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Avon Mountaineering Club Mid-summer Newsletter

Hello all, and welcome to the newsletter, apologies for the late release, but here are. Lots has been going on, in and around the club over the spring and summer, and hopefully this wet spell will end and we can get out some more

What have we been up to?

Chamonix – AMC Alps trip 2023

The club recently ran a very successful trip to the Alps, based in Chamonix. All the teams achieved an array of objectives and different climbs, with particular success on the snow, ice and mixed routes brought by the sublime conditions. Mike Kearney has just completed a trip report which shares some further detail on the trip and what was achieved, as well as seeking to inspire for future trips.

Navigation excercise 18th June

On June 18th, Peter Collins undertook a navigation training and excercise on the Breacon Beacons. Below are a few words from Peter on what the team got up to and learned.

The weather was glorious, hot and sunny. Only one member of our seven strong team (Nika, Kevser, Eddie, Simon, Ed, Sophie, Deborah) failed at the first hurdle by going to the wrong car park! A good example of why relying on Google maps is not always a good idea. So it was back to basics. Phones away, maps and compasses out!

A quick check to test the knowledge of our team. How big are the blue squares and how far apart are the contour lines on an OS 1:25,000 map, what are the 5 D’s, how do you set a map. Ahhh, OK back to basics.

Nevertheless, our team was enthusiastic and keen to learn. Eddie and Simon paired up to navigate the first leg having impressed upon them the importance of accurate measurements on the map (to the nearest 1mm) and after a little struggle with the maths an ETA at the first waypoint was calculated and a bearing determined. Soon Eddie and Simon arrived at their waypoint (slightly later than anticipated) but they got there and handed over to the next pair.

The great advantage of the Mynydd LLangynidr bit of the Brecon Beacons for navigation practice is that the landscape does not have massive hills and ridges, but it does have some shape to the land that can be read off the map and loads of sink holes, some enormous. So as the team found out it is still possible to navigate accurately. Reorientating oneself by looking at a sink hole estimating its size and checking the size on the map, looking at the shape of the land, is it up? Is it down? Or taking a bearing of the fall line of the slope.

By the end of the day the accuracy of the navigation improved noticeably as folk got the hang of estimating at what pace they walked over different types of terrain (3-5kph), walking on a bearing got more accurate and doing the sums became easier!

Eight changes of navigators later and we arrived back at the starting point having had a great walk and hopefully slightly the wiser.

Self rescue course

A brilliant self rescue course was put several weeks ago. Six AMC members enjoyed an evening and day learning self rescue skills for climbing in June Paul Smith from Rockandwater Adventures did an Amy job at teaching-

Escaping the system on belay.

Basic prussicinging up and down the ropes.

Assisted hoists.

And importantly, considerations on how to stay out of trouble in the first place!

Invaluable learning to ensure you know how to deal with any problems that might occur and importantly how to avoid them to start with. We hope this course was enjoyed by all that wentThe next course we will be offering our members will be a day’s outdoor first aid training in November.

Upcoming Trips

Simon Perret our trips coordinator will be ensuring that the trips are advertised well in advance for people to book on to and help with any queries. However, trips need always need an organiser for the individual trip to ensure they run, the requirements are very small and do not require any supervising. So please if you are interested in organising let Simon know and he can send you over the details you’ll needBelow are a list of trips and day meets happening in the coming months. Further details can be found on the club forum.

Pembroke – 4th – 6th August

Ahhh Pembroke, a favourite amongst trad climbers and walkers. Sea cliff trad and stunning views of some of the best UK coastline. This trip is being coordinated by Simon Perret himself. So buckle up and have some adventures on the cliffs of Pembroke! The trip that took place earlier in the year was magnificent and hopefully this will be much the same!

North Wales – 25th – 28th August

Happening on the August Bank Holiday the club are planning to run a North Wales trip, this will be camping. This does not yet have a trip organiser. Attendees on the trip will expect to sample some of the best Trad, scrambling, walking, sport and bouldering in the UK, all within short travel of the campsite.

Lundy – 16th – 20th September

Connor McGlacken is organising this years trip to Lundy on Saturday 16th to Thursday 21st September. Lundy is a small island off the North Coast of Devon and a premier sea cliff climbing location with immaculate granite and multi star climbs from Moderate to E9. For more Information on the trip head over to the forum.

BMC News

Right to Wild Camp on Dartmoor appeal won

The Court of Appeal has today overturned the high court ruling and resolved that there is a right to backpack (wild) camp on Dartmoor’s common land.

The legal dispute has centred on the interpretation of the Dartmoor Commons Act that regulates access to moorland, and whether wild camping counts as ‘open-air recreation’.

Following the controversial decision in the High Court which ruled in favour of a wealthy landowner and concluded that there was not “a right to wild camp without permission”, the Dartmoor National Park Association appealed.

The case returned to the Court of Appeal on 18 July 2023 and more evidence was presented with the Open Spaces Society being granted leave to intervene. The judge Sir Geoffrey Vos concluded: ‘In my judgment, on its true construction, section 10(1) of the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985 confers on members of the public the right to rest or sleep on the Dartmoor commons, whether by day or night and whether in a tent or otherwise …’.

The BMC’s vision of wild camping is that people should have the freedom to choose where to camp, in a self-sufficient and environmentally and socially responsible manner. Following this judgment Dartmoor remains one of the only places in England where there is a right to backpack camping without the landowner’s permission.

BMC Opposes Proposals to Extend Upper Derwent Reservoirs

In spring 2022, Severn Trent Water (STW) began consulting locally on their proposals to increase water storage in the Ladybower complex of reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley (UDV). These proposals are part of a national drive to find ways of meeting projected increases in demand for water over the next thirty years.Any of the plans under consideration would represent a major development in the very heart of the Peak District and would result in the destruction of ancient woodland and other habitats; irreparable damage to the landscape; long term closure, destruction and rerouting of access ways; and set a terrible precedent for how our National Parks are managed for future generations.The BMC are against these proposals, with the threat they pose. Currently awareness of the threat is very low. Awareness must be made more widespread to have an effect on combating the destruction this will cause.Further information can be found here

GWR BOLT FUND/New sport and area guides for Bristol and the Mendips

Below is a snippet from Great Western Rock.

Mid summer greetings from GWR!

We know many of you are eagerly awaiting the release of the 2 forthcoming guidebooks;

Bristol Sport and Mendip Outcrops. So just to let you all know that we are hard at work to get the books finished and out ASAP. The delays are not because we are being slow or lazy, in-fact quite the opposite, we have been busy developing new areas. For example, the Bristol Sport book has doubled in size in the last 2 years to 450 pages, with hundreds of new and unpublished routes for you to enjoy. We have one final venue to complete with 12 or so lines identified, if we get enough donations then we’ll do them all. So, any contributions, big or small, to the bolt fund are really greatly appreciated!

Bolt Fund

Finally, thank you all for reading, have a great rest of the summer and see you at the pub on the 2nd of August!

Thanks, Owen

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