Slide Shows

As usual there will be a programme of Members' Slide Shows [digitally] throughout the Autumn/Winter on the first Thursday of each month, starting in October.
If you want to show your pictures, please contact me asap to avoid disappointment.
Vanda Boyd 07899056302 from 15/8/14 to 22/8 then 2665767.

Northumerland Meet 2&3 July 2014

10 intrepid Castle members ventured North into deepest, darkest Northumberland this weekend. 
As some of us got there early the view of Peel Crag from the campsite beckoned and we got used to the Dolerite rock with a few routes before the heat, still baking at 5:00, got too much …. though Paul kindly decided to cool some of us down with his water pistol!!! 
Saturday was a team trip plus Scott (Geoff’s friend) to Crag Lough. A perfect, slightly cooler day and some lovely routes (though some tricky Diffs and VDiffs for the grade) with swans and butterflies around the lake below and Hadrian’s Wall above. As the weather finally turned at tea time we were forced into the local pub followed by an impromptu and very jolly barbecue back at the campsite and an equally impromptu but equally jolly invasion of Josie and Leon’s caravan when the heavens opened later on.
By Sunday the glorious sunshine had disappeared but a few of us still managed to climb on the Great Wanney sandstone. Here we scrabbled up one of the hardest VDiffs ever (even Geoff said “V Diff my a….”, I didn’t quite catch the rest) followed by one of the nicest while David conquered an E2 in the rain!
All in all a very nice weekend with lots to do and, for me personally, a mental note to return in the future and stay a little longer.
PS I have dried my tent out and folded it up ALL ON MY Own

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Almscliffe Climbing Meet 15/06/14

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Despite the weather at the start of the day, 7 super-psyched individuals turned up. The rain stopped and by 11 the crag was dry enough to climb on. Everyone managed to get in plenty of mileage, accompanied by varying amounts of technique, grunting and wimpering!

I managed 9 routes and everyone else must have done a similar amount, as we all seemed to be doing what everyone else had done.


Thursday walk 12 June 2014 – Report

Thursday walk 12 June 2014 – Report

A lovely sunny warm day with clear air and great views. Nine
of us met at the car park near Fairholmes. We took two cars
to transport us all up the Derwent Valley to King’s Tree
where the walk began. We walked to and crossed the old packhorse
bridge at Slippery Stones. Then it was up the bridle way of
Cut Gate, with a coffee break at the top of the steep
bit. On to the top of the pass where we left Cut Gate
at a large cairn and followed a thin and slightly boggy path
to the trig point at the top of Margery Hill, the highest
named point in South Yorkshire. One of the bogs swallowed
the tip of a walking pole, but it was soon retrieved by
dint of a bit of boggy scrabbling. Margery Hill: what a
delightful place to have our picnic lunch! At 546m (1791 ft),
the summit is reputed to be a Bronze Age burial mound, and
has been designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English
Heritage. Brilliant views were to be seen all around.

After lunch we headed south past a small cairn marking the
highest unnamed point in South Yorkshire, marginally higher
than Margery Hill. From here we could see Howden Reservoir
and dam. The path headed down to Nether Hey, and an old
shooting road took us right down to the edge of Derwent
Reservoir. We enjoyed a tea break at a bench overlooking the
reservoir, in spite of being pestered by a greedy duck. The
final leg took us along the track to Derwent Dam and
Fairholmes. After agreeing that we had all had a jolly good
day out, some departed to sample the delights of the new cafe
at the Anglers Rest, Bamford, while others went to retrieve
the cars from Kings Tree.

7.5 miles 1360 ft of ascent.

Andy Smith – Bradwell, Derbyshire, England;

Almscliffe Sunday 15th June ‏ 2014

After a great Thursday evening on Froggatt in glorious sun, with 5 routes being done I took today out to go and research Almscliff ready for next Sunday (15th) I have climbed there before, but that was 35 years ago, so thought a visit was appropriate.

The crag is still in exactly the same place as last time I was there. Almost all the routes are the same, if a little more used. And yes Franklands Green Crack is still bright green! There is a full range of routes, to suit all styles and abilities.

For the photographers and/or ornithologists today there was a pair of Red Kites flying within 10m of the climbers! The views from the crag are spectacular, and there is even a slurry pond to see!

The journey from Meadowhall to the parking area at the SW end of the crag took me 55mins, staying at or below the speed limit all the way. I did not go through Leeds. I went M1, and its link across to the A1, turned off at the Otley/Wetherby turn (45). Then I followed Harewood House, turned right in Harewood and followed the A61 towards Harrogate, turning left to North Rigton. In the village, hang left at the roundabout and then right onto Crag Lane. The parking area is about 1m along here on the right just after a T junction where you turn right

The Square and Compass in North Rigton is relatively expensive for food, but very nice and relaxed, with lots of outdoor tables, so I sat back with my beer and topped up my sunburn! Again the Red Kites made an appearance were soaring around and easily visible.

I hope for a good turnout. Please try and hook up with car-share if at all possible.

I will be in the parking area from 10:30 until 10:45, but the crag is not so big that you could miss us if you come later.


Thursday 5th June –Walk Report

A party of 5 left Litton in dry but overcast conditions.

Cressbrook Dale was descended past St Peter’s Stone followed by the ascent to Wardlow Hay Cop where we stopped for coffee and donned water proofs given the appearances suggesting imminent rain.

The promised rain failed to materialise, however , and by the time we had completed the descent to Ravensdale Cottages things had warmed up and the waterproofs came off.

The high level traverse of Miller’s Dale followed with a descent to Litton Mill and climb up the other side of the valley to Cressbrook village.

We then returned to Litton by a somewhat slippery route along the edge of the woods and an easy walk through the fields. The dry weather held and slowly improved giving us a pleasant round in this classic limestone area.

CMC Member Runs 50 Peak District Miles for Charity

Runner / Member Mike Griffiths explains his charity challenge:
This year I am fifty years old and to celebrate this I decided I’d like to try one of my favourite walks in the Peak District, “The Derwent Watershed”. However, rather than split the walk over two days I decided to attempt to run it in a single day and extend the distance to fifty miles by including a section taking in the eastern gritstone edge’s Froggatt, Curbar and Baslow. For me, this is a one off challenge and I decided that I’d run this in memory of my sister in law Tanya. Tanya would also be celebrating her fiftieth birthday this year, sadly she passed away at the age of 15 months.
As a memorial to Tanya our family are raising money for the charity, Together for Short Lives. They are  a leading UK charity who support children with life-threatening and life limiting conditions and all those who love and care for them. They support families, professionals and services, including children’s hospices. Their work ensures that children can get the best possible care, wherever and whenever they need it..
The fifty mile challenge will start from Yorkshire bridge and after ascending Win Hill, the route will drop down towards Hope and continue up Lose Hill and along the ridge taking in Mam Tor, Rushup Edge and continuing on to Brown Knoll. From here the route follows the edge of Kinder Scout to the Kinder downfall. It continues along the Pennine way to the Snake Summit. From this point the challenge starts as the route proceeds along the Pennine way and then over Bleaklow heading towards Barrow stones. The route follows the line of stakes around Swains Greave onto Swains Head and over Featherbed Moss. It heads south and goes over Outer Edge, Margery Hill, Round Hill and then Back Tor legs my ache quite significantly at this point! We continue along Derwent edge and to Moscar house. The final section of the route commences with a stagger up Stanage edge. If I’m lucky I’ll manage a jog from High Neb. We continue along the Green drive to Longshaw and to the Longshaw pole. The end is in sight when I arrive at the Froggatt gap and continue along Frogatt, Curbar and Baslow edges. Somehow I’ll make my way over the top of Gardoms edge and finish at the Robin Hood Inn for a pint! Despite my hill experience with the CMC and all the training I’ve put in for this I still doubt my ability to succeed, therefore this is a huge challenge.
I’ll be running this route on Saturday 5th July (we have a back up plan to take account of weather and other unforeseen eventualities). CMC members are welcome to join me for this epic or for sections of the route. Or join me at the end for a drink at the Robin Hood.
Further details about the route can be found the PeakDistrictAdventures blog at
You can follow my training on twitter at
This has links to my training routes using a GPS and mapmyrun, you can see just how slow I really am:-)
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Together for Short Lives. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.



Thursday walk 22 May 2014 – Report

In spite of a poor weather forecast, eight of us (seven
members and one probable future member) assembled in Great
Hucklow. As it turned out, there was no rain at all for the
whole of the walk. After crossing fields and walls with
stiles to Grindlow, we walked by Silly Dale to Wardlow
Mires. We crossed the main road into upper Cressbrook Dale.
Here there were lots of purple orchids, slightly past their
best but magnificent nevertheless.

We headed up to Peter’s Stone and all scrambled to the top
where we enjoyed a coffee break in an unusual situation.
After descending from the Stone, a wild flower book was
consulted and the orchids tentatively identified (early
purple orchids).

The route continued down the dale before climbing out of it
to Wardlow. Continuing east, we crossed a road and paused
for lunch. After dropping down to Housley we took the road
into Foolow and then towards Bretton. The large sinkhole,
which suddenly opened up last Christmas above old mine
workings, had been spotted earlier in the walk but was now
much nearer.

A footpath branched off the road taking us closer to the
sinkhole and we were able to get a good look at it. It is
supposed to be 160ft wide and 130ft deep but we could not
see the bottom.

It just remained to walk the short distance back to Great
Hucklow. Post-walk refreshments in Bradwell were tea and
homemade cakes produced by Rosy (fruit cake, flapjacks, and
raspberry chocolate brownies).

7.5 miles 900 ft of ascent.

Andy Smith – Bradwell, Derbyshire, England;

Gardoms Meet 18.5.14

Well the sun gods smiled on us once more for the Gardoms meet and, without being too smug......I told you so (again)!
12 climbers congregated at Apple Tree Buttress comprising of a few club stalwarts, our lovely, enthusiastic new members and two honorary members for the day from London. Special thanks to Simon for giving Heather and her friends step by step instructions on how to get to the crag when they went a little awry. You've heard of the speaking clock, well Simon is like the speaking map! 
There were assaults launched on lots of different routes on the crag from VDiff to VS 5a and extra special thanks have to go to John and Leon for their fantastic effort in leading most of them (I did lead 1). The friendliness and helpfulness of the leaders in particular was commented on by our visitors. Thanks guys you made the day and I loved all those new, juicy VS's. The experience of doing a 'bum shuffle' up a tree on the 5a finish of Tree Groove was........novel!
All in all an absolutely fab day that I know was enjoyed by all .


New Members Weekend May 2014

Dear All,
We had a very successful day’s climbing as we sensibly went to Awesome Walls rather than Stanage given the weather conditions.
Nearly 20 people climbed at some point during the day. Many thanks to those Castle members who came along and supported the event. Hopefully, you had a good time and enjoyed the climbing. Welcome to those new faces who came along. I trust that we were not too intiminating and that we will see you on one of our outdoor meets soon.
Two days indoors in a row is a bit much. We therefore intend to meet at the Robin Hood car park at 10.30 as planned and climb at Birchen Edge if fit and walk if not. Linda has planned a walk of about 10 miles but this could be altered by agreement. Pack your boots and waterproofs together with sandwiches and a drink.
The car park is now managed by the Eastern Moors Partnership and charges apply. If you are an RSPB or National Trust member you may park for free. There is a field on the opposite side of the road which is free but may be muddy.
See you tomorrow