Five hardy climbers, two spectators and a cockapoo braved the elements at Hen Cloud today. The chilly autumn winds made it hard to believe that only a few weeks ago we were setting off at 6am to avoid the heatwave in Pembroke! Two teams enjoyed classic routes including Roof Route, K2 and Great Chimney. The highlight (lowlight?) was a three man assault on the Central Climb which started with some impressive grunting and an even more impressive belly-flop finish by the leader of the first pitch which was followed by a massive rope tangle on the first belay ledge, continued with various subterfuges to avoid the crux of the second pitch and ended with several variations when topping out of the final pitch. We finished slightly earlier than we might otherwise have done to avoid hypothermia. Paul Embley
A cool but dry day saw Members climbing routes graded from Severe to HVS. There is nowhere else in the Peak where you can climb 40 metre routes in such a beautiful setting, We were looking down through the trees on the River Derwent.
Some great climbing was enjoyed. The guidebook has comments such as “dramatic position” and “climb the wall on cool holds” about some of the routes done.
The need to abseil from the crag top was an inconvenience but not a significant issue. A really good crag – go and experience it for yourselves if you have never done so!
Saturday saw 11 members of the club rendezvousing at the campsite. Two visiting for the day and one delayed arrival. Two teams went off climbing on Castle Helen and Holyhead mountain. A figure of eight walk planned from the campsite to allow the delayed arrival to join in. The weather Gods were smiling on us on the Saturday; however, it seemed that the traffic Gods had gone away for the weekend causing the late arrival and ensuring the journey back on Sunday took 5+ hours to complete.
A Barbeque on the evening went on into the dark, mainly because the Holyhead mountain climbers didn’t want to leave the crag while there was enough light to keep climbing,
Sunday morning was bright and warm, but it was going to rain at some stage (well it is Wales). Forecast said between 10.00 and 2.00, depending on who’s phone you look at. The Holyhead mountain climber decided to go back and tick off a few more of the excellent routes on offer.
The remaining Party decided to drive to Wylfa head and take in the views of the redundant nuclear power station and walk along the coast towards Cemaes Bay as far as Llanbadrig Point, taking lunch in the shelter of the church at T’y n-llan.
Trying to keep the group walking was proving hopeless. Bushes along the way were systematically stripped of all their fruits and when the beach was reached at Cemaes they ripped off their clothes and threw themselves into the Irish sea! The only way to stop them swimming back to Wylfa was the promise of a cafe stop. Cemaes didn’t disappoint because the tearoom was excellent. Trying to get them out of the tearoom was also proving difficult and some members of the group were becoming visibly distressed by having to leave without tasting the marmalade cake!
Arriving at the church saw the first rain drops. After lunch we took a more direct route back, taking waterproofs on and off several times along the way,
Thanks to everyone for coming. hope to see you all again in Anglesey .
9 members [or it might have been 10] eventually gathered at the left hand, north end of Stanage for a delightful day of climbing in warm sunshine, great views over the moors and minimal midges. Some arrived with only a helmet and harness [including I have to admit, this meet leader] with no intention to lead and a variety of almost plausible excuses. But eventually there were 5 leaders and various grades of climb were completed successfully. Having not been on a Castle climbing meet for a while, I was reassured that a request for a ‘tight rope’ was still understood, that using knees occasionally was seen to be acceptable, as was the odd swear word when stressed [Charles would certainly have been teasing me about completing a 2-shit climb]. So thank you all for your very agreeable company [and I hope the gear was successfully retrieved].
The morning dew soon disappeared as more climbers joined us in the sunshine for some quarried limestone sport climbing.
It was the first time I’d been to this venue and the first time I’d done any sport since Norway 4(?) years ago! I’m not sure all the trad climbers enjoyed some of the distances between the bolts but there were some very nice routes for those top-roping. Those a little more used to it, showed us how it was done, leaving the better routes for the afternoon.
I thought that I had planned the meet well – the birds had finished nesting, the Army were on holiday and the tides were great. However, I had not anticipated a heatwave, meaning we had to climb in the shade where possible. Still 17 of us made it to Bosherston and had a great time. We tended to start climbing very early, doing routes on west facing crags until the sun came on them and we escaped to the beach and a swim. Most of the climbing done was in Range East, with new cliffs being visited by many or the whole area by some. We all learned that it takes a long time to find the right cliff and set up the abseil in the right place – sometimes taking longer than climbing the route itself.
I am sure that everyone will remember the blue skies, benign blue sea and great climbing for a long time. A sociable time in a very special part of our country. David
Miller’s Dale was the start of this White Peak gem. Six CMC members plus two family guests and 3 dogs set off along the length of Chee Dale – over the stepping stones and through the tunnels of butterbur . At Topley Pike we climbed up and over Deep Dale, stopping at a convenient bench for drinks. Work at the quarry is still active and extensive. Chelmorton churchyard provided a lunch spot before more ascent up and over the valley to take us down throughout Priestcliffe to the Monsal Trail and ice creams. Lovely warm day. Non stop chat kept the party moving to complete our 8.7 miles (official figure from Dick).
Thirteen of us and Billy, the Jack Russell, took advantage of almost perfect weather conditions at Laddow Rocks. We ticked lots of starred routes with several teams enjoying the “Top 50” classics the Long Climb and Tower Face. Some impressive leading skills demonstrated by our newer members but it took two old lags to show the rest how to do the difficult start to Tower Face with minimal fuss! Paul Embley
We opted for an early start to beat the heat and shortly after 7.30am ten of us gathered at Neb Buttress and then moved around to make the most of the many classic routes scattered around the edge. Matt and Rosie went Happy Wandering, Rosa and Julian entertained the TikTok brigade with an acrobatic ascent of Gargoyle Flake, Eden demonstrated his rapidly developing leading skills by cruising Brown’s Crack and Nick, who had unfortunately forgotten his harness, did an impressive solo ascent of Bamford Wall. Lots of other starred classics were climbed including Bamford Rib, Wrinkled Wall, Bilberry Crack, Quien Sabe? and Curving Crack. And if anyone wants a No 3 Rock they could try dislodging the one we got stuck at the bottom of Bilberry Crack – but you might need a masonry drill as three of us tried for 45 minutes and couldn’t budge it! Paul Embley