What a great weekend! Many thanks to all of you for making the time special. Great venue, thanks to Andrew and Ali for organising. A big thank you to Marian for sorting out another excellent 3 course meal. Over 30 of us gathered, and walking, mountain biking, running, cycling, kept us busy in the daylight, although the mountain bikers did need some darkness to complete, or were they fooling us, and in the pub?? The gales didnt stop us on Saturday, we ignored the health and safety signs on Wenlock edge re trees that could fall down….. Saturday night was mulled wine, food, more alcohol, secret Santa, awards, more alcohol, singing, laughing, and yes, more booze!! I was grateful for the lovely Davinia’s help on giving out the annual awards, she must get points for the windswept blond hair look! Awards only go to anyone present on the night, so this is a summary in case you missed it….. Cycling- Steve w Walking- Andy, Rosy, Chris and Chris Hospitality- Elen Colourful language- Leon Misfortune- Ali Old relic- Tom Where are you?- Linda and John Hawley Climbing-Vanda Climbing and falling-Bill Champion of the club-David Looking forward to next year’s do!
Despite a horrendous weather forecast, 8 of us convened at the side of Ladybower by 9.30, after cunningly depositing a couple of cars at strategic points along the Snake Road. Setting off via Crookhill Farm we gradually made our way up towards Alport Castles, with a rising wind, but thankfully only brief bursts of the promised rain. On ascending out of the track to Hagg Farm, the open moorland saw us battling quite a violent wind, so much so that Vanda attached herself to Geoff to prevent being blown sideways. She claimed a combined total of approx 20 stones was just right. She later attached herself to most of the men in the party, some things never change. We had hoped to have elevenses in the birdwatching hut at Alport, but it’s no longer there, so we were forced to shelter behind the remnants of a dry [!!] stone wall a bit further on. Those of us sitting with our backs to the wall had the eerie sensation of feeling the wall move, such was the strength of the wind. On emerging from the end of the wall, the wind appeared to have got even stronger, but we decided to move away from the edge and make our way to the trig point midway to Bleaklow. We subsequently arrived [see picture], but by this time there were a few revolting natives who wished to remove themselves from the buffeting and not go to Bleaklow. We decided to drop into Alport Dale where the party split into two. The chief revoltee led her party down Alport Dale to the car left at the bottom and returned safely by 2.40, approx 9 miles. The rest of us then traversed into the upper reaches of Alport Dale, well above the river but nicely sheltered from the wind at first. However, the further up we got, the more the wind was funneled down on to us, hail for a short time, resulting in one broken pole [cost £4.99], a slowing of progress and aching joints. Eventually we reached the top of the valley, but rather than heading for the ridge, we turned towards the west and made our down to the Snake Road, hopping over in to Lady Clough Plantation and a return to the top car by 3.35. 12.2 miles of the finest Dark Peak bog-hopping in challenging conditions, but all returned safe, if slightly battered, with dry coats, before dark. Some of us later joined Martin & Pat in Wetherspoons for an evening meal before they set of to the Canaries to celebrate Pat’s big birthday.
A great bike ride around N Notts was a real treat last Sunday. When I woke to wind and rain I was expecting phone calls crying off but not to be. Apart from 10 minutes light drizzle around 1pm it was a dry trip with a ride around Hardwick Hall, bacon, sausage or egg butties at Pleasley Pit community Café and then on to the high point of Nottingham at Silverhill. Any navigating errors obviously deliberate to ensure we completed over 30 miles. Thanks to all. Mary
Just lucky I had printed off so many maps and instructions, god knows what would have happened if I had thought to suggest people catch the train to the start! and thanks to Mary for providing a front wheel for me, wasn’t looking forward to a day’s unicycling. Goes without saying we had a fantastic weather day, too good for cycling should have been climbing really. Plenty of variety having to stop at the Mill Inn with a great water wheel then later stopping at roman remains. Bill
7 hardy souls met and set off for some wet gill, slimy rock scrambling. Although the clag was down the weather was good to us with only a couple bits of light drizzle whilst scrambling. Up a scramble, down a scramble and up another scramble. Were we lost? NO – just having a good time. Our couple of 4 leg friends survived the day with one heart stopping moment from Scout and Tiggy well into the role of the parcel in the game of pass the parcel up the gill. Thanks to all for an enjoyable day. Mary
The final outdoor Sunday climb of the season saw Curbar Edge bathed in a low, golden sunlight, overlooking the autumnal yellows and reds in forests below. It was cold start to the day but things soon warmed up (no need for crampons and axes just yet!). A good turn out as 10 members met at Calver Wall and set about climbing all the Severes, Hard Severes and a few Very Severes that the area had to offer. Challenging climbing for the grade; Curbar Edge living up to its reputation for being a difficult crag. Notable routes were: Brindle Crack (HS 4b), Polar Crack (VS 4b), U.F.O. (S 4a), Flying Buttress (S 4a), and Potters Wall (HS 4b). Matt 1 looking confident on lead, newcomer Matt 2 tackling everything that was thrown at him. Another great day!!
This beautiful Dale did not disappoint! 15 of us enjoyed the lovely weekend, dryish and cold. The Usha Gap campsite is highly recommended with the best facilities of a campsite most of us have ever seen-spanking new too! Friday night, we gathered at the local pub, a gentle few minutes walk away in Muker. Some had arrived early and been for a walk already. Cycling, scrambling, mountain biking, and walking were all enjoyed. The Tan Hill Inn was a welcome break for the cycling group on Saturday. David added in the Tour de France Buttertubs hill from both sides!! Tom found a good gill to scramble up, and no one injured themselves!! A cave and waterfall at the top looked tropical with the mosses and ferns, but 11 degrees stopped people jumping in and reenacting the timoteo shampoo advert. We squeezed in the cave and went as deep as we could before not grovelling. We all massed round the impressive homemade John Murton fire pit on saturday night, and as the whiskey, chocolates, pringles and wine got passed round, came up with new design features including the little holes being reconfigured to make up the constellations. The sky was clear, and Nigel convinced us he had seen lots of shooting stars. Was he seeing double? All agreed we should revisit this special landscape.
Stanage Meet report. What a perfect day for our ‘Celebration Meet’. Wonderful weather and a grand turnout of members and families, ages ranging from 7-83! A very sociable time was had by all of us, around 20 in number, with a choice of 4 cakes and bubbly, hastily consumed by everybody. Occasionally even bouts of climbing broke out, with routes from Castle Chimney to a rather difficult VS 4c [with hidden hold] ascended [or not] in a variety of styles. Copious use of knees were observed by quite a few, it was that sort of day. Hat’s off to Bill & Elen who had cycled 72 miles yesterday and still made it to the crag. Vanda & I finally met up with Charles on our return to the car park, he’d missed us earlier but we saved him some chocolate cake.
This was just the sort of meet which reminds me of why I’ve been a member for 30 years, the same as Linda and why Vanda has been around even longer. Lots of laughs in good company with some good climbing on a perfect sunny day. Thanks to all who came and made it a great meet. Paul Gibson.
Well, what a fantastic day to say October is just round the corner. Castle Naze, originally shrouded in mist (so much so I drove straight past it!), soon emerged in glorious sunshine that lasted the whole day. 4 soon became 5 and then 7 when Mary and friend Kath had torn themselves away from the croissants. Everyone led something and joined each other on ropes up and down the crag which meant loads of routes got claimed. Particular ones that stand out are No Name led by Leon, though the tricky start had lots of names by the time he’d done it. The Crack was my favourite, a lovely juicy VS led again by Leon and also seconded by Andrew, who wondered just how mad he must have been in his youth to have soloed it. A big star and two stickers however goes to Janet who went from leading HS to leading the ‘classic of the crag’ Nozag, a three star VS described as ‘high in the grade’. Fantastic effort and a great day, all the more precious for being on the eve of Autumn. Helen
Lovely day at Windgather with sun in the morning and some cloud in the afternoon. The initial 4 (2 late due to coffee and croissants) joined quickly by others so in total – after a mountain biker needing even more exercise attached himself to us, there was the grand total of 8 plus the dog. Great to see 2 non members on the meet. First time I have been to Windgather and well impressed and not only for the loads of climbs I could attempt. One of highlights of the day was Steve W beginning his challenge of 1000m of ascent before next June. Rumour has it he hasn’t done this much in the past decade! Anyway good start with some confident leading.