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.
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!
Wow, the evening was physical! Eight club members met up at Fox House and from there, under beautiful clear blue skies, charged into the heart of the Burbage Boulders to do battle; and what a battle it was. Starting off tentatively at Pock Block where we spent a while figuring out how to boulder and how to actually read the guide book. Warmed up, and now vaguely understanding the guide book, the group then advanced into the heart of the boulders, laying siege at The Brick and climbing the majority of what it had to offer. That done, the group made it up to the Armoured Car, all under the watchful eye of The Tank where they sessioned a particularly strenous and awkward 5+. About twenty boulder problems in all were figured out, ranging from font 3+ to 5+, and were climbed in varying styles. One thing was certain, we left the Boulders knowing we had been engaged in a struggle: bloody and split fingers, healing wounds re-opened, grit rash galore, grazes, burning finger tips and cramping feet – what more do you want? Excellent evening.
8 members attended the club meet at Froggatt on Sunday; the weather was pleasant and a full day’s climbing was had. There was a fair bit of ‘micky’ taking by Wragg over Marks; just the kind of gentle support one needs from the belayer when one is having a nightmare day climbing. I’m sure the favour will be returned one day. The Dowling brothers teamed up and climbed some impressive routes, including the particularly thuggish Right Flake Crack; a feat that I don’t think ws repeated on the day. Matt attacked the rock with his usual enthusiasm and got a few good leads under his belt under Vanda’s care and protection. Mary made a spirited and gutsy climb of Green Gut, complete with colourful language, urged on by the rest of the group and Judith and some of her family members who also turned up support. Andrew was in fine humorous form managing to put Wragg in his place on one occasion. Later in the day, a hitherto hidden route was eventually located and climbed by the now improving Wragg and Marks partership. Baxter found many sticks and lost only one on the day, after Leon’s throw took an awkward ricochet of a rock. He didn’t, that I am aware of, nick anybody’s sandwiches – Baxter that was, not Leon.
Linda, Pat, Martin and I could not make the Chatsworth walk so we arranged an alternative of our own. We left the parking above the Polop Paradise urbanisation at 10.30am as we did not think anyone else would join us. Crossing a stream bed, we followed a rough track uphill through scattered woodland. After a brief stop for a drink the terrain steepened significantly. Progress was steady and height gain significant. Linda complained about the missing tea break due to no flask being brought. We had to move in single file as the route was narrow until we gained less steep ground. Here, Martin noted that it was almost one o’clock so we had a break for a drink and snack under a lonely pine tree. The wind was cool so we soon traversed acreoss the side of the mountain and scrambled downwards to steeper ground. Pat questioned whether abseiling was allowed in ‘the rules’ for Thursday walks, but as we had no choice two abseils brought us back down to easier ground and the path back to the parking area. A select group but a great day out with no sign of rain or snow. David
The report refers to an ascent of the via ferrata, which follows the obvious arete on the right hand side of the main face. The Ponoch is inland from Benidorm, Costa Blanca, Spain.
A bright morning with buffeting winds and the promise of hail and sleet squalls still saw 18 of us gather at the starting point by the Grouse Inn. We were soon in the shelter of the woods on the way down to Grindleford Station. There was plenty of water in the brook as we crossed the footbridge and climbed to meet the wind again above Lawrencefield. At Surprise View the predicted squalls arrived – quite a sight as they came barrelling down the Hope Valley towards us. Fortunately they didn’t last long and we ate our lunch under blue skies in the enclosure below Higgar Tor. After that it was over the tor, round the head of the Burbage Valley, down the Duke’s Drive and through the Longshaw Estate to get back to the Grouse. By now several of us had decidedly ruddy complexions rather like the Skegness Fisherman – not surprising as the day had been ‘so bracing’! Distance 14.3km (8.9miles) Steve W
Eight people assembled at Barber Booth (despite my wrong promise of mud. The walk across the fields to the start of Chapel Head Scar was only slightly muddy. The damage caused by off roaders on the main track was apparent A short break was taken before starting along the edge itself. Although it was overcast the views to either side were extensive. After passing Lords Seat (To answer Hugh’s question, It was built just before I was born.) we quickly arrived at Mam Tor summit, in very strong winds. We dropped down the other side and had lunch in a sheltered spot in the old earthworks. Still in strong winds and now with ice pellets for extra amusement, we dropped down to Hollins Cross and turned towards Edale. Foul weather caused the ‘zipping up of the jacket. Soon the ice stopped, the wind dropped and the walk back to the cars via Edale, across some slightly muddy fields was completed. A circuit well worth doing again for the historic sites and extensive views of the Peak District. John C
We started with 18 humans and one canine, met another 7 humans for lunch, returned with 25 then were joined by 5 for tea, so a good turnout for this popular event in the club’s calendar. The route, according to the Gibson GPS, was 9.8 miles with 1700 feet of ascent – short for a normal Sunday walk but fine for a stagger on the shortest day of the year. A slight extension after lunch was declined by majority vote, with tea and cakes proving the stronger incentive. The weather proved better than forecast, with only light drizzle and mild winds, and the party made good progress from Crookes down to and along the Rivelin valley. We had enough time for a coffee stop at the old corn mill site before the climb up to Lodge Moor and lunch at The Sportsman. The carvery was popular, along with the well-kept Landlord, allowing a comfortable wait for the 4-strong cycle party and those joining for the afternoon only. Return along the edge path was quicker than the outward journey, and we were back at Glebe Road by 3.30 to find that David P and Mary had already arrived by bike and had made the first brew! A pleasant social followed, with the club’s large teapot being refilled many times and much banter enjoyed. The popularity of the cakes meant that only a small dent was made in the mince pie mountain, much of which was redistributed among departing members. Many thanks to all who brought food, and to Chris H for a valiant day’s baking on Saturday. Happy Christmas and New Year everyone, see you in 2015. Dave C