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.

Meet Report Seasonal Stagger, 18 Dec 2016

After a slight delay while one member phoned in from Rivelein Valley Road for navigation instructions, seventeen members assembled on Uppergate Road on Sunday morning and set off for Worrall. The party included a number of members who have not been seen on meets for some time. We walked past Storrs and down a rather steep and muddy track (“seasonal slither” might have been a more appropriate name for the walk) to Stacey Bank in the bottom of the Loxley Valley. Then, passing by the Nags Head, it was up Back Lane to Holdworth where we joined the Sheffield Country Walk trail to Worrall. The President, evidently still in Thursday walk mode, requested a coffee break, which many people used to eat some sandwiches, and we arrived at the Blue Ball a bit behind schedule, to find the cycling party, plus Charles, already installed. We had missed the bacon butties, but carol-singers in the back room were in full voice, and the pub was quite crowded, so most people sat outside for refreshment. Certainly consumption levels on these staggers seem to be a lot less than when they were instituted in the late 1980s, and it was barely 2pm when we set off back to Stannington. This was a more direct line, apart from for some horses which were blocking access to a stile till Dave C did his horse-whisperer tricks to get them to move. We dropped down the edge of Loxley Common (several interesting fungi on the trees, identified by Francis) and though Loxley village to the river again. Then up through the Acorn Hill woods below Stanington Ruffs, that undiscovered gem of gritstone climbing, which has unaccountably been omitted from the meets list for the past quarter of a century. (I have lived within ten minutes walk of the Ruffs for 28 years, and have visited them with my rock boots only once – and that was once too often!) Here mud was again encountered in profusion, but we didn’t lose anybody, even on the steep bit, and returned to Uppergate Road to find that Charles and Dave P (from the cycling group) had already got the kettle on. Muddy boots were left in cars, and everyone enjoyed the cakes, mince pies, biscuits and other delights which had been contributed. A couple of other members turned up to enjoy the festivities, and the whole event was deemed a success. Not perhaps the most strenuous mountaineering expedition, but a pleasant seasonal excursion nonetheless. Merry Christmas to all!
John Barnard

Meet report Xmas dinner weekend 2-4 Dec 2016

Thirty-five club members descended on the Kingsway Centre in Middleton-in Teesdale to enjoy another classic Xmas annual dinner away meet.

Local hostelries and chip shop proved to be a magnet on the Friday night. Following this, members retired to their beds at different times in preparation for Saturday (the last to do so went to bed at 3.30am).

Saturday dawned fair and, during the day, activities ranges from one party walking along the river Tees to the mighty High Force waterfall; one party ascending to the top of a nearby mountain the summit of which was 675metres; one party mountain biking along some wild disused railway tracks and one party soaking up some industrial culture and history at Beamish museum. Saturday evening started with wine which was well mulled by Elen. Marian then took charge and cooked up a feast, which as on many other Xmas meets (along with the ever excellent Xmas puddings cooked by Rosie) was enjoyed by all.

Following the meal the anticipation was high as President McLeish rose to deliver an entertaining, if a little lengthy, awards ceremony. As with last year our President injected a bit of glamour into the proceedings by welcoming internationally renowned saucy glamour model for the over fifties ‘Davina’ to give out the awards.

Awards, in no particular order went to:

Russ – cycling. Rosie – walking. Improving – Tina and Jane. Hex for biggest fall – Pete. Marianne – Intrepid. Andrew – foot in mouth (in the absence of Hugh). Mike – Champion of the club. Bill – forgetfulness, and in her absence a well-deserved award for determination went to Mary.

Following the awards ceremony Vanda tempted people into doing some circle dance training in preparation for her birthday. Things rested up after this with Gordon and Russ entertaining the group with a few songs, some well-known and some not so (for those not on the weekend next time you see Russ ask him to give you his verse about the evolution of dogs!).

Sunday was again fair weather wise and more cycling, walking and museum visiting ensued. Mary arrived in time to join the cycle party who went up hill and down hill to Weardale, found a café, then it was up and down back to the centre.

All round it was a good weekend in a great location. Thanks to all for supporting and taking part.

Provisional organisation already taking place for the same event next year, possibly somewhere near Settle. See you there!


Meet report, Hartington walk Sunday 27th Nov 2016

An amazing 20 of us started from the pond area in Hartington.!! Quite a few regular walkers found footpaths they had never been on. The weather, after 10 mins of drizzle turned into shafts of sun highlighting distinctive peaks.
I was so pleased to offer lifts, as Chris noted on arrival at my house, that I had a flat tyre! So she kindly agreed to take us. Then Leon lent me his poles as I had left mine handily in the boot of my car! Hugh looked longingly on as at tea break I offered Leon as many figgy biscuits as he wanted. Hugh said he liked figgy biscuits, but as he had insulted me as usual, I said they are nice aren’t they! Lunch in Hartington by the pond for most, 2 nipping for sneaky cake and hot choc.
I had not reccied the southern loop, but this was well known. We did nearly lose Mary at the toilets. We thought she was taking a long time, and waited. Then sent Marian in to check, she had gone! Someone spotted her trying to escape from us and beckoned her back.
Not sure what Pete’s daughter made of us all. Andrew described the squeeze in the cave en route as a tight fit when he was a skinny 10 year old which discouraged anyone from trying…shame.
Thank you for your company. Cheers Linda.

Meet Report Sunday 20th November 2016 Dark Peak Walk

Having been summoned by the President from 3000 miles away, getting home after 9pm on Saturday after an 8 hour flight, a 4 hour time change and the usual chaos at Manchester Border Control, I think it’s safe to say the forecast for torrential rain wasn’t exactly encouraging and a nil turnout wouldn’t have been a disaster!!
However, after battling the snowy roads to Bamford Edge, two of the club stalwarts were waiting to be entertained, fortunately the later start time of 10.30 meant the rain had stopped for a while. In fact, we were amazed that not a drop fell on us throughout the day, indeed, sunshine made several appearances leading to shedding of clothing layers at various points.
Our route was adaptable, luckily [for me] both Sean & Leon had evening engagements, so were happy for a slightly shorter day. We started over Bamford Edge, before dropping off on a path towards Heatherdene car park, followed by a meander through the woods, a death defying pathless descent to the viaduct and eventually via the road to the path leading back towards Cutthroat Bridge. At this point a decision was made to stay on the lower track and lunch was taken before we eventually emerged at the bridge, crossing towards Moscar Moor and Jarvis Clough. After crossing the clough and ascending back to Bamford Edge we eventually arrived back at the cars just before a light drizzle wafted in. My gps said 8.5 miles, Leon’s similar and Sean’s nearly 10. But his is new, so perhaps we’ll go with 8.5. A few pictures on Facebook.
Thanks to Leon & Sean who made getting up early worthwhile.
Paul Gibson

Castle Mountaineering Club's photo.
Castle Mountaineering Club's photo.
Castle Mountaineering Club's photo.
Castle Mountaineering Club's photo.

Historical walk 13th Nov 2016

22 members gathered at Hollin Bank car park on a beautiful morning and under the expert guidance of Bill Gordon, warden for the North Lees estate, we were soon engrossed in the first of many historical features, this being the ‘cut and cover’ water supply channel for North Lees Hall. We descended through woodland, passing the remains of Romano-British boundary walls and ancient enclosures, with Bill all the while pointing out features in the landscape and identifying our position on ancient maps. We arrived at the Grade 1 listed North Lees Hall, and were privileged to be shown inside. We climbed the spiral staircase to the top of the tower and admired the view and late autumn colours in warm sunshine.
After an external inspection of the adjacent cruck barn we made our way to the Chapel of the Holy Trinity and Holy Trinity Well, then descended to the Paper Mill Dam for lunch. It was difficult to imagine over 700 tons of paper being produced weekly from this site for transportation to Sheffield.
Greens Farm, the Limekiln and the site of the Raddle Inn were next visited, before we crossed the road at Dennis Knoll to make our way to the enormous Buck Stone. Perhaps used as a shepherd’s shelter, and a site of early religious significance, we were introduced to the first of many ‘apotropaic’ symbols to be seen en-route. We joined the ancient Causeyway and quarryman’s path onto Stanage and followed the edge to join the sled path for our descent to the plantation, which contains species of trees not native to the area, raising the question ‘who planted them and why?’ Our final ‘discovery’ was the almost secret location of the Resolution Stone and plaque to the Woodcraft Folk, a relatively recent addition to this ancient landscape.
Although familiar ground to us all, Bill’s expert knowledge provided an insight into how this landscape has evolved over many centuries, and revealed features which we would perhaps never otherwise discover.
A good day out, and thanks to all for your support.
NB. ‘Apotropaic’ – from the Greek ‘apotrepein’ – to ward off. From apo (away) and trepein (to turn).