“A great evening was had by all despite the heat and midges, I wonder what it was like at Stoney.”
Just some photos today
The Buxton Mountaineering Club had another fine meet at the mythical Mynydd club hut at Blaen y Nant, Wales, in June. The weather was glorious. Sunny, warm, and not windy— just right for midges!
The hut is set completely on its own, up a long, narrow, bumpy dirt track. It has a large kitchen and a very spacious living room. There are several rooms with bunks to accommodate many climbers. There is ample parking, and the garden consists of a huge lawn surrounded by trees. The interior and gardens both even boast paraphernalia and tributes to former Mynydd member and famed mountaineer Pete Boardman, adding a touch of mountaineering history to the mix. For most, these aspects would make it an easy sell. It is practically the Chequers Court of climber’s huts. But not for the Buxton MC! These virtues were simply not good enough. Throughout breakfast, throughout supper, throughout the day, complaints from our members raged. Too far away from the climbing. Too bumpy of a road. Not near any good walking areas. Wild horses shitting all around my camper van! And get these “&§%(!!ß(€ midges out of the room! It was like watching the Grinch rail on about how much he hated Christmas.
In truth, though, this opinion had a clear age-group split. Those under the age of 12 loved the hut. They loved the rope swings in the trees. They loved the wild horses walking past. They loved the space to play tag, hide and seek, they loved the giant-sized jenga blocks. They loved Brid’s magic show. They loved the view. They loved life!
Saturday’s activities included a group of the climbing faithful (Declan, Derek, Alan, Saff, Stuart ….) hitting hard routes at the Moelwyns. Jo and son William had a scramble at Moel Siabod. Les n Del, grandkids, Moa (pronounced Moo-ah, for the 10,000th time) and Dan walked over to Capel Curig.
A late night drinking session led, as it only could, to an arm wrestle between big guns Alan and Stuart.
Sunday was spent in the beautiful slate quarries. Mordor has nothing on this place! It’s all about the slate- walking up it, climbing on it, making toys out of it. Adrian, Robert… have I missed anyone? All had a swell time.
Slippery, sharp, and short, slate has it all! Jo led her first slate sport route, and not an easy one at that. There are no easy ones.
All in all, despite the sharp split of opinion on the hut, we all had a good time. The kids more than the adults, the midges most of all. They sure had some good meals that weekend….
It’s been an active month in the club with several weeks of very settled warm weather with very little rain. Here follows summary of our climbing activity since the beginning of the season (inclusive of April), starting with the limestone. At the beginning of the month several members enjoyed a visit to horseshoe quarry where Tim, Declan and Rob climbed several 5’s (up to 5c level) and Gemma led her first route outside (I believe) which was an on sight lead on bolted limestone (4a). Well done Gemma!
Declan, Jo, Emma Jo, Brid, William, Saffra, Dave (Espley) and Jaimella have also been hitting the bolts at Intake Quarry a few times over the month. We have managed to lead most of the routes on Take Away Wall inclusive of several 6a/a+’s and even a 6b (Chop Suicide – red point) and a 6b+ (clip sticked). Saffra, Dave and Jaimella managed to top rope the 6c+ (Big Moon Night) in the middle of Take Away and decided that it was something that none of us would ever be able to lead. This led to talk of super glueing fingers and other extreme measures!
In addition to the limestone sports routes there has also been some limestone trad action this month. I heard talk that Rob led one of his first VS’s at Alderly early in May (not sure which one). Saffra and Jo have been along a couple of times in the week and managed to lead a number of HS’s, VS’s and an HVS including Ash tree slab, Nettlerash, Clothesline, Mitre crack, The cardinal and Broken toe. Still on the list to do are HVSs Anti-digestant and Janbaloo. The crag is getting quite vegetated now and getting off is challenging at the top of Clothesline due to nettles and a dodgey scramble to the top (trousers are recommended here).
There has also been some action on the sports routes (on the stone viaduct) down at New Mills Torr. Myself and Jo, Emma Jo and William managed to get up seven of these over a couple of visits (sports grades 6a up to 6b+/6c).
Now onto trips away and multi-pitch adventures. Two climbing days were achieved at Dow Crag on the Coniston meet with myself, Declan and Rob climbing. Two routes were completed (one on each day). Due to us climbing as a three it was not possible to complete more. These were Arete, Crack and Corner and Abrahams route. Both of which were graded severe but certainly felt harder in places. Declan got the prize for choosing the worst most sandbaggy pitch with the last pitch of Abrahams route which (even though he was very sure he had not gone the wrong way) appeared to be much harder than the severe 4a grade it was supposed to be. Unfortunately the sun was not shining on Dow Crag that day and, as Saffra and Rob observed from their decidedly chilly ledge, opposite everyone seemed to be having a great time walking up Coniston Old Man on a brilliantly hot sunny day.
Finally down to the nitty gritty! Obviously being based in the Peak District this section will be the largest and most exciting. So a lot has been done at Stanage with Alan, Tim, Saffra, Jo, Rob etc leading routes such as Tango Buttress (HS 5a), High Neb Buttress (VS 4c), Tinkers Crack (VS 4c), Paradise wall (HS 4b) and Paradise Arete (VS 4c) with a couple of exciting back-offs and climb arounds on the latter. We had a successful day at Bamford Edge one Saturday in Mid May with Bilberry crack (VS 5a) being led twice, Browns crack (HS) and Quien Sabe – Who knows! (VS 4c).
The weekend after Ross and Rob tackled Ramshaw (there be demons there!) where they tackled The Arete, Boomerang, Magic roundabout before finding some real demons on Wall and Groove (presumably in the groove part of the climb rather than the wall part). Then Rob thought that Louis Groove looked ‘OK’ to top rope. He found many more demons in that groove. The moral of the story probably being don’t climb anything at Ramshaw with the word ‘Groove’ in the title unless you are a descendant of Don Whillans. Or you could do what I do and avoid Ramshaw all together.
Anyway more grit stories are Dave and Jaimella have been getting out bouldering quite a bit at Burbage South. Dave quite recently led a HVS at Froggatt but I can’t remember which one or find it in the book. We had the club meet at Lawrencefield which was covered by the weekly blog. Since then Saffra and Jo have returned and knocked off Meringue (HVS 4c), Tyrone (VS but apparently HVS in the definitive guide but who knows (Quien Sabe?)), One pegged wall (VS 5a), Nova (HS 4b) and Limpopo Groove (VS 4b).
Quite a bit has been done at Windgather this year so far with 3 lead ascents of Struggle (VS 4c) by Chris, Alan and Saffra. Probably all of the V Diffs, Severes and Hard Severes have been done now.
Other bits and bobs are: an aborted Sunday meet to Shining Clough (too windy). People have allegedly been to Hobson Moor Quarry but I haven’t heard a report. There was also visit to Castle Naze (early on in the month) where Rob led Nozag (VS 4c). Recently Declan and Rob took a trip to Laddow Rocks and completed Long Climb (S4a) which sounded nice and no epics were encountered.
So lots of climbing done, a couple of minor falls, a bit of tennis elbow, a broken toe nail, some sore fingers and the tans are improving. Bring on June!
On Tuesday, 30th May , Buxton Mountaineering Club enjoyed a wonderful evening of outdoor pleasures at the Roaches, Staffordshire. Walkers walked. Climbers climbed. Dogs scampered about. The sun shone. The wind blew. The New Inn pub in Flash made a tidy profit.
And all was right with the world…..for the moment.
These photos illustrate events of the night, as well as providing solid alibis for those pictured.
A troop, a gaggle, a rope of climbers?….. Who knows, but whatever it is I need the term to describe Tuesday at Stanage. By my own reckoning, trying to remember the teams climbing together we had 30 people out climbing . I’ve been in the club 14 years now and can’t remember ever having that number out on one evening at one crag.
There was an element of almost tripping over each other but it worked as it was Stanage….. If it got crazy busy you only have to walk 50m in each direction and you are at clear rock. At one point I looked down to see a melee of club members below me then looked over at popular end car park to see only 5 cars!…. Yes you read it right 5 cars at popular end on a sunny 🌞 Tuesday evening it was like some weird parallel universe.
There was a real mix of the old guard (sorry Steve that’s you, despite your knowledge of modern youth dance culture), established members (Karl, me,Saffra, Alison and Stuart to name but a few) and even three people joining us for the first time.
Paradise Crack and Paradise Wall were popular, Sand Crack and Paradise Arete also saw some action. To be honest too much was climbed to mention it all but everyone was enjoying the good weather… climbing till the sun went down and then across to the Anglers rest in Bamford, sadly arriving too late for Pizza
The walking group numbering at least 10 split into two with one group completing the circuit from the Plantation to Crow Chin by following the paths below the road. A very interesting route worth exploring more thoroughly.
A great night, thanks everyone… hope you all enjoyed it.
Fingers crossed for the Roaches
Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million
Last Tuesday I decided to do something a little different. Having spent the last few Tuesday debating whether the weather would hold out for an evening at the crag, it was somehow quite liberating to know that I would be heading to Mam Tor come what may.
It turned out to be a glorious evening and I joined a team of ~70 volunteers to marshal the hundreds of outdoors enthusiasts who came to light up the great ridge from Mam Tor to Lose Hill.
The Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million events are a joint venture between the British Mountaineering Council and the Camping and Caravanning Club, with a target of raising £1m to help repair footpaths throughout Britain’s national parks.
Even if you didn’t have chance to attend, you can still help the fundraising by purchasing some of the much more spectacular official photos that were taken on the night. Visit the BMC website for more details.
“All profits from sales of the prints will go towards the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal, and help to repair exponentially worsening erosion damage in some of our most treasured landscapes”
Shock… horror, after 7 cancelled evening or damp squibs we actually got a decent night out climbing. A few people had snatched a climb here or there at Windgather, Birchen and Roaches but Tuesday was dry, warm and delightful. BuxtonMC sure made the best of it with 18-20 club members out climbing (+3 dogs).
Virtually everything on Gingerbread slab was climbed.
3 tree climb and pulpit groove saw some action too.
Of note tonight was Chris C leading for the first time this year, Gemma climbing on a top rope placing gear as practice and David R (seconded by Chris C) climbing into the darkness on Lawrencefield Ordinary.
The main highlight though was just the number of people out enjoying the sun and the number of routes that got climbed… a cracking night out for all. The walking contingent walked from Surprise view to Longshaw estate and back taking in a Owler Tor and Padley Gorge… not too warm but dry, clear and thoroughly enjoyable. Long may the kind weather continue