Sunderland Mountaineering Club celebrates 50th anniversary

Phil Collingwood, Sally Collingwood and Rick O'Farrell on Grey Crag. May 1999 Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Phil Collingwood, Sally Collingwood and Rick O'Farrell on Grey Crag. May 1999 Sunderland Mountaineering Club

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A club which brings together peaks and pints is marking its half century by hitting new heights.

Sunderland Mountaineering Club (SMC) is celebrating its 50th year with a host of events as it looks to bring in new members to secure its future for generations to come.

Jessica Wortley and Martin Ballantine of Sunderland Mountaineering Club at Fiskkill Ridge  in Scotland.

Jessica Wortley and Martin Ballantine of Sunderland Mountaineering Club at Fiskkill Ridge in Scotland.

In addition to its regular climbing training sessions and excursions across Britain and locations further afield, including the Alps, the Himalayas and South America, its members also enjoy walking, biking and wild swimming.

As part of the club’s birthday celebrations, it has already help a trip to Hawskhead in the Lake District and held in a drop in session for those interested in signing up.

Anyone who wants to get a grip on the sport and try it out for themselves can join its Monday evening climbs, which are held at local climbing walls and crags.

An open night has already been held at Sunderland Climbing Centre in Southwick, with another event in the pipeline for September.

Members vary in age and ability and come from a wide range of backgrounds, we are brought together by our enthusiasm for the outdoors.

Sunderland Mountaineering Club secretary Martin Ballantine

Martin Ballantine, club secretary, said: “We are a friendly, sociable club and our motto is ‘Hills by day, pubs by night’.

“Members vary in age and ability and come from a wide range of backgrounds, we are brought together by our enthusiasm for the outdoors.

“We are a friendly club whose activities centre around weekends away, usually in dedicated mountaineering huts.

“Some weekends are also spent camping, and we have use of a private campsite in the Lake District.

J King, 1960's'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

J King, 1960's'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

“Occasionally we have longer trips away or abroad.

“Some of the club also meet regularly at the Rosedene pub on Tuesday evenings from 9pm and we would be happy to meet any potential new members there.”

More details of the club, which has members aged from 20 to 80, can be found via its website www.sunderlandmountaineeringclub.org.uk or its Facebook page.

Anyone who would like to make contact can email info@sunderlandmountaineeringclub.org.uk.

Winter Climb, 1970's, Phil Collingwood, Dave Campbell'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Winter Climb, 1970's, Phil Collingwood, Dave Campbell'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Malcy with ubiquitous fag and very fetching nose shield.'1970 s'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Malcy with ubiquitous fag and very fetching nose shield.'1970 s'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Corvus, 1997, Judy Hansen'file  1990s  'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Corvus, 1997, Judy Hansen'file 1990s 'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Ed Brown at the quarry outside Heddon On The Wall, around 1979'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Ed Brown at the quarry outside Heddon On The Wall, around 1979'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Alps and Penny Swaine, 1990's'file  1990s'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Alps and Penny Swaine, 1990's'file 1990s'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Alp's, 1980's, Dave Campbell'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Alp's, 1980's, Dave Campbell'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Zoe Potts climbing Jezabel, Crag Lough file  2010's Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Zoe Potts climbing Jezabel, Crag Lough file 2010's Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Bus trip, early 1960's'Sunderland Mountaineering Club

Bus trip, early 1960's'Sunderland Mountaineering Club