Belfry Bulletin

Search Our Site

G.B. Guest Days.

Sunday 16th.  October at 2.30pm.
Saturday 3rd. December 3.0pm.

All names must be handed to Alfie Collins at least a fortnight before the trip.

Club Library.

Since the last list published in June, the following additions have been made to the library: -

Notiziaro, Speleologico Romano No.7.  1954.
The American Caver Bulletin No. 16 Dec. 1954.

Newsletters

N.S.S. Vol.13 No.4.  April 1955.
N.S.S. Vol.13 No.5.  May  1955.
N.S.S. Vol.13 No.6.  June  1955.
N.S.S. Vol.13 No.7.  July   1955.
N.S.S. Vol.13 No.8.  Aug.  1955.
Occasional Papers.  N.S.S. No.1.  Jan 1954.
Occasional Papers.  N.S.S. No.2.  April 1954.
The Cave and Crag Club.  Vo. 4.  No.4.  April  1955.
The Cave and Crag Club.  Vo. 5.  No.4.  May   1955.
The Cave and Crag Club.  Vo. 6.  No.4.  June   1955.
The Cave and Crag Club.  Vo. 7.  No.4.  Jul/Aug 1955.
South Wales C.C. No.12  May 1955.
Westminster S.G.  Bulletin Vo.2  No.4  May 1955.
Westminster S.G.  Bulletin Vo.2  No.5  June 1955.

####################################

Bookcase

Members are asked if they can dig up, find, purloin, fabricate or otherwise obtain a suitable receptacle for books, as the need for this, with our ever-growing library, has now become very urgent.  Will anyone who knows of, or is willing to help make such a case please communicate with the Hon. Sec.

New Members

It has been, in the past, the ‘usual’ thing to print in the first available issue after election, the names and addresses of all new members, and also to publish a list, a few per month, of all members.

In view of the fact that a complete new list of members and their addresses is to be published as soon as the list is sent by the Hon. Sec., at this present time let us just say: - “Welcome to our new members. May they enjoy caving and climbing whilst they are Club Members.”

B.E.C. in SKYE.

By Miss Janet Gotts.

Being an account of a holiday in Skye from 15/24th, July, 1555 by John Stafford, Mr. & Mrs. John Attwood, Miss Janet Gotts, Tony Dun and Ron King.

Skye weather has become a by-word.  The last place any sane sun loving Climber would choose for a July holiday in the Western Isles of Scotland.  One could spend a whole fortnight and never see the Cuillins.  The same sort of impression as one had of Scotland from ‘Kidnapped’ - cold and gruesome, with people living on porridge and half-cooked trout.

To the great disappointment, then, of members of the party who had come fully equipped with waterproof clothing, we had rain on only one day, low cloud on two or three.  On top, conditions became bad enough to frustrate two attempts at the complete Cuillin Ridge, but on the whole the heat was tropical.  We tanned, peeled, reddened and re-peeled.  The second week saw some of us camping in an idyllic spot on the way up to Sron na Ciche.  Previous occupants of the site, to our disgust had always been idly breakfasting when we passed by on our ‘Alpine’ starts.  Now it was our turn.  Every morning between 10.0 and 11.0 climbers, with the light of the Cuillins in their eyes, recoiled from the sordid pile of boots, saucepans and various litter.  In the end we were having lunch before starting, to save carrying it.

One's first impression of the Cuillins is of a range of miniature mountains, perfectly proportioned, as unique but not as imposing, as the Dolomites.  But they afford plenty of strenuous exercise.  A good introduction to the Ridge is the scramble from Sgurr Alaisdair (the highest) along to the Inaccessible Pinnacle and down the An Stac stone chute.  Or, approach the Inaccessible Pinnacle from the west via Window Tower Buttress (a very pleasant Mod. Diff.)  The Cioch, etherealised by Humble's famous photograph, seems unfortunately the Eiffel Tower of the area, and should be avoided by the anti-social.  Both face climbs up to it are interesting; however, mist and rain robbed us of the very fine exposure on Cioch West route.  Our best day was spent on White Slab route on the Gkrunnda face, with its very satisfying severe variations.  When in good form, some of the climbs above the Terrace on Sron na Ciche, like the Crack of Doom, are well worth the trouble of the slog up.  The famous Waterpipe Gully on Sgurr an Fheadain, is no longer recommended, owing to the loose state of the rock.  And even after the drought it was extremely slimy, and could not be called a pleasant climb under any conditions.

Being without transport, our activities were limited to Glenbrittle, save the memorable day we undertook an expedition to Portree, and were forced to walk back nine miles over the fells through a misunderstanding with the bus service.   We would take off our hats to anyone with the smallest understanding of Skye bus services.  If you are lucky enough to catch a bus going in the required direction at the scheduled hour you are stunned by the exorbitant fare (nearly 6d. a mile).  Some of us had the experience of being charged 6d. to go on a rescue party bus half way up the valley.  Unfortunately the Revenge Plan of catching the ‘Church Bus’ (free!) on Sunday morning and sneaking off to climb from Sligachan never materialised.

How to get there: - The Road to the Isles is for most of us further than the traditional route from Tummel to Morar.  Hitch-hiking from Glasgow to the Kyle of Loch Alsh ferry is infinitely less frustrating than watching the Scottish scenery from a stuffy train: it can be done in 36 hours, including a day’s climbing and swimming in Glen Coe.  For Bristolians, we recommend taking motor-bikes by train to Glasgow and continuing by road to Malaig ferry.  Extra fare to Glasgow is adequately compensated by having one’s own transport in Skye, and the saving on Glasgow-Malaig stage.

Take no notice of (a) The present Guide Book, except for geographical indications: (b) Nails enthusiast - vibrams find Skye rock amazingly adhesive even when wet: (c) Precautions against midges.  Nothing stops them.  The thousands of deaths inflicted daily by maddened climbers and campers have no effect on the general body.  And when it’s over 10,000 to one it’s not worth putting up a fight.

A final warning.  Anyone rock-climbing on the Cuillins without liquid refreshment is in severe danger of dehydration.

POST-SCRIPT. – Especially for the less experienced female climber.

Always have a hand in laying stores.  (In Skye most of them can be obtained in Glenbrittle Youth Hostel) otherwise you will find they invariably consist of porridge, macaroni, and Horlick’s tablets.

Climbing.  Beside the more obvious tricks of absentminded clearing away loose rock, investigating local Flora and Fauna whilst belaying your partner, it is sometimes a good move to drop (accidentally) the whole rope on to your second after belaying yourself.  This will unnerve him for the next pitch.  Morale, like intelligence, is far superior to strength.  Confuse your partner by delicate and exposed variations which appear more difficult than, for example, a strenuous chimney.

Alcohol:  Remember to look on drinking as an art, not, as men do in an excuse.  If handed a flask of rum or other spirits on a climb, restrain your enthusiasm (this need practice).  Take tentative but frequent samples, as though it is not your usual (superior) brand.  This increases your prestige besides giving you more than your fair share!

Janet Gotts.

It is grand to welcome a new contributor to the BB, and I look forward to printing many more articles from Miss Gotts’ pen.

T.H.S.

Personal

The engagement was announced in June of Jack Whaddon to Miss Dorothy Cridge who is well known to quite a few of the club members and other Mendipites.

Jack has now moved to the London Area and so will be unable to appear on Mendip as frequently as in the past.  He will be linking up with various club members in that area, however,and will appear in our part of the world as often as he can.

(I must apologise for the belated entry, Jack, sorry that it’s so late.  Ed.)

Can anyone tell me why?

No answers have yet been received to the August Questions, but as this issue is being ‘set’ much earlier than usual, that is probably the reason.  This month’s questions are climbing ones.

  1. What are the ‘Vibrams’ so often referred to in climbing account?
  2. How does the novice overcome the instinctive fear of falling when a ‘long drop’ is below him?
  3. Many young persons are attracted to climbing, but very few ‘dare’ to indulge.  The average caver does lots of climbing underground, but would boggle at the visible drop below him say of 100 feet.  Is the climbing standard so much higher ‘up there’ than down below?
  4. Many rock faces are composed of different types of rock.  How does the novice decide which is ok and which will ‘come off’ in his own mind?

***********************************

 

For the benefit of New Members and anyone else who has forgotten them appended below is a list of club officials.

R.J. Bagshaw,          Hon. Sec. & Hon. Treas.  56 Ponsford Road, Bristol. 4.
A. Sandall,               Assist. Hon. Sec. 35 Beauchamp Road, Bristil. 7.
A.J. Collins,             Hut Warden & Caving Sec., 27 Gordon Road, Bristol. 8.
C. Falshaw,             Assist. Caving Sec. & Assist. Tackle Officer, 50 Rockside Drive, Bristol. 7.
I. Dear,                    Tackle Officer, 1 Fairfield Villas, Henrietta Park, Bath, Somt.
Mike Jones,             Belfry Maint. Engineer, 12 Melton Crescent, Bristol. 7.
John Stafford,           Climbing Sec., 5 Hampden Road, Bristol. 4.
Miss Judy Osborn,   Ladies Representative, 389 Filton Avenue, Bristol. 7.
John Ifold,                Hon. Librarian, Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol.
T.H. Stanbury,          Hon. Editor BB, 48 Novers Park Road, Bristol. 4.

Any member with a problem of any kind is urged to get in touch with the appropriate official.  Doing this not only eases the burden of work on the Hon. Sec’s shoulders, but also saves the member concerned a little time, as otherwise such problems etc., have to be re-routed via the Hon. Sec.

*************************************************

A final note to remind you that the BB is still in need of articles of all sorts and particularly relating to the Club work on Mendip.

T.H.S.