Page 1

IMPORTANT NOTICE An EGM has been scheduled for 8 July 2008

Refer to pages 8-14 for further details

• •

About the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club (NMC) The NMC is a meeting point for climbers, fell walkers and mountaineers of all abilities. Our activities centre on rock-climbing in the summer and snow and ice climbing in the winter. Meets are held regularly throughout the year. The NMC is not, however a commercial organization and does NOT provide instructional courses.

NMC Meets

• •

BMC Public Liability Insurance for climbing incidents. Discounted NMC guide books. Discounted entry at certain indoor climbing walls. Access to the extensive NMC library

Join the NMC Download a Membership form from: Send the signed and completed membership form with a cheque made out to the NMC for the membership fee (see below) to the Membership Secretary at the address shown on the membership form.

The NMC Members’ handbook (available to all members) and the NMC website list the dates and locations of all meets.

Membership Fees •Full £25 •Prospective £10.00

This magazine lists the meets arranged for the next few months.

Contributions to this magazine are always welcome - photos are especially welcome. Send Contributions to:

Non-members: Are always welcome to attend meets. Note: Winter indoor meets require a minimum of prospective membership (see below) due to venue requirements for third party insurance.

Membership Details Members are Prospective until they fulfill the conditions for Full Membership (see membership form.) Full membership is valid for one year from the end of February. Prospective membership expires at the end of March each year. Membership gets you: • Copy of the quarterly magazine. NMC Quarterly Magazine

Quarterly Magazine

Get this Magazine FASTER If you received this magazine as a paper copy, you may be interested to learn that you can get it a lot faster and in colour as a free download from our website. To arrange for email notification that the latest issue of the magazine is ready for you to download, contact the membership secretary at:

June 2008

Committee 2007/2008 President – Peter Bennett Vice Pres. – John Mountain Secretary–Carolyn Horrocks Treasurer – John Mountain Membership – C. Horrocks Access – Richard Pow Hut co-ord. – Neil Cranston Hut bookings – Derek Cutts Magazine ed. – Peter Flegg Social Sec – Librarian – Sam Judson Guide books – John Earl General: Andrew Coverdale, Ben Gibson, Adrian Heath & John Dalrymple.

As an affiliate to the BMC, the NMC endorses the following participation statement: The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.

Copyright The contents of this magazine are copyright and may not be reproduced without permission of the NMC. The views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or the NMC.

Photos Unless otherwise stated all photos in this issue were taken by the author of the article.

Cover Shot Karin Magog on 'Absent Friend', E5 6b, Great Wanney, 8 Aug 2007 Photo by John Dalrymple

page 2 of 22

What’s in this issue?

Wednesday evening meets

Weekend meets ................................................... 3 Wednesday evening meets .................................. 3 Valais Alps .......................................................... 4 The Great Photo Auction..................................... 7 Golden labrador beats Treasurer … .................... 8 Proposed Constitution of the NMC................... 10 Proposed Rules of the NMC.............................. 13 Club News......................................................... 15 NMC/BMC Weekend Festival .......................... 16 County Climbs .................................................. 17 New Members Meet.......................................... 21

Weekend meets The following list shows the weekend climbing/social meets currently arranged. You MUST contact the meet leader in advance, as accommodation may be limited or already fully booked. Note: A deposit may be required to reserve your place on a weekend trip. 14/15 June 08 28/29 June 08 12/13 July 08 12/13 July 08

2/3 Aug 08 16/17 Aug 08 23/25 Aug 08 6/7 Sept 08 12/13 Sept 08

21 Sept 08 4/5 Oct 08

18/19 Oct 08

02 Nov 08

Peak District—Ben Gilbert 0191 252 6664 Club Annual Dinner—Peter Bennett 01670 515 263 St Bees—Kin Choi 07810 833 179 Peak District, Don Whillans Hut—Jon Trafford 07974 345 551 Yorkshire—Peter Bennett 01670 515 263 Bowderstone BBQ—Phil Steadman 0191 209 4341 Summer BH, Langdale— Steve Orrell 07792 518 934 North Wales—John Mountain 01670 505 202 Borrowdale hut – Women only – Amanda Welch 07702 914 045 Scugdale, New Members— Martin Cooper 0191 252 5707 Bowderstone, Working Meet—Neil Cranston 0191 270 2648 Yorkshire Bouldering— Andrew Coverdale 07502 165 139 MTB meet—Adrian Heath 07903 377 012

NMC Quarterly Magazine

For these outdoor meets there is no need to call any one—just turn up with all your own equipment. The NMC website has crag location details (, also check the website for indoor wall alternatives if the weather is not good. Meet afterwards at the pub shown in italics. 04 June 08

Crag Lough - Twice Brewed

11 June 08

Kyloe Out - Percy Arms, Chatton

18 June 08

South Yardhope/Sandy - Bird in the Bush

25 June 08

Callerhues - Cheviot Hotel Bellingham

02 July 08

Ravensheugh - Turks Head Note: Simonside is closed under CRoW during the planned meet

09 July 08

Kyloe In – Salmon

16 July 08

Wanneys – Highlander

23 July 08

Crag Lough – Twice brewed

30 July 08

Back Bowden – Salmon

06 Aug 08

Simonside/Coe – Angler’s Arms

13 Aug 08

Kyloe Out – Salmon

20 Aug 08

Wanneys – Highlander

27 Aug 08

Bowden Doors – Percy Arms, Chatton

03 Sept 08

Peel – Twice Brewed

10 Sept 08

Drakestone – Angler’s Arms

17 Sept 08

East Woodburn/Wolf – Highlander

24 Sept 08

Corbys – Angler’s Arms

01 Oct 08

Rothley – DykeNeuk

08 Oct 08

Shaftoe – Highlander

June 2008

page 3 of 22

Valais Alps— a first unguided Alpine mountaineering expedition Mike Frost

With rope experience from rock climbing, 3 alpine mountaineering training courses, and some long conversations with Bryn behind me I felt able to tackle some unguided Alpine mountaineering. Accompanying me on the trip were Carolyn (current NMC secretary) and an old motorcycling buddy Steve, who hasn't got around to full NMC membership yet but who had done the training courses. The plan was a borrowed one I had nurtured in various forms for several years, a traverse along the Swiss/Italian border from the Breithorn at one end to the Dufourspitze (Monte Rosa) at the other. There is some scope for variation in the chosen route but we used routes rated PD (Peu Difficile) or F (Facile) in the Alpine Club guide (Valais Alps East). Carolyn and I flew into Geneva a few days ahead of Steve on 17 August 2007. Zermatt in Switzerland was to be our

valley base. The Youth hostel is large, reasonably priced even for non-members and can be booked on-line. Travel to Zermatt was by train. It is (or was) cheaper to buy an advance through-ticket with Swiss railways (SBB) on the internet and also worth bearing in mind that the last connecting train leaves Geneva Airport at 6pm. I failed on both counts so instead we had a stopover at Burchen near Visp. The next day saw us getting the train from Visp to Zermatt and, after availing ourselves of the left luggage lockers at Zermatt station, we took a cable car most of the way up to the Berghaus Flue (2600m). The weather was sunny with excellent views of the Matterhorn and grazing goats. I can recommend the Berghaus Flue, English is spoken, there is a bar, a sun patio with perspex screens to deal with any early evening chilly breezes and the usual amazing scenery all around. The following day saw an early start as we ascended the Stockhorn for general fitness and acclimatisation purposes. This proved a tiring and chastening experience and we were slower than we expected. Initially we descended from Flue down the

Mike, Steve and Carolyn on the summit of Breithorn NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

page 4 of 22

side of a steep and loose lateral glacial moraine across the (now dry) bottom and up the easier ground of the opposite lateral moraine. Cresting this we dropped into a small hidden grassy valley. It was still early and a small herd of chamois retreated uphill before us, maintaining 300m or so of separation. A meandering trudge up steep loose ground followed as we discussed various objective dangers and tried to match the guidebook description to the terrain we saw before us. It was a relief to get onto easy angled ice for the last 250m to the 3500m summit.

Approaching Zwillingsjoch

As we followed the ridge westwards to the top station of the Gornergrat railway the visibility came and went with passing snow showers. In one ski lift station we encountered a Swiss man who had been out hiking with his son and had decided to wait for an improvement in the weather. We ate a snack with them surrounded by cables, machinery and extremely large spanners, before electing to leave in the next break in the weather. They had a mobile phone and I expect they got away the following morning. We were back in Zermatt Youth Hostel, making dinner at 7pm. NMC Quarterly Magazine

Over the next 2 days the forecasts proved correct and a weather system passed through leaving 7-8 inches of fresh snow high up. The weather was not too bad on the first morning and we ascended on the Klein Matterhorn cable car to spend the night acclimatising at the Theodule hut. With hindsight this was a basic hut but it was well run by a rugged-looking and friendly Italian lady. In an old climbing magazines I came across a picture of Reinhold Messner roped up and traversing a narrow Himalayan ridge with his feet splayed out at the end of a trail of 'duckstep' footprints. This was a technique noone had previously mentioned to me, but the whole undertaking had aroused my interest in details such as this. The next day the weather was pretty awful, but the hut warden allowed us out because we promised to follow the ski lift wires and pylons back to by Steve Osselton the Klein Matterhorn cable car station. Here we sat in the portacabin cafe before giving up on the day and returning to Zermatt. The next day dawned fair and we took the first cable car back up to the Klein Matterhorn at 7:00am. Moving together as a roped team of 3 we dogged the steps of a party whose guide broke trail in the fresh snow as we ascended the remaining 400m from the cable car station to the top of the Breithorn. This was my first alpine 4000m peak and so I didn't mind it being about the easiest. Altitude provided me with a slight headache, but the sunny weather, views June 2008

page 5 of 22

and sense of adventure more than compensated. From the Breithorn our traverse began in earnest and we descended southward before striking out along the Italian side of the ridge for the Val d'Ayas Guides hut. Initially we followed a trail made by groups heading further along to climb Pollux earlier in the day. This meant that the mist which began rolling in and out at in the afternoon did not initially present a navigational problem, but it did become a problem when we reached Pollux. Persistent mist reducing visibility to 10m or so coincided with the fresh tracks running out as we descended around the shoulder of Pollux to the Zwillingsjoch (tr. Twins pass) and from there down the glacier, on the Italian side, to the hut. Initially this slowed us down markedly as a great deal of caution immediately took hold. Fortunately after 50 minutes we picked up the faint depression of the earlier trail to the hut, now covered by the previous night's snow. Strangely in the flat-light conditions the person at the back of the rope could often see the trail far better than the person in the lead. Much team-work ensued. The hut was very quiet due to the poor weather and it being a normal weekday, I found the salty minestrone was excellent for my mild altitude symptoms and the inevitable slight dehydration after a day out. Another 3-4” of snow fell that night.

Our rate of ascent dropped to 150m/h as we zig-zagged up between some large icy bulges on the slope. At one point skirting a change in the angle of the slope too closely I put a foot down a hole and was left straddling a mini-bergschrund. This did not seem too serious with the other 2 down slope of me. Just below the summit we exited a snowy bowl at a notch in it's skyward horizon clearly left by a party a day or so previously. I was expecting to find an easy domed summit ridge, but as the last up my surprise was profound when I discovered a wind sculpted knife edge of fresh snow in the lee of the summit. The other 2 had neglected to mention this and that realisation forced a reappraisal of our collective judgement. A dizzying drop fell away into Switzerland. En cheval tactics were the initial approach of 2 of us until a thought struck me and I shouted, rather too loudly, "Do the Reinhold Messner duck walk." (To be continued…)

Bowderstone Hut Weekend 12/13 September 2008 Amanda Welch is organizing a women-only weekend at the club hut in Borrowdale. The hut has been booked for the Friday and Saturday nights.

The following morning was sunny, cool and clear after the overnight snow. We started out at 7am and managed to retrace the previous afternoons trail as far as the Zwillingsjoch without too much difficultly—apart from the fresh snow. Our objective was to traverse the peak of Castor (the other twin) (4230m) by the easiest route possible and descend on the other side to the Quintosella hut. The 500m ascent from the Zwillingsjoch to the peak was steep and the depth of fresh snow varied from 3” to 3’ according to the effect of wind on the uneven icy slope.

NMC Quarterly Magazine

If numbers are sufficient she will arrange exclusive use of the hut. Contact Amanda ASAP if you are interested: 07702 914 045

June 2008

page 6 of 22

The Great Photo Auction

auction was and John Mountain the auctioneer.

John Dalrymple

All in all, a great event.

One of the many high-lights of the recent BMC/NMC weekend festival was the auction of photographs in aid of The Great North Air Ambulance Appeal.

The following is a copy of the letter accompanying the cheque sent to the Great North Air Ambulance Service in Darlington:

The photos had been submitted by NMC members and were selected by Sam Judson, Andy Birtwistle, Peter Flegg and John Dalrymple. Twelve were selected to go on show at the Blue Bell Hotel, Belford over the festival weekend. On the Saturday evening these were auctioned off, and a grand total of £505 was raised with another £15 being donated to this good cause.

Dear Sir/Madam, Please find enclosed a cheque for £520 towards your expenses for running the Air Ambulance service. The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) recently held a Climbing & Walking Festival, in conjunction with our Club, at the Blue Bell Hotel in Belford. The latter I believe are already supporters of

The 12 photographs auctioned were: Route/Crag




Absent Friend, Gt Wanney

John Dalrymple

Karin Magog

Bluebell Hotel

Golden Hind, Drakestone

John Dalrymple

Anna Foxon

Jill (not sure of surname)

Masterclass, Rothley

Steve Crowe

Andy Earl

Richard Pow

Poseidon Adventure, Bowden Doors

Andy Birtwistle

Bob Smith

Bluebell Hotel

The Tube, Back Bowden

Andy Birtwistle

Al Murray

Martin Doyle

Return Of The Spring, Simonside

Mark Savage

Chris Graham

Martin Doyle

The Turtle, Shaftoe

Andy Birtwistle

Bon Smith

Dave Turnbull

Unnamed Traverse

Bob Smith

Alec Burns

Martin Doyle

Cheviots Form Corby’s

John Dalrymple

The Cannon Hole, Henhole

Steve Crowe

Karin Magog

Martin Kocsis

The Magicians Nephew, Queens Crag

Mark Savage

Dave Yarwood

Daev Turnbull

Jacobs Ladder

John Dalrymple


Graham Richmond

Many thanks to everyone who took part in the auction and especially the winners! Special thanks must be given to The Bluebell Hotel (who are past supporters of the Air Ambulance Service), Martin Doyle of PYB & Dave Turnbull of the BMC. Your hearts will be warmed to know that Dave Turnbull presented the ‘Cheviots From Corby’s Crag’ photo to the tenant farmer at Bowden Doors, a friend of his, who was a guest on Saturday night. Thanks also to everyone who submitted photos, to Steve Orrell whose idea the

NMC Quarterly Magazine

Dave Turnbull

the Air Ambulance Service. Prior to the event, our Club had held a photo competition, and the twelve best prints were enlarged and framed. These were then auctioned at the Festival, and I was able to extract £520 from the audience for these prints! Prominent among the bidders were the Blue Bell, Plas-y-Brenin (the national mountain training centre) and the BMC. We are all very pleased to be able to support your Service.

June 2008

page 7 of 22

Golden labrador beats Treasurer to first ascent…

4. The club’s constitution must provide that any surplus income or gains be re-invested in the club and not distributed to members or third parties. Donations to charities and other clubs registered as CASCs are permitted.

John Mountain

Well, the grossly misleading title to this article is to try to grab your attention concerning matters that may not seem top of the list for bed-time reading! This is none-the-less an important article to read, so (bite on the knotted handkerchief if you must, but)…

5. The club must provide facilities and encourage all members to participate in its sport regardless of their ability. 6. The club’s constitution must ensure that on dissolution of the club, any net assets are to be applied for approved sporting or charitable purposes, ie. donated to the sport’s governing body or to another club registered as a CASC or to a registered charity.

Please read on!

CASC Steve Orrell has brought to my attention some information on the BMC website concerning Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs). This is a concept dreamed up by the Govt. in 2002, which allows sports clubs to gain a special (so far as HM Revenue and Customs are concerned) status which, whilst not being full Charitable status, does allow some benefits, providing the club complies with certain conditions. The benefits are primarily an exemption from Corporation Tax and an 80% discount on business rates on any property owned/rented. In 2005/6, after the launch of the 2004 Guidebook, we paid £702 in Corporation Tax. This year we are about to launch the new bouldering Guide, so this is another potential bumper year for the taxman. The conditions: There are six of these, four of which I believe we already comply with in spirit, ie. they are not stated in our current Rules.

We do not have a constitution; our Rules are a mix of governing principles that perhaps should be in a constitution, and rules that cover normal business.

Where are we now? The Committee has agreed that we should seek CASC status, and has furthermore agreed that I should draw up a Constitution (for governing principles, to include the CASC required clauses) and revamp the Rules so that they become the day-to-day procedures. I have drafted these documents and they are included in this issue of the Quarterly Magazine. You will see that the text of the drafts is in three styles. This is my attempt to add clarity to what I am doing.

1. Membership must be open to all without discrimination. 2. The club’s facilities must be available to members without discrimination. 3. Any fees charged by the club must be reasonable. NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

Text in normal type has been lifted verbatim from the existing Rules.

Text in bold is specific to gaining approval for CASC status from HMRC.

Text in italics is used where the Committee has sought to amplify or clarify existing Rules, or where existing procedures are not documented. page 8 of 22

An EGM is called! We know how you all love meetings, so the Committee is calling an Extraordinary General Meeting for July 8th. The Agenda for this meeting is below.

Should you wish to delve deeper into CASCs, then the following weblinks will assist:

PLEASE come to the meeting on July 8th and VOTE! Select ‘Clubs and Huts’, then ‘Huts’, click on ‘Hut Guidelines’ and then select ‘Guideline 1: CASCs’ m

Finally, I should say that the Golden Labrador did not really beat me to the first ascent as we were both part of the first ascent team. ‘Rocky’ went in the middle of the rope and I followed…


EGM of the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club You are invited to an Extraordinary General Meeting of the NMC. Location: Burnside School, St. Peters Road, Wallsend, NE28 7LQ Date/Time: 8pm on 8 July 2008

AGENDA 1. Apologies 2. Approval of the motion: ‘This meeting agrees that the existing Rules governing the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club be replaced with a Constitution and amended Rules as described in the Club’s Quarterly Magazine published in June 2008.’ 3. Approval of the motion: ‘This meeting agrees that the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club should seek registration as a Community Amateur Sports Club, within the meaning of the scheme as first provided for in the Finance Act 2002.’

Important Note 1: As laid down within the existing Rule 8, for the above motions to be carried, they must be supported by two thirds of those voting. Important Note 2: There is no provision in the legislation for a club to de-register. Once a CASC always a CASC. Before applying to be a CASC, members really need to be agreed that what they really want is to maintain the Club for the continuing use of the climbing community. If members have one eye on selling off assets and sharing the profits, then CASC status is not for them. If a CASC ceases to operate, its assets would have to be passed on in accordance with the legislation to another CASC, a registered charity or the governing body of an eligible sport for use in related community sport.

4. Closure

NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

page 9 of 22


Constitution of the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club Name The Club shall be called the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club.

until the next Annual General Meeting, retiring Officers being eligible for reelection. Ordinary members of the Committee shall be elected for a two-year period, all being eligible for re-election. A list of all those nominated by the Committee shall be sent out to all members at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting. Any two members of the Club may make an additional nomination by the written consent of the nominee, before the beginning of the Annual General Meeting.

Property and Funds Objectives The purpose of the Club shall be to encourage all aspects of the amateur sport of Mountaineering and community participation in same, and to safeguard and promote the interests of mountaineers, particularly in Northumberland, Durham, and Tyne and Wear. Members participate in all Club activities at their own risk and in full knowledge that rock climbing, mountaineering and hill walking are potentially dangerous.


1. The property and funds of the club cannot be used for the direct or indirect private benefit of Members, other than that reasonably allowed by the Rules. 2. All surplus income or profits are reinvested in the Club. 3. The Club may provide sporting and related social facilities, equipment, coaching, courses and other benefits of Community Amateur Sports Clubs as provided for in the Finance Act 2002. 4. The Club may also in connection with the Objectives of the Club:

The Management of the Club shall be vested in a Committee consisting of a President, Vice President, Secretary (General and Membership), Treasurer, Access Officer, Bowderstone Hut Coordinator, Hut Booking Secretary and Magazine Editor, (herein after referred to as Officers), and eight other club members. The Committee shall have the power to fill vacancies until the following Annual General Meeting and to co-opt additional members.

a. Sell and supply food, drink and related sports clothing and equipment. b. Employ members (though not as Professional Climbers/Mountaineers) and remunerate them for providing goods and services, on fair terms set by the Committee without the person concerned being present. c. Pay for reasonable hospitality for visiting mountaineers and guests. d. Indemnify the Committee and members acting properly in the course of the running of the Club against any liability incurred in the proper running of the Club (but only to the extent of its assets).

Elections Officers and other Committee Members shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting. The Officers shall hold office NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

page 10 of 22

5. The Committee will have due regard to the law on disability discrimination and child protection.

Trustees There shall be no more than four Trustees of the Club. The first Trustees shall be appointed by the Committee and the property of the Club (other than cash which shall be under the control of the Treasurer) shall be vested in them to be dealt with by them as the Committee shall from time to time direct by resolution (of which an entry in the Minute Book shall be conclusive evidence). The Trustees shall be indemnified against risk and expense out of the Club property. The Trustees shall hold office until death, resignation or removed from office by resolution of the Committee. Whereby reason of any such death, resignation or removal it shall appear necessary to the Committee that a new Trustee or Trustees shall be appointed or if the Committee shall deem it expedient to appoint an additional Trustee or Trustees, the Committee shall by resolution nominate the person or persons to be appointed the new Trustee or Trustees. For the purposes of giving effect to such nomination the President is hereby nominated as the person to appoint new Trustees of the Club within the meaning of Section 36 of the Trustee Act 1925 and he/she shall by deed duly appoint the person or persons so nominated by the Committee as the new Trustee or Trustees of the Club and the provisions of the Trustees Act 1925 shall apply to any such appointment. Any statement of fact in any such deed of appointment shall in favour of a person dealing bona fide and for value with the Club or Committee be conclusive evidence of the fact so stated.

NMC Quarterly Magazine

Auditing of the Accounts The Club’s Financial Year ends on 31st October each year. The Annual Accounts shall be audited by a person or persons nominated by the Committee. The Audit shall be completed in time for presentation to the Annual General Meeting the following January.

Membership Eligibility 1. Membership of the Club shall be open to anyone with an active interest in the sport of Mountaineering regardless of ability, age, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or other beliefs. 2. It should be noted however that the Club’s main purpose is to facilitate and promote participation in Mountaineering. The Club does not provide initial training to novices. New members are required to have a basic competence in safety techniques, acquired either through informal tuition, or by attendance on an organised course. 3. The Committee may refuse membership, or remove it, only for good cause such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or sport into disrepute. Appeal against refusal or removal may be made to the members. 4. Subscriptions are on a nondiscriminatory and fair basis. The Club will keep subscriptions at levels that will not pose a significant obstacle to people participating.

Winding Up 1.

June 2008

The members may vote to wind up the Club, if not less than three quarters of those present and voting support that proposal at a

page 11 of 22

properly convened General Meeting. 2.

The Committee will then be responsible for the orderly winding up of the Club’s affairs.


After settling all liabilities of the Club, the Committee shall dispose of the net assets remaining to one or more or the following: a.

to another Club with similar sports purposes which is a registered charity and/or


to another Club with similar sports purposes which is a registered CASC and/or


to the British Mountaineering Council for use by them for related community sports.

Priority Where there is any conflict between this Constitution and the Rules (or any other rule or rules), the Constitution will take priority. Interpretation of all the rules must be consistent with the statutory requirements for CASCs (which means Community Amateur Sports Clubs as first provided for by the Finance Act 2002).

Amendments to the Constitution The Constitution may not be added to, amended or repealed except by a motion (notified and carried in accordance with the Club Rules) at a General Meeting, and no such change can in any event be made that would compromise the CASC status of the Club.

Tiger Feet E1 5a at Corby’s

NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

by Bryn Roberts

page 12 of 22


a) The following persons occupying or making use of the Club Huts shall be deemed to be Temporary Members of the Club for the period stated in paragraph (e) below:

Rules of the Northumbrian Mountaineering Club

i. Guests of members introduced in accordance with the rules and/or Bylaws currently in force regulating the use of the Club Huts. ii. Members of Climbing Clubs with which the Club has reciprocal rights and arrangements for the use of Club Huts, and members of other Climbing Clubs holding a joint meet with them. iii. Members of other Climbing Clubs or Associations who are guests of the Club. iv. Persons attending a meet of the Club as a step in qualification for election to Full Membership. b) No subscriptions shall be payable by a Temporary Member but he/she shall pay such fees as shall from time to time be prescribed by the Committee.

Membership 1. Election of Full Members: It is a requirement that anyone seeking Full Membership should have attended at least 3 Club meets. The election of Club Members shall be at the sole discretion of the Committee, subject to appeal. Each candidate shall make an application for membership on the official form and be proposed and seconded by current Club Members. The Proposer shall support such application in writing. Membership shall become effective on payment of the subscription and a Membership Card shall be given as receipt. Where a Full Member joins towards the end of the Club Year, the Membership Secretary may exercise discretion as to when the subscription needs to be renewed. 2. Election of under-18s:

c) A Temporary Member shall be entitled only to such privileges of Membership as are afforded by and are incidental to the Rules of the Club Hut—appertaining to the Bowderstone Cottage only (ie excluding the use of the Hermitage).

Applicants under the age of 18 will complete the official form, which in their case will require sign-off by parent or legal guardian. If the latter is not an existing Full Member, then someone who is, must be nominated as ‘in loco parentis.’ The member must sign to accept this responsibility, and the parent/guardian must sign to confirm this arrangement.

d) The Committee has the right to refuse temporary Membership to any person without giving reason for such refusal.

3. Prospective Members: People have the option of Prospective membership to ‘try out’ the Club. An Application Form is completed and a reduced subscription is payable. Within 6 months, the Prospective Member may apply for Full Membership as per Rule 1 above. 4. Temporary Membership: NMC Quarterly Magazine

e) Temporary Membership shall commence upon arrival at a Club Hut and shall continue until midnight on the day of departure. 5. Honorary Membership: Those persons who were Club Members at anytime during the first year of the Club’s existence shall be entitled to June 2008

page 13 of 22

become Honorary Life Members. Honorary Life Members shall have the benefits of all rights and privileges of Full Members but shall not be required to pay their annual subscription for the year commencing 28th February 1995 and any year thereafter.

Subscriptions 6. The subscriptions shall be due in advance on 1st February each year. A member whose subscription is in arrears on 28th February shall neither vote nor enjoy the privileges of membership. 7. The Annual Subscription of the Club shall be £25 for Full Members. New members under the age of 23 years will pay a reduced rate of £25 to cover the first two years of membership.

12. At a General Meeting of the Club, no vote shall be taken on any original motion involving the Constitution, Rules or finance of the Club unless notice of that motion has been stated in the Agenda. 13. A Quorum for any General Meeting of the Club shall be 21 members. 14. Any motion involving the Constitution or Rules of the Club must be approved by two thirds of those voting.

Amendments to these Rules 15. None of these Rules may be added to, amended or repealed except by a motion (notified and carried in accordance with Rules 12 - 14 above, at a General Meeting of the Club.

8. For people joining as Prospective Members, the subscription is £10. This provides for 6 months prospective membership, at which point the member may seek Full Membership and on election will pay the Full Membership subscription.

Committee Meetings 9. At a meeting of the Committee, a quorum shall consist of seven members.

General Meetings 10. The Annual General Meeting shall be held in January each year, the Club year beginning on the 1st January. The date and place of the Meeting shall be announced at least 14 days in advance. 11. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the Committee at any time on giving at least 14 days notice. An EGM must be called by the Secretary on receiving a request in writing from at least 10 full members, the business for which it is requested must be specified.

NMC Quarterly Magazine

Magazine Deadline The deadline for submission of articles for inclusion in the September issue of the NMC Quarterly Magazine is the end of the first week of September. Send articles and photos to:

June 2008

page 14 of 22

Club News President, Peter Bennett

EGM called for 8 July 2008 The committee has agreed a new constitution and club rules in order for the club to comply with the government CASC rules—these changes will allow us obtain significant financial benefit (ie pay less tax!) An EGM has been called to comply with the clubs current requirements to enable the members to vote on this issue. Elsewhere in this issue (see pages 8 to 14) the Treasure John Mountain has provided a full explanation of the reasons for and copies of the proposed new constitution and rules. CRoW - Simonside closure The CRoW temporary closure of Simonside is likely to run for 28 working days from 27 May to 3 July. Our published meets lists shows a meet arranged for Simonside or Ravensheugh on the 3 July. The meet venue has been changed to be Ravensheugh only. PLEASE do NOT go to Simonside on 3 July We are making this change to the meets list in order to maintain good relations with the land-owner, the Duke of Northumberland. We wish to be seen by the Duke as acting responsibly, and in any case it would be really good for Ravensheugh to get a bit more traffic anyway. Northumberland Bouldering Guide Yes the all NEW edition of the guide is now available. The RRP is £19.95 but members pay only £12.50 (plus £2 P&P if required.)

Club Dinner - Saturday June 28th The club’s annual dinner will be held this year at the Borrowdale Hotel on Saturday 28 June. The cost for the four-course dinner and coffee is £27.95. Good food and convivial company at the hotel, and for those with stamina, the party usually continues back at the hut. Some people even manage to get some climbing in on the Sunday. The club hut at the Bowderstone is reserved for club members on that weekend. Contact Peter Bennett ASAP for meal bookings and hut reservations. 01670 515 263

Winter Meets 2009 The winter meets programme for 2009 is taking shape. Hut bookings have been made as follows: 9/10 Jan 09

Black Rock Cottage

10 places

20/21 March 09 Muir of Inveray

8 places

3/4 April 09

8 places

Milehouse, Kincraig

It is usually possible to book additional places if there is demand. Meet leaders have not been assigned as yet. Anyone willing to lead one should contact Peter Bennett. There will likely be at least one other meet, organised by Tim Catterall. The finalised programme will be published in the Autumn newsletter.

To obtain your copy contact John Earl: 0191 236 5922

NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

page 15 of 22

NMC/BMC Weekend Festival of Walking And Climbing

Bowden was the venue for a bouldering workshop led by Ben Bransby and Andy Earl whilst Derek Cutts led a hill walk in Malcolm Rowe the Cheviots and yours truly took some other folk on a coastal walk from Craster It went well, in fact it went undeniably to Seahouses, with the BMC having paid gobsmackingly well. The invitation by the for the minibus for the drop off and pick BMC to ourselves to co-host a weekend of up, good on them. The BMC AGM was climbing and walking based in the North held in the Bluebell from about teatime of the County and incorporating their with the main item on the agenda being a AGM was a first for any climbing club and big increase in the membership subs for we well and truly delivered the goods. club members, this proposal was duly carried, thanks mainly to the large number of poxy (or was it proxy?) votes which the Chairman held. The excellent buffet meal which the hotel had prepared for the evening was followed by the highlight of the Setting off on the coastal walk weekend, Lets start with the weather, which for namely the auction of photographs which the previous couple of weeks had been had formed part of our display in the hotel degging it down, was duly replaced by lounge, with John Mountain wielding a wall to wall sunshine which arrived, mean soup spoon for a gavel, we raised exactly as ordered, just before Friday more than £500 for the Northern Air lunchtime. The weekends’ formal events Ambulance, great stuff. were centred on the Bluebell hotel in Belford and kicked off on the Friday Sunday and more brilliant weather, lots evening with a talk by John and Andy Earl more activity at the crags, including our on the development of climbing in the learn to lead courses at Bowden and Back County. John did a fine job of reminding Bowden and then the packing up and for some of us of how we looked in the sixties some, long drive home. and seventies, dressed in EB’s, Levis and The BMC have asked me to thank eight inch sideburns, these were duly everyone in the NMC who helped to make superseded in the eighties by sticky rubber, the weekend a success and I in turn would lycra and barber – pole tights, very especially like to thank Rick for organizing fetching. Andy then showed some slides the display, John Dalrymple for organizing and videos of some of the latest routes he the photographs, Steve Orrell for the and others have been doing, together with publicity on the club’s website and Richard lots of bouldering, both highball and for organizing the learn to lead courses. lowball. Saturday morning saw the masses taking off to the crags and elsewhere, NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

page 16 of 22

County Climbs— my journey so far Andrew Coverdale

After reading Andy Earl’s recent ‘Stomping Grounds’ article in Climb magazine I was inspired to look through my log book and pick out a few of my favourite Northumberland climbs and write a little bit about my experiences on some of them. My list doesn’t go into the high ‘E’ grades, but who knows, maybe in a few years time I can write a follow up article which may look a bit more like Andy’s!

experience. Most notable of my early mentors is Colin Matheson, and my most memorable experience was with Colin at the Jack Rock meet, I’m sure Colin remembers the evening well! I went to Rothley Crag on a freezing cold night at the start of the 2006 outdoor season. Not only was it my first meet, it was also my first time climbing outdoors. I had already read every book about climbing I could find and the previous week I had purchased the NMC guidebook, so I was a bit surprised to arrive at the crag to see a top rope! Apparently no one wanted to lead because

Andrew on Y’Front Font 6a at Bowden Doors

This is my third year as a climber and as a member of the NMC. When I joined the club I had already done a belay course at Sunderland Wall but I didn’t know any other climbers, and I’d never climbed outside, on real rock. I joined in April 2006, just in time for the start of the outdoor season, and I started getting out to the Wednesday night meets straight away. There was always an experienced member willing to lead and let me climb as a second. This allowed me get my hands on real rock and to pick up lots of valuable NMC Quarterly Magazine

by Ben Gilbert

it was so cold, so a top rope had been set up on Rothley Crack to give everyone a chance to climb something. I took my turn, and did my first outdoor rock climb! Peter Bennett advised me that this was one of the classic routes of Northumberland. When it started getting dark, and even colder, the top rope was dismantled and everyone started heading to the pub, but Tim Catterall had just arrived and had started pulling his climbing gear out of his pack. He said he was going to lead Rothley Crack and he asked Peter to second him. I June 2008

page 17 of 22

stayed at the crag a bit longer and watched them climb (using real climbing gear!) I remember being so inspired and thinking to myself, ‘I hope I become a proper climber and get good enough to lead this route’. Since that night I have tried to get out in the County as much as possible, I’ve discovered loads of amazing crags, led quite a few routes, met loads of cool people and had a fantastic time! These are some of my favourite and most significant leads. Family Outing V Diff, Wolf Crag My first lead! After a couple of months of climbing as a second with members of the NMC, I felt I was ready to tie on to the lead end of the rope. I bought my own rope, some quickdraws and a set of nuts, and embarked on my journey as a climber. On a sunny Sunday afternoon I headed up to Wolf Crag, with my girlfriend and my brother and his girlfriend, it was a real ‘family outing’. I had already been to Wolf a couple of times, just soloing and bumbling around, so I knew it would be the ideal place to put all my new found experience into practice and teach myself to lead a climb. We soloed a couple of Diffs to warm up, and then I looked through the guidebook for a ‘proper’ route to lead. I chose the V Diff, Family Outing. It looked good, the grade was right, and the name was quite fitting for the occasion. The route works its way up and across the cracked wall, which forms the highest part of the crag. I led it fairly easily. I was ‘pleasantly worried’ at a couple of points and I had a little bit of a struggle near the top, but I placed some good gear and built a sound anchor. I brought up my brother as my second and sat at the top basking in my newfound status as a proper climber! Great Chimney V Diff, Great Wanney An epic route at V Diff! An intimidating, but perfectly formed chimney. I climbed it in classic chimney style—back and foot all the way, even though it was quite green and slippery at the time, and I only placed one runner, NMC Quarterly Magazine

about 10m up! In my ‘first year apprenticeship’ as a lead climber I mainly stuck to V Diffs, and did lots of them! This route is the one I remember the most, it was probably the first climb where I really pushed myself to my mental and physical limits, and where I realised what climbing is all about (to me anyway)—being scared senseless and completely exhilarated both at the same time! Rothley Crack VS 5a, Rothley Crag My test piece route! Exactly one year after my first NMC meet at Rothley Crag, I found myself there again, only this time the weather was better, I had my own rope and rack and I was a bit more experienced, having led about forty routes up to VS. I was geared up and standing at the bottom of Rothley Crack ready to lead it. This was the moment I’d dreamt of for a whole year. It is an excellent climb, which follows the obvious crack straight up the middle of the crag, tricky moves all the way keep it sustained, and the gear is good in the crack all the way. The finale of the route is the 5a crux, just below the top out, a face on hand jam, quality!! The route is a perfect example of a solid VS 5a Northumberland climb. This is the most important route that I have climbed and the one that I am most pleased at leading. When I topped out on Rothley Crack my apprenticeship was over and I became a real VS climber! Tigers Wall VS 5a, Bowden Doors This is best VS in Northumberland and the boldest! It crams everything in to its eleven metres—a steep slab with finger busting crimps, a bold but juggy overhang, a crack/flake climb, and a rounded top out! Getting through the overhang doesn’t actually need a great deal of strength or technical ability, just a lot of confidence— just go for it and don’t stop! I’ve noticed that, more than any other route in the County, everyone has a big smile on his or her face after leading Tigers Wall! It is bold for a VS, but that’s ok because us Northumberland climbers are hard as nails!

June 2008

page 18 of 22

Tigers Overhang VS 4c, Peel Crag Absolute quality! A big overhang bang in the middle of the route! As soon as you start climbing you can see, and feel, the dark, cracked roof looming above you, and the dread and tension builds as you climb up to it. I chickened out the first time I tried it and took the chimney diversion to the right of the overhang. One year later I tried it again; feeling much more confident, I climbed right up and into the

overhang, I eventually found the key hold (I’ll not spoil it and say which one though), and made the bold moves from below the roof and up onto the headwall—absolutely thrilling! Canada Crack HVS 5a, Bowden Doors My nemesis, I’d tried this route on at least three separate occasions but the pumpy overhanging start and the pumpy overhanging traverse always tired me out too much, and I could never do the move up into the crack, always slumping off onto the sling protection and going home frustrated. I tried it again recently when I was feeling strong and confident, and sent it easily! I would normally respect routes, especially my favourites, but not this one, when I got up into the crack, I gave it some verbal abuse, well… it had given me plenty of abuse in the past!

Ben Gilbert on Klondyke Wall E2 at Bowden Doors

NMC Quarterly Magazine

June 2008

Wasted Time E1 5b, Kyloe Crag My favourite E1 and a real ‘extreme’ route. After a great morning of cranking through the page 19 of 22

routes at Kyloe with Phil Steadman, he suggested that it was about time I led Wasted Time. Thin, crimpy and bold climbing takes you up, and then across the wall. Gradually the holds do get bigger, which is good because the gear, and the ground, are getting further and further away! The fingery traverse and the crimpy wall in the middle remain as one of the most exhilarating bits of climbing I have done! Definitely not a wasted time! Klondyke Wall E2 5c, Bowden Doors It was the start of my third year of climbing and I was confidently climbing up to HVS, I had a few E1’s under my belt and I was climbing well and feeling strong after a long winter of bouldering. Ben Gilbert and I were up at Bowden on the hottest day of the year so far, and we were having an excellent day. After doing a few routes we both soloed the 6a E1, Childs Play, and I dispatched the font 7a boulder problem His Eminence. As the sun was cooling and all the tourists had left (taking their barbecues and dogs with them), Ben and I decided to make the most of our good run and the fine evening and have a go at Klondyke Wall. We had looked at the route a few times on previous visits, and we’d decided that it looked really good, but it would have to be climbed solo, there aren’t really any obvious gear placements. So we put the bouldering mats down, and we both had a practice run, nailing the overhanging start and the rockover, and the long reach out to the first crimp, we both got most of the way up the thin crimpy wall but then downclimbed for a rest. After resting I psyched myself up and decided to send the route! As soon as I started climbing I knew it was done, I felt really solid, and the moves were flowing together, it was excellent, I was still scared though, and by the time I’d got past my high point I was shaking like a leaf (not just fear, but adrenaline as well!) I had a quick word with myself—‘forget how high you are, calm down and just climb’ I imagined I was only couple of metres above the mats at the Berghaus wall! My mental strategy worked, and I carried on NMC Quarterly Magazine

moving. ‘Only two more crimps to go’, ‘Right hand up, not bad’, ‘left hand up, better’, ‘right up again, the top!’, ‘feel around… a jug!’ Not just a standard ‘thank God jug’, this was a ‘thank the sweet lord baby Jesus jug!’ I hung by one arm on the jug and had a look round to soak it all in, I looked down and saw Ben and gave a whoop of success, and then I hopped over onto the top. My legs were shaking uncontrollably and I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body. I had to just lean against the rock for a bit. It was sweet! I chilled for a while then had another look around, posed for a photo, boulder hopped back down the decent gully, gave Ben the high fives and told him how awesome it was, and then he sent it as well! Afterwards we had to just sit on our mats and chill out, it took about half an hour to calm down, we were the last people at the crag at the end of a long hot day, and we both went home happy that we’d just done the best climb either of us has ever done… so far! My wish list: Northumberland Wall E2, Great Wanney Original Sin E4, Kyloe Crag Childhoods End E4, Ravensheugh Guardian Angel E5, Howlerhirst Dawes Route E6, Ravensheugh AKA Mr Vegas E7, Simonside Endless Flight Direct E8, Great Wanney Off The Rocks E8, Back Bowden The Prow E9, Kyloe In The Woods That unclimbed arête at ** Crag E10!!! (Why not send in your list of favourite routes in the county??? Ed.)

Newcastle/Gateshead Rat Race Sat 30 Aug 2008 Kin Choi recommends the Rat Race— check out their website:

June 2008

page 20 of 22

New Members Meet Peter Bennett

Bowderstone, 10/11 May: A team comprising Adrian, Neil, John, Adam, Ian, Pietr, Martin, Trevor, Peter, and Hedley enjoyed an excellent weekend, in generally fine weather, with just a little burst of thunder and hail late on Sunday afternoon in which some of us got a thorough dousing, though by good fortune we were not caught out on the crag. Given the excellent weather on Saturday morning, a high crag venue was deemed appropriate, and all but Hedley, Trevor and Martin headed for Gillercombe Buttress, a gentle introduction to multipitch climbing for those not having experienced such delights. Hedley went for a walk up to Dock Tarn, whilst Trevor and Martin went up to the Napes and Kern Knotts.

eating, drinking and socialising, but our worthy hut warden had other ideas, and set about installing the new electronic door locking system. Adrian drew the short straw and was assigned the task of numbering 200 + key fobs. On Sunday, everyone climbed or walked in the valley, Ian and Peter, Adam and John on Black Crag, Neal and Adrian on Quayfoot Buttress. The thunder started rumbling in the distance at about 2 pm, when the Black Crag parties were still only half way up, and got closer and closer. By good fortune we all just made the top and were on our way down before the heavens finally opened, and hail stones the size of peas rained down. A dramatic finale to a fine weekend.

The Gillercombe Buttress party headed in from the top of Honister pass, a cunning ploy on Ian’s part to avoid the slog up from Seathwaite. Adrian, Neal and Pietr teamed up to do Gillercombe Bastion, whilst Adam and Peter, John and Ian did the Buttress. It was slow going on the Buttress, due to heavy traffic, but the weather was fine and the outlook inspiring, so there was no hurry. The other party made quicker progress and managed both the Bastion and the Buttress. A pleasant mountain day for all. Back at the hut, Hedley reported an enjoyable day, and Martin called in for a cuppa on his way back to Newcastle to record ascents of Tophet Wall plus a couple of routes on Kern Knotts. It would be nice to report an enjoyable Saturday evening of NMC Quarterly Magazine

John Flitcroft on Soloisten (WI2) at Rjukan, Norway, March 2008 by Kin Choi

June 2008

page 21 of 22

NMC Guidebooks

Indoor climbing: •

Sunderland wall offers a £1 discount to NMC members off the standard entry price.

NMC Website The NMC has a very informative website

NMC members pay a discounted price for any guidebook published by the NMC.

• No Nobler County A history of the NMC and climbing in Northumberland. Now ONLY £2.00 Hurry while stocks Last!!!

Currently available are the following guides:

Contact Martin Cooper on 0191 252 5707

• Northumberland Climbing Guide Definitive Guide to climbing in Northumberland. £12.50 to members (RRP £18.95)

• Climbing In North East England A guide to the best climbing in South Tyneside, County Durham, East Pennines and North York Moors £17.95 (incl. P&P)

• Northumberland Bouldering Guide The website includes various discussion forums, a photoarchive for members’ climbing photos, online guides for most Northumberland crags and you can also buy from a large range of climbing books available.

£12.50 to members (RRP £19.95) For the above 2 guides add £2 P&P if required. Contact John Earl on 0191 236 5922

Contact Steve Crowe on 0191 584 3361

T-shirts and Fleeces Various styles of T-shirt with printed NMC designs and fleece tops with embroidered logo are available. Order direct on the website ( or contact Steve Orrell on 07792 518 934.

Have you got a good climbing/mountain-scenery photo to use in this space in future issues? Please send any submissions to me at

Evening view from Chamonix, by Bryn Roberts

NMC Quarterly Magazine

March 2008

page 22 of 22

County climber summer 2008  
County climber summer 2008