After a couple of last minute drop-outs due to weather concerns, 12 people went on the March 23 trip to the Peak District. We stayed in a new hut for the club; Carlswark Cottage in Stoney Middleton which is owned by the Derbyshire Pennine Club, one of the oldest mountaineering clubs in the country, dating back to 1906. The hut was clean, spacious, well equipped, warm and cozy, with a nice wood-burning stove.
The majority of the group arrived on Friday, with Tom, Matt, Charlie, Myself and a non-member guest Leslie-Anne (LA) arrived early and after a brief stop in Hathersage to spend money in Outside we headed to climb at Wharncliffe Edge as this looked to have the best chance of staying dry.
Tom climbed with Matt, but sadly managed to get a cam stuck on his first route and despite 90 minutes of ingenuity including a 5:1 pulley system they were unable to get it back out.
Myself, Charlie and LA had a more successful afternoon, climbing 2 Severes and an impressive E1 5b lead of the 3* Great Buttress Arete by Charlie.
Gill, Laurence, Nick, Stu, Jack and Nigel arrived in the evening and Matt kindly prepared a chicken curry for dinner which was very gratefully received by all.
On Saturday the majority of the group headed to Birchen Edge which is an excellent venue for novice trad leaders. Unfortunately the weather was temperamental and much of the morning was spent dodging light showers.
Myself, Nick & LA decided to cut our losses, and headed to Hathersage for a Tea and bit more gear shopping. By the afternoon the weather brightened significantly and we headed to Horse-Thief Quarry, a sport climbing venue with a grueling 30 second walk-in. Between us did a 4c, a 5a, 2 5c’s, a 6a and a 6a+, not a bad effort for an afternoon. Nick did especially well successfully leading a 5c when he’s only led up to 5c indoors!
The rest of the group persevered at Birchen and were rewarded with good weather in the afternoon. Charlie climbed with Jack and Stuart and racked up an impressive 10 routes from Severe to VS including ascents of the ‘Classic Rock’ ticks of Topsail and Sail Buttress.
Gill, Tom, Matt and Laurence climbed together, joined by Neal who popped up for the day, braving the weather paying dividends and allowing them to get some great climbing done.
Nigel spent Saturday walking along Curbar Edge, Froggatt Edge, and back along White Edge and Sunday walked along Stanage Edge and visited Robins Hood cave. His highlight was eating lunch on White Edge in brilliant sunshine watching the rain a couple of miles away on Stanage Edge
On Sunday Gill, Laurence, LA and Nick enjoyed a nice walk starting from Curbar Gap car park, they headed north along Curbar Edge which led into Froggatt Edge, continued north past a stone circle and then from Frogatt car park they headed west and skirting the edge of Nether Padley and up through the trees to the Longshaw Estate. They enjoyed coffee and lunch at the cafe and headed south again along the top of White Edge, stopping at White Peak trig point for a photo. They saw beautiful deer in the Longshaw Estate.
Tom and Matt did a bit of shopping and then headed home early while myself, Charlie and Stuard headed to Rivelin seeking somewhere sheltered on what was forecast to be a cold windy day. The weather actually turned out to be very pleasant. We started up with a warm up on Temple Crack (HVD) before Charlie led (for the third time this year!) the spectacular Croton Oil (HVS 5a) on the Rivelin Needle. Stuart described this as the “best route he’s done” before getting a crash-course in abseiling as that’s the only way off of the pinnacle. I then led Left Edge, a VS 4c slab climb with a committing step out onto a hanging flange. Charlie then finished the day off with another strong lead of Blizzard Ridge HVS 5a which snakes its way around a prominent arete.