Club member subscriptions:

    The BMC Finance Committee met last night and reviewed the organisational budgets and forecasts for 2010-2011. The result of this discussion is that the Treasurer and Finance Committee have agreed to recommend to the BMC National Council that club and individual subscriptions should remain level (i.e. unchanged at the current level) until 1 January 2012. In other words, subject to National Council agreement, there would not be any subscriptions increases put to the BMC AGM in April 2010 for the 2011 calender year. Subcriptions levels for 2012 would be a matter for 2011 AGM to decide based on the BMC's financial circumstances at that time.

  • 2. Opt-out consultation:

    The newly established BMC Clubs Committee met on 26 December and reviewed the results of the consultation exercise. The results were as follows: View of clubs on the Opt-out facility Opposed: 80 clubs, Supportive: 26 clubs, Undecided: 21 clubs As a result of this feedback the Clubs Committee has decided not to take the Opt-out proposal forward. National Council will consider this at its 5 December meeting and is likely to reach a similar conclusion. Could I just say a final thank you to all those who responded to the Opt-out consultation - hopefully the position on subscriptions will provide some stability and will come as good news to clubs and club members.

    Subscription Reminder Reuben Dakin.

    Ordinary Member £40.00
    Senior Joint/Family Member £21.00 
    Prospective Member £25.00
    Joint/Family Member £32.50

    Two ordinary members living at the same address are eligible for joint/family membership. You are eligible for senior membership if you will have reached "state pension age", which is 60 for ladies and 65 for gents, on 1 January 2010. The rates quoted above are per person, so for example the amount due from a couple both aged 62 will be £53.50. If your permanent address is outside the UK you will not be a BMC club member, and so your rate will be reduced by £11.75 per person for all membership classes. How to pay:

  • Cheque, payable to Oread Mountaineering Club
  • You need to pay before:
  • 31 December to ensure that your BMC 3rd party insurance remains current
  • 31 January to maintain your Oread membership 
    Please make sure that your payment is clearly dated. I will be very busy over the coming month, so please do not be alarmed if I am slow to respond to your message. If you have an urgent query, you can contact Simon Pape instead. If you have any queries regarding your renewal, please contact me Thanks in anticipation.

    Hut Bookings. For December.

    Please note that hut fees should always be paid to me and no one else. Colin Hobday.
    Dec. 4/5th Wrekin M.C. 16 beds
    Dec. 11/12th. Rock & Heather Whole hut 
    Dec. Christmas, New Year Oread Meet 

    Heathy Lea Dec. 11/12th. Leicester M.A. cottage 



    Tan-yr- Wyddfa  
    Members and Reciprocal rights. £4.50 p.p.p.n. 
    Prospective members . £ 6.00 p.p.p.n. 
    Guest. £7.50 p.p.p.n. 

    Heathy Lea 
    Members and reciprocal rights. £4.00 p.p.p.n. 
    Prospective members. £5.00 p.p.p.n. 
    Guest. £6.00 p.p.p.n. 
    Day fee (use of cottage car parking) £1.50 per car.

    "Light on Snow" Exhibition 20th Dec. Derby Museum.

    There was an excellent turn out for the opening of the exhibition of Harry Pretty's photos and equipment from his 1954 expedition to Antarctica. His wife Molly and daughter Laura were there, and a cross section of our members. Nick Moyes who works at the Museum and is also an Oread himself, was helping to host the opening with Jane Hardstaff who organised the exhibit. The black and white images were digital copies of the originals and did make quite an impression on the viewers. It is nice to think that his daughter has been so careful to preserve these artefacts for us to admire today. The exhibition will remain open until January 24th if you wish to see it. Copies of the 50th anniversary book are on sale in the Museum bookshop for the duration of the exhibition, if you do not have one. Ed.

    Forthcoming Meets

    Tues 1st Lecture Royal Oak Tony Howard
    Tues 8th Committee Meets Smithfield Derby
    Sat 12th Sun 13th Bullstones Derek Pike
    Wed 16th Black Rocks Rob Tressider
    Thurs 24th to Thurs 31st Christmas & New Year at TyW Rock Hudson 

    Fri 1st New Year's Day walk Rusty Russell
    Sat 2nd /Sun 3rd 
    Start of Scottish W/end Meets by email Simon Pape
    Tue 5th Royal Oak Lecture Tony Howard
    Tues 12th Committee Meets Smithfield Derby
    Wed 20th Notts wall & Horse & Groom NG7 7EA
    Sat 23rd/Sun 24th Tan Yr Wyddfa 16 beds only. John Green 

    Tues 2nd Royal Oak Lecture Tony Howard
    Sat 6th Sun 7th Scottish W/end Meets by email Michael Bate
    Tues 9th Committee Meets Smithfield Derby
    Sat 13th/Sun 14th Fylde MC Hut Stair.
    Wed 17th Wall-Edge Sheffield & Stag Hotel S11 8YL
    Sat 20th/Sun 21st Tan Yr Wyddfa Reuben Dakin