Meets are what the club is all about. They're run by members, for members. The club thrives by having members take an active interest in the meets that are run. We typically agree the next year's meets - where we're going and who's organising which meet - at our AGM in October. The Frequently Asked Questions page offers advice on what to expect on a meet.
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Eat, drink, be merry, and vote for Rockhopper of the Year.More
The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty is a little gem in the Welsh Marches. All Stretton and the nearby town of Church Stretton are particularly handy for the hills and moors of the Long Mynd and the wonderfully named Caer Caradoc, where Caractacus made his lanst stand against the Romans.
For this one we are in the very well endowed but small All Stretton Bunkhouse.More
It's that time of year again, and you are hereby cordially invited along to the annual Rockhopper Christmas bash!
This year we have secured a most exclusive venue at a convenient central location, namely the India Club Restaurant at the Strand.
During the evening you will be served an opulent buffet-style menu of delicious Indian curries, which will cater to carnivores and vegetarians alike (you do not need to make any choices in advance as the dishes are served buffet style) .
Drinks are self-catered, so feel free to bring along your favourite beverage! The restaurant sells tea, coffee, water and lassi.
All this comes at the very reasonable price tag of £21 (incl. £2 tip) which will be payable upon booking.
We will gather here from 7PM onwards.
NB ignore the "leaving location" fields - we assume you will all get yourselves there and back!More
Ystradfellte in the Fforest Fawr area of the Brecon Beacons National Park is famous for its limestone scenery, waterfalls and caves. Here the rebel leader Llywelwyn surrendered ending his 1316 revolt against the English.
Serious cavers might want want to tackle the Wormhole in Porth yr Ogof, but I suspect Rockhoppers will prefer to stay above ground: Fforest Fawr contains the peaks Fan Fawr (734 m), Fan Frynych (629 m), Craig Cerrig-gleisiad (629 m), Fan Llia (632 m), Fan Nedd (663 m), Fan Gyhirych (725 m), Fan Bwlch Chwyth (603 m) and Cefn Cul (562 m), adding to this trip’s linguistic complexity.
We will be staying in the Clyngwyn Bunkhouse.More
--- Please email Bill Hetherington to book onto this trip. ---
Our usual New Year shenanigans will be based in Crianlarich at the northern end of the Trossachs National Park. We have the whole Crianlarich hostel exclusively to ourselves so expect the usual fun and entertainments including us all mucking together for dinner on New Year’s eve itself.
The cost will be £63 per head for the five nights which is rather a bargain.
Let’s hope it snows!More
Borrowdale should need little introduction to Rockhoppers, being a Lake District favourite. As jumping off point for the acsent of Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, there are plenty of Fells to explore. There are convenient valley crags nearby, but should we have a dream winter how about the routes on Great End... We can always hope!
The base for this one is the Old Grange School, a hut belonging to the Climber’s ClubMore
On this trip , the ‘hoppers are heading back up north to Malhamdale in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. In the Domesday Book the village was given the name as Malgun, meaning ‘settlement by the gravelly places. Situated on the major walking and cycling routes including the Way of the Roses and the Pennine Way. Other walks could include visiting the lime pavement scenery around Malham Cove and Gordale Scar, the Yorkshire Three Peaks (Whernside – 736m, Pen-y-ghent – 694m and Ingleborough – 793m) or other smaller Yorkshire dales. For the hardcore climbers of the club I believe there are many outstanding routes on Malham Cove itself. Or you could decide just to eat the Yorkshire pudding and drink tea for the weekend.
We will be staying in the Airton Barn.More
Why not join us for the year's first trip to Snowdonia, with the Ogwen valley being a classic destination for hikers and climbers alike! Given current conditions there should be plenty of opportunities to get your winter gear out, and it looks like crampons and ice axes will be needed for any hill activities (please flag when you book if you need to borrow any of this gear from the club by emailing me directly). You can follow the ground conditions via the webcam on the Ogwen Valley Rescue Team website at https://ogwen-rescue.org.uk/.
We will stay in the remote Caseg Fraith hut, which sleeps 25 people and is ideally situated for hill access with its location at the bottom of Tryfan (http://www.ulgmc.org/caseg.html). Note that given the remote hut location you will need to bring food/drinks for the entire weekend with you, and we will arrange for a communal meal on the Saturday evening for those interested.More
Bury Jubilee Hostel in Glenriding is just a walk down the hill from England's highest ski resort, run by the Lake District Ski Club ... bring your own skis if we're in luck with the conditions! Of course the hills around Hellvelyn are fantastic with or without the snow, so we are going to have a couple of great days out.
The hostel looks luxurious and has a wood burning stove, so bring some wood, wine and food to cook and enjoy a nice warm evening in - no need to tramp a couple of kilometers down the hill to the pubs and village lights.More
We will be visiting the most London accessible group of the Brecon Beacons on this trip, staying six miles North of Crickhowell. There are plenty of high walks to enjoy the snowy landscapes, the main summit Waun Fach intersects Offa’s Dyke path, other notable peaks include Hey Bluff and Lord Hereford’s knob. Not to be confused with the King of Hey on Wye and owner of many of that town’s famous bookshops, a twenty minute drive from the Bunkhouse providing a handy retreat in the unlikely event of poor weather. Brecon is a similar distance and if you’re going that far then the rest of the Beacons come into reach including the majestic Pen-y-fan for more walks or an icy winter dip in leech lake. Lower level walks include the lovely Ystradfellte waterfalls.More
Cwm Eigiau Cottage
Grid Ref: SH 713638
This one is a bit special: the cottage, which sleeps only ten, sits in spectacular isolation in remote upper Cwm Eigiau and is accessible only by foot! You will have to walk the last 3 km up a mountain path in the dark, possibly in a blizzard, whilst carrying everything you need for the weekend. The hut is a superb starting point for all the hills of the Carneddau. The classic climbs on Craig yr Ysfa are only 45 minutes walk from the front door. Snowdonia’s second highest mountain Carnedd Llewelyn can be reached via the highest lake in Wales and the wreckage of a crashed plane! In 1925 the dam of the nearby reservoir was breached, the ensuing torrent rushing downhill to destroy the village of Dolgarrog below. There are wild ponies.
Last year we cooked breakfast porridge and Saturday's evening meal together - space is at a premium so everyone needs to be prepared to help out - including burying the chemical loo on our way out. But it really is a special place and we expect it to be a popular trip once again, despite the hardships. Let's hope no-one gets lost this year ;)
Oh, and it's sort of my birthday...More
Come along with Rockhoppers to the annual BANFF event at the Union Chapel in North London, to enjoy a diverse range of high quality outdoor films in good company!
Sorry you have to put in lift details - we assume you will be able to make it to the wilds of Islington yourself.
We will go for the Blue programme, which among other things includes films on ice diving, free soloing, canoeing on the Amazon, acrobat BASE jumping, and a heart-warming story about a man and his dog!
The film programme starts at 7.30pm, and we will meet at the bar from 6.30pm onwards.
Our first official camping trip of the year takes us to Cornwall to enjoy the granite crags and coastal walks of the Land's End Peninsula.
We'll be staying in Lower Penderleath Farm campsite; a few miles south of St. Ives and just five miles from Bosigran and Great Zawn, home to some of the greatest climbing routes in the UK.
Also within 30 mins drive, climbers can take their pick from the classics of Sennen, Land's End and Chair Ladder, lesser known areas such as Trewavas and Carn Gowla, and extensive bouldering around St. Ives Bay.
Walkers should find the coastal path provides plenty to occupy themselves with; and while it may be a touch early in the year for sunbathing, the beaches offer kayaking, sailing and, if foolhardy enough to brave the March waters, surfing.
Finally, for the end of the day the campsite can provide fire buckets and a communal fire pit to warm up the spring evenings, and there are a couple of pubs within staggering distance, where the three great culinary masterpieces of the region - cream tea, cornish pasties, and cider - can be sampled.More
For Easter this year we are heading to the wonderful Isle of Skye.
We've booked out the Glenbrittle hostel, nestled between the west side of the famous Cuillin ridge and the sea loch Brittle. The hostel was refurbished just over 4 years ago, so we should have a comfortable stay.
For those that like to supplement their mountain fix, we're less than 1 km from the beach, close to the Fairy Pools and around 7km from the Talisker distillery.
Arriving earlier won't be possible at this hostel (it's closed before we arrive), but staying on will be. If you plan to arrive earlier than Friday, then the hostel in Portree will be open for you to book. Let me know if you plan to stay on afterwards and I can coordinate the booking.
Also, do let me know if you are a couple when you book for when I sort room allocations out.More
It's time for spring sunshine at the seaside!
As one of the closest climbing venues to London, Portland offers a good mix of social, low-fear sport climbing and some long, pumpy, committing routes too. Deep-water soloing for the brave! For the trad purists, there are a few “proper climbing” routes on Portland – and Swanage is a short-ish drive.
This is also a super spot for walking the Jurassic Coast (or maybe a trail run or a bike ride?). The coast has spectacular footpaths and nice beaches and I expect the ice cream is pretty good too.
We'll be staying on this lovely campsite http://www.weymouthcampingandcaravanpark.co.uk/, right next to Chesil beach, between Portland and Weymouth. There's a farmshop on site selling bacon butties in the morning and has fire pits for hire at night. and yes, it's 5 minutes to the pub. From £12/night for a one person tent.
Time to get your tent out!More
A trip to the forgotten borderlands... long empty beaches, sandstone crags, the Cheviot hills, Kielder forest and the Farne islands.
Spend your May bank holiday exploring Northumberland. There's loads of bouldering and trad climbing, walking in the hills or along beaches, mountain biking in Kielder forest, run, swim, go to a seal sanctuary... it's a great playground.
We'll be staying here http://www.highburn-house.co.uk/index.htm.
Campsite comes with a colony of ducks and rabbits and there's pubs and shops just down the road. The camping is cheap - works out at about £8 pppn.
Cars are useful for this area - especially for the climbers so perhaps get a train to Newcastle and drive from there?More
Our annual climber’s Novice meet to Stanage, Hope Valley, staying at Hardhurst Farm camp site.
Interested in trying out climbing, or getting into outdoor trad? Come along!
Do you lead trad already? We need you to share your skills and knowledge with newer climbers in the Club.
If climbing on the classic gritstone climbing edges of Bamford, Burbage and Stanage is not for you, there is walking through Edale and Kinder Scout, or rent a mountain bike and explore the local tracks.
Camping equipment essential, basic climbing equipment (helmet, harness, shoes) suggested. Look out for the email in advance of the trip with more details.
Note: The Rockhoppers Club does not directly provide formal training, the Novice Meet simply offers guidance from club members.More
The annual epic bank holiday trip - sea, sand, cream teas and hopefully not too much fog.
For those as haven't been, West Cornwall is what Cornwall is really all about, beautiful scenery, stunning wild craggy coast line to walk, immaculate granite to climb on, gorgeous sandy coves to surf, swim or just laze in and more tourist tat in St Ives than you can shake a candy floss stick at. Add to that tin mines, the Minack Theater and various other wet weather alternatives just in case, and you're made for a perfect escape from London.
We're staying at Treen Farm Campsite again. A fantastic setting, a mere field inland from the cliff top and coast path, a skip from Logan Rock itself, and a gentle stagger from the Logan Rock Inn. Within a 10-15 minute walk there is a lovely beach at Porthcorno accessible at all tides by coast path & road, and the stunning 'secret' Pedn Vounder beach https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedn_Vounder directly under the campsite for those prepared to scramble. This needs to be vacated before high tide though so be warned. Weather, tides and group momentum permitting we often see Rockhopper penguins gather on one or other beach for a BBQ one of the evenings. They also have a wee shop on site that does a roaring trade in coffee, croissants and pasties of a morning and a whole wealth of other stuff. Plus they usually have some flavour of food vendor on site (breakfast fry up and something different from curry to burgers of an evening) morn and night.
Climbers Club West Cornwall volumes I & II
New CC book looks lurvely for those of you who don't have one or just love guides:
Run out of petrol? there'll be somewhere to climb on route!
Tide times at the bottom
Not the first thing that springs to mind but some notes here http://javu.co.uk/Climbing/WestCornwall/index.shtml including a big thumbs up for the beaches mentioned above :) Just remember the tide is high middle to late afternoon so not ideal.
Climbing not your thing?...
Apparently you can walk too - there's Left or Right - almost certainly there will be parties going in both directions at least two out of 3 days :)
All joking aside the scenery is stunning and the walking far more enjoyable and challenging than you might imagine from this dodgy description, and there are lots of options (including a bus back for those waylaid by a cruel and heartless ice-cream salesman)
Then there's Surfing (Sennen is a good place to try this - there are two surf hire shops), Kite Surfing, Coasteering, Kayaking, (a quick google will find companies more than happy to exchange a day of adrenaline fuelled fun for some hard earned wonga) Not to mention Tin Mines, Minack, Eden (for the drive back perhaps).
Penzance (Penwith SW)
(GMT so Add 1 hour)
25-May Fri 01:18 H 4.7m 08:00 L 1.6m 13:48 H 4.7m 20:24 L 1.6m
26-May Sat 02:12 H 4.9m 08:54 L 1.4m 14:36 H 4.9m 21:18 L 1.4m
27-May Sun 02:54 H 5.0m 09:42 L 1.3m 15:18 H 5.1m 22:00 L 1.3m
28-May Mon 03:36 H 5.2m 10:18 L 1.1m 15:54 H 5.2m 22:36 L 1.2m
29-May Tue 04:12 H 5.2m 10:54 L 1.1m 16:30 H 5.3m 23:18 L 1.1m
Thanks go to the CC : https://www.climbers-club.co.uk/information-summary-list/tidal-information/
We're off to Borrowdale in the Lake District. For the climbers we are close to Shepherds Crag and Black Crag which is easy to access from the road and has abundance of low level, fast drying crags. The Bowderstone is a well know and popular bouldering venue. For walkers we are close to Glanmara, Great Gable and Scafell.
Also on this weekend is the Keswick Mountain Festival, which has numerous events from running 5k to 50k, swimming 1500m to 3k on Derwent water, triathlons, speakers on Friday and Saturday night and music on Saturday night. http://keswickmountainfestival.co.uk
We are staying at Chapel House Farm campsite (post code for SatNat CA12 5XG) Grid refs: NY 25651, 14020
£6 per night.
The nearest pub is the Scafell Hotel, about a mile away.More
Bookings are open for next trip, which is to Nant Peris in North Wales. Its the longest days of the year so can get in maximum climbing and walking. Please sign up via the web site:
For walkers there are the magnificent peaks, ridges and scrambles of Snowdon and the Glyders. If you are fit, you could tackle the 14 “Welsh 3000s”. For climbers, the Llanberis Pass has the highest concentration of classic routes in North Wales. The main attractions are the crags of Dinas Cromlech, Carreg Wastad and Dinas Mot, with loads of great routes from VD upwards, or the high mountain walls of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu or Lliwedd. Not to mention the atmospheric Dinorwic slate quarries.
We will be staying at Ty Isaf campsite in Nant Peris which is right opposite the Vanyol Arms and directions can be found on the website:
The cost is £5 per person per night please pay to the farmer who will be around early Saturday morning.
The Vanyol Arms is a great pub with great food and drink and it is just across the road from the campsite.More
After a couple of weekends in the mountains, it’s time to recapture the Cornwall vibe: another scenic campsite on a working farm, great sea cliff climbing, walks on the coastal path which starts near the campsite, and more cream teas.
We will be staying at Stoke Barton farm, a highly rated campsite, with good facilities and shop. http://www.westcountry-camping.uk/. Definitely options for Saturday campsite eating and barbecues.
Climbing is around Hartland peninsula; or a bit of a drive to Baggy Point. Walks - turn left or right- to Morwenstow or famous Clovelly. Even scope for doing some messing around in the sea..More
We'll be staying at the Well-i-Hole campsite in Greenfield. It's £8 per person per night for a 1-man tent.
For climbers, there are some excellent gritstone crags nearby, eg. Dovestones and Wimberry Rocks.
I'm sure the walkers among you will enjoy exploring this lovely part of the South Pennines. This site may help with planning/inspiration: https://www.hikideas.co.uk/walk-saddleworth.html
Fans of Last of the Summer Wine can visit nearby Holmfirth and have a nice cup of tea in Ivy's Cafe. Pensioners sliding down the hill in a bath cannot be guaranteed, however.More
I have it on good authority that Dartmoor is the haunt of pixies, a headless horseman, a mysterious pack of "spectral hounds", and a large black dog, and during the Great Thunderstorm of 1638, it was visited by the Devil. For this reason we will be camping at Princetown, whose own motley inhabitants are securely locked up, whilst we can enjoy the facilities of the Plume of Feathers Pub http://theplumeoffeathersdartmoor.co.uk/
In fact we are staying in the pub garden! They even do breakfast if you are organised enough to ask for it when you arrive, which should be before the pub shuts on Friday, it being (hopefully) a fairly quick nip down the motorway after work… (relatively of course)
Although Dartmoor is often passed over by those rushing to the granite of the Cornish sea cliffs, there’s some granite here too: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/destinations/dartmoor-8950
Also some great walking – especially if you are into stones: check out the stone circles or the lost bits of London Bridge http://www.cabbieblog.com/lost-bits-of-london-bridge/
It is also the only place where local common law allows you to wild camp in an English National Park (see the National Park interactive wild camping map http://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/about-us/about-us-maps/new-camping-map). Please respect the byelaws.
In fact I will already be doing just this with a few other hoppers, and if you want to join us on Saturday night let me know when you sign up and I’ll provide details for meeting up: we will be some where round Evil Combe or Dead Man’s Bottom! But make sure you sort out your return lifts with your drivers or you may be there longer than you planned… and I haven’t even mentioned the Beast yet: its probably just a big pussy cat… but who knows, when the pixies are about.
A famous cragging location, Tremadog is also conveniently situated for the Snowdonia Mountains and the lovely Welsh coast so is good for walkers and climbers alike.
UKC reviews it here:
Classic easy-ish climbs include:
- Christmas curry
- One step in the clouds
- Scratch arrest hvs
- Olympic slab
- Poor mans pertere (start by tree route).
- Bramble buttress
- Craig do wall (above hospital)
If you've not been to Port Merion (location for the 1960s cult classic series The Prisoner), then I highly recommend a visit, perhaps as part of a longer walk around the estuary.
We will be staying at Eric's Cafe and Camping:
So you'll be literally meters away from a famous bacon sandwich. Other food and beer options seem to abound too. There is a fire pit available to us so if the weather is nice a BBQ and log fire is definitely on the cards.
Note: Pay me, rather than the campsite for the accommodation.
See you there!More
We are going to MaGillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s premier range of mountains, home to its four highest summits, and a further seven tops in excess of 3000 feet (914 metres). It's a compact range, so it is possible to traverse the main ridge in one long day (probably fairly similar to the traverse of the Mamores in Scotland), but it is probably best divided down into more manageable sections. The western end of the range has the highest mountains, which can be linked by an impressive horseshoe walk which involves a little easy scrambling. The eastern end is defined by the impressive Gap of Dunloe, and the lower mountains to the east of this feature have excellent views over Killarney National Park with its fine lakes and rivers.
An alternative walking venue is the Dingle Peninsula, which has slightly lower, grassier, and more rounded range of mountains along its spine, but is still home to Ireland’s only 3000 foot mountain outside the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Access to these mountains is quicker and less effort, thanks to a couple of high road passes which save a lot of slogging uphill! In addition there are beautiful coastal walks and fine beaches in this area. Its about an hour’s drive from Killarney.
Please book as soon as possible. This is very much in your interest, as the cost of flights and hire cars will only increase. I also won’t be booking a campsite until I have an idea of how many people are attending the trip - so the sooner you book the better the campsite is likely to be.
Book through the website. In order to group members together in hire cars from the airport we will need to know your preferred arrival airport, and the date and time of your flight. Please use the Leaving Place/Time fields for this, and add a comment if you are prepared to be flexible. You will also need to use the comments for your preferred return date and flight time. If you are prepared to hire a car please say so - once we have four people who intend travelling to/from the same airport then they can organise themselves into a car and book their flights. The sooner you book, the easier this process will be.
If you are travelling independently either before or after the trip (so you don’t need a car to or from the airport) then again please say so. Communication is good - it helps to avoid confusion!! Please don’t assume other people attending the trip can mind read.More
Dark or light?
I think Dark! We will be going to the wonderful Hope Valley, with the infamous Stanage Edge.
Situated north of Hathersage, Stanage Edge is a popular place for walkers and for rock climbing with stunning views of the Dark Peak moorlands and the Hope Valley. The gritstone edge stretches for approximately 4 miles and offers trad climbing for all grades. Don't forget the many other famous crags in the area as well; Burbage, Bamford, Dovestone Tor, Froggatt and many more. For more serious walkers, Kinder Scout and Edale are also nearby for some spectacular hiking views.
We will be staying at Hardhurst Farm Campsite in Hope which has its own cafe onsite for a hearty breakfast and located right next to the Travellers Rest pub for that well earned pint at the end of the day.
We've hired an instructor to provide 2 days of navigation training - learn how to use a map and compass, read the terrain and weather conditions, and much more.
Upon successful completion of the course you'll receive the NNAS Silver award. More info: https://nnas.org.uk/national-navigation-award-scheme/silver-national-navigation-award/
Rockhoppers will subsidise the course; the total cost to you is dependent on how many people sign up, but will be no more than £50.
Camping will be at Hardhurst Farm with everyone who signs up for the standard meet this weekend.
Sign up here if you want to come; payment will be collected nearer the time, and I'll also add your details to the main meet page so that you can sort out lifts etc.More
It's that time again when Rockhoppers give something back to the great outdoors. Once again we've teamed up with The Snowdonia Society to volunteer at their annual Make A Difference festival in Beddgelert. We'll be fixing up the environment with path building and rhododendron bashing together with other groups at the National Trust's own private campsite. And... there's a free barbecue and entertainment too!More
The annual Pembroke trip is to the south side this year, camping at Bosherton. This is one of the finest climbing areas in the uk with sharp limestone cliffs rising over 50m from the sea. Mid grade classics include Sea Mist (HS), Myola (HS), Blue Sky (VS), Riders on the Storm (HVS) and Army Dreamers (HVS). The Saddle Head area is suitable for low grade climbers but needs an abseil or mild scramble to get to it.
For walkers the Bosherton lilly ponds are adjacent to the campsite and fine coastal walks with beaches extend in both directions. This is also often a good trip for seeing sealife. Various watersports are also available in the wider Pembrokshire area.More
We’re going to the Wye Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty with great walking, challenging climbing, and even kayaking.
We’ll be staying at Beeches Farm Campsite, which has direct access to Offa’s Dyke, views across the the Wye Valley and isn’t far from the Forest of Dean. It will be £8 per person per night or £6 if you don’t come in a car. There are fire pits on the site, with wood available to buy. The pub is a 20 minutes walk away, although apparently a longer walk on the way back as the site is on a steep hill (challenge?!).
It should be a fab weekend, there’s lots to do and a really lovely part of the country.More
Located at the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast Swanage has something for everyone. The nearby limestone cliffs offer both trad and sport routes at stunning coastal locations such as the bolted quarries at Dancing Ledge and Winspit, and the gentler trad sectors such as Subluminal and Cattle Troughs. Walkers have the Isle of Purbeck, Studland Bay and Poole Harbour on their doorstep. To top it off the local pub manages to combine scrumpy cider, taxidermy and its own fossil museum to provide a great place to recover from all that exercise!
This is a camping trip and we will be staying at Tom’s Field: www.tomsfieldcamping.co.uk. Rates around £7 pppn which is directly to the farmer.More
Our annual gathering comes round again!
It’s that time of year where we come together, share memories of trips throughout the year, re-acquaint ourselves with members who we’ve met on trips (and meet those who’ve not been on a trip recently - if that’s you don’t worry, we’d love to see you!).
Saturday evening is the main event, we’ll have:
- a photo slideshow of the past year
- a prize giving
- a vote for ‘Rockhopper of the Year’
- a dinner and,
- a dance led by a local ceilidh band.
We’ll be staying within the National Trust’s Stackpole Nature Reserve with miles of footpaths and nearby access to the Pembrokeshire coastal path. Within a stone's throw there’s the dramatic Stackpole Quay, stunning Barafundle Bay for a swim and Freshwater East if you fancy a surf.
For climbers if it’s warm and dry it's is one of the finest climbing areas with limestone cliffs rising over 50m from the sea. Stackpole Head's mid grade routes include Diedre Sud (HS), The Curver (VS), Blowin’ in the Wind (HVS) and Heart of Darkness (HVS). A little further south west the Saddle Head area is suitable for low grade climbers but needs an abseil or mild scramble to get to it. So plenty for everyone.
Look forward to seeing many of you there!More
Yorkshire. Home of Geoffrey Boycott, Rhubarb, Sticky Parkin, freedom itself? And some darn fine hills.
We will be staying in what no doubt will be a stereotypically picturesque Dales hamlet, excellently situated for the hills and with its own pub The Old Hill Inn.
It's so well situated that the route of the Yorkshire three peaks challenge runs through our village. So no excuses not to get it done this year. I’m going to run it, it’s only 24 miles, who’s with me?
Key summits to bag, singly or all together will be:
- Pen-y-Ghent (694 metres)
- Whernside (736 metres)
- Ingleborough (723 metres)
But is doesn’t stop. There is actual fun too - like caves and goats.
Explore the quiet Newlands Valley from Stair CottageMore
Staying at Ty’n Cornel Hostel. It lies in splendid isolation 7 miles from Llanddewi Brefi village, in the beautiful Doethie valley. As you descend into this valley, you realise that you’re arriving somewhere special. There is excellent walking and cycling right from the hostel door. The valley’s narrow, twisting nature provides an ever-changing view that changes from steep bracken-clad slopes, to green meadows around the hostel, to pockets of ancient woodland, to rocky outcrops. It is acclaimed as one of the finest sections on the 290 mile Cambrian Way. The surrounding Cambrian mountains also provide excellent walking and cycling. These green, rounded hills rising to over 450m offer views extending as far as the Brecon BeaconsMore
Before I start, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. and anyway I have only managed 949. I was so stunned by the scenery the last time the Club went to Ullapool that I made a short slide show. It has remained I think the best trip I have ever done with the Club, so I have updated this and you can view it here: https://youtu.be/COyWw1JJZ0w
As last time we will be staying at SYHA Ullapool and have exclusive use (6 nights total cost £122.39). Situated right on the harbour front the dining room and kitchen have spectacular views straight out over Loch Broom towards Beinn Dearg. Ullapool itself has plenty of friendly pubs, cafes, restaurants, delightful local shops as well as a supermarket. In fact everything we need for our Hogmanay home from home!
But it’s the mountains that are the real draw, and so many and such variety to chose from. To the south lie the Fannichs group which includes 10 Munros (for the baggers): an area of long smooth ridges ideally suited to long traverses. Next comes Beinn Dearg and the peaks of Easter Ross, which include a further 7 Munros. Beinn Dearg itself sits at the head of Loch Broom at the centre of a group of craggy mountains whose accessibility from the road belies the existence of a vast tract of high remote ground extending from coast to coast. Or a visit to nearby An Teallach and its serious mountaineering traverses if that was on your list. In Coigach and Assynt to the north of Ullapool the scenery changes. Here a violent geological event from the past known as the Moine Thrust forced some of the oldest rocks in the world over younger layers. The line of the Thrust is now followed by the road north: to the west the hills of Torridian sandstone have been shaped into fantastic cones and mounds, capped with a layer of quartzite. These rise like giant whales or the bows of ships, sailing across bays, headlands, and moors studded with hundreds of lochans. The names of these hills ring resonant to mountaineers: Suilven, Stac Pollaidh, Quinag, so apt for such a mysterious landscape unlike any other in Scotland. East of the road the character changes again with outcrops of Cambrian limestone, and cave networks in which man once lived alongside long gone lynx and polar bears! You are now in Sutherland, the south lands of the Vikings, reaching north to Cape Wrath and the northern oceans! A further 2 Munros! They are sometimes described as the “Empty Lands”, not because they are a natural wilderness, but as a result of the Duchess of Sutherland forcefully evicting 15,000 crofters from her vast estate between 1807-21 and replacing them with sheep. This is why we have haggis!
This far north the days will be very short: the last time we were there I did not see Ullapool in daylight until the day we left: so it will be up early and back late to maximise what little daylight we have. The hostel however provides a delightful base for the long evenings and we will of course have the usual Rockhopper Hogmanay meal and shenanigans. And of course its winter, so hopefully we will have snow, but you must be prepared and ready for whatever extremes the weather can throw at us! Again this is an area of contrasts: it could be sunny on the coast, whilst those inland could be battling a white-out! For those who feel they need it we will be providing winter training through our usual instructor. If you are not into winter mountain walking there are of course coastal and lower level options: sandy beaches, nature-reserves, gorges, forest walks abound, and if its been raining heavily the Eas a ‘Chual Aluinn Falls are a must: the highest in Britain at nearly four times as high as Niagara!
I should maybe even mention climbing: the last time we went some rock-climbing was achieved on Stac Pollaidh on New years Day. The intrepid Rockhoppers involved enjoyed it so much they left the rope behind so they could go back the next day!
How to get there? We will of course be running the usual car share, but as is always the case at New Year many will not be leaving via London. Whatever mode of transport you chose you will be arriving via the A835 from Inverness. There are the usual options of flights and trains including the sleeper, in various combinations. For the final leg Citylink run a coach from Inverness to Ullapool but this really should be booked in advance. Beware of the seasonal timetable which may cause changes to coaches and Scottish trains on the 2 January as this is a Scottish holiday.
It should also be noted that in order to get to the hills from Ullapool cars will be essential. There is virtually no scheduled public transport onwards from Ullapool except for the ferry to Stornoway! We all need to be aware of this and pay close attention to the vehicle accommodation required. As on some recent trips getting organised to share a hire car was found to be a great solution.
I will attempt to answer any further questions as they arise, and there is a forum on the website dedicated to discussions for this trip. Also, as we are travelling so far, maybe its worth considering extending… skip two days of work and you can stay on until Sunday (although please note the hostel itself is not available outside of the club’s booking.) I will probably be taking my tent...More