Newsletter 147 - Aug 2022

AOAC Newsletter

Message from the Chair - August 2022

As I write this, the ever-popular annual Club weekend in Sennen is happening, plus the sailors will be getting ready to had off to the turquoise seas of Turkey after two years of having to postpone the trip due to travel restrictions.

As we head into the Autumn, there are already trips on the calendar to look forward to. The pre-Christmas Forest of Dean trip and New Year trip to mid Wales both booked up really quickly, so if you are thinking of organising something, I am sure you will have no problem filling your event.
If you can’t find what you are looking for on the calendar, 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. Also to the committee for their hard work behind the scenes. 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]

New Walk Leader

Congratulations to Matthew who has become a club walk leader and is doing wonders for the walks programme. He’s best known to the climbing and cycling folks, however, with injury putting these on hold for a few months he’s ‘stepped up’ on the walking front.  Matthew enjoys: ‘’getting out and exploring new places to walk and then sharing these with others. To save time and keep the fitness up, I generally try and run the pre-walk so I know where I'm going on the day.’’

Matthew has two walks coming up soon; on Sunday 4 September, an 11.5 miler from Long Ashton and on Sunday 11 September, a 10.5 miler in the Chew Valley. There is talk of cake on the first and a pub on the second. Good work Matthew!
I thought we were at the end of the evening walks for this year but happily not!  Shaun is putting on an evening walk from Keynsham on Thursday 1 September and I can confirm that the pub at Compton Dando is pretty nice.  Torches are recommended.
In other news, bookings are now open for next Easter’s multi-activity trip to Scotland.  It’s been way too long since the last Scotland Easter trip and this one promises to be as good as ever.  See below for more info.
As always, full details of these and other events are on the calendar.

Andy, Walks Coordinator

Scotland Trip

Remember that wonderful trip to Glencoe April 2019?  Below is a throw-back to those beautiful walks.  The Easter 2023 trip is already full but it is next year and there may be cancellations along the way so if you missed your chance, you can still get on the waiting list, you could be lucky!  To put your name on the waiting list, please email Andy, Walks Coordinator ([email protected]).

Introduction to Navigation

Andy and Graham ran a fun and informative day for those wanting to gain confidence and learn more about map reading and navigating their way around the countryside. Sunday 21 August started with a nice leisurely breakfast and coffee at The Swan Inn, Rowberrow in the sunshine, followed by a theory session and a briefing - we then split into two groups and off we set, let loose in the beautiful countryside of the Mendips!  We took it in turns to navigate and lead the group to a specific check-point on the map. 
We covered many topics including how to properly fold the map into a map case (challenging!) and the different types of map available, getting to know the map (scale, distance, map symbols, contour lines, different types of tracks), orientating the map and finding the start point, ‘thumbing’ the map (keeping track of where you are on the map), using handrails (linear features or boundaries on the ground suitable to follow) and using pacing to measure distance on the ground. 
Huge thanks to both Andy and Graham for organising this training and development event.


Challenge of the 282 Munros
Remember this one from the last newsletter . . .Nick Gardiner, an 82-year-old man who set himself a challenge to climb Scotland’s 282 Munros after his wife went into full-time care.

Well, he only went and did it! What a fantastic achievement. Read the extract article from BBC News below or click on the link for the full story

The grandfather-of-four began in July 2020 and reached his final summit, Cairn Gorm, on the afternoon of 13 August.  Mr Gardner was joined by family and friends for the 1,245m (4,085ft) climb in the Cairngorms, near Aviemore.  The former physics teacher had never climbed a Munro previously.

After scaling Cairn Gorm, he has now climbed more than 500,000ft (152,000m), the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest about 17 times. He has walked 2,000 miles (3,218 km), a similar distance to hiking from Edinburgh to Greece. Mr Gardner said the toughest part of his Munro challenge was on the Isle of Skye. He said: "If you're a mountaineer you'll know the Cuillin Ridge. It's not a big area but very pointed and jaggy and very dangerous. "There are 11 Munros in a line and doing that in one go, it took two days to do it. That was the biggest challenge of the lot."

Mr Gardner has raised more than £82,000 for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society through the challenge. If you would like to donate, here's the link:

We have some mountain bike rides going up on the calendar for beginners and improvers so please take a look for full details - new members as always, are welcome.  Also, if more experienced riders would like to come along and help, this is always appreciated - please contact the organiser to discuss.
Sunday 18 September, led by Guy 
Beginners trail ride at Ashton Court to learn basic skills and test them out on parts of the trails.  Extended riding on the trails for beginners should they want to do a bit more after the initial period.
Sunday 25 September, led by Pete 
Improvers trail ride at Ashton Court and surrounding trails to build on existing skills. Also suitable if you just want to take a gentle ride around to re-gain your confidence if you’ve been away from mountain biking for a while. 

Both rides are on the calendar so take a look and book!

Velodrome Experience
I have six interested in whizzing round a track at the Geraint Thomas Velodrome in Newport, so available dates will be issued out to those in the next day or so, after which I will pop the event on the calendar to fill any spaces to make a maximum group of 10.  Anyone else interested, just drop me a line: [email protected]


We have some fabulous multi-activity weekends coming up so if you've missed the opportunity to get a place, you can always email the organiser and ask to go on the waiting list.  Here's what we have coming up:

Black Mountains Weekend 07 - 09 October
A weekend of walking and mountain biking in the Black Mountains.

Forest of Dean Weekend 09 - 11 December
A pre-Christmas get together for multi-activities in the heart of the Forest of Dean.

New Year Trip Mid-Wales 28 Dec - 02 Jan
An extremely popular and fun event as always, fully booked but there is a waiting list!

Sennen Weekend - August Bank Holiday
Well how lucky were they with the weather!  The annual event to Sennen Cove in Cornwall is always an extremely popular trip and went ahead with a gathering of around 30 adventure seekers! 


Some great climbing taking place as one of the most popular events of the Club.  We still have spaces on these trips so take a look at the calendar for full details:

A Day of Outdoor Rock Climbing 04 Sep
A fun day out of trad climbing at Avon Gorge. There is potential to do multi pitch climbs or some shiny single pitch. This will only be open for competent climbers that are happy to lead belay.

Rhossili Outdoor Climbing Weekend 23 - 25 Sep
A 2 night, 3 day weekend, outdoor climbing trip on the Gower, Rhossili. This trip is not suitable for beginners, but competent indoor top rope and lead climbers with no outdoor experience are welcome. Participants must be able to tie a figure of 8 knot and have experience of belaying.

With the summer evenings drawing in, the Tuesday evening sessions have come to an end for this summer but it was fun while it lasted!  A stunning photo by David at one of the last evening sessions at Gilwern Quarry, Hindu Kush sector.  Keep an eye on the calendar for future weekend and indoor climbing sessions.

So much going on with watersports!!  Great to see lots of training and development sessions happening and trips on the calendar, and something on every weekend in September.  Also take a look at the AOAC Facebook page as there are some non AOAC events highlighted that might be of interest:  Plus fun pics from all the great stuff that has taken place over the last month.

Congratulations Matt !
Very well done Matt on passing your coastal sea kayak award. Looks like you had some good conditions for it!

Car Parking Charges at The Shallows
Thanks to Dave for drawing attention to this one for the paddlers:

"Restrictions from BaNES and Saltford Parish Council on access to the river at the Shallows.  After last year's drastic reduction of available parking, there are plans to implement fees and time restrictions in what's left of the Shallows car park.  The consultation period is still open so take a read and provide some feedback via the consultation link below:

Car Parking Charges
Respond to the Consultation

Next New Members Evening Wednesday 07 September, 7.30 pm (Google Meet)

On the first Wednesday of the month we meet from 19:30 for a social with current members, newly joined members or people who are considering joining the club - all are welcome. 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. please come along and join us!

New members are also welcome to pay an introductory membership to come along and try an event.  Introductory Membership costs only £5 for 3 months.  This is a limited membership, details of which are included below.  Introductory membership gives potential new members the opportunity to join in and find out more before becoming a full member.

  • Introductory membership can only be used once per member and is for those who haven't previously been a member.
  • It gives full read only access to the Club website.
  • It allows you to post on the forums.


Aharaghh me hearties, and now for a bit of fun - International Talk Like a Pirate Day - September 19th !

This day offers an opportunity to not only mess around and have fun, but you can also run an event to raise money for charity by dressing up and raising money for a charity of your choice. 

So, practice your awful use of grammar and that Jack Sparrow accent but remember, please do not steal, pillage, fight, brawl or get too drunk!

What did one ocean say to the other ocean . . .?
Nothing, it just waved!

'Til next time folks! Have fun. 😊
[email protected]


--- Title Location Date Activity Type
New Chew Valley Walk Keynsham Thu, 01/09/2022 Walking
--- Climbing at the church social The church Fri, 02/09/2022 Climbing
--- Moving water safety and rescue training Symonds Yat Sat, 03/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Long Ashton and Bourton Combe Walk Long Ashton Sun, 04/09/2022 Walking
New A day of Rock Climbing Avon Gorge Sun, 04/09/2022 Climbing
--- 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
New Chew Valley Walk 10.5 miles (1303ft ascent) Near Compton Martin Sun, 11/09/2022 Walking
--- Menorca sea kayaking adventure Menorca Tue, 13/09/2022 to Sat, 24/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Shakespeare's Avon Canoe and Touring Kayak Offenham (Worcestershire) Fri, 16/09/2022 to Sun, 18/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Intromediate/Intermediate Sea Kayak Weekend Purbeck, Dorset Sat, 17/09/2022 to Sun, 18/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Mountain Biking for Beginners Ashton Court Leigh Woods Sun, 18/09/2022 Mountain Biking
New Rhossili outdoor climbing weekend Rhossili, Wales Fri, 23/09/2022 to Sun, 25/09/2022 Climbing
--- River Avon & Canal loop from Bradford on Avon Bradford on Avon Sun, 25/09/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
New Mountain Bike Ride Ashton Court / Leigh Woods Sun, 25/09/2022 Mountain Biking
--- 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
New October intermediate Sea Kayak trip TBC Sat, 08/10/2022 to Sun, 09/10/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- River Tryweryn North Wales WW North Wales Fri, 14/10/2022 to Sun, 16/10/2022 Kayaking & Canoeing
--- Intermediate Sea kayak Pembrokeshire North Pembrokeshire Fri, 21/10/2022 to Sun, 23/10/2022 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
--- Forest of Dean Pre-Christmas Multi-Activity Weekend Forest Of Dean Fri, 09/12/2022 to Sun, 11/12/2022 Multi-activity
New New Year 2022-2023 Trip: Broneirion - Campervan Mid-Wales Wed, 28/12/2022 to Mon, 02/01/2023 Multi-activity
--- New Year 2022-2023 Trip: Broneirion [Waiting list] Mid-Wales Wed, 28/12/2022 to Mon, 02/01/2023 Multi-activity
--- Beginner to intermediate ski/snowboarding - FULL Sauze d’Oulx Sat, 25/02/2023 to Sat, 04/03/2023 Skiing/Boarding
--- Scotland Easter 2023 [Waiting list] 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