January 13th:

On a cold, pleasant and light winter’s morning, after a week of low cloud and very grey weather, the walkers gathered in Edale car park at 9.15 a.m. Mike Johnson mindful of his rescinded parking fine coupled with a failure to obtain a parking ticket from the parking machine, was eager to park elsewhere, inspire of feeding the machine some of his pension. As we left the car park Axel, always mindful of careful budgeting especially during a double dip recession, managed to extract £4 from the parking machine and duly returned it to a grateful Johnson. As we reached Cooper’s Farm Tony peeled off from the group and headed alone across towards Jacob's Ladder with the hope of a reunion along Brown Knoll.


February 17th:

A prompt start was made in thick mist from the Directional Stone in the village square.  The leaders had decided to do the circuit clockwise starting at No 1 - seemed logical.  We first went along the road towards Youlgrave and then down into and up Bradford Dale remarking several of the Sites on the way.  Leaving the stream we crossed  through fields  (passing Sites 5 and 7) to Smerrill Grange, a little beyond which there is a carved boulder by the lane side (Site No 8).  As we went up over the top from Smerrill Grange we suddenly emerged from the mist into wall to wall sunshine with the remnants of recent snow on the ground. We dropped down to Site No 9 before going up Long Dale to Sites 10 and 11, and then up the road towards Friden and onto the High Peak Trail.  Having viewed Site 12 at the junction of Green Lane and the course of the roman road, lunch was taken bathed in sunshine.  We were making good time which allowed us to  divert to The Jug and Glass on the A515 to wash down our sandwiches.

April 19th - 21st:

The meet was based at the Mid Wales Bunkhouse, located about 6 miles from Rhayader, an area previously unknown to the majority of the party.

An advanced scouting party (Chatburn, Harris and Crowther) had left early, and checked out the Elan Valley Centre, and loosened up with a short walk. They then set out to investigate the local pubs, as did most of the later arrivals. Those pubs that were found were generally found to be wanting, so members retired to the bunkhouse and got stuck into some Kelham Island and home-made soup.

May 17th - 19th:

Ascent of Cnicht and the Moelwyns.  Starting from the car park in Croesor the intrepid trio ascended the SW spur of Cnicht in good conditions - and with quite a few photo shots.  From the summit the descent continued NE and E to the rather complex col of Llys-Dafydd-y-foel.  Lunch taken somewhere in the wilderness preceded the ascent of Moelwyn Mawr.  The descent traversed the impressive rocky crest of Craigygarfn - (hands required on the final part!) - before bagging Moelwyn Bach.  A boggy descent down the W flank of Moelwyn Bach led to the minor road back into Croesor.  This was a good round of some 8-9 miles.  We had hoped to encounter the caving team on their way back from exit of the mine - but no such luck - we had to finish off the reserve flask of whisky we had taken just in case!

June 27th - 30th:

Muir cottage is owned by the Cairngorm Club and is the most comfortable and best equipped hut we have used in Scotland. It is in a superb position on the banks of the river Dee about a mile before the Linn of Dee. Over the week-end we saw red squirrel feeding at the feeders outside the cottage and young stags in the nearby trees. So one could say a perfect location and the only question remaining was whether the plague of midges that descended on the club members when the leaders took them to Glen Etive three years previously would again become aware of our presence north of the border. Either the midges were busy tormenting poor souls elsewhere or the long cold winter had killed them off but thankfully they did not appear and the weather also co-operated and kept mainly fine and dry throughout.

July 21st:

After several years of gentle persuasion from my father I had finally run out of excuses to spend a whole weekend with the old man and packed my bags for sunny Derbyshire/Staffordshire, safe in the knowledge that there was to be no let up in the heat wave. A strenuous walk with master navigators followed by good food and drink in the infamous 'hut' was the promise. I'd heard tales of 25 mile walks, mountain peaks and extreme survival skills and I was ready to rise to the challenge, forgoing my normal Sunday stroll along the Thames towpath to the local pub. How wrong was I?

After waking to find that it really is 'grim up north' I was already beginning to regret packing only shorts, t-shirt and sunscreen - a damp mist stretched for as far as the eye could see obscuring any indication of it being breathtaking countryside.  No matter, the view from the coffee shop where the day started with coffee and a tea-cake was just fine - a great introduction to an extreme mountaineering event. 

September 13th-15th:

The warning signs were there, but ignored:

Why was there plenty of room in the hut? Did nobody else want to come?

Why did we all receive an email from the President during the week with a Friday evening pub menu attached?

Why did Jon Hood cancel the taxi that was to pick up his son from Foxfield station at 9.45pm, and allowed the President’s party to do so instead? What drove him to this rash decision?

Why was Jon allowed to drive off by himself from the hut in search of his son sometime before midnight, with the guilty conscience that he might still be waiting at the railway station? It was to no avail, he was lost by the time he got to the Newfield Inn.

Why did the President’s party not arrive until gone midnight, with Jon’s son driving the car?

October 20th:

Most people arrived at Clapham at the allotted time of 9.15 after early starts. (Note: there is plenty of roadside parking instead of the pay and display car park). It was raining to start with, indeed the day’s forecast was of heavy showers. However, it cleared sufficiently for the walkers to help carry the cavers gear the long slog up to Gaping Ghyll, arriving about 11 am. The two entrances having been located by the cavers, the walkers left them to it, and began a slow ascent of Ingleborough to the cloud line. John, whose initial intention was to walk as far as the cavers destination because distant Ingleborough somehow resembled a cloud capped Kilimanjaro, was encouraged to continue and indeed he completed the round and put on a brave face though had sore feet. Leader Laura, was trying out her new managerial role and drifted to the back of the party claiming this would encourage members upwards into the mist. Others were uncertain about this new role, but it later turned out obvious why: she did not want to be crushed by the falling bodies of the elderly members. The Hon Treasurer wobbled a few times but peaked when he did a parachute roll the SAS would have been proud off, whilst the Hut Warden’s fall was so dramatic that he ripped his over trousers. The others stayed upright on the slippery, wet limestone pavements, but once again the question arises: Is walking now more dangerous than caving? Perhaps the Hon Treasurer ought to conduct a long term survey to establish if there is any truth in this. We await his future results…

November 22-24:

Parked at Idwal and a long steep slog up the Pen Yr Olywen ridge to the snowy and bitterly cold plateau. Across the plateau to Dafydd, with the sun sometimes reappearing. People wearing crampons were mocked until we had to descend the steep and snowy slope from Llewynn, where we wished we not only had crampons but axes as well.  Descended down to the road by 4pm, but a dilemma whether we would make the AGM as it was 3 miles to the hotel or the car in either direction. Fortunately at that point the problem was solved as Martin fell off the stile and ‘dislocated’ his finger (report from him at home: “Self administered twig splint and tape. Another case of overacting by the Aspirant Secretary”), and a kind lady took pity and gave me a lift to the hotel for the car. On Sunday, minus Martin, we had a delightful ascent of the east ridge of Moel Siabod- long and rocky- a most interesting way up a hill climbed countless times before by different ways.

December 15th:

Homemade mince pies, real coffee and a splash of spirits (ironically the ghosts of Christmas past from the hut's kitchen cupboard) greeted an eager band of intrepid walkers.  The group was soon made slightly smaller as the Good Doctor elected to look after his patient (Mike Johnson) on a shorter route.  Richard Harris joined them.

At 0930 coffee cups were drained, pastry crumbs brushed off and, a most un DPC fashion, 11 members set off in the same direction.  Our route took us into Coombs Dale and Pierce began to show his true mischievous colours by suggesting the 'best way'.  Unfortunately the leader humored him and within seconds realised his mistake!  A little bushwacking took the group back to the correct path and on up to Bleaklow.  We made our way across the fields to Great Longstone and arrived to the chiming of the church bells.  With no time to stop we made our way onward to Monsal Head, through Miller's Dale and, crossing the river via the wier at Water-Cum-Jolly into Cressbrook Dale.  Again at this point a well meaning route suggestion was made but having learned his lesson the leader chose to ignore it and carry on up the valley to Peter's Stone.   The stone was not climbed however as the 1300 hours rendezvous in the Three Stags Heads with the cyclists was approaching.