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Report on Sunday 7th January 2024 walk

  • Six of us gathered at 10.30am in the centre of Bolsterstone, newish member Mark and five ‘old’ stalwarts – Kathy, Hazel, J. B. and Chris Kell [much to the relief of this meet leader, who had wondered whether she would have any company at all today, this being the fourth Castle walk in a week]. Heading confidently north towards the outskirts of Stockbridge, assuming that the way would be well-remembered and obvious, having led the same walk in January 2021, we ended up inadvertently ‘exploring’ a housing estate, trying to locate the exit path, and being very grateful [not for the only time on today’s walk] for the GPS and map on Kathy’s phone. Then followed a straight-forward path through water-logged fields and a quiet minor road, before descending Green Lane to arrive at Underbank Reservoir with its surprisingly huge outflow. We stopped for coffee at a convenient table with benches near the currently closed Outdoor Activity Centre, with its climbing wall and high aerial wire, before heading up a road and path away from the reservoir [both wrong!] Kathy’s phone map came to the rescue once again, and after following a very zig-zag route to get us back on track, it was time to stop for lunch on Wind Hill Knoll. After checking that everyone’s energy, joints and healing ankle fracture were OK to continue on the planned route, rather than the direct short-cut back to Bolsterstone, we descended the road and up the other side to gain the waymarked path on the ridge with views over the Ewden valley and Broomhead Reservoir, followed eventually [after the highest wall and stile today] by easy walking on the tarmacked Heads Lane, then through the church yard back to our cars.
    Thank you everyone for coming along and for your excellent company.
    Vanda Boyd
    Kathy’s pics:

    Vanda’s pics:

Crianlarich 27 Dec 2023 – 1 Jan 2024 – meet report –

Eli, Josh, Tom, Kathy, Mary, Helen, Andy and Geoff gathered at the marvellous Ochils MC hut in Crainlarich. On the first day all attempted Twisting Hill and An Caisteal. All but three saw sense and retreated from Twisting hill in the face of 60mph winds. Three continued, over An Casteal, attempting a traverse, ‘till one was picked up by the wind and somersaulted. A retreat back over An Caisteal seemed the best option, although required crawling at times. Once over the top the descent was easier. A run through modern jive moves livened up the evening. Injuries, not from the jiving, forced two of the Twisting Hill group to retire the next day. The rest of us ascended the N. ridge of Ben More, over to Stob Binnein. Crampons above 500m, fine views from the second summit. Day three was forecast grim, so we explored a part of the West Highland way. Day four, 4 of us ascended Cruach Ardrain. Crampons, tricky snow conditions and navigation near the top. No views from the top, but they opened up as we descended. Josh snowboarded in Glencoe and Tom biked. Day five, most people had to return south. The two remaining did Beinn Challum. Fine views at the start and end of the day; crampons almost from the car. Many thanks to Richard for booking the hut. Very warm and comfortable and an excellent base for local hills. Thanks also to Ochils MC. Geoff
Kathy’s pics:

New Year Day 2024 Walk Report

Twenty people and a dog pack left Bradfield in slightly drizzly conditions. However very soon the sun and blue skies took over. We welcomed 2024 with sherry and biscuits at Dale Dyke Resefvoir, then crossed uner the dam. Higher up on the other side we lunched by a dry stone wall – great views to Agden Roche. Down the Strines road we passed the old Windmill Hill Outdoor Centre – now with roof but essentially derelict. An attractive path leading around Agden Reservoir (busy with human dippers) led us back to the start. 12km total and lovely dappled light all the way round. A fabulous start to another 12 months of outdoor adventure. Happy New Year!

Bus walk – 10th December 2023 meet report

The 65 bus arrived at Hunters Bar at the advertised 9.47. Cathy, Lorna and Simon boarded at the Fox House. We got off at Tideswell; as that’s where the timetable told us the bus terminated. As we looked back the bus destination morphed to Millers Dale; where we’d wanted to go; and Buxton. Too late to board again, we set off across fields to intercept the Limestone Way. By-passing the bogs of the dale we took a minor road to the East, eventually cutting down into Dam Dale and then to Peak Forest. A section enlivened with political debate. Back on the Limestone Way we extended the walk by going round the top of the Winnats, down the old road to the Odin Mine, then to Castleton. 17k. Spent half an hour in the visitor centre before catching the 272 back to the Fox House, again, right on 16.08. Feeling green and virtuous we retrieved our cars. Nice to do a bus trip which worked, especially for those of us with a pass. Geoff.

Blackden Brook meet report, Nov 26th 2023

8 of us ranging in age from 13 to 70+ arrived for the meet on a dry, coolish morning with intermittent sunshine, not quite the glorious weather enjoyed by the navigators yesterday but perfect for a steepish ascent.
After a fairly gentle start, with numerous crossings of the stream, we eventually reached the waterfall that precedes the start of the scramble. Unfortunately the path had suffered a minor collapse over a 25 foot steep drop, so various options were taken to avoid too much tension. Reconvening above the Falls we set off up the Grade 1 scramble, continuing interest was enjoyed, especially with a large amount of ice/verglas.
The Kinder plateau was reached just in time for lunch, after which we turned North, with a few options available to complete the trip. After some while it became fairly obvious that the longer options would leave us in the dark at the mercy of a single head torch between us, so the consensus was to drop down Fairbrook, see if we could find a path back to the cars (we couldn’t) or walk down the road. Having almost got a lift, but not quite, we walked the mile or so back to the cars.
7.75 miles, much ascent/descent in almost 6 hours, no navigating happened, thanks to all that came, lovely to be out on the hills again.
Pictures on walking WhatsApp page.
Paul Gibson.

Bus to the Snake 19/11/2023 meet report

The bus was late at Crosspool but it gave me the chance to talk to a passing stranger about all the long distance walks she’d done – recommending Hadrian’s Wall and the Wolds way. Once on the bus I met up with the Sheffield 20 – 30 walking group. I think that’s the age rather than distance of walks. Looks like a type of mating behaviour. Apparently I was not eligible to join. Due to a lack of bus drivers the bus was not going to the Snake, just Fairholmes and Hope. So I got off at Ashopton viaduct in case any other Castle members intended to meet up there. None. Put a thumb out and got the first car. The driver was an Afghan who had escaped the Taliban the first time they got into power. He has relatives in Afghanistan, but can’t visit. We discussed the plight of migrants, the Afghan cricket team (who all come from one favoured tribe) and Gaza (they just need to stop killing each other and make peace). He has an Italian restaurant on Glossop Road – I must visit. We shook hands as he dropped me at the top of the Snake. Full waterproofs needed right away. Got to Bleaklow at 11.0. Compass out to find The Ridge and indistinct paths to Alport Castles for 1.45. Bog, rain, wind, more bog. Met two other bedraggled souls making their way to Bleaklow – that was it. A bit of solitude is good for connecting with the self. After lunch, behind the first bit of shelter, made Fairholmes at 3.15. He who travels alone travels fastest. The next bus was due at 4.08, but due to diminished faith in busses and general dampness I stuck a thumb out again and got a lift to Nether Green. The driver was on a day navigation training with the Park wardens, which was cut short. I may have persuaded him to join our club. A grand day out, meeting some lovely people and confirming faith in the milk of human kindness. Looking forward to the next bus walk! Geoff.

Dark Peak walk Sat 11 November 2023

Eight of us enjoyed a really good day with clear dry weather and light winds. The plan was to look at two crash sites, a B24 liberator bomber from WW2 and two sabre Jet fighters that collided in mid air in 1954. All of the above was achieved including tracing the wreckage trail from the top of Kinder to the lower ground by the snake path passing several areas of wreckage including wings, landing wheels, tailplanc and a jet engine. The 2 minutes silence was appropriately observed at a point between Snake Top and Mill Hill.

Thanks everyone for your company and making it such a good day. There are photos on both walkers and climbers wattsap groups. Gordon

Meet report – Sunday 29th October, Stanage.

Nine of us made it to Mississippi area, starting late as it had been very wet overnight, although this meant more hassle with parking.  Stanage was still very popular with the masses.  It brightened up in the afternoon, allowing for some good climbing and with lovely autumn colours in the trees.  The last of the season’s planned outdoor climbing meets.  Back to the wall, but I’m sure we’ll manage some opportunistic days out in the next months.   Geoff.

Walk Report Sun 22 Oct 2023 Goyt Valley

4 humans and one dog met at Errwood Hall Car park, Goyt valley. We left one human behind, who was on call for work with issues to sort out. 3 humans and one dog set off up Foxlow Edge, Pym Chair, Cats Tor, along the ridge to Shining Tor our high point of the day at 559m. We popped into the closed Cat and Fiddle pub, which is now a Whisky distillery. As we were all doing well, including our four legged companion, and had time, the walk was extended from the original plan following the Dane Valley Way to reach our bonus Ethel Cheeks Hill. We returned via Derbyshire bridge and met up with our fourth human who was finally released of work responsibilities to join us for the last stretch. Lovely sunny day, great view and great company. Approx 13 miles, with 5 Ethels bagged. Lorna.

Meet report: Birchen Edge 22nd Oct 2023

Four of us set off for the crag from the NT car park at about 10:30 (Helen and Geoff via a week advised coffee in the Robin Hood before Tomasz and I arrived). First stop was Kismet Buttress where I led Nelson’s Nemesis (Vs according to rockfax!) with Tomasz. Helen and Geoff headed off to Stokes Wall, where we saw them a bit later. We did a couple of routes there too but at 2pm I had to head off to visit family. Dave and Csilla had just arrived so they and Tomasz yearned up for the rest of the day.

After the weather chaos of the previous few days, it was lovely to have blue skies and warm sun for the meet. Thanks to all who came.