Newsletter entries for 2013


Southern Sandstone

28/07/2013 – 28/07/2013

Written by: Lucy

Attendees: Martin, Caroline, Sharon, Celia, Damian & Lucy


Six of us attended a great day meet to Harrison’s Rock, Southern Sandstone. The sun shined most of the day.

Most of us climbed 4 or 5 routes on the infamous sandstone. There were a few very questionable starts using Martin’s hands by a certain individual (err, not me promise!!!)

Caroline and I spent lots of time basking in the sun and having a picnic, whilst the ‘serious’ climbers got on with it.

Later in the day a few members left early. Leaving Martin, Sharon and myself checking out a route that I was “certain I’d climbed before” – it was much harder than I remember it, but after another conspicuous start I made it to the top!



07/06/2013 – 09/06/2013

Written by: Neil

Attendees: Neil, Martin, Dave, Caroline, Gareth


This is the first trip in the last three years down to Dartmoor where it has actually been sunny and warm! Made the climbing so much more pleasant.

Arrival & Dewerstone — 08/06/2013

Rather than camping the night before we decided to make an early start on the Saturday and meet up at the Dewerstone to climb then pitch the tents in the evening.

It was the first time climbing at the Dewerstone for Caroline & Dave and they really enjoyed it, it's quite possibly the best crag in Dartmoor in my opinion. We all got a few good leads in, Martin leading up the classic Central Groove (HS 4b) with Dave following, Dave going up a three pitch route but running it all as one and myself going straight on to Leviathan (VS 4c) for the first climb. All of which were really great routes.

Gareth did take a fall off of Climbers' Club Ordinary (VS 4b) with Caroline (belaying) catching the fall fine but did end up with a little rope burn on her hands so wasn't confident enough to lead any routes that day but did second a few more.

In the evening we went down to the normal pub in town looking forward to a good carvery only to find that they've stopped it early that they previously did and judging by the very different décor it had gotten new management and with it gone down hill a bit. The food wasn't as good, overpriced for small portions & apparently they were totally out of vegetables.

Haytor & Low Man — 09/06/2013

After packing away the tents we all headed down to Haytor although we started climbing on Low Man, with everyone getting a few more good leads in. Martin lead up Levitation (VS 4b) early on which was a good call as I had to wait until later on in the day for the route to be clear before jumping on it, even then someone almost beat me to it! Dave lead up Raven Gully (S 4a) which is a nice little severe to lead up, although can be a bit strenuous especially so if you wonder to far into the chimney on the second pitch, as all chimneys are.

Gareth joined us a little while after the rest of us as he'd gone home for the night rather than camp (he doesn't live to far away) but unfortunately wasn't feeling to well once he got to the crag and had to head back home shortly after arriving.

After doing a few routes in this area Caroline & I headed over to Haytor West for her to get a few leads in as Low man was getting a bit busier, although Haytor west wasn't that quite with walkers and families around and what we believe was a stag do on a climbing day. She lead up both Zig Zag (VD)Step Across (D) without to much problem.

After a good days climbing and the evening was setting in we all headed home, we did have an idea of heading down to a carvery but couldn't easily locate one unfortunately :(.


Wye Valley meet

05/05/2013 – 05/05/2013

Written by: Neil

Attendees: Neil, Robbie, Sarah, Martin, Tom G, Dave, Graham


This was a day meet at Shorn Cliff in the Wye Valley, the weather started off a bit cloudy and not to warm (not cold though) but got much warmer & sunnier as the day went on. Shorn Cliff was chosen as there's quite a good mix of grades in the area and they tend to be a bit easier (well in my opinion) than other areas which was good for people who'd only started to lead trad routes recently.

Unfortunately as the weather started to getting sunnier and warmer in the afternoon a climber (not an HMA member) near by to a route I'd just lead and was brining my second up on took a leader fall from the route Indecisive Victory HS 4b and his gear wasn't placed appropriately causing him to land on ground. It looked like he landed on a slanted rock on the ground which made the landing worse however he was still concious and alert after the fall and wasn't bleeding badly, although I don't believe he was wearing a helmet at the time he was lucky to get away with not having one on.

A few people on the scene gave him first aid and did what they could while others went to get the emergency services who arrived a little while later as it isn't the quickest area to get to. To make it a little more confusing the previous rescue markers at the bottom of tracks (R1 onwards) had been removed at some stage and not put back up.

Once they'd arrived he was checked over & secured to have him stretched off the crag as the tree coverage was to dense for a helicopter, getting him off the crag was relatively quick as there were a lot of climbers around that day all of whom gave a had to the emergency services. This incident was covered on the BBC news website.

Last we heard the climber that fell was going to make a full recovery although it wold take a little while dispite the seriousness of his injuries.

After this was all over we all pretty much packed up and went home as no one was really in the mood to continue climbing, prior to the accident it was a really good day of climbing.

Cancelled - Pembroke

10/05/2013 – 12/05/2013

Written by: Neil

Attendees: Hanna & Pete


Unfortunately this meet had to be cancelled due to the poor weather, Pete and Hanna still went indoors to the Calshot wall.


18/05/2013 – 18/05/2013

Written by: Neil & Martin

Attendees: Neil


Originally this was going to be a weekend trip to the Wye Valley which was replacing a trip to Clecy as members couldn't make the dates but in the end even that had to be moved to a day meet at Swanage due to the weather forecast not looking all that good for the Sunday and ended up being just Martin & myself attending which hasn't happened in a while.

We went to the subliminal after I finally arrived an hour late due to traffic! It turns out that despite the forecast a lot of the day was clear blue skies, sunny and pretty warm, was only when the cloud blocked out the sun it got chilly and I'm pretty sure only three spots of rain hit me the whole day!

There were even dolphins off the coast which we got to see swimming by, first time I've seen them around Swanage! Same neither Martin or I had a camera handy at the right time but they were quite a nice sight.

We managed to get 5 leads in each that day, making a nice total of 10 and don't think we left the crag until around 18:30 / 19:00, last people on the crag and it was still sunny. The highlight climb of the day was Freda and the lowlight being First Corner, which was a wet greasy awkward corner. No idea why I remembered it being an alright route before.


Peak District

19/04/2013 – 21/04/2013

Written by: Neil & Lucy

Attendees: Neil, Caroline, Lucy, Brendan, Ian Mac, Barry H, Ian Tingers, Pete R, Hanna R, Joel, Dave P, David K, Frances, Susan, Gareth, Tony, Matt

Bouldering & Arrival — 19/04/2013

Brendan, Lucy, David K, Frances & Gareth went up a day early and headed to the Roaches. It turned out to be a nice sunny day, the best of the weekend.
David, Brendan and Gareth did a few boulder problems, whilst Frances and Lucy had a little walk around the area.

After the bouldering, DK managed to find a café for us, where we all had coffee and cakes.
Everyone else just drove up on the Friday evening / night so didn't have time to climb but all managed to say hello to each other before heading to bed.

Stanage — 20/04/2013

We headed up to Stanage End for the first day hoping it wouldn't be to busy, which it wasn't but it wasn't the warmest of days. Although climbing in England means getting used to that kind of weather.

This was also the first time a lot of us had trad climbed in quite a while, pretty sure I took about ten minutes trying to work out how I normally rack up my gear!

Birchen & home — 21/04/2013

This was more of a relaxed climbing day, Birchen Edge was chosen as it's on the way out for all of us, some really great short climbs in the area although a lot of the Diffs & VDiffs in the area seemed more like boulder problems as there was no gear and they weren't very high.


Southern Sandstone

30/03/2013 – 30/03/2013

Written by: Martin L

Attendees: Neil, Robbie, Martin, Caroline, Lucy, Brendan & Paul


7 of us climbed at Bowles, starting the day at Petworth house for coffee and hot cross buns, the a scenic drive up to Bowles. On arrival the Sun came out but as soon as we started to climb it started to snow. That did not distract from the climbing and most of us managed to climb at least 5 routes some one managed 10 depending on if climbing pigs ear twice on the second time wearing a pair of pigs ears counts.

A shorter scenic drive back to Petworth House for a well earned BARBIE (Many thanks to Lucy and Brendan) Even a visit from Tony who had been sailing for 2 days. A great day had by all.


Winter trip to the Lake District

01/02/2013 – 04/02/2013

Written by: Martin L & Barry H

Attendees: Martin, Tom C, Ian M, Peter B, Barry H, Tom L, Ellie


Accommodation: Blencathra View near Threlkeld Self catering.

Arrival and a good day’s walking — 02/02/2013

Peter, Ian and Barry departed Hampshire on the Friday morning and made a leisurely trip up to The lakes and had a meal in the local pub (White Horse) whilst the rest travelled up in the evening departed Winchester at 9pm and pulled up at the accommodation at 1am.

In the morning a few pairs of crampons needed to be adjusted as it looked like they might be needed. The forecast for the day was cold sunny and good visibility

The over 60’s Peter, Ian and Barry, pottered of too Glenridding for an accent of Fairfield via St. Sunday Crag, a very pleasant day out was their reward with stunning views and moderate exercise.

Martin, Ellie and the 2 Toms set of to do Striding Edge, Helvellyn and along Swirral Edge to Catstye Cam and back down to the car. Crampons and ice axes were needed occasionally during the day especially for the descent from Helvellyn onto Swirral Edge. The forecast was correct and we all had a great day and had taken many photos.

Pete cooked the main course of pasta bake whist it was in the oven it gave everyone a chance to try the local ale in the White Horse. Barry did a chocolate desert and it was all washed down with beer and wine.

Strong winds & rain — 04/02/2013

Due to the rain and strong winds most grabbed the opportunity to grab a bit of a lie in on the Sunday morning. With the forecast of very strong winds and very low cloud all day both parties decided on a low level day Peter, Ian and Barry went for a walk in Borrowdale near Shepherds Crag whilst the others went for a climb on Shepherds Crag, with only one rope between 4 and the damp conditions we set up a top rope on Fishers Folly (VS) and M.G.C (E2) which kept every one occupied for a few hours. Back to the accommodation for a late lunch, pack and drive back south. Many thanks to Tom C for driving.

Peter, Ian, Barry stayed on for another day but the strong winds and low cloud continued so they went on a low level walk at the back of the accommodation before they headed south.


Moved - Annual club dinner

19/01/2013 – 19/01/2013

Written by: Neil Nand


Unfortunately because of the bad weather at the beginning of the year this has to be moved even though there was quite a bit of interest in the meal then there didn’t seem to be another date where a large enough number of members could make the meal so it had to be cancelled, hopefully next year will be better.

Cancelled - Mountain biking

20/01/2013 – 20/01/2013

Written by: Neil


Due to the really bad weather this had to be cancelled