February 1999


Darren is coming home at last! He s got a lectureship at Southampton Uni and will be coming back from Japan in late March, ready to start his new job on April 1st. We ll probably see him on the Dartmoor trip at Easter (details of which later).

You may have noticed Mark H., Chris T. and Tim s absence from the New Year trip - this was because they were in Nepal at the time. Here s an item from Mark H.:

As some of you know Chris T, Tim and myself went trekking in the Everest Region over Christmas and New Year. Postcards have been sent and hopefully you should get them in the next few months as the postal service seems to be as efficient as the airlines. We had delays on every flight we took but that was the only major problem although Tim was a little ill. We had an excellent few weeks, mainly trekking with some rafting and sightseeing and a beer or two. We have loads of mountain photos to bore you all with on the next trip including some good ones of Everest.

Recent events

The most recent "dirty weekend", in Surrey at the end of September, was spent bark-stripping and scrub-bashing. We stripped the bark off sweet chestnut logs so that they wouldn t rot so quickly when used for fencing etc., and the scrub-bashing was to restore a village green to its former glory and stop people from dumping rubbish there.

The SHOT weekend in Snowdonia in early October was one of the wettest yet, so about half the group decamped en masse to Pete s Eats in Llanberis before exploring the slate quarries and/or the hydroelectric power station inside the mountain. I may be wrong, but I m not sure that anyone made it to the top of a mountain. Swallow Falls were spectacular though!

As most of you are probably aware, the Christmas dinner for 1998 was in a rather more exotic location than the 1997 one: Paris! Fourteen people managed to attend, and took over most of a tiny restaurant called Le Relais de L Isle on L Ile St Louis, just behind Notre Dame. A very good meal, although half the group almost didn t make it - they hadn t listened to the directions and then grossly underestimated how long it would take to walk from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame!

Our most recent event was the New Year trip, organised (and expertly delegated!) by Mr. Ashton. We stayed in a very comfortable hostel right in the middle of Grantown-on-Spey, about 15 miles north of Aviemore. Those who were hoping to spend the week skiing were disappointed, as it was a relatively mild week and most of the snow melted after the first day, but other than that it was an excellent trip. The fancy dress theme for Hogmanay was science fiction, so we had a few Dr. Who characters (Cybermen and Daleks), a few Star Wars characters (Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Darth Vader), a couple of Arthur Dents and a Slartibartfast (from the Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy), and about a dozen Star Trek characters. See the website for photos, and I apologise if I ve missed anyone off the list! At midnight the entire town congregated in the square right outside our hostel, where there was ceilidh music and a pipe and drum band. Definitely a place to go back to!

Forthcoming events

It looks like being an action-packed year!

The next SHOT trip is on the weekend of March 12th-14th and is to Kirkby Stephen in East Cumbria, close to North Yorkshire and County Durham. There are 35 beds, including some family rooms, so bring your friends and relatives along! I m not sure of the price but it should be around the usual level: 7-ish per person per night. As usual, a 5 deposit to Gus secures a bed.

The Independent Travellers World Exhibition is taking place at Manchester GMEX on the weekend 6/7 March. Penny is planning to attend and if anyone would like to come along and meet for lunch/dinner then get in touch with her on 01332 752930 or pweal@hotmail.com.

Chris Turton is taking advantage of the fact that his birthday (1st April) almost falls on Easter weekend, to organise a long weekend trip to Dartmoor. We re staying at the Dartmoor Expedition Centre, Widecombe, right on the moor and just up from Dartmeet. It s run by an outdoorsy bloke called John Earl and has facilities for football, table tennis, volleyball, canoeing - and a ropes assault course. We might also get a slideshow on John s mountaineering exploits. The trip is 1st-5th April - arriving on the evening of Maundy Thursday and leaving on Easter Monday - and costs 6.50 per night. There are 35 beds, and a 5 deposit to Chris secures a place.

There are rumours that Rachael H. is organising a "Welsh 3000" trip over May Day weekend. Contact Rachael direct for further details.

Pete Gilder is planning a mountain biking weekend in the Peak District for sometime between mid-May and mid-June. Walkers will be welcome too, of course. Further details from Pete.

I haven t yet booked a National Trust basecamp for the May dirty weekend, but as it now looks as if I am still going to be in the country then, I ll try to get something organised. Let me know if you re interested in coming along.

Mashy is plaaning a weekend trip of some description for his 30th birthday (weekend of 3rd July) but he hasn t yet decided what form it s going to take. It might also be combined with a year-late 30th birthday do for Chris H! Watch this space (or contact Mike direct) for an update.

The Autumn SHOT trip is 1st-3rd October and is to Litton Cheney Youth Hostel, 4 miles from the Dorset coast. There are 24 beds available on this one, but no family rooms I m afraid.

Chris Turton has taken on the organisation of the 1999 Christmas dinner, and it has to be booked RIGHT NOW! The reason? 1997 Salford, 1998 Paris, 1999 New York! The plan is as follows: if we go over either the last weekend in November or the first weekend in December, flying out with BA on the Thursday from Manchester and returning on the Tuesday morning, the flights should cost around 200 per person. Nothing has been done yet about arranging accommodation; please contact Chris if you know of any suitable backpackers -type accommodation in New York. Restaurant suggestions would also be welcomed. Chris needs to know ASAP who is interested - and a 75 deposit per person is required - so that he can make a group booking by the end of February. So if you want to go along, get your deposit to him by Feb. 20th so that he has time to make the booking.

The New Year trip this year is to Braemar and is organised by Dave Steed. There are 26 beds (I think) and they re all taken already - but I believe there is potential for camping if you re up to it!

One more event to inform you of: Chris McCarthy proposes a SHOT ski trip for week commencing 5th February 2000. It s about 4-5 weeks after the Christmas break, so it misses the school holidays. The idea is to stay in a fully-catered chalet for a week, probably in France because then you can travel by snow train. Chris says this would save you 20 over flying, and would allow an extra 1 -2 days skiing - although of course you will have to get down to the South-East first. Driving is another alternative which would probably save around 100 per person. Contact Chris if you re interested.

Other items

On the address list:

- After informing you in the last newsletter of my change of telephone number, I now have to tell you that it s changed back again to what it was before: 0121 608 4745 (Ionica went out of business).

- Please check your own details on the address list and let me know of any updates/corrections which aren t already included.

- It s been suggested that we include a birthday list. Shouldn t need updating as often as the addresses do! Any comments? Do we want to disclose ages, or just dates?

Mark H. has just added some more updates to the website (including photos from Paris and New Year) and has would like to invite your input and comments. Do you like the website? How could it be improved? Do you have any photos that you d like him to include? The site recently went missing off all the search engines databases, but this has now been remedied.

You may be interested to note that SUHC also now has its own website, which proudly proclaims that the club has been going for ten years! We ve e-mailed their webmaster to let him know that the club has been around for a bit longer than that! The site is at http://salfordunihikingclub.future.easyspace.com/frames.htm

My trip to Japan is still on the cards, but I should be staying in this country until July. My interview for the JET programme was last week, and I ll get the result at the end of March. If I m accepted then I ll be going out to Japan in mid-/late July; if not then I ll try to find an alternative teaching job. Thanks to those of you who have offered to help with the newsletter, subs collection etc. Penny will be helping me as from the next edition of the newsletter. I hope to have some kind of leaving do before I depart, but there s so much happening already this year that it hardly seems worth organising yet another trip! If I do end up doing anything then details will be in the May newsletter.

Have a great 1999,

See you soon,


Participation in the Club s activities shall only be open to individuals who recognise that hiking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants shall be aware of and accept these risks and agree to be responsible for their own actions and involvement.