Dark peak walk Sun 18 Feb 2024 – Report

3 of us met up for this walk one of whom met us below Mam Tor due to it being impossible to find anywhere to park in Edale. An atmospheric time was had going over Rushup Edge and Brown Knoll in mist, light rain and strong westerly winds The mist and low cloud didn’t lift until we were on Kinder. An uneventful descent was made via Grindslow Knoll to return to Edale. Thanks for the company it was good to chat although the meet leader was struggling a bit from being ill and tired after the Scottish trip. Gordon.

Meet Report Rehab Walk Sat February 17th 2024

Eight members met in murky conditions, but enjoyed a 16km (10mile) walk. Starting at the Haywood car park we slithered our way down to Grindleford with a slightly unplanned detour via Tegness Quarry and the former residence of two members. On the flatter ground we walked along the River Derwent valley via Froggatt and Calver to Baslow with muddy fields, quiet lanes and good views of snowdrops and waterside gardens. Lunch in Baslow churchyard with a display of snowdrops and crocuses before climbing up to Baslow Edge where we were rewarded with extensive views as the mist had cleared. A welcome coffee at the van in the Curbar Gap car park before the final stretch along Curbar and Froggatt Edges and back to the cars. Fairly easy going underfoot and plenty of time to admire the views. Chris.

Coniston Hut Meet 26-28 Jan 2024 – Report

10 humans and 3 dogs embarked on a weekend in Coniston staying at the Barrow mountaineering & Ski Club hut. Arriving at varying times on Friday night the group soon got the stove roaring and everyone exploring the quirky but very comfortable hut. Plans were made for a circular walk for the following day.

Two groups formed, the affectionately named dog group and a smaller but mighty team – both had similar walks planned albeit the mighty team were also the early birds!

The dog team had a fantastic walk taking in 7 of the local Wainwright peaks- Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and back to Dow Crag (an excellent route making the best use of the elevation gain). The group, led of course by our four legged friends, then headed back to the saddle between Swirl How and Brim Fell to lead us down past Levers Water to the hut. Conditions were challenging with wind, rain and our fair share of poor visibility, but an enjoyable day in the hills nonetheless. The mighty group had planned the same route albeit assenting via the ridge to Wetherlam. Unfortunately the strong winds battered the group and they opted to retreat from the edge. After a pit stop of coffee and table tennis (an added bonus that should be a must in all huts) the group ventured out again and to tackle Coniston Old Man and its neighbours for an excellent days walking in challenging conditions.

The team reconvened at the hut at remarkably almost exactly the same time and enjoyed refreshments and hot showers. More table tennis was played before play was stopped (owing to the net being attached to the dining table!) by the arrival of Paul’s famous vegan paella! Not only were we treated to this savoury masterpiece but Lorna and Simon also provided two delicious home made (and home grown for the most part!) crumbles with custard. With full tummy’s and warm bodies the groups plans turned to Sunday.

The group split with a couple of the team deciding to partake in shorter endeavours due to family commitments but the majority ventured to a National Trust car park close to Blea Tarn which provided the starting point for tackling Pike of Blisco and Cold Pike. The day again saw challenging conditions but two more excellent peaks (and its fair share of discussions as to exactly which high points were summits as more emerged from the mist). By the end of the walk the weather had lifted and we got some hints of the Lakeland views we had been missing.

Some chose to head straight off, others to meet at a cafe to charge and recharge before the journey home. An excellent weekend was had by all and one very tired pooch in our van on the way home!

Thanks to the food makers, the wood bringers and the whiskey providers.

Special thanks to those who arranged the hut and the meet despite not being able to attend themselves due to family and work commitments, we really appreciate your efforts!

Until next time! Rosie

Lorna’s pics

Chris Lunn’s pics:

WhatsApp Community


To reduce the administrative work for the club we are planning to bring all the WhatsApp groups under one Castle Mountaineering Club community group. This has been done by a number of other clubs such as Eagle Ski club , Mynydd and Alpine Club. This means that all club members will automatically become members of the Castle community WhatsApp group. Members will then be able to opt to join sub-groups within this. For example, a climbers group, a walkers group, a chat group, bird watching etc.

Members can be joined onto the big club community group and then opt to join the sub groups of interest.
Members will be made aware of the full range of activities which occur within the club.
It will be much easier for new members to see the range of groups in the club and join the ones they are interested in.
By controlling who is in the community group we can manage who is in the other groups. So if a prospective member does not subsequently join the club, or if a member leaves, we can remove them from the community group and automatically from all the other groups they were in.
As before, we can create groups for away meets. Control of the community group allows us to delete these groups when they are no longer needed.
Everybody is used to using WhatsApp – so we know members will find it easy to use.

We will move the Walking, cycling and Climbing groups and all its members over to the new Castle Mountaineering Club Community by the 31st January.
Feel free to join any additional groups that interest you.
Once you have done this continue to use WhatsApp as before.

If you are currently not in a WhatsApp group and would like to be, please email me and I will give you further instruction as to how to join. Lornamnicholson@gmail.com

Anyone who is not a castle club member or prospective member will be removed from the WhatsApp community and subsequent sub groups.

eg. gardening, bird watching, wild swimming, art. Would you like your group to be accessible to all castle members?
If, yes, once you have joined the community group, “add group”, then add existing group. You and your members will be transferred over to the community. Please consider if this is appropriate for your group, as non castle members will be removed.

Consider creating a WhatsApp group for your meet by “add group” button, followed by “create new group”

If anyone has any questions please or needs help, please contact me Lornamnicholson@gmail.com

Bleaklow Scramble Report 21st January 2024

Eight humans and two very intrepid sheepdogs got better than expected weather conditions for our scramble up Torside Clough today. Most of the snow and ice had melted overnight so the biggest risk was wet feet whilst boulder hopping across the stream. The two dogs by contrast enthusiastically plunged through the pools and cascades – deserving honorary membership of the club outdoor swimming group!
After emerging from the clough we had a breezy walk to Bleaklow Head. Some less than competent navigation by the meet leader had has plouging through heather and wandering along groughs until we regained the Pennine Way and completed our return journey just as Storm Isha was approaching.
Thanks to everyone who braved the weather warnings to participate in a sociable and not too strenuous day out. Paul.

Walk Report Sunday 14 January 2024

12 humans and two dogs met on the A57 Birchin Clough Bridge. We walked up Snake Path, joining the Pennine Bridal Way for a short time, before forking left along the Northern Edge of Kinder Scout. We started off with the sun shining through the trees (please share some photos on WhatsApp) but encountered mist on the edge challenging my navigation. Lunch at Fairbrook Naze, then with the increasing snow showers walked down Fair Brook. The final obstacle was a bit of a river crossing at the end. Thankfully no one got too wet. The ground was part frozen which made a nice change from wading though mud in recent walks. Thankyou to everyone who joined us. Lorna.


The committee met on 8th January and this is the latest update to let you know what we have been getting up to:
• Recent club highlights have been the talk by Mick Fowler and the well-attended Christmas Meet at the excellent Coldwell Centre on the East Lancashire Moors. Many thanks to Andrew and Ali for the organisation and to everyone who helped prepare the sumptuous Christmas meal.
• The list of away meets for 2024 is looking healthy. Meets are planned to Coniston (January), Capel Curig (Easter), Yorkshire Dales (May), Northumbria (Spring BH), Cairngorms (May-June), Chapel Stile (June), Dentdale (July), Mid-Wales (August), Galway (September) and the Lakes (November).
• After last years’ successful Alps trip to Ailefroide another trip to Aosta is planned for late June / July. Those lightweights who prefer sunshine rock are catered for by a trip to Sicily in October!
• We are organising some skills sessions run by experienced club members including winter skills and navigation. Future sessions may include self-rescue, sports climbing techniques and abseiling. Let us know if you have any suggestions.
• On the social scene, after last years’ successful ceilidh, another has been organised for Saturday 23rd March. Vanda has organised more slideshows and Helen is organising some “Pub Grub” evenings allowing members to share good food and convivial conversation. We are also hoping to hold another photographic competition.
Information about away meets, skills sessions and social events will be posted on the message board.
The committee are continuing to look for ways to streamline club communications and are considering the following proposals:
• Reactivating the Castle Facebook and Instagram accounts. This will allow us to share information about club activities between club members. It will also help us to promote ourselves as an active club to people outside the club, especially younger folk, who may be interested in joining us. We will be encouraging all club members to contribute photos etc which reflect the wide range of current club activity.
• Setting up a WhatsApp Communities group. This is a way of organising the different WhatsApp activity groups which will be helpful to the membership team. Please note that the existing activity groups will operate in the same way that they do now.
• We are trialling a Microsoft programme which will streamline the membership process and reduce the administrative workload of the membership team.
Geoff is working on proposals for the club to reduce our environmental footprint – watch this space for the results.
As always the committee welcome feedback from club members – especially suggestions for meets and other activities. Volunteers to organise climbing and walking meets are even more welcome!

Walk Report Saturday 6 January 2024

Thirteen plus dogs set off from Hope with blue skies and sunshine overhead. Through an array of muddy fields we walked into Castleton. Next came a watery ascent of Cave Dale. At the top we stopped for a drinks break. Tracks took us to Windy Knoll for an early lunch. A short climb to the top of Mam Tor to bag the first trig point of 2024. The crowds meant we had to negotiate photo time for a group shot – but alĺ very amicable. Obviously “the place” to be on a Saturday. We romped along the Great Ridge – Hollins Cross, Back Tor and Losehill. A brief pause there before a slide down to cars. A cafe reward for the majority followed. A nine mile circular. winter sun and chatty companions were the perfect ingredients for a very enjoyable day. Thank you everyone who came. Alison Milne.

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: