Bleaklow by bus 16 Jun 2024 – meet report

Five of us got the bus out – which was only 10 minutes late. We disembarked on the snake summit at 11.0 in drizzle. The route to Bleaklow was shared by Spine race participants; the 200 who had started on Saturday were well on their way to Kirk Yetholm and the 300 who had started this morning bustling by us. They had to make it in 6 days. For £875 they get 5 rest stations with minimalist shelter for a bivi bag and the reassurance their progress is being tracked. The race also runs in the winter when the record was set in 2024 – 72hours, 55 mins and 5 seconds for the 265 miles! From Bleaklow we saw nobody else all day. A minor navigational hitch and then down The Ridge towards Alport Castles, weather brightening up all the way. In fact, it was glorious. A steady sub-spine pace got us to Fairholmes with 20 minutes to spare for the 4.15 bus home. By 4.35 we’d given up waiting and started hitching. Two of us got a lift back to Crosspool. The other three got the bus which arrived just later. A good route taking us to unfrequented places. 17km. On Sundays this 257 bus goes on to Glossop, Hayfield and round to Castleton, so offers the possibility of more walk/bus combinations. Thanks to all for a lovely day. Geoff

Report on Braemar meet 28 May – 5 June 2024

8 members found their way to the excellent Cairngorm Club hut near Linn of Dee. 2 had a particularly challenging journey, having to divert via Stonehaven (yes, really) because of an evening road closure.
Everyone had a go at cooking delicious shared meals – and no cases of food poisoning were recorded.
2 people managed a dash to Aberdeen for a night at the opera.
Red squirrels and greater spotted woodpeckers were among the wildlife observed near the hut.
Several people braved a dip in the Dee after their final hill walk, and at least one person swam in mountain lochs.
The local hills held a competition as to which could attract the most Castle ascents. Results:
Morrone 2
Carn Bhac 2
Broad Cairn 2
Beinn Mheadhoin 2
Derry Cairngorm 2
Beinn Bhreac 2
Beinn a Chaorainn 2
Beinn Bhrotain 2 or was it 3?
Monadh Mor 2 ” ” ” 3?
The Cairnwell 2
Carn Aosda 2
Carn a Gheoidh 2
Carn nan Fhidleir 3
An Sgarsoch 3
Creag Leacach 4
Glas Maol 4
Glas Tulaichean 4
Carn an Righ 4
An Socach 4
Mt Keen 5
and the winner…. drum roll…….
Carn a Mhaim 6.

That makes about 61 person hill ascents, 59 of them Munros, and quite a few Munro tops were visited too.
Many thanks to Richard for booking the hut and organising, and to all participants for a cheery and successful trip. John Hutch

Saturday 1 June 2024 – White Peak bagging circular

To kick off the summer season 9 people and 4 dogs assembled at Earl Sterndale for a 9.30 start. The objective was to complete a three mini-peak circular for list-tickers. We arrived at the first peak within the first kilometer. A short and very steep grassy ascent led to the first trig point of High Wheeldon. From there we had great views over to Parkhouse (often called the Dragon’s Back) and Chrome that dominate the landscape in this part of the Peak District. After the obligatory photo stop we contoured down the valley and onward to Pilsbury Hill with some significant sculptural limestone outcrops and then Carder Low (both Ethels). The latter was little moe than a bump in a field! A refreshment and lunch stop at Pilsbury Castle – a great example of a Norman motte and bailey – provided us with the energy to complete the route back up the valley. We were graced with hares chasing around in meadows and buzzards overhead. One last pull over Hitter Hill finished the walk at the back of the old pub, The Quiet Woman, (now under construction), where Andrew remembered being able to buy Hartington cheese offcuts back in the day! Approximately 10 miles completed on a windy day with warm sunny spells. Great company all the way round! Ali.

Hadrian’s Wall Meet Report 24th – 27th May 2024

What have the Romans ever done for us? Luckily they provided an excellent venue for our recent Hadrian’s Wall away meet – though we could have done with a few more of their aqueducts to drain away some of the rain that fell over the weekend.
On Saturday the climbers managed to “carpe diem” and tick off lots of routes at Peel Crags. These included two “Top 50” routes – Overhanging Crack (VS) and Sunset ( described in the guidebook as the best Severe between Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish border). The rest of the party kept busy with activities including e-biking (Dick and Lin), landscape painting (Gordon) and walking along sections of the wall (everyone else). Saturday evening was very sociable with groups from both campsites joining up for BBQ, paella and virtuoso guitar playing by Gordon and Paul G.
Weather conditions deteriorated on Sunday providing an opportunity for people to visit the impressive nearby archaeological sites. Bill and Paul E ventured into Kielder Forest on their mountain bikes – though many of the tracks would have been easier to negotiate via canoe.
Many thanks to everyone who participated in a very enjoyable weekend with lots done despite the unfavourable weather. Photos to follow on the Castle Facebook and Instagram sites. Paul E
Paul’s pics:

Froggatt Edge Sunday 19 May 2024

A great day with hot sunshine attracted 21 of us to climb a wide variety of routes from the fairly straightforward to more challenging routes such as Tody’s Wall and Three Pebble Slab.
It got so warm that most of us adjourned to The Grouse in late afternoon for a well deserved drink.
A reminder to be aware of ticks which are increasingly common. I picked up two, I think on this day. David

Edale Skyline Walk Report – 27th April 2024

8 of us (6 Castle members and 2 friends) plus Weaver the dog, set out from Hope Primary School in rather cold weather with a steady breeze creating a light wind chill. After the ascent of Lose Hill we traversed the Great Ridge which was busy as usual with a mixture of runners, walkers and those on a “mission” like us.
Coffee break was taken at Mam Nick followed by Rushup Edge and the long paved way to Brown Knoll. We stopped for lunch at Crowden Tower and then crossed the peat bog which wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be. Also the fords at the top of Crowden and Grindsbrook plus the rest of the fords along the skyline route east were easily crossed due to very little running water. A brief drinks stop at a path junction near the Druids Stone was followed by a longer one at a wall prior to the ascent of Winn Hill. From there the descent back to Hope.
Altogether a grand day out – good views, no rain, mainly overcast skies with the odd sunny period plus a “pit stop” at the Old Hall pub to finish off. My Strava relates 7hrs 45mins of walking time, 9 hours total. 19.22 miles plus 3334ft of ascent. Thanks to all who came and well done for the achievement! Pics of the team on Lose Hill and Win hill can be found on the walking WhatsApp group.

Bill’s pics

Steve’s pic


The Castle committee met on 15th April and this is the latest update to let you know what we have been getting up to!
• The list of away meets for 2024 is looking healthy. There is still one place available on the Braemar trip (28th May – 5th June). Meets are planned to the Yorkshire Dales (May BH), Northumbria (Spring BH), Cairngorms (May-June), Chapel Stile (June), Dentdale (July), Mid-Wales (August), Galway (September) and the Lakes (November). More info on the website.
• After last years’ successful Alps meet, another trip to Aosta is planned for late June / July. Those lightweights who prefer sunshine rock are catered for by sport-climbing trip to Sicily in October.
• The recent ceilidh was a great success and resulted in a profit which was donated to local mountain rescue groups. Many thanks to Helen for her excellent organisation.
• The pub socials have been most enjoyable. The next one is scheduled for Monday 13th May at the Merry Lads (Lodge Moor) – merry lasses also welcome!
• The photographic competition is taking place tonight in the clubroom at 8pm. Competition should be fierce as there have been 122 entries. Many thanks to Dave Crowther for organising this.
• The committee feel that the new WhatsApp Communities Group has been a success – though a few tweaks may be needed to streamline it. The committee will shortly issue some guidelines which will help club members to navigate WhatsApp Communities. One aim is to reduce the number of WhatsApp posts – for example by encouraging club members to post only in the most appropriate group rather than across multiple groups.
• The committee will also be sending out some environmental guidelines for club members based on British Mountaineering Club recommendations.
• We are planning to update the Castle publicity posters using a selection of photos which reflect the wide range of club activities. If you have any suitable photos please send them to Rosie Twambley or Paul Embley. (Please check with anyone identifiable in the photos that they are happy to be featured in club publicity.)

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!

Dove Dale walk 21st April 2024 – Report

4 members attended on an unexpectedly sunny and dry day !
Setting off down the top end of the Dale we were soon admiring the Dove Holes (caves)and the nearby Ilam Rock pinnacle.
A stiff climb then followed to the top of Ilam Woods.Passing Air Cottage we continued over the summit of Bunster Hill with panoramic views of Ilam and the valley beyond.
After a steep descent,we took the path round to the bridge at the foot of Thorpe Cloud where we joined the multitudes toiling their way to the summit.There we stopped for lunch before taking the obligatory long route down (the two usual routes being closed because of erosion and accident risk).
The world and his wife were gathered by the river and Stepping Stones-so we pressed on up the bottom section of the Dale resisting the temptation to go on forays to visit places like “Tissington Spires” and “Reynard’s cave” (a trip for another day perhaps?!}
Before long we found ourselves back below Ilam Rock.One member then continued up the Dale following the route we had taken in the morning,while the remaining 3 took the longer route up Hall Dale and over Stanhope pastures to reach the car park in Mill Dale.
The full team then enjoyed some excellent ice cream to round off a lovely day in spring sunshine.
Mike D