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YRC Committee. (1924) On The Hills. Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal Volume 5 Number 16: pp150-153. Leeds: YRC.

On The Hills.

Two New Lake District Climbs - Eagle's Corner, Great Napes, Great Gable, is the address of the first climb to be made on the wall of the Eagle's Nest Ridge that bounds Needle Gully on the west. The new route begins at the level of the foot of the Needle Ridge climb. While following the natural trend of the ribs and hollows the climbing is easy for three pitches, but an attractive rock tower tempts one to the left across "the grain," and the second on the rope must secure himself and party during the long run-out over difficult rocks. The inside corner that looks so useful from below deteriorates as one approaches, and becomes positively repellent at close quarters. Instead of returning, the leader moved to the left to view the exposed outer face of the square tower, and found a most engaging traverse a little higher, which would take him to an apparent chimney, if he could round the corner beneath which he was prospecting. The chimney happens to be of the best width, and after traversing the exposed vertical face on one narrow ledge for the feet and another for the hands, it can be entered by a swing on the hands, the footing giving out too soon for perfect comfort. Brown built a little cairn on the top of the tower. He climbed in boots, Beetham and the leader, Frankland, in rubbers. The crest of the Ridge is reached by typical Napes climbing (Easter, 1923)

Cam Spout Crag, Peregrine Chimney - The left buttress of Peregrine Gully has yet to be climbed along its crest, but just to the left of the crest a shallow bay, filled with bushes and shrubs and other embarrassments, narrows within 150 feet to a tall chimney; this is closed by a long steep slab, difficult of access and rather hard to climb; a short chimney follows and what appears to be an enclosing vertical wall, probably unclimbable, bars farther progress. A charmingly unexpected winding passage (almost a tunnel) leads off towards the Gully. A huge block bars the through route out of the narrow way. Although 15 feet square, the block moved horribly beneath the weight of the leader, but it settled immediately, and is pronounced safe by Addyman. The edge of Peregrine Gully is soon reached and the downward view is entrancing.

When we made our ascent the falcons were in distracting attendance, and Brown climbed out of the chimney half watching daring flying stunts performed by three peregrines. The leader was fortunate in having a front seat at this marvellous performance, complete with wing drumming and vocal effects - C. D. F.

Ross-Shire - The Editor went to the S.M.C. Meet at Easter, 1923, as the guest of J. H. B. Bell, and in warm and hazy weather had a series of most interesting expeditions in a little-visited country. There was no snow to speak of. Near Loch Maree are two remarkably fine and rough ridges of considerable length, Ben Eighe and Liathach. A full day's march to the N.E. is another very fine group, the Teallachs. There are three magnificent ranges of crag, on the Teallachs, Ben Dearg opposite, and on Ben Eighe. The first two and the lower third of the last are Torridon sandstone, forming many hopeless walls and splendid ridges, an attack on which requires plenty of time. On the upper part of Ben Eighe the Eastern Buttress is quite easy.

Very little appears to have been done on the Teallachs or on Ben Dearg, or on the numerous crags of the superb and almost unknown Fionn Loch glen. Access is hopeless after June, but as these are in the Zetland Forest it might not be impossible for a Yorkshireman to get leave to camp or to stay at a keeper's.

The S.A.C. Climbing Course At Klosters - The idea of a climbing course was received with a good deal of amusement by a large number of climbers in this country. But how is the novice to learn? No guide will give away his professional knowledge, which is often confined to his own locality, and the beginner who is taken out by a party of experts can consider himself to be exceedingly lucky.

About 15 of us, five British, a Jap, an Alsatian, a Dutchman, and some Swiss, assembled at Klosters on July 25th, 1923. The British party was under the leadership of Dr. C. Blodig, a well-known Alpine climber. The first two days were spent in the valley. In the mornings we were employed in simple rock climbing, and the afternoons were spent in theoretical and practical map reading. On the Saturday we climbed a local peak about 8,000 feet; it consisted of a long steep grass slope, with a rock arête along the top. On the Sunday we left for the Silvretta Hut, situated at about 8,000 feet and within half a mile of the glacier. Monday morning was spent in learning to cut steps on the sèracs, and in the afternoon we had some more rock scrambling. We left the hut at 3.30 a.m. on the Tuesday to climb the Silvretta. Crampons were used for practice on one rather steep snow slope. There was very heavy rain on Wednesday morning, so we had a lecture on the theory of ice and snowcraft, and also on the use of ropes under various circumstances on ice and snow. In the afternoon we went out on to the glacier and several of us were, in turn, lowered into a crevasse and pulled out, to illustrate various methods. These had on one occasion to be applied seriously.

We left again early on Thursday morning to climb the Signalhorn, about the same height as the Silvretta, 11,000 feet. Throughout both climbs instruction was given on different subjects, including map and compass work. The weather was bad again on Friday, very little work being done. We returned to Klosters on Saturday - John Wright.

The Alps - The season of 1922 appears to have been only a moderate one, but the season of 1923 was exceptionally good, in spite of a most inauspicious start. In the Alps, as in this country, the spring was decidedly inclement, in fact conditions in the High Alps are summed up as, winter till late in June, no spring, hot summer at one bound. The extremely fine hot weather lasted till the 15th August.

In 1922 A. B. Roberts had quite a successful time, ascending Petite Dent de Veisivi, Aig. de la Za, Dent Perroc with traverse to the Grande Dent de Veisivi, Mont Brûlé, Punta Nera and Punta Bianca, Grivola, Gran Serz, Gran Paradiso, and returning to Arolla in bad weather via Cols du Meiten and de la Serpentine.

Creighton, starting from Modane with Messrs. Newton, Pryor and O'Malley, traversed the Polset, Grande Casse, Tsantaleina and Tête du Ruitor to Courmayeur, thence over Col du Géant to an attempt on the Grépon.

The Editor in Dauphiné climbed Pie de la Grave, Roc Noir, Grande Ruine, Pic de Neige Cordier and Pic d' Arsine, S. Peak of Grandes Rousses, and crossed three cols.

John Wright made a couple of ascents from Engelberg.

Grohmannspitze, Fünffingerspitze,  Langkofel Eck.  © Yorkshire Ramblers' Club
Grohmannspitze, Fünffingerspitze, Langkofel Eck. (From the Sella Joch)

F. S. Smythe went to Landeck on the Arlberg line in the summer of 1922, and in the course of a year spent on power station works between Landeck and S. Anton did not fail to take full advantage of his opportunities of ski-ing and climbing. In June, 1922, with J. H. B. Bell (S.M.C.) he climbed the Langkofel-kar Spitze, the Fünffingerspitze over badly iced rocks, and further north in Austria, the Gross Venediger by the N.W. ridge, a magnificent climb.

In September he went from S. Anton to the Saumspitze and Seekopf, then into the Stubai valley, and up the Wilder Freiger with chance companions, Austrians. On the ascent of the Wilder Pfaff they were struck by the van of one of the most frightful storms which have ever visited the Alps, and though they gained a hut in safety, the party were in a starving condition when they were at last able to struggle to one where there was food.

In the winter, Smythe ascended on ski the Kaltenberg, Riffler, and other peaks of the Ferwall group from S. Anton.

In 1923, in the course of six days on ski in the Silvretta group at Easter, he bagged ten peaks, including Silvrettahorn, Piz Buin, and Fluchthorn. With Colonel Neame he left Fiesch in the Rhone valley on 21st April, returning on 4th May. In this period they experienced a succession of storms, but spent nine nights at the Concordia hut, and climbed the Mönch and Finsteraarhorn. The whole of this latter journey from and to S. Anton cost eight pounds.

"Spring is the finest time in the Alps and ski-ing at its best." In the summer, Smythe climbed the Kleine Zinne, Croda da Lago, the great rock wall of the Langkofel by the N.E. ridge, and the Zahnkofel with Dr. T. H. Somervell, then going on to the Oberland with Somervell, Brown and others, made the ascents of the Wetterhorn, Klein Schreckhorn, Eiger and traverse over Klein Eiger, Mönch, and Schreckhorn.

Tofana Di Roces, South Wall.  © Yorkshire Ramblers' Club
Tofana Di Roces, South Wall (Height between A and B, 3,300 feet.)

The Editor then joined Smythe and they had a most successful time in the Dolomites, the more interesting as they had no guide books and had to pick up information as best they could. From the Sella Joch they climbed Sella Turm III., Fünffingerspitze, and the great wall of the Langkofel Eck, then moving on to Cortina the even more impressive and intricate South Wall of Tofana di Roces. To these climbs the other two Tofanas, Sorapis, and Antelao were a great contrast, being ascended in nailed boots, and Antelao in deep snow. Severe rock climbing was again tackled on the Grohmannspitze, Winklerturm, and Murfreitturm. On the last peak the difficulty of picking out a safe route up the rotten face left them insufficient time to solve the puzzle presented by the final pitch, their only defeat.

The standard of rock climbing in the Dolomites is a very high one, but British guideless parties of experience, who are prepared to reconnoitre the mountains and to retreat the way they have come, need not hesitate to tackle the Dolomites, even the great faces. But they must realise that even in settled weather these huge walls are real mountaineering expeditions and not to be treated as Lake District expeditions, like some of the smaller pinnacles. Crepe soled boots are the best foot gear.

Creighton, after the visit to Norway with C. E. Burrow, Anderson, and Lowden, recorded elsewhere, got in ten days in the Alps, climbing the Titlis, Weiss Nollen, Eggstock, Dammastock, Galenstock, and Finsteraarhorn.

J. M. Davidson, early in July, 1923, ascended the Jungfrau from the Guggi side, and the N.W. face of the Mönch, severe climbs, with Hans Kauffmann as guide, and the Schreckhorn by the Andersen Grat.

W. V. Brown made the traverse of the Eiger and Klein Eiger to the Bergli hut and also the ascent of the Schreckhorn in his first season.

A. B. Roberts visited the Pyrenees, but his only climb was the Pie des Crabioules.

W. A. Wright's expeditions are described in this number.

C. Chubb and J. S. Crawford had a most delightful tramp in late September, going from Champéry over Col de Susanfé to Finhaut on the Chamonix mountain line, thence to Chamonix, back into Switzerland to Sion, Arolla and by Col d'Herens to Zermatt.

Anderson and Lowden followed up the expeditions from Turtegrö by an extensive walking tour in Norway.

A.M.Woodward spent a month in the Alps. Starting from Sulden, with Hans Sepp Pingerra he traversed the Vertainspitze, the Ortler (ascent by Hoch-Joch, first of the season from Sulden, and descent by Hintere Grat, on Aug. 6th), Tschengsler Hochwand (ascending by E. ridge), and the three peaks of Cevedale with descent to Pejo. From Campiglio he climbed Cima Tosa and Cima di Brenta (usual routes), and from Pontresina, with Ulrich Gras-Lendi, traversed Piz Morteratsch, ascending from Boval Hut by Speranza-Gral, and back to the same hut by usual route. This fine ridge is little known; left hut 4.12, roped at 6.0, halt 7.35-8.15, top of rocks at 1.15, summit 1.30. He was told that it had only been climbed once throughout (and about five times by keeping below central gendarmes on snow to N. side).