Newsletter 146 - Jul 2022

AOAC Newsletter

Message from the Chair

Hope you all managed to stay cool in the heat somehow and enjoy your favourite summertime activities whatever they might be. Felt like being on holiday without going anywhere!
Good to see the ever popular Club ski trip is happening again next year alongside other overseas trips this year – Bavaria multi activity, Turkey sailing, Menorca sea kayaking. Also lots of evening, day and weekend events for different activities – always fun to see photos from events on Facebook.
Some trips get booked up quickly so keep a close eye on the calendar for your favourite activity. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or trips are booked up there is always room for more events.  If you’re not a leader get in touch with the activity coordinator of your sport – details on the website – and ask if someone can lead on your event.  There’s plenty of support available to organise events and it’s a great way to give back to the Club.
Remember there are opportunities to develop your leadership/coaching skills in your chosen activity and bursaries are available through the Club for this – if you want to know more,  email: [email protected].
Thanks as always, for everyone who contributes to putting events on the calendar – organisers, leaders, coaches and assistants. People sharing their enthusiasm with others is what makes this Club what it is.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, or any of the committee if you have any ideas/comments/suggestions about Club-related matters. Our email contact details are on the website.
Have fun out there!

Katie, AOAC Chair
[email protected]


We all know this right?  However, when life hits a busy period it is often easy to forget that all important glass of water at your desk or the extra hydration at the end of a hot day of activity. Here's some interesting facts as a reminder of the importance of hydration: 

Why do we need fluids?
Water in the body is essential for many important processes to take place. From our blood system carrying essential glucose, oxygen and nutrients to cells, to the kidneys getting rid of waste products we no longer want, fluid in the body is vital to allow these to occur. It also lubricates our joints and eyes, helps our digestive system function and keeps our skin healthy.
Why do we need to keep hydrated?
Fluid is so important in the body that even when levels drop only slightly, we begin to feel the consequences. Low levels of fluid in the body can cause headaches, feelings of dizziness, lethargy, poor concentration and a dry mouth.
How much do I need?
Adults need to drink around 1.5–2 litres of fluid a day. A typical mug or glass is about 200 millilitres (ml) so this equates to 8-10 drinks a day. 
How do I know I'm drinking enough?
Simply waiting for the sensation of thirst is not a good enough sign of a need to drink – by the time we feel thirsty our body is already dehydrated and potentially suffering some of the effects.
What drinks count?
Simply, any drink will help to promote hydration. Water from the tap is a great choice, other drinks count towards our total fluid intake too; milk, fruit juice, tea, coffee and soft drinks are all over 85% water and can be included in total fluid intake. Although caffeine is a mild diuretic, the fluid provided by a cup of coffee or tea far outweighs the mild dehydrating effect of caffeine and the fluid levels in the body are improved.  Most of the fluid we consume comes from drinks, but around 20–30% comes from foods. Fruit and vegetables such as courgettes, cucumber, tomatoes and melon are over 90% water and make a valuable contribution to our overall fluid intake.
Sporty moves
An adequate fluid intake is critical for sports people, principally because their losses of fluid through sweat during activity are increased. Remember to take a bottle of water with you when you take part in your activity of choice and drink little and often.
To find out more, visit:

Sue, AOAC Comms
[email protected]

It’s been great to have evening walks taking place all around Bristol with people discovering lovely places close to home. On one evening in June we had nearly 30 people out on different walks.  If you haven’t been on an evening walk yet, there are always more popping up on the calendar, the next one is in Swineford (11 August).  Woods, fields, hill forts, lanes and sleepy hamlets are all on offer.

In other news, Graham and I are running an ‘Introduction to Navigation’ course in the Mendips on Sunday 21 August. If you’d like to gain more confidence in finding your way around countryside this could be for you. The day will mostly be outside so you’ll get to have a walk too.

As usual, full details of events are on the calendar.

Andy, Walks Coordinator
[email protected]

What an amazing trip this was!  Credit to Richard for the amazing pictures above which I've clipped from the Go-Pro footage and pics from Sarah's Facebook post - thank you both!  Thank you also to Christian for the detailed write up of his experience of the the trip below.

This was my first trip abroad with the AOAC club, and I had been keen to go after seeing various footage and photos of similar trips to Slovenia.   Sarah Gay chose a picture perfect location in the quiet small village of Schanitz Austria on the border of Bavaria.  It was surrounded by beautiful high mountains and away from any noisy roads.  We were not even that bothered by the 15000 strong police presence of the G7 summit in a nearby town, except when some members were stopped and questioned by them.
I must admit, the forecast before I left mentioned thunder storms with some weather warnings, but I refused to be disheartened.  However, the sun catches the alpine valleys and was quite hot and sunny a lot of the time, but yes there were a few thunder and big lightning storms.  However, my 1990’s festival tent managed to survive the alpine battering hailstones and downpour, thank goodness. 
We were lucky to have some experienced team leaders whom happily guided us down some glorious crystal clear rivers.  The first day was a fairly straightforward paddle down the River Issar Grade 2/3, fast but not too challenging, which was a great introduction for me. 
The second day was totally different on the mighty River Inn, 300 cumecs of very fast flowing water with rapids popping up here and there.  I must admit I was a little overwhelmed, and I briefly lost my mojo for the first half, falling in twice.  However, after some calm breathing I found myself relishing the rapids once again, and happy that I got my mojo back again and not falling in!!  
All kayaking after this day was a doddle for me, as I was now super confident.  The next day was a bit of a scrape on several sections on the River Alma, but was hilarious at times watching other members struggling over some rocks on a few sections.  However, there was enough flow to move along nicely most of the time.
Day Four I encouraged the group to go for a walk in the glorious mountains.  It did rain a lot but it didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the lakes and canyons.  We walked through and above on a see through purpose built long and winding metal path bolted to the side of the river gorge, where you could see the stunning narrow canyon riverway down below your feet.  
The fifth day was back on the beautiful River Issar, but much further up this time, after being taxied there by two trailers.  This was my best paddle ever!  It was on crystal clear Grade 3 fast flowing white water with big rocks.  It was challenging enough to keep me on my toes, but with beautiful scenery and was epic fun.
We either dined out together or had barbeques.  It was great for me to meet lovely new people as well as old school kayaking members, and hang out together.   It was a friendly group and we all worked together to plan and organise our fun trip.  Big shout out to Andy and Dave for great leading, and to Sarah Gay for organising the trip!!
I did not attend the second week, but it was mainly awesome climbing, walking and having fun, from what I have heard.

Here's a snapshot of some of the great stuff that the Club has had going on in the last month - as always, a huge thank you to everyone that organises these events  . . . 


There are some great activities on the calendar for August - there are still places available on these so take a look and check out the full calendar listing at the end of the newsletter . . . 

New Members Evening
AOAC new, potential and existing members social via Google Meet.  This is an opportunity to understand how AOAC works along with a short talk about the various activities we run and how to get involved in them. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions. Dial in and join us!
Outdoor Climbing
For beginners/novices.
Outdoor Climbing
For competent sport climbers.
Course 3 British Canoeing Paddle Explore Course
The British Canoeing Paddle Explore Award (Kayak) is a follow on from the Discover Award and the replacement for BC 2 Star.
Summer Evening Walk in the Cotswolds
Evening walk along lanes, woods, fields and golf course, fine view of the River Avon and towards Bristol and Bath. Four miles - approx. 1 hour 40 minutes walking. 735 feet of ascent. Meet at Swineford Picnic Area at 6.45pm for 7pm prompt departure.  Access road next to The Swan Bath Road, Swineford BS30 6LN.
Climbing at Gilwern
A day's climbing at Gilwern with plenty of sport and some trad on offer too - get involved!  Suitable for novice level climbers and above.
Introduction to Navigation
A practical introduction to map reading for those who would like to find their way around the countryside with more confidence.  The day will include discussion about equipment, weather and digital mapping.

Following on from the last newsletter - I'm looking at booking the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales which is in Newport - it is one of 5 indoor velodromes in the UK and the only indoor velodrome in Wales.  We can hire the track for an hour, together with an experienced coach, and can take up to 10 people on the track at any time.  The cost will be around £32 per person (if we book the maximum of 10 people) which includes the bike hire.  You don't need to hire special shoes, the bikes have toe cages so a decent pair of trainers will be fine.  A great opportunity to have a go at track cycling indoors with instruction.  A couple of people have expressed interest so far, I need more to make it cost effective.  If you are interested, please drop an email to: [email protected]



EQUIPMENT - The Club has a large stock of equipment for hire from kayaks to maps - full list and how to book detailed on the website, see link below.

WEBSITE FORUM - Keep an eye on the forum, you can post ad hoc events here - ideal for short notice events/changes to scheduled events, lifts shares for booked trips and weather dependent activities.

NEWSLETTER CONTENT - Content to make the next newsletter interesting and readable is always welcome - promote your event, send in a write up of one your were on, write an article of interest, anything - please just send to [email protected].


And to close July’s newsletter, here is a wonderful story of personal challenge and inspiration . . .
Climber, 82, eight peaks away from completing challenge to bag all 282 Munros


An 82-year-old man who set himself a challenge to climb Scotland’s 282 Munros after his wife went into full-time care is just days from reaching the final summit.  Nick Gardner, from Gairloch, in the north-western Scottish Highlands, said he was “knocked for six” when his partner of 50 years, Janet, had to be moved into a care home after developing Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. 
Knowing he needed something to keep him going, the grandfather of four set off into the hills to start the mammoth journey in July 2020, three months after his 80th birthday.
Now, about two years later, Mr Gardner only has eight Munros left to bag.
Having never climbed a Munro – a Scottish mountain that reaches a minimum of 3,000ft (914.4m) – the former physics teacher gave himself 1,200 days (just over three years) to complete the challenge while raising money for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS).
But, with his final summit planned for about two weeks’ time, Mr Gardner is on track to finish much earlier – in under 800 days.
Once he makes it to the finish line, Mr Gardner will have climbed more than 500,000ft (152,000m), the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest (8,848m) about 17 times, and walked an incredible 2,000 miles (3,218 km), a similar distance to hiking from Edinburgh to Greece.
Read the full article here:


--- Title Location Date Activity Type
--- River Avon & Canal loop from Bathampton Bathampton Sun, 31/07/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- North Nibley MTB Loop North Nibley Sun, 31/07/2022 Mountain Biking
New Monday Evening Coached Session Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, Pixash Ln, Bath Rd, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP Mon, 01/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Monday Evening Weir Session Meet at 18:30 at the Jolly Sailor Pub car park BS31 3ER Mon, 01/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- AOAC potential, new and existing members social Google meet Wed, 03/08/2022 Social
--- Intromediate and Intermediate sea kayaking weekend Pembrokeshire Thu, 04/08/2022 to Sun, 07/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Outdoor Climbing - Beginners/Novices Woodcroft near Chepstow Thu, 04/08/2022 Climbing
New Outdoor climbing evening - Competent sport climbers Woodcroft near Chepstow Thu, 04/08/2022 Climbing
--- Course 2- British Canoeing Explore Paddle Award - Canoe Avon Valley Adventure Park, Saltford, Keynsham Sat, 06/08/2022 to Sun, 07/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Monday Evening Coached Session Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, Pixash Ln, Bath Rd, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP Mon, 08/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Monday Evening Weir Session Meet at 18:30 at the Jolly Sailor Pub car park BS31 3ER Mon, 08/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Outdoor climbing evening - Competent sport climbers Woodcroft near Chepstow Tue, 09/08/2022 Climbing
New Outdoor Climbing - Beginners/Novices Woodcroft near Chepstow Tue, 09/08/2022 Climbing
--- Course 3: British Canoeing Paddle Explore Course - Kayak Avon Valley Adventure Park, Saltford, Keynsham Wed, 10/08/2022 to Sun, 14/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Summer Evening Walk - Cotswold - Date now confirmed Swineford Bath Thu, 11/08/2022 Walking
--- Climbing at Gilwern - Trad & Sport Gilwern (Abergavenny) Sun, 14/08/2022 Climbing
--- Monday Evening Weir Session Meet at 18:30 at the Jolly Sailor Pub car park BS31 3ER Mon, 15/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Monday Evening Coached Session Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, Pixash Ln, Bath Rd, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP Mon, 15/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Outdoor Climbing - Beginners/Novices Woodcroft near Chepstow Thu, 18/08/2022 Climbing
New Outdoor climbing evening - Competent sport climbers Woodcroft near Chepstow Thu, 18/08/2022 Climbing
--- intermediate-Advanced Sea Kayaking Anglesey 19-21 August Anglesey Fri, 19/08/2022 to Sun, 21/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- sea Kayak South Devon Paighton Fri, 19/08/2022 to Sun, 21/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Introduction to Navigation Rowberrow, Mendip Hills Sun, 21/08/2022 Walking
--- Monday Evening Coached Session (Games Night!) Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, Pixash Ln, Bath Rd, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1TP Mon, 22/08/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Outdoor Climbing - Beginners/Novices Woodcroft near Chepstow Tue, 23/08/2022 Climbing
New Outdoor climbing evening - Competent sport climbers Woodcroft near Chepstow Tue, 23/08/2022 Climbing
--- Sennen - August Bank Holiday - FULL Camping at St Just Rugby Club (Sennen) Fri, 26/08/2022 to Mon, 29/08/2022 Multi-activity
--- Moving water safety and rescue training Symonds Yat Sat, 03/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- River Avon & Canal loop from Dundas Dundas Sun, 04/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- AOAC potential, new and existing members social Google meet Wed, 07/09/2022 Social
--- Sailing the Stunning Turquoise Coast - Turkey! Turkey Sat, 10/09/2022 to Sat, 17/09/2022 Sailing
--- Intro to Sea Kayaking - September Purbeck Sat, 10/09/2022 to Sun, 11/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Menorca sea kayaking adventure Menorca Tue, 13/09/2022 to Sat, 24/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Intromediate/Intermediate Sea Kayak Weekend Purbeck, Dorset Sat, 17/09/2022 to Sun, 18/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- River Avon & Canal loop from Bradford on Avon Bradford on Avon Sun, 25/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Introduction to White Water TBC - depending of water levels Sat, 01/10/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- AOAC potential, new and existing members social Google meet Wed, 05/10/2022 Social
--- Black Mountain Walking and Biking weekend Longtown Fri, 07/10/2022 to Sun, 09/10/2022 Multi-activity
--- River Tryweryn North Wales WW North Wales Fri, 14/10/2022 to Sun, 16/10/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- AOAC potential, new and existing members social Google meet Wed, 02/11/2022 Social
--- AOAC potential, new and existing members social Google meet Wed, 07/12/2022 Social
--- New Year 2022-2023 Trip: Broneirion Mid-Wales Wed, 28/12/2022 to Mon, 02/01/2023 Multi-activity
--- Beginner to intermediate ski/snowboarding Sauze d’Oulx Sat, 25/02/2023 to Sat, 04/03/2023 Skiing/Boarding
--- Scotland Easter 2023 Loch Tay Sun, 02/04/2023 to Sun, 09/04/2023 Multi-activity
--- Lundy Island Climbing Lundy Island Sat, 06/05/2023 to Tue, 09/05/2023 Climbing
--- New Year 2023-2024 Trip: Blencathra Lake District Thu, 28/12/2023 to Tue, 02/01/2024 Multi-activity