Newsletter 121

 

AOAC Newsletter
 

So, we're back up and running, albeit on a smaller scale. We have had a succession of walking, cycling, kayaking and climbing sessions geared to groups of 6 and these have proven, unsurprisingly, very successful. Thanks to everyone who has made this happen. The calendar is looking very healthy with plenty more opportunities to get out and active. Booking for each event becomes live a week before to give you all a chance to book on.

As before you can now post about private events on the AOAC Facebook page, but we would appreciate it if these remain within the government guidelines or better still if you organise it as a club event!

New Committee
Message from the Chair:

Many thanks to everyone who voted. The new committee is below. This will take effect from 8th August although hand overs may take a little longer so there may be some overlap.
 

Chair: Sarah Gay
Secretary: Maria Hendricks
Treasurer: Alan Taylor
Activities Officer: Pete Ryecroft
Membership Officer: Kath James
Development Officer: Guy Thomas
Equipment Officer: Clinton Lee Jones
Communications Officer: Cathy Caola
Website Officer: Irene Baker
 
Many thanks again to the previous committee who agreed to stay on until we could hold another AGM. Over the last 4 months they have attended additional meetings and responded to a lot of emails - many with short notice. It hasn’t been the easiest time to be on the committee so thanks to Jo Metcalfe, Alan Taylor, Wendy Smith, Kath James, Guy Thomas , Rob Dawkins, Clare Blackledge, Cathy Caola, Irene Baker and our Deputy Treasurer Carrie Spittlehouse for everything you have done, especially since March.

And a big thank you to Sarah who has been a magnificent Chair throughout this difficult time. She has been amazing and we are grateful for her inspiring leadership.

Club membership has been further extended to the end of October. This will be reviewed again by the committee at the next meeting in September.

Recent events:

Keith's Swineford Walk

Alan's Chew Magna walk

Climbing

Climbing is growing within the club, keep your eye on the calendar for events for all levels. Andy W. recently headed a group of club members on a day out at Symonds Yat:

It had rained quite heavily in Avonshire the night before and there were still a few showers lurking around as I set off for Symonds Yat last Sunday morning. Less than an hour north and we found the Forest of Dean to be dry and the crags in great condition for our plans. Sarah G., Andy R. and I started on New Orleans buttress with Sarah and Andy R practising placing protection and building anchors on some of the easier routes. I was enjoying taking it easy, watching Sarah throw her equipment and fizzy drinks down the hillside whilst wondering if I was going to get all the kit I had loaned her back at the end of the day. Then Robyn arrived to disturb my idle thoughts. For me climbing with Robyn is bitter sweet, I get to belay her up harder routes than I would lead myself; as she gently floats up the crag from perch to perch it's a pleasure to watch. Then it's my turn. My climbing style on anything above VS is less floating and more grunting, sweating and swearing; today was to be no exception.

After ticking off the best of the routes on New Orleans buttress we hatched a plan to climb the pinnacle. Anyone who has been to Symonds Yat, whether kayaking, walking or climbing will recognise the pinnacle as the tower of rock that protrudes majestically from the trees on the Eastern escarpment. Both pairs climbed another route each on the way to the pinnacle then Robyn led us up Whitt, a classic VS that takes in the full height of the pinnacle. Robyn led off in her usual style and soon disappeared out of view. Sometime later we heard the call "safe"! and knew she had reached the summit and was ready to bring up the next climber. It was my turn, I would second the route, removing most of the protection and trailing a rope for Andy R to come up next. Most of the climbing was fairly straightforward, only one section that needed a bit of swearing before I reached the small hollow at 3/4 height that can serve as an intermediate belay point. At the back of the hollow was a bee's nest and the route appeared to go directly in front of it. Clearly, I'm not scared of a few insects but I didn't want to disturb them unnecessarily so attempted to go left of the hollow and come around the nest. All seemed fine until I got onto the wall above the nest and found that the traverse right was too challenging. I made my way across eventually by my usual technique and (cheating a little) by standing in a loop of cable that served as an anchor for the intermediate belay, then my weak arms gave out and I ended up dangling directly in front of the nest. Some bees started to take an interest so I dug deep into my expletive reserve and headed off to the right-hand side of the hollow to try my luck up that side. After a short rest during which the bees started showing me even more attention, I summoned all my sweary power, gritted my teeth (for fear of a bee in the mouth) and cranked my way up the wall. Boy was I glad to see Robyn at the belay smiling down at me, and without getting stung too.

I made myself safe and handed Robyn the trailing rope so she could belay Andy R up the pitch. Andy made short work of the climb to the hollow and then found the bees that I had been annoying only a short while earlier. Andy had similar difficulties to me on this section but wasn't so fortunate with the bees. He was lucky to get away with only being stung once before discretion got the better of him and he asked Robyn to lower him back down. Sarah meanwhile had decided that the bees could have the route and she was already on her way back to the safety of the footpath with a high arm action.

Robyn and I retrieved the last of the gear and then abseiled off the other side of the pinnacle, a shorter route and well away from the bees. We all decided that was enough excitement for one day and headed off back to the cars to swap gear and tales of high adventure.

We'll be back to tackle the pinnacle again soon, maybe this article will inspire a few others to come along with us. Climbing in the club is steadily growing in interest and as well as the regular sessions and experience events going on the calendar, there is a group of us heading out on summer evenings during the week and most weekends. You can get in touch with Matt Hughes the Club's Climbing Coordinator through [email protected] to find out more.

See you on the rock soon, Andy W..


For future climbing events look out on the calendar, forum and Facebook.
 
 
Hopefully see you on an event soon. Look out on calendar, forum and Facebook for future events x
If you have any interesting news/funny stories/free videos/tales of your favourite trips/tips that may help club members, in fact, anything that might be of interest/entertaining, to brighten up the next newsletter, please let me know at [email protected] . Thank you.

Stay safe and stay well

Cathy x

Events

--- Title Location Date Activity Type

New

Day Out Climbing Wye Valley Sun, 02/08/2020 Climbing

---

Introduction to Real Rock For Indoor Climbing Leaders Wye Valley Sun, 02/08/2020 Climbing

New

Coached Kayaking Saltford Shallows Mon, 03/08/2020 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Potential, New and Existing Members Social Evening Zoom meeting Wed, 05/08/2020 Social

New

Circular walk near Keynsham Near Keynsham Wed, 05/08/2020 Walking

New

Wednesday evening road ride Chipping Sodbury Wed, 05/08/2020 Road cycling

New

Dyrham and surrounding Villages Dyrham Thu, 06/08/2020 Road cycling

New

Sea kayaking (intermediate) from Clevedon Bristol channel Sun, 09/08/2020 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Fabulous Cotswold way Haresfield Nr Stroud Sun, 09/08/2020 Walking

New

Coached Kayaking Saltford Shallows Mon, 10/08/2020 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

Evening Walk - Cotswolds Old Sodbury Tue, 11/08/2020 Walking

---

Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing on Top Rope Wye Valley Sun, 16/08/2020 Climbing

---

Coached Kayaking Saltford Shallows Mon, 17/08/2020 Kayaking & Canoeing

New

Bannerdown evening walk Bannerdown, Bathford Tue, 18/08/2020 Walking

New

Wonders of Brent Knoll Brent Knoll Tue, 18/08/2020 Walking

---

Potential, New and Existing Members Social Evening Zoom meeting Wed, 02/09/2020 Social

---

Sailing the Idyllic Turquoise Coast - Postponed Turkey Sat, 05/09/2020 to Sat, 12/09/2020 Sailing

New

Introduction to outdoor climbing on top rope TBC Sun, 06/09/2020 Climbing

---

New Members Weekend - Postponed Exmoor Fri, 25/09/2020 to Sun, 27/09/2020 Walking

---

Potential, New and Existing Members Social Evening Zoom meeting Wed, 07/10/2020 Social

---

New Members Weekend - Postponed Brecon Fri, 30/10/2020 to Sun, 01/11/2020 Walking

---

Potential, New and Existing Members Social Evening Zoom meeting Wed, 04/11/2020 Social

---

Potential, New and Existing Members Social Evening Zoom meeting Wed, 02/12/2020 Social

---

AOAC New Year 2020-2021 Trip: Rhyd-y-Creuau Field Centre, North Wales North Wales Tue, 29/12/2020 to Sun, 03/01/2021 Multi-activity

---

Saundersfoot (Pembrokeshire) May Bank Holiday Weekend Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire Fri, 30/04/2021 to Mon, 03/05/2021 Multi-activity

---

Sardinia sea kayak adventure Sardinia, Italy Sat, 18/09/2021 to Sat, 25/09/2021 Kayaking & Canoeing

---

New Year 5 Day Multi-activity Trip and Party 2021-2022 Slapton Ley, South Devon Tue, 28/12/2021 to Sun, 02/01/2022 Multi-activity