The Guildford Mountaineering Club
If you're looking for people to climb with, then the Guildford Mountaineering Club could be for you.

Firstly I need to read you an update from Mark who is standing down as membership sec.

“Apologies all for not being able to be with you this evening.It’s been a healthy club membership for 2018 with a total membership no. of 94 made up of:

Full – 52

Affiliate – 6

Intro – 11

Life – 3

Guest – 22

Membership fees set to stay the same for 2019! – Yay

It’s been a pleasure to be your membership secretary of the past few years – it’s over to someone new now – treat them kindly.”

So – Thanks for that Mark!! Now on to my commentary on the past year.

As a start to the Chairman’s Report its Traditional to review the years meets, so I’ll do that…..

Looking at the published calendar I think there is some considerable variance between the plan and the reality. But as a famous general once said “ no plan survives contact with the enemy “ so I guess we’ve modified the plan to suit ourselves during 2018 and that’s only right. We want people to be doing the climbing they want to do!!!

Planned Scottish hut meet didn’t happen but several Scottish winter trips did:

Roger & Paul D had an exciting time avoiding avalanche conditions

Paul S and Tom went to The Ben during the visit from “The Beast from the East”

Paul S and Coups returned to the CIC and enjoyed best Scottish winter weeks climbing I can remember in a decade!

Early Spring saw Hot Rock 1 – The Thailand trip where Tim, Jenny, Amanda and others, had a great time despite Montezuma’s Revenge and the sickness diaries….lovely reading!

Jen & Coups and others visited N Wales

The Peaks weekend in April was well attended for a meet that time of year, showing early enthusiasm for UK Trad.

Mid May saw the official or unofficial Two Man trip to Font, whilst technically inaccurate as a title I say Two Man because only Tim and A-man-da signed up for GMC… but they met others there and had a great time among the forests and boulders south of Paris.

Early June we had an unfortunate reminder that climbing remains a risk sport when Tris and I had to call on most of the emergency services in S Wales following a bad fall. Luckily Coastguard and Lifeboat services haven’t been decimated too badly in this cash strapped era and they managed to get Tris out and into hospital through what they described as “the most difficult extraction they’ve ever done in Pembroke“ !

Later in June the Summer BBQ trip to Wye valley drew a large crowd, great weather and slightly burnt around the fringes but edible food. This meet also saw the first use of the new GMC Event Shelter AKA “the Pleasure Dome”. Let’s hope it gets many more outings in 2019 and beyond.

I guess it was July that Tim and Liz undertook an epic walk/scramble across the 180km GR20 in Corsica, followed by the equally epic three part trip report! Great reading and inspirational stuff which Tim then followed up with a slide show!

The Summer Snowdonia meet was a first and not just because there were more women than men on the trip but, and this is awesome, it’s the only time I can remember any meet getting two trip reports! Just like busses you wait ages then two come along at once…

The Autumn Western Peaks Meet in Oct was a low turnout, but Paul and Liz had a great time on the grit classics!

For many in the club the main late season meet was the hit Hot Rock 2 trip to Kalymnos in Greece, a veritable climbing paradise. For me it was a treat to be going climbing somewhere I’d never visited before, and even better to have most of the arrangements and decisions made by others, so thanks Richard and Lindsay for organising that! But for me the best thing about the trip was to see Tris back at full strength following his recovery from the accident earlier in the year!

Most recently, many of you have enjoyed the Xmas meet at the Chamois hut in Snowdonia. The people I’ve spoken to have all had positive things to say about everything but the weather, so thanks to Tim for sorting the hut and Martin for organising the food and meal on Saturday night. Sorry I couldn’t be there!

So, now a quick review of other highlights from 2018

Dan Mazur visited to speak on his Charitable and Greater Ranges climbing exploits
The GMC Photo Comp again attracted strong competition and opinion
Bring and Buy Sale – we should do another soon focussed perhaps on a winter gear sale and the auction of some climbing books recently donated to the GMC
Web Upgrades & GDPR. Snore worthy but important for us and your data security
Quiz night
Slide show and curry night
Dawn Wall film outing to the cinema
Film eve in Nov

I’d like to thank everyone involved in organising and planning any and all of these activities, the club is run by its members for its members and it is only through this community volunteer activity that things get done!

So with that in mind – an appeal……..

Please can we have more ideas for socials, trips, meets, more photos for web, more trip reports for web etc etc. We’re all busy but we’re a successful and active club and we can make ourselves stand out a bit more. Speaking of Standing Out, I hope you like the new T-shirts – thanks Paul N for his help with these. My objective is to have a more visible presence at Craggy and other walls to help position the club in the local climbing community and so attract additional interested members to the GMC.

I’d like to share some ideas/options the committee has:

We are suggesting a new meets management approach i.e. Meet Sec organises the framework of the meets calendar and personally runs or organises some of the meets, but additionally a number of membership volunteer meet leaders run various other meets throughout the year to areas they know well or are interested to visit. I’ve done it for ice trips and Scottish meets and others similarly have done the same elsewhere – it’s not too onerous, so hopefully we will have some willing victims…. I mean volunteers!

We are suggesting that this season we organise some pop-up day meets / wall meets to help get us together and stay fit through the winter weather.

We also plan to organise some “How to” / “how not to” evenings, not “official training“ but knowledge sharing. We can focus these on the needs of members as we approach certain types of meet (ie Winter Skills, Sea Cliff essentials, Crevasse etc.)

I also think we should perhaps shift club nights around, first Monday at the Waterside and first Wednesday at Craggy and the pub are too close together in my opinion.

Thanks bar staff:






Box of chocolates each so that’s their Christmas sorted!!

Thanks to the committee

Firstly for those standing down at the AGM I’d like to express my thanks for their contributions throughout their time in office:

Tim as Meets Sec

Mark as Members Sec

Anthony as Committee Sec

Lee as Social Sec.

Box of chocolates each, so they’re sorted too…

Those remaining available for re-election are:

Jonathan as Treasurer


And the IT team of Paul and Andy on the Web platform which remains a key facility of the club and also our face to the prospective membership

Ironically for these remaining committee members it’s just a resounding “THANKS” from me and for them and everyone I’ve already mentioned this thunderous round of applause!!!

Thanks for listening, Paul


The club always welcomes new members and joining the club is easy. Just follow the three steps below, and remember you are always welcome to come down on a Monday night to Craggy Island or the clubhouse and say hello.

First off is to register as a guest on the website, all we need is your email address. This allows you access to the members part of the website where you can see the meets list and other events coming up in the future. Most importantly, you will receive regularly updates on what is going on and how to get involved.

When you see a meet on the list that is of interest and wish to take things further then we will need you to fill in an application form and part with £20 if joining between January and June, or £10 if joining between July and December. It would be better here if you came down to Craggy Island on a Monday between 7pm and 9pm, where there will be members climbing each week. Or come along to socialise at the clubhouse after for a drink on the first Monday of the month. This means that we can meet you in person and answer any other questions you may have..

Finally, after attending two meets, so that we know you are safe, you will invited by the committee to become a full member. You will then need to pay the outstanding balance of £35 minus the introductory fee. All membership levels run from 1st Jan to 31st December.

There’ll be someone at the clubhouse on the Monday meet evening, from 8-10pm, but check the Club Calendar first. On other Mondays, it is possible to meet at Craggy Island for our weekly climbing sessions.

Climbing in Scotland

If you’re looking for people to climb with, then the GMC could be for you. There are many benefits to joining, and here is a selection…

Regular Monday Night Climbing at Craggy Island Guildford
You can turn up any Monday evening at Craggy Island Guildford and be assured of finding someone to climb with. These sessions will help you get to know other members and discuss upcoming meets.

Get outside loads without ruining your bank balance
You can afford to get away more often because we share cars and petrol costs, and stay at cheap campsites or mountaineering huts, wherever possible.

Are you experienced?
If not then there’s no better way to get better. Although we can’t teach you the absolute basics, you’ll find plenty of people in the club willing to share their years of experience and offer help and advice. You’ll also get to climb in loads of different areas – places you might never have thought of as climbing venues. We’ll show you the good climbs, the good campsites, the good pubs.

You are experienced!
Great – you’ll find loads of like-minded people who like a challenge, as well as a bit of fun. There are people climbing at all levels (within reason!) so whether you lead E2 or Severe you’ll find someone to climb with.

Social and hut meets
As well as our regular weekend meets, we also have some annual social meets: such as at Christmas when we cook a big feast after a after a day on hill and have a party; and a barbecue meet when we hope the rain stays away long enough for us to get the BBQ fired up…

Our own clubhouse
Having the use of the clubhouse on a Monday night means we have our own bar and can hold things like slide shows. It also means prospective new members can come along and be assured of meeting club members – rather than having to go into a bar full of people and play at ‘spot the climbers’. We also have a small library of guidebooks in the clubhouse, which are for the use of members.

Cheaper gear
In addition to the 10-15% that most outdoor equipment shops will give you for BMC membership, a number of outlets give an extra discount to GMC members (e.g. 20% at Cicerone, et al!). Members also get a discount on entry to local climbing walls (i.e. Craggy Island and Surrey Sports Park).

Third party insurance
As a member of the club you will become an affiliated member of the British Mountaineering Council, which includes third party liability insurance.

Perfect winter conditions on Tryfan, Snowdonia


We are an active and welcoming club that consists of members who enjoy rock climbing and mountaineering . We have members, both female and male, with ages ranging from 20 to over 60 – i.e. we’re not all Chris Bonnington look-a-likes! We have fortnightly meets to locations all over the UK, from Cornwall to the Cairngorms, as well as trips abroad to areas such as Fontainebleau, Spain and the Alps (see the Gallery section for photos of recent trips).

Mountaineering involves many forms of climbing – from technical ‘cragging’ to front-pointing up a frozen waterfall – and at the GMC, we practise them all. Whether it’s a day of climbing single-pitch routes at a sunny crag or tackling snow and ice between alpine huts, GMC members are out there doing it.

Day out in the mountains

More locally, the club has a weekly climbing session at Craggy island Guildford on a Monday night between 7pm and 9pm as well as at the Waterside Centre in Guildford the first Monday night of the month, where, as well as enjoying a beer (the centre has a licensed bar), we finalise details for the forthcoming trip (i.e. accommodation, travel arrangements, etc.). Feel free to come down one evening to say hello. The dates and locations for meets are planned well in advance to enable people to decide which trips they can attend. Members usually share transport and we stay mostly on campsites in summer and in mountaineering club huts in the winter.

We are a British Mountaineering Club (BMC) affiliated club which means members automatically are part of the BMC. This gives you third party insurance, a copy of their Summit magazine and access to their superb travel insurance.

Our constitution sets out our objectives “to encourage the pursuit of Mountaineering in all its branches, and in particular to organise for the benefit of its members a) outdoor meets for the practice of mountaineering and b) lectures and discussions on mountaineering subjects”. In 2013 we celebrated our 40th year of doing this and look forward to continuing this for many more to come.

We welcome all climbers and mountaineers. If you’re new to climbing we can give you your first climbing experience and even have a small amount of equipment to lend you for your first few club meets. However, the club does not set out to train people to climb – very few of its members have any formal qualification in this and the club does not have the legal status and insurances to do it – and, so, if you haven’t climbed before, it is recommended that you attend a suitable course to give a good grounding in the basic skills. 

If this is the case, we can point you in the right direction. You might want a short course to learn the basics so you can climb at an indoor wall (both of Guildford’s climbing walls – Craggy Island and Surrey Sports Park and Surbiton’s White Spider – offer courses) or for those who wish to lead outdoors, a residential course at Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre in Snowdonia. Plas y Brenin, and Glenmore Lodge the Scottish counterpart, also offer winter walking and mountaineering courses for those who want to learn how to use crampons and ice axes and go out in the white stuff.

As soon as you know the basics (e.g. how to belay), the club provides the perfect environment to put your new skills to work while learning from those around you. There is a great tradition in the club of more experienced members helping newcomers to improve their climbing. However, it should be noted that the ethos of the club is that of a group of friends taking on shared responsibility, and so it is important that new members recognise the risks they are undertaking, and feel comfortable in assessing these for themselves.

Struggling up in less than ideal conditions!

Here are some answers to questions we are frequently asked…

Q. I’m a walker/hiker/rambler rather than climber, is this the club for me?

A. The primary focus of the club is climbing and mountaineering. However, many of the meet venues are in areas suitable for walking, and a significant minority of the club are interested in walking rather than climbing. Also, because of the vagaries of the British weather, when it is not suitable to climb, many members walk and scramble instead.

Q. What is a ‘meet’?
That’s just our name for a trip away for members! See our meets page for this year’s meets list.

Eyeing up some routes

Q. Do I need to buy any/all of the equipment?
A. The club does now have a very small equipment list for loan such as harnesses, helmets, abseil rope, walking axes and crampons. These are intended for a beginner’s first couple of meets, and so you will then need your own gear if you want to climb. At a minimum, this consists of helmet, rock boots, harness, nut extractor, belaying device and a couple of karabiners. For your first few meets, if you don’t already possess one, it should be possible to borrow a rope (or climb as a three, sharing a rope), but you should plan on buying a rope fairly soon enabling you to contribute one half of the rope needed – as most people in the club climb on twin ropes, this would normally be a 9mm x 50m rope. As your interest in climbing progresses, you will then probably want to buy protection equipment for leading. For walking, boots, hill clothing and waterproof gear are all that is required. For winter meets, crampons, ice axe and other equipment may be required – it will be assumed that you know how to use these. For camping, you will obviously need a tent and sleeping bag as a minimum!

Q. Would I need to come along on every meet?
A. No, just pick and choose the ones you like the look of. Some members come on most meets, others will just do a few meets each year because of family, work or other commitments.

Taking a break

Q. How much does it cost to join?
A. Introductory membership is £20 January to June, and £10 July to December, both lasting until the end of the year. After attending two meets the committee will invite you to join as a full member at a cost of £35 minus the introductory fee, and this allows you to take advantage of all the full member benefits. Full yearly membership runs from 1st January to 31st December. There is a discount for joining late in the year.

Q. How much does it cost per meet?
A. In the UK, any camping fees or Hut fees plus a share of the fuel costs. Abroad, all travel, accommodation, insurance, etc.

Climbing in Cornwall

Q. I’m already a BMC member, what is the benefit of joining?
A. Shared costs and driving, cheaper gear, discounts at local walls and 70 other fun people to climb with. You can reclaim any duplication of fees from the BMC so that you don’t pay twice.

Q. I don’t have a car, is that a problem?
A. No, but you may need to get to a train station near to the person driving.

One summer’s BBQ… just before heading to the pub!

Q. How many members do you have?
A. Membership hovers around the 70’s.

Q. What is the joining process?
A. See here the best thing to do is to drop by the clubhouse on a Monday evening after 8pm to get a briefing by a committee member, meet some members and ask any questions you have.

An experimental bivvy meet

Q. What if I have more questions?
A. Either send us an email via the web form or come along in person!


2nd - 3rd February
North Wales
Ty'n Lon

9th - 10th February
French Alps (nr Geneva)
Le Grand Bornand

2nd - 8th March
Scotland - Ben Nevis
CIC Hut Meet


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