…and so the club enters 2012, and from where I’m sat it looks rather exciting. Lots of new members, talk of big trips already rumbling, the club climbing wall spruced up and ready to go, and lots more plans in the pipeline…. we just need it to stop raining!!
An important change that I’d best post here for those who have not recieved (or read) the AGM minutes, is that clubhouse meets will now be on the first and third Thursdays of the month. We intend to produce a line-up of interesting events through the year, kicking off this month with a slideshow on the Tatra Mountains (5th Jan) and a Curry & Climbing evening (19th Jan).
I’d also like to remind people that it’s subs time again. This year it’s my turn to hassle you all to renew, so if you see me at a meet then please come and make your donation. For those of you whose paths don’t tend to cross with mine, I’ll come and find you once I’ve got the members list sorted.
So, with all those new years resolutions at the ready, here’s to a great year ahead. Just remember: don’t go doing anything TOO interesting, or you’ll have to do a slideshow about it next winter 😉 Happy adventuring!
Many past and present members of the Club attended the funeral of Patrick Peace on 13th October 2011; Pat, who was twice President of the Club, and was an Honorary Life Member, died at the end of September, aged 97.
A photo of those present and the script of Andy’s speech is below:
Pat Peace’s funeral; 13th October 2011. Members and former members of the Castle Mountaineering Club. Sean Jennings, Charles Knowles, Norma Jackson, Ron Purkiss, Keith Skews, Gordon Riley, Alan Fowler, Steve France, ? , Ronny Hindmoor, Mike Anderson, Jill Anderson, Serena France, Margaret Anderson, Mike Doyle (at front in suit), Anne Payne, Bob Payne, Caroline Whitehead, Marian Birkett, Paul Goodlad, Vanda Boyd, John Barnard, Linda McLeish, Mary Peace, Frank Mellor, Hugh Dowling (dark glasses), Jennifer Mellor, Ashley Turner, Kate Fowler, Mike Jackson, Chris Kell, Andy Smith, Suzanne Came, Andy Came, David Pendlebury, Alison Williams, Rosy Smith, Martin Whitaker, Pat Cocks, Barry Goodlad. (Photo: Alan Fowler)
Patrick was the first member of the Castle Mountaineering Club I met when I first went along to the clubroom behind the Rising Sun Inn on Abbey Lane. This was back in 1973. Pat was standing with Mary just by the door. He introduced himself, and, as with so many other first time visitors to the Club, he and Mary took me under their wing, gave me a meets list, introduced me to other members, and enthused about climbing and mountaineering. I was soon attending my first Club meet.
By that time Patrick was already a long-standing member of the young club. He and Mary had joined it in 1969, just two years after it was founded, so they were in pretty well from the start. Patrick served the Club in many different roles. He was Vice-president, President (twice, in 1976 and 1980). At various times he was Equipment Custodian and Clubroom Custodian and he was a member of the committee for many years. In recognition of all this, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Club. He used his practical skills to help the Club; for example he made a lot of flags and stickers in the shape of an orange Castle (the Club logo) which members could put on their tents and cars (or motorbike in my case) so they could find each other more easily on Club meets. He also supported SACC, the Sheffield Association of Climbing Clubs, as he served as chief timekeeper and starter at the annual fell race organised under the auspices of SACC. Of course he was supported in all this by Mary, who also did her stints as president, committee member and meet organiser. Together they were invariably referred to in the same breath as: “Pat’n’Mary”.
Patrick, accompanied by Mary of course, was a very active Club member in the 1970’s and early 80’s and a consistent attender at Club meets, both local and away. Looking through my old logbooks, it is noticeable how often Pat’s name appears in my notes of Club meets. Although Pat did some hillwalking and scrambling, and I particularly remember an ascent of Cader Idris with him and on another occasion a traverse of Striding Edge, his real love and forte was rock climbing. This was particularly the case for local crags like Stanage and Froggatt Edges. Pat seemed to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the climbs and could tell you exactly where each hold was and what to do with it. He was always calm and laidback. I never saw him get gripped on a climb. He was also seen at social events which occurred frequently in those days. Apart from Club events like the Annual Dinner, and sessions in the pub after a good climbing meet, there seemed to many parties in those days, where Pat could always be relied on for a good conversation about climbing.
I am sure other Club members will have many memories of Patrick, and some good reminiscences to recount later. Let me just just finish by saying that Pat was a great guy. It was a pleasure to have known him as a friend. He was a gentleman and a climber, and you can’t say better than that.
The (shortish) business part of the meeting, including a review of the year by Andrew, our current President, will be followed by a social event including food. Members, please come along and support your AGM. You will be sent relevant documents by e-mail. Vanda has offered to co-ordinate food; please contact her for suggestions as to what to bring. You should also contact Vanda if you do not receive AGM papers.
Interested in finding out more about the CMC? You are welcome to attend. The evening provides an opportunity to meet a large number of our members in a relaxed social setting.
It may have rained a little (okay – maybe more than a little) but that was not enough to deter us ‘hardy’ mountaineers from having a good time and climbing a few hills! We even spotted the occasional bit of blue sky as several of us (Hugh, Gary, Ellie, Pete, Mike, Nigel and myself) headed out on the first day on a scrambling/walking adventure up Conival and Ben More Assynt. The route was expertly navigated in a collaborative fashion! On our way down we were rewarded for our great outdoors stamina (i.e. being out there for over 10 hours) by a beautiful sunset! We were joined back at the hut by Dave and Linda.
The ascent of Conival and Ben More Assynt
The next day, weather permitted a multi pitch climb on Stac Pollaidh by Pete, Ellie, Gary and myself. Back at the hut, we were all joined by John and Gordon. Night set in and that was it for the great weather! The next day was damp! After much debate, a party of us (Hugh, John, Gordon, Mike, Gary and myself) braved an ascent of Cul Beag, with the others opting for a low level day, including a trip to Sandwood Bay and Reef rocks. All went well, apart from in the Sandwood Bay party (Pete and Ellie) who found upon returning to Pete’s van that it would not start! They eventually turned up at the hut at 2am that night, after struggling to get through to the breakdown recovery man the exact whereabouts of the caving hut we were staying in (somehow the words ‘caving hut’ had been translated to ‘cave in hut’ – don’t know about you but I have not encountered many caves in the huts I have stayed in!).
A rather wet ascent of Cul Beag!
The weather got no better over the next few days – which for some reason inspired coastal and geological walks. However, it did allow a recky of the Old Man of Stoer for those endeavouring to conquer it on a better weather day. A party of us also got up Suilven (whose pronunciation was much debated) while others of us bailed out of a pending wet epic on Foinaven and Arkle (the definition of epic also being much debated)!
Thanks to Hugh, we were ‘rescued’ from the joys of wet weather camping by his wonderful hut suggestion. Lots of laughter and the ‘occasional’ wine and whiskey drinking went on. Hugh was on top form with his ‘Hughisms’ and extraordinary ability to ‘name that film soundtrack’! It was great also to see Sue who joined us for a couple of days.
Most of the party set off back home on sat. The weather being ‘a little’ better that day prompted John, Gary and I to climb Ben Deag and 2 other neighbouring tops. A glorious day, rewarded with fantastic views of Sutherland and An Teallach.
Overall, a great holiday! Thanks to all those who came along.
Find out more about the Castle and meet some of its members. There will be a choice of climbing, walking and mountain biking together with a Saturday night social event.Hopefully, each activity will run on both Saturday and Sunday, so that you can do a different event each day. We aim to tailor each day to the level of experience of those taking part, so please register your interest early. Contact Andrew (0114 268 6605) for more details