Author Archives: Mike Turner

IMC Champions Cup 2017

Well done to everyone who competed and to Hannah and Dave from Action Outdoors for the prizes and organising the raffle.

Experienced Category

  • Jeremy Hall – 3879 points
  • Martin Hore – 2879 points
  • Rob Ellam – 2646 points
  • Steve Mace – 1963 points
  • Oli Reynolds – 1897 points
  • Caryn Lofthouse – 1091 points

Intermediate/Beginners Category

  • Teddy Buckley – 1544 points
  • Becky Robinson – 1233 points
  • Andrew Kerrison – 867 points

There are a couple of photos on our Facebook group page

IMC Champions Cup 2016 Results

While preparing for the 2017 completion I found the 2016 results that had not been posted, so here they are!

Expert category

  • Mike Turner – 2167 points
  • Ian Ackerley – 2000 points
  • Jason Porter – 2000 points
  • Steve Mace – 1333 points

Intermediate category

  • Oliver Reynolds – 2000 points
  • Jenny Pummell – 1167 points
  • Sarah Belk – 1167 points
  • John Burns – 833 points

Beginner category (all routes on top rope)

  • Ethan Masterson – 1333 points

Grit weekend : 2-3 Apr 2016

Some of us took the opportunity of a forecast good weather window to make have a quick weekend in the Peak District. Here are a few photos (all my photos are on Flickr, if you click on any image below it will also take you to the photo on Flickr)


The weather didn’t start off as bright as we’d like, so we spent the late morning and early afternoon in cafes.   Below, Jeremy making an early attempt at ‘Blob of the Year’ after the lid fell off the brown sauce bottle.

2016-04-02 10.54.11


We all then went to Froggatt, and eventually it brightened up as shown below in the picture of Ben completing Hawk Nest Direct




The next day, although the day started overcast and rainy, it cleared a lot earlier than Saturday and we went to Bamford Edge.


Above: Andy Hansler with Bamford in the background.


Above: Bamford edge


Above: Jeremy on Brown’s crack


Above: Jason on Bilberry Crack

Below: a few photos of various people climbing Gargoyle Buttress





Flying Buttress Direct (various attempts)

Ever since seeing Flying Buttress Direct at Stanage on my beginner’s weekend with the IMC, I’ve wanted to have a go at it.  I wasn’t brave enough then – it looked too intimidating – but I have seconded/top-roped it since then (in 2013 with Bob Butcher)

This year I wanted to go for lead and was unsuccessful on my first try (on the Friday before the beginner’s weekend in May with Martin Hore).  But in the second attempt I got a bit closer as you can see below.

In July I was heading off to a weekend in Snowdonia with Josh and on the way up we stopped with Adam Gosling in Sheffield.  The next day we spent the morning at Stanage with Adam before heading to Wales.  After a few climbs we ended up at Flying Buttress.  We’d just seen a couple of German climbers climb it as their first climb of the day, which was impressive, even more impressive was that the lead climber reversed the crux whilst trying to find the right line!

We had a chat with them and then I had a go at leading it.

Attempt 1

On my first attempt, I got my finger into the crack on the crux but obviously not well enough as they slipped out pretty quickly.


Working my way up the slab


Placing gear before the crux


The crux (at least for me) move – unfortunately I didn’t last long in this position !

Attempt 2

This time I managed to last long enough at the crux to get some gear in and then get above it, but unfortunately I then struggled above and so ended up sinking back on the gear 🙁


Crux gear

Attempt 3

I left the gear in the crux, which made this attempt easier, and I managed to then complete the route


Just before swinging my legs up


Almost there


And up!

Next . . .

There is still some unfinished business, as I want to lead it cleanly – so maybe this year . . .

Beginners Meet & Pre-beginners meet

Just thought I’d post some photos from the beginners meet (Sat 17 to Sun 18 May) and from Fri 16th when some of us got there early to ‘warm-up’ and enjoy the beautiful weather – I’ve reduced the size of the photos on here, if you want the full resolution then let me know.

16th May – Stanage

ThrombosisJeremy and Andy trying to see who can lose most skin on Thrombosis

17th May – Burbage North

Baz and Billie on one of the cracks on Ash Tree wall (either Ash Tree Crack or Bilberry Crack)

18th May – Birchen Edge

SailorsVarious attempts at Sailors Crack


Dolomites – Sept 2013

Here are a few pictures from our trip to the Dolomites

Heading for the hills: East face of Catinaccio (Rosengartenspitze) in the background with Punta Emma to the right, and Vajolet Towers appearing above Punta Emma.

Steve on top of Punta Emma, with the Vajolet Towers in the background

Simon enjoying the exposure on the South West Arete of the Delago Tower

Johnboy posing near the top of the Delago Tower

Old Men On Stoer

An account of a climb on the Original Route, Old Man of Stoer

Some of my walking buddies had organised a walking trip to the Assynt region of North West Scotland for our Spring 2011 walking weekend. As I usually do, I had a quick look on ‘Find a Crag’ on UKClimbing, and was very pleased to find the Old Man of Stoer – a sea stack – only a few miles from where we would be staying. The Old Man had not been a particular thing I had planned to climb, but the opportunity seemed too good to miss. A quick bit of research showed that the original route up the Old Man, at a 4 pitch VS climb seemed do-able and enough of a climbing challenge, and I managed to persuade Keith (more a walker than a climber but with all the necessary gear) to join me.

More research showed that as the Old Man was not attached to land, then the logistics of getting across to it could be more of a challenge. Either we would have to set up a Tyrolean traverse or, according to some on-line guides, it was possible to “rock hop” across to the Old Man from the north on spring low tides, and as luck would have it, the day we arrived would be just right. So as not to get too much in the way of the walking, the plan was to climb the day we arrived, we’d fly into Inverness airport about 11:00, drive the hire car as fast as legally possible across to Stoer, walk out to the Old Man and we should arrive there about an hour before low tide so that we could ‘rock hop’ across and have enough time to set up a Tyrolean for the return.

Stoer lighthouse

Old Man of Stoer
Stoer Lighthouse (click on any image to view in Flickr) Old Man of Stoer

The weather forecast the week before the trip did not look promising – gusts to almost 50 mph and rain. I don’t mind climbing in the rain, but I don’t particularly like climbing in high winds, especially on a rock pinnacle in the middle of the sea (well, almost). But luckily the forecast got a bit better and the day before the forecast was for no rain and winds “only” 28mph, so it looked like it on.

So we set off early from Ipswich to Luton Airport and flew up to Inverness in clear blue skies and lovely weather, but the moment we touched down in Inverness it started to rain! This didn’t bode well, but as we drove across Scotland, as fast as we could to make the tide, we didn’t get any more rain. But as we got to the car park at the Stoer lighthouse, it was still very windy. I bought a tea from the van in the car park and the wind was so strong that as I tried to drink the tea the wind blowing over it splashed the tea all over my face. The lady selling the tea made a comment that in all the time she’d been selling tea in the car park (about 5-6 years) she’d never seen anyone try to climb the Old Man in as such bad conditions, and even when the conditions were better over half the parties turn back because of the roughness of the sea. (she obviously thought we were mad, and she started to sow a few more seeds of doubt in my mind as well).

We marched the 2 miles to the Old Man as fast as we could in order to have enough time as possible to ‘rock hop’ across. Unfortunately we failed dismally to find the way across from the north and so we took the more well used path down to the south to where there was a Tyrolean left by a previous party. Now, we had intended to set up our own Tyrolean, but on inspection the one left there looked solid, and whilst we couldn’t see the anchors on the far side, we decided to test it, and then I risked a crossing on it with our rope used as a safety line.

Pitch 1
Pitch 1

When I was on the other side, the anchors looked pretty good there as well, so Keith followed me over and we could then start the climbing with waves breaking all around us.

I described the climb on one of the Club winter talk nights and I’m not going to go into the detail again here (though i’ll appily discuss with anyone over a beer), but I’ll leave you with a few pictures taken from the mainland at the start of our climb by our friends, and ones taken at the end of the climb by a passing couple who kindly left a note on our car with their email address.

All in all it was a great climb, made to feel very adventurous because of the weather, and yet reasonably accessible – Keith remarked on the way back to the car that we had enough time to drive back to Inverness and get a plane home, thereby doing the whole thing in a day trip from Ipswich! However, sense prevailed and we headed to Loch Inver where we met up with our friends for a big meal and few well deserved beers !

Last pitch

Top of Last pitch
Last Pitch Top of Last Pitch

On Top
On Top

1st Abseil
1st Abseil

Traversing back
Traversing back