/ Manchester Uni Fresher's Meet - Froggatt 25th Sept
Just a message to let people know that MUMC will be taking a trip to Froggatt Sunday 25th September as an initial fresher's meet (there will be a follow up meet the next weekend 2nd Oct to the Roaches). We will be taking an estimated 50 people and in keeping with the traditions and values of the club we will not be filling up the crag with top ropes. We will, however, have groups of about 5 (2 experienced members and 3 new members of varying experience)on routes and so while we appreciate this will require us spending longer on routes than normal we hope anyone planning on also being there will understand that this is an important event for us, especially those new to climbing. If anyone reads this and goes we hope that if you see any problems etc you will not hesitate to come and talk to group leaders about it.
Best wishes, Gareth Hooson
And how did you start climbing?
Or were you never a beginner and shown how to climb?
So, you'd like them to either hold their freshers' meet during the working week (I shouldn't need to explain the problem here) or take them somewhere crap and put them off climbing for life?
If you are so concerned that people aren't getting the opportunity to climb then could I please direct you to the fantastic beacon of hope charity that works with innercity kids.
If the MUMC meet is run in the same way as we did it (10 years ago) then this objection is a little simplistic. You have to bear in mind that the archetype 'group' that such guidance applies to is an instructed herd. Back then our ethic was that no top ropes were set up (let alone left up) - novices only followed up lines that were led, ideally only with two seconds. Leaders took responsibility for specific novice climbing partners Occasionally the ropes might be dropped down for a further novice to climb the line, but only if there was nobody waiting to lead.
Essentially this practice meant that we were responsible for introducing about 15-20 extra climbing parties to the froggatt-curbar escarpment, distributed widely, courteous to other users etc, etc. The 'group' ceased to be a homogeneous group at the car park. If you do it right, other folk hardly realise your on a club meet until they try and go to the pub after and find it full of pissed youth.
I understand the sentiment behind your objection, but you know nothing of how the 'group' will operate. Froggatt-Curbar can easily cope - smaller crags can't. Good luck with the weather MUMC.
Chequers buttress is about 200m from a publicly accesible toilet... The coach will drop them off 100m from the pub they're probably booked into for dinner, which has a toilet. What's the ideal crag on this basis? One with portaloos at the belays?!
Back in 2001 we changed the freshers meet location from Stanage to Froggatt for 3 main reasons. The coach causes much less inconvenience at Froggatt (better road, big carpark). The proximity of warm dry pubs means that folk who've got bored with climbing by lunchtime don't have to hang around making a nuisance of themselves. and finally, the proximity of said pubs provides sanitation.
It is your sentiment re. the BMC's guidelines - which I now expect you to link so that we may have an informed debate. If you actually read my post, or that of the OP you will see that they are not intending to gather around the great slab and top rope trapeze en-masse, but rather to operate in distinct individual parties. Use a little imagination and see that it is possible for a club meet NOT to conform to your stereotypes.
Easy access and many classic routes have ensured Froggatt has remained very popular over the years. Unfortunately, this is resulting in many of the famous routes becoming polished and having worn protection slots. So, instead of repeating that classic for the nth time, why not spread the load and choose a different crag?
the BMC group recomendations
This is listed in general advice - it applies to individuals too. It's probably quite hard for a novice to do any climb for the nth time. There are plenty of non famous, non polished routes on froggatt-curbar. Group advice goes thus; "Be sensitive to other users: do not monopolize sections of the crag. All group leaders should familiarise themselves with BMC guidelines for group use" - I'm sure these are ticked on all counts.
I have to say, the reason I'm arguing with you is 50% what you say, and 50% your tone.
Oh god, not this debate again, can we not get the mods to re-post last year's thread so that we don't get the same tired crap being spouted be those who seem to think that you shouldn't be allowed near a crag if you can't climb vs already or if you are in a group of more than 3.
There are loads of good crags in the area for experienced people to escape to if they fancy so I say keep the place tidy and go enjoy yourselves.
I'm mainly on your side, but it doesn't matter how you spin it, 50 is on the heavy side for Froggatt.
50 people over froggat and curbar, christ that's less than there often are between heaven crack and flying buttress.
If you are that bothered then take up a position with the BMC rather than pontificating on internet forums.
"Every cloud has a silver lining" !
Gareth thanks for posting this. Don't take the flak to heart. I was at Froggatt 3 years ago and there were two big uni groups there and they did not particularly impact on it any more than anyone else. I also happen to think it is well suited (notwithstanding BMC guidelines) for the way you plan to run the weekend. The "layout" of the crag make it easy to divide your large group so your separate clusters aren't all distracting each other.
About the same as the average 'group' from sheffield under remergence wall... well, I exagerate but only by about 30%!
In all seriousness you are right IF 50 people congregate around the great slab / sunset slab honeypots. The reason I chipped in on this is to point out that a university meet doesn't have to do this. 50 people in this setting = 10 parties... with about 500 routes along the edge to go at. There is no de-facto problem with 50 people turning up to a big venue, What matters their behaviour and the way they operate. If they instead chose to pull up in a bus at for e.g. yarncliffe less people would encounter them, but anyone who actually did want to climb there that day would definitely have their experience marred simply by those numbers no matter how they behave.
Another observation to add: Unlike other venues with capacity in the peak, Froggatt-curbar has few real classics below severe - but plenty of little travelled routes at this grade. Unlike independent users a university club is actually likely to have teams climbing skogul, ladies buttress, sorrallion, the stuff around beech buttress etc.
> I'm mainly on your side, but it doesn't matter how you spin it, 50 is on the heavy side for Froggatt.
I'd agree, especially as there aren't that many good beginner's routes there.
They'll probably all end up queuing behind another freshers' meet.
The other thing I'd add is that the only part of the BMC guidelines that won't be adhered to is the blanket instruction to not go to popular venues at weekends. This is obviously good advice to instructed groups - but to limit climbing clubs to only having meets at cr*p venues is a little hars
> I'd agree, especially as there aren't that many good beginner's routes there.
There's plenty if my memory serves, you've just never given them a second glance because they're rubbish.
500 routes - which Froggatt would that be then?
> There's plenty if my memory serves, you've just never given them a second glance because they're rubbish.
Yeah, I just had a look at the UKC database for Froggat, sorted it by grade, and looked down the whole list of diff to severe stuff thinking "where's THAT?"
I thought we were going to Agden Rocher
> I'd agree, especially as there aren't that many good beginner's routes there.
Exactly - so they do "not-so-good" beginners' routes, neatly sidestepping all the hoo-hah about "groups on classic". Non-classic does not mean "crap". Beginners on a Freshers' Meet aren't there for the pure quality of the line, after all.
The only thing that has changed since last year is that Froggatt is now more eroded and polished. You do not have a right to use Crags, please remember that it is a privelidge.
The BMC guidelines apply to all groups and all users have a responsibility to minimise our impact, thats why they were written. Its a shame they are being ignored.
"Timing visits: Avoid taking groups to the most popular areas at weekends.
Group size: Ensure that your group is a manageable size. Larger groups are more difficult to control. Consider spreading large groups over a number of sites – two groups of 6–10 people may be much less intrusive than one group of 15–20."
In reply to stewieatb:
Anyone put off climbing by being taken to a less popular crag is unlikely to take to it anyway. Certainly no more so than being taken up some of the more esoteric routes at Froggatt, as is being suggested will happen.
Any if they end up top-roping/seconding 3-star classics instead, any that do then become addicted will have lost the chance of the onsight lead ;-)
BTW I'm not personally bothered that they've chosen Froggatt, I'd rather they went there that spoiling the day for those who've picked a quiet crag. But bit does rather fly in the face of what is normally considered "best practice".
Eh? Am I missing something here? Surely you don't mean the Chequers Inn do you?
Do a proper job and take the lazy bastards up to Kinder.
I was at Bosigran on Monday. So were an awful lot of marines. They took most of the routes, but there were still enough routes for other teams of Joe pubic to climb, so we all managed to work together and enjoy each other's company (in a non-biblical sense).
Despite the fact that they had taken most of the starred routes up to VS, I didn't hear anyone complain to them. Perhaps people find students a soft target and enjoy picking on them?
The two questions that always spring to mind in these threads are:
i) where are all these amazing unfrequented crags with loads of great easy routes that are highly suitable for a Freshers' meet and
ii) if you like them so much why don't you go there yourself?
And if you go to Froggatt on 25th September you're unlikely to hear anyone complain to the students.
That's what UKC is for ;-)
i) Stanage (plenty of deserted areas), Wharncliffe, Gardom's, any of the Embsay Moor crags (Crookrise etc), I expect there are even some good Lancashire crags that would be more convenient for Manchester
ii) I do :-)
Why not have a day out somewhere else? Anyone looking for peace and solitude at Stanage, Froggatt or the Roaches during September and October is deluded.
My only comment is this:
Please don't put a top rope on Heather Wall!
Last time I was at Frog a freshers TR group monopolised that route for 4hs continuously , I shit you not.
Mix it up. Get newbies to team up with leaders with a conventional leader/second setup. Don't hog routes for top roping ad nauseum.
> Eh? Am I missing something here? Surely you don't mean the Chequers Inn do you?
The garden of the CC hut.
> Eh? Am I missing something here? Surely you don't mean the Chequers Inn do you?
Yes - if needs must. Have you ever heard of buying a pint? It's a simple system that allows access to pub toilets.
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> 500 routes - which Froggatt would that be then?>
I said on the Froggatt-curbar escarpment - It's as much one crag as stanage is. 500 is a guess - maybe it's closer to 400, but there must be well over 200 routes (excluding boulder problems) on each.
No shit? Did you not read the original post?!
There are 46 VS routes on Curbar alone. Extrapolate from that
Just out of interest - do you still get Weds. afternoons off for sporting events?
Good luck with the event and ignore the moaning minnies on here - they've had fair warning and most of them probably started out on a freshers meet anyway (I know I did).
I'm deluded then. My delusion extends to actually believing that I've found the peace and solitude I was looking for.
"The only thing that has changed since last year is that Froggatt is now more eroded and polished. You do not have a right to use Crags, please remember that it is a privelidge."
Complete BS. If the polish and erosion is more notable than just last year we are real in trouble because within ten years the routes will be unreachable from the eroded ground and even if you can get to them you wont be able to climb them as they will be a mirror sheen.
"The BMC guidelines apply to all groups and all users have a responsibility to minimise our impact, thats why they were written. Its a shame they are being ignored."
From what I have seen out recently university groups are likely the lowest common denominator in this problem. What about boulderers with tops off, ghetto blasters on shouting 'yeah, crank it' 'whoooooop man' and some other such nonsense so loud on the green traverse you felt you were speaking to them at paradise wall area. Or instructors at almscliff taking groups and letting them 'abseil' all over the holds around the nationally significant bouldering to the left of the crucifx.
Can you please explain why the BMC have got it so wrong with their Guidelines ?
By groups I think they mean top roping groups, usually for professional gain who are top roping as part of a multi activity package, not because they have joined a club.
As they are not a top roping group, they fall outside the guidelines.
They do. It just takes a while. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hutton
Think positive: every time one of the freshers wears some rock off a crag they are helping build a whole new mountain.
I like how no one has picked up that the 25th is not a Sunday and is in face a Tuesday.
Think the club is going to be a Froggatt on the Sunday 30th September.
In fact wouldnt they cause more polish as they would climb more routes?
The only difference I can see is that the 50 are all going together because of transport. They wont be climbing as one group.
I've seen that too (well, not quite as bad as that).
Quite apart from the duff etiquette, that route is a fantastic early lead - such a shame for those freshers who do take to climbing to be denied the chance to onsight it (not very much) later.
I've bumped into MUMC at crags before and they seem a pretty conscientious bunch. I think its fair to say there are *far* worse Uni groups out there. None of them are likely to be sticking their heads above the parapet for comments/concerns/advice/abuse/Muppet's sanctimonious hyperbole on here.
I've got a pet theory that with issues like group use of crags, having thought seriously about the need to minimise your impact is 95% of the battle, even if you don't actually pick the perfectly optimal choices on everything. I'd far rather run into a considerate group at a slightly inappropriate venue than an inconsiderate group at a 100% BMC certified appropriate venue.
We do get wednesday afternoons off. Usually lectures finish by 1.
Didn't say there was - it was "sanctimonious hyperbole" I was attributing to you.
Would it be worth running the 2013 freshers' meet on a Weds afternoon? crags will be lots quieter then, as many of the grumpy buggers on here will be cooped up at work.
The BMC guidance re splitting groups is suggesting splitting between different crags, not lots of groups on the same crag. 15 groups is enough to monopolise most of the good easy routes for most of the day.
> The BMC guidance re splitting groups is suggesting splitting between different crags, not lots of groups on the same crag. 15 groups is enough to monopolise most of the good easy routes for most of the day.
So how do you reconcile the likely event that 15 individual parties all turn up to a crag at the same time?
Personally I don't think it is practical to split a large group amongst crags.
This would certainly solve one of the issues identified. However, there are a few reasons why it is not sensible to do this:
MUMC gets a limited amount of subsidised transport a year. The coach for the first freshers trip absorbs a sizeable proportion of that. That proportion would not change if we did the trip on a wednesday, but we would gain less climbing time for our money.
For safety, given the large number of novice climbers, it is good to have as many experienced climbers as possible. Therefore it is better to do the trip on the weekend when several postgraduate students and recent ex-members can come along who wouldn't otherwise be able too.
A midweek trip would exclude some students. Postgraduate students tend to work 9-5 if they're lucky. Some undergraduates will have labs on wednesday afternoons. It seems unfair to ask any student to give up any part of their increasingly expensive education.
Thanks for wishing us well.
> About the same as the average 'group' from sheffield under remergence wall... well, I exagerate but only by about 30%!
> In all seriousness you are right IF 50 people congregate around the great slab / sunset slab honeypots. The reason I chipped in on this is to point out that a university meet doesn't have to do this. 50 people in this setting = 10 parties... with about 500 routes along the edge to go at. There is no de-facto problem with 50 people turning up to a big venue, What matters their behaviour and the way they operate. If they instead chose to pull up in a bus at for e.g. yarncliffe less people would encounter them, but anyone who actually did want to climb there that day would definitely have their experience marred simply by those numbers no matter how they behave.
> Another observation to add: Unlike other venues with capacity in the peak, Froggatt-curbar has few real classics below severe - but plenty of little travelled routes at this grade. Unlike independent users a university club is actually likely to have teams climbing skogul, ladies buttress, sorrallion, the stuff around beech buttress etc.
Ok, I hadn't spotted you were off to Curbar as well, fair enough
I do wonder why uni groups choose mega classic venues though. And I know how it works as I was in a similar position to you at Nottingham until recently, and now with UBC in Vancouver. At Nottingham we generally didn't post freshers meets on UKC, we'd just go somewhere no one would notice us, like Wharnecliffe. And we capped at around 25, environmental considerations were part of the SU & BMC mandate and therefore ours too by proxy. It was more first come first served, than supply and demand. You are allowed to say no to people, the keen ones will come back and the majority will drift off as many of them do whether they go on a meet or not.
I know MUMC is a 'proper' club, I'm sure it'll be fine, have fun.
> The only thing that has changed since last year is that Froggatt is now more eroded and polished. You do not have a right to use Crags, please remember that it is a privelidge. (privilege)
Not all of the 15 groups just do the easy routes. We get freshers to the club of varying climbing ability and split them into groups to accomodate this. Last year on the MUMC meet my group only did one route under E1 and that was after it rained at lunchtime and almost everyone had disappeared.
I might not like large groups, (in fact, I strongly object to them), but you had the decency to post up that you'd be there, which I respect rather a lot because now I know that on that date I simply need to go to one of the other 20+ crags within a bus ride away. Cheers. :)
However as you do not engage in debate over interpretation of the guidelines, you fail to suggest suitable alternatives, you refuse to e-mail those responsible directly to discuss your concerns and you decline the invitation to go to the meet to see just how little impact this trip makes your input is beneficial to no-one.
It has been explained to you why MUMC choose Froggatt as a venue for this trip multiple times in this thread and in those in previous years, you know full well that all of your concerns are considered by the club as I have told you so in previous threads yet you still insist on posting the same tired old messages.
Next year when you feel the need to involve yourself again I hope you do so in a more constructive way.
You could bring baked goods to share with all the non students, you know in good faith and as an attempt to show them your non drunk side.
You could then even place this in you university paper, I can see the heading now "children supported by university loans do good".
P.S Sorry for any offence taken by the above message, but there is actually a good point in there.
What about non university clubs, should these be banned from popular crags if they exceed a certain number?
Easter at Bosigran was pretty bad. Loads of very shiny kit and obviously someone had told every VDiff leader that half ropes were the best and they should be clipped alternately on every route, some damn awful anchors being set up and lots of noise. But plenty of more experienced members bringing the novices into line and offering advice. Everyone starts somewhere and by the sounds of it MUMC is a great place for it.
also By descending on froggatt the following routes will have constant use, preventing the crag from use by others.
Heather Tree Wall
Top ropes on sunset slab - a friction dependent climb that gets more worn every year
And ignoring popular easier routes and taking into consideration the softness of quarried grit routes such as Slab Reccess these routes are already polished but having 50 people climbing it, mostly likely in dirty walking boots, will wear the rock more.
and so the deabtes go on and on and on, with environmental and social impact concerns. Hence BMC having policies on any large groups not just students.
Also being aware of the bmc rules but ignoring them just makes you ignorant.
Harborough rocks would be a grand location, its always quite and almost a preferred location for groups.
But best practice would be to split into very small groups and give each group a tick-list of different routes as so to spread wear and prevent hogging.
Adding to polish is a valid concern - in principle someone in a group doesn't polish the route any more than someone who's rocked up with just them and a mate, but I've seen groups where people in muddy trainers have been dragged up delicate frictiony routes that are clearly beyond them, with their feet scraping round like roadrunner. Hopefully the Manchester lot are conscientious enough to not do that, though... (if they're really organised they could get the existing members to bring along / donate their old / second shoes so the newbies can learn to use their feet properly and get a better experience out of it anyway.)
As far as hogging routes goes, a bunch of groups with a leader and seconds can't hog a route in the same way that a top-roping group can. You might have to queue for it, but they won't colonise it all day. And as has been repeatedly pointed out, they've posted about it here so if you really want a crag to yourself that day you can change your plans accordingly.
Are you half cut? You can't even get the route names right, nevermind attempt an informed argument.
Seen as how we are notifying people, my and a few friends shall be doing a girdle traverse of Froggatt, starting at dawn 25th September and probably carrying on for a bit...anybody fancy joining?
Polish on routes could become a major problem unless this type of trip is changed.
Perhaps you could have an entry requirement for the trip?
- Ask if the potential trippee knows what a smear is. Anyone who knows the answer to that might know how to place their feet.
Some people may get the wrong idea though..
How do you not understand that the MUMC does not set up top ropes or hog routes? I have been on this trip for the last 3 trips and there have never been topropes..
Harborough rocks would suck as a location as its so short it doesn't even feel like climbing and there are ONLY easy routes rather than a variety for everyone in the club.
You pee in a plastic bottle at the crag?
Thanks for letting us know.
> Harborough rocks would suck as a location as its so short it doesn't even feel like climbing and there are ONLY easy routes rather than a variety for everyone in the club.<
It's also used by diverse sector groups at varying points of the week, has friable rock, polished and could do with a break from visits! I go past daily and it does get a fair bit of attention. Its not as quiet as some may think. The damage, polish and litter has gone up over the last decade. Its one of those crags that could do with a rest tbh.
By the same note when I used to top rope I used to be at the most 3 people going up a route before moving on, we'd also stick to a bit of the crag with no one on and did most of it on weekdays. I also log "thirding" a route as top rope not second. We all have to start somewhere and as good as it is to let us know, 50 seems an overkill. I'm guessing 50 places on the bus. These days I tend to lead unless I need to get gear out for someone else.
I feel as stated earlier if it must be done maybe splitting into the smaller groups you mentioned and sending each group to different buttress's, or give each group skill level based tick lists, this would ensure routes are not over trodden on the day and that the group is spread out evenly. just a suggestion mind you. It wont bother myself too much I'll be climbing on the 23rd.
Riiiight, cos that's totally normal. Either you're missing a smiley or something more fundamental.
Do people really think these suggestions aren't already in place? For 10 years MUMC has run this trip at this venue and had no problems. Leaders are fully aware of how best to approach the day.
You will find groups of 5 spread from one end of the crag to the other.
There is no queueing for routes behind another group
There are no in-situ top ropes
Groups are organised according to experience and appropriate routes chosen
At least one person walks the entire length of the crag at the end of the trip clearing up any rubbish (I did this for 2 years in a row and not once did I pick up any recently left rubbish, it was all old)
Any other climbers present are given priority choice of routes
Aside from the heightened friendliness and clear organisation at the crag you can't tell the difference between this and any other busy day at Froggatt
Not one person in the thread who has seen this trip in action has raised any objections as they understand how much time and effort goes into its planning. That planning involves far more than a couple of sentences on an internet forum.
> Polish on routes could become a major problem unless this type of trip is changed.
> Perhaps you could have an entry requirement for the trip?
Of course. What we really need is some sort of outdoor climbing licence with a theory exam as well as 1000 hours of logged indoor leading time.
Sensitive areas (anywhere south of Newcastle) should have a limited number of places bookable only in advance and Designated Crags (ie within an hour of Shefield) should be reserved for residents only.
Why not just mark the cliff with single and double yellow lines. The council could tickets to anyone top roping during peak hours on a single yellow line or top roping or faffing at any time where there is a double yellow.
Popular routes could have double reds for no stopping. Fast soloists only!
> Have fun.
Ditto and agreed!
I thought I could resist the urge to post but this thread continues to run and run! Last year I was at Froggatt on a Saturday when a group of 50 or so from Imperial College were also there. There were no problems at all with them and we ticked several of the lower grade classics without having to move top ropes or having to queue. Sure we've all got horror stories of large groups at crags but MUMC seem to be doing their best to introduce people to climbing without causing massive problems for everyone else. Let's give them a chance - I'm sure if there's a problem we'll know about it on here by tea time the same day!
Thanks Gareth for being considerate and warning people you'll be there, and for how you're planning to manage the group size.
Thanks for posting Gareth, I know that the MUMC has always been very responsible in it's intention and always given heads up when having a meet and we have discussed the use of Froggatt before.
50 people is outside of our guidelines for a single crag - but if you utilise the whole of the escarpment from Froggatt woods to Curbar Car park then the traffic would be as per normal for a weekend. 50 at Froggatt on easy-ish routes could cause a few dark looks...
The BMC don't own the crag, but they are a stakeholder in the Eastern Moors Partnership that lease it and we have a crag management plan drawn up which does discourage the use of such large groups.
That's not to say that we are against group use, it's just that the new lease holders are in the driving seat and we have to negotiate to allow such use. Basically what I'm getting at is the old adage of "don't spoil it for the rest of us" dotage which I'm sure you understand.
The whole area is very sensitive at the moment and with other recreational users we want the profile of climbers to be one of exemplary.
Hope you have a good meet - but please make sure that each and everyone of your group has a very clear understanding of crag behaviour for respect of other parties. Most of all enjoy Froggatt - she is a queen amongst crags!
BMC Eastern Moors Access Representative
> I was at Bosigran on Monday. So were an awful lot of marines. They took most of the routes ..... Despite the fact that they had taken most of the starred routes up to VS, I didn't hear anyone complain to them?
Brilliant! It would have been great fun to watch someone try!
Anyway, in West Penwith the Marines have first dibs on everything seeing as they first climbed all their routes in big boots, out of boats and in the dark with a rifle hanging off where the chalk bag should go. Proper nails.
> 50 people is outside of our guidelines for a single crag - but if you utilise the whole of the escarpment from Froggatt woods to Curbar Car park then the traffic would be as per normal for a weekend.
I am currently arranging to have as many experienced lead climbers there as possible to minimise the size of the individual climbing parties and will make a list of less frequented climbs to target and the more popular (and polished) climbs to avoid. Any crowding issues will be avoided by climbing at Curbar also. I also thought I could take advantage of our presence by having a litter clear up so hopefully the surrounding area will be less littered when we leave.
Having read all the other posts on the thread I fell quite clear on what is required to make the day a success and hopefully allay any concerns people have expressed on the forum.
I've seen your trips several times now and although you have admirable aims things don't always work out quite as intended, as you are not 'in a bubble' (if its alright for you why is it not alright for other not quite so big clubs the same weekend...you're not seriously suggesting you've 'bagsied' the crag are you?). The fact that the problems I saw in past years were nearly all down to other users isn't helped by the additional pressure your group have put on Froggat from being there (compressing options for others and increasing the tension). Here is what I said last year and I think its still applies.
"Freshers meets happen over several weekends in early autumn at arguably the most crowded punter time to climb the classics on those crags (usually good weather and no more summer midges and yet shorter days than the spring peak). We are arguably lucky more climbers don't choose to clash with freshers meets on purpose to cause trouble (partly I'm sure due to most student clubs being well behaved and following guidelines). There is certainly plenty of friendly quality climbing on big and medium sized easy access grit crags that's great for beginners yet away from the honeypot classics (the area right of the unconquerables on Stanage being a good example). As I see it, we can all (including fresher trips) try our best to help each other by avoiding the busiest classic venues or we can join the f*ck everyone else crowd and cause conflict: I know which I think works best. BMC advice to Uni clubs was always to avoid classic honeypots with freshers meets for good reason."
I'd add that you have been lucky in a few recent years with weather... if its a rainy day the options in the less well travellled wooded areas collapse a lot more at Froggatt/Curbar than maybe elsewhere. I still dont understand why you abandoned Stanage.. the walk back to Hathersage which may be longer but is hardly an epic and has more options when you get there and there is a public toilet below the crag. Same question would apply to a trip based on the Robin Hood pub with groups at Chatsworth/Birchen/Gardoms South.
My advice is if you can't move the venue at least change your title to Curbar/Froggatt and try to make a point of avoiding any classics with beginners. Like Simon said above, the escarpment is 'under new mangement' and they are watching how things operate. Plus this isn't about compulsion, it's more about good manners as an exempler club its more on you to set the good example. Another response I made last year to someone pointing out we all have equal rights was:
"All the rights, none of the responsibilities. Firstly its rude to overcrowd popular classics with beginners (who may afterall give up climbing soon after their first trip). Secondly beginners can have poor technique and unsuitable footware and that greatly enhances erosion. So as a bit of a leftie I encourage the more socially responsible line of avoiding these routes for freshers. There is no compulsion here just guidelines. The peak is big enough to swallow all the uni groups in one day and everyone else besides."
One of my first climbs when I joined my uni club was Sunset Slab: in big boots off an unsafe belay (newish climber left with the beginners while the better climbers did their own thing). I can see how much clubs like yours have moved away from this but why not go one step further?
Stanage three weeks later. Not abandoned, just harder to get a coach up there, parked, and everyone set without inconveniencing people, particularly if it is a busy day. Trip with train cars.
Of course not bagsied crag. Just let people know might be even less the quiet spot they might be looking for.
Meeting about appropriate route choice and crag etiquette with group leaders, in the week prior to meet. This has been considered. This meeting also looks at safety.
This might be good suggestion. Some question of spreading the group out too much. Needs a look before next year.
At Huddersfield we generally head up there, Dovestones Edge has excellent easy climbing. Rob's Rock's has to be one of THE BEST beginners venues. Quality routes.
Alderman is good for the lazier elements in a group who don't fancy a short walk.
Pule Hill is excellent just around the corner for beginners with loads of short routes.
Club members who like bouldering can disappear to the Wimberry Boulders.
Those who like a ramble can stomp through some amazing countryside.
All this easily accessible from the motorways, you want bother anyone in all likelihood and the rock there is unpolished and unspoilt.
I also agree with Hardonicus's suggestion of Dovestones car park (toilets, cafe-van, pub 10 mins downhill walk from parking) or Pule Hill (two pubs, plus Nab End, Worlow Quarry, brilliant Stanadege bouldering all not far away.
Another one easy for the coach is the Surprise view carpark. Climbing on Millstone, Lawrencefild and Over Owler Tor and pubs in several directions with a walk. Lawrencefild left bay is ideal for beginners... Sheffield have an exemplary record of using this you could try and match. In the end it was never that the choice was terible it just could have been better. Your club did so much good stuff in other areas it always seemed odd to have this as a freshers venue. Despite all the chaos on the popular bits of Froggatt, the woods and Curbar far left barely had anyone there.
As a bit of advertising you could even come and talk to me and I can point out good stuff in the latest BMC guides. The BMC peak area meeting is in Glossup this Wednesday evening (we always have one every year that is more convenient for the west side of the peak) with some cheap new Moorland guides available and the, as ever, super cheap Glossop beer. That old fogey Dan Lane (soon to be Bangor Uni) is giving a photo presentation as well.
6 or 7 years ago MUMC (I was a member at the time) ran a weekend trip to that area, camping in the campsite near the pub and climbing at Birchen/Gardoms mostly. We had a great time there, but it would not be a good venue for a one day freshers trip for the simple reason that the landlord of that pub appears to hate students/young people/climbers or something like that. I've been in there since with only two others and got the same rude and unwelcoming reception we got with a larger group. It's a shame as it would otherwise be an obvious choice.
I'm pretty sure the landlord at the Robin Hood has changed as its much better now and in any case there was a 'hikers bar' and they served food and you could take the piss and build justified rightousness in your group. The landlord at The Chequers was really unfriendly to scruffy climbers for a while too. if you go back you should try Chatsworth and Dobb Edge and Gun Rock makes a fun trip for those whove done nearly everything around there.
MUMC (assuming nothing's changed) usually book a room at The Grouse for this meet where they have a decent relationship with the landlord. Really 50+ students turning up to a room, separate from your other punters, for a few hours before all being taken away by coach before they have time to cause any trouble should be a landlord's dream!
> I'm pretty sure the landlord at the Robin Hood has changed
Yeah, changed in Sep 2010.
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