Most weekends we run a day trip to go rock climbing in Northumberland or the fine county of North Yorkshire. Sign-up information and the destination for the meet will be sent round in an e-mail the week before. On the Saturday or Sunday morning we will meet at the DSU and travel in cars or by minibus to the crag. We climb all day and then come home; some drivers might be back in time for college tea while others will climb until it gets dark.
In the middle of the Michaelmas term and at the end of the Epiphany term we go away for the whole weekend. Sign-up information and the destination for the weekend will be sent round in an e-mail before each meet. Going away for the whole weekend means we get loads more climbing done and get to go further away to Scotland or the Peak District. We leave after lectures on Friday night and stop off at a supermarket for supplies on the way, arriving at the bunkhouse in the evening. We get up early and climb all day Saturday then have a big group meal. On Sunday we climb all day and then come home.You will need to bring everything you would for a normal day meet AND:
- A sleeping bag
- A toothbrush, maybe some soap if you’re feeling flash
- Snacks and drinks for the evenings
After exams at the beginning of June we go away for a whole week on our summer meet. For a week it’s worth our while to go just about anywhere: Wales, Cornwall, Skye. The destination is decided at the AGM in February, so if you have any brilliant ideas make sure you go along. Again more information including sign-up will be sent round in an e-mail before the meet. Over a longer period we need to be more flexible with accommodation often with camping involved. If you have tents, sleeping mats and stoves, make sure you bring them to Durham with you for the summer meet.
Winter Meets Info
Winter mountaineering is a little bit different to the club’s usual weekend meets. Mountaineering can encompass anything from a lovely walk in the snow involving snowball fights, snowmen and snowholes, to an epic 7 pitch ice route up a gully 3 hours walk-in from the road. We don’t mind what you come to Scotland to do, but one thing we ask is that you either have a reasonable amount of experience with crampons, axes and mountain safety, or go along on the course on the Cairngorms weekend.
The introductory course is aimed at people who have climbed before but want to make the move into winter climbing. It will cover all the basics like crampons, ice axe arrests, how to cope with winter conditions, and also avalanche awareness and navigation. To progress beyond the course into winter walking, all you need is an adventurous spirit and a smile, but to progress to winter-climbing you will NEED outdoor trad experience. Due to additional communication problems in Scottish weather conditions, a Scottish gully is not the place to be learning how to extract nuts!
If there is enough interest, we will be running two courses over the weekend, catering for people who have slightly more experience, and those who don’t. Please respond to the email if you are interested in either course, as this will allow us create the best possible experience for you.
Late January – Aviemore, Cairngorms
It will be on this weekend that we are offering introductory courses aimed at people who have climbed before but want to make the move into winter climbing.
This is also our Burns night weekend so after a long day on the hills, tatties, haggis and whisky awaits…
Mid February- Ben Nevis and Glencoe
The second winter meet generally goes to the Ben or Glencoe. There are no introductory courses on this meet so if you want to come along, it’s essential you possess the prerequisite skills to climb safely.
Throughout the winter…
Keep an eye on the DUMC Forum for last minute weekend warrior trips to the Lake District and Scotland organised by members of the club. What do you mean I’m here to do a degree…?
As already mentioned, the sign up times for winter meets are a little different due to exact number for accommodation. This usually means that sign up is on Monday morning with meeting at the pub on the Tuesday to sort kit. This gives us time to collect the gear we need. The minibus leaves on Friday as early as possible, usually 6.15 unless no-one has lectures at which point it’s 5.30ish. The drive is usually pretty long as the minibus don’t go very quick. Roughly, it can be 6 hours to the Cairngorms and 7 to Fort William/Ben Nevis. We tend to stop for a Fish-and-Chip break half-way to allow the drivers to have a quick break and to top up the essential food rations. We generally arrive into our location pretty late midnight-2am depending on the drive so it’s straight to bed ready for an early start. A 5am wakeup on the Saturday is not unusual as daylight hours are short, and the walk-ins are long. If all goes well, back to the hostel by 4.30-5pm ready for food in the evening. Group meal in the norm on the first weekend, and have been arranged for the second weekend as it’s just easier and more fun. A similar set-up on the Sunday, but we pack up and put all bags into the minibus before driving to the bottom of crags. Get back to the bus – drive to a chippy, sleep all the way home, arriving again at around 12-1am.