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Oread Mountainering Club July/August 2010 Newsletter


Eiger and Monch from saddle on Jungfrau


Editorial.                       (Last Date for next edition 25/08/10)

We are now in High Summer. Alpine pastures await the onslaught of Oread masses, and many members will be looking forward to a well deserved rest from work. This magazine is a two month issue carrying on the tradition of the last few years.

Heathy Lea, Barmy Competition Sat 10th & Sun 11th July.

Dave Helliwell

It appears that in an unguarded moment in the pub I agreed to organise the Barmy Competition! The format will be similar to previous years starting from Heathy lea at 10.00 hrs. Arrive at 09.30hrs.Points will be awarded for crags visited climbs done and for walkers, cafes, pubs, stately homes, stone circles and anything else that comes to mind. Walkers could look on it as an extended pub crawl. Points will be awarded on a radial distance from Heathy Lea. This is a team event. Special bonus points could be awarded e.g tweed jackets, nailed boots .e.t.c. Finish at 17.30 hrs

Evening Climbing - Wednesday 14th July

Simon Pape

The latest in our series of evening meets takes us to the Royal Oak at Wetton.  There are lots of possible venues: we used to regularly visit Dove Dale at the height of summer; Beeston Tor isn't far away; Beresford Dale is a little more esoteric; perhaps we should try to reclaim Cummerbund from the undergrowth.  I'm sure a plan will emerge nearer the time.  If you're not in the email group, give me a call or drop me an email to find out where we'll be climbing.

Oread Summer Alpine Meet -24th July to 15th August 2010

Steve Christian

The Uri or Urner Alps

There are 21 definite attendees for our summer trip to The Uri Alps of Central Switzerland.  The dates for the trip as a whole spans a 3 week period, as some people have expressed an interest in joining us at the start of August and staying for two weeks.

I have now confirmed bookings with the campsite for the Families Mawers, Christians, Hayes, Lancasters, Briggs, Roscoes, Papes and Richard Hopkinson (  We will have an area of our own so that we can set up a communal camp.

So please do contact me to express a potential or definite interest on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 01629 825292 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              01629 825292      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, 07824 623945 or at 1 Duke Street, Middleton, Matlock, DE4 4NB.

Family Meet - Tan-Yr-Wyddfa - Sat 21st & Sun 22nd August 2010

Victoria Paterson

I am meet leader for the Tan-Yr-Wyddfa family meet in August and would appreciate if Oreads could get in touch so that I can gauge some interest. Depending on numbers there are some organised activities that I have in mind and a couple of SPA qualified friends willing to help out if needed. It will be a good introduction for the younger ones and future Oread members to real rock, in a safe and friendly environment. There is also the possibility of me cooking at the BBQ (weather dependent of course). I don't cook very often so take advantage, it may never happen again! Again contact me on my home number or by email. 01332 200167  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Culm Coast 28th 29th 30th August 2010

No Leader



Tim Cairns on Sunday Bloody Sunday and Stormy Weather Culm Coast Meet 2009

61st Oread Dinner -20th November 2010

Victoria Paterson.

) 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 August 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.

Winter Lecture Programme 2010/11

Tony Howard

I am currently putting together the programme for the coming season and still have some slots left.  If you would like to offer something, please tell me ASAP:

  • What you would like to talk about (with Title).
  • Whether you would ideally do a full evening or half an evening (45 min) or just a 10 minute slot for the Members’ Evening.
  • Would you use digital images or 35mm slides?

In each talk I am looking for at least one of the following: exciting deeds, novelty, esoteric locations, humor and Club/climbing history.  The more you can offer, the better your chances of a billing!  Don’t delay; get your bid in soon!

(01332 273307; 0776 226 8181; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Jersey Easter 2010

Derek Pike

Wisely, I think, I did not promise a week of sunshine in the pre-meet write up.

The week started wet and windy with, in my opinion, a slightly rough sea, others probably would not agree, and the ferries were delayed by up to four hours on the Saturday. Arrived at the campsite to find the rent a tent leaked a bit in the corners but this did not matter because the weather soon improved to give us nearly a week of sunshine tempered by a cool breeze. This led to various parties trying out the crags on the south coast beaches where it was warmer. Some of these crags are not all that easy to find until you find your way about.

During the week I think all the parties did the rounds of the German underground hospital, went to the zoo and the gardens and generally explored the island on foot or bicycle or car. There were three circumnavigations of the island by bicycle the first by Rob and Jane and later by Kyra on his own, apparently it’s a good pedal round.

As previously mentioned the south coast received quite a bit of attention from the climbers amongst us, Beauport and La Cotte visited by Dave and Victoria and  Steve and Sally, Steve  leaving  some skin behind on Masters Thrutch E1 5c.

Trespass Point was eventually found by Simon, Joan and myself, unfortunately we had managed to lose Tim and Sally somewhere on the cliff path. Hoping to be out of the wind we were soon to be disillusioned, so after a couple of short routes, retired to Dangle Dell on the West Coast and there found the lost Tim and Sally enjoying the climbing in the warm sunshine. Further visits were made to The Dangle Dell area by all parties to sample routes from HVD upwards. Dave and Kyra were kept busy knocking off the E3’s.  The neighbouring crag of the Rabbits Head also received ascents of Perihelion HVS 5a, Full Frontal? HVS 5a  and no doubt other ascents of which I am unaware. Further north on Le Nethe Falaise Simon and I did the classic traverse of Pince Nez  V.S. *** This route would be a lot warmer if the sun would shine on it which it probably does in the late evening. Other areas on the north coast were visited, Sorel for a very short time and Tim and Sally I believe climbed a number of routes on a crag with the name of Gloggy.

After a pleasant week it is nice to report that the boat ride home was somewhat smoother than the ride out. My thanks to Simon and Maggie, Rob, Jane and Sally, Tim and Sally, Steve, Sally and Thomas, Dave, Victoria, Kyra and Tullen [no doubt I’ve spelt Kyra and Tullens names incorrectly for which I apologise] and Joan for making this a great week.



















Perihelion HVS 5a Simon Pape leading                        The Crack VS 4b Victoria & Sally Christian

Tan yr Wyddfa June 19th 20th

John Green 

Eleven people turned up for my Snowdonia adventure. The weather could not have been better. England were playing on the tele in the Cwellyn on Friday night, the beer was excellent.

Saturday saw activities in various places, an ascent of Foil, a 3* E3 6a by Rowland and Angela being particularly notable, a great effort. Simon, Steve and Richard went out to Cwm Silyn and did Kirkus’s Route before retreating due to a cold wind, they then went on to Tremadog to do Striptease and the top two pitches of One Step in the Clouds. Malcolm and Angus did Spiral Stairs and Flying Buttress in the Pass and Tony and I did a traverse of Yr Wyddfa from the hut, by Bwlch Cwm Brwynog, Llyn Dur Arddu, Cwm Glas, Bwlch Coch, Cribau, Cwm Tregalan, Bwlch Cwm Llan and the Quarry track home. The mountain was heaving with people, but we only came into contact with a few. It was a continuous crocodile from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon! A few more beers and food in the pub, brought a good nights sleep and the dawn of Sunday. Simon, Steve and Richard climbed on Dinas Cromlech: Sabre Cut and Cemetery Gates, while I climbed on a crag I’ve never been to, since I joined the Oread, Craig Aderyn just below the Miners Path at Pen y Pass. We only had time for one route due to parking costs, but it was excellent climbing. Angus climbed Yr Wyddfa by the Snowdon Ranger and Rhydd Ddu paths and Malcolm went mountain biking and has not been heard of since! It was a great get together, and we did very well, from Diff to E3 climbing, Hill walking, Mountain Biking all in 2 marvellous days, shame we can’t book weather like this every time. Thanks to everyone who came.













Craig Aderyn- The Arete Climb                       Tony Raphael at the base of the Slab












At times its best to cool off!!!                             Before the real scramble starts!

Barbara Smedley.

As you will all be aware Barbara died recently, Her memorial service was so well attended that over £1500 was raised for her charities. I think this shows the regards in which she was held. I did not know her from the early days of the club, but soon discovered her talents for making the most delicious cake. Having spent some time on the hill with Tony I discovered some of her many talents, president of the Etwall WI and a great organizer of the well dressing which she loved, she was a fighter to the end and will be sadly missed.


Cornwall Blues

Steve Christian

West Penwith is like a lost island where, when it is quiet, as it was one weekend recently, you experience a sense of being, on an isolated ocean isle, totally away from the world.  The weather on this particular weekend was mostly fine and sunny, with just the odd shower cloud sweeping in quickly off the Atlantic, which would send us scurrying for the shelter of the enormous granite boulders which stand at the seaward end of the cliffs at Bosigran.  The rest of the time the sun shone and a gentle sea breeze maintained a cool atmosphere, preventing us from over heating in the mid summer sun.

Friday morning, cool early morning breeze, sunshine slowly rising in the pale blue sky, glinting off distant wave tops as it skims across the water, we drive leisurely along the north coast road,  between high thorny hedges hovering magically above granite stone walls, which weave gently around assorted rural cottages scattered randomly on the landscape.  Some cottages, original terraced miners homes, a type of two up two down with a traditional scully in the back yard, are in various states of modernisation, most of which is tastefully applied, whilst others are still pretty much original.  The larger detached houses, against which the road hugs creating a multitude of blind awkward bends along which traffic creeps sluggishly, are either based on more traditional designs with whitewashed external walls, or are genuine granite block built farmhouses, around which are set an assortment of out buildings of different shapes and sizes.

Through gaps in the hedge we catch glimpses of granite outcrops littered on moor land over looking rugged, heather coast line.  We arrive at the car park for Bosigran and The Count House and rolling past, we are surprised to see nobody, not even one solitary car to suggest that people might be exploring the sea coast, bird watching or climbing, on such a perfect mid summers day.  We park at The Gunards Head Hotel and walk the short distance down through a hamlet of granite cottages, set around 19th century farm outbuildings, where wild flowers grow from cracks in the stone walls.  Onwards, out across grass fields, we pass brown Hereford cattle grazing lazily, blissfully unaware of the ethereal peace or of the rocky cliff top landscape set in the near distance against a Mediterranean turquoise sea and the awakening hue of the early morning sky.  The meadow flowers wave at us in the breeze teasing our senses with their perfumed blossoms.

As we gradually descend across the receding pasture headland, a lonely slate roof top dawns into view, rising gently through the bright green bracken, until its cliff top perch is fully appreciated, set perfectly over looking the bay.  This genuine smugglers cove is an isolated beach, undisturbed by human intrusion, except, for on the odd occasion when the secluded cottage owner wanders relaxed, down steps cut into grassy terraces, to the sea shore, attempting to escape the rigors of everyday life.  An old granite engine house nearby stands testament to an age not so long gone by, where sweat, blood and toil were a part of everyday life for the men of the mining communities living here.  Its decaying chimney rises towards the sky, built of huge granite blocks and monoliths, some of which barely attach themselves to the structure, defying gravity with the pinch of a rock, much like the climber balanced airily on the cliff faces nearby.  What fate befalls either, fragile as seems their existence, is unknown.

Towards the tip of the headland, a faint path weaves amongst the tussocks, too faint to be a sheep track, and barely visible, except to the experienced eye familiar with such approaches.  Following it leads you to 'The Quarter-deck', obvious when you arrive, due to its orange lichen hue. Little wonder that the path is so faint, ending as it does on this platform set on top of under cut sea cliffs,  'and where now?' you can almost hear the lost rambler ask.  The key, for the impressively steep west face, is to scramble seaward down grooves and ribs until you are stood 70 feet above sea washed ledges.  Here one is encouraged to abseil, by the sudden increase in steepness of the cliffs below and the presence of a comfortable ledge upon which to set the belay.

By the time you reach the sea ledges, having slithered down greasy killas slate corners, you are thanking yourself for the decision to use the rope to aid descent, as rock boots skid unnervingly on smooth rock, dampened by the early morning air.  The presence of barnacles on the lower platform helps the vulcanised feet to remain in contact with rock long enough to give faith to unclip from the abseil rope.

The situation, for the first man down, is one of disconcertment, tension and loneliness, perched amongst slithery wet boulders by a swirling Atlantic sea stretching away further than the eye or broadest imagination can picture.  Awaiting the arrival of a climbing companion or the awakening from the nightmare, a sigh of relief accompanies the arrival of skittering feet as they land on the ledge next to you, brief only because the next action, of pulling down the abseil rope, cuts your umbilical to civilisation, transferring uncertainty into a shocking immediate realisation of the need to believe totally in your ability to rock climb back to reality.  Over head the Peregrine glides effortlessly by, surveying you momentarily before discounting you as too big to be of prey and moving on to the next stretch of coast line, to what morsels it may offer.

Tying carefully onto the ropes, you take time to absorb the idea of abandoning your platform for the airy, damp traverse line which you can see leading out above the sea and around a suspended arete beyond which, hidden from view, you suspect is the steep west face.  The first few moves need to be approached confidently, to show the elements that you are at one with it all, that you are managing to swallow the rising tide of uncertainty.

So it goes, stepping out onto the exposed arête, holds damp under the finger tips, sea swirling 15 feet below, menacingly whispering to you as it caresses the cliff base.  Around the corner greater loneliness beckons as you move out of site, to become spread eagled across a groove on the face, suspended in a void between sea and sky.  The mind focuses, clarifies the risk, the body reacts reassures the mind and movement becomes more confident as you consciously search for protection, aware of the need to prevent a slip, for leader or second, from ending in a watery plunge.  Small wires, difficult to place, are carefully arranged, in pockets or minute cracks, the rock is compact enough to demand attention to detail, for the wire must hold a sideways fall.  The holds become bigger, the rock is dryer and moving smoothly into balance you relax, starting to enjoy the situation and to become at ease, at one with nature.  You marvel at the situation, now completely tuned to the ambience and take time to breathe in the heady atmosphere.  Oh the places that this sport takes us, are at times quite unbelievable, the breath taking beauty of it, the feel of the place, real unforeseen treasure.  Across the bay seals bask on the rocks and nudge each other playfully in the water, offering a degree of comfort to an otherwise lonely being.

The belay stance is an uncomfortably small ledge set under big overhangs, with reassuringly good protection on which to suspend yourself whilst bringing across the second.  To alleviate the discomfort of a suspension above the hungrily licking sea, three good placements are arranged to cover the sideways, downwards and upwards pull.  Individually each piece is loaded to ensure adequate seating in its slot and eventually, after several confirmation tugs, an indication that you are now safe is shouted to the second.  This brings a confusing mixture of emotions for the second, firstly relief that the leader has safely negotiated the pitch followed very quickly by the realisation that it is now their turn to climb, out across that damp and greasy looking slate arête, which stands firmly upright and what's more rising out above the sea.  What hidden delight awaits them is unknown and with a degree of trepidation they set off on the first moves.  Not quite knowing where the first protection is the second is unsure at this point whether a swing will leave them dangling from a runner hidden just out of view or deposited in the sea for an early bath.  With stomach in mouth they inch outwards above the sea and rounding the arete all is revealed.  Protection spans the traverse encouraging continuous movement onto dryer and better holds and the climbing flows.  The atmosphere is absorbed and suddenly everything feels so natural, like being born to be there.

The second pitch, somehow weaves itself through the overhangs above.  No matter how torturously you lean out from the belay, keeping half an eye on the protection lest it should pop and catapult you into Mr Jones Locker, it is impossible to decipher the description.  There is nothing for it but to commit yourself to the pitch and climb upwards, even if just to see where it goes.

Delicate moves on the left slab, just above the belay, breaks into the overhangs from where, with some imagination, you can picture a line moving back out right and through the roofs.  The rightward step described in the text has become more obvious, if no less awkward, and once the committing step across has been made, you find yourself staring directly down into the eyes of your second.  Cheery greetings can now be exchanged if felt appropriate, as a corner groove above splits through the overhangs, offering an escape from the void, lessening the anxiety and freeing the mind to contemplate the climbing situation once more.  The sea seems less threatening up higher as its chilling echo is softened by the breeze and filtered through the overhangs.  The arrival of the sunshine floods heat into the deepest parts and you basque contentedly as the warm rays invite you upwards.  Looking down again at the second you smile, the sort of fulfilling smile that perhaps only a climber understands.  The Peregrine drifts by on the breeze once more, this time with the success of a trapped feed in tow.  As he looks down you smile, almost wave, knowing that today you have been a part of his environment and have seen it from an angle that not many others have experienced.  A feeling of contented happiness fills your heart and sole as you pull onto the top of the cliff, the rest of life is so far away it is difficult to imagine it exists.  The feeling of release is achieved, if only we could experience its pleasures more often, but then maybe, just maybe, the same feeling would be lost if it were a more regular part of normal life.  A good many climbers would like to try out that theory I am sure.











Hut Bookings for July/August. 

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


JULY 9/10TH         OREAD MEET






JULY 4/6TH         J. DENCH               2BEDS

JULY 5/7TH         HUCKNALL MC       3 BEDS

JULY 9/10TH        SPHINX MC            16 BEDS






We seem to be missing some leaders just lately. Please volunteer to lead some of the meets that have no leader. The Culm Coast sounds great but without anyone to organise it, it won’t happen. Its your club please help.



Forthcoming Meets


Sat 10th – Sun 11th

Heathy Lea Barmy Competition

Dave Heliwell

01298 812753

Tues 13th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook



Wed 14th

Evening Meet Royal Oak Wetton



Sat 24th July – Sun Aug 15th

Urner Alps

Steve Christian

01629 825292


Wed 18th

Evening Meet Pub The Moon



Sat 21st Sun 22nd

Family Meet

Vic Paterson

01332  542174

Sat 28th Mon 30th

Culm Coast

Graham Weston ?

01943 603896


Sun 5th

Agden Rocher

Dave Heliwell

01298 812753

Sat 11th Sat 12th

Baggy Point

Sally Dipple


Tues 14th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook



Sat 18th Sun 19th

Tan Yr Wyddfa Work Party



Wed 22nd

Last Evening Meet & Curry

James Tubby

01283 736737

Thurs 23rd Sun 26th

South Pembroke Meet

Roland Smith

0115 9691992


Sat 9th Sun 10th

Tan Yr Wyddfa

No Leader


Sat 23rd Sun 24th

Heathy Lea

No Leader


Sat 30th Sun 31st

Tan Yr Wyddfa Curry Meet

Tony Howard

01332 273307

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.