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The B.E.C. North of the Border

By Steve Grime

Since leaving the ‘sunny’ south the activities of the ex-Mendip population have been limited mainly to consuming vast quantities of Ale (after dole day!) talking about last summer and planning for the coming summer.

However, some of the less slothful members of the fraternity have managed to get away ‘on the hill’ every weekend since September.  Caving first – although there is not much to report in this field owing to Foot and Mouth etc., in November we made two trips to Yorkshire to do Kingsdale Master Cave – a really superb cave.  Also we had a go at several other pots.  On the first weekend I got clobbered for the tragic Sunset Hole rescue (see below – Ed) which was a classic at underestimating the difficulties in bringing a body out of a ‘moderate’ pot.  The next trip on the following weekend featured Jefferies (of the Grampians S.S. – Ed) with new wife and McNab.  We were a potential aven climbing party, but on inspection the ‘old Cuthbert’s snag of dissolving stal. to quite a depth showed that golos were the only way up. In a water fight in the beck McNab got a pegging hammer embedded in his skull and spent the next few weeks wailing about chronic headaches. After this trip Foot and Mouth took and all meets were cancelled. Biddle (HE’S not in the the B.E.C. – Ed) went north for a week with his new wife and a new bang licence but to no avail!  A practice rescue was held in one of the Fife Mines and went very well to our amazement and the awe of the visiting club.

On to juicier stuff – climbing.  This started with a bang.  On the weekend of September 16th (1967) Derm Statham, Lynn and myself managed to smash off 9 Munroe’s in 28 hours.  After that things slowed down a bit but every weekend, except when caving, at least one Munroe or classic has ‘gone’.  Standing out are Tower Ridge in filthy conditions, wet, heavy snow, cloud and half a gale; also Aonach Eagach in a blizzard with soft snow over-lying verglas.  Result – crampons points now ¼” shorter.

Four weeks ago S.C. Gully was really good but the snow didn’t start until half-way up.  All in winter conditions have been terrible although Manchip and I took advantage of some peerless weather in November to climb Carn Toul (4,000ft. – I think) and then walked back to Braer through the night on an iced up path where Biddle picked us up the next day.

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At present Steve is back in hospital again but not for long as he intends to be on Mendip for Easter – the club meet is in South Wales – just in case you are interested!  He carries on in the letter to suggest a B.E.C. climbing meet at one of the Bank holidays in Scotland to climb faces such as the Ben Nevis North East Wall and adds “…We do have two and three lane roads in Scotland and one could always fly up and then hire a car from Inverness, it’s only 60 miles from there.

Sunset Hole Rescue.

On October 7th Eric Lockhurst died after falling off a 40ft. pitch.  Said to have started up the climb without the lifeliner knowing what he intended to do.  He died from fractured ribs puncturing the lungs.

Late As Usual!

Some of you are no doubt wondering why the B.B. is arriving late ‘as usual’.  The fact is that it is not being published late – the Feb. B.B. appeared during the second week of Feb and March was published 7th March! – it’s because YOU probably have not returned the wrappers that were enclosed with the Christmas B.B.  To ensure that your B.B. arrives on time send the wrappers to Phil. Townsend, 154 Sylvia Ave., Bristol 3 – pick your pen and send then NOW.

Caving and Climbing Meets

Caving Meets: -

EASTER BANK HOLIDAY……….SOUTH WALES…CAMPING.

21st. Apr. ST. CUTHBERT’S Practice Rescue – Coral Chamber.

12th May.  G.B. Committee Members must attend – come along and watch the fiasco!

SPRING BANK HOLIDAY…… YORKSHIRE…..HAMMER POT & DISAPPOINTMENT.

Climbing Meets

Apr. 28th  WYE VALLEY

May 18/19  CORWALL……….CAMPING