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Club Officer’s Reports - Climbing Report

The Official report for the Annual General Meeting

This year has seen a certain trend away from local climbing, due largely to the closure of Cheddar Gorge and most of the Avon area.  Particularly regrettable has been the loss of the tea wagon and car park, which provided a valuable focal point for evening and weekend meets, especially ‘en famille.’  At the end of 1974, considerable interest was being expressed in the Wye Valley cliffs, less at Wyncliffe and Wintour's Leap than at a new crag, the Seven Sisters.  Many of the new routes at the latter site have been disfigured with painted records of first ascent dates, gradings etc. - a practice also in evidence at Symond's Yat. Not yet in the guidebooks is 'Pulsator', a VS worthy of note in a lean year.  The antics which accompanied its inauguration are best forgotten, however.

A visit to the Dewerstone at the beginning of January was far warmer than expected and the granite a welcome change from the ubiquitous limestone.  As the year has progressed, trips have become fewer.  One trip to the Lake District collapsed from lack of support.  This was a mini-bus venture, promising a round trip at £3 to £4 a head, a fee which, perhaps surprisingly, was claimed to be beyond the pockets of most.

Morris and hang gliding have claimed a considerable following recently and it is unfair to lament the reduction in climbing activity when the social life of club members is so obviously flourishing.  Some have even returned to the troglodytic activities from which they once progressed en route to the crags.

This report is, unfortunately, being prepared before return of the summer Alpine meet, so that achievements will have to wait until next year for inclusion.  A Matterhorn trip was apparently planned, and a report of this and other ventures will be most welcome in the club journal, providing the handwriting is up to standard.

And so, reluctantly, to the subject of new blood, quickly disposed of by putting out that there has not been any.  This may be due to the club reputation for sitting in car parks (yes, it does have such!) and it may be due to the lack of club facilities for climbers, or to the tendency now prevalent for young climbers to attend the 'Outward Bound' style courses and shun the easy going camaraderie of the club.  It is painfully obvious that climbing has become very much a 'sport' of late, prey to any number of silly arguments and political style wrangles.  The competitive gymnasium approach does not really suit this club, and any recruitment drive must be very care¬fully and selectively planned.  If anybody has any ideas on recruitment or would be willing for example to instruct beginners in rather more than what to shout and when, please use this magazine to publicise them.  We do not want to turn into a training school, but a little more activity might be healthy.