Snowdonia – Feb 2018

“An excellent weekend was had by all in North Wales and we succeeded in finding the snow.

Saturday the team started all together from the bunk house and split after an hour of walking. With two members deciding to try and run to Llanberis over the Glider Fawr and Y Garn, the rest of use were happy to walk from Capel Curig to the summit of Glider Fawr via Gallt yr Ogof and then down to the Ogwen cottage. It was a fabulous, if cold day, the summits had a good covering off snow and the devil kitchen was full of drift snow. We got to the Ogwen cottage just in time to grab a cuppa before it closed. A full and rewarding day on the mountains and our reward was a full Saturday night meal in the Bryn Tyrch Hotel.

Sunday we climbed Moel Siabod before returning to the Moel Siabod Caf and heading off back home.”

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Brecons – Jan 2018

Date: 26th-28th January 2018

Attendees: Maggie Russell (organiser), Alan Tinkler, Claire White, Andy Moss, Keyna Garner, Mark Foster, Marion Foster, Sue Woods, Tom Woods, Ade Dunn, Keyna Garner, Simon Horner, Gary Phillips, Annie Wallace.

After a 4 year break we returned to Glebe Barn, Llanbedr, near Crickhowell and it was great to arrive within 2 hours of leaving Newbury. However, sadly the sauna had now turned into a cupboard!

On Saturday, we headed out to do part of the Waun Fach Horseshoe. The views from Table Mountain were fine, but unfortunately we were then immersed in cloud as we walked to Pen Cerrig-Calch (701m), continuing on to Pen Allt Mawr at 719m. At the head of the valley we headed back by traversing the hill down to a stream, where Maggie missed the footpath and took the group down a horrendous muddy farm track. It was a case of hanging on to the fence/bushes or getting soaking wet muddy feet! Andy and Gary fortunately missed this as they went a slightly longer route back but got back at the same time.

Back at the barn we all enjoyed Gary’s amazing ginger cake! This was later followed by Marion’s lasagne and homemade apple pies from Sue, all were all greatly appreciated.

We woke to a sunny day on Sunday and Claire, Alan, Keyna and Maggie headed to The Black Mountains and walked up to Y-Mynyddoedd Duon and down to the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir. It was extremely windy in exposed areas but luckily we were able to shelter in a lovely little bothy by the river. The rest of the group went to the slate mines before heading home. All having had another great weekend in the Brecons!

Maggie (trip organiser)

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Christmas Walk – Dec 2017

Attendees: Andy & Debs & Family, Dan & Beckie & Family, Maggie Russell, Kate & Andrew & Family, Simon P, Marion, Mark F, Richard S, Steve & Joanne, Sue Woods, Eddie Riff , Andy & Paula & Family, Keyna Garner, Alan T, Claire W, Bruce & Sarah & Family

A great Christmas walk on a beautiful crisp winters morning. Setting off a lunchtime we covered off slightly less that the planned route as the darkness started to come in and with a few kids in tow. We left Newbury heading north along the byways parallel to Hermitage Road, before cutting up to Grimsbury Castle (or whats left of it) before cutting through the woods back to the pub for a lovely group Christmas meal. Parents and children all had a great time…

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Lake District, Hawse End – Dec 2017

Lakes Trip

Date: 1st-3rd December 2017

Accommodation: Hawse End Cottage YHA, Portinscale, Keswick

Attendees: Maggie (organiser), Alan, Claire, Keyna, Marion, Jill, Martin, Bruce, Gary, Mark C, Pete, Andrea, Iona, Clair.

Some of us headed north on Thursday evening to avoid the Friday traffic and so we could do a walk on Friday. We awoke to a lovely clear and sunny day and Maggie, Alan, Claire, Jill and Gary headed up from Latrigg to do Skiddaw (931m). The ground was frozen and we were soon walking in snow, when we finally reached the top it was bitterly cold but the views were wonderful! Mark set off with us but not for long, as he ran, and completed both Skiddaw and Blencathra (23km plus 1480m ascent)!

After settling in at the YHA Maggie cooked a meal for those who had arrived early and waited for everyone else to arrive enjoying cheese and port kindly provided by Mark.

On Saturday we set off from the hostel and headed up to Cat Bells with good views of Derwent Water, and carried on to High Sky and Dale Head (753m). Unfortunately the clouds didn’t clear so visibility was not too good. After lunch Clair headed back down into the valley. Marion and Maggie decided to head down from Hindscarth and ended up doing a lot of sliding down damp rocks. Martin, Andrea and Iona bagged Hindscarth (727m) and then went back to pick up the trail to do Robinson (737m) which Alan, Claire, Jill, Gary and Keyna did. Mark and Pete went trail running and did an amazing 37km, although it did include a bacon butty stop at the Honister Pass café, tea/buns at the Black Sail hut and cake in Buttermere! We all arrived back in the dark and mulled wine and minced pies were thoroughly enjoyed by all. This was followed by two great curry dishes cooked by Marion and Gary. We also celebrated National Romania day with Andrea and Iona with some interesting liquor!

On Sunday the weather looked good so Alan, Claire, Maggie, and Marion did Blencathra,  while Mark went off running again but only 22km and 980m ascent! Some of the group went on a ‘Lakeside’ walk from the YHA led by Bruce while others headed back home.

It was a great weekend and it was good to welcome to Clair and Iona on their first NMC trip. Do look at Marks brilliant video:  Thank you  Mark!


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The Gower, South Wales – October 2017

Friday 13st – Sunday 15th October 2017

Attendees: Maggie, Alan, Claire, Sue, Joanne, Steve,  Mark, Keyna, Ade, Andreea, Marion and welcome to new member Judith.

This year’s coastal trip was at Rhossili on the Gower. The village hall at Rhossili has a practical, comfortable bunkhouse where we stayed.

We had looked at the tides to walk to Worms head which can only be accessed in a window two hours either side of Low tide. So Saturday most of us were up and out walking at 7.30am. We were rewarded with a lovely sunrise. The walk involved a few scrambles across the rocks, some great views and seals in the sea.

Later we met up with the rest of the group and we continued on our walk on the ridge above Rhossili beach reaching the heady heights of 185m at the trig point! We managed to find a beer festival at Llangennith where we restricted our intake to a swift half. Broughton bay was our next destination and then the lovely long walk along Rhossili beach.

A great day walking with some lovely views.

The pleasant evening back at the bunkhouse with a home cooked evening, plenty of laughs and a quiz.

Sunday, none of us were in a rush home and we had a fabulous walk further east along the coast from Oxwich to Three Cliffs bay and back.

Another great sociable fun weekend with Newbury Mountain club.

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Dolomites – Sept 2017

Dolomites Hut to Hut Trek – September 2017

As a change to the more recent summer treks in the Alps and Pyrenees, a few of us ventured to the spectacular Dolomites for this year’s hut to hut. Winter appeared to arrive the same day as us (after, apparently, three glorious months of sunshine), but after seeing through the first few days of inclement weather, we were rewarded with excellent trekking and memorable views in snowy conditions. Our route took in part of the Alta Via 1, including Seekofel, LaVarella, Lagazuoi, Cingue Torri, and Croda da Lago (the refuge with a whole menu dedicated just for grappa). The refuges were top class, with menus to match (weight was gained on this trek) and some of the path constructions an amazing feat of engineering, taking us through rock faces which just didn’t seem possible without a rope. We’ll certainly be returning for more trekking in this amazing area.

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Cadair Idris – Sept 2017

Attendees: Dorian, Maria, Si, Ali, Dave, Andy, Maggie, Jill, Andreea, Gary, Darren, Sue, Ade, Simon P, Alan, Martin and Alex.

The weekend started with the usual fight through the traffic, despite all the jams we made good time and got to Kings Hostel in good time to check in and purchase a couple of beers! Most the group had arrived with the rest scheduled to arrive anytime from now until midnight.

We discussed the route for the next day, the majority, fifteen of us were walking up Cadair Idris whilst Si and Ali were going to climb the Cyfrwy Arete. The walking route decided on was the foxes path which we could walk to directly from the Hostel door.

The next day we set off in good time, the weather was excellent and we headed up to Cadair Idris, the plan was still good as the weather was on our side. We got to the top in good time so we decided to extend the day knowing that weather was going to be pants on the next day. So we headed across to Craig Las before heading back down to the Hostel.

That day we covered a total of 17.6km with a total ascent of 1,298m.

The next day the weather was as expected so a few of us decided to do a small low level walk around Llynnau Cregennen before heading back south and home, the pictures below are all from the Saturday due to the poor  weather on Sunday.

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Malvern Hills – July 2017

When: 30th June – 2nd July

Attendees: Andy M, Dan U, Maisie U, Simon H, Belinda S, Andreea I, Jill R, Trudi W, Daisy CY, Angela C

A lovely weekend in the Malvern Hills and only a 90 minute drive from Newbury. Arriving on the Friday night we enjoyed some music and snacks before a leisurely start at 10am the next morning…

Heading up through the woods was spectacular with rich lush woods on the lower slopes that soon became quite steep as we got up onto the top by Pinnacle Hill. We made our way north and up and over Summer Hill before the high point at 425m. We descended on the far side to do Sugarloaf Hill, Table Hill and North Hill. We then made our way back again via the same route but this time unable to resist the lure of the pub on a scorching hot summers day and little Maisie was after some ice cream
We continued onwards over Jubilee HIll, Pinnacle Hill, Black Hill before stopping at a hotel/bar to finish the day and more ice cream for Maisie. We descended down through the lush woodland back to the bunkhouse. Total for the day was approx 9.25 miles and 2000 ft ascent and descent

Sunday, we drove the the hotel/bar where we stopped at the previous evening. From there we headed south with a steep climb up to the summit of the Herefordshire Beacon at 338m with stunning views for miles. Then on to Millenium Hill, Hangmans Hill, Swinyard Hill and a fun but steep descent down alongside the quarry and back up through Gullet woods. Next up was Midsummer Hill before the descent into Hollybush, Last up was a very steep climb up to Ragged Stone Hill at 254m where we stopped for lunch. Then it was time to turn around and do it all again on our way back to the car. Even though the Hills were not as high as Saturdays, it was almost unanimous that the scenery and walking was even better than the previous days. As we descended back down to the cars, there was just time for one more ice cream to keep everyone happy. The total for the day was approx 7 miles and 1700 ft ascent/descent.

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Lake District – June 2017

For Maria and I (Dorian) the weekend started on Friday, running the gauntlet with the traffic – new idea tried this time is to use two sat navs and follow the one with the earliest ETA! (I think it worked!)
We arrived by 10 and started putting up the tent, reception was closed but our booking details were left in an envelope pinned to the door – we did notice a load of them pinned to the door and thought others may not have been so lucky with the traffic.
As we were putting up the tent we bumped into (Simon Kirby, Alex Falconer & Ali) who traveled up the day before with an overnight stop in M6 Travelodge. On Friday they (Si, Alex & Ali) then made their way to Glenridding and after a tea stop began the 1hour 30min walk in to the bottom of arguably the Lake District finest scramble, Pinnacle Ridge – 3 star, grade 3 on St Sunday Crag. It’s short but great fun with loads of exposure!
On Saturday morning the weather was real pants, again we met with Si, Alex and Ali who said they were first heading into Ambleside before doing a low level walk. We also learnt that many people cancelled their bookings or didn’t show due to the weather, in addition the Great North Swim for Sunday was cancelled, meaning that the campsite was not that busy at all.
We hanged around all morning until the weather appeared to get better before heading up to do Tarn Crag, Blea Rigg and Silver Howe before descending down into Chapel Stile to complete our Wainwrights for the day 🙂
Meanwhile Si, Alex and Ali did some retail therapy in Ambleside before returning to the campsite for a scramble up Side Pike then onto Brown How before heading back to the campsite via Blea Tarn.
That night we met up for evening meal at the ODG – all I will say is excellent Sticky Toffee pudding!
The next day the winds were at near gale force so we opted to stay low and do Wansfell Pike from Troutbeck before heading back south after eating our packed lunch in the car. Si, Alex & Ali headed to Langdale Pikes to test this wind. The decision was made to try a scramble The Spur on Tarn Crag. 1 star, grade 2. The wind added a bit of spice to the occasion but they eventually topped out. A hasty retreat was then made back to the Sticklebarn for lunch before heading home.

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Cairngorms – Easter 2017

Scotland – Easter 2017

Staying at The Crofts of Cairngorm, near Nethybridge

Alan, Claire, Keyna, James, Mark, Tricia, Maggie, Jill, Andy, Gary, Isaac, Simon, Dave

Another fantastic Easter week in Scotland – we may not have had the brilliant blue skies as in previous years, but we all got out every day to enjoy the mountains, with some rather wintery weather some days. Mark achieved the highest count of munros (14), starting off with four on the journey up after he and Tricia “wild” camped in between the A9 and the railway line at Drummochter Pass. The longest day saw most of us climb Braeriach (returning through a blizzard, testing our navigational skills) whilst Mark and Isaac continued their run to include Angels Peak, Cairn Toul, and Devils Point, returning over the Lairig Ghru (phew). Other munros climbed during the week were Bynack More, Cairngorm, Ben Macdui, Ben Mheadhoin, and Mullach Clach a Bhlair and Sgor Gaoith from lovely Glen Feshie. Shorter lower level walks and bike rides were enjoyed along the River Spey and the pine forests, whilst a contingent hired bikes from Aviemore one day and without cycle pants had a painful end to the day (the wrapping of a fleece around the saddle just doesn’t do the job)! A trip over to Glenlivet to do a short walk up Carn Daimh finished with a tour round the distillery and some generous samples.

As usual, we ate very well every night, so many thanks to all the cooks – the bill coming to an average of only £3 per meal! Most evenings we ate quite late, as it was difficult to extract people from the sauna and hot tub. It is definitely the most funky place we have ever stayed and in such a beautiful isolated setting with views of the Cairngorm range.

Roll on next Easter – we’re sure to be making a return to Scotland…

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