Sunday Walk – February 25th 2018 – report

A party of eight gathered on a very chilly morning and left Upper Booth for Jacob’s Ladder. We were soon much warmer after the steep climb, but on reaching the higher ground on Kinder Low the bitter north easterly wind ensured we did not linger too long to admire the far reaching views over Manchester and westwards towards Buxton. Someone suggested the wind-chill made the temperature feel like minus double figures!
We reached Kinder Downfall, a popular focal point for walkers on such a glorious day. The fall was entirely frozen, and climbers were enjoying the winter conditions. We negotiated the frozen river and pressed on, it being too cold to stop for refreshments. Descending from Sandy Heys we found some shelter from the wind and under a clear blue sky we took our first lunch stop, overlooking Kinder Reservoir. An hour later and having skirted the reservoir we sheltered against a wall and ‘sunbathed’ whilst we had our second lunch. A long and gradual climb followed to bring us to the Oaken Clough path, with good views of South Head and Mount Famine across the valley. The cold wind increased as we ascended to Edale Cross. We then made the final descent of Jacob’s Ladder to Upper Booth, and back to our starting point.
11.5 miles on a superb winter’s day. Thanks to all for your company.

New Members’ Meets 2018

The Castle Mountaineering Club, based in the Sheffield/Peak District area, is holding two Rock Climbing weekends in April and May 2018.

These weekends, provide the opportunity for potential new members, to find out more about the Club, and meet fellow climbers with a range of abilities and ages.

1st Meet:
Friday 20th April Indoors: Awesome Walls, Sheffield, from 6pm onwards
Sunday 22nd April Outdoors: Burbage North, from 10.30am (meeting at the Upper Burbage Bridge car park).

2nd Meet:
Friday 11th May Indoors: Awesome Walls, Sheffield, from 6pm onwards
Sunday 13th May Outdoors: Stanage Popular End from 10.30am

It can be daunting to move from the security of the climbing wall, to placing your own gear, setting up a safe belay, and working out where a route goes in the outdoors. Joining up with our club members, who have been there before and often have many years experience, can ease this move. Our members are able to offer informal advice, mentoring and climbing partners while Club membership provides access to BMC training courses.

What you need

Ideally you will have, as a minimum, climbed indoors, have your own harness, belay device, helmet and shoes and can tie on safely and belay someone competently. However, the club has some equipment which will be available on both weekends. If in doubt, please speak to Andrew (see below).

Who we are

Castle Mountaineering Club members undertake a wide range of activities including rock climbing, mountaineering, walking, trekking, skiing, ski mountaineering, ski touring, cycling and mountain biking. We are a sociable and supportive group with a lot of combined experience. What unites us is our love of the outdoors, whether it’s the great countryside on our doorstep in the Peak District or adventures further afield.

If you would like to join us on one of our weekends, it is important to contact us in advance, to let us know your details, in case we have to inform you of a change of venue, due to bad weather.

Andrew Milne, membership secretary can be contacted on 0114 2686605 or via our website (

Image copyright Peter O’Donovan. Provided solely for publicising Castle Mountaineering Club.

Walk report Sunday Feb 4th 2018

The 12 humans and 1 dog who assembled in Millers Dale were treated to a day of good weather and a varied walk. We crossed the dale and ascended the east side of the nature reserve before heading for Priestcliffe and Taddington. From the centre of the village a narrow path took us out and up to Sough Top, where a wall provided shelter for a coffee stop. By this time we were above snowline, and Ali’s snowman was enthusiastically destroyed by Lial’s dog. Onwards we went through Chelmorton, passing the IllyWilly well and the pub without deviation. The Midshires Way took us toward Deepdale, but a navigational error by the leader took us down too early, to Churn Hole. A pleasant lunch spot was found here though, at the expense of half a km of walk. Down we went to the Wye, and along to Blackwell bridge. A little further downstream we headed up the zigzag track to Meadow, where a deliberate decision was made to take the Pennine Bridleway toward Wormhill, restoring the distance lost earlier. This was possibly not universally approved, especially in the depths of the mud of the path behind Wormhill village. An escape was made through the churchyard and down to the river again. After a short muddy section downstream we climbed back up to the old railway track and back to the cars. A tad over 11 miles in all, in good company. Thanks to all.
and, a welcome to the Castle for Jacky – hope we’ll see you on future events!
Dave C

Ascending to Sough Top

Ali, snowman and snowdog

The White Peak

A slippery descent

Face to face
















Report on Coniston meet Jan 26/27/28 2018

Sorry for the ones who couldn’t make it [recovering from flu, poorly car, gear already far too wet, family commitments, skiing in Tignes, climbing in Spain …..] as we had a really great time. Some arrived early enough to walk above the snow-line and get wonderful views with photos to prove it, and the 2 stoves were lit to welcome later arrivals. All had safely negotiated the long and challenging rough track up to the Coppermines Cottage, and we were joined later that evening by previous member Dave Beynon, who was staying in the youth hostel in Coniston. As predicted, Saturday morning greeted us with low clag and torrential rain [with Dave B. who’d run up from Coniston to say hello again, clutching a mug of tea and dripping in the corner of the kitchen to demonstrate how wet it actually was] so breakfast was a leisurely, protracted affair. But eventually we were stirred into activity, with the nearby Old Man of Coniston our objective. New members Gemma and Kial got out early enough to get there without being blown off the top, but the six of us who’d set off later decided to retreat approx. 300 feet from the summit, when the repeated gusts of wind became so strong, we were all being flattened, and Janet’s glasses were whipped off her head and lost in the gloom. So a sensible and safe return to the welcoming cottage for tea and cake, and again 2 lit stoves to keep it all very cosy. During the night the wind increased even more [‘howling’ would be a fitting description], so it was good to see a smiling Russ safely emerge from his still upright van next morning. Gemma and Kial decided to go for a run, while others made plans to call on relatives or visit a gear shop. Four of us went for a delightful low-level walk from Hodge Close quarries to Little Langdale and back, before setting off back home. Thanks to you all for your excellent and entertaining company [John Murton, Dave Crowther, Russ Clare, John and Janet Hutchinson, Leon Dowling, Josie Davies, Gemma Scougal and Kial Wright] fire lighting skills, and impressive team-work tidying and cleaning the cottage on Sunday, leaving it almost spotless for the next visitors.
Vanda Boyd
PS. Although we did get above the [very small patches of] snow on Saturday, the avalanche risk was zilch, so the ice axe and crampons were not used, although thinking about it later, perhaps an ice axe could have been deployed in the hurricane gusts?

Dovedale Walk 14th January 2018 -Report

11 of us met at the car park above Mill Dale on a dull & chilly morning.Once we were all booted up and ready,it was a relief to get walking and warm up!
Leaving Mill Dale and entering Dove Dale itself we passed a dipper perched on a branch above the river and then a heron incongruously standing about 50 metres inland.
The impressive cave by Dove Holes (scene of the club’s last “whack and dangle” meet in 2007) soon followed.We then crossed the river by Ilam Rock and tackled the steep climb to the top of Dovedale Wood on the western rim of the dale.Continuing past Air Cottage and Ilam Tops farm, we admired the view and the antics of a group of parascenders at the top of Bunster Hill.A short sharp descent then led us to a steady traverse above the Izac Walton Hotel and so to the foot of Thorpe Cloud.Rather than follow others on the uninviting full frontal assault,we took an easier line up the side of the hill before tackling the summit from the rear.Once up we admired more fine views before taking the main switch back descent, with Gavin opting for the more direct route down.
Lunch was taken near the foot of the peak in relative seclusion before we joined the masses congregating around and on the stepping stones.
The main part of Dovedale ,as beautiful as ever. was then followed upstream back to Ilam Rock where we crossed the bridge for a second time.We then completed the walk by following Hall Dale towards Stanshope before crossing over the intervening ridge and descending to Mill Dale.
An enjoyable day out visiting the highlights of this beautiful area.
Thanks to to those who came and for your company.

Dove stones Edge 7th Jan 2018 Meet report

10 people and 4 dogs left Cutthrout Bridge on a gloriously bright and crisp morning. The route went to Derwent Edge, Back Tor, then down to Strines Reservoir. Fun could be had stimulating the CCTV camera at Brogging End, linked to a load speaker, which confirmed we were on private property and the police had been informed. A boggy ascent to Sugworth Tower; sometimes called Boot’s Folly. Wikidedia tells us this was constructed in 1927 by Charles Boot who resided at Sugworth Hall. It was built from leftover stone when the nearby Bents House was constructed. The stone for Bents House came from local disused farms which had been demolished because they were suspected of polluting the waters in the dale. Boot’s Folly may have been constructed to provide work for Sugworth Hall’s workmen during the depression; or Boot built the tower so he could see High Bradfield churchyard where his wife, who had died in 1926, was buried. The interior originally had wood panelling and a large furnished room at the top where the Boot family could enjoy the view. There was a spiral staircase to the top, but this was removed in recent times after a cow climbed the stairs and became stuck. Apparently we missed a set of beautifully carved columns and capitals nearby. These stones are believed to have come from Brunswick Chapel which is at the bottom of Sheffield Moor. The chapel was bombed during the Second World War and Mr Boot was charged with making the chapel safe so brought some of the masonry to his house on the moors. The walk continued through the rhododendron forest at Sugworth Hall to Moscar. Across the A57 to Stanage End and to Jarvis Clough. Gorgeous colours in the low winter light, ice on the flagstones and mitigating the bogs, made a beautiful walk.

Report for seasonal stagger 23rd Dec 2017

Welcome blue sky accompanied us for much of the walk up Porter Brook and into the wind towards Whitestones above Redmires reservoir. Towards the high point we had a break in the shelter of a wall, before the usual often boggy path down to the reservoir. Here we temporarily mislaid one member of the party who had strode ahead and importantly was carrying someone else’s sandwiches. Luckily person and sandwiches rejoined the party later and before lunch by Wyming Brook. A diversion down the delightful path alongside the brook to Rivelin reservoir was almost immediately followed by a path back up the hill to the three Merry lads where surprisingly, we mislaid no one. A short stretch of beech wood led to Redmires conduit and back to the start. Much tea and various food contributions were then consumed at my house by 15 (off and on) walkers, I think 5 mountain bikers (who mentioned burbage and longshaw and 28miles but not sure where else they got to), and another 8 or so who came to join in the social tea drinking event and help eat the mince pies. Thanks to all for your company, your help serving tea and your food contributions. A very socially occasion. Happy Christmas!

Sunday 26th Nov 2017 walk report

8 members assembled at the car Park in Low Bradfield and were soon ascending the hill to High Bradfield .After traversing below Agden Rocher we descended Agden side to Agden reservoir where adjoining benches were utilised for a short T stop.
Moving on we rounded the end of the reservoir,but the meet leader,engrossed in conversation missed the required turn off.Worse was to come when he discovered that he had brought the White, not the Dark Peak, map.Undaunted the meet leader forged a way up the bank through virgin forest to reach the road pretty close to the missed path.
Taking advantage of the new path across Win Hill we were soon by the Dale Dike .This was to have been where I, as meet leader, turned back and handed over Kathy Burgess.However, feeling no hernial discomfort and with Vanda’s assurance that “everything must have healed by now” I decided to continue.
Forsaking the usual reservoir path we followed Hall Lane to the impressive Hallfield mansion stopping for lunch just beyond with panoramic views of Dale Dike,High Bradfield and beyond.
Lunch over we continued to the rather dilapidated and boarded up building named Brogging where one walker looked for a discreet area nearby to relieve himself only to be greeted by a loudspeaker alarm announcing that he had been recorded on CCTV and the police informed!
We sped hurriedly on below the Strines reservoir and turned back for Low Bradfield with increasing showers and some “mudness”to use Martin’s terminology.
An enjoyable round totalling 9.4 miles in good company in generally good conditions-but best of all ,my hernia repair survived unscathed!
Mike Doyle

The Castle, 26 Nov 2017

Report on Sunday 12th November 2017 walk from Eyam

Missing the first turn-off, only a very short distance from the free car park in Eyam, didn’t bode well for the rest of the day on this [as usual] un-recce’ed route, especially as all eight of us had noted that this car park had its gate locked at 5pm, but after a slight detour we were soon back on track again. Skirting Eyam Moor, we stopped for 2 minutes silence at 11am and the nearby clay-pigeon shooters thoughtfully did the same. Then down to Stoke Ford and the second unplanned deviation of the day, up a muddy Abney Clough, briefly stopping for a coffee break on a sunny bank before Abney. Perhaps the meet leader needn’t have admitted her mistake in route finding, as again very shortly we were back on the correct path on Abney Moor. The views were stunning, including, rather surprisingly, being able to see through folds in the hillsides, the viaduct over Ladybower reservoir, gleaming white in the sunshine. Lunch was taken in sunshine in the protective lee of a dry-stone wall, entertained by two low flying gliders from the nearby gliding club [more brownie points?]. The views continued to be quite amazing, before we dropped down to pass an old pumping station surrounded by a quagmire of mud, safely negotiated with no-one falling over. Then through Great Hucklow and many fields and stiles, passing south of Silly Dale and Foolow, to join Tideswell Lane and back to Eyam after 5 hours 40 mins and 11.9 miles [according to Sean’s GPS] to safely retrieve our cars in good time. After a very brief discussion, five of us decided that afternoon tea was a good idea, so Marianne directed us to the best tea shop in Eyam with the most delicious cakes imaginable. A fitting end to a most enjoyable day – thank you Marianne, Chris, Sean, John, Hugh, Frank and Jenny for your good company.
Vanda Boyd

Vanda’s pictures (click on the thumbnail for a larger picture):

Sunday 5 November 2017 Edale meet report

On a glorious sunny and quite warm morning, 7 of us assembled, in various states of health, in Edale, [taking advantage of the free car park] before wandering through the fields to Nether Booth and along to the foot of Jagger’s Clough. This surprisingly little-used path took us gently upwards for a while until we went into full ‘Thursday Walk’ mode and stopped for elevenses where Vanda handed round pie which had been intended for last Thursday’s anniversary party which she was too ill to attend. This appeared to be a good move as we were soon on our way again up the steeper bit. Unfortunately the stream was rather too full to make use of the full scrambling opportunities usually available, although some were unavoidable and towards the top the meet leader was determined to sample a few of the pleasures of wet rock etc.
We then turned West and wandered along to Ringing Rodger where a lovely sheltered and comfy lunch stop was taken, before traversing along the edges, where many tales of previous epics on the climbs below were recounted.. Along the way we met Jez and Tracy walking in the opposite direction. By this time, at least one member was feeling the effects of age and illness and wondered which way we were to descend, but she was talked out of Grindsbrook and ‘encouraged’ over Grindslow Knoll before returning to Edale with the rest of the party, which promptly split into ‘pub’ and ‘not pub’ sections. The pub section had a swift pint, courtesy of Mr Crowther before returning to the car just as the sun slipped down behind Brown Knoll and the gps registered 10.0 miles. Perfect!!
Paul Gibson

Photos by Vanda (click on a thumbnail for a larger version):