Thursday Walk- 20th March- Report
4 of us met above Moscar Heights to be greeted by a strong and cold wind with grey skies. With a forecast of rain spreading in from the west by approximately 2p.m. we started promptly at a good pace.
The buffeting continued over Ughill Moors, but we were soon in the shelter of the Dale Dike valley. The pace was maintained with no coffee stops until we descended below Brogging where we finally stopped for lunch in the shelter of the woods below the Strines reservoir. It was then onwards and upwards to the Boot’s Tower in the face of the wind.
The relative calm of the rhododendron tunnel in the grounds of Sugworth Hall then led us to the Lodgemoor crossing and back to the cars at 2.15p.m. just as the first drops of rain arrived.
A bit of a blustery day, but the ground was mostly dry and the rain held off. A good romp enjoyed by all.
Twelve Club Members ignored predictions of travel chaos and made it to Lancashire Mountaineering Club’s ‘The Loft’ situated close to Blea Tarn above Langdale. Road conditions were fine until the last two kilometres which involve 1 in 5 or steeper gradients. Getting out of Sheffield and it’s snow was the an issue for some. The Lakes actually had less snow than most of the rest of the country, but the Blea Tarn road has only one farm and the hut on it and is not therefore gritted. Only Dave and Chris’s early arrival allowed them to get up the hill relatively easily. Mark, David and Gary’s approach required chains after traction was lost two thirds of the way up the hill. Others bailed out at the bottom of the hill. Nigel, Al and Marcus finally arrived after negotiating the hairpin bends from the Great Langdale side using chains – a fine effort! A few drinks were required to settle nerves and a unanimous decision was made to walk from the hut the following day.
On Saturday, most of us walked down into Great Langdale and up Oxendale. Mark and David opted for Crinkle Gill with a party of 7 tackling the neighbouring Isaac Gill. Snowy steps lower down gave way to some good ice pitches higher up in Crinkle Gill, with the rope employed on one pitch (Grade II – III). This was followed by a short route on Gladstone Knott, over snow covered rocky steps, again roped (Grade II -III). The team of 7 had fun in Isaac Gill (Grade II) though less ice was encountered. Both parties met at the top of Gladstone Knott by chance and a return was made via Red Tarn contouring below Pike o’ Blisco. Dave and Chris separately walked up Pike o’ Blisco.
The hut was rather warmer on Saturday night with walls streaming with condensation from steamy bodies and wet gear. There seemed to be plenty of food and drink to go round. Most notable was Al’s impersonation of Desperate Dan where he appeared to eat a whole pig (well at least a small one). We did have to help the neighbour unfreeze the water supply to their house and the hut, but at least only the incoming supply to the toilet and not the outflow was frozen!
Sunday saw teams split between Greater Langdale with 4 walking or climbing around Angle Tarn and the rest heading for Coniston. David and Mark climbed the upper section of Low Water Beck (Grade III) followed by South Gully (Grade II) on Low Water Crag. Good ice was again found higher up the gill, although plenty of water was flowing beneath it. One pitch was sufficiently steep to get the rope out and there was even enough good ice to place a few screws. South Gully was predominantly full of powdery snow but there were excellent turf axe placements making for an enjoyable solo. Nigel, Al and Marcus had fun climbing the nearby ‘Mulled Wine’ (Grade II) with Marcus marking his first winter lead. Andrew and Mary tackled a number of ice falls around Levers Water, some sufficiently steep to enable top roping.
Teams returned to Sheffield by different routes and different times. Nigel phoned David to check he was not still on the hill to find he was sitting at home. Nigel’s team was sufficiently late back, as they ate in Coniston, to require chains to both get away from the hut and to get back to his house.
An excellent weekend with significantly better climbing conditions than predicted.
Members were out in force in the Peak District in January following the arrival of snow.
On Tuesday 22 January, Mark Procter and David Pendlebury bagged an early 2013 ascent of Kinder Downfall. This ascent made the national press due to some great images from freelance photographer Rod Kirkpatrick.
Linda McLeish led a snowy walk in the area of Dale Dyke Reservoir for the Thursday walking group. This was followed by a very well attended ‘Moonlight Walk’ organised by Paul Gibson. Moonlight was in short supply but reflection off the snow meant headtorches were unnecessary and a circuit of the Burbage Valley was made before well-deserved refreshment was taken in The Fox House.
On Friday, Tom Corker and David Pendlebury made an early start to climb Wildboar Clough on Bleaklow. Sporting rock and ice pitches were found before an early return to beat the forecast snowfall. Tom is co-author of ‘Scrambles in the Dark Peak’ published by Cicerone.
This year the Club has entered its 45th year, and to celebrate, the Committee has decided to hold a party as close as possible to the date that the Club was officially constituted (believed to be the 9 October 1967). This will take place in the Clubroom, starting from 8pm.
Any members past or present and invited to join us, and we ask that those who are still in contact with former members to spread the message. We are keen for as many ‘senior’ members to attend as possible, so that we may show our gratitude to their efforts in establishing such an important element in many of our social lives. Hopefully, it will also provide an opportunity to reunite former ‘ropemates’ and for newer members to hear some tall tales from earlier times.
As part of the 45th Anniversary Party we are asking everyone attending, if possible, to bring 3 photographs representative of their time in the Club. They may record a memorable meet, day in the hills, climb or group of friends – hopefully something about which you could tell a tale, if asked! For those who can forward these electronically, we intend to set these up as a revolving slide show as a background to the celebrations. Please send your photographs to email@example.com
Do not hesitate to contact us if you want further information.
We look forward to seeing you on the 4th October.
Sheffield’s Castle Mountaineering Club is holding an open climbing weekend on the 12 and 13 May, providing the opportunity to find out more about the Club and meet some of its members. The weekend will focus on rock climbing on the Peak District’s glorious gritstone.
Have you spent all winter down at the wall and want to move outdoors, are you an experienced climber looking for a climbing partner or do you want to find out more about what rock climbing involves? This weekend provides the opportunity to meet fellow climbers of a range of abilities and ages. We plan to climb at Stanage (Popular End) on Saturday and Burbage North on Sunday, starting at 10.30 am on both days. However, it might be raining, meaning a change of venue, so contact us in advance.
Contact Gary Sheppard, Membership Secretary, on 07846 285142 or via e-mail.
Hello Happy Snappers,
A reminder that the annual photo competition is not that far away. This year it will be judged by Frank Mellor, who many of you will remember as a long-standing former member of the Club. There are 3 competitive categories plus a Club Interest section.
The competitive categories are:
* Pictorial UK
* Pictorial Abroad
You can enter up to 4 photos in each of these categories. Points will be awarded for the top 4 photos in each category and the CMC Photographer of the Year will be the person who scores most points. As an added incentive we have a brand new trophy this year – yours can be the first name on it!
The 4th category is Club Interest. You can enter as many photos as you wish. The idea is to depict something unusual, embarrass your friends or, better still, make us all laugh. The winner is chosen by consensus on the night.
Please supply your photos in a .jpg format. There are no specific rules concerning photo editing through PhotoShop etc. BUT the Judge’s decision is final. A photo of you on the latest E10 or the summit of Everest is likely to be rejected! Photos should be supplied on a CD containing a folder for each category. Please put your name clearly on it. Add a tag with locational details if you wish. If this is not possible you can also enter by memory stick or by email to this address.
Closing Date is Thursday 12th April. The Clubroom will be open on that date. Otherwise you can post or drop them off at my house.
12 places were booked at the Bowderstone Cottage, but with some last minute additions 15 members actually attended. No other parties were in the hut, so we soon made ourselves at home helped by alcohol and a warm fire!
Violent winds rocked the hut all Friday night and Saturday dawned with continuing high winds and squally showers. The group split into various parties who then sallied forth to do battle with the elements. Pete T, Nigel W & Allan C set out on mountain bikes to do “The Borrowdale Bash”. Bill & Ellen also went cycling, but were hampered by their canine friend more than the conditions! Caroline, Gordon, Ali & Charles opted for a walk up the Langstraffe valley, while Andrew & Mary took on the challenge of Cam Cragg Ridge, a grade 1/2 scramble.
Gary, Leon, Josie & Mike set out for Cat Bells and the ridge to High Spy where the buffeting from the wind proved too much. After a sensible exit down towards Grange, the Alladale Ramble led us back to the cars with a short diversion to the top of Castle crag. Another diversion to Keswick on the way back to the hut meant a welcome pint to round off the day.
The evening was split roughly 1/3 to 2/3 between veggies and communal curry eaters. The booze flowed and the conversation stretched well into the night. At the stroke of midnight Leon became a year older and the occasion was marked by a round (or more for some) of whisky!
Sunday was another day of strong winds, but reasonably bright and dry. The walking and cycling theme continued with most parties opting for a short day before the return drive home. The mountain bikers found excellent sport at the Winlatter Trail Centre. Mary, Gary & Mike set out from Grasmere to do a mixed route of Gill scrambling and top bagging – although to avoid the exorbitant car parking charges the day was extended by several miles. Sour Milk Gill was eventually reached, but the raging mass of boiling white water was not inviting! Instead we walked up to Easdale Tarn where the second Gill scramble was successfully ascended with a pleasant finish up Belles Knott. All that remained was to continue over to the tops of Sergeant Man and High Raise before a long and tiring walk out below Grasmere Common.
All in all a very enjoyable week-end in a great part of the Lakes.
P.S. On leaving the hut a cagoule and pair of over trousers were found in the dormitory. If it belongs to a club member could he/she contact me by email.