© Yorkshire Ramblers' Club. Reproduction of this article is not permitted.
However, short extracts from it may be used, for non-commercial purposes, provided their source is fully cited, acknowledged and referenced as:
YRC Committee. (1924) Chippings. Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal Volume 5 Number 16: pp147-149. Leeds: YRC.


Mountaineering Equipment. Facing the collection of articles of food and clothing laid out for a long expedition, the climber wants a very good reason for taking the heavy ones. Camera, crampons, rubber shoes - often the cry is, "scrap the lot."

Yet, year by year, the load which well-meaning persons desire him to carry grows more monstrous. Enthusiasts commend a stove - so jolly to have hot tea or bacon and eggs on a glacier, they say. An advertiser would put a "neo-belay" in the sack. A winter sport man would have us carry or drag ski to the top. Last and latest comes a writer in Alpina who, that we may allay the anxiety of our friends, would have us add to the lot - three or four carrier pigeons in a cage!

The Club Huts Of Switzerland. A puzzling problem for the S.A.C. to-day is how to deal with the crowds of visitors who make a night at a club hut the object of an excursion, for the ideal of a refuge open at all times to all is difficult to reconcile with comfort for the mountaineer.

The statistics of the visitors are of some assistance in avoiding the most crowded places. Taken for what they are worth in a moderate season, those of 1922 indicate that plenty of room may be expected in the Valais, at the Dom, Weisshorn, Valsorey (Combin) and Saleinaz huts - in the Oberland, at the Balmhorn, Rottal (Jungfrau) and Bergli huts - in the Grisons, at the Pontaiglas, Sciora, Albigna, Jürg Jevatsch, and Lenta huts, while you may expect to sleep outside the two Orny huts in the Valais, the Doldenhorn, Blumlisalp, and Guggi huts in the Oberland, and half a dozen others elsewhere.

Industrial Smoke In The Alps. Dreams of a clearer and brighter future for the manufacturing areas of this country are rudely dispelled by a journey to Dauphiné. We have grown accustomed to hearing of electricity as an agent of reform, and to count those countries fortunate which dispose of unlimited waterpower. Pittsburg, we are told and do not believe, is a clean city, though it is in the steel trade.

In the magnificent valley of the Romanche, 25 miles below La Grave, have been established steel works using electricity derived from water-power, apparently also producing carbide. The volumes of smoke out-rival the worst sights in the West Riding, and the effect is perceptible at immense distances.

According to the French magazines, the establishment of such works is proceeding apace, and the imagination is staggered by the possibility of a view from Mont Blanc in which the French Alps are obscured by yellowish smoke haze.

A Y.R.C. engineer remarks "after all, in many cases electricity is adopted as the cheapest method of applying heat in furnaces, and therefore naturally is no solution of the smoke problem."

Lead Miners' Terms, Greenhow Hill. There is in the Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, Part XXIV., 1923, a glossary of much interest, by Mr. H. J. L. Bruff. It includes particular applications of ordinary words, mining terms fairly well known, terms adopted in geology, and common dialect words like "slape" and "knap," as well as much less known words of interest to cave-men and trampers. We select the following -

cow or coe, the very finest crushed lead ore.
dowk, a mixture of sand and clay which will run when wet, occurs mostly in "lough-holes."
glut, stone or timber jammed in a shaft.
gor, sticky, dirty clay.
swirl-hole, a round hole in the rock formed by water, not containing clay. Filled with clay it is called a lough-hole.
hazards, last year's peats.
hoobs, stroobs, boockets. In peat graving the first spade cuts bring up hoobs, the second stroobs, the third boockets.
hush or hoosh, hollow forrned by water dammed up and flooded down to bare the rock. Hushing is now illegal.
kile, wedge.
shirley, brittle.
slifler, vein worked in daylight, a great gash in the hillside.
old man, earlier miner, old working.
shockles or shoggles, stalactites and stalagmites. (At last we have the English for these!)

It is clear that in the old days the picked ore was put into leather bags and dragged out by boys through the narrow winding drifts, as in the early coal mining.

Pennine Peat. It is usually supposed that Bog Moss (Sphagnum) is the principal agent in the formation of peat. But an article in the Naturalist, referring to the investigation of peat moors by the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union, states that our Pennine hill peat has a very simple history and is mainly due to the singleheaded Cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum). Sphagnum peat is rare on the Pennine moors. Heather covered peat is retrogressive. Elgee, in his Moorlands of N.E. Yorkshire, clearly agrees with these views, but considers Sphagnum the principal agent in the district with which he deals.

Somerset. No. 3 of the Proceedings of the Bristol Speleological Society contains a plan and section of Goatchurch Cavern in the Mendips, with a short account. Goatchurch seems to be about 200 yards long.

There is also a map of Bristol and neighbourhood, recording the positions of the 20 small caves of which Mr. Tratman gives brief details.

Record Breaking. We fear Mr. Eustace Thomas's great walk in the Lake District is responsible for the round of the Three Peaks in six hours. Schedule to the next comer on application.

Everest Expedition. The Everest climbing party of 1924 includes J. V. Hazard, well known to us as a climber and pot-holer. His expeditions, underground and above, between 1908 and early 1914 were made under the banner of the Y.R.C., of which he was a member until he went out to Nigeria. He has just recently returned from India, and is as fit and as fast as ever. Good luck!

An Aurora At 48°. "Sailing over Lake Superior on Sunday night, I saw the most gorgeous display of Northern Lights. At first I thought it was the afterglow of the sunset, and then it struck me it must be the Aurora Borealis. It was a pitch-black sky with twinkling stars, a velvet sky it seemed, and on it was this glorious glow. In the centre was a sort of half-oval of soot-black foreground; behind this, as if giant ships were there, appeared first a mass of whitey-silver wool and from this, giant search lights sprang, some shorter than others, but one or two in the centre of the oval stretching up beyond my field of vision. All the water for halfway between the horizon and the ship was faintly tinged with the reflected glow. It was a wonderful sight and not to be forgotten. I think it mostly occurs in the beginning of autumn, so I was lucky to see it." [From a letter to our Hon. Librarian from his daughter.-Ed.]

Illustrations. The block for the illustration, Gaping Ghyll Main Chamber, in Y.R.C.J., No. 15, was very kindly lent us by Holden.

We are indebted to the late Mr. A. A. Scott, President of the Gritstone Club, for permision to reproduce the photograph of the fall of the water from Diccan Pot into the bottom chamber of Alum Pot (page 124).

Reviews. Owing to lack of space, we are unavoidably compelled to hold over all reviews of books and journals.