A rather wet morning prompted thoughts of nobody turning up, but by 10 am, 15 hardy souls and two dogs had congregated. By 10 past two more arrived, [President and Mrs President!]. The planned route had been kept a closely guarded secret, ensuring the party was kept on their toes wondering where to next and where the guaranteed undercover lunch spot, much needed, could be. The route set out through the Highcliffe allotments and wound its way to Ringinglow Rd, crossing over to the Birkdale School playing fields where a sharp right took us to the top of the steep, [muddy] steps down into the Limb Valley where the bridge was crossed to the coffee stop, outdoors, at Whirlowbrook House, café closed. We then cut off through the woods and fields to cross the Hathersage Road, descending to Ecclesall woods through a series of winding tracks, eventually crossing Abbey Lane and took the path which comes out almost opposite the Rising Sun, enabling an indoor lunch in the clubroom, heaters ON!!. Charles joined us for lunch. After suitable refreshments a direct route up Little Common Lane, through the estate and fields back to High Storrs Road was taken, including a skipping race between Jaycee-May [age 8] and Ali [slightly over 8]. I’ll leave you to guess the winner. A hearty spread of tea, cakes etc was partaken of, for which another 4 or 5 members arrived, sensibly deciding that a very wet day was worth missing, although those who walked all seemed to enjoy it. GPS registered 8.9 miles, slightly above estimate but no steep hills. Thanks to all who participated in whatever capacity. Pictures on Facebook page if computer lets me. Cheers and Merry Christmas Paul Gibson & Vanda Boyd.
The annual dinner weekend saw 33 of us descend on the bunkhouse in the tranquil hamlet of Halton Gill. Despite a mediocre to poor weather forecast the excitement was high on the Friday night as various bottles and cans of liquid refreshment were opened and the competitive element of some members started to express itself on the pool table. I won’t go into this in detail but if you come to the slide show in March all will be revealed. Saturday morning dawned with damp dankness on the fells. Different walking groups formed and at least two of the groups did virtually the same walk in different directions. The point in common was a stop at the Queen’s Arms in Litton where, along with teas and coffees, beers brewed in the pub’s micro-brewery were sampled in front of a roaring fire. Another group set off on mountain bikes bound for a café somewhere over the hills. The dynamic duo of Steve and Hugh avoided the rain by heading underground. Everyone returned safely with some making use of the sauna to relax before dinner while others made full use of the day arriving back just before and just after the seven o’clock dinner deadline. This was no problem as there was plenty of delicious food for all. Once again club members had risen to the challenge of catering for all tastes and big thanks go to Dave C, Rosy, Mary, Lin, Sue M and Marianne for their hard work in making a great three course meal. Evening entertainment included laying down challenges for the President to complete in 2019 (these included activities ranging from learning a poem, playing golf, dancing, archery, hard climbs and multiple climbs, through to spending a night on a porter-ledge with Jez). The President, having had a couple of beers and at least one glass of wine, accepted all the challenges. Ali ran a beetle drive, Vanda led circle dancing, there was more pool and more consumption of liquid refreshment. On the Sunday the weather remained damp but this did not stop the outdoor activities. Thanks to all who came for contributing and supporting the meet. Now where shall we book for next year? Andrew and Ali
8 of us set out on a rather gloomy but dry morning from Yorkshire Bridge, intending to visit the usually underwater Derwent Village, flooded in 1944 to create the Ladybower Reservoir. We son reached the village and spent some time exploring before resuming along what’s usually the bed of the reservoir. My intention was to reach Fairholmes through the woods but it was unilaterally decided by somebody (Elen?) that we should cross the river via a log and stones. Although there was much potential for falling in, nobody did so, coffee etc then taken at the cafe. Much delay was then caused by the meet leader losing his bike lock key. After substantial searching Elen decided to take action and returned with some bolt croppers, don’t ask, and proceeded to cut the lock off! Progress was then made towards Tin Town until one bicycle suffered a major failure necessitating a long walk back for Dick. Lynne heroically decided to accompany him. The rest of us finally continued on to Slippery Stones and returned via the Eastern edge, briefly pausing to chat to the immediate past President of the Eagle Ski club recuperating from an 18th birthday party the previous evening. Back at the cars the early returners had gone, hopefully alls well. The majority ended the day in the Angler’s Rest, Yorkshire Bridge too full. GPS said 19.7 miles. Legs said more!! Paul
7 people joined Bill and Elen on a mountain bike circuit of Chatsworth: 3 Castle and 4 Derwent MC members. It was really good to see two new Castle MTB riders: Kial and Paul Fidler. Thanks to a member of the Derwent who knew the local bridleways we were able to do some easy single track diversions on route. There was some good downhill bits and most of the uphill bits were rideable, although even Kial was seen to put his foot down on one section. Some people wisely decided on an early bath, David P and Elen showed lack of wisdom by taking a short cut involving riding up Rowsley Bar. The early finish meant that a support vehicle could be driven down to Darley Dale to pick up the finishers and transport them back up the hill. Bill & Elen
12 0f us, ranging in age from 8 – 72 [no dogs] assembled in Langsett Barn car park for an earylish start for Sunday’s walk, aiming to be at St James Church in Midhopestones for 11am. Although slightly late leaving due to traffic diversions in Wharnecliffe we made good time covering the 2.3 miles in under an hour, across the dam and down along an ancient path known as Dark Lane, arriving by 10.45. Coffee was taken and the empty 13th century church explored before a minutes silence and the last Post at 11am. We were the only people there in a fascinating building. After leaving a visitors’s book message of thanks and suitable donations we made our way back uphill to continue the walk. Following the directions in the leaflet we had a difficult passage through scrubland uphill, not appreciated by the party, especially the youngest member who needed bribing with the promise of food to continue!! Eventually a proper path was reached after a scramble over a couple of walls, eventually the climb into Upper Midhopestones brought us to the edge of the WW2 tank training area where lunch was taken in the sunshine which had replaced earlier drizzle. We continued across the moor towards “North America”, now a ruin of an old farmhouse used as target practice by the aforementioned tanks. A final descent was made crossing the stream and back to the [free] car park via the woodland bordering the reservoir. Many thanks to all who attended on a special day Paul Gibson
I think this two trails loop must have a jinx on me – last time I led it we lost Andy with a broken saddle and my pannier rack broke., This time Chris K had to turn back with a slowly deflating rear tyre (suspected damaged rim), and we never even found Hugh (or rather he never found us).
Anyway, a nice mixed 28 mile circuit which was enjoyed by the completing team of Kathy, Kial and me. Up the Monsal trail from Coombs Lane with colourful leaf displays and great views, then a haul up the Pennine Bridleway (even Kial had to push through lack of traction) and over to the High Peak Trail on farm tracks and minor roads. Parsley Hay cafe was open, providing welcome hot drinks and a lunch stop, then down to Friden where we caught a shower. Onto road from there, we wheeled down through Middleton to Youlgreave, where we found Phil Bartlett just leaving his house with new dog. We took the road route back to Bakewell, avoiding the nice but muddy bridlepath from last time (the author has to confess pushing up Quiet Lane) and back down Coombs Lane to find Chris K’s car gone, but Hugh’s there…. a few texts established that he had tried to catch us up, but was at that time soaking wet at Parsley Hay. He got back merely damp. I understand.
Thanks to all for turning out.
A tad under 4 hours, next time I might lengthen the route a bit – if anyone will join me!
The seven Castle members [and one dog] were in good spirits as we set off from Elton at 10am, despite the dank weather and an extremely irate local who wasn’t impressed with how we’d parked – ”You are not welcome here!” – so the unanimous decision was to just ignore him and quickly leave. Heading southwest in mist over the large fields of Elton Common with no paths visible, Sean kept us safely on track with his compass bearing, until we reached the road, and could soon turn off to join Long Dale with greatly improved views. Then a welcome coffee break under the larches of Little Bolderstone Plantation, before leaving the dale and heading vaguely towards Middleton. The option of a short diversion to explore the tumulus at Kenslow Knoll was rejected, as there now was some concern about the actual length of today’s walk [the meet leader’s piece of string representing 8 miles might have been doubled up in the planning stage]. Luckily route-finding and passing the very grand grounds of Mount Pleasant Farm, with great views down towards Youlgreave, provided some distraction from the vague possibility of finishing in the dark. Floyd, the dog, also provided entertainment chasing thrown sticks and expecting to be helped each time over all of the numerous stiles. Eventually reaching Youlgreave we turned sharply right to start heading directly back towards Elton, through more fields filled with cows [which Floyd didn’t like] and some steepish hills. Thank you Chris, Pete, Sean, Mary [and Floyd, Leon and Josie for your excellent company. There were no deviations that day on this, as usual, non-recce’d route, and no need for head torches as the 2 GPS’s said we’d completed either 9.4 or 9.9 miles in 5 and ¼ hours. Vanda Boyd
A fresh and sunny autumn morning tempted eleven club members (along with associate members Molly and Poppy) to come to the Dover’s Wall area of Stanage at one stage or another. Five members actually climbed other’s stopped for chat. Amazingly as it got to midday there was sufficient warmth in the sun to make the climbing pleasant rather than a freezing fingers ordeal. The meet leader warmed up by soloing Bumbler’s Arete and A Black Yin two not to be missed mods that both must be at least four metres in length. Other harder routes followed in what is one of Stanage Popular End’s quieter areas yet packed with quality routes. The climbing came to an end following a hail shower in mid- afternoon. Thanks to all who came on the meet whether for a chat or to climb. That could well be the outdoor climbing finished for the year though three of us had a great afternoon at a sunny Froggatt yesterday so you never know. Andrew
The die was cast at 6.0pm Saturday when the meet leader checked the forecast, for showers from midday on the Sunday, and diverted the meet to the Foundry. Sunday dawned – bright and sunny. The meet leader dutifully exhausted himself on all the self-belay routes available at the Foundry – meeting up with Jo for lunch, and then moving out to sunny Stanage. There we met three other Castle members – who had been sunning themselves for the morning. The drizzle dutifully arrived – the others left – we did a couple of climbs, walked through the glorious plantation woods and back over Carr Head rocks in the late evening light. Went over to Wharncliffe on Thursday – did some fine routes in the Hell Gate area, and green stuff around Long John’s stride. Wharncliffe deserves another meet. Geoff
Eight club members, 3 others and 4 dogs met on a cool but sunny sunday morning. We ascended to Rushup Edge via the Chapel Gate track and picked up the penine bridleway to South Head. We met Frank at South Head as he completed the route in reverse, reaching South Head by Jacobs ladder. Couple of stops for coffee and lunch en route and we stopped to admire the great views towards Manchester and Hayfield on such a clear, if windy day, where group photo was taken by Tim ( see attached). All agreed to skirt the southern edge of Kinder rather than descend to Upper Booth via Jacobs Ladder . We followed the path to Grindslow Knoll and followed the nice but steep descent back to Upper Booth. Chris noted that we had clocked 12.9 miles. Lovely Walk and great company. Thanks to Sean for such a good route. Fiona