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From the brick walls of the Athletic union to the limestone cliffs of France, St Andrews University Mountaineering Club pushed themselves towards mastering what Ernest Hemingway considers to be “one of the only three true sports”. Our first trip was scrambling up Ben Lomond, followed by a weekend in Glen Nevis. There, members completed challenging yet iconic routes such as Tower ridge and Castle ridge on Ben Nevis as well as The Ring of Steall which looms above the Glen. Later in the semester, STAUMC traveled to Glen Coe, where 7 people completed D Gully buttress (1), a classic route graded “severe”. The club ended the calendar year on An Teallach (2), reminiscing about day trips to Dunkeld, Kirriemuir and slow dances at Adrenaline ball.
The life and works of Robert Burns were celebrated on Skye. After battling the wrath of the fairy pools and brutal coastal winds, the club completed The Spur. The next day STAUMC confirmed why the Inaccessible Pinnacle got its name, yet vow to return. The semester progressed with a member from the Scottish Mountaineering Council joining us in Glen Coe, teaching vital skills that young club members will pass down throughout their years in University. Furthermore, 6 members completed extensive mountaineering courses at the National Outdoor Training Centre, and 4 members now hold Outdoor First Aid certificates.
The CIC hut, a bothy on the foot of the infamous north face of Ben Nevis, always attracts the most intrepid and skilled members. Tower Ridge and other ambitious alpine and ice climbing routes were completed. Though, after a weekend of ice, snow, and axes, STAUMC invaded Sainte Victoire in the south of France and climbed on its world class sport climbing routes (3).
“The first few days were a rather humbling experience, I didn’t do particularly well partly because I was expecting the routes to be easier than they were and also because I was so out of practice, having last climbed outdoors with my bare hands (and not axes and crampons) in September” – Caelan
We ended our year in the far north of Scotland, sharing pies, whiskey and stories with alumni who have climbed and walked with our club for decades. It was both humbling and inspiring to witness the impact mountaineering had on every one of the alumni’s career and life choices. As we look forward to the new year, our club will now strive to not only maintain the adventure and ambitious nature of the sport, but to foster the sense of community and tradition that our alumni have valued since 1934.
We have an exciting week ahead of us, including cocktail night and sign-ups for the annual Dinner and Alumni Meet.
WALL SESSION 4.30 – 6PM
Did you try some routes last week and want to tick them off? Did you love climbing on our brilliant brick routes? Relish the challenge of climbing around basketball hoops? Or how about traversing a door frame? Then come on down to the wall session!
Wednesday 6th- Dinner meet sign-up 40£, 1 pm at Whey Pat
Don’t forget to come armed with your money, as this trip may sell out fast.
STAUMC Annual Dinner and Alumni Meet 2016, April 22-25
Join us for a fantastic weekend camping in the beautiful Northwest of Scotland. We will be based out of the Shore Campsite at Achmelvich Beach, north of Lochinver.
The trip will run from Friday to Monday, culminating in the traditional formal dinner on Sunday night. The trip will cost £40, plus an Additional £20 for the Dinner at the Lochinver Larder (plus drinks etc.)
There will be plenty of opportunities for great climbing and spectacular walking.
Thursday, 7th- Cocktail night
Join us for this classy affair at 8:30 pm, 75, flat 3 South street. Dress code: formal cocktail chic. Price is 6 £ including the following unlimited cocktails::
Long Island Iced Tea
Bacardi Superior rum, Gordon’s gin, Smirnoff vodka, Cointreau, Jose Cuervo gold tequila, lemon and lime layered on Coke.
Bacardi Superior rum, sugar, lime and mint.
Cosmopolitan/ Rude Cosmo
Smirnoff vodka/ Jose Cuervo tequila, Cointreau, cranberry juice and lime.
Gordon’s gin, St.Germain elderflower liqueur, cranberry and apple juice.
Pimm’s No. 1, St. Germain’s elderflower liqueur, lemonade and summer fruits.
Bacardi Superior rum, Smirnoff vodka, Jose Cuervo gold tequila, Gordon’s Gin, and Chambord Raspberry Liqueur.
(Courtesy of Alex Chapman)
Hope to see you there! Money for the cocktail night will be collected both at Whey Pat on Wednesday and at the event on Thursday.
Quote of the week:
‘Climbers have no sense of smell.’
-Conrad Anker’s mother
Welcome back to all who climbed with us on the annual spring break climbing trip! This year the club travelled to Sainte-Victoire, France, for some breath-taking views, warm rays, and, of course, world-class sport climbing.
International expedition officer Caelan Barnes, who organised the trip, wrote of it on his blog:
“About this time a year ago I was nominated to be the “international expedition officer” for the St Andrews Mountaineering Club, which is a rather poncy sounding title that basically just entails organising an international climbing trip. At first I had many grand ideas for cool locations, but sadly I had to be brought down to earth by various logistical concerns and my ambitions were curbed dramatically. In the end I settled on a week of sport climbing in the South of France, more specifically the not particularly well known destination of St Victoire. This mountain is probably better known to art historians than it is to climbers. Over the years true masters such as Cezanne, Picasso and Kandinsky have made the mountain their subject.
The climbing on this mountain is primarily sport climbing, though frequently a light trad rack is required. Either because the bolts are spaced, or sometimes because they’re not there at all! Another thing to note about the climbing here is from my (admittedly small) experience of sport climbing the grades were massive sandbags, this was exemplified perfectly by 5+ instead of being a grade I could climb with a blindfold became a bit of a battle depending on the circumstances.”
This year’s new international expeditions officer Alex Champman is already planning STAUMC’s next spring break trip. Turkey? Greece? Morocco? We are all excited to find out.