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.
Excellent meet in the Plantation Area today, ably photographed by Frank Mellor, so expect some Action/Club interest pictures at the next comp! Despite a good number of members being in the Alps etc we had a good turnout and many routes ascended, including a fine ascent of ‘Goliath’s Groove’ HVS 5a, by Hugh [and many seconds], a notable ascent of the ‘Coign’ ,HS4b, by Janet, who also managed to get through ‘Helfenstein’s Struggl’, [now where’s my diet sheet?] and Vanda’ s lead of the extremely odd ‘Slanting Chimney’ HS4b brought many oaths from her and her seconds. Although the intermittent midges finally attacked about 4pm, causing some of us to retreat, a thoroughly traditional Stanage day was had by all. Long may they continue. Paul & Vanda.
What a great day out with lots of members and friends. The meet leader nearly blew it, as she decided to have 10 more minutes in bed after the alarm went off and woke up 40 minutes later!! She arrived 3 minutes early, but brain was definitely not in gear. However, the meet led itself thankfully as we were on very familiar ground for most of the route. David, Jennifer and Gordon, doing the 22 mile version were at the meeting point exactly on time, and 8 of us joined them for the 16 (16.6 miles by Andy’s snazzy gps 70th birthday present!), After Frank leading us across a very boggy bit but we all stayed dry footed, we got onto the main approach route for Moscar end of Stanage. Vanda joined us at Burbage, having sorted out her builders, Mike was on the phone at regular intervals to Gill about their builders/stove installers. Lunch break at Longshaw was leisurely as we were well ahead of schedule. Smithy looked longingly towards the Fox House for the whiff of beer was in the wind, but resigned himself to a big slab of pork pie. JB joined later, having been to pilates. However, his description of a rack they lie on and move along etc sounded like torture or bondage to me!! Views were far reaching, and the early morning mist had lifted. Weather was as meet leader had promised, warm, but not a heat wave, and the predicted met office heavy rain in afternoon did not appear!’ We cut short Tom, Marian and Gill’s walk, as they were coming out to meet us, so had only managed 10 minutes, but they didn’t seem to mind and walked the last couple of miles making the group swell to 16. Where were Dick and Lin?? Trig points were climbed in Martin Whitaker Eros fashion by David, and lots of photos on the final 3 ships on the top of Birchens were taken. JB was advised to trim his sails as his trousers were threatening to blow him off the deck of Victory. Lots of banter about ticks in strange places etc must have made Mary’s friend Migs wonder who on earth she was walking with. We arrived nice and early at the Robin Hood and a few got in front of Andy for a well deserved drink. Then Dick and Lin appeared. They had missed us by 15 mins but didnt know if we were ahead of them or behind!! The wind must have blowed away the laughter and noise we were making! Thank you all for a memorable day, which I nearly slept through!! Linda
Make this quick as the weather is too nice to be in, just like the weekend. Fantastic weather helped all get stuck in on lovely limestone, not polished, in magnificent surroundings. Wintours Leap multipitches were tackled with gusto, and Ben had his first multipitch adventure and said he loved it. Shorncliffe and Wyndcliffe were visited for long single pitch routes, strong lines and a feeling of flowing on rock… Back at the campsite, Scout, the dog of Bill and Elen, learnt to drag the log she was tied to round the campsite, and knocked the owners dinner off the stove, and barked at the badgers in the woods, and kept other dogs off our patch. We had a campfire pit for the group and the location of the campsite made it special. The full moon rose majestically on the Friday night, and all 13 of us will remember our time there. Enough, out to play. Linda,
After an ominous start to the day the rain cleared, exactly as forecasted, at 9:45. The day captured the early pioneering spirit of the Golden Age as lone climbers fought their way to the ‘hard to find’ Dowel Crack, some opting for the high path and hoping to drop in at the right spot, while others opted for the jungle bash on the lower path. Having found the crag, the group of 6 were met with a whole host of awkward, green cracks on this relatively unclimbed area of the Peak. This provoked a barrage of abuse at the meet organiser with comments like, “you’re not organising any more meets”, and, “there’s a reason why this area is quiet”. The group soon realised they were actually having an awesome time climbing in the testing conditions and the abuse eased as the day went on. Safe to say that I think Mary, Nigel, Bill, Hugh, Ellen and Simon all had at least one interesting/horrific experience on what was an awkward crag in testing conditions. Routes ranged from HVD to HS with some well earned ascents of Dowel Crack HVS 5a on a top rope thanks to Ellen and Bill. Simon
The meet began 24 hours before most weekend away meets and by Thursday evening people were gathering in the bar of the Wasdale Head Inn. There were current and past CMC members and Smith family members. It was raining and overcast – typical Lake District weather – but the forecast was good for the next day.
As forecast, the weather on Friday was excellent: warm and sunny, little wind, and good visibility. All the tops were clear. A party of 16 headed up the Shoulder route (southwest ridge) of Lingmell. There were attractive views over Wastwater on the ascent. At the top we had a coffee break. This was Andy & Rosy’s 213rd Wainwright since retirement; just one more to do: Scafell Pike. We dropped down to Lingmell Col where we joined the busy tourist route coming up from Brown Tongue. A ‘tedious half-hour’ (according to Mr W) brought us to the top of the Pike. The highest point in England was predictably crowded but we squeezed our way onto the summit platform and popped our champagne corks to enjoy a glass of bubbly in celebration of completion of the Wainwrights and Andy’s 70th birthday. A quieter spot was found nearby for a picnic lunch which included Rosy’s yummy homemade ginger cake and a pork pie with a candle on it!
Eventually it was time to leave and we dropped down to Broad Crag col, and then down the somewhat unpleasant scree gully to reach the Corridor Route to Sty Head. Before reaching the latter, we left the path and descended to join the old bridleway down to Wasdale Head (except for a splinter group of four who continued over Great Gable). On the way, four of the party enjoyed a dip in the Emerald Pool below the confluence of Piers Gill and Lingmell Beck. It had been a great day out in the mountains. That evening 21 of us sat down for a celebration dinner in the historic dining room of the Wasdale Head Inn (the ‘birthplace of British climbing’), surrounded by old photos of tweed-clad and nailed-boot-shod climbers with hemp ropes tackling local and Alpine routes. Afterwards the birthday cake was cut and consumed while we enjoyed reminiscing about past days out in the hills.
After a wild night (wind, thunder, and heavy rain), Saturday dawned wet with with the cloud down on the tops. Some of the campers packed up and headed for home. The rest of us split into different groups: some for low level walks and others heading higher. A group of 10 walked to Overbeck Bridge and climbed Yewbarrow. We were in cloud at the top as we ate our lunch. Then it was down to Dore Head over Stirrup Crag, which involved some mild scrambling. From the saddle, three dropped down into Mosedale. The cloud was lifting off the tops by now and the rest of us had a pleasant walk down Overbeck back to the road. The weather had improved so much that we could see the scene of yesterday’s achievement: the top of Scafell Pike.
On Sunday, people headed off to different destinations, mostly homeward. On the way a party of 6 of us walked from Bigert Mire (above Ulpha) to the top of Whitfell, and were rewarded by good views: a panorama of the high Lakeland fells to the north; a view over Walney Island and Morecambe Bay to the south. From here, two continued on a ridge walk and four returned the same way.
Many thanks to everyone who has sent me some of their photos. There are some great pictures there. I have put a selection into a Picasa Web album which you can find here.
Andy and Rosy completing their final Wainwright – Scafell Pike – on Andy’s 70th birthday
On a lovely summer’s evening, a select group tackled some of the notoriously difficult routes on the Leaning Block at Higgar Tor, the down climb off of the block being equal in commitment to the routes themselves. Lucky we had Jez to rig an elaborate rope system to get us all off safely. The highlight of the evening must have been “The File” which Jez led with a lot gear, a lot of grunting and a quite a few expletives. I found myself pondering why it was called “The File” – maybe it’s because it’s long and straight, like a file………..Having returned home and seen the amount of skin that was no longer on the back my hands, I realised where it’s name must have come from. Check out some of the other route names on the block!