Oread  Mountaineering Club  Magazine

October 2011

A Bonfire at Heathy Lea

Editorial. (Last Date for November edition 24/10/11)

Another month, and the time of mellow fruitfulness etc is back. Our Winter Lectures start this month with Paul Bingham, should be good, he usually is, appearing at the Royal Oak on the 4th, Spondon Wild Life Trust on the 5th and Stapleford on the 6th, I shall attempt to be at all three!!

The magazine has a different theme this month. We have a number of Mountain Bike meets. I am aware that a large number of the Oread’s like to get on their bikes, so come along and give it a try with the rest of us. The rock will be wet and greasy at this time of year so what have you got to lose?

Winter Lectures at the Royal Oak 4th October 2011

Paul Bingham. “Birds in the Hills”

His talk will cover mainly UK hill/wild areas but also a few relevant pictures from more distant regions such as Svalbard, Iceland, Patagonia, New Zealand, Himalayas, Falklands, Antarctica, Ethiopia

Little Langdale, 7th -9th October 2011

John Green

This meet is a little different, I thought we might savour the delights of the bridle ways around the Langdale valleys. We seem to have very few get togethers where a mountain bike is used for its real purpose, enjoying the hills, so come along and do something different. We have 16 beds available and it is a “Hut Swop” so we use it at their rates     (£3-00 a night) but we get the money. They have the same arrangement for our hut. I propose showing a few slides of our successful Cairngorm circuit last June on Saturday evening, if anyone would like to bring along a version of their own, a memory stick is best. Getting there is done by following the usual A591 into Ambleside, then the 593 to Skelwith Bridge, continue on this road for a further mile to where a turn off is made to High Colwith and Little Langdale. After passing the pub (The Three Shires Inn) a small left turn will bring you to the hut after a few meters. It is part of a terrace and only has parking for 6 cars so car sharing certainly helps.

Hawkshead Forest.                           Hodge Close Quarry.

Curry Meet - Tan Yr Wyddfa: 29th – 30th October 2011

Tony Howard

It’s autumn & time for another Curry Meet.  Regardless of the weather a good time is guaranteed for all – cragging, walking or whatever!

The cost for the food will be about £5-6/ person, for everyone who signs up.  This will be payable on the weekend! I will buy the last of the food on the preceding Thursday or Friday. So if you have signed up and for some reason you cannot make it, please let me know by Wednesday 26th at the latest, to avoid being charged for the food.  An earlier notification would also allow me to offer your place to someone else.  Bring your own wine, beer, whisky, gin, vodka and rum.

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

Heathy Lea Bonfire.Sat 5th Sun 6th November 2011

Mike Hayes.

We will once again be holding our annual pyromaniacs convention at the Derbyshire hut in celebration of all things rebellious and none conforming!

This annual event is ideal for bringing together the varied membership of the club and usually provides great entertainment for friends and families. On Saturday afternoon we will be building the bonfire and once the sun has gone down we will light the fire, start the Barbeques (Please bring your own food and drink) and set off the fireworks.

Our esteemed President has kindly volunteered to sort out the fireworks but please feel free to bring your own as well. We now have an area at the back of the old barn to set them off so hopefully it will be slightly safer than previous years.


Saturday and Sunday sporting activities will depend on the weather but there will no doubt be a number of Oread’s wandering over our local crags in addition to a sprinkling of bikers / gear shoppers and tea shop visitors etc. Steve Bennett will also be leading a mountain bike ride on Sunday starting at the hut.

Club members are encouraged to bring with them their musical instruments / home brew concoctions etc.

There will be a £2 charge per person to cover the Fireworks and the normal hut fees apply for those staying the night. Please let me know if you are planning to go and especially if you are staying the night. Tel: 07771700913 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dovedale Dash Sun 6th November.

Rob. Tresidder

This year's Dash will start at 1100 prompt on Sunday 6 November. Old stagers will need no reminding of the details. Thorpe Pastures CP is free so arrive early! Entry is £5 (£3 for U14).

Newcomers may find useful info here:


This really is an event open to all abilities, so why not come along and dip your toe in a piece of Oread history? I notice one new piece on the website:

People who climb the fence on to Thorpe Cloud will be disqualified.

No names; no pack drill!


2008 Dash.

62nd Annual Dinner.

Saturday The 19th of November 2011.

Richard Hopkinson.


As previewed in September’s Newsletter, this year’s annual dinner will again be held at The Bluebell Inn, Tissington, on Saturday 19 of November, 6.30 onwards to sit down at 7.30. The cost is £17.00 per person for 3 courses (a cheese course can be included for an extra £1.50 per person)


The menu and other details are included with this Newsletter. Please fill the form in and return it to me. This is one of the main social events of our year. A chance to catch up with people you’ve not seen recently, as well as reminisce over the year’s adventures with people you see regularly. So I look forward to seeing you there. Please don’t leave replying to the last minute, and in any case I need to know numbers by Monday the 7th of November at the latest.

If anybody has any questions please don't hesitate to contact me, my home

telephone is 01629 823392, I’m also emailable at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Re accommodation if anybody wants to stay overnight there is plenty in the area although not at the Bluebell. Camper vans can be parked discreetly overnight in the car park.


After Dinner Walk. Sunday 20th November 2011

Tony Howard.

Tony Howard has kindly offered to lead a walk on the Sunday. It will start somewhere in the area near the Bluebell, and I am reliably informed, it will not be too strenuous, and include the opportunity of a liquid lunch. Full details will be in the November newsletter.

Biking with Bennett.

Steve Bennett.

Something new for this winter! I intend to offer a series of biking meets on a monthly basis. The aim will be to find a blend to interest a variety of members with on and off road riding. However the bias will be towards bridleways and byways as opposed to clocking up the miles on busy roads. Whatever your current ability or fitness level, you will be very welcome. Almost any bike will do and I promise that you will never be required to carry it. Venues/areas will be chosen to allow scope for a number of route lengths to be achievable so as to offer the less fit and the inexperienced some bale out options whilst not holding back those who require more of a challenge. There will usually be more technical off road options for those who are up for it.  The first Sundays of each month have been chosen for the first three events in the lead up to Christmas and these will be:

      • Sunday October 2nd, Middleton Top Car Park, Grid Ref: 275551, meet at 10am.
      • Sunday November 6th, Heathy Lea, meet at 10am. (the day after the bonfire meet).
      • Sunday December 4th, Buxton Railway Station Car Park, Grid Ref: 058737.


If you are considering attending and would like a chat before hand then please feel free to get in touch and if you are interested but find that you cannot make some or all of these dates would you please let me know? This will allow me to assess overall interest levels within the club.


Steve Bennett

01332 516367

07795 511582

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

News, Articles and Reports from Meets.

Bregaglia, Summer 2011

Chris Wilson.

This summer’s meet was the Bregaglia, and what a fine time we all had.


The 900 miles from the Midlands to Vicosoprano provides scope for interesting journeys.  Jan and I walked in the Ardennes, climbed in Epinal town centre on steep sandstone (La Carriere Collot, 30 m high with 47 routes) and arrived in Vicosoprano shocked by the cold and the low snow level.  The Briggs were escorted off the Channel Tunnel with steam erupting from their engine.  The Hayes arrived deaf after driving from Leicester without a silencer!  Snod and Gil explored Europe’s byways and Malcolm arrived by bike.


With Italy being considerably cheaper than Switzerland the roadside crag of Sasso del Drago near Chiavenna proved highly popular with its good routes, friendly bolting, sunny aspect and belays by the car.  Another oft visited valley venue was Sasso Bianco, with smooth granite slabs in a lovely spot.  Several of us visited Vho, up the Splügen Pass, which is part quarried with some loose rock and vegetation - not to everyone’s taste.  Just up the valley from Maloja lies the limestone crag of Plaun da Lej.  With tough grades this gave us a day’s sport, Michael (B) and Heidi romping up the 7’s and showing how it should be done.  Several of us had fun exploring the steep hillside below Acuafraggia crag (by the waterfalls above Chiavenna), getting lost in what the guidebook describes as Amazon jungle.  The climbing on “solidified lava” was really good, although Richard and Martin chose the wrong route, and didn’t enjoy their experience.  Michael and Heidi went bouldering over the Splügen Pass, en route watching a coach, unable to negotiate a hairpin, doing a multi-point turn.  We looked at Lirone, and the slabs at Placche di Bette entertained several teams.

Jan and Malcolm on the Cacciabella pass           Peter Climbing


Jan, Malcolm and I chose a walk from Promontogno over the Cacciabella Pass (2,897m) to the Albigna valley to whet our appetites, with an expensive (CHF 58 ppn) night in the near deserted Sciora hut en route.  Team Briggs walked to the Lunghin Pass (2645 m) watershed, from where waters flow to the North Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea, Peter and Nigel also nipping up Piz Lunghin (2780m).  Nigel then lead several of us on a superb walk from Casaccia to the Val da Cam (2,433m) and on to Soglio.  The route, later repeated by Gil, gives magnificent views over the Bregaglia.  Team Wilson / Leick chose a scramble up Piz Julier (3380m) above St Moritz as our next challenge one extremely hot day.  Snow on the upper reaches enhanced superb views over the Julier Pass and the Bernina.  The walk to Soglio never disappoints and Pete and Sue (Lancaster) led a large group on this.


As the weather warmed up teams began to make forays into the bigger hills.  The Briggs went to the Boval Hut and Piz Morteratsch (3751m) in the mist, returning via the Tschierva Hut to a very loooooooong walk back to Pontresina in the rain.  Team Bate wandered up to the same area.  Peter and Nigel then attempted Piz Bernina.  After a cable car to the Diavolezza, they crossed the Pers Glacier and bivvied at Isla Persa, enjoying 1st August fireworks and the stars.  Next morning it was up the Fortezzagrat and along the Bellaviste terrace to Marco-e-Rosa Hut below Piz Bernina.  Taking longer than expected and being too late to get to the summit (and down) they returned to the Diavolezza by the Fortezzagrat, missed the last cable car and enjoyed a late return to the campsite (a common theme!).


Richard and Martin arrived with the only period of bad weather for many weeks.  A few nights and a walk up to the foot of the Badile North Ridge preceded a drive to Briancon, just before the sun came out again!  On my wet birthday we all had a short walk to Vicosoprano via Roticcio.


Michael and Heidi climbed the via Kasper on Piz Frachiccio (N Pillar), as did Snod and I a few days later.  250 metres of excellent climbing with bolts where they’re wanted (too tempting in one place!), but never quite in the sun.  Highly recommended.  Several people did routes on Spazzacaldeira, including the NE Ridge and the Fiamma.  Jan, Janet and I walked from the Albigna dam over the South Casnil Pass to lunch on the Forno glacier (a first for Jan) and then down Maloja – a very enjoyable day.

On the start of the Biancograt                             The final tower on the ridge

With holidays coming to an end, teams went for bigger plums.  Peter and Nigel climbed the Badile Nordkante with excellent weather, crowds and views over all the Alps.  They descended the South side to the Gianetti Hut and on into Italy.  The walk down took longer than expected and they reached Bagni del Masino just before midnight, where, very pleased and relieved, they met Janet and Helen, arriving back at the campsite about 2 am!  Not to be outdone, Pete and Michael H went for an even later finish.  After ascending the Biancograt on Piz Bernina (4049m) they chose to continue walking down to the valley.  Unfortunately darkness overcame them, they missed a bridge and spent a cold night in a boulder field not far from the path!

The 5 pitch Piccolo on Piz dal Päl above the Forno hut was another popular outing and the Bio-Pillar (2843m) was climbed by Snod and Gil.


All good things must eventually end.  Malcolm rode off to Croatia and then home to a new job.  Pete and Sue headed for the Maritime Alps.  The Haye’s van problems persisted.  Team Bates hit the Verdon whilst Team Briggs had a few sessions at Fontainebleau instead of Mt Blanc.  Snod and Gil climbed in the Jura.  Jan and I spent a couple of days at Ornans, SE of Besançon, doing the Roche du Mont via ferrata and climbing on the limestone crags of Roche des Vannes and Falaise de la Brême overlooking the River Loue.  After a lovely walk near the River Lison at Eternoz to “Les Chandeliers”, a short session at Fontainebleau (Hautes Plaines, Franchard) and a cycle ride at the Baie de Somme we were home.


A wonderful summer and the Battle of the Table hasn’t yet been mentioned, so it can wait.


Chris and Jan Wilson, Dave (Snod) Helliwell, Pete and Sue Lancaster, Gil Male, Richard Hopkinson and Martin, Michael Helen Emma and Tom Hayes, Michael Bate and Heidi, Mike Cathy and Sophie Moss, Nigel Janet and Peter Briggs, Malcolm Leick

A Ride around the Cairngorms.


On the 14th June 2011 Chiz & Rue Dakin, Pam & Nodge Norris, Tony Raphael and John Mordue joined me at Blair Atholl to start a circuit of the Cairngorm Mountains. Having tipped the man in the Museum a fiver to keep an eye on the parked cars for the next four days, I felt fairly safe going off and leaving them. The weather was brilliant for most of the trip and we managed no major breakdowns or accidents. The only exciting bit was when Tony went for an impromptu swim during a stream crossing and would not stay there long enough for me to take a photo!

Setting out from Blair Atholl                     Lunch at Loch Duin

We rode along a section of the old road that follows the A9 north before turning off onto a gravel track up to the Gaick Pass. From its head we pushed a short way along the Loch an Duin before lunch at its end. The flowers there were lovely and so nice to see in such a remote place. Back on good track again we carried on past the Gaick Lodge and Glen Tromie into Kingussie where we stayed the night. After heavy rain, some of the river crossings here could have been problematic, but in the conditions we had, no problems were encountered apart from a cut on Pam’s leg, from a brush with her crank gear.

Pam’s Injury                            Tony on Loch an Duin Single Track

The following day we pushed on into the Caledonian Forest. This was undoubtedly the best part of the trip. The rocky single track was excellent and can definitely be recommended for a return trip, if you are in the area. It took us past Drakes Bothy, Lochan Eilein, The Cairngorm Footbridge and Loch Morlich, where we had lunch at the café. Then it was on past Glenmore Lodge and  Ryvoan Bothy, crossing the River Nethy and a narrow trail through the Eag Mor, a rocky defile in the hillside. From Dorback Lodge we managed to get lost in Glen Brown and had to do some extra miles to get into Tomintoul. A strange place to say the least! The Youth Hostel was run by a volunteer and was clean and comfortable. Food was had at the only Pub, which was cheap and very nice, especially with the real ale.

Chiz very wet!                          Chiz on the Loch Morlich single track

Lunch at Loch Morlich                               Loch Builg single track

The next day we carried on following the River Avon past Queen Victoria’s Viewpoint, to Linn of Avon. After a nice bit of riding along Loch Builg and lunch, we had the big push up the flank of Cullardoch one of my Corbetts! Of course it was all down bank after this and a great run into Braemar. We were glad of the comfortable bunkhouse at Breamar Lodge.


The final day was a little less kind weatherwise but we only got wet on the final few miles down Glen Tilt. The route took us along the road to Linn of Dee then on past the Geldie Burn where again we could have had trouble in very wet conditions. The track over the watershed was too technical for me and I am, happy to say I pushed most of it, falling down into the gorge was not a good option! Arrival back in Blair Atholl to a large pot of tea in the Café was a fine end to a great trip.

Crossing the Geldie Burn                  Last of the single track in the rain.

Walking Website.

The following was passed on by Dave Roscoe. I have looked at the site and it is good. A useful source of info for those of us who venture further afield. Ed.


I would like to draw your attention to my website http://happyhiker.co.uk which I set up to record walks that I do but more importantly to provide accurate and easy to follow instructions for others to enjoy these walks too (with PDF text downloads of the directions and GPX/Memory map downloads for those that use GPS receivers).

John Kelly.

Information on Member Activities.

John Salmon has returned to the UK, our members would like to welcome him back into the fold.

Hut Bookings for October.   

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


Sept. 30/1Oct.  South Cheshire CC             16 beds,  Oread room 2 beds.

Oct.   7/8th Flyde MC   hut swop.

Oct.   14/15th Southern Trekking              16 beds.

Oct.   21/22nd Oldham MC                             12 beds.

Oct.   28/29th Oread meet.

Please note that the builder is due to start work on October 10th, improving the drainage at the front of T.Y.W. This will not affect the use of the hut.


Oct.  Sept. 30/1Oct.    Derwent MC               cottage.

Oct.  7/8th                     C. Wilson                      cottage.

Oct.  28/29th.               possible booking ??


Forthcoming Meets


Sun 2nd

Mountain Bike ride

Steve Bennett

01332 516367

Tues 4th

Evening Meet at Royal Oak Ockbrook



Tues 11th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook




Sat 8th Sun 9th

Little Langdale

John Green

01332 832101


Sat 29th Sun 30th

Curry Meet - Tan yr Wyddfa

Tony Howard

01332 273307


Tues 1st

Evening Meet at Royal Oak Ockbrook




Sat 5th Sun 6th

Heathy Lea Bonfire

Mike Hayes

01530 231401


Sun 6th

Dovedale Dash

Rob Tresidder

01629 823953


Sun 6th

Mountain Bike ride

Steve Bennett

01332 516367


Tues 8th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook




Sat 19th

62nd Annual Dinner

Richard Hopkinson

01629 823392


Sun 20th

Post Prandial Walk

Tony Howard

01332 273307


Sun 4th

Mountain Bike ride

Steve Bennett

01332 516367

Tues 6th

Evening Meet at Royal Oak Ockbrook



Sat 10th Sun 11th

Bullstones Meet.

Pam Norris

01524 60584


Tues 13th

Committee Meets Royal Oak Ockbrook




Wed 14th

Black Rocks Meet

Rob Tresidder

01629 823953


24th Dec – 1st Jan 2012

Christmas at Tan yr Wyddfa

Rock Hudson

01159 333031


Copyright – Oread Mountaineering Club.

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

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

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