Category Archives: Old Newsletters

Newsletter – February 2012


Bluff your way in climbing – Steve Culverhouse – Part zero of the IMC essential skills series

IMC in Snowdonia in December – Jeremy Hall – Jeremy is now doing the lecture cicuit in preparation for the next expedition

Hot Rock 2011 – Ian Thurgood – Comedy, horsemanship and some climbing in Sicilia.

Old Men on Stoer – Mike Turner – An account of a climb on the Original Route, Old Man of Stoer.


Editors’ note

Well, it has been a long time since the last edition. Thanks to Steve for his article, being the first that I’ve had for a very long time. Also thanks to the rest who responded quickly to my request for some more.

Of course, we have a new president, but I forgot to ask her for a presidential address, which is why there isn’t one.

Our outgoing president did the Lob of the Year speech, but this was an impromptu
effort, with no written record, so that’s not here either.


Newsletter – April 2011

Jeremy’s Presidential Address

Dear All,

What a lovely time of the year to be writing my first contribution to the IMC
newsletter as President and I would like to start by thanking Caroline and the
committee for all their hard work during 2010. We all get to enjoy the meets,
but behind the scenes someone somewhere is organising and managing the website,
newsletters, membership, BMC affiliation, the bank account and other things
beside. So thanks to everyone for making it all happen smoothly during the last

At the moment Mike, David and Suzanne are working on building the IT system to
allow on-line membership renewal and application. It sounds easy but believe me
it’s not a trivial exercise. And Phil is busy collating the responses from the
recent questionnaire. Thank you to those who replied, I’m looking forward to
seeing the output.

A team of early spring climbers has just returned from a blistering weekend in
the Peaks. All the winter training seems to have paid off. Martin H put up a
fantastic lead on Eliminator, HVS 5b. Ian T, Christina and Monty seemed to be
going well, Ian A and Mike B were on good form and Emma put up a great lead on
Terrace Crack, VS 4b (it’s VS in my guide book Emma). I am sure you will join me
in congratulating Dan on his first E grade lead, Easter Rib, E1 5b. Well done
Dan. You may also wish to join me in asking him about his adventure on Three
Pebble Slab, E1, 5a. Hats off to Eddy as well for manfully following Dan up
everything over the weekend.

As I write this I am hoping that Adrian has managed to persuade a few of you to
recall on these pages some of your winter highlights. I enjoy reading the epics
which winter excursions often bring. I am pretty sure that Adrian himself and
Andy have had one or two. And Sheila organised a couple of excellent winter
trips I hear.

IMC has had a busy winter indoors as well. The Wednesday nights at Copleston
remain popular and we have had lots of interest from beginners and newcomers at
the monthly sessions. Last Wednesday alone there must have been about ten
beginners. Thanks to everyone for helping to show the potential new recruits the
ropes. Dan might have his hands full at the beginners meet in May, so please let
him know as soon as you can if you intend to come, so that amongst other things
leaders and assistant leaders can be worked out.

By then IMC will be the proud owners of some items of climbing equipment. The
club was successful in its application to the BMC for funding. We received £70
and will match this with £70 of our own. That should be enough to buy a couple
of harnesses and a helmet. Martin H has kindly agreed to be the IMC’s equipment
officer and we will be following the BMC’s own guidelines for management and
storage of equipment. Ian T is leading the charge on applying for further
funding from the BMC for instruction, so keep an eye out for that.

Other winter activities have included regular monthly Sunday trips to the Castle
in London, thanks to Martin S for organising those. I think it’s definitely
worth a visit during those long winter months. And plenty of IMC members also
have been going to Stowmarket on a Sunday during the winter.

John Boy organised a skill sharing evening at Copleston a few weeks ago. I
thought it was a great success. Abseiling, prusiking, belay building, assisted
hoists, knot tying, and climbing were all being attempted.

Then, of course, there was the inaugural IMC Competition night. Steve and I had a
busy time the night before tagging some new routes and in our haste I think we
put up some pretty fierce ones. They are still there if anyone wants to have a
go away from the glare of the TV cameras. Congratulations to Rob and Ala for
winning the top rope and lead climber categories respectively and
congratulations to our IMC Champion, Chris; goodness only knows how he lead the
climb on the right. Along with prizes donated by the sponsor Action Outdoors,
Suzanne’s raffle ensured that nobody went away empty handed and £33.50 was
raised for the club.

Thanks also to Martin H and contributors for organising and contributing to the
series of slide shows during the winter, ending last Thursday with a review of
recent trips to the Dolomites and Arco.

I think that’s about it for now.

Have a great spring and summer.




Winter Leading in Scotland – Ian Ackerley – Ian learns to climb for the second time.

Banff Film Festival – Kearton Rees – An expedition forty miles to the North.

Rodings Rally – Kearton Rees – More adventures in the Great East Anglian Wilderness.

On Organising Trips – Adrian Fagg – The definitive reference (may one day be written).


Editors’ note

Apologies again for the late delivery of this newsletter. One day I’ll get myself organised.

Thanks as always for the contributions.

I hope I haven’t lost any this time. If you have sent me something and it’s not here, please get in touch.

Newsletter – October 2010

Here is a very late, but just in time for the AGM, newsletter.

Do to an administrative error, Bob’s article was missed last time, so ready for
the next winter season, here it is.


Bob’s Alpine Guide – Bob Butcher – Suggestions for the discerning IMC visitor to the French Alps

IMC Spring Bank Holiday – Ian Ackerley – A Lakes trip recalled

Jeremy’s Whimsey – Jeremy Hall – The Meaning of Life…


Editors’ note

Once again, I have to apologise for delivering this newsletter late.

Thanks as always for the contributions.

If anyone fancies themselves as the next IMC newsletter editor, please don’t be shy!

Newsletter – May 2010

Madam’s Meanderings

I am sure that I was not alone a couple of months ago in welcoming the sun in its
return to the UK. The last winter seemed, to me at least, to have been a really
old-fashioned one, in that it was cold, it lasted a good while and there was
snow. More than once. However, it is wonderful to see that golden orb back in
the sky on a regular basis and throwing out some warmth.

I do know that many members of the IMC love the winter and a number made it to
Scotland to enjoy the best that Ben Nevis and the surrounding area has to offer.
Adrian, Andy, Gill and Norman had a great trip to the distant north and you will
read more of that in the rest of this newsletter. Andy, as usual making a
beeline for Lob of the Year, started early with a 10m lob off the Douglas

Martin H, Eddy and Simon D (welcome Simon) made a later trip to Scotland too on
the official IMC trip and were met with the usual onslaught of sun, snow, wind
and driving rain. Oh chaps, that sounds like excellent fun – NOT!

I’m afraid that the cold stuff does not entice me at all. My last attempt at solo
winter walking found me totally lost after the mist came down. Shortly after
this I was bought an altimeter and I now have a GPS but I also have two dogs who
don’t like the cold either. So I think my winter days (not that there were ever
many) are well and truly over.

So I am really looking forward to the coming season, the long summer days at the
crag, hopefully getting some good climbing in, taking some photographs and
enjoying the company of my IMC friends. How Zest will take to the climbing and
camping scene is yet to be seen. I think there may be an experimental camping
trip to the local site just for a dry run you understand.

I hope that everyone has a good season’s worth of climbing. Trips so far to
Cornwall at Easter; to Wales on May Bank Holiday and Beginners’ have all been
well attended (except by yours truly). I hope that the official and all the many
and various splitters’ meets are well attended and enjoyed.

Climb well. Climb safely. Enjoy yourselves but not at the expense of other crag

Think Pink – take only photographs and leave only footprints




The theme for this newsletter is the amazing winter that we’ve experienced this

Even the December trip to North Wales had a tantalising hint of snow to come. New
Year Scottish trips were reportedly spoiled only by the presence of too much
snow, winter conditions were encountered on two successive Lakes trips, actual
ice was climbed in the Lake District, and it was climbed by actual IMC members
on an actual IMC trip. Three distinct trips to Scotland in March resulted in IMC
ice action.

Such a lot of winter action was almost unheard of, but let’s hope it may be
matched or bettered in subsequent years.

The only downside is that we missed opportunities with two solid months of ice
climbing in North Wales, and a Scottish season that had Point-Five Gully still
in condition in mid May – if only we were the idle rich, huh?

Anyway, here are the articles, with my thanks to their authors.

The Lakes in Winter – Phil Williams – Not one but two successful IMC winter trips!

Adventures In The Cold – Jeremy Hall – Jeremy finds himself at the sharp end.

Tower Ridge – Andy Hansler – A tale of ambition, failure, and ultimate triumph.

Harlow Climbing Wall – Steve Culverhouse – More tales winter conditions, frostbite, etc..

A Grit Weekend – Martin Stevens – At last, the winter’s over.


Editors’ note

The next submission ‘deadline’ will be when I have enough articles to publish and when I get the time to do it.

In truth, this one is seriously late, for which I apologise. Many thanks for the
contributions – please keep them coming.

Newsletter – December 2009

Madam’s Meanderings

Well it’s come to that time of the year again, that time when we reflect on the past year and think about the New Year. Resolutions, that’s what many of us will be thinking about now. As I sit and type this, I have not made any resolutions so far and I’m not sure if I shall be making any. Each year I make them and never keep them so what’s the point? However, it’s something that we all do year after year. Why?

  • Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
    Oscar Wilde
  • New Year’s Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
    Mark Twain
  • Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.
    Eric Zorn

I resolve to make no more resolutions! 😉

Before I get into comments about the Lob of the Year, I’d like to take this
opportunity to thank Suzanne Bloomfield once again for taking the time to
organise the Christmas Curry. Organising a bunch of climbers is not an easy
thing to do especially when you’re trying to get money out of them at the same

So Lob of the Year – as usual a tightly fought contest, though the fight is more
often with/against the rock than amongst ourselves. For anyone new to the club
the rules are pretty loose in that you must take a fall off rock and not be
injured. Injury leads to a disqualification as it would be reckless to advocate
members diving off rock for no other purpose than to win LOTY.

Nominations this year were: Adrian Fagg, Norman Smith, Mike Bayley, Jeremy Hall,
Andy Hansler, Steve Grey, Christina Ennis, John Bloomfield, Steve Culverhouse,
Emma Hawkins, John Sellars, Caroline Goldsworthy and Ian St John. I was
delighted to see the ladies in the club making such a concerted effort this

Christina started the IMC off in good style with the first LOTY on 1st January
2009. I’m a little hazy on the details (mostly cos I can’t read the handwriting)
but my understanding is that this was on a Welsh scramble. [In fact it was an
adjacent climb that the party had mistaken for the intended scramble. Ed]

My own nomination was for a concerted effort on 20ft Crack at Burbage North on
28th Feb. It’s only a Severe but I think I made it either 60 or 80 foot Crack by
the time I’d finished with it.

The next set of nominations was for first lead adventures. Emma Hawkins – first
HS lead, total commitment and a minor lob followed up by her first VS lead the
next day. Jeremy Hall did it in style first ever lead and first ever lob at

There seems to be a dogging element in the club (please refer to a climbing
glossary if you think this is in anyway related to dogs and car parks). Steve
Culverhouse – “best dogged route” Moyers Buttress at Birchen. Steve Grey –
Terrazza Crack. Mike Bayley – Limpopo Groove, Lawrencefield.

Mervyn gets two mentions – one for the third pitch of Valerie’s Rib at Tremadog
where he laybacked a corner climb (injury did ensue here though). The second
mention is for Five Pitch Route on Clogwyn Bochlwyd where the peapod style crux
put up a battle.

Adrian’s nomination is for Summer Climb at Lawrencefield where on approaching the
mantelshelf problem he discovered he’d inadvertently clipped his shoelace into a
runner. He managed to hang on and unclip the lace and topped out on the third

Ian St John came off his route at Calver not once but twice, but I lack juicy
gossip here. And last but not least the two Johns. John Bloomfield became “stuck
like a cork” in Robin Hood Cave unable to go either up or down. Apparently, the
advice of “just shimmy up here like this” was not well received. John Sellars
took two lobs off gritstone this summer (practically unheard of) and caused his
partner to indulge in a spot of deep water belaying. I have no more details at
this time but I am not convinced it will catch on.

And so for the winner… Everyone who got three nominations had their name put in
a ‘hat’ and disappointingly, I picked my own name out.

So for this coming year – get out there, have fun and try not to break anything.

All the best



Thanks go to Andy who contributed all the articles in this issue.

Whillans and Brown routes – Andy Hansler – Your very own tick list of grit stone classics…

Redpointing – Andy Hansler – An Introduction to the Dark Arts…

Andy’s Woodie – Andy Hansler – It’s a climbing frame really…

Note my restraint above. No talk of large erections in the privacy of your own
home in my sub-editing. Oh no, it’s a wooden framework, that’s what it is

Newsletter – November 2009

President’s Prattle

Well folks,

Summer has gone and the nights are well and truly drawing in as I am writing this
Prattle basking in the glory of a lovely Sunday morning trot around the
Wantisden Valley with Steve Culverhouse and Karen Roberts. Lovely might not be
the word we were using at the time but when it comes to Adventure Racing driving
rain somehow seems appropriate weather. I was somewhat amused by a sign after
about 7 kilometres advising that we were about to get wet given that we were
already soaked through (I might add that they were right as we were about to get
even wetter as the result of yours truly deciding to opt out of the zip wire
option and plunging into a lake and going for swim to the other bank with Steve
and Karen following my lead and saving ourselves a whole two minutes!). We were
pleasantly surprised to find that our finishing time was 1 hour thirty minutes
and thirty seconds – a whole thirty seconds outside the book time! Not very

Moving on as is my custom, I would like to say thank you to each of the meets
organisers since the last Newsletter went to web. So big thanks go to Christina
Ennis for organising the August Peaks meet; Martin for the Lundy Meet; the First
Lady and Mike Hams for finding somewhere vaguely dry for the August Bank Holiday
weekend (ok the Peaks was not particularly far but given that we were joined by
various IMC luminaries retreating from a rather surprisingly damp North Wales,
not a bad choice); and Andy Hansler for organising the September Peaks Meet. I
would also like to thank Martin Hore for co-ordinating the Lundy slideshow (and
all the Lundy 2009 crew for contributing) which was very entertaining.

Talking of the Meets issue I was going to express concern about the lack of
people organising official club Meets. I have just had quick look through the
2009 Meets schedule and it looks like there were 13 official Meets which
actually took place (which is not that many for a year) organised by eight
people (a couple of whom organised three meets so extra big thank Steve and
Martin). However, I was hugely encouraged by the turnout at the recent “Meets
Meet” when many newer members of the club stepped forward to organise the winter
meets (please see the Meets list on website for further details) so many thanks
to them. Please feel free to ask us “old lags” if you have any questions. It was
also pleasing to see that John and Kathy were so entranced by the Lundy
experience that they have volunteered to organise the Lundy 2011 trip. It looks
like there will be plenty of discussion about Meets at the AGM on 26 November.

On a slightly different note congratulations should go to Caroline and Andy for
getting hitched in August and honeymooning on Lundy (that’s dedication to the

Anyway that’s it for now. Hope those that are venturing out over the winter
months have fun on the hill and stay safe please!

El Presidente


Lundy 2009 – Ian Thurgood – Ian questions whether it was worth revisiting.

Winter Training Schedule – Pete Krug – At last, discover the secrets of Pete’s amazing level of fitness at the start of each season.

In Celebration of Harrison’s Rocks – Jeremy Hall – Soft Southern Sandstone – does it think it’s hard enough?

Editors’ note

The next submission ‘deadline’ may be 31st January.

Thanks to the authors once again.

It’s a bit worrying that I was able to copy and edit the last newsletter’s article links, only needing to replace ‘Louise’ with ‘Pete’ and all three authors’ names were already in place.

Newsletter – August 2009

President’s Prattle

Hia Folks,

Well what a summer it is …….. not. I suppose it is better than the last two
years but I don’t suppose you would think that when huddling in your tents or
sitting in the Outside cafe waiting for the rain to clear. What happened to the
long glorious summer promised by the Met Office? Sitting over Spain methinks
whilst the Jet Stream is parked way South of where it should be, sending all
those lows crashing straight over the middle of Britain rather than that big old
gap between us and Iceland! I am glad I have got that rant of my chest. Let’s
move on.

In spite of this we at the IMC have been getting out and about since the last
Newsletter hit your Inboxes. The first event was the Beginners Meet which if I
may say so was pretty successful with all parties err …… hitting real rock
(and no lobbage was reported to me) on both days and whilst the days were
somewhat curtailed we did not have to take evasive action at the climbing walls
of Sheffield. I would like to thank everyone that attended for being helpful and
supportive of me in my capacity of meet organiser. You certainly made the job
easier for me and I hope that you got what you wanted from the weekend.

Hot on the moist heels of that was the Lake District Meet organised by Ian and
Christina which turned out to be a 50th birthday party for certain un-named club
members (names withheld to protect the guilty). After that we had the Wye Valley
Meet and then the Beginners’ Multi-pitch weekend in God’s Country, both of which
were a success, so thanks to Martin Hore and Steve Culverhouse for organising
those trips and all of those who attended. Unfortunately, no one came forward to
organise that Yorkshire meet, and the alternative meet to the Lake District was
rained off. I believe that the First Lady and I were the only members to venture
forth from East Anglia as we headed south west for an Alternative Swanage
weekend. I can assure you that no gear was placed and no belays required as we
ventured far and wide in the Purbeck Hills on two wheels on one day, and two
legs the next (I believe a trip report can be found later on in the newsletter).
Food for thought for those not sure about attending the scheduled IMC meet later
this year.

You will be aware that we held what was somewhat miss-billed an EGM of the club
by yours truly to discuss the nature of the club’s Meet program. It was very
encouraging to see a good number of members attending and especially pleasing
that it wasn’t just the “old lags.”  There were several new members of the club
who turned up and actively contributed to the proceedings which is brilliant
news for the future of the club, so thanks very much from me (I am very much on
the lookout for a new El Pres!). I also received some useful feedback from
members who were not able to attend and this was incorporated in the

The meeting felt that there was no need to change the nature of the meets, which,
over the course of the year, cater for all levels of ability and experience. It
was felt that now was a good time to think about issuing guidelines for Meets
Organisers and Participants so that members have a greater understanding of how
meets are run, which I very much hope will give them more chance to enjoy the
“club experience”. A committee of volunteers (they did volunteer really!) has
been set up to put together these guidelines and the results of their
deliberations will be publicised before the AGM so that this can be voted on at
the AGM.

One useful side effect of these discussions concerned finding new meets
organisers. We are having trouble finding new meets organisers and some meets,
as I alluded to above, do not take place because no one steps in and organise
them. If anyone is interested in organising a meet (there are a few meets still
without organisers but even an “ad hoc” meet will do) but is not sure how to go
about the task please ask, and one of the more experienced hands will help you

Talking of club events I have no offers to do slideshows this autumn, so I am now
begging for you to dust off those slides or polish up those digital CD’s. The
shows don’t have to be long, as the evenings are as much a chance for members to
meet up and chat and enjoy a beer or two during those long winter evenings!

Finally, I was wondering if anyone can come up with a politically correct term
for Beginners and Low Grade climbers – “numpty” will not do. I might not
actually use the term myself as I see myself as a numpty and those of you that
know me will understand that the phrase “politically correct” and El Pres go
together like a boxing glove and a face.

Have fun and take care on the hills.

El Presidente


Thanks again to all those who contributed articles and apologies for the rather long delay in publication, particularly the two that came
in just as I published the last newsletter.

A Pembroke adventure – Ian Thurgood – A sea cliff, route finding, commitment, adventure…

Swanage isn’t just for climbing – Louise Krug – Pete and Louise find other challenges above the cliffs

In the Beginning – Jeremy Hall – Jeremy’s first taste of climbing at the beginners’ weekend

On French Guides – Norman Smith – Norman goes back to the Alps

Beginners’ Multipitch Weekend – Andy Hansler – Friday 03/07/2009 to Sunday 05/07/2009

In search of Dragons – Jeremy Hall – Jeremy finds hazards not usually mentioned in the guidebook


Editors’ note

The next submission ‘deadline’ will be a moveable feast.

There could be a special edition coming out shortly, what with the highlight of the IMC climbing year in Lundy and the highlight of the social year just past. Otherwise it will be September 30th with a little leeway available.

Newsletter – April 2009

President’s Prattle

Well Folks,

We have had our first barbecue this year so I have declared that it is summer –
yahoo! I hasten to add that I can’t guarantee that it will be a good summer. I
will leave that to higher deities than the President of the IMC but it is

As usual various IMC members have been keeping themselves busy since the last
issue of the Newsletter was sent out. Easter in particular saw the IMC marauding
far and wide across the country with the official IMC meet being held in
Cornwall, the official IMC “splitter” party esconced in God’s Country and
unofficial splitters in the Peaks and on the North Yorkshire Moors. I gather
that some great stuff was done in Cornwall and Wales and rumours have reached
the Presidential ears of early season lob action so it is great to hear that IMC
members continue the challenge the boundaries of gravity! I would like to thank
the organisers of the meets (in particular Steve Culverhouse who organised the
official meet)!

If you will see from the Meets calender there are many meets happening during the
summer (and that excludes the ad hoc ones that have yet to be arranged) and some
of them still need organisers so I would appreciate it if some volunteers could
step into the breach.It often doesn’t involve too much work – largely organising
bums on (car)seats after deciding a campsite and even the destination is the
prerogative of the organiser. The next Meet is the Pembroke meet (the Newsletter
might be out too late for this) which is being organised by Martin Hore followed
closely by the Beginners Meet which is being organised by the President and
First Lady. Anyone who wants to be involved in this highly enjoyable Meet (in
whatever capacity) should please get in contact with me as soon as possible
(unless you have already told me). There is a meet in the Lake District at

While I remember it the Ipswich Hospital Abseil takes place on the weekend of
11/12 July this year. In past years, IMC members have helped out (either
chucking the punters off at the top or getting them “suited and booted” at the
bottom) which is good fun and a very rewarding experience. In return we get to
borrow helmets and harnesses for the Beginners Meet from the Abseil organisers.
Please let me or Dave at Action Outdoors know if you want to help out.

As is my custom I would like to thank all the people that have organised meets
since the last edition of the Newsletter and I have alluded to this somewhere
above. I would also like to thank Andy Hansler and Caroline Goldsworthy for
their “Turkish Delight” Slideshow (and I am not referring to the poxy karaoke
downstairs) and the two Steve’s (Messrs Gray and Culverhouse) and one Carol for
the “Climbing in the Midnight Sun” slideshow. It has certainly given me food for
thought in terms of visiting some slightly different places to go climbing in
such as Turkey and the Lofoten Islands! I think that the Brewery Tap got the
thumbs up from those that attended the last show and I will be looking to book
the Autumn series there and I would be extremely keen to hear from anyone that
feels the urge to show some photos.

On a slightly different note Lou and I have had some great service from a couple
Action Outdoors’ suppliers so a big round of applause from the Krug household
goes to Life Venture for new fewer than two lids for a leaky flask and Vaude for
repairing our fox bitten inner tent (and also Dave at Action Outdoors!).

And finally a thought that occurred to me as Lou and I were descending from the
summit of Fairfield whilst being sprinkled by some gentle snowfall. Is it still
a rainbow when it is snowing?

Have fun on the hills and stay safe.

El Presidente


As always, many thanks to all those who contributed articles.

April Peak Performance – Guy Reid – Another Impromptu IMC Posse descends on the Peak District

Cornwall Easter – Ian Thurgood – Ian’s account of the Official IMC Easter trip

Cornwall Easter – Steve Culverhouse – Steve’s account of the Official IMC Easter trip

Easter In North Wales – Mike Bayley – The Official Report of the Official Splitters Easter Trip

Lakes February – Ian Thurgood – Or – My first winter lead

Lost In The Crowd – Adrian Fagg – or route finding on a popular V Diff

Scottish Winter – Adrian Fagg – Scottish Winter Climbing in Easy Steps

Team Buffalo Away To Stanage – Guy Reid – Guy and Simon battle the elements


Editors’ note

The next submission ‘deadline’ will be May 31st.

Newsletter – February 2009

President’s Prattle

Wotcha folks. I hope that you all had a great Christmas and New Year festivities! Sadly the good lady wife and I missed out on an extremely cold, but by all accounts, fantastic trip to God’s country. It sounds like those that participated got up to all sorts of stuff including some of the really cold stuff with an IMC “cracked” team donning full winter garb and tackling Idwal stream. Rumours abound of possible slideshows using the photographic evidence gathered over the course of the weekend and maybe a trip report or two might accompany this Newsletter.

The IMC just can’t get enough of Snowdonia as within three weeks, with the IMC skidmarks of the wheel-spinning variety still on the A5 from the previous incursion across the border, we were back. Another great weekend was had by all with at least one debut being made by one of the newer members of the club. I understand that whilst the weather was not the usual glorious Welsh sunshine there was climbing done! Thanks to Martin Stevens for sourcing the Jesse James bunkhouse and getting things started on the New Year visitation and Dave Coupe for the January trip.

Hot on the heels of the Wales trip …. well not actually hot but soon afterwards was the more or less traditional Sykeside visit and the President and First Lady were actually in attendance.We snuck off to hone our navigation skills on the murky fells around Fairfield whilst the hardier members of the team took on some icy stuff on Dollywagon Pike methinks. The President was heard to comment that he thought he might have broken his wife, who is still recuperating from a nasty bought of laryngitus, and was not best pleased to be hauled on an eight hour route-march by her errant husband. I think I might have redeemed myself by encouraging the good lady wife to have a cuppa in the Patterdale Hotel whilst I went to fetch the car …. close call that one but I think I got away with it! Thanks go to Steve Culverhouse for organising this trip!

Getting back to slightly less active but nonetheless important matters it is time for a few thank yous to those that have helped on the social side of the club. A big thank you goes to Carol Harbottle for organising yet another brilliant Christmas Curry and to Martin Hore for his superb Lob of the Year oration this time presented in poetry. I would like to thank Ian Thurgood and Steve Culverhouse (and Christina Ennis) for their slideshow on the Climbing Meet in South Africa which provided an excellent evening’s entertainment, and isn’t it great to have some slideshows back. I would be interested in any more offers of slideshows ….. really interested!

Furthermore, a few of us met to discuss and set an agenda for the club’s meets for the next few months (up to September in fact). As you can see on the Meets calendar we have a veritable feast of meets on offer and all we need are organisers for many of them so please volunteer. Honestly, if you’re new to this sort of thing they aren’t very difficult to organise. It is a question of picking a location to stay and putting bums on (car) seats and if you have any concerns please feel free to contact some of the more experienced club members for advice. This way you will choose to climb at a location of your choosing and will find willing climbing partners.

We have set the Beginners Meet for the weekend of 16 and 17 May and for ours sins, Louise and I have volunteered to organise this year’s shennanigans! I know it early days yet but we would really appreciate it if the more experienced members would volunteer their services as leaders as soon as possible so we that have a good idea of how many beginners we can accomodate. Prospective beginners can let us know of their interest in attending as well!

I think that is enough from me but as a little aside a thought recently occurred to me as I was paddling my way up a hillside in the Brecon Beacons in early December. Do paths follow little streams or do little streams follow paths? I will leave that to the walkers in the club to ruminate over and get back to me!

Any way take care and and have fun on the hill!

El Presidente


We’d like to thank all those who contributed articles by the deadline, which I arbitrarily set at the end of last month. The list is entirely composed of trip reports from various parts of Wales. I know that not everyone will be excited by the prospect of trip reports, but I feel that they form the backbone of what the club is about and such as they are, the annals of the club would be rather thin without them. So, as a service to future historians researching the history of mountaineering in Suffolk in the early twenty-first century, here are preserved for as long as the Interweb shall be indexed, five historic accounts. We hope you enjoy reading them.Ed

Early Snow in Mid Wales – Steve Culverhouse – A December IMC trip finds winter conditions against all expectation

The Krugs head for Wales – Louise Krug – Aiming for Mid Wales, Louise and Pete somehow end up in South Wales

A Snowdonia New Year – Christina Ellis – Christina’s account of the IMC New Year trip

New Year in Snowdonia – Martin Stevens – Martin’s account of the IMC New Year Trip

Snowdonia in the Snow – Adrian Fagg – The IMC go to North Wales again



The most obvious difference between this and previous editions is the absence of a crossword and guess the route pictures. If these are sorely missed, we will endeavour to replace them with whatever anyone would like to contribute. If you’re desperate for a puzzle right now, here is a route description in my own words:

Climb easily up to a ledge, ascend the crack above for a few feet, then step right and foot traverse up diagonally across the main face to a horizontal break, continue traversing the break for a few more feet, then finish directly on good handholds and smearing with your feet on the short final section.

The prize of nothing at all will be awarded to the best list of actual routes that the description fits. Is it too obvious which route I’m thinking of?

Your New Editorial Team

Caroline Goldsworthy and I (Adrian Fagg) are sharing the role now.

Our thanks are due to Guy for all his work in editing and producing the newsletter for the last three years. Now there are two of us to share the work of one, we’re naturally cutting our output from both web page and document to just this web page. Do you miss the separate document? Let us know.

Caroline is a high ranking officer in the Grammar Police, and I’m the expert on web pages. The main difference between us is that whereas Caroline actually knows about grammar, I’m tentatively feeling my way through the process of using an HTML editor. In the real world, although I’m responsible for a sophisticated commercial web service, I have people to do the HTML stuff for me. I compose HTML about as well as I climb, which if you know me…

The next submission deadline will be March 31st. Please keep the trip reports coming, even if they’re no more than a few lines. Let’s have more articles on other topics as well. I know you’ve got something good to write, whether it be directly about climbing, training, equipment reviews or almost anything. Be warned, without contributions, I’ll be forced to write that article on dimensional scaling laws and their relevance to climbing that I keep thinking about. Don’t make me do it…

Newsletter – December 2008

Madam’s Final Meanderings

So long and thanks for all the ghoti 1,2

I started writing this preamble back in June for it to go in the last newsletter. That was an edition that never got to hit the mean streets of Ipswich and I do think it’s a bit sad that so many of us get out and about and never have time to put pen to paper and share our adventures.

WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:

WH Davies

With one thing and another for me the climbing season did not get off to a good start. At the Beginners’ meet I backed off the start of Little Ernie and ended up leading a green, slimy chimney (the boyfriend would be so proud!). I then, for some unaccountable reason found myself halfway up Recess Wall, stuck under a roof and struggling to make the move. My helmet kept banging on the roof making me feel more and more claustrophobic and insecure. I backed off got cams and was soon installed once again under the roof, with the helmet still crashing into it and blocking out all other noise. I could see the sequence and where the foot needed to go but I was at full stretch and every time I put my foot up my grip on the hand holds was becoming more and more tenuous. I could not do the move. I backed off again and was almost crying with frustration! A better day was had on the Sunday but as I updated my logbook I realised that in August 1997 I had led that very same route! How? The only conclusion is that I was more flexible then as I am pretty sure that I was not any taller. Mind you, I must have been going well that day as I led another VDiff called Two Tier Climb, which I seem to remember was a bit of a struggle at the top. Those of you who study your guidebooks closely will know that Two Tier Climb was upgraded to VS 5a a few years ago with the comment; “Another Stanage sandbag which was graded VDiff for 30 years”.

Things did improve however and Andy and I have written about our big Classic Tick Day out. Then things went downhill as I commenced a 7-week grand tour of BT telephone exchanges and a new hotel every night. Though it has to be said that I can pack a suitcase very quickly now! Once this project was out of the way the coaching trip to Turkey loomed large and it occurred to me that I really needed to get out on rock unless I planned on being class duffer and not being able to climb anything under the gaze of my hero Mr McClure. A week’s “intensive” training at Horseshoe Quarry was planned. Exhausted as I still was from all the travelling, an intensive day for me was in the region of five leads. However, the situation did improve and before Turkey I’d got my red-point grade back to F6a.

The coaching trip was fantastic and my scepticism about how well it would translate to my trad grade proved to be totally groundless. Further my on-sight grade has increased to F6a which was a bogey grade for me for quite some time and red-pointing is now at F6b. Improvements in trad leading have been noticeable as my leading head seems to be much more in gear than it has been over the last two years. Although soloing a Severe one day and lobbing off a Severe the following day is probably not a prime example, but nevertheless I’m looking forward to a good season next year.

So in closing I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported the club trips during the year, especially those who have willingly and cheerfully given up their time to help with the Beginners’ tips.

It has been a great pleasure to serve as your President and I hope you will all continue to give the same support to your new President.

It’s been emotional!




1 Taken from the title of the fourth in the Hitchhikers’ Trilogy So long and thanks for all the fish, by the late, great Douglas Adams

2Ghoti is a constructed example used to illustrate irregularities in English spelling. It is a respelling of the word fish, and like fish is pronounced /ˈfɪʃ/. It has, gh, pronounced /f/
as in tough /tʌf/; o, pronounced /ɪ/ as in women /ˈwɪmɪn/; and ti, pronounced /ʃ/ as in nation /ˈneɪʃən/. The first known published reference is in 1874, citing an 1855 letter that credits ghoti to one William Ollier (born 1824). Ghoti is often cited to support English spelling reform, and is often attributed to George Bernard Shaw a supporter of this cause. However, a biography of Shaw attributes it instead to an anonymous spelling reformer. [Source: Wikipedia]

The New President’s Prattle

Wotcha folks, I am back. Gawd help us. I have decided to make the Caretaker Manager position as IMC President more permanent. At least for another year that is. I must thank Caroline for her sterling efforts over the past couple of years, including a fine role in stitching me up to be President for another year!

As you will be aware from the spate of resignations just over a month ago there were a number of posts up for new blood so this year’s AGM was always going to prove a little “interesting”, though not in the climbing sense of the word. Apart from the President’s position, which has
already been mentioned, Louise had to give up the Secretary’s role as she did not have the time to give the position the attention that she felt it required and Dave Coupe has stepped in to take over the job (good man, I have not forgotten that I owe you a beer!). Both Guy and
Simon wanted to give up the Newsletter Editor and Webmaster roles respectively. In the end a solution was found whereby Simon was to continue as Webmaster but handed over the “technical aspects” of putting together the Newsletter to Adrian Fagg who is to work with Caroline Goldsworthy (Apostrophe police) in putting together the Newsletter. If you get that please explain it to me in simple English!

I wish to thank all the “retiring” officers for their hard work over the past year (several years in both Simon’s and Guy’s cases). I know how much time they all put in to keep the club and the Newsletter going.

One more thing to mention is that the IMC Slideshows (cum socials) have been resurrected. They will be held at the Lloyd’s Tavern on the traditional third Thursday of the month (during winter) with the first one being held on the 15th January (subject matter to be decided). I have asked if the music can be turned down (those who were at the AGM will know what I mean).
All that remains to say is enjoy the remainder of this year and, as I am already, look forward to the winter meets in the New Year.

Take care on the hill.

See you soon.



Editor’s Erratum

As this will be my last Erratum I really would like to take this opportunity to put into print my heartfelt thanks to all the contributors over the last four years – you have been fantastic. I hope that the membership will continue the good work, perhaps even increasing it, for the new incumbent.

I have had a great time and felt privileged to be the first to read all the articles as they came in.

I’m sure that this issue will, as ever, entertain and inspire you; there’s good stuff herein.

I will leave the setting of a deadline to the new Editor but I would hope to read about ice axes being swung and extreme temperatures survived when the next issue hits my e-doormat.

Once again, a big “thank you” to all who have helped to make the newsletter what it is.


Name that Route

A bumper crop of routes for you to identify from Guy’s cryptic photos

Route 1

Route 2

Route 3

Route 4



This Newsletter’s articles can be seen on separate webpages by clicking the following links. It’s a
bumper crop, with tales of daring do from far and wide.

Did you know that most of the articles that have previously appeared in the IMC newsletter can be read online? Find them listed in the Articles Index. By the way, these can now be read by anyone on the internet – not just members of the IMC. So tell your friends and family.

Website News

I’ve been asked to give some more info about the IMC website’s
new photo gallery. The important change is that you can upload
your photos to this gallery so that they instantly appear on the
IMC webpages, and you can give each photo a title and add some
descriptive text. Go to

To use the gallery the first thing you need to do is open
the gallery page and register by clicking the link in its top
right corner. You only need to do this once. I know it’s a bind
but it’s a necessary evil to prevent malicious people from
outside the club from posting nasty pictures (of course it won’t
stop malicious people from inside the club from doing that – but
if you do I’ll know who you are!). As soon as I get your email
I’ll add you to the list of people who can post to the photo

The gallery is fairly intuitive to use, but if you need help
click the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) link on the gallery
page (top-right) or click here. When viewing photos in the
gallery you can give them a star rating and can write comments.
Keep ’em clean please! Only members can leave comments but
anyone can vote. That reminds me, the gallery is open for
viewing by the general public. You can create your own album in
the gallery, and if you wish you can set a password or make it
viewable only by other members of the IMC. You can give each
photo a title and add some descriptive text. Have a play and

Despite what some people have said, the photos you contribute
are stored on the IMC web server (not an external site like
Flikr) which allows them to be used on multiple pages throughout
the IMC website. For example your photo may appear in the
montage on the homepage, or indeed it may appear here…

I put this new facility in place hoping that it will keep the
photo album fresh. I hope you find it useful. The IMC webserver
has a capacity of 250 MB, which is currently about half
full. To stop us filling this up in a trice with your huge high
resolution photos I’ve restricted the size of photos that can be
uploaded to 200 kB. Images for viewing on a website really don’t
need to be any bigger than that. If you have any problems with
this, or anything else feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing the gallery used, and to viewing your wonderful photos.

Simon – IMC Webmaster


The Committee

There were quite a few changes in line up at our last AGM. You can see who’s now on the
committee at the contacts page, which
includes a description of each of the committee roles.


Diary Dates

See our Club Meets page for up-to-date details about
meetings and events that are currently planned by the Ipswich Mountaineering Club

This scheduled list is suggested as a framework for meets in the coming
months and to help get dates into your diaries; however, we are looking
for volunteers to co-ordinate some of the events and for ideas of where
people would like to go. Please contact the meets
if you are interested in helping to organise any of the
above or to make suggestions for future meets.

A quick reminder regarding attendance: Please note that anyone
attending an official Ipswich Mountaineering Club meet must be a
member of the Ipswich Mountaineering Club or some other BMC
affiliated club. A “meet” being defined as any trip advertised on
the website or newsletter or announced/advertised via the e-mail
facility (i.e.