All posts in Meet Reports

Cratcliffe Tor Meet 14/09/2014

Bit of a select climbing duo on Cratcliffe with matching Red Proclime fleeces. After a couple of successful climbs on Cratcliffe the dynamic duo of Leon and Andrew along with the support team of Mary and Snuff the dog moved to Robin Hood Stride where there was an appearance by Josie and friend Mandy. A chilled day for spectators and some thrashing about by climbers meant a successful outing for the Castle.

Wye Valley Weekend Meet 22/25 August 2014

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Ten of us camped/ caravaned in the beautiful Wye valley.
Some climbed on 3 different cliffs; Wintour's Leap, Shorn Cliff and Wyndcliffe, where routes from VDiff to HVS were tackled in fine style. Helen seconded her first HVS of the year, grunting with pleasure!! In fact many firsts were achieved this meet, Helen led her first full multi pitch route, Judith seconded her first multi pitch and it was the first time Fran had been on an away meet for a long time. 
Charles visited Symonds Yat and the Victorian hand ferry continuing his canal exploration by bike on other days. The beautiful Tintern Abbey has been visited by Josie, Gordon, Fran and Charles. Josie and Leon were lured into a church fete by the sounds of a jazz band drifting along the Wye Valley and Leon won a bottle of beer and a bottle of coke on the tombola.....they must have seen him coming!
The campsite had stunning views and and we were treated to a laser show on Friday night as we were sat around our lovely campfire. Judith contributed to the show with her new head torch, blinding everyone in the process! Saturday night was about cake eating and singing 'Happy Birthday' to Judith (who enjoyed her first night under canvas), star gazing and telling jokes. The Dowling brothers knew lots of jokes but thankfully didn't tell them all! Sunday night was rounded off in the Club's caravan with the ever hospitable Leon and Josie as the, up to now glorious, weather became chilly and wet. 
Gold star of the meet to Hugh and extra brownie points to David!

David (et al)

Castle Naze Climbing 17th Aug 2014

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6 glum faces turned towards the track up to Castle Naze amid heavy showers and gale force winds and........ decided not to bother. Then, with a flash of inspiration, Linda suggested the benefits of Aldery Cliff on a windy day and we'd got ourselves a convoy. The four cars raced across Buxton and indeed found dry rock. The crag was sheltered and when the sun came out, in between showers, we were in t shirts (well I was and Linda took two of her four layers off). 
Two teams led by David and Leon set off up two really nice routes, Mitre Crack and Cardinal. New girls Sam and Gemma did brilliantly, climbing enthusiastically up both starred VS's despite not having climbed outside for a long time AND it being damp limestone AND being caught in showers half way up!! Eventually the showers were becoming more frequent and the rock wetter so, after two routes each, we had a 'tailgate picnic' in the cars leaving the bats in Mitre Crack to go back sleep ( though it was Leon they really seemed to object to!)
In the end some nice climbs, even nicer company and the satisfaction of making the best of a rainy day.


Northumerland Meet 2&3 July 2014

10 intrepid Castle members ventured North into deepest, darkest Northumberland this weekend. 
As some of us got there early the view of Peel Crag from the campsite beckoned and we got used to the Dolerite rock with a few routes before the heat, still baking at 5:00, got too much …. though Paul kindly decided to cool some of us down with his water pistol!!! 
Saturday was a team trip plus Scott (Geoff’s friend) to Crag Lough. A perfect, slightly cooler day and some lovely routes (though some tricky Diffs and VDiffs for the grade) with swans and butterflies around the lake below and Hadrian’s Wall above. As the weather finally turned at tea time we were forced into the local pub followed by an impromptu and very jolly barbecue back at the campsite and an equally impromptu but equally jolly invasion of Josie and Leon’s caravan when the heavens opened later on.
By Sunday the glorious sunshine had disappeared but a few of us still managed to climb on the Great Wanney sandstone. Here we scrabbled up one of the hardest VDiffs ever (even Geoff said “V Diff my a….”, I didn’t quite catch the rest) followed by one of the nicest while David conquered an E2 in the rain!
All in all a very nice weekend with lots to do and, for me personally, a mental note to return in the future and stay a little longer.
PS I have dried my tent out and folded it up ALL ON MY Own

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Almscliffe Climbing Meet 15/06/14

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Despite the weather at the start of the day, 7 super-psyched individuals turned up. The rain stopped and by 11 the crag was dry enough to climb on. Everyone managed to get in plenty of mileage, accompanied by varying amounts of technique, grunting and wimpering!

I managed 9 routes and everyone else must have done a similar amount, as we all seemed to be doing what everyone else had done.


Thursday walk 12 June 2014 – Report

Thursday walk 12 June 2014 – Report

A lovely sunny warm day with clear air and great views. Nine
of us met at the car park near Fairholmes. We took two cars
to transport us all up the Derwent Valley to King’s Tree
where the walk began. We walked to and crossed the old packhorse
bridge at Slippery Stones. Then it was up the bridle way of
Cut Gate, with a coffee break at the top of the steep
bit. On to the top of the pass where we left Cut Gate
at a large cairn and followed a thin and slightly boggy path
to the trig point at the top of Margery Hill, the highest
named point in South Yorkshire. One of the bogs swallowed
the tip of a walking pole, but it was soon retrieved by
dint of a bit of boggy scrabbling. Margery Hill: what a
delightful place to have our picnic lunch! At 546m (1791 ft),
the summit is reputed to be a Bronze Age burial mound, and
has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English
Heritage. Brilliant views were to be seen all around.

After lunch we headed south past a small cairn marking the
highest unnamed point in South Yorkshire, marginally higher
than Margery Hill. From here we could see Howden Reservoir
and dam. The path headed down to Nether Hey, and an old
shooting road took us right down to the edge of Derwent
Reservoir. We enjoyed a tea break at a bench overlooking the
reservoir, in spite of being pestered by a greedy duck. The
final leg took us along the track to Derwent Dam and
Fairholmes. After agreeing that we had all had a jolly good
day out, some departed to sample the delights of the new cafe
at the Anglers Rest, Bamford, while others went to retrieve
the cars from Kings Tree.

7.5 miles 1360 ft of ascent.

Andy Smith – Bradwell, Derbyshire, England;

Almscliffe Sunday 15th June ‏ 2014

After a great Thursday evening on Froggatt in glorious sun, with 5 routes being done I took today out to go and research Almscliff ready for next Sunday (15th) I have climbed there before, but that was 35 years ago, so thought a visit was appropriate.

The crag is still in exactly the same place as last time I was there. Almost all the routes are the same, if a little more used. And yes Franklands Green Crack is still bright green! There is a full range of routes, to suit all styles and abilities.

For the photographers and/or ornithologists today there was a pair of Red Kites flying within 10m of the climbers! The views from the crag are spectacular, and there is even a slurry pond to see!

The journey from Meadowhall to the parking area at the SW end of the crag took me 55mins, staying at or below the speed limit all the way. I did not go through Leeds. I went M1, and its link across to the A1, turned off at the Otley/Wetherby turn (45). Then I followed Harewood House, turned right in Harewood and followed the A61 towards Harrogate, turning left to North Rigton. In the village, hang left at the roundabout and then right onto Crag Lane. The parking area is about 1m along here on the right just after a T junction where you turn right

The Square and Compass in North Rigton is relatively expensive for food, but very nice and relaxed, with lots of outdoor tables, so I sat back with my beer and topped up my sunburn! Again the Red Kites made an appearance were soaring around and easily visible.

I hope for a good turnout. Please try and hook up with car-share if at all possible.

I will be in the parking area from 10:30 until 10:45, but the crag is not so big that you could miss us if you come later.


Thursday 5th June –Walk Report

A party of 5 left Litton in dry but overcast conditions.

Cressbrook Dale was descended past St Peter’s Stone followed by the ascent to Wardlow Hay Cop where we stopped for coffee and donned water proofs given the appearances suggesting imminent rain.

The promised rain failed to materialise, however , and by the time we had completed the descent to Ravensdale Cottages things had warmed up and the waterproofs came off.

The high level traverse of Miller’s Dale followed with a descent to Litton Mill and climb up the other side of the valley to Cressbrook village.

We then returned to Litton by a somewhat slippery route along the edge of the woods and an easy walk through the fields. The dry weather held and slowly improved giving us a pleasant round in this classic limestone area.

Thursday walk 22 May 2014 – Report

In spite of a poor weather forecast, eight of us (seven
members and one probable future member) assembled in Great
Hucklow. As it turned out, there was no rain at all for the
whole of the walk. After crossing fields and walls with
stiles to Grindlow, we walked by Silly Dale to Wardlow
Mires. We crossed the main road into upper Cressbrook Dale.
Here there were lots of purple orchids, slightly past their
best but magnificent nevertheless.

We headed up to Peter’s Stone and all scrambled to the top
where we enjoyed a coffee break in an unusual situation.
After descending from the Stone, a wild flower book was
consulted and the orchids tentatively identified (early
purple orchids).

The route continued down the dale before climbing out of it
to Wardlow. Continuing east, we crossed a road and paused
for lunch. After dropping down to Housley we took the road
into Foolow and then towards Bretton. The large sinkhole,
which suddenly opened up last Christmas above old mine
workings, had been spotted earlier in the walk but was now
much nearer.

A footpath branched off the road taking us closer to the
sinkhole and we were able to get a good look at it. It is
supposed to be 160ft wide and 130ft deep but we could not
see the bottom.

It just remained to walk the short distance back to Great
Hucklow. Post-walk refreshments in Bradwell were tea and
homemade cakes produced by Rosy (fruit cake, flapjacks, and
raspberry chocolate brownies).

7.5 miles 900 ft of ascent.

Andy Smith – Bradwell, Derbyshire, England;

Gardoms Meet 18.5.14

Well the sun gods smiled on us once more for the Gardoms meet and, without being too smug......I told you so (again)!
12 climbers congregated at Apple Tree Buttress comprising of a few club stalwarts, our lovely, enthusiastic new members and two honorary members for the day from London. Special thanks to Simon for giving Heather and her friends step by step instructions on how to get to the crag when they went a little awry. You've heard of the speaking clock, well Simon is like the speaking map! 
There were assaults launched on lots of different routes on the crag from VDiff to VS 5a and extra special thanks have to go to John and Leon for their fantastic effort in leading most of them (I did lead 1). The friendliness and helpfulness of the leaders in particular was commented on by our visitors. Thanks guys you made the day and I loved all those new, juicy VS's. The experience of doing a 'bum shuffle' up a tree on the 5a finish of Tree Groove was........novel!
All in all an absolutely fab day that I know was enjoyed by all .