Fri 16th Oct - Sun 18th Oct, 2015

Annual Dinner - Sun Inn, Coniston

Andy Stratford

Members and Guests: Peter and Gwen Walker, Colin Maddison, Mary Stuart, Roger Dyke, Neville McMillan, Michelle Harvie, Mark Garrod, Pete & Sue Hughes, Jo and Andy Stratford, Frank and Margaret Williams, Iain and Pam McCallum, Lester Payne, John Dobson, Jim Symon, Philippa Maye, Joe Flynn, Peter Johnson, Bron Edwards, John and Midge Castick, Graham and Sue Harkness, Jim and Sandy Gregson, Alan (L) Jones, Al Metelko, Phil and Francesca Hartwell, Bob Haynes, Christine Beeston, Neil Boynton, Sean Kelly

Speaker: Dave Birkett


An excellent turnout of forty members and guests for one of the social highlights of the calendar.


Various members headed up early on Friday despite the slightly poor forecast.  Dave and Bron met on Kirkstone Pass and did Stony Cove Pike and other fells in the area before decamping to the YMC hut.


Dave and Bron left the YMC then up via low water beck past Low Water followed by a Grade 2 scramble on the slabs on the side of Brim Fell then round to the Old Man onwards to Swirl How and down prison band to Swirl Hause where they met Michelle, Mark, Christine and Neil joining them over Weatherlam and down the long ridge to the YMC hut.

The lower level social walk included Jo, Mary, Phil, Francesca, Roger, Neville, John, Midge and Peter who did a round trip of around 10 miles from Coniston to the Wilson Arms at Torver for lunch then back along the lake.

After a prolonged spell of good autumn weather the Lake District crags were bone dry and with a sunny day forecast Andy & Colin decided on climbing at White Ghyll in Langdale.  In honour of our guest speaker we decided the most appropriate thing was two of his uncle, Jim Birkett’s routes: Slip Not VS 4c (FA 1947) and Haste Not VS 4c (FA 1948) plus Slab Route 2 (Severe).  Andy had never climbed at White Ghyll before and was mightily impressed with the quality of the rock – lovely clean rhyolite with both frequent and excellent gear placements.  Haste Not was a shocker for VS 4c – the traverse pitch led by Colin was very tough for a VS and felt like a lead on second.  Not a route to underestimate!  We could only shake our heads in disbelief at the first ascent by Jim Birkett in 1948 - nailed boots, wooden wedges and hemp ropes.

In the evening we all gathered at the Sun for an excellent meal from the tiny kitchen – the only issue being the length of time to get all the main courses out.  Eventually we arrived at the speeches and were treated to a classic Colin Maddison speech with several members being picked out for the own goals they had scored: Andy and his car scarring the roundabout at Crainlarich, Sandys adventures with a pulk in Norway, James Barrington attempting grade III ice climbing with no axes, Andy (again) with spectacularly insane route finding on Tremadog.  Our honoured guest, Dave Birkett was introduced and so began a series of improbable, engaging and amusing tales of on sighting E9’s, rescuing sheep, repeating E9’s, exploding sheep, climbing hard routes all over the world and more sheep!  Dave held his audience brilliantly and everyone enjoyed the talk, but perhaps the greatest joy was hearing this native Cumbrian, working lad and part time climber - one of the finest trad climbers this country has ever produced - give such a genuine, passionate and eloquent piece of advocacy for the Lakeland fells.

The raffle had the usual array of high quality prizes and raised £138 for Mountain Rescue


Andy, Jo, Colin, Mary, Phil, Francesca, John, Midge, Graham and Sue had an excellent walk up the Old Man, Brim Fell, Swirl How and prison band to Swirl Hause then back down Coppermines valley.

Lester, John Dobson and Joe did a similar route with the addition of Weatherlam at the end and Peter Johnson, swimming against the tide, did the whole route in the reverse direction.

Lots of KMC folk wandered by the YMC hut (the old KMC hut) on Irish Row to reminisce, have a look and a natter – Dave Wylie played host eventually getting out to Patterdale after lunch to walk up to and around Angle Tarn.

Many thanks to all who attended.

Andy Stratford

Meet Promo:

71st  Annual Dinner – The Sun, Coniston

The Annual Dinner brings together members, associate members and their partners from all over the UK and further afield for a social and active weekend. This year we have booked a venue and hut in the Lake District with a historic connection to the club – The Sun at Coniston and the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club hut. The Hut is situated on Irish Row in nearby Coppermines valley and the building was leased for many years as our own KMC hut before Ty Powdwr was purchased in the early seventies.


Check in from 2pm into the rooms at the Sun and social. If you want to arrive earlier to walk you can leave bags at the pub in the morning.

Buy your own food at the bar. Last food orders at 8.30pm. Choice of bar snacks or full menu.

There is also an Indian restaurant in the village serving food until at least 10pm to sit in.



Low level Walk: There will be a lower level easier walk as a social – a chance to catch up with old friends. There may be visits to one or two of the many excellent tea shops for the odd cake or two.  Meet leader tbc

Coniston fells: For those wishing to work up an appetite, we’ll do a round of the Coniston fells. Details tbc. Meet leader tbc

Climbing: This being the KMC, there will be climbing, somewhere – whatever the weather! If it’s good and dry we may be aiming for Dow Crag. if its wet then probably Wallowbarrow. Meet leader tbc

Quiz: 5.30pm to 6.30pm

6.45pm: call to dinner

7pm – 8.45 pm Dinner,

9pm – 10pm Speakers, Raffle, Awards

External Speaker and very special guest:

Lakeland climbing legend Dave Birkett


Climbing & walking details nearer the time. 

Accomodation at The Sun:

All Rooms in the Sun are no booked. There is plenty of alternative accommodation in Coniston Village or stay at the excellent YMC hut, a 25 minute walk or you can drive up the track to within 100 yards.

Dinner Only and accommodation at YMC Hut

KMC have sole use booking of the YMC hut for Friday and Saturday – I’ll take one and two night bookings at £12.50 pp pn.


Deposit £25 per person in all case.

All deposits are non-refundable.

Balance of payment:

Balance is due with your food order and in any case no later than Saturday 4th October.


Dinner is priced at £25 pp.


Tomato and Basil Soup with  warm bread (V)

Goats Cheese & Red Onion Marmalade Tartlet with rocket, sun-blushed tomato &
honey & mustard Mayo    (V)

Hot-smoked salmon on rocket with sun-blushed tomato

Ardennes pate served on a bed of lettuce with crisp bread


Chicken with Black Pudding, wholegrain mustard sauce, roasted new pots &
mixed veg.

Fish & real (home-made) chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce.

Mushroom Stroganoff, served with rice (V)

A choice of Pies:

Steak and Ale
Lamb, Pear and Ginger

or Sausages:

Venison and Cranberry,
Wild boar and apple,


Ice cream selection (Mint, vanilla, strawberry)

Raspberry fool, whipped cream, oats, whisky syrup

Sticky toffee pudding & toffee sauce & i/cream

Deb’s Bakewell Tart & Cream.

Apple Crumble & custard


Please place your order for starter, mains and dessert with Andy Stratford no later than Saturday 4th October 





Andy Stratford

Descending from the summit of the Old Man (Philip Hartwell)
Just above Torver (Philip Hartwell)
Dow Crag (Philip Hartwell)
Waterfall on the way up to the hut (Philip Hartwell)
Quarry below Walna Scar Road (Philip Hartwell)
Andy Straford - P1, Slip Knot, White Ghyll, Langdale. (Colin Maddison)
Andy amongst the overhangs on Haste Not, White Ghyll. (Colin Maddison)
Oh, there you are! Andy following pitch 2 of Haste Not. (Colin Maddison)
Andy on pitch 2 of Haste Not. (Colin Maddison)
Stretch and bridge - Andy, pitch 3 of Haste Not. (Colin Maddison)
-and bridge a bit more. (Colin Maddison)
On The Slabs, Route One, White Ghyll. (Colin Maddison)
Please give me some food Jo! - atop the Old Man, Coniston. (Colin Maddison)

Privacy Notice

Copyright © 2015 Karabiner Mountaineering Club

Karabiner Mountaineering Club