All posts in Meet Reports

Borrowdale 20th and 21st July 2019 meet report

Ten of us made it to Borrowdale between the Wednesday and Sunday. Walking, climbing, biking, scrambling and wild water swimming all took place. On Saturday some tried to find Millican Dalton’s cave. Millican wrote an article in the 1913 Fell and Rock Club journal advocating camping as an antidote to modern life’s stress. In the summer he lived in a cave near Castle Crag; having given up conventional life as an insurance clerk. He made a living from hiring out light-weight camping kit and guiding people up Napes Needle. On the occasion of his 50th ascent he built a fire on top, brewed some coffee and smoked Woodbines. Some of us tried to find the equally elusive Nitting Haws scramble, ending up on High Spy, and Dalehead. Climbing took place on Raven Crag, Shepherds, Doves Nest and Glacial Slabs, mainly on the less wet Sunday. Bill and Paul also explored Gouther Crag, West of Shap, including the excellent Kennel Wall. Chapel House Farm campsite was friendly and a good base. Maybe next summer we could do a six day Lakes trip, split between two valleys.


Sat cycle 13 Jul 2019 report

A fine team set off from Derbyshire Bridge . Almost immediately we were overtaken by club cyclists and that set the theme for the day. A good ride with long fast descents and ok climbs (Def did it right way round). Stops for cafe and cute alpacas. On the final grind up Goyt valley pride made us take on a group of mountain bikers who were out for a picnic and had music playing while they rode, sadly it was a bit of a struggle. Overtaking their dog was even harder but we dug deep. Thanks to all who came. Elen

Norway climbing trip – May/June 2019

Seven of us – Linda, David, Kial, Gemma, Steve, Chris and Hugh flew to Bergen in mid May to experience the trad. and sports climbing opportunities close to the city. Kari was an amazing host and opened her house to us all, providing great hospitality, which went as far as passing on her cold to Linda and subsequently Hugh and David! Our first duty, the morning after we arrived, was to celebrate the National Day of Norway with a traditional breakfast, with hosts Kari and Randi in national costume, and a street parade. However, we were soon on the rock!
Bergen has an average of 260 days rain a year and appeared to have one of the highest per capita ownerships of Gortex in the world. However, the islands to the west – Sotra and Oygarden – where most of the climbing is, are much drier. We hit a perfect weather window over the first five days so climbed until we dropped. The trad. climbing we did was mostly on granite from single to four pitch routes. The sports climbing was largely on gneiss, characterised by extensive horizontal banding on steep walls. The climbing was never more than 30 minutes from the road but in beautiful quiet locations, sometimes next to the sea. The crags were quiet, especially the trad. ones
Eventually the rain did catch up with us (we began to understand why the guidebooks are published on waterproof paper) so we spent a day in the city and walked up one of the hills that surround Bergen. Another day’s climbing and Steve and Chris were on their way home. Kial and Gemma had a day in the fjords, while the other three also headed there to stay on Amund and Randi’s farm for a couple of nights. We visited a very wet Uskadalen on the way – amazing granite slabs with multi-pitch routes. Hopefully we will get back there one day.
Randi and Amund took Linda, David and Hugh on a very enjoyable Via Ferrata above the town of Odda. It follows old wooden ladders and then staples across granite slabs and walls, beside huge iron pipes which used to supply water for a hydro-electric scheme. From the top there were extensive views along fjords with glaciers above. Following a couple more days on tourist activities, including ferry and train rides and a visit to a medieval stave church, we returned to Bergen. The last days were spent dodging the weather, including two half days climbing and a great evening’s sea kayaking with Laila.
Thanks again to Kari and Randi and we hope to welcome them to the Peak District soon.

Bamford Meet 7 July 2019 Report

12 keen members enjoyed perfect climbing temperatures and fine weather on Bamford Edge on Sunday. Most of the climbing took place on Neb Buttress with some straying rightward to Christmas Buttress (introduced by Chris and not in the so called ‘definitive’ guidebook) and Gun Buttress. There was much debate about both the line and grade of Bamford Rib (HVS?) which was climbed by 3 parties and Oracle provided good sport and photography, being in a fine position. Great day out before the crowds arrived and an early finish for most, except Paul and Andrew who were last seen on Gunpowder Crack having struggled up the first overhang (5b on a VS!).
Mark P

Shining Clough Sun 30th June 2019 Meet Report

9 members, 1 non member and statutory dog attended the Shinning Clough meet. Bill kindly checked another car park to see if Jo and Chris where there but they just arrived later having had much to much fun the previous night. Bill still managed to beat us getting up to the crag as we decided to go the ‘scenic’ way through the heather- meet leader skills sadly lacking. Good climbing and lovely day. Thanks to all.

Meet report Black Rock Sands 22-23 June 2019

2 caravans, 2 camper vans, 1 horse, 1 dog, an assortment of tents large, small and inflatable plus 18 humans (Inc 2 children) turned up in glorious sunshine for the weekend.
Friday night was leisurely apart from gentle trips to the beach, although David and Linda arrived after a day’s climbing.
Saturday was another sun filled extravaganza and several climbing teams headed for Tremadog, Moelwyns (full, so diverted to Ogwen) and elsewhere. A 9 mile walk was also undertaken to Portmerion via tracks and beach, also a free steam train lift back thanks to Vanda. Elen rode her horse and reported great views from the saddle. The meet leader had an exhausting day entertaining a 9 year old on the beach, but the sea was warm for swimming. Horse visiting and feeding also featured as did the rare occurrence of D & L being the first climbers back to the campsite!! As normal, Hugh was last.
Saturday night was bbq night plus “entertainment” from the pub with a loud rock band!! At least we didn’t pay. Food was excellent and thanks to Jo for the whiskey.
Sunday was a bit less sunny but more climbing, cycling and a walk took place, at least that was the plan. All I can say is the walk definitely took place, complete with Shetland ponies.
Thanks to all who turned up, sorry for those who were unable to attend.

Sunday 16th June 2019 Stanage High Neb

Well we all went to High Neb and surprisingly it was quite crowded David, Linda, Leon, Dawn, Mary, Dick, Tom, Lee, Howard, Cesca who arrived just in time for the heavy deluge at 2pm and sheltered with a couple others in a cave only to be wetted by Lance coming in to dry himself, three friends on mine Anne, Ken and Paul who went to Kalimnos last year and was hoping to have his first day’s outside climbing on rock since breaking his ankle there but found it was hard enough just walking to the crag unfortunately, he wasn’t tempted to climb watching us all try through gritted teeth and frozen bodies. Thanks for everyone for persevering as long as you all did. Some of us had a coffee afterwards in Outside. Bill (I must have left someone out I usually do sorry)

Langdale Meet 24-27th May 2019

Some of us got there on Friday, for a fine day of climbing on Scout Crag and walking.
By Friday evening there were 11 of us, a dog and a boy; and we’d made contact with each other on the massive Bays brown camp site.
Saturday was fine. Climbing groups went to Scout Crag and Gimmer. Others ran to Grasmere and the boy got up his first hill.
Saturday night was wet. A late start on Sunday. Most of us headed up Crinkle Gill scramble, which proved impassable due to the heavy rain flooding out the gorge. It looks good for another trip. We cut up to the hillside to finish over Pike o Blisco and cream teas at the New Dungeon Gill.
Monday one group went over to Grasmere and another group headed for Little Langdale via an interesting slate quarry on Lingmell with rain coming through just after 2pm with one group timing it perfectly getting back.
Welcome to new member, Paul.

Meet Report – Central Wales 4th-6th May 2019

17 people and a dog (obligatory) met at Maes y Morfa campsite above Lllangranog, near New Quay for, mainly, climbing on Pen Bilis and Ynys Lochtyn; a small peninsula and its adjoining (mostly) tidal island.

The meet leaders, taking their obligations very seriously, sacrificed a couple of days bimbling around in the Peak District to arrive early and suss out the lay of the land, climbing some one-star future classics on Hidden Wall at v-diff, severe and hard severe (or, in gritstone language, mod, diff and v-diff) and realising that wires from micro to no. 3 and small slings were all that were required; although they continued to carry the rest of their gear for the exercise.

Other members arrived over the next 2 days and together found that there were some decent routes worthy of their stars and with more conventional gear. The rock is a very hard sandstone with quartz veins, varying from blocky in some places to flaky (superb small flakes, which feel fragile – but nobody broke any…) in others.

Climbs were done on Hidden Wall (easy access), Quartz Wall, Recessed Wall and Yellow Wall on Ynys Lochtyn and on Def Squad Buttress on Pen Bilis. Grades from Diff to E1.

Note: the rock on the (traversing descent) approach scramble to Ynys Lochtyn is very grippy when dry and like an oiled Teflon frying pan when wet… There is an abseil post to avoid it.

Climbing highlights
Keith Murray HS 4b
Deeply Dippy VS 4c
Menace from the Deep VS 5a
Seal VS4c
The Day the Balloon Went Up S 4a
Heavy the Beat of Weary Waves S 4a
Heulwen Cwarts E1 5a

Other activities were numerous and included:
Walking sections of the Ceredigion coast path, which is absolutely beautiful, with cliffs cut by small streams, lush vegetation: ferns; bluebells; spring squill; gorse; birds: red kites; ravens; chaffinches; stone chats; oyster catchers. A group of 8 did the section from New Quay (the far side of, as we’d got beta on a free car park saving 75p each..!) to the campsite with some car-shuffling. Others walked south of the campsite, looping back inland; again on beautiful paths, tracks and quiet country lanes.

A family boat trip ended in an exciting transfer to a smaller boat that could cross the new sand bar at low tide to reach the shore.

A local National Trust property, Llanerchaeron, was visited by some.

Painting on Ynys Lochtyn in the shelter of a soft, grassy hollow.

Sleeping, in the same grassy hollow.

Dolphins were seen cavorting on three separate occasions – a wonderful sight.

Sitting round a fire at the campsite – wood supplied free!

The weather was kind, a cold wind on some days, with cloud and sun – much better than it could have been.

The campsite was great – we had a field to ourselves – the facilities were really good and the owner, Pob, was very efficient and almost as laid back as Bill B.


Sunday 5th May 2019 – Walk Report

26 of us gathered at Taddington school, plus Harvey a Border Terrier, to start this walk. The reason for this huge number was due to the fact that 11 Castle members were joined by 15 members of The Association Of British members Of the Swiss Alpine Club who were staying reasonably close at Monyash. (Five Castle members are also ABMSAC members) At least it gave us plenty of people to talk to!
From the school we crossed the A6, headed north on the Priestcliffe road then took the Limestone Way to the Monsal Trail where we turned left and through the Chee Tor Tunnel. As the River Wye was running low we descended into the depths of Chee Dale and took the superb path along the river crossing over stepping stones in a very dramatic setting. Just after we saw two climbers doing an impressive 7A sport route, if only youth hadn’t passed me by……….!
Eventually we came to Blackwell Mill Cottages, crossed the bridge over the river and stopped for coffee on the riverbank close to where the wild garlic was about to burst into flower.
After our break we crossed back over the A6 at the Topley Pike car park and then took the enclosed path alongside the quarry which has been working since 1907. Due to new quarry workings we unfortunately couldn’t take the path along the floor of Deep Dale so took the re-routed path along the top of the dale which did give us some magnificent views of the surrounding countryside plus a walk amongst a carpet of primulas, daisies, orchids and other wild flowers.
Lunch was taken close to the junction of Horseshoe Dale and Back Dale with again fine views from the top of the dale albeit in a rather chilly position. At the end of the Dale we took paths to Chelmorton passing the church set at 1200 feet making it one of the highest in England. We also passed some stone troughs which once supplied all the village water.
Climbing up from the village we passed Sough Top our last hill climb before descending back to Taddington.
Thanks to all who came and for your company. A really enjoyable walk especially along the river Wye.
Pete and Jane