K Fellfarers - the outdoor club for people in south Cumbria

Gallery 2012 - March

Greater spotted woodpecker
Kendal wall

Trip to Morocco

Congratulations to Fellfarers Roger Atkinson, Mick Fox, Bill Hogarth, Mel Middleton, and Hugh Taylor, on summiting Jebel Toubkal in winter conditions. At 4,167m / 13,672ft, it is the highest mountain in Morocco and north Africa. Mel flew home afterwards whilst the remaining four took a hire car for 5 days to explore further south, driving as far as the Todra Gorge to check out the climbing. There will be a fuller report in the Fellfarer, but in the meantime here are some photos to give a flavour of the holiday.

Photo of Toubkalh showing the route in red from the refuge to the summit
Roger and Mick on the col Tizi Mezzik - 2,520m / 8,268ft.

On the summit of Toubkal, from the left - Mel, Mick, Roger, Bill (in front), and Hugh

The ascent of Toubkal is made from the Neltner (or more correctly Toubkal) Refuge at 3,207m / 10,522ft. Hugh was first there in 1995 for a summer ascent of Toubkal, and the two shots below show how things have changed to meet the expanding number of visitors. They were taken from roughly the same position, and the two prominent boulders behind and to the left of the original refuge can be clearly seen in the shot of the current refuges.
On the relaxed drive from Marrakech to the Todra Gorge, a night was spent in a riad at Ait Benhaddou. A UNESCO site, the location has been used in many films including Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator, and this shot is looking over the low river (they have not had the expected rains this year yet) to the kasbah (fortified dwelling) with a lovely full moon.
More sun and blue sky whilst walking on the hills above the Todra Gorge


Mid-week Walk - 'Little used paths on Wakebarrow'

Led by club president. Gordon Pitt, seven members had a delightful seven miles walk around Wakebarrow and Whitbarrow, starting and finishing at Gordon's house at Dawson Fold. As well as using many paths that were new to members, the day also included visits to Slape Scar and Joe Hole.

Slape Scar is described in Lancashire Rock and is a limestone scar of good rock up to 11m high with around 30 routes on. Various club members have climbed on it from time to time, but its rather overgrown and not very fashionable.

Joe Hole is a cave at the foot of a limestone face, and described in the Northern Caves guide book as being a bedding plane crawl 6m long. Consequently, Fred didn't think it was worth getting his trousers dirty for!

Right shows some Jacob sheep and lambs soon after leaving Dawson Fold.
Below left is the coffee break on top of Slape Scar, and below right the cairn on Lords Seat. From left to right - Ellie, Fred, Margaret, Claire, Gordon, and Roger, with Hugh taking the photo.

Thanks to Gordon for the interesting walk, and Pam for the excellent tea and cakes on our return.


Fort William Hotel Meet, March 18 - 23

Having been to Newtonmore for the past 3 years, the move was made down Glen Spean to Fort William and the Alexandra Hotel. The fantastic price of £29 for dinner, bed and breakfast attracted 24 members and friends (and 4 dogs!), where they enjoyed a variety of activities in the improving weather, culminating in 11 members summitting Ben Nevis.
The shot below was taken on the leaving day, and shows from left to right - Alan, Kevin,, Clare, Ellie (behind), Margaret, Sheila, Lynne, Angie, Sue, Jean (behind), Chris, Joan, Mel, Fred, Tony (behind), Val, Hugh, Frank, Mike, Dorothy, and Steve, with the dogs Sally, Oscar and Henry.
Not on the photo are Lynette, Adrian, and Martin, who had to leave a day early.

Group outside hotel

Monday was a very wet day, and members had a choice of two walks. One group set out for the Caledonian Canal and the locks at Neptune's Staircase. They also managed to find a cafe to shelter in from the rain, which is more than the other group did. Setting off down Glen Nevis with the lure of a coffee promised by Kevin, the visitor centre right provided no liquid refreshment. Up the hill to the south west and along to the summit of Cow Hill which provided an interesting view down to Fort William and Loch Eil.

Both groups tested the hotels improvised 'drying room' to the full on their return.

Tuesday was a better day, with members setting out on a variety of walks. Alan, Kevin, Clare, and Mike walked up a Corbett - Sgurr Mhurlagain - down the lovely but long Glen Arkaig. Others went for the waterfalls in Glen Nevis, whilst Angie, Mel, Chris, Lynette, Adrian, Martin, and Hugh drove up Glen Roy to check out the so called 'parallel roads'. An amazing geological feature, the three sets of 'roads' traverse both sides of the glen and beyond. Many members walked up the Glen Nevis Gorge to view the waterfalls in spate.

Below left shows two of the roads on the hillside at the lunch stop. A closer examination of one of them - below right - was disappointing, though they were led to believe that there are better examples elsewhere


Below left is the view of An Steall (the Steall waterfall) above the Nevis Gorge, with the lower slopes of An Gearanach (the start of the Ring of Steall) behind. Below right shows Angie enjoying the recently renovated wire bridge over the Waters of Nevis below the waterfall.

Wednesday had slightly better weather, and the main outing was on the excellent train journey to Morar and Mallaig. Meanwhile Tony, Sue, Kevin, Frank, and Mike ascended the Munro Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain by Loch Treig.
Alan, Mel, and Hugh caught the train to Corrour station, the highest mainline station in the UK at 1,339ft, and probably the remotest as well as it is not served by road. As Alan headed west for his Corbett Leum Uilleim, Mel and Hugh headed east for Loch Ossian and their Munro Beinn na Lap. From the summit, they dropped down to the loch and walked around it back to Corrour.

Below left shows Sue and Kevin on the steep ascent of Stob a Choire Mheadhoin with Loch Treig far below, and below right Frank, Mike, Kevin, and Sue in the cloud on the summit of Stob Coire Easain.


Below left shows Mel on the summit of Beinn na Lap in the mist, and below right the superb position of the Loch Ossian Hostel (it was run for a time by Dave Richardson, the Kendal fell runner) with Beinn na Lap behind.


Thursday was the best day for weather by far, and members took good advantage in many different ways.
The main group of eleven members summited Ben Nevis in good style, and had fantastic views. Mike and Mel drove over to Aberarder to tick off three Munro's: Carn Liath, Stob Poite Coire Ardair, and Creag Meagaidh. Kevin added two to his Munro count with Stob Ban and Stob Choire Claurigh, Alan and Hugh increased Alan's Corbett count to 94 by returning to Loch Arkaig and ascending Fraoch Bheinn, and Tony & Sue enjoyed the train ride to Mallaig. A superb day for all concerned, and what better way to finish a brilliant 5 nights in the amazing country of Scotland.

Below shows the group on the summit of the Ben, with from left to right -.
Back row - Val, Clare, Chris, Margaret, Ellie, Frank, Roger.
Front row - Fred, Lynne, Sheila, Angie.


Below left shows Alan on the summit of Fraoch Bheinn, with the Rum Cuillin ridge away in the distance to the left of the cairn, and below right the superb reflections in Loch Arkaig.

Alan knows plenty of view points from which to take great photos, and on the way back from Glen Arkaig, he took this one from near Bunarkaig of the north face of Ben Nevis reflected in Loch Lochy.
The peaceful scene at Mallaig harbour.
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