Summer Trip 5th – 8th June
I can remember the feeling of dread that slowly built up inside me as June drew closer. Was it because I nearing the end of my final year exams? Nope! I had just seen the predicted weather forecast for the BUMC Summer Trip. Rain.

To say it was raining when we arrived was an understatement. It was absolutely tipping it down on Monday, our arrival day, and to top it all off it was also incredibly windy. The original plan had been to camp at a lovely looking campsite called Celtic Camping in Pembrokeshire. When we arrived at the campsite, however, it was clear that this was not going to be a popular idea. Luckily the lovely campsite owners were happy for us to stay in one of their huts overnight and we eventually just stayed in there for the rest of the week as the weather was a little too unpredictable for us to want to put our tents up! Despite the constant threat of rain, the four days we had in Pembrokeshire were very enjoyable.

On Monday, after we had moved into the hut, a few brave souls ventured out of the comfort of the hut to go for a short walk around the coast. The walk took us to the Blue Lagoon, which was still blue despite the grey skies! Not soon after it started to rain again and the group made their way back along the costal path to the hut. Meanwhile the rest of the group planned for the next few days…
On Tuesday there was one walking group that walked from the hut to “that hill over there” () via the costal path and back via inland walking paths. There were several climbing groups based around St Davids. The climbing was made difficult by damp rock and the wind (that’s costal climbing for you!) but several routes were climbed and spectacular views of the sea and coast were enjoyed.

On Wednesday the walking group walked along the costal path all the way to Whitesands where they were collected by one of the returning climbing groups. The climbing groups were spilt between Craig Caerfai and Porth Clais. Luckily the rock was drier than the day before thanks to some sunny spells and the locations a little more sheltered. A notable mention goes to the ascent of the epic “Amorican” as put into words by George Bridgewater: “Last climb of the day, the tide was creeping in but we couldn’t bear to leave without ticking of this regional classic. Through a seriously impressive effort Connor, next year’s SOCIAL sec, cleared all the gear on his way to give David a clear run. With the tide rising and spits of rain in the air Dave made it look easy to cap off a great day.”

Thursday was our last day and it looked like we had had our good run of weather and we were set for rain again. This didn’t bother us too much as we had been to the pub the night before and had enjoyed two good days weather so a long and well-deserved lie-in was had before we packed up, tidied the hut up and meandered back to Bath.

Thank you to the drivers and everyone who was involved in planning this trip! Thanks also to Celtic Camping for letting us stay in their hut, it was much appreciated!

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April 17th, 2017

Franglais is a beautiful language. It facilitates the bartering of baguettes whilst providing enormous amounts of amusement to the locals as you mistakenly order 100 rather than 5 sticks of their finest. It lets you wander the Trois Pignon forests with a laissez-fare attitude to navigation before, at some point closer to lunch than to when you left the campsite, calling again upon the locals to help you find your way to Cul de Chien who inform you that you’ve been circling it for the past hour and a half. It lets you yammer at climbers of all nationalities with calls of “alle” and “nice”; words which (quickly) lose all meaning once you’ve said them enough. Our trip to Fontainebleau this year taught us that there are better tools for generating eye-rolls from the French than butchered pronunciations, however – large, bruised swollen ankles, a pair of crutches and a cast for good measure will do the trick nicely. A pair of broken ankles (owned by Hugh) and another two of nicely coloured (Rob and Olly) were not in vain, however – these were sacrifices to the Gods of Weather and Sending who in turn rewarded all of us with 7 days of perfect weather and (the rest of us) 7 days of awesome climbing.

This year we were camping thanks to “administrative errors” – which resulted in a mace-wielding (think medieval mace, not pepper spray) pizzeria owner to offer a veritably 15th century show of aggression but also a rather nice bottle of wine. The campsite turned out to be ideally suited, a short drive from Milly and very close to Trois Pignon circuits. Visits to Cul de Chien and Rocher Cailleau allowed for everyone to get a feel for Font sandstone and saw some early expeditions into the 6A and up problems. Hugh took the chance to spend an afternoon/evening in the local A&E with Megan and Alex with an impressive broken ankle that would require anti-coagulant injections for the remainder of the week. Rob technically got the trip started on the injury front but was relatively half-hearted in his approach and was able to walk for the rest of the day. Tuesday saw a trip to Bas Cuvier, the infamous dogging hotspot and home to many a landmark route. Sends of Hier Encore 6B+, Corto Maltese 6C+ and Holey Moley 7A (later in the week) started a nice haul of reasonably hard routes (especially for a BUMC trip). Helicopter 7A saw some close attempts too but protested the phrase “last time for real-sies” by returning Olly to earth with a juicy, but still weight-bearing, ankle. A trip to Diplodocus on Wednesday resulted in a great sendtrain on Technogym 6A with 8 ascents in the space of a couple of hours, and a great “attempt-train” on the slabby traverse about 20m to its left. Teflon Slab, another BUMC favourite, saw a couple of sends in some stifling heat. Thursday was a long walk up to Rocher Fin where Luke put in a cracking effort to get close to Krakatoa 7A and Helium 6C+ was ticked by multiple people. It was at this point during the week that we saw the nails-hard youth of Team Bayern for potentially the 4th consecutive day and wondered whether they might be following us for some beta (7B+? yeh no problem mate just pull a bit harder on that crimp there…). The final day of climbing had many go to 91.1 which has a nice range of routes such as Flipper assis 7A, and “that one with the sketchy top out that we all try year on year but we all bail at the top” 6A. A few of us went over to Franchard Isatis and had a bit of an adventure looking for Rainbow Rocket 8A+, well worth the explore, and watched people much better than us get spat off routes much too hard for us.

All in all the week was fantastic and as per usual couldn’t have run without our fleet of personal vehicles – so huge thanks the owners and drivers of those – and to everyone who came along for being patient in what was a more faff-prone trip than usual. ~ Gibson

Snowdonia February 2017

March 1st, 2017

Trip report coming soon!

TRIP PLACEHOLDER – INFO COMING SOON

Several MPVs travelled up to the Lake District on the Friday laden with enthusiastic members, fine dining garb and, of course, food. The Christmas trip can always be a bit of a tricky trip, usually a bit too cold to go climbing and always with a chance of rain. Happily, we were given two days of fair walking weather (ok it rained a little bit on Sunday!) topped off with a wonderful Christmas meal on the Saturday evening.
The hut we went to is a favourite with the club as one is able to walk out of the door and up to Helvelly. The ‘cooking group’ went for a quick circular walk up Helvelly along Swirral Edge. The other two groups did walks around the High Street and Fairfield. That evening, when everyone was back and dressed appropriately for the occasion (black tie encouraged), we feasted on gammon, vegetables, potatoes, and a variety of desserts including avocado chocolate cake and Christmas pudding. The favourite game of the evening was ‘Werewolves’ which involved much hilarity and finger pointing.

On the Sunday a small lie in was allowed whilst breakfast was cooked. On offer was an English breakfast, just right for another day out on the mountains! A group of people who were a little worse for wear went up Helvellyn whilst other groups ventured to Ullswater and Blencathra. The group that went up Blencathra took on the notorious Sharp Edge battling against strong gusts of wind but rewarded with marvellous views.

All in all an excellent trip! Many thanks to those who drove and helped with the cooking. It wouldn’t have been possible without you!

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We ventured out onto the Moors for the second walking day trip of the Autumn, rising early to catch the dawn and subsequent storm on the M5. The weather cleared up as we neared Dartmoor; the snow dusted hills of Exmoor were visible to the north as we climbed out of Belstone. We had divided our group of 25 in two, with the instruction ‘Be back in time for tea and cake in Belstone!’ the only limitation.

Nominally one group aimed to set a faster pace, whilst the other was to focus on getting to grips with some key navigational skills. However, both groups covered ground as they pleased, enjoying track and bog alike, making the most of the bright morning and wintery afternoon; before packing out the Old School Tearooms in classic group-walk fashion.

A great day had by all- we’ll be back for something more extreme before Easter!

Fresher’s Trip Oct 14-16 2016

October 17th, 2016

As it is every year, a procession of vans and cars filled to the brim with climbing equipment, food and mountaineers made their way out of Bath at regular intervals. What was happening? Why the BUMC Freshers’ Trip of course! The destination? The Chamois Hut is a firm favourite with the club: it can take up to 46 people, has great cooking facilities, oh and happens to be located on the edge of Snowdonia! We made our way slowly up the M5 and were greeted by some old gits who were accompanying us for the weekend.

The weather on Saturday was variable but generally sunny with a group of climbers trying out some of the local rock at Craig y Tonnau and some even trying out some (esoteric and incredibly muddy) bouldering a short walk from the hut! There were also several different walking groups that headed up Snowdon going up the South Ridge, Crib Goch and Pyg Track. At the hut I was furiously baking away, trying to make enough muffins for everyone for our dinner! In the end the sun did shine a bit and everyone had a wonderful day in the fresh air and came back with muddy boots, muddy bouldering mats and smiles on their faces! Dinner consisted of epic portions of chilli pasta bake, in the end we even had too much!

The weather for Sunday was not looking very climbing friendly so we decided to keep it simple and stick to walking. This ended up being not a bad decision as the weather was certainly keeping us on our toes with big gusts of wind one minute, rain the next and sunshine after! Those of us doing the scramble up Tryfan’s north side had to stop ourselves from being blown off at several points! Other groups had great days out taking on Llech Ddu Spur, Y Garn, Fisherman’s Path from Beddgelert.

Many thanks to the drivers who got us up there, without you these trips wouldn’t be possible! Many thanks also to the committee members and member who lead the walks and helped out with the cooking!

The post exam trip had traditionally been, as long as I can remember, to Sennen, Cornwall – so it was not lightly that I made the decision to change it this year to Oxwich Bay, Gower. The small peninsula is a veritable tropical paradise (Just pick your weekend carefully…) with plenty of fantastic walking, climbing and beaches.

We rocked up to the campsite on the Sunday of a bank holiday weekend with naïve expectations on what to expect. The reality was something like a scene out of District 9, a huge jungle of families with children running around singing the song of their people whilst adults breathed life into inflatable dolphins and doughnuts. Not an iota of free space. The unspoken sense of horror amongst those on the trip was evident. We set up camp in our corner of the field and readied our gear for the next day, popped down to the beach to enjoy some evening paddling and explored the vast rockpools.

The following day groups took themselves off on walks around the peninsula, some headed to Boiler Slab for some trad, and others of us visited the local sport crag: a chossy, midge-ridden cliff with the one redeeming feature of shade. When we returned to camp that evening there had been a mass exodus of the families from the weekend, leaving the campsite refreshingly sparse. Tuesday saw similar activities, with a return trip to Boiler Slab, some walks in the Port Eynon area and some climbing up on Great Tor.

On Wednesday it was time to head back to Bath – but not before an obligatory trip to Wurm’s Head to soak up the last of 4 days of unprecedentedly good weather – wall to wall sun for 4 straight days. Awesome trip and a great way to finish this year. Thanks to all the drivers who made it possible

Font Trip, 19th-26th March

April 7th, 2016

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Once again BUMC headed to Fontainebleau in France for a weeklong bouldering trip to chase away the thoughts of labs, exam, and lecture theaters. The sandstone blocks nested in beautiful forest are just what the doctor ordered, as well as eating your own body weight in brie, patisserie cakes and wine! This trip is always a highlight of the BUMC calendar and this year was no exception.

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The weather gods were surprisingly obliging with a nearly a whole week of sunshine for bouldering, slacklining and the occasional nap. On the one wet day accomplishments ranged from mastering a new board game in the comfort of the gite, indoor bouldering, to a trip around the amazing Fontainbleu château.

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Despite the days excursions and sacrifices of skin and blood to the boulder gods ruled by le diplodocus; fueled by baguettes and saucisson the evenings were filled with games of ‘ratchet screwdriver’ and ‘fontaineblow’. Before arising the next day with enthusiasm, after a much needed trip to the bakery, to do it all again.

A huge thank you to all the drivers for contending with long drive and the French road system.

Yorkshire 1 Yorkshire 2 The Club’s first trip to the Yorkshire Dales left us pining for more after a superb weekend of walking and climbing in the beautiful national park.

Despite the poor weather forecast, Saturday dawned bright and dry, with a good covering of snow on the moors. The whole group of 18 set off on a chilly walk that took us from Arncliffe Cote to Malham Tarn, where the group split in two. Half returned along Mastiles Lane, a Roman Road, whilst the rest continued on to Malham Cove and Gordale Scar before turning back. The scale and beauty of these two landmarks made the extra 7 km utterly worthwhile!
Yorkshire 4 Yorkshire 3 On Sunday morning we packed up and left the bunkbarn for Pot Scar and Moughton Nab, two climbing crags in the south-west part of the Dales. The majority of the group sport climbed at Moughton, whilst four did a spot of trad at Pot Scar. The Limestone was dry but cold, and in parts pretty flaky, making it a challenging day. But the routes themselves were generally superb and made for a good way to finish off the weekend.

We will (hopefully) be back next year to explore more of this brilliant region and make it one of the Club’s main annual trips.

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