Wednesday, 26 March 2014


The UBES ceilidh in late February saw over 90 UBESters and friends descend on the Bristol Folk house on Park street.  The annual ceilidh has always been a UBES favourite and this year didn’t disappoint! The dances were well choreographed, with sporadic Tartan and heavy doses of UBES clumsiness thrown in.

Throughout the evening we were treated to excellent ceilidh music and calling, performed by Zero East, and Really Potcheen , who were both excellent!

Naturally we received good feedback from the Bristol Folk House, who are more than happy to host us again in the future!


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Cornwall-Terrifying Exposure

Last weekend (16th-17th March) twelve climbing Ubesters drove down to Cornwall to have a look at what the Sennen and Bosigran areas had to offer…

 Abseiling down slimy cracks to the base of the sea cliffs, prospects of decent, dry climbing conditions seemed low. Once at the bottom of the routes, hopes faded further as climbers slid all across the algae covered ground. But Ubesters are nothing if not persistent, and having got down we had to get out, so one brave climbing officer started to delicately lead a route out while the other started lessons on rope prussicing, a method of ascending ropes using tightening knots. Persistence was rewarded and the clouds opened just as the midday sun reached the west facing rocks.

The sun spent the rest of the afternoon steadily moving across the cliffs which quickly dried to the UK famed grippy granite making good climbs for all standards. Everyone made the most of the conditions; the single pitch granite was addictive and everyone climbed though the sunset to the last light making spectacular views. The day was ended in a friendly pub close to our campsite where the group did the kitchen out of fish pie in the good company of “Louis” the pub pug.

The next day, Ubsters tentatively poked heads out of tents looking for the mist which had made the sea cliffs so slimy, but conditions were looking better so we headed to the next planned stop, the muti-pitch giant, Bosigran. From the car park we walked with the previous day’s climbing excitement buzzing in the group. To reach the higher cliffs we crossed giant grey boulders and traversed the steep high hillside which turned into black cliffs and tumbled to the sea. The theme tune of lord of the rings was sung and Arthur’s tales were imagined by the more fanciful members as we took in the dramatic scenery.

 Once we reached the bottom of the climbs ropes were divided and little groups went off to try various routes. For those who had their first sea cliff granite experience, the steep gradient, exposure and height of the cliffs with the sea below made the climbs a little more exciting than expected. Grades felt more challenging and topping out was even more rewarding.
Plenty of climbs were had and everyone in the group got a lead in, particular mention goes to Zolly for leading the “Big Top” and Emily and Emily for their first outdoor leads! Everyone did really well and both areas are defiantly worth a return visit, even more so perhaps for the unexpected highlight of sighting dolphins cresting in the water which caused even more excitement on top of the climbs! The weekend was ended with a traditional stop in Macdonalds before a long drive home.

Well done to the organizers, drivers, rope washers (wet salty ropes have to be sorted by someone) and everyone for a great team energy which resulted in lots of climbing and fun for everyone.


Peaks 2 (Not quite Snowdonia)

The weekend of the 22nd Feb saw, due to adverse weather conditions, a merry band of UBESters
heading to not Snowdonia but to the dizzying heights of the Peak District. We were met with a
stunningly clear night of which its appreciation was short lived as we pitched our tents and slept for
the day ahead.

Saturday began with a cornflake breakfast out of paper cups and a short drive (for many) to the
Burbage North area where a fun filled climbing day ensued for all.

The group split into smaller four person teams
to maximise the volume of climbs done.
Climbing on gritstone involves lots of
standing on not very much and trusting the
sticky rubber on your shoes which can by a
daunting experience if not expected. For many it
was also an introduction into crack climbing – a
skill not required particularly in the Avon
Gorge but one which can be exceedingly
rewarding (despite being painful!)

As the sun started to set, we trudged back to the cars, removed our harnesses and set off for a well
earned pub dinner in Hathersage before the long drive home.
It was a good first experience of crack climbing and one, I am sure, many will wish to repeat.

Monday, 17 March 2014

A Weekend of First Aid

A post on our weekend learning first aid is long overdue, so here is a brief look at what we got up to.

Checking for Danger!!

We started the morning in MVB with a rather dramatic introduction to DR ABC.

"CHECKING FOR DANGER!" was the tag line of the morning as we explorer various aspects of first aid from the recovery position to cuts and bandages and even CPR and using a defibrillator. All this in the knowledge that we were totally safe so long as we had our trusty blue gloves on.

Clear the Airways!

On Sunday we headed out to Leighwoods and warmed up to a very choral version of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. But then it was down to Business and this time it was messy!

The first group of First-aiders were meet with mouths blocked with vegetable stew and one casualty even fired the content in the face of their aider!! Quite a shock and quite a mess!!

Then came the fake blood! This time the causalities were awake but not very cooperative and "bleeding" heavily from the hand. To add to the drama the causalities had to be as awkward as possible with the challenge of getting blood on the aider's face.

Fake Blood

We did several more activities through the morning including incident communication and dealing with spinal injuries. Our last practice though was quite a bloody affair. Poor Ben had "fallen" out of a tree and was bleeding heavily from the lower leg, with possible spinal injury and breaks. Blood was literally squirting everywhere and very one pitched in to bandage him up and secure his back. (No Bens were harmed in the making of this excise)

A big thanks must go to Adam Gent from Real First Aid for once again putting on a fantastic and very informative 2 days

Monday, 10 March 2014

Lake Bagging

Lake Bagging in Scotland at 2 degrees

After a rather dry start the 2014/15 season is finally in full swing. Get bagging those points if you want to be crowned Lake Bagging King or Queen!

To submit your Lake Bagging efforts please fill in this form.


The Rules

We are currently in season 14/15. Thus all bags done at the moment count towards this year's awards. The rules of Lake Bagging are as follows:
  1. You must be fully submerged in the lake to get one point
  2. You get double points for breaking ice or getting FULLY naked (thus x4 points if you do both)
  3. You can only bag bodies of natural water named on a 1:25,000 map, not the sea or rivers or swimming pools
  4. Only one bag per lake per season
  5. The Lake Bagging season runs from 1st October until the Saturday night of the Lakes AGM in May the following year
  6. Bonus points can be awarded for occasional heroics (committee decision final)
  7. Only Lakes bagged on official UBES Trips count
Have a look at the leader board from last year. Congratulations to Rhodri for acheiveing 22 points. Can you beat him this year?