The AGM is scheduled for the evening of Monday January 25th. It will be an on-line meeting and there will also be an option to contribute and vote by e-mail. Details will be sent out shortly. Any questions in the meantime, please ask the Secretary. Mike Morgan.
Hut - Current Arrangments
Oweing to the current Covid restrictions, the Hut at Garth is not available to Members or for external bookings.
the time and trouble visit and clean up Peter
Llowarch's grave at Nant Peris.
Peter was one of the first Anabasis members, he died
in a fall on the Crn Las in 1961. Peter went to assist
another climber who had got into difficulty on the
Main Wall climb when he fell to his death.
The Club Hut at Garth is named in his memory.
Peter was a former RAF man who was a one of a
nubmer of RAF people who was introduced to the
Club at that time by George Murphy.
It is good to have the Club's history and beginnings
being taken care of, almost 60 years one, by today's
Hut Access - Current ArrangmentsBooking the Hut at Garth, 22.08.2020
Covid 19 - update from Dave Appleton Chair
Click on the link to read Dave Appleton's update, 12th May 2020
Cumbria Mountain Music
Pictured left, Jeanette Catto, known to all who knew
her as Nettie. Sadly Nettie has passed away after a
long period of illness.
The picture is from 1979 and just why her climbing
garb was garlanded with flowers I cannot remember.
It was at a time when she was an active and popular
Member of our Club and although she has not been
a Member for many years, for some of us she has
always been, and remains, one of us.
The current Covid-19 crisis made it difficult for
people to attend her funeral. Our condolences to
those close to her.
Anyone who has fuller memories of Nettie, please
feel free to share them.
Here is the excellent Newsletter for Winter 2019-20. Lots of fun things reported on!
At its Annual General Meeting on January 28th, the Club was honoured to award Honourary Life Membership to George Murphy. In the picture, George is on the left with out-going Chair Warwick Waterworth.*
George was one of those who attended the meeting in Liverpool in October 1961 which led to the formation of the Club. He soon became a leading 'mover and shaker', driving its tradition of Meets in many locations in Britain and abroad. He was instrumental in introducing many to the Club, not least, brother Billy, and far less least, yours truly, website editor. George came to the Club with a fine record of mountaineering achievement whilst with RAF Mountain Rescue and built on this in civilian life, eventually as a Probation Officer. A measure of his impact in those early years is in the creation of the President position and his appointment to it. Later, George's wife Di (who died on Ocotber 2016) served as Chair at a crucial time in the Club's history and was key in steering the Club from something like the doldrums to its present firmer footing.
Want to know more? Of course you do! George has recently published his Memoirs and a re-print is under way - get your orders in now.
Club Winter Meet21st-22nd February at Garth. Contanct Dave Appleton for details.
Click on the link below to see the Committee Report. It's a riveting read!
Committee Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31.12.2019
Another splendid night at Garth, in the finest
tradiitions - thanks to the bonfire makers, firework
hotpot makers, cleaners-up, cork counters, talkers and listeners.
Happily the damn singer eventually ran out of steam.......
The weather was kind at the
crucial time, dry and not cold. It was good to see Chris Hatton back in action as a guy-maker and to have a visit from Thomas and sons.
Things we learned:
- Pierre is not a Frenchman
- there were 142 corks (recount was demanded but declined)
- Dave Appleton finished a very fine fifth in the Penmaenmawr
- the science behind the ping-pong ball and methylated spirit setting was wrong this time (there were none of the hoped-for explosions)
- rockets come down to earth (one landed on the Hut roof)
#2 Newsletter October 2019
Another fine update on Club member doings brought together for your enjoyment and enlightenment by Dave Appleton.
Congratualations to Club member Pete Simpson who recently spent 38 days cycling from his home in Ormskirk to his 'second home' near Fethiye, in Turkey, a distance of 2490 miles (according to Mr Google).
That is an average mileage of 65.5 miles a day (according to my calculator and to save you having to work it out for yourself).
I am not sure who the flower- giver is but no doubt Pete earned every petal.
Pete is raising money for Yaşam İçin Yarış 2019 (Race For Lİfe, Turkey).
Concerned prospective new members may be assured that this kind of thing is exceptional and not expected of Club members.
Some of our 'senior' members along with host Esther Threlfall (right) on a September visit to the Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. Back from left, Sandra Barton, Ann (seated) and Alan Jackson, Mike Threlfall; front Bill and Jan Murphy; middle, in the shades, Stan Eccles.
On the left, a photo of the front cover of George
Murphy's Memoir, 'A Long Way from Bidder
Street'. Cover photo is courtesy of Roger Reid.
The publication of this book comes after several years of work, firstly by George's wife Di, who passed away in October 2016, latterly by Dave Atkinson - and through all of this, by George himself of course!
As well as it being George's personal story, it is also a history of the early years of the Anabasis. Although not a 'founder Member', he came to the meeting in 1961 which invited people to come together to form a climbing club and was heavily involved over the next two decades. The key role that George had in shaping the Club is recognised in his being 'The President' and also an Honorary Member of the Club.
A splendid launch party was arranged by the family. An initial print run is 'spoken for' but if you are interested please contact me at
and I will forward to the people dealing with it.
George is raising money for Claire House Hospice through this publication.
So it seems some Club Members have been doing quite a bit after all!
The link below takes you to it. Enjoy.
Newsletter #1 August 2019
Above - Thank you Esther Threlfall for the pictures of a lovely day for the Bar b Q at Garth.
Above - Congratulations to Anabasis members -
Pete Simpson (left) who has won V70 Chester middle distance triathlon, making him the V70 champion for England! Wow!
Not partcularly high (Fitzroy is 3,405 metres 11,171 feet, Cerro Torre 3,128 metres, 10,262 feet) but surely among the world's most awesome mountains and a day walk (8 hours) from the village of El Chaltén gets you to the Fitzroy viewpoint.
They also went to the Torres de Paine but as you can see the weather was a bit shabbier there. But still, awesome. They did the W walk, which included some long days. My daughter Amy was luckier when she was there a few years ago.
video clip of the Torres de Paine.
Threlfall and Eccles have been there. I have not been myself but having 'followed' Amy, the Letts, and others, almost feel that I have!
Note that the regular Tuesday evening gathering has now reverted to The Lion pub in Tithebarn Street - the closing times of the Railway Inn proved to be inconvenient.
was good to see some classic climbs getting attention from Dave
Appleton and friends during the recent fine spell of February weather.
That's the first pitch of Milestone Direct on the left and on the
right Dave posing at the start of the immaculate top pitch of Sub
Hut Warden Clive Lane has added what he calls a 'cattle grid' to ease the passage over the recently installed drainage channel at the east end of the Hut. As well as dealing with a potential trip hazard, it is good to know that cattle (and we hope, sheep) will be deterred from seeking entry by way of the path at the front of the Hut.
Also, the generator had got hopelessly clogged up with oil and other muck, making it unusable. Clive took it away to give it a good going over and now it is back at the Hut and in full working order.
Well done Clive and thanks!
More news on our Facebook page.
Photo and video courtesy of Andy Hopkins, who, with his wife Nicola and my daughter Katie, has just done the Everest Three Passes trek in Nepal. This view is from the third of the passes, Cho La, 5350 metres. Click on the video link for a fun film, 20 days,161 km and 10,538 metres of uphill in 2 minutes 59 seconds. And all without having to pause for breath. Starring Nic and Andy (of course) with Katie (the one in the purple jacket/red t-shirt) and a cast of extras that includes, among others, yaks, prayer wheels, a large pie and some even larger mountains. Pause at 1m 18s for the best Everest view. I particularly enjoyed the running yak and the farewell wave to the high mountains from the Cho La pass. If the sound track does not appeal you can turn off the sound. Club Member Simon Rogers was in the area around the same time - looking forward to hearing his story.....other Members have been (Simon and Anne Letts were at Annapurna Base camp last year) and I am sure we have all dreamed of it at one time or another.
Saturday 17th November:
Penmaenmawr Fell Race and Bonfire. Please contact Billy or Jan Murphy
Saturday 1st December:
Morning walk and pre-Christmas lunch. Please contact Dave Atkinson.
Anne and Simon Letts, Margaret Hart and Dave Atkinson enjoyed fine walk on Pen y Llithrig Wrach (the Peak of the Slippery Witch) and Pen yr Helgi Du (The Peak of the Black Hunting Dog) in the Carneddau. New ground for us all and wonderful views of more familiar terrain.
works at the Hut on June 20th. A drainage trench was dug (and lined
with concrete) to prevent water off the slope below the farm from
channelling down the path outside the Hut. The labourers were dismayed
to find that the works which they had thought were a final fix were, by
the end of the job, reclassified by Hon Hut Warden, as an 'experiment'.
Lot of sheep poo around, most of it dispatched into the the long grass.
Definitely not a final fix, they will be back.
Well done Club members Jack Tyrie and Dave Appleton who ran the Welsh 1000s Long Race Challenge on 2nd June, 35km from the coast of the Irish Sea with 9,167 ft of ascent over the 5 highest mountains in Wales.
Thank you Dave Appleton for this fine shot of a magical starry night at Garth.
Sadly, we have a lost another of our own......Sandra Hatton passed away on Sunday 11th March 2018. Sandra had been affected by poor health for some time but until recently this has not prevented her from playing a full part in the life of our Club. On many of our Bonfire nights, the fiendish quizzes she had a hand in organising were as much a feature as Jan's hotpots and Chris's bonfire guys. She was not able to be as active in the hills as some but this did not prevent Sandra from taking up residence at Garth with her knitting needles and warm, genial presence. Sandra hailed from the wild lands of the west beyond the mountains we see from our Hut, and was a fluent Welsh speaker. Our condolences to husband Chris, to Catherine, James and Nicky. We will miss you Sandra.
Thank you Roger Reid for the fine picture of Sandra at Garth, enjoying the struggles of the rest of us with the quiz.
George Murphy, Club President, said:
"A warm and generous club member, who can forget the chaotic evenings when she presided over the annual quiz. And the famous trumpet playing of James. I share your sadness".
In the picture below, Sandra is third from left, with the stick and wearing a green sweater and hat. Sandra died on the same day as Ken Dodd, and in the tributes we were reminded of 'happiness, the greatest gift that I posess'. The equal greatest gift, surely, is each other, so here is Sandra, not alone, but with others, a big group of Club members.
A great shot of Dave Appleton and Simon Green on Y Garn after they had enjoyed (they said)
plenty of fine neve on their climb to the top by way of Banana Gully.
Meanwhile, elsewhere two club members were enjoying the winter in another way. 'Nordic skiing for us' writes Ken Ainsworth. Els had done it once before - 37 years ago - and I had alpine skied once before - 47 years ago with George in the Cairngorms. We were both natural talents. Then! No longer sad to tell. Bucket list one item shorter however'. (Els left, Ken rght).
- facility for payments of Membership Fee by Direct Debit to be introduced
- reduced first year Membership Fees for people aged under 30 and joining for the first time
- pro rata (quarterly adjusted) Membership Fee payments for new members joining part way
through the Club year
- overnight fee for external booking now £8.00
- minimum booking fees for external groups set at 6 times the overnight fees, i.e. £48.00
- various Meets discussed, details to follow
- a link to the Committee Report and Financial Statements can be found on the
Running the Club page
News & Meets
Great shots of our team at work on a very icy Tryfan East Face, thank you Dave Appleton.
Looks pretty good, doesn't it?
There are more pictures on our Facebook page.
2017. John was an active and influential member of the Anabasis in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's, and remains much-loved to this day. His contribution was recognised in December 2016 when he was awarded Honorary Club Membership. Thank you Roger Reid for the pictures.
The Anabasis is an affiliated member of the BMC and all Club Members have associate membership of the BMC. We ought there fore to be interested in the BMC Organisational Review.
The BMC day:
"The BMC Organisational Review Group has published its findings and makes a total of 51 recommendations that are designed to create a grassroots BMC driiven by members, volunteers and staff, which is fit to represent the present asnd future needs of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers".
The full report can be downloaded here:
BMC Organisational Review Report
There is an online survey at:
A few pictures of the bonfire do on November18th with a before and after shot of the Black Pearl, another of Chris Hatton's magnificent sacrificial creations. Special thanks to Chris and to Jan and Bill for the wonderful hoptpot, and to everyone who came along and made it such a spendid night. It was specially great to see so many young folk there. And congratulations to Dave Appleton on a fast time in the Penmaenmawr. More on our Facebook page.
Picos de Europa
A fine shot of the Naranjo de
Bulnes in the Picos de Europa
where Mike and Margaret Hart
spent a couple of weeks recently.
When I was on holiday near there
when the kids were small we had
some distant views of this one and
we knew it as 'The Thumb'.
The Picos are a spectacular range of limestone mountains in north
western Spain and subject to
Atlantic weather and we all know
what that means don't we? Happily
the weather for our team was
Makes you want to go there....
Last week, there was a Club team at an old
Anabasis favourite spot, Hollows Farm in
Borrowdale. Apart from the arrival of some
Yurts, it was just as I remember it.
Above, Mike and Margaret Hart, Dave Atkinson
Simon and Anne Letts enduring the tough
conditions at the campsite. Middle, we were
introduced by Mike to this spectacular view of
the campsite from Nitting Haws, on the way
down from the heights of Maiden Moor.
Left, Margaret Hart astride the Saddle stance,
Little Chamonix, Shepherd's Crag. I had left her
in situ, photography for the purposes of, then
I popped down for a cup of tea. Next time I'm in
Borrowdale I must go back and see if she's
still there. I last climbed this one back in 1982
On our other day Mike found for us a charming
route up the splendid Causey Pike, a peak that
I had never been up before, it made a really fine
walk. All in all, a grand few days!
I think the header picture on the history page was taken by the river at Hollows Farm.
Good turn-out for the Meet, well done Bill and Jan and to the Committee for telling them to do it. Fortunately the mind-numbing tedium of the company was relieved by the cheerful litte robin. I don't mean that, of course, it was a joy to be there with these very fine people. Magical, as the Meet Leader would say.
There is now a part of the website which is accessible to members only. You can find it by clicking on the Members tag at the right hand end of the top menu on this and other website pages. You will need a user name and a password, available for current paid-up members only. Contact me if you would like the details.
The Club's AGM was held on Tuesday 28th Februaury at 8.00 am, at Ditton Community Centre, Ditton Road, Widnes. The Committee Report and Fiancial Statements for the year ending 31st December 2016 can be accessed here.
A group of fully paid-up members enjoyed a fine walk in the November sunshine on Cheshire's Sandstone Trail. Torres de Bickerton? A nod to my daughter Amy who saw the sun rise on Chile's Torres del Paine last week. The second picture is of the Kittystone, which features Lesley Wheeldon's poetry in tribute to his wife, Kitty. The poems are mainly about Scotland, so, standing on English rock looking westwards to the Welsh hills, he takes you in your mind to the west of Scotland. That's me on the rock, and Simon Letts, Mike and Margaret Hart by the Kittystone.
The shadows are of the same people, but the inverse of the people in the pictures. Of course! Thank you to Amy for the video clip of the Torres de Paine.
Thank you to Alex Gray for these photos taken on the Saturday of the Bonfire Meet at the Hut, 19th November. These were taken before it went dark and we were able to enjoy another of Jan's Magnificent Hotpots and the putting to the fire (as seen below) of another of Chris Hatton's marvellous Sacrificial Creations. So big thanks to Jan and Chris!
Above, 2 fine panoramic views from the summit of Snowdon, taken by Simon Letts last week when he walked up with wife Anne, daughter Sarah and her partner Charlie. All the way from the Pey-Gwryd Hotel and back too, a fine effort. The Hut-centric amongst us may like to consider the pictures to be distant views of the Hut. It really does loook a long way in these pictures, doesn't it, with Moel Siabod being the inconspicuous bump on the right of the lower shot and and just left of centre in the top picture. It is clearly getting further away, when you compare it with the picture
in Object 44, taken only 4 years ago.
The Club is very sad to announce the death of Diane Murphy, founder member and former Chair, at home on Saturday October 22nd 2016, aged 72 years. We know that Di had been living with cancer for some time but nevertheless it is difficult to comprehend that the light of a life so generously lived should be so suddenly extinguished. Di had been enjoying some better days recently, evident from Roger Reid's visit only 4 days before she died ("fulll of vim and vigour.....incredibly enthusiastic and positive") and a card that Jackie and I received from her just 2 days before.
There was a fine turnout of Club Members for Di's funeral on November 4th.
Di met her husband, George, in Liverpool in 1961 at the informal meeting which gave birth to our Club. Later, the 'giving birth' was literal, with the arrival of sons Andrew and Daniel. In April of this year, Di and George celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends. Individual members of the Club have their own special memories of Di, and they include many for whom Di and George were their gateway to the Anabasis, and consequently a key juncture in their own lives. There are several who recall that the support of Di and George was important in seeing them through the most difficult times. For Di and George, 'family' is not just blood ties, but the relationships forged through adventure in the mountains, evenings around the fire at the end of the day, and the endless ding-dong involved in running a Club comprising so many rich and varied characters. For the Club, perhaps the most significant of the many contributions that Di made was her leadership in the role of Chair of which a lasting legacy is the improvements we have been able to make to our Hut at Garth Farm. As a Club, and as individuals, we are poorer for her passing. Our thoughts now are with George, Andrew and Daniel, and all of Di's family, both here in the U.K. and in the U.S.A.
Roger expresses it so well: 'We all have stories and memories of Di, as to what she did, said and gave to us, be it as a "greater family" or to us individually. We will all miss her greatly. She has gone, but her relationship with each of us has not'.
Di was 'old school' in some ways and so I am privileged to have a hand-written card from her, dated 19th October. And the money for those improvements at the Hut was gathered in not by e-mail and social media but by the hard graft of the hand-written letter.
In the picture, Di is in the centre (in the orange cagoule), out with Club friends in the hills, just as I am sure she would want us to remember her. And a couple more pictures below.
I enjoyed a couple of nice days at Garth with Mike and Margaret Hart, Simon Letts, Dave Appleton and his friend Amy. The top picture shows us at the entrance to what turned out to be the Adit (entrance) to level 9 of the Rhosydd Slate Mine, which is above Cwmorthin (near Blaenau Ffestiniog). From the entrance a half mile long straight passage leads to a spot known as Piccadilly Circus from where it used to be possible to follow an incline up into West Twll Quarry, but this is now blocked by a rockfall. All fascinating stuff but there is an ever-present risk of more rockfalls and much of interest above the ground as well as below. With a map, GPS, compass and three half brains we eventually found our way to the top of West Twll Quarry in the mist.
Tuesday evening gatherings
In addition to the Meets programme there is an informal gathering at the Lion Tavern in Tithebarn Street, Liverpool every Tuesday evening.
Club members, associated and affiliates climb at Helsby and Frodsham on summer Thursday evenings, climbing walls in the winter months. The post-climb debriefing takes place at the Bull's Head pub in Frodsham.
Above we have Stan Eccles, Bill Murphy and Alan Jackson on the new patio at Garth, luxuriating in the comfort of Dave Barton's splendidly crafted seat.
This picture has also been posted on the Club's Facebook page where there are some contributions from some of those who helped George and Di celebrate their anniversary.
John Woods (who was made an Honorary Member in December) recently made a visit to Garth to inspect (he has been a builder by trade) and test the new faclites at the Hut. John was most impressed with what has been achieved by
the Club. Accompanying John for the trip was President George Murphy. Neither John nor George have enjoyed the best of health recently and it was great that, thanks to the support of others, they were able to make the trip. In the
same week, the workers added a bike rack, a new path
outside the Hut door and I am told a new bench as well. Well
done them, and thank you.
I do not have a picture of the occasion of John's visit, nor of
the latest improvements, but I did find this. It made me smile.
This is from 1964. John was a Scoutmaster and he introduced
this little chap to the Anabasis. As for so many of us, it took
one person in the Anabasis to open the door and the result
was life-changing - in a good way!
Below, thank you to Dave Barton for this picture. Left to right: Stan Winstanley, Billy Murphy, John Woods, George Murphy, Dave Barton.
It was a well-attended Meeting, and well-Chaired by Warwick. The existing Committee Members (apart from Andy Murphy) stood and were re-elected, and were joined by Chris Alston.
Former members Steve Tonks and Stan Winstanley were welcomed back to the fold, and new member Paul Ellison was welcomed to the Club.
The proposal to increase the over-night fee from £5 to £6 (for outside groups using the Hut) was passed by a large majority. Other fees, including those paid by members, their offspring and their guests, are unchanged.
It was confirmed that bikes are not to be stored within the Hut or the toliet block. The proposal that the Committee consider options was defeated by a large majority. A fixing for securing bikes outside the Hut is to be provided.
The present satisfactory financial position of the Club was noted, although it was pointed out that we continue to depend on income from external bookings. There had been a significant increase in income from this source during 2015.
It was noted that Mr Jones has yet to sign the Lease. Despite it being recognised that the Club's relationship with Thomas and his family does not depend on legal niceities it was thought best if the Lease was signed.
Pete Simpson's proposal for an Anabasis Trail event in Turkey in late Ocotber was discussed, and anyone intersted is urged to contact him.
A link to the Committee Report for the AGM is on the Running The Club page.
The Anabasis in 50 Objects
Click here to see our growing collection of Objects...........................
Above, the night before, and below, the morning after........
Reasons to be cheerful? Simon Letts here has at least three:
1. He is climbing again and climbing well.
2. The top of this Roaches route is but a couple of fine moves on perfect sunwarmed rock away.
3. It is to be the last climb of the day and next we are off to the pub.
(The website editor was cheered too: never seen the Roaches (or indeed Simon) looking better.
Club Members Roger Reid and Barbara Gray were in Austria recently and I suppose anything attended by more than one Club Member constitutes a Meet! There are pictures to enjoy on our Facebook page. Roger has also come up with an archive item from a Club Meet held in Shropshire in 1965 - so that makes 2015 a 50th anniversary year for that one.
More reasons to be cheerful! Thanks to Rob-the-roof-Hastings (and asssitants Mike Threlfall and Dave Appleton) we have new guttering. As an added bonus, there is a tasty bare-chested Barton to admire on the left (calm down girls).
Below: Quick thinking by the Hut Warden averted disaster at the Hut: Robert Jones from Garth Farm kindly assisted the workers by lending his forklift tractor to take a bag of gravel down the hill to the Hut. Unfortunately the bag was breached on the ride down so that gravel was haemorrageing freely and we were in danger of receiving an empty bag and a having lot of gravel to gather. The initial suggestion was to shove a wheelbarrow under the lifted bag of gravel and have Billy trot along behind the tractor as it trundled on. This did not look sensible or safe, and Hut Warden Clive found a spare bag into which the contents of the breached bag were allowed to fall.
Fantastic shot of the Milky Way at Garth, taken by Dave Appleton.. Thank you to Mike Morgan for sending it to me and to Dave for letting me put it on the site (permission assumed when the photo was passed onto me by Mike!). Technical wizardry beyond my understanding involved here, and I think that the object in the centre is the Hut,,,,,,,,,not Snowdon! Many of us will have witnessed a night like this (and perhaps lost our aim whilst so witnessing!) but not been able to photograph it.
Just had a lovely weekend at the hut whilst introducing Ana de Bilbao to
the joys of active walking and simple living. She regaled me with her
impressions all the way home, communal sleeping and the variety of breakfasts
that the Brits. (and Els) eat! She loved it all including the scrambling up
Siabod and what she describes as unbelievably long grass when we mistook the
path home. They don't have succulent, soggy bogs in Spain only thorny,
loose ground. Some of us felt that this further ascent of Siabod could be
our valedictory visit. We'll see. Lots of fun for the nine of us.
Vive l'Anabasis! Vive la vie!
Ben's Granny on the Knight's Move Slab, Grooved Arete, Tryfan.
'Perched on his tiny stance, the leader prays his second will not slither screaming from the holds to fetch up somewhere inaccessible, groaning and immobile'. (Steve Ashton)
Old enough to know better........Margaret Hart, Adam Tryfan, Dave Atkinson and Eve Tryfan.
An age-appropriate activity was arranged next day - with Ken, Els and Simon at Crafnant.
Also on Tryfan........Mike Threlfall and A.N. Other (a non-member) recently climbed Snowstorm, at VS 5a.
More details on the above to follow.
Turkey/Austria – suggestions made by Peter Simpson and Roger Reid
Anybody with ideas for more Meets, including Day Meets, please let the committee know.
Tuesday evening gatherings
In addition, there is an informal gathering at the Railway Hotel in Tithebarn Street, Liverpool every Tuesday evening.
Club members, associated and affiliates climb at Helsby and Frodsham on summer Thursday evenings. The post-climb debriefing takes place at a local hostelry in Frodsham.
Some fine pictures from Mike Threlfall of climbing in the
Anti Atlas, Morocco. The Anti-Atlas region of Morocco occupies a significant
proportion of the country to the south and east of the Atlantic coast holiday
resort of Agadir. It is a mountainous, semi-desert region, bounded on the north
side by the Oued Sous valley, beyond which lies the High Atlas and the famous
city of Marrakech. The oasis town of Tafraoute, at 900 metres asl, is a good base. It is situated approximately in the
centre of the Anti-Atlas, some 200km south of Marrakech, and 150km south-east
The fiirst picture is of the Samazar Valley, where there is a lot of fine climbing.
Recently I found some letters left by my parents after they passed away. Many were from me, written after I went to Manchester University in 1968. You might enjoy these accounts of a couple of early forays into the mountains. They predate anything in my book, Letters Home From The Hills.
This is Katie Atkinson (Website Editor's daughter) bouldering at Albarracin, Spain, in March.
I did like the hand of God reaching down from above to reveal the location of the crucial hold. Apparently it is a lovely area, with not so much rock that you cannot also have a nice hoilday.
Winter at Garth
Simon Rogers' fine photo shows the Hut with a side serving of toilet block and a generous dollop of snow..........
Winter in Norway
........with an Anabsis member on ice for afters! This is believed to be Mike Threlfall climbing ice at Rijukan, Norway in January. Looks awfully steep to me!
Grand Opening at Garth
Well done Anabasis!
Hathersage Meet 26th to 28th SeptemberThe Meet was attended by a small but distinguished - self excepted - contingent - Bill and Jan Murphy, Warwick Waterworth, and Stan Eccles (and self). Dave and Sandra Barton were expected to attend on the Sunday. The weather was fine if autumnally chilly at times and there was even some climbing done on Stanage Edge. Below, that's Dave Atkinson (self) on April Crack and below again, Billy and Stan, Billy showing delight at his decision to stand down before this one and Stan equally showing the after affects of having decided not to! It was Billy's first outing on rock in a while and a fine comeback. Well done Stan, and from self, many thanks to the campers for the food, drink and good company.
August Family Meet Pictures
is how it is looking inside our new facility at Garth, real progress
thanks to a lot of hard work by our crack team. You may notice the
absence of some key pieces of equipment, there were a couple of WCs,
but one ended up in the 'patio', the other in the Swamp. The picture on
the wall is hard to see at this resolution - it is of those iconic New
York steeplejack guys sitting on a girder and it is inscribed 'before
the fall'. What can that be referring to I wonder?
Above......Enduring difficult conditions at
the Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale, 1st August 2014.
Left to right: Roger Reid, Stan Eccles, Barbara Gray, Jan Murphy, Dave Atkinson, Billy 'two compasses' Murphy. Bowfell had been climbed (in the rain), in Billy's case with neither of the two compasses. Roger and Barbara are proceeding magnificently with their Progress through the lovely land of the Lakes.
Hut vanishes in Anabasis Bar-b-Cue Blaze Shock
This is the moment on July 5th the Hut brielfy dsappeared in a pall of bonfire smoke. Sandra Threlfall's shocking pink top is viisble on the right with fleeing children in foreground. All was well, only the sausages and burgers were burnt, the weather was lovely, the children charming and for the adults the usual soap opera of drink, song and argument - and thanks to the lady in the shocking pink there was even some real soap (home-made, speciality).
Our Munroists still alive and still members are Simon Rogers, Pete Simpson, Stan Eccles, Mike and Margaret Hart - but every time I add a name to the list another completer pops his or her head up and says 'me too please!'' Pete has also completed all the Corbetts and Grahams and Hewitts. C'est formidable! As he says himself, it makes him a sad bagger - yes, you did read right, that was 'bAgger'!
Cape Wrath Trail
Congratulations to Mike and Margaret Hart who have completed the 230 mile Cape Wrath Trail up the coast of North Western Scotland. They over-nighted en route with a mix of wild camping, hotel, b&b and bothy. Just to prove it does not rain in Scotland all the time, here they are by Loch Fada with Slioch behind. If anyone fancies having a go at the Trail, I am sure Mike will be pleased to offer some tips. Maybe the hastily donned outdoor gear and artfully dropped rucksacs disguise the fact that this was in fact a beach holiday!
The Meet at Esther's place, by Loch Lomond
Water-based activities were the order of the day for this one, just to prove it rains in Scotland sometimes! Top, you see Club Members engaged in the hardest of hard core mountaineering and you have a new group name to add to your collection (flock of sheep, herd of cows, murder of corws, etc) - a hot tub of Anabsis Members! In the boat, Sandra and Dave Barton (left), then George and Di Murphy, Anne and Alan Jackson and Mike Threlfall looking serious in the green. Match some of these with the heads popping out of the hot tub, and John Padget is there too.
It is reported that the negotiations about the Hut lease have been concluded successfully. Well done our team of 4 Murphies and 1 Barton and thank you to the Jones family.
A 10% discount is now available for Cub members at Premier Pysio in Runcorn. A relief to all the creaking crocks among us! - that includes your website Editor, but I am beyond all help..............
Well done former member Stuart Prince for completing the Great North Swim and raisng over £500 for the Alzheimer's Society.
The Anabasis WayRoger Reid will be trekking the Anabasis Way from Ulverston to Carlisle in the style of a 'Royal Progress' of Medieval times, from 29th July to 8th August. Along with Barbara Gray, Roger will be holding court at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Langdale the nights of 31st July to 2nd August (inlcusive) and inviites, nay commands, his Anabasis subjects to attend - if not in the hotel itself, then in the Valley thereabouts. More details of the Progress will be distrbuted by e-mail. I am not sure whether 'Anabasis Way' refers to proceeding 'in the manner Anabasoise' or to a physical entity linking two points along which it is possible to travel - perhaps both!
Three Club Members on a Rope
On Saturday 24th May we escaped the Snowdonia deluge with a trip to Roscolyn on Anglesey. A rare thing these days, but 3 club members - Ken Ainsworth, Margaret Hart and Dave Atkinson -were on a rope together and enjoyed Symphony Crack. It is a mere (?) Difficult so not diiffiult (!) and over all too soon but for all that on this day it was a joy. We were assured by the circling kayakers that it looked most impressive from below. Also along for support and good company were George Finch (with the camera) and Els recuperating from an incident at the Hut - enough said!
The Club is saddened to learn of the death at the weekend of Jeff Naylor, at the age of 73. Jeff was a founder member of the Club who made a number of important contributions in the early years. George Murphy has told me that Jeff was an architect by profession, and he drew the initial plans for turning what was an empty cattle shipping into a Hut for people that is not too disimilar to what we know today. He introduced a Crosby Scout Group to the Club, and a couple of the youngsters who joined the Club as a result are still members - Alan Jackson and Mike Threlfall. Jeff was a calm voice in the storm helping the Club to develop stability that saw it safely through those early years when rival factions threatened to tear it apart, He was a larger than life character among strong-minded individuals (who can that be referring to I wonder?), he kept a postive attitude, always had a ready smile and was a very kind person. In the first Club meets abroad Jeff was a leading participant, especially in the Chamonix area where the Aiguille de
Blatiére was one of several big climbs he completed, and he was also an accomplished pot-holer. The picture (1964) shows Jeff as those who knew him would like to remember him - with best foot forward striding up the hill, and rope across his shoulder. Our sympathies to Jeff's wife and family. 7th May 2014.
Congratulations to Club members present and past on their efforts for CharityPete Simpson recently completed the Coast to Coast ride of 127 miles from Workington to Sunderland in 13 hours 13 minutes, sounds absolutely incredble to me! In so doing, he raised nearly £1200 for the charity Early Break which offers free counselling, advice and treatment for young people and their families who have issues regarding drugs and alcohol.
A Challenge for Our Munrosits................
I have recently been in contact with John Mallinson, now in his 80's he completed his Munro round in the 1950's. In his 75th year, John made a 50th anniversary repeat ascent of his final Munro - Ben Chonzie. Now there's a challenge for our Club Munroists - repeat the last one 50 years on!
I got in touch with John as a result of work on my book Letters Home From The Hills. He had read a piece - an extract from the book - published in the Climber's Club Journal about Mike O'Hara, an old friend of John's. They were together (along with Eric Langmuir) on the first ascent of Spartan Slab on the Etive Slabs in 1954. Whenever I speak to John he recalls being defeated on The Scoop of Hammer, also on the Etive Slabs (there is a point to this, read on.......). John regrets having to attempt the thing in big boots, it being before the days of 'sticky' boots. For anyone who does not know it, The Scoop is one of those 'limits of friction' things and sustained upward momentum is essential if the downward pull of gravty is to be overcome. I had an attempt whilst on a Club meet in the 1980's - the downward pull won the day and I was duly rebuffed. It was, I think, the last occasion that there was a weekend Club Meet in Scotland - now it is good to know that thanks to Esther Threlfall's initiative (see Meets) there is to be another (first point). A few years later I called on the Scoop again and this time succceeded. My partner that day? Stuart Prince - see mention above for his Charity swim - second point!
You say 'Morrocco' and you made me smile.............
I say 'Morrocco' because I remember a Jackson Browne song (know it?) and because a couple of our members (Rob Hastings and Mike Threlfall) have been climbing there recently - in the Anti-Atlas area up form Agadir. If you want to know more find out from them!
Congratulations to our new Munroists!Well done to new members Mike and Margaret Hart who completed the Munros wirth the ascent of Ben Hope on September 10th 2013. I made the trek up north to witness the event, and champagne (in plastic cups!) was enjoyed in typical Scottish conditions on the top. Although this was the only one of the Munros to be completed since Mike and Margaret joined up, part of the deal by which they joined was that we get to cliam credit for the other 281 as well. To my knowledge, the only other Munroists still alive and still members are Simon Rogers, Pete Simpson and Stan Eccles - every time I add a name to the list another completer pops his or her head up and says 'me too please!'
Red Rocks, Nevada USAMike Threlfall and Dave Nicol are just back from a trip across the pond where I am told they climbed on 17 out of 18 days, mainly at Red Rocks (not far from Las Vegas), and also at Joshua Tree, near Palm Springs, California. It sounded absolutely brilliant and I am glad to say they were both quite weary when they got home. I am sure Mike will be happy to tell more and perhaps we will get some pictures. http://www.supertopo.com/climbingareas/redrocks.html
And while we are on the subjuect of foreign parts, as I write Rob Hastings is off climbing in Sicily. I was in Italy too recently and am able to report that I did not climb Vesuvius. I got as far as the crater rim and an official prevented me from taking the last 300 feet to the very top. He was unmoved by my claims to have been high and to know George Murphy, and insited that a Guide was necessary for the perilous (?) slope beyond. Price of Guide? 100 Euros. With just 1 Euro in my pocket, my negotiating position was weak.
29th June 2012. Yesterday we said our farewells to our friend Eddie. Thank you and well done to Barbara and all the family for striking just right note for the service and the gathering afterwards - the words by Thea, Will and Alex were perfectly chosen, and just the right notes were struck for a communal rendition of Hey Jude around Eddie's grave - I am sure he woud have been well pleased.
Eddie Gray passed away suddenly on June 19th 2012.
Eddie joined the Anabasis in 1962, being part of the caving section, but he soon switched to mountaineering. Prior to this phase of his life, he had attended Collegiate Grammar School in Shaw Street. He went on to Loughborough University where he represented them at a national level at cycling, having been an outstanding member of Birkenhead Cycling Club. After graduation, he found employment at English Electric, leaving there to work for the New Zealand Shipping Company, becoming the youngest 1st Engineer in the history of the Company. He then joined Cammell Lairds, supervising the installation of nuclear engines in Polaris Submarines. For a period, Eddie worked in Bahrain where he was the Senior Engineer responsible for the desalination plants. When he left Bahrain, he returned to the UK overland with his young family, something he described as a 'great adventure'. On his return, he once again became a member of the Club, taking up the duties of Committee Member and Editor. He loved camping but most of all he enjoyed staying in the Hut at Garth Farm, in particular sitting by the fire yarning away over a beer. In recent times he was a determined hill walker despite severe pain in his legs and feet. Eddie was a gentle, peacable man who developed significant relationships with a wide variety of people, showing genuine concern for all who came in contact with him. (Over his lifetime, Eddie displayed a great capacity for spiritual and intellectual growth: his spiritual side was shown in his deep interest in the Bhuddist faith; and he enthusiastically embraced the new social media with its potential for keeping contact with friends and supporting a variety of worthwhile causes). He battled his final illness with deternination, tenacity and courage.
Eddie was firstly married to Jane - they had 2 children, Mark who predeceased him, and Thea. He is also survived by his wife Barbara and sons William, Alex and Ritchard.
Our thoughts and condolences go out to all of Eddie's family.
George Murphy (material in brackets supplied by the Editor).
Thank you to Roger Reid for the picture which I have added to the Gallery.