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Oread Mountaineering Club    June 2010 Newsletter

Ridsdale Wall - Northumberland E1 5B Snod Leading

Editorial.   (Last Date for next edition 25/06/10)

Blazing June, the longest day and the start of Summer. Everyone should be getting out and enjoying the mountains, whether you bike, climb or walk there is something out there worth the effort! Due to Mike Bate’s accident we have no write up this month for the beginners meet, but no doubt he will have plenty of time to do some writing while he recovers.

Heathy Lea Work Party. Sat 12th – Sun 13th June

Mike Hayes

It’s once again time for our annual working party at Heathy Lea. Significant improvements in the condition of the hut over the last 12 months mean that this years event is more of a spring clean.

For those of you who have not been on a working party before, then the format is very informal, come along for as much time as you can, even if its just a couple of hours. Hopefully there will be Oreads there all weekend combining some work party activities with climbing / walking / socialising as well.

Some of the tasks we would like to complete are:

  1. Gardening / grass cutting
  2. Window cleaning
  3. Porch facia board needs gloss painting
  4. Continued thinning out of woodland close to hut
  5. Firewood needs chopping to size
  6. Barn walls need painting
  7. Patio laying outside the barn

Steve McDonagh has kindly agreed to lead this meet on behalf of the hut sub committee, ably supported by Snod and Nick, as I am unfortunately double booked with the three peak challenge on the Saturday, although I do hope to join in on the Sunday!

Please let me know if you are able to attend for all or some of the weekend so that we can put a plan together and make sure we have the right tools.  If you have a chain saw and would be willing to bring it along, then please do (last year 6 turned up so the challenge is to beat that).

Looking forward to seeing you, Michael.

Tan yr Wyddfa Sat 19th Sun 20th June

John Green 

Our club has had many meets at Tan yr Wyddfa, because it’s our hut and we should make best use of it. I have tried to think of things to do that may be a little different from the usual mix, so for this meet I shall be doing a traverse of the Snowdon massif. If anyone would like to join me, I would welcome your company. Anyone wishing to do their own thing is very welcome to come along, the more the merrier. The traverse will naturally start from our hut and take a line North East to Bwlch

Cwm Brwynog via the quarries. Then across Cloggy to Clogwyn Station on the Llanberis path. We then cross to Cwm Glas Bach and across Cwm Glas to Cwm Uchaf and the col at Bwlch Coch. A descent then takes place to arrive at Glaslyn and climb the ridge to Bwlch Ciliau on Lliwedd. We then traverse around Cwm Tregalan to Bwlch Cwm Llan and pick up the track back to the hut.

I have done this many years ago in winter, when it was a superb expedition. Being very close to the longest day we should not have light problems and with a bit of luck, good weather will accompany us. I shall be arriving on the Friday afternoon, if you want a bed on this probably unique weekend, please get in touch on 01332 832101. Any new prospective members would be especially welcome.


Crib Goch Feb 92 Cloud inversion

Wed 30th  June Longest (Wednes)day

James Tubby

Esoteric Grit Climbing Meet Wednesday 30th June (note change of date)- Grindsbrook on Kinder Scout
 This meet has been moved back a week to avoid a clash with England's final group game against Slovenia in the World Cup on 23rd June (KO 3pm). I'm suspect that many Oreads will want to watch the game so I thought I'd avoid anyone having to worry about what to do. There are no games at all on the 30th so you won't need to miss a single minute when you come on this meet.
Several years ago we had a good night on Kinder Scout and I thought it was about time for to revisit. For me it epitomises what the esoteric grit meet should be about, it's a bit further away on a rarely visited, but pleasant crag. We'll climb at Grindsbrook rocks and/or the nearby Upper tier. Then afterwards for post match analysis in the Nags Head at Edale. There is some parking by the pub, otherwise there is the pay & display car park by the village hall. The walk in is up Grindsbrook Clough.
In the event of inclement weather then the Yahoo email list will be used to postpone the meet to a more suitable day. 

Sat 26th – Sun 27th June, High House Borrowdale.

Simon Pape

For those who don't know it, High House is situated in Seathwaite at the end of Borrowdale (GR 235119).  As such, it's ideally situated for a good day out on the highest of the Lake District fells.  Perhaps a route on Great Gable and a walk back over the tops, or maybe an ascent of Gillercombe Buttress and walking over the tops in the other direction.  I've still got a yearning to climb on the Buttermere crags, which aren't to far away, and can also form the basis for a "long mountaineering day".  Of course, if any Oread were to be so tempted, there are roadside crags in Borrowdale.

I shall be in the pub in Rosthwaite on the Friday evening and if there's enough interest we can have a barbeque at the hut on Saturday night.  Give me a call to book your place.

07813 616563 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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, 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.

61st Oread Dinner -20th November 2009

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.

Wye Valley Meet, Sat 17th – Sun 18th April.

Angela Pingram.


3June10 4June10












                           Forest Of Dean Bike Ride                                                                                         Forest Of Dean Bike Ride Lunch

Sally and Tim arrived the day before the rest and bagged a good day cragging at Ruspidge Slabs at the Shakemantle Quarry on Friday.  How did Sally put it? Esoteric padding!  Climbing parties at both Shorncliff and Fly Wall, whilst walking party managed some miles with buggy and I believe bagged a café along the way.  Large cycling contingent randomly cycled around and decided to frighten themselves on “the plunge of certain death” in some old quarry workings.  All survived fortunately, so not that certain then!  All this achieved in one sunny Saturday with all parties arriving at the pub (some later than others) in time for beer and food.  What more could you wish for?  

Multiple climbing parties converged on Wyndcliff on Sunday and more cycling via Tintern Abbey, Redbrook and Coleford, whilst others managed to sneak off early and bag a National Trust house on a second sunny day.

Thank you everyone for making it a successful weekend.



Oread Meet: Northumberland, 7th/8th/9th/10th May 2010

Dave Roscoe

You are coming on my Northumberland meet, aren’t you, delivered with a uncompromising poke to the chest, pretty well guaranteed a full meet ... which evolved into a very enjoyable affair. The Northward journey (Friday evening) amounted to a three-hour fast & easy drive to the lovely village of Bellingham - where Snod has booked the use of a camping barn (Demesne Farm Camping). One thing I had forgotten about Northumberland was the absolute clarity and brilliance of the night sky. Perfect. The barn was warm (pot-bellied stove) and very close to Bellingham’s best beer (a fragile notion ...)
Snod made an early promise to arrange sunshine - and he did - it’s just that he forgot that, in Northumbeland, sunshine is not the same as warmth. That said, Gobbo provided the local knowledge and decreed that Saturday’s lively weather meant East Woodburn was the crag for us - it was! South-facing on a day of sunshine and a brisk North-Easterly, it amounted to perfection (see Radders’ Picasa Album).
We expected to have the crag to ourselves (Northumberland’s like that) but, instead, found the place crowded (well, there were two local lads there, anyway). Having discovered where we were from, they accused us of being “nearly French” ... a view reinforced, I think, by the general rupturing of the previously prevailing peace ... in any event, our accusors beat an early retreat leaving us with this lovely place to ourselves.
Gobbo had picked out the pearls (of various grades, VD –> E1) that required ascent, and they were duly ascended with varying degrees of aplomb, with several of those ascents providing considerable ancilliary amusement to watchers-on ... a bonus, in fact, on top of a cracking good day’s climbing. Which was just as well ... for the pub with Bellingham's best (on Friday night) conspired to run out of it in time for Saturday's  evening repast ... That's alright, we chorused, we'll 'ave six bottles of the best red in the 'ouse! ... No you won't, they replied, We've got none of that either ... But the local Co-op came up trumps, and all was well!
Sunday morning arrived - grey, windless, drizzling & cold improving to grey, windy, dry & cold. But Gobbo was once again yer’ man declaring Rothley crag to be the place for us ... not because it was south-facing/warm/out-of-the-wind, or even any of those desirable things. No. But because it had a must-do crack-line of the finest quality (Rothley Crack, 5a: green, damp, mud here & there). Apart from Gobbo, only the Lancaster was enthused - and only because he’d done it before and had no intention of repeating. But step forth the Snod (it was, after all, his meet so the pressure was on): and up he sallied, declaring it a thing of ease & beauty (although the frantic haste with which he whizzed in a Friend 4 after the crux moves did not go unnoticed ...)
That was, more or less, the climbing. But Northumberland is more than that: on the Saturday, a splinter group (Jan Wilson, Pete Amore, John Green) took in a brisk fifteen miler (including a bit of up-and-down) returning to the barn glowing & fresh and more-or-less simultaneously with the grimping crew, and declared what a cracking day’s walking - to match our cracking day’s climbing - they’d had. On the Sunday, apart from the climbing, Radders and Gill went off cycling which, judging from the Picasa Album pics, was marvellous fun, whilst Pete Amore & John Green went for a reprise of Saturday. Most of the assembled group returned to Peakie Land on Sunday evening, with a few hardy souls (Snod, Chris Wilson, and Richard -a late arivee) remaining for the Monday ...

Meet attendees: Dave Helliwell (meet leader), Chris & Jan Wilson, Chris & Gill Radcliffe, Pete Amore, John Green, Pete Lancaster, Simon Pape, Dave & William Roscoe, Mike Wren, Derek Pike, Gill Mall.


Northumberland Meet - Mountain Walkers Perspective.

Peter Amour 

John Green and I arrived at the Bellingham bunkhouse by the early Friday evening in pleasant weather conditions. Snod paid a brief call at the accommodation before disappearing off to one of the local pubs to await the north Midlands migrants, who, when they arrived were on good form with plenty of banter and no sympathy whatsoever to Chris Radcliffe's recent hand operation!

Saturday morning saw the majority of the meet leader's gang had intentions on Northumbria's gritty crags with a stiff north- easterly wind sweeping the area. John Green, Jan Wilson and myself had intentions of a foray into the county's Cheviot hills. The club's president had offered us a lift to the north, enabling a linear walk back to Bellingham. After a study of the maps JG suggested that the topography locally may not give us much in the way of vistas, and so we set out independently to the Breamish Valley some thirty tortuous miles to north. In bright conditions we abandoned the vehicle in the farming hamlet of Linhope and set off with the shadows of the white clouds sweeping up and down over the terrain. The initial journey took us progressively up the river valley before branching onto the fellside and widening views to the north and east. In cool, stiff winds we reached the trig point of Cushet Law, and were rewarded by extensive views, particularly to the south. Pockets of the winter's snows were very evident with blanket cloud cover becoming more apparent, the route took a clock-wise circular course to descend into the tight sided gulley of Ainsey Burn. In navigating our way down the gulley, the burn

had to be crossed and re-crossed a number of times, (it was noted that JG had his camera out practising panning actions of Jan on the crossings in anticipation of a soaking. (Greeny was out of luck!). The walk again took to higher terrain and impressive views after picking up the old salters track and leading us over the col between Bush Knowe and Shill Moor before regaining the Breamish Valley and our transport. On our return a communal meal was had at last nights bar following a mini pub crawl. Thanks for organising it Dave, it made for a good evening.

Sunday morning dawned less blustery but showery, and with gear packed and loaded, John and I headed to the Hexham area to try the fells around Ridley Common before arcing in a south- easterly direction to drop into the outstanding valley of lower Allen Dale. John had earlier pointed out that there appeared to be no bridge to connect from it's western side valley to the track on the east bank. This turned out to be true with the river having to be forded across it's 30 metre plus width, fortunately the recent dry weather worked in our favour. All-in-all I had a great week-end, exploring unfamiliar ground, meeting members that I had not met before, and re-establishing contact with faces I had not seen for some considerable time. Thanks Snod


Roger Gibbs

I read too many guidebooks. By the time I actually get anywhere near a route I have studied the description a dozen times and memorised every tall tale. If I actually think about getting on it, the damn thing has usually acquired near mythic status in my head. A decade or two of avoiding my target routes, convincing myself that they’re too hard for me and what do you know? I’m a little bit intimidated by them. The book says “fire up the crack”. My mind says “desperate and sustained”. “Exposed and exhilarating” becomes plain terrifying. So when Dave seemed a little more subdued than usual and offered me a way out I was surprised to hear myself egging him on to more adventurous fare. But I don’t get out that much any more and Tremadog is a good spot when a north wind is blowing. The sun shone. Let’s go!

The base of the crag was busy but we soon established no one was on our line. Dave had lost the toss for the crux pitch. Well, he wasn’t doing it, I’m not sure if he won or lost there. He set off, intending to run the first two pitches together so he would at least get one of the hard pitches. I tried to play it cool while the guys queuing for classics nearby asked what we were up to. He asked me how hard it was. The answer sounded shocking from my lips. It felt good to be committed. And Dave can always bale me out again.

Above me Dave was contorting into the steep groove on pitch 2. It looked hard but he worked away methodically and soon disappeared into the cave to belay. I tied in and set off. The first easy pitch felt awkward and much harder than it should. “You’re out of your depth already,” my cheery inner voice said. “Shut up and climb,” I shot back to myself.

The groove leered alarmingly above and to my left. I swung across and pulled up to good holds. Steep. Not a place to dally. I stripped the gear rapidly and pushed on. More big holds but not much of a rest. A chalk patch a long way out left seemed to offer some respite but it was a red herring. Finally another long move or two got me back on my feet for a breather. I picked my way carefully up to the belay.

“I could have carried on, it goes over there,” Dave said nodding over his shoulder at the hanging ramp. I was glad of the lead on easy ground to get my head in gear. I squirmed awkwardly over Dave and set off.

Around the corner, there was a fellow lurking on the belay below our last pitch. He shuffled over to give me room and soon disappeared. I strapped myself in securely and brought Dave up the short pitch and swapped over. Above me leered the crux crack. It didn’t actually look too bad! There was a worryingly blank looking bit high up, but I would have to worry about that when I got there. I tried to relax and compose myself. There is a fine balance between getting in the zone and getting totally psyched out. You might be able to guess which way the scales were tipping. Unable to delay any longer, I set off.

Feet on the big spike. Runner on. The way ahead looked steep but there seemed to be a rest atop the flake. I just couldn’t see how to get on it. A high runner and a rapid retreat. A second foray saw me to the flake, laying off the crack with my left arm. It looked desperate higher up and all off the left arm. Stiff pulls and a good finger lock. More wires. Breath coming fast; back down to the flake to rest.

“At least you’ve tried,” came the inner voice of doom. “It will be too pumpy on your weak left arm.”

“Wait a minute, the gear’s bomber and you haven’t rested yet. Give it a go!” I shot back. Below Dave was his usual attentive, supportive self.

I decided that I’d crank past my high runner and see if I could spot another good placement. If I could get another runner on, I’d try the next move.

The wall right of the crack had good crimps. Feet up and a stretch to another finger jam. Just above was a positive break and holds leading left. A panicky runner. Don’t blow it now! Jugs led left. The top. My bellow of relief and joy was answered from around the crag. Dave had the decency to grunt a bit following and I was over the moon. “Well done,“ he said. “Thanks,“ I replied, content, a 20 year dream consumed.

I think seven month old Ben grinned when I whispered that Daddy had had a really good day.

Tan- yr- Wyddfa May Day W/End.

Colin & Uschi Hobday.

With a doom and gloom weather forecast for the Bank Holiday we decided to go to the Welsh hut, only six people were there, Kev & Margret Sarson, Trevor & Dorothy Robson (guest) and ourselves.

On the Friday we went over to Penygroes and then followed the Sustrans cycle route No. 8 to the Menai Bridge for lunch. On the return journey we just had a light shower.

Saturday was cool but sunny. We walked up to the South Snowdon Col, then descended down to the Watkin Path, Nantgwynant and along the valley to Beddgelert to catch the bus back.

With the weather still cool and sunny we decided to have a lazy day, so we visited Plas Newydd on Anglesey in the morning before going onto Newborough Warren and walking to the Lighthouse.

So ended a perfect weekend, so much for weather forecast!.


 A tent “looking for a home”.

Ray Colledge.

Ray has contacted us to say he no longer needs his little used 2/3 man tent, which is in very good condition, complete with erection instructions. If anyone would like it, he asks no payment, and can be contacted on 01332 671967. (Editor)

Get Well Soon.

Jasmine (E7 6b) at Bamford is described as "tough, the holds are generally poor, and there are no runners. The landing is pretty grim too!"
Last week our Treasurer, Michael Bate, proved this to be correct when he broke his leg.
After some days in Sheffield Northern General he is now back at home with a temporary fix to let the soft tissue heal from where the bone came through. He has the final operation (hopefully) this coming Wednesday to have a frame fitted that will be on until the leg is all healed up. The doctor has said that he should be able to get around and even walk on the new frame. "He's a climber and even said it would be possible to top rope stuff at the indoor wall with the frame". Michael is trying to keep his spirits up by making plans for climbing over winter and next summer.
I'm sure all of you will join with me in wishing him a very speedy recovery and return to the hills.

Chris Wilson.

New Email Address.

Dave Appleby has a new email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Please send any contact info to this in future. Many Thanks.



Hut Bookings for June. 

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

HEATHY LEA                                                                        TAN-YR-WYDDFA

June 4/5th.     Steve King (BMC) Cottage .               

June 11/12th. Oread work party.                                June 11/12th. vacant.

June 18/19th. Red Rope (Leicester) Cottage.            June 18/19th. Oread meet.

June 25/26th. Oread Meet                                          June 25/26th  vacant.

July 2/3rd.      vacant.                                                 July 3/4/5/6th. Ian Spare

Please note that I will be away From June 13-27th.any

short notice bookings contact



Orchids and Cowslips by Colin Hobday, Superb!

Forthcoming Meets


Sat 12th – Sun 13th

Heathy Lea Work Party.




Tues 15th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook




Sat 19th – Sun 20th

Tan yr Wyddfa

John Green

01332 832101


Wed 23rd

Longest (Wednes)day

James Tubby

01283 736737


Sat 26th – Sun 27th

High House - Borrowdale

Simon Pape

01629 822450


Sat 10th – Sun 11th

Heathy Lea Beer Festival

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 Bate

01332 743425


Sat 28th  Mon 30th

Culm Coast

Graham Weston

01943 603896

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.