After a flurry of emails regarding food and late withdrawals, 10 of us eventually braved the dire threats of Storm Dennis and arrived at the George Starkey hut on Friday afternoon. The evening was split, some opting to self cater, others to try the charms of the White Lion. Saturday started fairly gently (if a little early for some). Despite the weather forecast Paul E and dog had an extended walk to the summit of St Sunday crag, Geoff found himself at the foot of Striding Edge where he became involved helping a couple who’d convinced themselves that camping by Red Tarn was a good idea! The meet leader had an ulterior motive, lunchtime football watching in the White Lion to follow a walk around Aira Force reached by car. The rest had a plan for a 3 hour circular walk via the Brotherswater Hotel. However, first one, then two found that the waterfall walk was favourable (it was raining by now). Eventually all 8 were loaded into 2 cars, transported to the car park and began. The falls were spectacular (pics on Facebook) but by the time the circuit was complete the rain was torrential and wind rising. Retreat to footy for me, Jo had cunningly forgotten her waterproof trousers and Chris, ever the gentleman offered to drive her back to the hut. The remaining 5 walked the hour and a half back passing Ullswatwer looking more like a choppy sea scape. Although the communal main meal had been abandoned, starters were cooked and served by Jo and Chris and a range of puddings arrived. A fairly early night ensued, good job as early starts were the order of Sunday. Geoff waited in vain for a friend due to arrive at 8am, dog and Paul went out for early trek, Paul and Vanda waited for family to arrive for lunch the rest went out for a walk on a gradually improving day with blue skies emerging. Storm Dennis never really arrived, yes it was wet enough to fill the field behind the hut, yes it was a bit windy but nothing exceptional, no it didn’t stop us going out or getting home without problems. Too many of these dodgy warnings and people will stop believing them. Thanks to those who made it, especially the cooks, sorry for those struck down by bugs. Better luck next time. Cheers Paul and Vanda
A few “storm dodgers” met a day early for the scramble up to Bleaklow via Torside Clough. We were a select but very multinational bunch with representation from Turkey, Japan, Yorkshire and “God’s Own Country” (Lancashire). Luckily the Pay and Display machine was out of order so we all saved the price of a pint. The scramble up Torside Clough was not quite what some members had expected involving lots of boulder hopping and multiple stream crossings. However we did discover several deep pools which would have been brilliant swimming spots in warmer weather – luckily no-one opted for an involuntary dip yesterday! Sunshine and a chilly wind greeted us when we emerged onto the Bleaklow plateau and after a short stop on the summit we looped round to the Wain Stones. A mountain hare was spotted – his brilliant white coat no longer seeming like effective camouflage in our era of global warming. Descent was by the Pennine Way path and the Longdendale Trail. Back at the carpark we completed the day with an inspection of campervans and discussion of the merits of different internal designs. Paul.
16 members made it to the comfortable Oread M C hut at Rhyd Ddu for an ace week-end in fabulous weather- cold & frosty with snow on the main tops.
Saturday dawned cold & clear with the face of Y Garn & the connecting ridge to Mynydd Drwsy- y -Coed on the Nantle ridge towering invitingly above the hut.
Some decided on a relaxed day exploring the trails near Bethesda or on the approach to Snowdon from the hut, while the remainder split into a Snowdon team (Andy & Rosie) and a Nantle team of 9.
Andy & Rosie left early to climb Snowdon by the Rhyd Ddu path.and climbed steadily with no difficulties apart from some verglasing on rocks. The final snow around the summit presented no major problems and they descended by the same route enjoying the commanding views. On the way they met Geoff Nichols who had intended to meet up with us all at 9am, but was unable to do so due to car problems & a wait for the A.A.
The Nantle party opted against a full A to B traverse of the ridge, with the consequent need to transfer cars to the other end, and instead decided to follow the ridge to the escape route by Trum y Dddysgl & return through the Bedgelert Forest.
The initial ascent up Y Garn was brutal, but got the ascent over quickly. Once at the top we had just enough time to admire the view, before clag unexpectedly rolled in. The rocky scramble to Mynydd Drws-y-coed was made a trifle exciting by the verglas covered rocks. Onwards from M D-y-coed a path below the ridge line enabled Marian to take a “softer” exit than the steeper version ahead.The remaining 8 re-joined the main ridge continuing to the obelisk on the summit of Mynydd Tal-y-mignedd. After lunch here the group divided again with Paul E opting to continue to the next summit -Garned Goch-with a lengthy return through the Pennant Valley and over the col at its head. The remaining 7 retraced our steps towards Mynydd Tal y mignedd, from where the descent & traverse across the head of the Pennant Valley led us to a waiting (& by this time) rather cold Marian at Bwlch y Ddwy Elor.The return through the Bedgelert Forest via the various tracks was successfully navigated & we were soon back at the hut.
Finishing our mugs of tea, we were joined by Paul E following his mammoth return via the depths of the Pennant Valley.
A convivial evening followed with Leon, Josie, Chris & Jo producing an amazing communal feast with, poppadoms, chicken tikka pieces and onion bhajis followed by a vegetable curry; all supplemented by members own drinks of choice plus Ali’s gin aperitif and Chris & Jo’s post meal spirits.
On Sunday some left early, leaving a party of 13 to carry out a mass ascent of Snowdon from the south via Bwlch cwm y Llan, Bwlch Main and so to the summit, with the descent by the Rhyd Ddu path.
A virtually cloudless day with blue sky and no wind, plus a reasonable covering of snow, gave us the ingredients for a perfect mountain day.
Having fought our way through the inevitable crowds around the summit, we took lunch on a viewpoint below the café. We then donned crampons for the descent to the rocky Lechog ridge where the Rhyd Ddu path led us back to the hut in good time for the drive home.
Thanks to all who came for your company and contribution to a great week-end.
With a deluge of rain as we were setting off, causing a nastily flooded road at Upper Burbage Bridge, we sort of hoped nobody would turn up. However, a phone call from the President and 1st Lady soon stopped that idea. In addition the resident dog nanny and Scout arrived to join us. As we set off the rain had stopped and we were soon walking steadily uphill towards misty views of Kinder. As the day grew brighter we made our way to the top of Lantern Pike, rarely visited on CMC meets. After leaving the summit we were hit by a brief shower before stopping for coffee etc, a longer gap than Thursday walks, so definitely welcomed. Walking North we eventually reached the bottom of Cown Edge where lunch was taken, sheltered, almost, from a rising breeze. Up to the edge, walking South now with excellent views West to Manchester and beyond and East over the Kinder plateau. Before descending we were treated to a light show with dazzling sunlight piercing holes in the cloud and moving rapidly west to east, like a giant spotlight. Almost before we were expecting it, the cars were spotted below and a decision was made to visit the pub complete with water wheel and railway carriage, where the Meet Leader treated his fellow walkers to celebratory drinks, having successfully avoiding a soaking. 7.75 miles, 1478 feet of ascent. Thanks to all who came Paul and Vanda.
The third club walk of the first week of the New Year saw no drop in enthusiasm from club members as fourteen of us (and two dogs) met in Wildboarclough. Apologies were given from five of the party who were slightly late having enjoyed cordon bleu level cookery courtesy of Bill and Elen’s the night before. Once off the walk took us to the former royal hunting ground of Macclesfield Forest on the western edge of the Peak District. The first major break in the trees gave views over towards Jodrell Bank and on to the distant Clwyd Hills that border Wales. The walk dropped down to the side of Ridgegate reservoir and the party took the liberty of taking lunch on grass designated for Macclesfield Anglers (none were present). After this the climb up Shutlingsloe (aka the Cheshire Matterhorn) began. The party stopped by and on benches approximately half way up the ascent to admire the views and then pressed on. I’m delighted to report that all the party managed to summit with only one complaining about lack of oxygen. The steep initial part of the descent was taken with care before gaining the delightful easy angled track which took us with little effort back to the start. Thanks to all who came and supported a walk in an area the club doesn’t get to very often. Andrew
First of all Happy New Year to all. For the last CMC walk before Christmas, 13 members and 2 guests met near Fairholmes. After greetings from several excited dogs we set off, ascending the woods onto the edge. We continued along Rowlee Pasture to the formations of Alport Castles and strode to the end to admire the views. Cutting underneath the crag we escaped a blustery wind and enjoyed lunch and drinks on a grassy slope in the warm winter sunshine. After a descent into Alport Dale we followed a broad track to the River Ashop. Then a muddy walk along the picturesque valley ensued before ascending over a shoulder and back down through the woods to Derwent. Some went onto the cafe at Bamford and then made an interesting river crossing and an ascent of Win Hill for the winter solstice. Total round of posted walk about 8 1/2 miles or 13.5km with 1950 feet (595m) ascent. Thanks for great company and an escape from all the festive preparations! Ali
Eleven walking stalwarts gathered at the very civilised time of 11am in the centre of Millthorpe for this New Year’s Day walk. Another walking group seemed happy to shuffle their own cars closer, so that all the Castle cars could also be fitted into this conveniently situated layby. Then off we set, heading uphill towards Holmesfield before taking a traversing path southwest to Unthank . As usual the walk had not been recced [?spelling] so the map was checked fairly regularly by the meet leader when she didn’t recognise the field/path/stile/stream, having not led a walk here since last March. A coffee stop was taken in Meekfield Wood, and later on, having passed through Moorhall we had lunch, sheltering out of the cold wind behind a thick band of trees. Two decided to have a shorter walk and peel off at Barlow Grange. The rest of us continued up to the highest point of the walk near Grange Hill, with disappointingly minimal views today, before heading down out of the wind now, through Oxton Rakes. There was no sign of the two peacocks that lived here, but several friendly dogs seemed to want to join us on our walk. An unfamiliar path was safely navigated, and another stretch of road taken, before we were back on very familiar territory, passing through Rumbling Street northwards back towards Millthorpe. Noteworthy aspects of the day were repeated appearances of a police car [? the same one], numerous horses, some with winter coats and stylishly plaited tails [!] and much MUD in all its different forms. Slightly disappointing on the entertainment front was that no-one fell over in it, but there was a general agreement that the bar has now been set particularly high for the rest of the year for measuring the ‘mud-ness factor’ on future walks. The meet lead’s suggestion of being awarded bonus points for providing TWO fords for boot washing just before the walk ended, disappointingly didn’t go down as well as she’d hoped for. But as usual thank you all for your company, especially the workers amongst you that we don’t see so often [Leon, Josie and Rosa] and also Alice from the Brecon Beacons in Wales, staying in Sheffield, whilst waiting to become a grandmother for the first time, who’d heard about the Castle through Dave Crowther. According to Andy’s GPS we walked 7 and 1/2 miles. Vanda Boyd
Many thanks to the 4 who joined me for this rather impromptu addition to the meets list. A lovely day for a walk, we set off from Glebe Road and headed over Crookes and down to the Rivelin valley. Many dog walkers were out, as were runners. We stopped short of the Rails Road car park for a coffee before continuing on to the path up just past the waterworks. Unfortunately one or more of the stepping stones now seem to be missing here…. Anyhow, all crossed without problem and we ascended to the valley-edge track. The chosen lunch stop was rather windy, so we headed to the bank before the stream crossing and ate lunch in a sheltered and sunny spot. Onwards behind the golf course to Manchester Road, then a short bit of tarmac before skirting behind Crookes cemetery and back to the road. Gill D joined us at my house, and daughter Jenny’s Christmas cake was consumed, along with mugs of tea. I was treated to a spirited rendition of Happy Birthday – thank you! Dave.
21 walkers and 5 mountain bikers gathered to enjoy what promised to be a mainly dry day
The walkers set off from Hathersage up Eyam Moor, enjoying views back over the Hope valley , with a snow covered Kinder in the distance. We continued upwards to the trig point near Sir William Hill for more panoramic views. After a slightly chilly lunch stop (we had to choose shade and shelter from the wind, or sun and wind) , we descended through lovely woodland to Stokes Ford and up to the Abney Road. A small party continued along the road taking the direct route back to Hathersage , while the rest of the group carried on up and over Offerton Moor and descending down to Leadmill Bridge.
We all reconvened at our house for copious amounts of tea and delicious refreshments.
Thanks to all who came, all who brought food and to Mary for leading the mountain bike ride at short notice. I can’t report on the ride as I was not on it!
Thirty six club members met up in the (slightly modernised) Kingsway Centre in Teesdale for this year’s dinner meet. Saturday dawned fairly bright and cold as different parties headed off on foot and on road and mountain bikes. No matter what activity everyone enjoyed a great day with some fantastic cloud and sun effects. Though reports from individuals differed slightly the mountain bikers had a great ride/push/slip up the flanks and over Cross Fell and the road bikers escaped with only one fall. No one sustained any damage. Walkers enjoyed the moors above the centre with the larger party dining on the rocky summit of Monk’s Moor in warm winter sunshine. After members had spruced themselves up the evening got off to a great start with delicious cakes and fizzy wine to celebrate the birthdays of Mary and Sue M. A table tennis tournament started but had to be abandoned as all the balls cracked (lesson for future never leave home without a ping pong ball). Once again the cooks prepared a delicious three course feast with all dietary preferences covered which was followed by homemade chocolates in honour of the birthdays. Once the washing was done the club’s new president (Chris) rose to give an entertaining speech and give out awards. The president then showed that speeches were not his only skill as, along with the new first lady, he mixed two large jars of cocktails. Sunday was an even better day with at least one club member starting the day with some of the previous evenings cocktails -mistaking them for fruit juice. A large group walked from the centre enjoying far reaching views over the Tees valley before following the river back to the centre. The mountain bikes were out again with one biker managing to fall off and plunge her face into mud – no injury sustained. Coming back from a walk one member felt the need to revive herself before going home and sampled a couple of glasses of cocktail. Five minutes later she declared ‘I feel p…..d’! Eight members stayed on in either the centre or the village. Those in the centre set to with the challenge of finishing off the cocktails – my headache on Monday morning was testament to their seductive power. Thanks again to the cooks and all the rest of you who came and contributed in whatever way and helped make it a great weekend. Now where to next year … Andrew