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.
Club Interest: Honorable Mention – Tegness Pinnacle, It
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Do not hesitate to contact us if you want further information.
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.
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: * Action * 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.
…and so the club enters 2012, and from where I’m sat it looks rather exciting. Lots of new members, talk of big trips already rumbling, the club climbing wall spruced up and ready to go, and lots more plans in the pipeline…. we just need it to stop raining!!
An important change that I’d best post here for those who have not recieved (or read) the AGM minutes, is that clubhouse meets will now be on the first and third Thursdays of the month. We intend to produce a line-up of interesting events through the year, kicking off this month with a slideshow on the Tatra Mountains (5th Jan) and a Curry & Climbing evening (19th Jan).
I’d also like to remind people that it’s subs time again. This year it’s my turn to hassle you all to renew, so if you see me at a meet then please come and make your donation. For those of you whose paths don’t tend to cross with mine, I’ll come and find you once I’ve got the members list sorted.
So, with all those new years resolutions at the ready, here’s to a great year ahead. Just remember: don’t go doing anything TOO interesting, or you’ll have to do a slideshow about it next winter 😉 Happy adventuring!
Many past and present members of the Club attended the funeral of Patrick Peace on 13th October 2011; Pat, who was twice President of the Club, and was an Honorary Life Member, died at the end of September, aged 97.
A photo of those present and the script of Andy’s speech is below:
Pat Peace’s funeral; 13th October 2011. Members and former members of the Castle Mountaineering Club. Sean Jennings, Charles Knowles, Norma Jackson, Ron Purkiss, Keith Skews, Gordon Riley, Alan Fowler, Steve France, ? , Ronny Hindmoor, Mike Anderson, Jill Anderson, Serena France, Margaret Anderson, Mike Doyle (at front in suit), Anne Payne, Bob Payne, Caroline Whitehead, Marian Birkett, Paul Goodlad, Vanda Boyd, John Barnard, Linda McLeish, Mary Peace, Frank Mellor, Hugh Dowling (dark glasses), Jennifer Mellor, Ashley Turner, Kate Fowler, Mike Jackson, Chris Kell, Andy Smith, Suzanne Came, Andy Came, David Pendlebury, Alison Williams, Rosy Smith, Martin Whitaker, Pat Cocks, Barry Goodlad. (Photo: Alan Fowler)
Patrick was the first member of the Castle Mountaineering Club I met when I first went along to the clubroom behind the Rising Sun Inn on Abbey Lane. This was back in 1973. Pat was standing with Mary just by the door. He introduced himself, and, as with so many other first time visitors to the Club, he and Mary took me under their wing, gave me a meets list, introduced me to other members, and enthused about climbing and mountaineering. I was soon attending my first Club meet.
By that time Patrick was already a long-standing member of the young club. He and Mary had joined it in 1969, just two years after it was founded, so they were in pretty well from the start. Patrick served the Club in many different roles. He was Vice-president, President (twice, in 1976 and 1980). At various times he was Equipment Custodian and Clubroom Custodian and he was a member of the committee for many years. In recognition of all this, he was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Club. He used his practical skills to help the Club; for example he made a lot of flags and stickers in the shape of an orange Castle (the Club logo) which members could put on their tents and cars (or motorbike in my case) so they could find each other more easily on Club meets. He also supported SACC, the Sheffield Association of Climbing Clubs, as he served as chief timekeeper and starter at the annual fell race organised under the auspices of SACC. Of course he was supported in all this by Mary, who also did her stints as president, committee member and meet organiser. Together they were invariably referred to in the same breath as: “Pat’n’Mary”.
Patrick, accompanied by Mary of course, was a very active Club member in the 1970’s and early 80’s and a consistent attender at Club meets, both local and away. Looking through my old logbooks, it is noticeable how often Pat’s name appears in my notes of Club meets. Although Pat did some hillwalking and scrambling, and I particularly remember an ascent of Cader Idris with him and on another occasion a traverse of Striding Edge, his real love and forte was rock climbing. This was particularly the case for local crags like Stanage and Froggatt Edges. Pat seemed to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the climbs and could tell you exactly where each hold was and what to do with it. He was always calm and laidback. I never saw him get gripped on a climb. He was also seen at social events which occurred frequently in those days. Apart from Club events like the Annual Dinner, and sessions in the pub after a good climbing meet, there seemed to many parties in those days, where Pat could always be relied on for a good conversation about climbing.
I am sure other Club members will have many memories of Patrick, and some good reminiscences to recount later. Let me just just finish by saying that Pat was a great guy. It was a pleasure to have known him as a friend. He was a gentleman and a climber, and you can’t say better than that.
The (shortish) business part of the meeting, including a review of the year by Andrew, our current President, will be followed by a social event including food. Members, please come along and support your AGM. You will be sent relevant documents by e-mail. Vanda has offered to co-ordinate food; please contact her for suggestions as to what to bring. You should also contact Vanda if you do not receive AGM papers.
Interested in finding out more about the CMC? You are welcome to attend. The evening provides an opportunity to meet a large number of our members in a relaxed social setting.
It may have rained a little (okay – maybe more than a little) but that was not enough to deter us ‘hardy’ mountaineers from having a good time and climbing a few hills! We even spotted the occasional bit of blue sky as several of us (Hugh, Gary, Ellie, Pete, Mike, Nigel and myself) headed out on the first day on a scrambling/walking adventure up Conival and Ben More Assynt. The route was expertly navigated in a collaborative fashion! On our way down we were rewarded for our great outdoors stamina (i.e. being out there for over 10 hours) by a beautiful sunset! We were joined back at the hut by Dave and Linda.
The ascent of Conival and Ben More Assynt
The next day, weather permitted a multi pitch climb on Stac Pollaidh by Pete, Ellie, Gary and myself. Back at the hut, we were all joined by John and Gordon. Night set in and that was it for the great weather! The next day was damp! After much debate, a party of us (Hugh, John, Gordon, Mike, Gary and myself) braved an ascent of Cul Beag, with the others opting for a low level day, including a trip to Sandwood Bay and Reef rocks. All went well, apart from in the Sandwood Bay party (Pete and Ellie) who found upon returning to Pete’s van that it would not start! They eventually turned up at the hut at 2am that night, after struggling to get through to the breakdown recovery man the exact whereabouts of the caving hut we were staying in (somehow the words ‘caving hut’ had been translated to ‘cave in hut’ – don’t know about you but I have not encountered many caves in the huts I have stayed in!).
A rather wet ascent of Cul Beag!
The weather got no better over the next few days – which for some reason inspired coastal and geological walks. However, it did allow a recky of the Old Man of Stoer for those endeavouring to conquer it on a better weather day. A party of us also got up Suilven (whose pronunciation was much debated) while others of us bailed out of a pending wet epic on Foinaven and Arkle (the definition of epic also being much debated)!
Thanks to Hugh, we were ‘rescued’ from the joys of wet weather camping by his wonderful hut suggestion. Lots of laughter and the ‘occasional’ wine and whiskey drinking went on. Hugh was on top form with his ‘Hughisms’ and extraordinary ability to ‘name that film soundtrack’! It was great also to see Sue who joined us for a couple of days.
Most of the party set off back home on sat. The weather being ‘a little’ better that day prompted John, Gary and I to climb Ben Deag and 2 other neighbouring tops. A glorious day, rewarded with fantastic views of Sutherland and An Teallach.
Overall, a great holiday! Thanks to all those who came along.
Find out more about the Castle and meet some of its members. There will be a choice of climbing, walking and mountain biking together with a Saturday night social event.Hopefully, each activity will run on both Saturday and Sunday, so that you can do a different event each day. We aim to tailor each day to the level of experience of those taking part, so please register your interest early. Contact Andrew (0114 268 6605) for more details