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.


Bamford Edge climbing – Sunday 26 July 2015

Those of an observant nature will have noticed an early post this morning re this meet, from The Organiser. This seriously disturbed a number of members still in bed at the time. Despite dire warnings from the Met Office, a grand total of 8 members and one welcome newcomer, Janet, felt obliged to answer the summons, flooding towards the crag in waves.
Remarkably the crag was still dry as we assembled before 10am and frantic rushing about led to a number of ascents, even during the course of a heavy shower.
The Organiser, expecting more rain, even took to hanging upside down and wimpering under an overhang before eventually emerging to finish in the dry.
However, by 12.30 a more serious downfall led a retreat after a remarkable number of ascents given the short time available. As CMC tradition demands, it was full speed to Hathersage and the Citronella Tea rooms [Outside was full], before serious gear shopping resulted in many pounds being spent and shares in Paramo rising as a result.
As usual, The Organiser delegated her task of writing this report to the most gullible member present, which turned out to be yours truly.
Thanks Linda!!!



Burbage South climbing – Sunday 19 July 2015

After an ominous start to the day the rain cleared, exactly as forecasted, at 9:45. The day captured the early pioneering spirit of the Golden Age as lone climbers fought their way to the ‘hard to find’ Dowel Crack, some opting for the high path and hoping to drop in at the right spot, while others opted for the jungle bash on the lower path. Having found the crag, the group of 6 were met with a whole host of awkward, green cracks on this relatively unclimbed area of the Peak. This provoked a barrage of abuse at the meet organiser with comments like, “you’re not organising any more meets”, and, “there’s a reason why this area is quiet”. The group soon realised they were actually having an awesome time climbing in the testing conditions and the abuse eased as the day went on. Safe to say that I think Mary, Nigel, Bill, Hugh, Ellen and Simon all had at least one interesting/horrific experience on what was an awkward crag in testing conditions. Routes ranged from HVD to HS with some well earned ascents of Dowel Crack HVS 5a on a top rope thanks to Ellen and Bill.



Wasdale weekend – 3-5th July 2015

The meet began 24 hours before most weekend away meets and
by Thursday evening people were gathering in the bar of the
Wasdale Head Inn. There were current and past CMC members
and Smith family members. It was raining and overcast –
typical Lake District weather – but the forecast was good
for the next day.

As forecast, the weather on Friday was excellent: warm and
sunny, little wind, and good visibility. All the tops were
clear. A party of 16 headed up the Shoulder route (southwest
ridge) of Lingmell. There were attractive views over
Wastwater on the ascent. At the top we had a coffee break.
This was Andy & Rosy’s 213rd Wainwright since retirement;
just one more to do: Scafell Pike. We dropped down to
Lingmell Col where we joined the busy tourist route coming
up from Brown Tongue. A ‘tedious half-hour’ (according to Mr
W) brought us to the top of the Pike. The highest point in
England was predictably crowded but we squeezed our way onto
the summit platform and popped our champagne corks to enjoy
a glass of bubbly in celebration of completion of the
Wainwrights and Andy’s 70th birthday. A quieter spot was
found nearby for a picnic lunch which included Rosy’s yummy
homemade ginger cake and a pork pie with a candle on it!

Eventually it was time to leave and we dropped down to Broad
Crag col, and then down the somewhat unpleasant scree gully
to reach the Corridor Route to Sty Head. Before reaching the
latter, we left the path and descended to join the old
bridleway down to Wasdale Head (except for a splinter group
of four who continued over Great Gable). On the way, four of
the party enjoyed a dip in the Emerald Pool below the
confluence of Piers Gill and Lingmell Beck. It had been a
great day out in the mountains. That evening 21 of us sat
down for a celebration dinner in the historic dining room of
the Wasdale Head Inn (the ‘birthplace of British climbing’),
surrounded by old photos of tweed-clad and nailed-boot-shod
climbers with hemp ropes tackling local and Alpine routes.
Afterwards the birthday cake was cut and consumed while we
enjoyed reminiscing about past days out in the hills.

After a wild night (wind, thunder, and heavy rain), Saturday
dawned wet with with the cloud down on the tops. Some of
the campers packed up and headed for home. The rest of us
split into different groups: some for low level walks and
others heading higher. A group of 10 walked to Overbeck
Bridge and climbed Yewbarrow. We were in cloud at the top as
we ate our lunch. Then it was down to Dore Head over Stirrup
Crag, which involved some mild scrambling. From the saddle,
three dropped down into Mosedale. The cloud was lifting off
the tops by now and the rest of us had a pleasant walk down
Overbeck back to the road. The weather had improved so much
that we could see the scene of yesterday’s achievement: the
top of Scafell Pike.

On Sunday, people headed off to different destinations,
mostly homeward. On the way a party of 6 of us walked from
Bigert Mire (above Ulpha) to the top of Whitfell, and were
rewarded by good views: a panorama of the high Lakeland
fells to the north; a view over Walney Island and Morecambe
Bay to the south. From here, two continued on a ridge walk
and four returned the same way.

Many thanks to everyone who has sent me some of their
photos. There are some great pictures there. I have put a
selection into a Picasa Web album which you can find here.

Andy Smith

Andy and Rosy completing their final Wainwright on Andy's 70th birthday

Andy and Rosy completing their final Wainwright – Scafell Pike – on Andy’s 70th birthday

T shirt weather - looking towards Sty Head Tarn

T shirt weather – looking towards Sty Head Tarn

Andy cutting the cake

Andy cutting the cake

Higgar Tor climbing – Tuesday 23 June 2015

The File on another day

The File on another day

On a lovely summer’s evening, a select group tackled some of the notoriously difficult routes on the Leaning Block at Higgar Tor, the down climb off of the block being equal in commitment to the routes themselves. Lucky we had Jez to rig an elaborate rope system to get us all off safely. The highlight of the evening must have been “The File” which Jez led with a lot gear, a lot of grunting and a quite a few expletives. I found myself pondering why it was called “The File” – maybe it’s because it’s long and straight, like a file………..Having returned home and seen the amount of skin that was no longer on the back my hands, I realised where it’s name must have come from. Check out some of the other route names on the block!


Burbage Valley Bouldering – 4 June 2015

Wow, the evening was physical!  Eight club members met up at Fox House and from there, under beautiful clear blue skies, charged into the heart of the Burbage Boulders to do battle; and what a battle it was. Starting off tentatively at Pock Block where we spent a while figuring out how to boulder and how to actually read the guide book. Warmed up, and now vaguely understanding the guide book, the group then advanced into the heart of the boulders, laying siege at The Brick and climbing the majority of what it had to offer. That done, the group made it up to the Armoured Car, all under the watchful eye of The Tank where they sessioned a particularly strenous and awkward 5+. About twenty boulder problems in all were figured out, ranging from font 3+ to 5+, and were climbed in varying styles. One thing was certain, we left the Boulders knowing we had been engaged in a struggle: bloody and split fingers, healing wounds re-opened, grit rash galore, grazes, burning finger tips and cramping feet – what more do you want? Excellent evening.


Simon bouldering in his high vis kit.

Simon bouldering in his high vis kit.