Llangollen – Annual Dinner Weekend 6/7 December 2014

Twenty-five club members and two guests went to the Llangollen Hostel for the 2014 annual dinner meet. This was a new venue for the club and despite being a bit snug in terms of the sitting and dining rooms proved to be a very comfortable venue.
Llangollen is surrounded by great countryside packed with outstanding views and, with the canal and Pontcysyllte and Chirk aqueducts, steeped in well preserved industrial history that are well worth visiting. On the Saturday (a cold but clear day) members variously walked, biked and ran round the surrounding hills and valleys (and aqueducts!).
Back at the hostel club members and guests were lucky enough to have Marian once again in charge of the catering. Some members set to supporting Marian by preparing vegetables while in the spirit of too many cooks spoil … others felt it only right to support local breweries and nipped out for aperitifs. All were back for 7.15 and sat down to an outstanding three course meal. The meal was followed by David delivering the club president’s annual awards ceremony to club members who had an exceptional achievement during 2014 or had in a couple of cases bounced back from injury and surgery to carry on enjoying outdoor activities. Later Gordon provided great live entertaiment.
It was more of the same on the Sunday with 14 members walking in the Worlds End area and three members enjoying some navigation challenges as they ran around the local mountains (possibly due to the speed they were going?).

Personal highlights were the cycle along the ‘Panorama’ road that follows the Eglwyseg valley – a quiet road with stunning views and the walk to Castell Dinas Bran a ruined castle that sits above the town on a relatively small hill in a big setting. And then of course there was the meal …
Thanks to all for coming and playing a part in a great weekend. Now where should we go next year …

Andrew Milne


Anniversary Walk and Party, Thursday 13 November 2014

We managed to get the best weather of the week, dull but dry, and 15 of us enjoyed a linear walk from the Fox House down to Beauchief Abbey via Blacka Moor or the second anniversary of the Thursday walking group.  The trees and bracken still showed beautiful colours but there was no sun to lighten them, while the volume of water in the streams made us feel fortunate that it was not raining again.  Dick Murton and Lin joined us for the first time, having been Castle members 20 years ago and having recently returned back to the area.  Dick used to be Treasurer years ago…
We stopped at the Castle Inn on the way for a pint.  This is where the club was formed 47 years ago.  Only Andy could ever remember meeting there, thankfully the rest of us are younger!! ( Sorry Andy).   A few more joined us for the party at our house at the end, so it was rather cosy in our little terrace.  Rosy had made a lovely cake for our anniversary, Steve brought sparkling wine and glasses for a toast, and everyone brought some grub along, so we all had a very nice time.
Thanks to all for a great day.  Linda




Ceilidh 8 November 2014

There was a very out at our Ceilidh on Saturday 8th November.  The dancing started early and gathered momentum as the full compliment of 44 people filled the Broomhall Centre – a new venue for this event.   A wide age range took part making the evening a real family affair.
The Morgan Rattler, as ever, supplied energising and uplifting tunes and the tolerant caller (Lisa) delivered clear instructions for us and did not seem at all fazed by our ineptitude.  Many people braved the dance floor and joined in with much enthusiasm. However, as usual, there were a few strays during Strip the Willow and the dosey does.  Young Lana was very good at organising our group during a couple of the dances and made sure that we all towed the right line!
During the interval we enjoyed a feast of some delicious savouries and desserts.  Thanks go to Vanda for supplying paper goods, ensuring that we ate with some decorum.  We are also very grateful to everyone who contributed a dish to share.
Linda was instrumental in selling raffle tickets and collected a great variety of prizes from local outdoor retailers and climbing walls including vouchers, rucksacks and books. Thanks also to John, Gordon, Mike and Helen for help with prizes. We raised  £227 for our chosen charity Edale Mountain Rescue.
Overall, we had a very successful evening that seemed to be enjoyed by all.  Ali



Manifold valley walk Sunday 2 November 2014

Starting from Wetton, the idea was to walk two loops in the Manifold valley area crossing the actual valley and not really walking in it!  Nine of us set off on the first loop which took us south and steeply down to Beeston Farm and the amazing climbing there at Beeston Tor.  We then went up to the Old Throwley Hall ruins with great views which were enjoyed during a quick tea break and explore of the site.  From there we went down to the river and up to Castern Hall and then contoured along the top edge of the woods and nature reserve.  Unfortunately the bench for a planned stop was ‘taken’ so we sat in the next field and admired fanatatic sunny views up and down the Manifold.  The sun reflected off Beeston Tor and we almost wished we were climbing – we would have had the crag to ourselves.  From here we walked past disused lead mines and so back to Wetton.

Picking up Mike, the second loop started with a visit to the dramatic Thor’s Cave for a lunch lunch stop with time to explore. Saying goodbye to Steve and Sue, we then descended steeply to the valley intending to go up to Grindon and the ‘cathedral of Staffordshire.’   However, given the time, the vote was to walk along the valley to Wetton Mill, cutting out a steep hill and subsequent descent back to the valley.  From here we finishined up Wetton Hill, enabling us to  savour the views before getting back to Wetton in the light.

An excellent day out in striking limestone country with good weather and company. Well done Andy and Rosie for still turning
up with jet lag.
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Chatsworth Walk Thurs 30th Oct 2014

Seven members met at a murky Carlton Lees car park and enjoyed increasingly warm and pleasant weather during the morning. It was a T Shirt day reaching 20 degrees!
We walked 9.2km and identified many trees enroute helped by our antique Observer Tree books. A lovely time of year to see tree shapes and buds with plenty of helpful colourful leaves left.
Tea at the garden centre (making it a 6 mile walk for some!) completed the day for a few of us.

Chris K

Yorkshire Dales Weekend 24 and 25 October 2014

What a great weekend! 17 people gathered in the Y.R.C. hut near Clapham. The hut was very well equipped and cosy with a lovely open fire. Thanks to all who brought wood and coal. Friday night was a boozy one in front of the fire, putting the world to rights and having a laugh.
On Saturday, there were 2 cycling groups and 3 walking ones, as the weather was not quite good enough for climbing. The walkers bagged Ingleborough and Pen Y Ghent, and coped with a strong wind on the tops. One cycle group did a route with Settle cafes in, and the other lot went to the Forest of Bowland. Both groups cycled directly from the hut. The Forest of Bowland produced an amazing long descent, considered by Mike to be the best he had ever done!
After a social evening, and the clocks changing (for some!), and as it was wild out but fairly dry, on Sunday, all parties decided to walk. One team did a Clapham to Ingleborough loop and fought a strong head and side wind especially coming off the top. Others enjoyed more low level challenges.
3 of us stayed on until Monday, and met friends for a walk from Austwick and the Norbar erratics, to Wharfe etc.
Thanks to all for leaving the hut so clean. Linda

Tea stop at Gaping Gill

Tea stop at Gaping Gill

Langdale Meet Report: 19th/20th January 2013

Twelve Club Members ignored predictions of travel chaos and made it to Lancashire Mountaineering Club’s ‘The Loft’ situated close to Blea Tarn above Langdale. Road conditions were fine until the last two kilometres which involve 1 in 5 or steeper gradients. Getting out of Sheffield and it’s snow was the an issue for some. The Lakes actually had less snow than most of the rest of the country, but the Blea Tarn road has only one farm and the hut on it and is not therefore gritted. Only Dave and Chris’s early arrival allowed them to get up the hill relatively easily. Mark, David and Gary’s approach required chains after traction was lost two thirds of the way up the hill. Others bailed out at the bottom of the hill. Nigel, Al and Marcus finally arrived after negotiating the hairpin bends from the Great Langdale side using chains – a fine effort! A few drinks were required to settle nerves and a unanimous decision was made to walk from the hut the following day.

On Saturday, most of us walked down into Great Langdale and up Oxendale. Mark and David opted for Crinkle Gill with a party of 7 tackling the neighbouring Isaac Gill. Snowy steps lower down gave way to some good ice pitches higher up in Crinkle Gill, with the rope employed on one pitch (Grade II – III). This was followed by a short route on Gladstone Knott, over snow covered rocky steps, again roped (Grade II -III). The team of 7 had fun in Isaac Gill (Grade II) though less ice was encountered. Both parties met at the top of Gladstone Knott by chance and a return was made via Red Tarn contouring below Pike o’ Blisco. Dave and Chris separately walked up Pike o’ Blisco.

The hut was rather warmer on Saturday night with walls streaming with condensation from steamy bodies and wet gear. There seemed to be plenty of food and drink to go round. Most notable was Al’s impersonation of Desperate Dan where he appeared to eat a whole pig (well at least a small one). We did have to help the neighbour unfreeze the water supply to their house and the hut, but at least only the incoming supply to the toilet and not the outflow was frozen!

Sunday saw teams split between Greater Langdale with 4 walking or climbing around Angle Tarn and the rest heading for Coniston. David and Mark climbed the upper section of Low Water Beck (Grade III) followed by South Gully (Grade II) on Low Water Crag. Good ice was again found higher up the gill, although plenty of water was flowing beneath it. One pitch was sufficiently steep to get the rope out and there was even enough good ice to place a few screws. South Gully was predominantly full of powdery snow but there were excellent turf axe placements making for an enjoyable solo. Nigel, Al and Marcus had fun climbing the nearby ‘Mulled Wine’ (Grade II) with Marcus marking his first winter lead. Andrew and Mary tackled a number of ice falls around Levers Water, some sufficiently steep to enable top roping.

Teams returned to Sheffield by different routes and different times. Nigel phoned David to check he was not still on the hill to find he was sitting at home. Nigel’s team was sufficiently late back, as they ate in Coniston, to require chains to both get away from the hut and to get back to his house.

An excellent weekend with significantly better climbing conditions than predicted.

David P

Fun in the Snow

Members were out in force in the Peak District in January following the arrival of snow.

On Tuesday 22 January, Mark Procter and David Pendlebury bagged an early 2013 ascent of Kinder Downfall. This ascent made the national press due to some great images from freelance photographer Rod Kirkpatrick.

Linda McLeish led a snowy walk in the area of Dale Dyke Reservoir for the Thursday walking group. This was followed by a very well attended ‘Moonlight Walk’ organised by Paul Gibson. Moonlight was in short supply but reflection off the snow meant headtorches were unnecessary and a circuit of the Burbage Valley was made before well-deserved refreshment was taken in The Fox House.

On Friday, Tom Corker and David Pendlebury made an early start to climb Wildboar Clough on Bleaklow. Sporting rock and ice pitches were found before an early return to beat the forecast snowfall. Tom is co-author of ‘Scrambles in the Dark Peak’ published by Cicerone.

45th Anniversary Party – Thursday 4th October

Club Interest: Honorable Mention - Tegness Pinnacle, It

Club Interest: Honorable Mention – Tegness Pinnacle, It

This year the Club has entered its 45th year, and to celebrate, the Committee has decided to hold a party as close as possible to the date that the Club was officially constituted (believed to be the 9 October 1967). This will take place in the Clubroom, starting from 8pm.

Any members past or present and invited to join us, and we ask that those who are still in contact with former members to spread the message. We are keen for as many ‘senior’ members to attend as possible, so that we may show our gratitude to their efforts in establishing such an important element in many of our social lives. Hopefully, it will also provide an opportunity to reunite former ‘ropemates’ and for newer members to hear some tall tales from earlier times.

As part of the 45th Anniversary Party we are asking everyone attending, if possible, to bring 3 photographs representative of their time in the Club. They may record a memorable meet, day in the hills, climb or group of friends – hopefully something about which you could tell a tale, if asked! For those who can forward these electronically, we intend to set these up as a revolving slide show as a background to the celebrations. Please send your photographs to info@castlemountaineeringclub.co.uk

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want further information.

We look forward to seeing you on the 4th October.

Castle Mountaineering Club Open Meet

nmweSheffield’s Castle Mountaineering Club is holding an open climbing weekend on the 12 and 13 May, providing the opportunity to find out more about the Club and meet some of its members. The weekend will focus on rock climbing on the Peak District’s glorious gritstone.

Have you spent all winter down at the wall and want to move outdoors, are you an experienced climber looking for a climbing partner or do you want to find out more about what rock climbing involves? This weekend provides the opportunity to meet fellow climbers of a range of abilities and ages. We plan to climb at Stanage (Popular End) on Saturday and Burbage North on Sunday, starting at 10.30 am on both days. However, it might be raining, meaning a change of venue, so contact us in advance.

Contact Gary Sheppard, Membership Secretary, on 07846 285142 or via e-mail.