[CCMC] Churchill College Mountaineering Club

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James feet in the Alps, 2001! (they smelt of camembert, honest!)
James feet in the Alps, 2001! (they smelt of camembert, honest!)

favicon Welcome to CCMC! favicon

CCMC is the Churchill College equivalent of the Cambridge University Mountaineering Club.

I'm currently working with Jack Ogden to get this society back on its feet firmly again. We have a cupboard full of pretty good gear, a sound knowledge of climbing and mountaineering and judging by the Facebook group, there are definitely enough people interested. Whilst the website is currently quite outdated, it is definitely worth a read.

So take a look around and get enthused (I'm already planning a trip to Fontainebleau in France this summer and I'd love people to drop in and join me if they're keen).

Will Reynolds xXx

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CCMC Version 2.0

Posted 24 Mar 2012 by Will Reynolds

At matriculation dinner in the first week at Cambridge, I discovered that there used to be a VERY active mountaineering group at Churchill (ice climbing, winter Caringorm trips, excursions to the alps, car drives to Stanage bouldering and luxurious Fontainebleau visits).

Having been a very keen mountaineer in my time before Cambridge, I was keen to set something up. After chatting with Jack Ogden and a few Kelsey Kerridge climbing trips later, we've decided to ressurect the old warhorse which was and hopefully is CCMC.

As I see it currently, the group's activities should consist of:
- Regular trips to Kelsey Kerridge Wall (followed by a cheeky pint)
- Summer climbing trips (UK or France (Fontianebleau bouldering KEEN!))
- Winter trips to the Scottish highlands

I would also like to start to put in motion some more grand plans of a summer expedition to an exotic location. I'd love to take a group out to Ecuador, visit the rainforest and climb Cotopaxi, but this is a pipe dream at the moment.

Come along if that sounds like fun and if you're keen on organising anything, then there are definitely spaces on the committee (I don't understand what some of the positions even mean :s).


CCMC Old Lags show you young 'uns a thing or two with cracking Norway action

Posted 05 Mar 2007 by Tom Whipple

Some people climb to push the limits of their body, some to understand the strength of their mind. Some climb for that exquisite moment between fear and success, others for the transcendent beauty found at the boundaries of human civilisation.

Those people are wankers.

Anyone halfway sensible climbs so they can get hardcore photos to impress their mates, and so they can walk around the supermarket afterwards with rugged-looking gear jangling impressively off their waist. For the latter category (and quite plausibly the former), ice climbing has it all.

So with global warming threatening to turn Aviemore into a slightly hillier version of Magaluf, CCMC’s illustrious alumni migrated this year to Rjukan. Rjukan is justly famous for its frozen water but is even more famous for its heavy water – the Nazi nuclear plant was destroyed by the Heroes of the Telemark resistance fighters; the only fact anyone can remember about Norwegian actions in World War II and thus the primary source of an entire nation’s self-esteem.

CCMC’s own Heroes of the Telemark were Andy Buckley (he was old when I joined Churchill and hasn’t got any younger), James Tedd (he was hairy and smelly when I joined Churchill and hasn’t got any less hairy or smelly), Hardcore Dave (he was hardcore when I…you get the message), Alasdair Young, Me (Tom Whipple) and James Dynes (who is plausibly the only one most of you know).

It is fully five years since James Tedd first saw a Ukrainian man walking round a Chamonix campsite selling climbing equipment stamped “USSR”, and in all that time we had never had cause to try out the “barely used, bargain, touched by lucky heather” Red Army ice screws he purchased from the nice gypsy. So we were all keen for some hardcore ice action.

Hardcore ice action whilst climbing with someone called Hardcore Dave presents difficulties however, in that he inevitably makes you feel less hardcore. If we’re honest we weren’t hardcore, and we know that because the only people climbing the same routes as us were Brits. But it is still a happy deception if you can convince yourself otherwise.

A deception that is cruelly shattered by climbing with a man built like a triangle who can do one-arm pull-ups. Thankfully our self-worth was bolstered by the knowledge that Dave is cursed with an affliction whereby he only finds girls attractive if they are twice his body weight and unable to walk. Yes, Dave is a Feeder.

The problem with Norway in comparison to Scotland though is that it takes a day and a half to get there. The advantages, we soon discovered, are a) it’s actually cold, b) the locals speak better English and c) there is no walk-in. That’s right – there wasn’t a single route less than half an hour from the road. One particularly amenable single pitch involved turning up after dark, shining the car headlights at the waterfall and shinning up whilst passing cars took your photo. Ace.

But single pitches are not what a good CCMC trip is about. A good CCMC trip, at least in my day, was about setting off for an easy multi-pitch, taking three times as long as the guidebook says you should, convincing yourself this is because the guidebook is crap rather than you are, then abseiling down in the dark. In those respects as well, Norway did not disappoint.

Many was the evening we would stagger in four hours after dark (let’s forget for the purposes of storytelling that it got dark at four pm), drink a god-awful Norwegian spirit called Gameldansk, and compare notes about suspiciously hard routes.

“The book said it was grade two, but I reckon it was easily four,” I would say hopefully, and not a little delusionally. “That’s nothing,” James Dynes would retort, “remember those strange ice-flutings Joe Simpson described on that Peruvian mountain? Yeah well our route was like that, but more overhanging. And with Nazis shooting at us.” Sometimes, if he was feeling talkative, Hardcore Dave might nod.

And so we filled our evenings until, tiring of our Oscar Wilde-esque banter and realising it was well past 10pm, we went to bed.

Our summer holidays - Portland 2006

Posted 24 Jun 2006 by Alvvviiiiiiiinnnnn

So we decided against the Alps, Sardinia and the Dolomites in favour of some good old British sun in Portland. It was great to see so many people turn up over the week and we had an awesome time. Camping at Lulworth for most of the week we also got some DWS done in the evenings, although mostly just fell off before we got anywhere, and the sea definitely wasnt cold.

We got 1 day in on Portland at The Cuttings which despite being 400m from the road took us over an hour to find. We then got rained off for 2 days so we minced around, drank beer, sang happy birthday to Dynes and went swimming/attempted DWS. We also took a CCMC outing to SeaLife in Weymouth, where we found the CCMC mascot for the week: a terapin that, despite several attempts could not climb onto a log, and just fell off onto its back. Comedy.

The sun then reappeared and we ventured to the other side of Portland for 3 suberb days of climbing. It was too hot to cram routes in, but we still got a lot done in the end. Me and Dynes managed to push up into the high 6's while I think everyone was happy to have pushed their climbing and nerves.

I know that only adds up to 6 days and I have no idea what else we did, but sure it was good! It was good to see Matt perfecting his teapot stance throughout the week, GG proving to CCMC that he does actually climb occasionally, and Joe enjoying falling about 10m and pretty much bottoming out (well done for getting back on the rock 2 days later too with a knackered elbow!) Also, a special mention must be made to Harisson, the only way to make sure everyone appears from their tent at 8am in the worst possible mood.

All in all a good end to being Mr President. :) The photos are now online too.

Cheeky day at Rivelin

Posted 04 Apr 2006 by James

Despite the "changeable" weather forecast we decided to head up to the Peaks for a day. On the way up we were greeted with heavy rain, but when we reached the Peaks it had all but cleared up. We met up with Matt and his bro Jon at Outside for a fry up and a pint of tea. Then headed over to High Neb

High Neb was a little windy, especially on the top, and we only got a couple of routes in before the rain came and we got drenched. After this we decided to find a more sheltered crag, and headed over to Rivelin - just as Dave arrived on his MTB.

Rivelin was more sheltered and we found some dry faces to climb. Nic and Joe went off to climb some VDiffs while Al, Dave and me played on The Needle with Al leading The Spiral (VS). Towards the end of the day I led an HVS up The Needle and then got drenched while belaying Dave up it - Dave loved the slabby climbing in the rain too. After that we decided the rock wasn't going to dry for a while so headed home.

All in all a good day out with quite a few routes climbed, and with Joe and Nic pushing their grade to VDiff. Photos here.

Stanage, with all our friends..

Posted 04 Mar 2006 by Matt

I'd like to point out that I Definitly wasn't wasted for pav on friday night, and so somehow Definitly didn't miss my alarm clock going off for 50 mins.. but after a late start we finally got on the way. Heading into the peaks the ground started to get frosty and eventually full on snowy.. But we were all feeling hardcore!

We stopped off at the gear shop in Hathersage and purchased a lot of shiny new stuff as well as having the mandatory Pint of tea, and finally got to the crag to find it completely deserted (as far as the eye could see anyway) due mainly to the blizzard they had had the night before. The sun was shining so we got climbing. Paul led some VDiffs then moved onto Severes, as did I and we both seconded our first VS! Exciting stuff. Selene and Anna were both angels, seconding most of our routes, and Selene invented a new technique.. the Spider manoeuver!!

Alvin, being the wally he is, consistently annoyed Paul by soloing up every route he had just led, before completely pumping himself out trying (and so very nearly succeeding) on leading an E1 5b called Jeepers Creepers! See the pics section..

All in all a classic day climbing, said by all to be easily the best and most enjoyable days climbing they'd ever had!

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