Welcome to NUMC 2016

Hello and welcome to the Newcastle University’s Mountaineering Club!

NUMC is an outdoor adventure club for university students, staff and friends.

Joining the NUMC will take you to beautiful places in Australia as you take part in fun outdoor activities such as rock climbing, canyoning, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and more.

We host indoor rock climbing at the Forum on Callaghan Campus every Tuesday and Thursday 5.30 – 8.30 pm during the semester.

Free fornightly BBQs on Thursdays is great way to meet other people in the club, and a chance to talk about planning more trips.

If you are attending a club trip, gear hire is free for members. For private trips, you can also rent gear for a small fee.

The Gearstore Opening Hours:
5pm-6pm most Tuesdays during semester

The gearstore is located at the opposite side of the main entrance to the forum, across from the sports field.


If you are interested in joining the NUMC, send an email to secretary@numc.org.au and you can ask when the next free BBQ is, to sign up at.

And make sure to join our Facebook group once you have signed up and paid, to have access to all the club trips!

We hope you are looking forward to all the adventures as much as we are,


Kind regards,


NUMC Secretary

Annual General Meeting

Hey Team,

I was going to open this update by describing all the cool things I did on my overseas holiday but decided if you wanted to hear boring stuff you’d go to lectures. Instead I’m going to write about the up and coming Annual General Meeting and more specifically being on the Committee.
The AGM is an avenue for each individual member to exercise a vote on changes to the constitution and election of new office bearers (pretty much like a referendum and election). Since we’re not updating the constitution the only thing you have to worry about is electing new Committee Executives.
Before this can happen we actually need nominees. Judging by how many people have an opinion on how I should run the Club it shouldn’t be too difficult getting nominees right?
Being on the Committee is like going from junior employee straight to CEO. Pretty scary? The benefit of being on the Committee of a University club is the opportunity to learn and practice skills that you won’t be taught in class. If you get it right – Excellent. If you don’t get it right – it’s generally not a big deal. For this reason I encourage you not be Procrastinasaurs or get beaten by the Apathy monster. Take a chance and put your name forward.
If you’re still not sure, just be aware that you will not be dumped in the deep end. The outgoing Committee will show you the ropes, and I have drafted detailed instructions on how to run the general aspects of the Club.
If you want to practice your leadership, communication, finance, planning or risk management skill all the positions are up for grabs:
  • President
  • Vice president
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Gearstore Officer
  • Levels and Safety
  • Social
Nominations can be emailed to secretary@numc.org.au.
On a final note, if you want to know what the club achieved this year, have a read of our Annual Report.

Over to you Vice Pres

Hey Team,
It’s rapidly becoming an Australian tradition to swap leaders midway through their term. The NUMC is no different. I’ll be on holiday for the next month so Josh is now driving this ship. Please do him a favour and keep an eye out for icebergs.

Before I hand over I figure I’ll give you a run down on what’s going on.

Firstly, a big group of us spent a Saturday trekking the Great North Walk from Cowan to Brooklyn. Apart from a few dramas with the trains and buses, everything went smoothly and the 15km breezed by.

If you want to have a go yourself, it’s not difficult to organise, with most of the track leapfrogging between train stations. Next time we’ll have a go from Wondabine to Woy Woy.

The other big event was an epic beginner canyoning weekend. Another big group of us headed out to Newnes Plateau to check out Deep Pass, River Caves, Dry and Tigersnake Canyons. The weekend included all sorts of Australiana such as off road driving, river crossings and beers at sunset. Big thanks for Mike for organising that one.

Next week Heather and her gang will be heading to Arapilies for ten days of serious climbing. Arapilies in central western Victoria is a world reknown climbing location. I’m keen to hear lots of stories, hopefully not about the squeeze rock.

There’s still plenty of time before the end of year to make use of the club equipment. With the mid semester break coming up, it seems that most of you are heading north to Cairns (except Tobi who’s going to Tasmania). If you need any gear head in on Tuesday before it all disappears.

A final note, the club AGM is due near the end of October so start thinking about nominating for a Committee position. As well as steering the Club (away from icebergs) you’ll develop some very useful management skills and earn credits toward the iLead program.

That’s pretty much all from me, I’ll see you all in four weeks.


Sunshine and happiness

Hey NUMCies, I normally get up at 5:30 each morning to get ready for work. I know Spring is on it’s way when the sun is up before I am. This is one of the best times of year because the weather is mild and days long enough to start getting in to more epic activities.
Activities since my last post have been:

Gearstore Stocktake. With a busload of volunteers we managed to knock this one on the head by abouCrate stackingt midday. For those who are interested, there was very little stuff unaccounted for which shows what a good bunch of members we have. Although our loan system isn’t the most robust most people are honest and organised enough to bring stuff back for the greater good of the NUMC community.  BTW If you still have stuff from a previous trip please bring it in. After the stocktake we followed up with a BBQ and some crate stacking.

Beginner climbing. This was a pretty big one with Josh and his crew taking about fifty beginners out for some top rope action. Unfortunately, due to the popularity, a handful of members had to be bumped of this trip. Nevertheless, I’m sure there will be more opportunities coming soon.

NUMSC General Meeting. We ran a quick and easy General Meeting to establish the Mountaineering SBeginner climbingocial Club. This is the first step in aligning ourselves with UoN Student Central. The formation of the NUMSC means that less adventurous members will be provided additional opportunities to participate in social activities.

Timor Caving. Not really a club trip but still worth mentioning. A few guys took the initiative to organise their own activity and, together with some guidance and club gear, headed off for a weekend at Timor Caves. Since I haven’t heard anything untoward I’ll assume they made it back ok. Otherwise, guess who we’ll be looking for on our next trip.

Hawkesbury Great North Walk. Next weekend a group of 20 members will be catching the train to Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park to do the Great North Walk from Cowan to Brooklyn. This is shaping up to be a grand day out and will hopefully prove that some of the simplest adventures are the best. Keep an eye out for photos.

That’s pretty much it for now.


Welcome to Semester 2

Hey Team,
Hopefully your exams went well and you’ve had a few weeks to recover before the study starts for the second half of the year. While many of you were away all sorts of stuff has been going on at the club.

First of all, due to popular demand we kept the climbing wall open over the break. It was good to see all the ‘orphans’ who had nowhere to go, brushing up their climbing skills. If the wall stays this popular we’ll most likely keep it open during the mid-semester break too.

Secondly, while the Gearstore was quiet we took the opportunity to do a bit of a reshuffle. All the new bikes are stored together and as a result the water gear has been shifted to new hangers near the boats. This means the bikes can be better secured and the water gear hung up properly to air out.

Thirdly, one of our new members has shown some great initiative and offered to coordinate regular beginner bike rides. So far the Shazman has taken bunches of members through Jesmond Bush and the Fernleigh Track all the way to Belmont.

Fourthly, our resident super hero, Miss Vicky, stepped up to run the mid-year O’week with her minions. Through their efforts another 60 new students have signed up to add to the life of the club.

As nice as it is to be popular, having over 300 members can put a great deal of strain on the more experienced club members. As much as we’d like to take everyone on beginner trips, the reality is that most will not get a place. For this reason I encourage you all to use the climbing wall, step up to help out (and learn new skills in the process) or create your own adventures by borrowing club gear to go on a camping trip.20140612_130931

On Saturday 15Aug15 we’ll be conducting our annual Gearstore audit. The purpose of the audit is to account for all our gear and check it’s condition. Although it doesn’t sound like much fun, it’s actually a good day to meet new people and discover the inner workings (and secret handshake) of the club. We’ll put on a free BBQ, and all volunteers will get a free gear hire ticket (very useful with summer on it’s way). Keep an eye on Facebook for more information.

Stay frosty,


End of Semester 1

Hey NUMCies,

The club tends to slow down during the exam period with many members heading off home or going on holidays during the mid-year break. This year’s shaping up a little different with a mad rush of activities in the last few weeks. Some recent and upcoming activities club members have organised include:

  • A beginner climbing and canyoning trip to the Bluies
  • Camping and climbing in the Watagans
  • Bushwalking to Mount Solitary
  • Mountain biking in the Gloucester Tops
  • Running the Glowworm trail
  • Kayaking the Myall Lakes
  • Hiking Cradle Mountain
  • Running the Rafferty’s Coastal trail run

For those who have left their planning ’til the last minute the Gearstore will open it’s normal hours 5-6pm on Tuesdays including during the break. Please organise your time to pick up and return gear during these times.

Also, so that you are all aware the climbing wall will be closed during the mid-semester break. If there are any changes we’ll let you know through Facebook.

All the best with your exams and adventures.



The President’s 100

Hey all,
Last weekend I completed one of the biggest physical challenges of my life, The North Face 100km run through the Blue Mountains. Without going into any detail here is the short summary:

– I was majorly stressing in the days leading up to the start, especially the night before, seeing so many ‘professional’ runners in town with all the elite equipment.
– Woke up at 4:30 got dressed and taped my toes.
– Joined the pretenders in Group 6 at the start. Definitely not many professionals in this group but still a lot of elite equipment.
– It was cold. It did not rain. In fact the weather for the whole race was fantastic.
– 6:55 start. Decided to walk the first 2 km as a warm up but worked out this was pointless and started jogging.
– Caught up to Group 5 at the top of the Furber steps. It was a single lane track from here with lots of people so a nice slow walk/jog along Federal Track, up the Golden Stairs to check point 1 at 10.5km. Feeling good, did not stop.
– Pushed on to Taros Ladder. There was a backlog of people waiting so opted for the slightly longer alternate route. Ended up about 20 people ahead.
– Pushed through to CP2 at Dunphy’s Camp at 31km. Still cruising, all power bars in the green.
– Topped up my water, had a stretch then pushed on to Iron Pot Mountain. This is where it started going a bit off the rails.
– Iron Pot Mountain is out of bounds during training as it is on private land. It is steep; hands and feet steep, with no real path. Anyway, not so bad going up; tough going down. A very steep loose dirt ‘trail’ winding through the trees. This is where I started loading up the knees and favouring untrained muscles.
– Joggled on to checkpoint 3 at the Six Foot Track at 44km. Energy levels in the green, motivation in the green, health still in the green but leaning toward amber. Right foot starting to hurt.

– CP 3 had spectators (including an Elvis impersonator), a Jazz Band (that’s right a Jazz band) and much to my pleasure, cups of noodles and cheese and bacon scrolls. By now I was well and truly over eating sugar, energy bars and cordial.
– I decided I’d walk the next 12km along the Six Foot track to CP4.
– By now the participants were starting to thin out. I got passed by about 15 people who jogged on out of sight. Funny thing was when I hit the stairs at Nellies Glen I caught up and passed every single one of them.
– At the top of the stairs realised my foot no longer hurt but my knees were shot and that running was no longer an option. I was still on the 14hr timeline when I waddled in to 56km check point 4 at the Katoomba Aquatic Centre at 14:30.
– Energy levels in the green, health in the amber pushing to red, motivation in the red. There were almost tears.

– I was convinced my race was over. I had some noodles, a bit of a stretch and a 20min rest. There was still a fair few hours of daylight and was feeling a bit better so decided there was no point quitting yet so set off to CP5. It was only 21km away (yes, that’s what you start thinking like ‘it’s ONLY 21km’)
– This is where it pays to read the instructions! The fourth leg follows the tourist path along the cliff tops from Katoomba to Leura and Wentworth Falls. The guide book contained a 2 page paragraph describing the route. What it should have said was: go down the stairs, back up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs, down the stairs, back up the stairs…you get the picture – it was bullshit! And definitely the hardest segment. Going up stairs was not too bad but my knees and tendons struggled with every down step.
– I pulled into 78km CP5 at 19:45. Energy levels in the amber, health in the red and motivation in the red (I was till cursing those stairs). There were almost tears.

– I was convinced my race was over. I had some noodles, a bit of a stretch and a 30min rest. I was still convinced my race was over.
– I saw this other guy and could tell he was having the same conversation with his mother and girlfriend that I was having with mine. We’ve run a good race, no-one will think any less of us, we don’t have to prove ourselves to anyone – except we have to prove ourselves to ourselves. I saw him have a shot of espresso and knew he was going to push on. I took my caffeine tablet too so had to push on (or be unbearably hypo for the next 4 hours). Anyway it’s ONLY another 22km.
– I set off for the finish at 20:15 energy levels in the green, health in the red and motivation in the amber almost green.

– I’d done this segment in training so knew half was downhill and the remainder uphill on a dirt road. Once again the downhill hurt my knees so I opted to walk backwards which was much more comfortable. Bit hard to see where I was going but much more efficient in the end.
– Crossed the Jamison and Leura creeks and started the long slog uphill.
– Somewhere along here I stubbed my toe on a rock, leading to my only blister for the event and most likely the loss of a toenail.
– We made it to the Federal Pass with about six of us spread out over a 100m pushing on to the base of the Furber Steps at around 00:30.
– Luckily, going up stairs was still one of my strong points so I powered my way up reaching the top in 20 minutes (try doing that on a good day).
– I crossed the finish line at 00:55 (18hrs 8sec), energy levels in the green, health in the red, motivation in the green. There were almost tears.

Main points:
– I’m pretty sore now but nothing that won’t come good over the next few days.
– It’s amazing how much strength of will and instant noodles can overcome adversity.
– Doing a 100km race is not for everyone. Nevertheless, everyone should push their boundaries every now and again to know what they are capable of achieving.
– The Blue Mountains are amazing and I thoroughly recommend everyone make an effort to experience them.

Weathering the storm

Hey team,

The last few weeks have definitely been a bit of an adventure with all the wild weather. It just goes to show how unpredicatable nature can be and how important it is to develop resilience in case of adversity (not having internet does not count as adversity). With everyone pretty much forced inside, which (hopefully) was good for your studies, it is a great opportunity to think up some activities for the middle of the year.

So what’s been going on over the last few weeks?

  • The climbing wall timings were extended to cover the holiday period. Usually this is a slow period but definitely not this year.
  • Before the weather turned sour a few of the guys managed to squeeze in some mountain biking at Ourimbah, a dance at Berami, some canyoning at Ranon, climbing at the Bay and even a half marathon through Newcastle.
  • The committee approved purchase of some extra sleeping bags, wetsuits and ropes.

– The gearstore officer is looking for assistants to help run the gearstore. If you want to get more involved in the club this is a prime opportunity and only takes a couple of hours per fortnight.

So what’s coming up? Well, the ideas are endless, but talk is nothing without action.

  • I personally will be participating in the North Face 100km race through the Blue Mountains on 16May15. If anyone is keen for a campout and be a spectator I’d be most greatful.
  • The BBQ schedule has kicked off again so keep an eye out for what’s on offer.
  • Maybe some caving?

That’s pretty much it for now, good luck for the business end of first semester.







Communications plan

Hey Team,

Over the next few weeks you may start seeing a few changes to the club communications strategy. “The What?”

To put it simply we used to have about 8 different methods to get messages out to members: This website, the Forum (bulletin board), Forum messaging, a Facebook page and group, and about 3 versions of email distribution lists.  As you can guess, this was quite unmanageable. At the start of the year we removed the link to the Forum in favour of Facebook and the website.

The next phase is to stick with the Facebook page only and align it with the membership list. Secretary has already put out a few messages relating to this. So what does this mean?

  • The website is the primary source of enduring information (membership, gearstore location etc). This is accessible by anyone including prospective members.
  • The Facebook page will provide ad-hoc messages and invites for events. It will only be accessible to paid up members as part of membership processing each year. You will probably be required to provide your student number as some of you don’t use your real names.

There are pros and cons to this approach but the overall decision was based on the benefits. Advantages are consolidated messaging, spam control and reduced workload on the IT admins. The main disadvantage is that ex-members will no longer be part of the Facebook page. This decision was not taken lightly.  But considering that we have 200+ real members vs 700+ Facebook members, all who could potentially access club resources and activities, we decided to go down this path.

In the next few weeks, if you notice that you have lost access to the Facebook page; check if you have renewed your membership, then reapply to join the page. You will be added once you have been cross-checked against the membership list.





Mid semester 1

Hey NUMCies,

Easter and the mid semester break are just around the corner. If you’ve got any camping trips planned, get in early as the gearstore will be on reduced activity for the break. Similarly the climbing wall will close for a short period. Check out Facebook for specific changes to the regular opening times.

Also, with daylight savings finishing, the cold weather moving in, and exam period looming, club activities traditionally slow down in the second half of semester. So while you’re away have a think of simple activities you’d like to see. If you’re keen to do some bushwalks or overnight campouts, talk to the committee, get some ideas and turn them into reality. And while you’re thinking about what you can do for the club, consider running a Thursday BBQ. If you’d like to impress us with your prowess in the kitchen, email social@numc.org.au with your plan.

Have fun over the break,