Forget Trad…. It’s Thursday

A new addition to the calendar this year has been Sport Thursdays. Organised by Mark these have been an additional chance for members to meet up but with the focus being on sport climbing (and occasionally bouldering).

Many local venues have been visited including Horseshoe, Intake, Staden, Mason Lees and even Solomans Temple.

Hopefully we can carry on with this meet for the rest of the year and in future years… thanks to everyone who has contributed to it becoming a fixture

Photos by Tim and Stuart

Cycle For Your Supper

We have started to climb and walk again but it felt like a while since the club had done anything ‘socially’.

Therefore a cycle ride from Topley Pike to Hassop station was proposed…. however the pay-off of keeping fit and seeing friends did not seem enough.. we must stop for food aswell.

Therefore on a dry Saturday evening a number of club members set off along the Monsal Trail… picking up some stragglers along the way

James definitely had the toughest time with 2 children in the trailer but, Sarah also had a passenger in the doggy seat and this was Adrian’s second ride out of the day.

The food and drink at Hassop Station was good, the tunnel lights still on and if it were not for a puncture on the way back all would have been plain sailing

Roaches Lower Tier

We are almost half way through the year without a Tuesday evening Blog Post…. Lets see if we can try and get on track again.

Last week we were midged off from High Neb after few climbs, some hardly folks remained but the majority headed for an early shower/pub. This week a group had headed to Harpur Hill Quarry to try and avoid the midges but 10+ of us stuck to the plan and met at the Roaches. The little blighters were there but not in force.

They really weren’t that bad

Some ventured up to the upper tier and climbed pedestal route while others stayed around the lower tier. Prow cracks, crow corner and Prow Corner twin cracks provided some mileage with Fledgling route and Raven Rock Gully providing harder climbing

All in all a fairly good evening, a few faces missing due to holidays, injuries and the divert to Harpur Hill but we got to climb!!

Book Review: Himalaya—A Human History By Ed Douglas

This is an enjoyable, interesting and thoroughly dangerous book of 528 pages, published in 2020 and according to Ed Douglas 25 years in the gestation. I was given a copy as a gift at a recent “significant” birthday. 

Dangerous? I thought my final trip to the area would be a planned trek last summer 2020 up the Baltoro glacier, but then postponed. Now, after reading this I’ve added to that list: treks to Shivling, Nanda Dev and the Singalila Ridge in Sikkim. Each of those can be tackled late in the year as the nights draw in here and the clocks change. So, in effect extending the year. And dangerous also, because my reading has led me to order three more books for follow up certain aspects and people.

Many of the characters and incidents it describes  were either simply new to me or perhaps with better explanations than I’d had previously. Just a few which stuck in my mind are: George Bogle, the first “Westerner” to go to Tibet in 1774. The British/Nepali war of 1814-16 and it’s historically important settlement. The Gurkhas. The bloody history of the Nepali Royal families. Taking tea from China to grow in Assam and Darjeeling. The visit of the Nepal Royal family to Queen Victoria in the UK. Mummery’s untimely death on Nanga Parbat in 1895. Younghusband’s brutal assault on Tibet in 1904. That George Everest never saw the mountain. Alex Kellas, the little known mountaineer and forerunner to Bill Tilman who died in tough circumstances. How the current Dalai Lama was chosen aged 4 in 1939 and the position of the Panchen Lama. The Indo/China war of 1962 and Ngawang Sangdrol and the human rights injustices by China in Tibet. A thorough list really would be endless. 

The book is good describing the ongoing political machinations over the centuries between Tibet, Nepal, China and the East India Company and then the British and India. And explains why Nepal managed to maintain it’s sovereignty despite at one stage in 1791/92 the Chinese at war coming within 35kms of Kathmandu. As would be expected from Ed Douglas, there is plenty of mountaineering history too. 
I do have to say though that I would have expected more on Bhutan and it’s history, both ancient and more modern given especially that the famous Bird’s Nest Temple in Paro is on the cover.  There is very little of the British war against Bhutan—the Duar War—in 1864. And, nothing about the Lhotshampa expulsion of the Nepalese into refugee camps in the 1990s. (NB interestingly the US has taken some 80,000+ Bhutanese refugees and the UK just a few hundred). Nor, the coming of democracy there from 2007 on. 

My only other slight criticism is that some of material, particularly the descriptions of ancient Buddhist sects or the various members of temples or royal families, is somewhat dense and needed reading more than once. To be fair, that’s probably a reflection on me!

An excellent tome, helpful maps and thoroughly recommended to get an overall understanding of the history of the Himalaya high mountain area. 

Keith Gaines, Baslow (February 2021)

Peak Boundary Walk continued

Adrian and Keith 1-1 in Lockdown

Still in lockdown, we saw the weather was going to be excellent if a little chilly at the outset. So we decided on the Wildboarclough to Bollington stretch of the path. We were not disappointed, great views—8.5 miles, 470m ascent. Shots are Top of Shutlingshoe, looking south from Tegg’s Nose and Keith by White Nancy above Bollington. And, a beer in Bollington Brewery shop at the end! An excellent day and closing in on ending in Buxton. 

Adrian and Keith