Brecon Beacons weekend, 25-26 March 2017

It was an absolutely glorious weekend which included some mountain biking.

On Saturday Bill and Elen used their mountain bikes to visit old caving haunts – caves, club huts and a pub (now too posh for cavers). Mostly easy going tracks over moorland, through forests and across rivers. Ride included: Red Kites, fantastic views, prehistoric sites, friendly farmers, waterfalls and a micro zoo – the marmosets and meerkats were really sweet.

Team effort meal was a winner – special thanks to Dave Crowther’s spices and Chris Kell getting on with what needed doing. We had a toast to Mary

ON Sunday a not very famous 5 (Tina, Chris, Bill, Scout and Elen) went on Tina’s first club mountain bike ride. The off road bits were limited as the navigator was a) at the back and b) talking too much and so kept missed the turn offs, but the ride back along the canal was just lovely. Despite the lack of ginger beer, Tina said she planned to go on future rides.

Thank you Mary for a lovely weekend – we missed you.The Croydon Caving Club Cottage was both cheap and memorable.

Bill & Elen

On Saturday morning a party of 7 headed for The Story Arms Centre, a popular starting point for this circuit of the Brecons. All car parks were full so the grass verge came in handy. We were soon climbing away from the busy road and with sky larks singing above we made our way across open moorland to the Tommy Jones obelisk. From here a steep climb took us to the top of Corn Du and a few minutes later we were on the busy summit of Pen y Fan(886m). Extensive views all round, particularly westwards to The Black Mountains. The next summit was Cribyn, then down to Bwlch ar y Fan (The Gap) where Gavin detoured to take in Fan y Big. He rejoined us before we crossed the valley by the old reservoir. A steep ascent followed up a well made path to a trig point. We could see the distant sea glinting in the sun. A blustery 2 miles along the edge of the escarpment brought us to the main path back to our starting point, where a conveniently placed tea van was taken full advantage of.
On Sunday we went our various ways. Some headed home and some went in search of waterfalls. A great meet, in a quaint and quirky hut, enhanced by brilliant weather.
Thanks Mary.

Shining Clough scramble 19 March 2017 Report

In the absence of Geoff, who injured his calf muscle on Saturday,2 of us drove out to the Woodhead reservoir despite the poor forecast.
It was full waterproofs from the outset with gusting wind and rain.Reaching the start of the Clough we followed the stream to the entry pitch which was undercut with a raging waterfall pouring down it-not inviting!Deciding to avoid this ,we flogged up the steep hillside missing “the faint path” leading past the waterfall to the continuation of the scramble.Once above the steep side we reached level ground where we were greeted by strong wind and driving rain.At this point,having largely decided not to tackle the exit pitch and waterfall ( given the conditions and the warnings in the guide book /and by Geoff yesterday) we elected not to find the way back into the Clough only to exit again further up.
Rather than continue over to Bleaklow Head into the wind and driving rain we decided to follow the edge of the escarpment north eastwards with the wind behind us and descend a steady ridge we could see in the distance down to the eastern end of the Woodhead reservoir and return along the Longendale Trail.
In the event we found a land rover track unmarked on the map too convenient to ignore which provided a quick and easy descent back to the cars past “The Lodge” and its barking dogs.
Not the best of days on which to tackle this exciting Clough,but we resolved to return on a better day.

Climbing competition report: 16 Mar 2017

CLIMBING COMPETITION REPORT: despite a moderate turnout, great fun was had in the 50th anniversary climbing competition. The comp was split into several routes, including traverses/jamming cracks, chimneys, aretes and buttresses. Speed climbing also played a part. Liquid prizes were awarded as follows:
Traverse: only Mr Doyle completed the whole circuit, so won easily.
Jamming crack: Dr Boyd was the only one to reach the target hold, [without handjamming once!!]
Speed climb up the buttress: unbelieveably, the event organiser in a time of 2mins,04 seconds!!
Prizes also awarded to top judge, Mary & most enthusiastic spectator Charles.
The CD entitled ”Got to keep on walking” was awarded to one who shall be nameless, who hadn’t climbed for quite a while!!
Thanks to all participants and spectators.
Paul Gibson

Sunday 12th March 2017 report

Five of us were about to set off from Birchin Clough car park when a familiar vehicle roared in… delayed by the Guardian crossword, apparently. So 7 set off down by the stream below the A57, up to the Snake Inn and then down into the woods again. Here the meet leader ascertained that one black peaty mess was indeed a boot and 2/3rds of a gaiter deep, the rest of the party choosing a more sensible route.
By the time we got to Fairbrook clough we needed to remove jackets in the heat, and the lower reaches of Fairbrook were as pretty as ever in the sunlight. At the base of the steeper upper section most of the party elected to scramble the gully, the verdant green coating meaning that caving rules applied (use of any part of the body permissible in order to gain upward movement).
A cool breeze awaited us at the top, though a coffee stop was welcome. The path to the Naze was good, but along the Edge several members had intimate encounters with the black stuff, which was deep in places. Lunch was taken in the last of the sun at a prominent outcrop with stunning views, then a short walk brought us to the steps of the Pennine Way down to the Snake Path. The latter is paved at the start, but soon reverts to original character so again slipsliding and boghopping skills were required. A brief light shower provided all the precipitation for the day, and had gone in time for the walk back beside the stream to the cars.
Just under 9 miles, probably, a nice mixed walk of 5 and a half hours.

Walk report – Sunday 5th March 2017

A party of 7 gathered at Crowden car park and under threatening clouds unanimously decided it was waterproofs on from the outset. We followed the Pennine Way through the lower reaches of Crowden Great Brook before leaving the valley to climb steeply towards Laddow Rocks. The streams were swollen after much recent rain, but this did not deter one member from indulging in a spell of wild water swimming. He quickly regained drier ground.
Once on the edge path we were greeted by a fresh wind and sleet, but the visibility was good and afforded views of the valley ahead and Black Hill under low cloud. We found shelter for a brief refreshment stop and before long we joined the paved path which led us easily to the summit of Black Hill (582m).
We paused briefly for a summit photograph then headed south over Tooleyshaw Moss following the indistinct path, as the snow began to fall heavily. As we emerged from the gloom, we glimpsed Torside Reservoir in the distance, and we continued our descent to join the path down Crowden Little Brook which brought us to our starting point.
A good walk of just over 9 miles, with plenty of fresh air, and a reminder that winter is still with us.
Thanks for your company,

Black Hill, 5 March 2017

Black Hill, 5 March 2017

North Wales 25/26 Feb 2017 meet report

The only sound was the crunch of snow beneath boots as eight club members gained the summit of Creigiau Gleision. There was not a cloud in the sky as the walkers adjusted their sunglasses against the low winter sun which was highlighting the snow covered peaks of North Wales standing majestic under clear blue skies.  Across the valley a lone skier could be seen weaving their way off the summit of Pen Llithrig Y Wrach … and then I woke up!
Nine of us had arrived at Blaen Y Nant, the beautifully situated hut of the Mynydd Climbing Club, on the Friday night in reasonable weather which by Saturday morning had changed into gale force winds and torrential rain. Charles having broken his dentures decided to head home and find a dentist. It took the remaining eight of us until 11.20am to suit up and brave the elements. We ended up in a café outside Capel Curig (much to the surprise of the owner) where tea, coffee and freshly baked scones were enjoyed. Despite the rain sights such as the Cyfgyg falls, thunderous following the rain, made the walk memorable for the right reasons.
Once back at the hut the walkers recovered by consuming Bombay mix and tea (and beer). Later in the evening the kitchen came under the direction of Leon as two types of curry (chicken and quorn) poppadoms, onion bhajis and chapatis were prepared. We were joined for the meal by ex club members Greg and Sue and two women from a Manchester University walking club (who have sent me a thank you email saying how nice we all were!). Suitably stuffed the party moved to the sitting room where a roaring open fire had been built; this encouraged the odd drink or two to be taken along with the odd tune from Gordon T and song from Dave C.
Things hadn’t improved much on Sunday morning. Mike and Alan went to look at Aber Falls that were apparently very impressive. Some others went to visit friends. Ali and I along with Dave went to the Ffin y parc art gallery and looked at some stunningly good and some disturbingly bizarre paintings. Coffee and cake served there were very good.
Thanks to all who came for supporting a weekend that was socially very enjoyable (and a good test of waterproofs!).

Goyt Valley Walk Report – 19 Feb 2017

Ten plus dog turned out for the walk From Buxton. We departed slightly later than planned due to the leader forgetting boots that meant a quick dash home 5 minutes out of Sheffield.
A damp start invited the clag and did not give us the usual stunning views as we descended Berry Clough. After an hour we sheltered by an old wall in the woods for hot drinks and a little sustenance. We then ascended steeply to Shining Tor. From the high point we could only imagine the sights of Liverpool Cathedral, Jodrell Bank and the Cheshire Plains.
After a quick group photo we descended along the flagged ridge to Pym Chair and then the quaint little Errwood Chapel, built by the Grimshaw family as a memorial to their governess. A short way further on we had lunch at a lone bench. By this time the clouds had lifted and we could admire our route from the valley bottom. We continued over the Errwood and Fernilee Reservoir Dam and crossed moorland to a dismantled railway, that used to serve local coal mines. At the blocked tunnel we walked up and over our last rise before the last couple of miles descent to Buxton and the cars.
A total of 11ish miles. Thanks to all for company and amusement. My feet are aching today!
Ali Milne

Open Climbing Weekends April and May 2017

053We are holding two open rock climbing weekends in April and May 2017, providing the opportunity to find out more about the Club and meet some of its members.

These weekends provide the opportunity to meet fellow climbers of a range of abilities and ages, first at the climbing wall and then outdoors.

We plan to meet at Awesome Walls, Sheffield on Friday 21 April from 6pm onwards and then at Stanage Edge on Sunday 23 April from 10.30am.

For the second weekend we plan to meet at Awesome Walls, Sheffield on Friday 12 May and climb at Birchen Edge on Sunday 14 May starting at the same times. However, it might be raining, meaning a change of outdoor venue, so it is important to contact us in advance (see below).

President Linda McLeish said: “It can be daunting to move from the security of the climbing wall to placing your own gear, setting up a safe belay, and working out where a route goes in the outdoors. Joining up with our club members, who have been there before and often have many years experience, can ease this move. Our members are able to offer informal advice, mentoring and climbing partners while Club membership provides access to BMC training courses.”

What you need

Ideally you will have, as a minimum, climbed indoors, have your own harness, belay device, helmet,and shoes and can tie on safely and belay someone competently. However, the club has some equipment which will be available on both weekends. If in doubt, please speak to Andrew Milne, membership secretary who can be contacted on 0114 2686605 or via the Contact page.

Extra Training Day

From the Wall to the Crag:  Skills for Rock Climbers – Outdoor Climbing.  Saturday 6 May.
Meet Hooks Carr car park – Stanage Popular End at 9.30am

To cover: the crag environment, guidebooks and grades, placing protection, making a belay, belaying, forces in climbing, abseiling, equipment, progressing to leading.

The session is free, but if you are not a Club member you must have attended the Open Climbing Weekend on 21/23 April and booked a place. Places are limited to 8.  We will take names for another session if needed.

Meet Report 5 Feb 2017 – three plane wrecks and Yellowslack’s Brook scramble.

Four of us gathered on glorious sunny Bleaklow, with smatterings of
snow. Ascending Aston Clough we found the remains of a C-47 Dakota,
crashed in 1945, strewn up the clough . Followed by a little mound of
melted metal at the site of a Lancaster bomber on James Thorne, also
crashed in 1945, shortly after the war. Descending below Yellowslacks
we scrambled up Yellowslacks Brook, bypassing one large waterfall and
side stepping a second, leading to a set of delightful, but slippery,
rock steps [recommended re-ascent in the summer] Across the moor to
Higher Shelf Stones and the biggest wreck in the Peak, a
Superfortress, RB-29A – crashed in 1948. A short hoof across the bogs
to Herns Stones and Bleaklow Head, then back down the Pennine way –
overtaking three lads who thought they were on the way to Torside. A
good varied day.

Geoff Nichols

Moonlight walk 13 Jan 2017 meet report

10 of us plus one dog met on a perfect night for a moonlit walk, with the [almost] full moon rising over Chatsworth House in a clear starlight sky. Our route took us downstream at the side of the river, before leaving the park and crossing the small bridge before an ascent to Park Farm via the minor road and eventually crossing the now snow covered fields and paths to reach the wooded slopes above Chatsworth. After a brief photographic pause, we meandered through the woods, passing lakes before reaching the occupied Hunting Tower. Instead of descending the steep ice encrusted path, a decision was made to keep to the road, which slightly extended the walk, but eventually brought us out to the back of Chatsworth House and back to our cars by the church, spotting many deer on the way.
One of our party was heard to say how lucky we’d been to have the walk whilst the moon was full!!!! She may be the new meets secretary next year!
A lovely evening, in which we eventually clocked 6.3 miles in 2hr40 mins, [no Presidential coffee stops at night!!] was ended by all concerned retreating to the Wheatsheaf in Baslow for a well earned pint.