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Next Meet

"Wild Camping"

1st - 3rd March 2013

Next Social

AGM. Portland D136.

Thursday 14th March
8.00 pm

If you don't want this for a time, please comment it-Fabian !Next Ice Climb

Manchester Indoor Ice Wall
Friday 1st December at 8:30am

If you don't want this for a time, please comment it-Fabian !Next Climb

The first club journal, appearing in 1992, contained an account of the famously crap New Year 91 meet in Glencoe, penned by Captain Corbett, which went, loosely, as follows

Nightmare on Clachaig Street!

27 headed off for a winter paradise in Scotland's most picturesque glen. One minibus ran into the police shutting the snowgates to Rannoch moor, and, convinced them somehow to let them through, on the grounds that htey had a week's worth of food, warm bags, and would not, in any case, sit there like lemons waiting to be rescued, but would simply don their Yeti gaitors and walk out. They made it across, through blizzards and snowdrifts, piloted by Andy 'Scourge of the Clutch (surely a misprint-Ed.) Relf, the last vehicle for a very long time as it turned out!

Picture the scene, the last survivors are entombed in a freezing barn. The earth and its elements were combining to cut off their last escape to civilisation. Rannoch Moor was snowbound, which didn't really matter anyway as the Glencoe road had been obliterated by a giant landslide (debris still visible today!), missing some of us by less than an hour (a mini, mudslide version of this later tried to block our lane to the Clachaig, our haven of warmth). The Oban road was submerged in meltwater foods and the A9 blocked by snow. Thus the only way back south was via Inverness and Aberdeen. In any case the ill and expiring were too weak to be moved, and our driver Dick a wanted man after ramming the camper-van containing the infamous 'leaping man in Y-fronts' of Clachaig carpark. By this time, all attempts to actually climb a mountain, or, in fact fulfill any of the aims of the club had long since ceased.

Earlier in the week, as Bridget, the first victim of the epidemic, or Barfosis Bridgetitis to give it its scientific name, sat up in her bunk and asked politely for a plastic bag, the last intrepid attempt to climb a mountain was failing pitifully. Led by the famous Himalayan explorer Stephan 'I'm going out with a Swedish model but I don't see her very often (well, we never saw her at all!)' Bashford, we gamely battled through blizzards up onto the Ballachulish Horseshoe, over a Munro top, and down to the North Coll, where a total 360 whiteout engulfed us. We experimented with sending Mad Martin out ahead to take bearings on his flourescent yellow Tracksters, but our Great Leader soon decided we should concentrate on the attempt to save our skins, and a harrowing descent ensued. Mad's glasses underwent catastrophic failure, leaving him practically blind, Dave's crampons fell off, leaving us to cut steps down, then Niel slipped, and slid off down the mountain trailing a cloud of spindrift, parting company with his axe just before disappearing out of sight. B'shford charged after him,leaving the rest of us helpless lambs huddled together hoping that someone would take us down to our cold beds. He eventually returned with all the relevent articles/people, and we continued down as a thunderstorm swept in, striking nearby as we climbed over wire fences wearing crampons. Probably not a very safe thing to do. Needless to say, we all got back, and soon Chris and Simon were brewing up a monster pasta stew feast to power them on their revenge ascent the next day. It was not to be. Within the hour the two of them were doing Mount Vesuvius impressions with their heads down the toilet. Now I have been sick a few times in my life, for various reasons, but nothing of this sheer explosive power had ever taken hold of me. If I had been facing upwards the barely digested pasta monstrosity could well have ended up in orbit.

I believe that some one actually managed to climb the Pap of Glencoe (which was later to make it into Munro's tables as a Graham) later in the week but most of us had more bodily concerns by then. The Lurgy spread relentlessly through the party, striking indescriminately, its cause unknown. The middle sleeping platform was transformed into a field hospital, with the expiring lined up, a washing-up bowl between each pair of heads, with erruptions proceeding on average every 15 minutes throughout the night. The barn started to fill up with the wiped-out remnants of the various Glencoe campsites, with the exception of a lone man said to be sleeping out under a stranded JCB up the glen (probably a wise move). Andy ended up jammed up against the infamous 'Bonking Couple of Glencoe' who were tring to sustain life-giving temperature without a sleeping bag in the only way they knew how. To alleviate the penury of our existance, Rude Bazza invented Lads Skwabble, which was kind of like Scrabble except that the objective was to make the rudest-sounding words, as scored by an independent jury after the letters have run out. Versions of the game in later years allowed all manner of cheating in the noble cause of obscenity, but at this stage there was still a gentlemanly attempt to observe the usual rules of Scrabble, leading to offerings rather quaint, like....ABOGFULOANALBITS or obscure.....JEDOGBOULAKDER.

Inspired by the chorus of a strange song that our fellow barn occupants, the Nottingham Police Climbing Club, had been singing in the barn earlier in the week, Simon dictated from his sickbed to Mad, who scribbled onto a scap of paper the yet more strange My Petzl song , which saw its first public performance at the end-of-meet meal at the Clachaig. Only one person failed to make it to the meal, but few of those present were in a fit state to even look at food, let alone to consume it, although the meal was truely sumptuous. Chris struggled through half of his food, but was unanble to provide a president's speech, which VP Rupert took charge of. Simon got only 1/5 of his food down, but struggled to his feet to croak the verses of the Petzl song, ably assisted by a sumptuous line of chorus boys. Colin was the only one really enjoying himself, and is said to have hoovered up five sticky toffee puddings. And thus ended a highly unpleasant week the like of which has never been seen since??? The drive home was accompanied by new Barf attacks, leading to a final total of 19 Barfosis eruption cases out of a total of 27 people on the meet; an authentic pandemic.

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Page last modified on May 01, 2008, at 09:27 AM