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.

Five Pits Cycle Ride Report – 8 Jan 2017

Twelve club members arrived for the meet and two regular cycling guests – Stuart and Alison, who provided excellent local knowledge as they were on home turf. Within two miles we lost two members due to a chain problem. This must surely be a first – ie losing party members so soon! Dick rode off to find them and soon we were reunited. After about 10 miles we took a short detour to cycle up the Nottinghamshire county top at Silverhill. There is some debate here as to whether this is a true county top as it is man made, being a former spoil heap. But. for today, it was the real deal. Again local guidance led us up a very accessible route to the miner statue where we stopped for a group photo shoot. A long and enjoyable ride downhill then ensued and
a much needed refreshment break was then taken at Teversal Visitor Centre. However queues were slow so we cycled on to Pleasley Colliery cafe and enjoyed some mining history. Did you know that in 1913 pit pony numbers peaked at 70 000.? The last pony finished work in 1973.
The conditions were muddy and the terrain we decided to exit the trails and make up some ground on some country lanes. We rode through Haddon Park and then waved goodbye to our guess as they headed home. We soon rejoined the original trail via a very muddy track before reaching the cars. A total of 24 miles (indeed 1 mile short of 25 which covers the “around 30” original meet description. However Lin and Hugh have probably ridden an extra 2 or 3 miles!!
Thanks for the company today.

New Year’s Day 2017 Meet report

Sitting in the car at 10.45, the weather was a mix of snow, sleet, rain and wind and the meet leader and companion wouldn’t have minded too much if nobody had joined them. But in true Castle tradition a dozen hardy souls duly arrived and we were forced to set off.
The route originally skirted Totley Moor, extending a little more than planned as the meet leader decided, privately, to explore a bit further in the assumption a track would eventually lead us back to the trig point. Luckily it did and we found said trig. After pictures were taken we descended to the road and eventually, after Linda’s plea, found a sheltered spot for a tea break.
Shortly after we crossed the road and ascended to the northern end of White Edge, some of the party diverting slightly to hug an unidentified stone, before reaching the road junction to Froggatt.
At this point several of the party decided that shopping for rock boots and socks, free tea in Longshaw café and other unspecified excuses were vitally important and turned towards Longshaw whilst the remaining six headed towards Froggatt via the track beyond the white gate which most of us had never walked. A delightful path took us into the woods for lunch before we headed, via quarrying remains, to the Grouse Inn for reviving drinks; mulled wine, beer and hot chocolate were consumed next to the woodburner.
On leaving the pub the weather was markedly better and dry, we descended to the top of Tegness Quarry and the excellent view from the far end, before further descent to Grindleford Station and a trek back up Padley Gorge and through Longshaw to the Fox House, which was full as we passed by, to the cars.
An unpromising start eventually led to a fine walk to start the New Year, just touching 11 miles, thanks to all who attended. Pictures on Facebook.
Happy New Year
Paul and Vanda.