Sunday 10th Jan 2016 – Road Bike Ride

10 of us met near Rivelin Mill, prepared to be tortured by a supposed 25 mile route, led by Mary – Dungworth –> Bradfield –> Bolsterstone –> Midhopestones, a leisurely lunch at the café at Langsett, then back on some of the Tour route via Ewden, Agden Bridge, Strines, but without a stop for a pint, a short section on the A57 and finally the back road to the car park. Various GPSs told us it was closer to 32 miles. Mary – thanks for arranging the dry and not too chilly weather and somehow, no real head winds.

Height profile attached
Dick Murton

New Year 2016 meet (31 Dec – 3 Jan): Keswick

On New Years Eve, 12 Castle members joined 15 members of the Glasgow Glenmore Club and 3 members of the Perth Mountaineering Club at Denton House in Keswick for a joint meet. We soon got to know each other over a communal meal where we sat with different people for each course and most joined in with the Scottish dancing which led us up to the New Year which we celebrated in traditional Scottish style.

We woke on New Years Day to a clear sky and a sprinkling of snow on the high hills. As a result many people were tempted to ascend Skiddaw. This was done by various parties on varying routes but conditions high up were not pleasant – very strong winds and icy under foot. Most people were not equipped for the conditions! Only two Castle members made it to the summit, the rest retreating at various points including the start of the summit ridge and Skiddaw Little Man. Two members took in Latrigg as a consolation on the way down. However it was a good mountain day with excellent views of the surrounding hills and waterlogged fields and a very muddy looking Bassenthwaite Lake. Other members choose to climb Latrigg and run up High Seat.

2 January – the cloud was down on the summits but the weather was better than forecast and we did see the sun and some blue sky in between the showers. Some members went home after shopping and lunching but most choose to walk from the hostel and had another good mountain day. We ascended Walla Crag and had excellent views down over Keswick and Derwent Water. We then went on to Bleaberry Fell and High Seat before descending steeply to Ashness Bridge and the shores of Derwent Water. The Lake was higher than usual but we made our way back along the lakeshore and roadside footpath and reached the hostel just as it was getting dark. Two other members had a stroll up Catbells, Maiden Moor and High Spy.

3 January – another overcast day with heavy rain forecast by midday. Most packed up and made for home. Two members choose to drive up Borrowdale to Rosthwaite and did a short walk up Castle Crag, down the track towards Grange and back along the riverside path to Rosthwaite. Unfortunately the heavy rain came before the walk was finished but a very pleasant round was enjoyed.

An excellent long weekend. Thanks to the Glenmore Club for organising it, especially Caroline, and thanks to Chris Huxham and Dave Crowther for inviting us to join the Glenmore Club for their New Year meet and celebrations. (Chris and Dave are members of both the Castle and Glenmore clubs). It was lovely to meet new friends and enjoy the hills with them.

Rosy Smith

A report from the Glenmore Club is below the photos

Outside Denton House

Outside Denton House

On the way up Skiddaw

On the way up Skiddaw

Flood damage to footbridge

Flood damage to footbridge

Walla Crag

Walla Crag

Derwentwater from Walla Crag

New Year’s Eve Ceilidh

Bleaberry Fell

Bleaberry Fell

Castle Crag

Castle Crag

Report by Ann Dean of the Glenmore Club

New Year Meet Keswick 2015-2016

This was an historic event in the annals of the Glenmore Club – the first time (and I hope not the last!) that we had joined forces with other clubs on a New Year meet. We enjoyed the company of 10 members of the Castle club from Sheffield, and 3 members of the Perth Mountaineering club. Including Chris and Dave, who of course are also Castle members, there were 15 Glenmorons attending, with 1 relative and 1 friend.

We were all a bit apprehensive after the recent floods in Keswick, and didn’t know in what state we would find the town and the Denton House hostel. The hostel, although near the river, had not been flooded, and the town was recovering, although piles of debris outside affected houses and along the course of the river showed how high the water had come and how devastating the flood had been. It was good to see that Keswick was very busy with visitors, and there was even a market in the high street.

The hostel was very well situated, being just a few minute’s walk from the centre of town. It was an odd building, having a long corridor from one end to the other, with rooms leading off seemingly at random. I don’t know what it can have been used for before its hostel days. There were 2 kitchens, both well away from the dining room, one for hostellers, one for the warden, neither of which were well equipped for small parties cooking for themselves. However Caroline organised her troops very well, and we had a communal meal the first night, pies and pudding bought in the second, and most people explored the culinary delights of Keswick the last night. The dining room was large and had a good springy floor for dancing. The dorms were a bit cramped, with nowhere except under the bunk to store anything, but my bed anyway was very comfortable, and the showers were hot!

Everyone got on together very well, and the Castle club and the Perth club entered into the Glenmore traditions wholeheartedly, although I did hear mutterings from one person when we changed places at the communal meal after every course! There were the usual Scottish country dances, with everyone taking part, and also some English and Irish dances for variety. We were treated to some lively Irish step dancing from Mary Cox and Noelle Ryan who spontaneously took to the floor to show us how it should be done. Chris tried valiantly to teach us her Carpark Reel, with the usual results. Some people were so taken with this dance, that they plied Chris with questions in forensic detail. Even at breakfast the next day they were quizzing her, as they wanted to bamboozle some friends by showing them how to do it.

I almost forgot to mention the hillwalking! Most people decided to climb Skiddaw on New Year’s day, although high winds meant that not everyone got to the top. David Foster went up Binsey, and Henry and Kathleen pioneered High Seat and Bleaberry Fell. Roger, Ann and Louise circumnavigated Derwentwater trying to keep out of floodwater, and Alan Dean went a cycle from the hostel taking in Hardknott, Wrynose and Newlands passes. Next day, most people reprised Henry and Kathleen’s Bleaberry Fell, although going the other way round. This unfortunately gave rise to an ear worm for some, and strains of Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill resounded for a while. Mary Cox , Elizabeth Maitland and Louise did Watch Hill by Cockermouth, David went up Lord’s Seat from Whinlatter, and a small select group consisting of Perfects and Deans went round Buttermere and had coffee and toasted teacakes to recover.

Seasonal Stagger on Sunday 20th December 2015

Nine members arrived early, catching me in my dressing gown wrestling a wedged box of mince pies from my letter-box, but after a photo of them all on the front steps, we set off downhill past the houses to Whiteley Woods and then followed Porter Brook up-stream, past the decorated tree, to emerge into open countryside and some rather muddy fields. A wrong turning at a stile, which necessitated back-tracking, allowed us to arrive nearer the pre-arranged meeting time at the Norfolk Arms, where most of us sat on their car-park wall to eat sandwiches, before buying drinks inside. Four more members arrived, including the second meet leader, Paul Gibson, so there were no further wrong turnings on the way back to High Storrs Road, via the Limb valley. Numerous cups of tea and many and various ‘goodies’ were enjoyed [especially the home-made ones – Rosy’s lemon drizzle cake and Lynda’s quiche disappeared particularly quickly]. Other members arrived, some freshly washed [!] including eventually some of the cycling group [who’d turned up at the Norfolk Arms after we’d left] ready for some carbohydrate replenishment having cycled about 30 miles compared to the walkers’ more modest 9 miles [Andy’s GPS reading]
A lovely and most enjoyable Castle tradition to lead us up to Christmas.
Vanda Boyd

Seasonal Stagger 2015 Seasonal Stagger 2015 Seasonal Stagger 2015 Seasonal Stagger 2015 Seasonal Stagger 2015 Seasonal Stagger 2015

Kinder Walk – Sunday 13 December 2015

Steve’s instructions were: “Meet at free parking along the Upper Booth road, Edale (GR:107847) for a prompt 9:30 start. Route goes via Crowden Brook, Kinder River, Fairbrook Naze, Ashop Edge, the Downfall and Kinder Low. Approx 12 miles. No cafes or pubs along the way so come prepared!”

Unfortunately, Steve was unwell so I “stepped in” as the meet coordinator and tried to follow his instructions to the letter. I’m sure that some of the team could have walked the route in their sleep and I ended up leading from the rear for parts of the day.

Steve had not mentioned mist, drizzle, sleet or more persistent rain but we encountered all at times. Conditions were understandably wet underfoot, but not excessively so. The recent winds had blown over a tree in Crowden Clough soon after the start which we had to climb through . We opted not to scramble up Crowden Brook itself due to the volume of water in it and were soon at plateau level heading almost due north for Fairbrook Naze. If you have not been on Kinder or Bleaklow for a few years you will be amazed – green with new grass rather than black with peat. We found the Kinder River but possibly followed it too far as the Kinder Gates came into view, so a change in bearing soon brought us to the northern plateau edge. Andy’s GPS track shows a bit of a sinuous shimmy in the middle of the plateau, but I say you need to weave a little to get into the right drainage system!
Following a coffee break/early lunch we pressed on westwards along the edge of the plateau to the Pennine Way and a sharp turn to the the south east and thence Kinder Downfall and lunch part II. From here it was the trig. on Kinder Low and a descent of Jacobs Ladder, returning to the cars just as it got dark. 12.1 miles on the GPS.

A good day out – thanks to all those who came, especially to Janet who was on her first non-climbing meet.


Much Wenlock Xmas report – December 2015

What a great weekend! Many thanks to all of you for making the time special. Great venue, thanks to Andrew and Ali for organising. A big thank you to Marian for sorting out another excellent 3 course meal.
Over 30 of us gathered, and walking, mountain biking, running, cycling, kept us busy in the daylight, although the mountain bikers did need some darkness to complete, or were they fooling us, and in the pub?? The gales didnt stop us on Saturday, we ignored the health and safety signs on Wenlock edge re trees that could fall down…..
Saturday night was mulled wine, food, more alcohol, secret Santa, awards, more alcohol, singing, laughing, and yes, more booze!!
I was grateful for the lovely Davinia’s help on giving out the annual awards, she must get points for the windswept blond hair look! Awards only go to anyone present on the night, so this is a summary in case you missed it…..
Cycling- Steve w
Walking- Andy, Rosy, Chris and Chris
Hospitality- Elen
Colourful language- Leon
Misfortune- Ali
Old relic- Tom
Where are you?- Linda and John Hawley
Climbing and falling-Bill
Champion of the club-David
Looking forward to next year’s do!


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Alport Castles 29th November 2015

Despite a horrendous weather forecast, 8 of us convened at the side of Ladybower by 9.30, after cunningly depositing a couple of cars at strategic points along the Snake Road. Setting off via Crookhill Farm we gradually made our way up towards Alport Castles, with a rising wind, but thankfully only brief bursts of the promised rain. On ascending out of the track to Hagg Farm, the open moorland saw us battling quite a violent wind, so much so that Vanda attached herself to Geoff to prevent being blown sideways. She claimed a combined total of approx 20 stones was just right. She later attached herself to most of the men in the party, some things never change.
We had hoped to have elevenses in the birdwatching hut at Alport, but it’s no longer there, so we were forced to shelter behind the remnants of a dry [!!] stone wall a bit further on. Those of us sitting with our backs to the wall had the eerie sensation of feeling the wall move, such was the strength of the wind.
On emerging from the end of the wall, the wind appeared to have got even stronger, but we decided to move away from the edge and make our way to the trig point midway to Bleaklow. We subsequently arrived [see picture], but by this time there were a few revolting natives who wished to remove themselves from the buffeting and not go to Bleaklow. We decided to drop into Alport Dale where the party split into two. The chief revoltee led her party down Alport Dale to the car left at the bottom and returned safely by 2.40, approx 9 miles.
The rest of us then traversed into the upper reaches of Alport Dale, well above the river but nicely sheltered from the wind at first. However, the further up we got, the more the wind was funneled down on to us, hail for a short time, resulting in one broken pole [cost £4.99], a slowing of progress and aching joints. Eventually we reached the top of the valley, but rather than heading for the ridge, we turned towards the west and made our down to the Snake Road, hopping over in to Lady Clough Plantation and a return to the top car by 3.35.
12.2 miles of the finest Dark Peak bog-hopping in challenging conditions, but all returned safe, if slightly battered, with dry coats, before dark.
Some of us later joined Martin & Pat in Wetherspoons for an evening meal before they set of to the Canaries to celebrate Pat’s big birthday.

Paul Gibson

Alport Castles meet 29 Nov 2015

Alport Castles meet 29 Nov 2015

5 Pits Trail 15th Nov 2015

A great bike ride around N Notts was a real treat last Sunday. When I woke to wind and rain I was expecting phone calls crying off but not to be. Apart from 10 minutes light drizzle around 1pm it was a dry trip with a ride around Hardwick Hall, bacon, sausage or egg butties at Pleasley Pit community Café and then on to the high point of Nottingham at Silverhill. Any navigating errors obviously deliberate to ensure we completed over 30 miles. Thanks to all.

Mountain Biking 1st Nov 2015

The Misty Marple Circuit.

Just lucky I had printed off so many maps and instructions, god knows what would have happened if I had thought to suggest people catch the train to the start! and thanks to Mary for providing a front wheel for me, wasn’t looking forward to a day’s unicycling. Goes without saying we had a fantastic weather day, too good for cycling should have been climbing really. Plenty of variety having to stop at the Mill Inn with a great water wheel then later stopping at roman remains.

Kinder Scramble 8 November 2015

7 hardy souls met and set off for some wet gill, slimy rock scrambling. Although the clag was down the weather was good to us with only a couple bits of light drizzle whilst scrambling. Up a scramble, down a scramble and up another scramble. Were we lost? NO – just having a good time. Our couple of 4 leg friends survived the day with one heart stopping moment from Scout and Tiggy well into the role of the parcel in the game of pass the parcel up the gill. Thanks to all for an enjoyable day. Mary

Windgather Meet Report 13.09.15


Lovely day at Windgather with sun in the morning and some cloud in the afternoon. The initial 4 (2 late due to coffee and croissants) joined quickly by others so in total – after a mountain biker needing even more exercise attached himself to us, there was the grand total of 8 plus the dog. Great to see 2 non members on the meet. First time I have been to Windgather and well impressed and not only for the loads of climbs I could attempt. One of highlights of the day was Steve W beginning his challenge of 1000m of ascent  before next June. Rumour has it he hasn’t done this much in the past decade! Anyway good start with some confident leading.

Thanks to all for a great day.