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Outdoors

with Hedera

February/March is usually a Good Time for Outdoors and this year its been splendid.  Three or four consecutive weekends with snow sports.  North Wales being in particularly good condition with the cognoscenti climbing pretty well every major gully.  Imagine cramponing from the bottom to the top of Great Gully on Craig-yr-Isfs or even snow enough to enable Slanting Gully on Llewedd, climbed for the first time in 1897, to suffer its first recorded winter ascent.  Even Cloggy was attempted.

Brecon, our local Alp, was beautiful.  The Bennetts came back on 25th February with enthusiastic reports and an impromptu meet was organised for 3rd March.  Quite a large party (including Ifold and Attwood who would seem to have a nose for the best meets) climbed a steep, shallow face gully from Bry-teg and then traversed the Beacons taking in odd gullies on route.  Ifold insisted on including a sensational traverse below the crest of Corn Du.  “How Brave” we thought as we waited basking in the sun, until, looking back, we could see Ifold and Bennett striking magnificent photographic poses for each other. Perfect weather.  The descent was made slowly, with late sunshine suffusing rock and bracken with golden colours.

The continuing sun tempts the rock men and Avon Gorge activity seems to be back to normal, though it’s cold enough when the sun vanishes.  Winter frosts have considerably loosened your favourite handholds – so watch it.

Hard Man, swinging vigorously all over The Turn of the Screw with an impressive array of technique and equipment, was heard to complain bitterly about the piercing wind.  The Hard Man Image prevented him from rolling down his sleeves apparently.  A little later we heard a resounding “XXXX the Image”, and down the sleeves came!

Roger Boston, of whom you have not heard, made his debut with the club on Brecon W/E and later made his first rock climb with Pete Sutton and Roy Marshall.  Another one indoctrinated.  This pair, with Malcolm Holt and two newcomers raked Eddy Welch out on the afternoon of Sunday 17th March and got him to show them the Frome Valley routes.  No second ascent of Derek Targett’s “Middle Slip” but Pete Sutton has established another line on Ivy wall.  Kangy, out for a walk in that area found another outcrop of promise.

For those hardened in the game there is a party off to the Oertzal and Bernina this year.  Details from Edward but briefly – 22 June to 6 July ’68, leader Terry Taylor.  Transport by car to Dover – Ostend, then motorways, turning right at Munich and returning via Luxemburg and Ardennes.

Terry Taylor of course is guiding professionally at very reasonable rates and can be contacted at the Waggon.

“If you’re lost and off the route
With a left foot in each boot
Don’t go to sea and be a sailor
Put in a peg and call for Taylor”

‘HEDERA’

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