January 18th:

Leaders: Tony C and Axel C.

It was a clear and frosty morning with an inch or more of fresh snow.

Members headed to the Anglers Rest in Bamford where joint leader Tony Crowther awaited them. Unfortunately, the Anglers had decided it didn't want our custom after all and so we had to move on to the Yorkshire Bridge. Tony, being indisposed with a double hernia stayed behind to inform any latecomers of what we were doing, and indeed did tell Hugh, and then went back home to return later to join us for tea.

At about 9:40 the party set off. Turning left from the Yorkshire Bridge pub, the Ladybower Reservoir embankment was crossed and then up Parkin Clough (which soon warmed us up) to the summit of Win Hill. The view was brilliant, all white on the ground and clear blue sky. After a brief pause the group moved on and took the path down towards Twitchill Farm.

  • Rowter Hole: Down to see the new stuff. Along the Ice Cream Trail, up Hourglass Aven, then over to Sunrise. Around 5.5 hours. Great trip! (Mike, Rob, Ed)

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

 

February 15th:

The challenge was made: could the members repeat the walk they did 10 years ago to Kingsterndale and back from the club hut taking in 15 or so dales some 870 metres of ascent and 23 or so miles? A few days before the meet it did not look that the challenge would be answered as only 5 had booked in but then they came; they came so that at 9 a.m. on the morning of Sunday 15th February, 15 willing members and guests (8 of whom had done the walk the first time) stood ready to take on the challenge.

Within minutes of the start though, the wheels were coming off the challenge vehicle. Joint leader Cotton and his guest Moz Musson who led off, were so busy chatting they walked right past the path up to Eyam and were soon in unfamiliar territory. Someone said we can take that footpath over the fields but in a short space of time the footpath had started to go the wrong way and the owner of the fields appeared and was unreceptive to our request to go through a couple of his gates. A confrontation (particularly as we had the President and Vice President with us) did not seem a good idea and we had to back track losing some 15 minutes. So at about 9.30 we found ourselves starting again. The suggestion made by one member that we would easily make up this time over the day was not as the readers will see born out.

  • White Rake: Digging

  • Castleton: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • Streaks: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • Bradwell: Mystery Mine

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

March 15th:

After a warm welcome from da Wetton locals, we relocated our vehicles in the correct farang parking area. By which time our walking party numbers had practically doubled. With our initial pleasantries complete the band promptly set out from the village centre through a maze of field boundaries heading for Hall Dale via Grange Farm & Stanhope. Once through Hall Dale we found ourselves by the river Dove and made for the crossing at Ilam Rock. Our President spoke fondly of his climbing exploits in the Dale and beyond, starting with this impressive spike which appears to climb straight up from the river bank.

March 15th:

As the meet was to be held Wetton way, the regular cavers decided that Waterway’s Swallet would be worth looking at. Being the deepest cave in Staffordshire at 125m, it’s vertical but climbable tortuous passages looked interesting. So did the entrance hole! Situated in a field not far from a stream, the guide book warns not to go down in heavy rain or melting snow, as it all pours down the hole! When we arrived, Syd’s car was parked up, but no Syd. He eventually turned up, having found the hole and spent some time clearing the leaves and flood debris from the entrance grill. After gearing up and walking over to it, the others were quite enthusiastic at seeing Syd’s handiwork, me less so. It looked very uninviting!

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • Waterways Swallet: (Mike P, Rob, Geoff, Syd)

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

April 17th - 19th:

The Cwm Dyli Hut was, as expected, very well equipped and comfortable and by the time the majority arrived the stove had been put to good use and a warm welcome was received by all. The weather did us proud and it was wall to wall sunshine for the whole of the weekend which clearly fired us all to the challenges of the mountains and the abundance of excellent climbs a challenge obviously relished by the quests accomplished including  - Gashed Crag on Tryfan (VD), Jingling Wall (HS) Bombers Wall (HS) Long Climb Direct (S) all at Clogwyn Cyran near Betwys-y-Coed climbed by Syd and Rod whilst the Rob team conquered Clogwyn Cyrau, Carreg Alltrem and climbs at the Llanberis Slate Quarries. 

 Chris accompanied by Bryan were engaged in climbing Tryfan via Bristly Ridge.  The less intrepid of us relished the challenge of Snowdon and varying routes offered on the Horseshoe, the Tickles completing the whole round. Mike P, opting out of climbing this time, also completed the Horseshoe, but in reverse to the others.

  • Birchens

  • Burbage North

  • Stanage

  • Gashed Crag: North Wales

  • Clogwyn Cyran: North Wales

  • Carreg Alltrem: North Wales

  • Gwynedd - Slate: North Wales

  • Turning Stone

  • Gardoms

May 15th -17th:

Friday

The weekends endeavors began 09:00 prompt with the purchasing of expedition supplies at the Chesterfield branch of Morrison's. After several hours of enduring the micro calculations and eccentric purchasing procrastinations of Frodo, all sundries were secured and the outward journey begun, proper. Having successfully reached the station of Alnmouth at 14:00, Chief Justice Hood was delivered to us, as ever, with a refreshed and optimistic demeanor. The three travelers arrived at journeys end an hour or so later. The forward party were pluckily received by the cherry-faced proprietor of Chatton Bunkhouse and were met with adequate and appreciated amenities. Supper was soon underway, with The President, The Wolf and The Smooth, joining the forward party at the call for supper. High spirits abound, decent dining anticipated and a favourable weather forecast ahead, the Northumberland adventure began auspiciously. Noteworthy was The Hood’s gentle, yet powerful, reprimanding of myself and Frodo that evening. We were, in no uncertain terms, instructed by Judge Hood to abate the reference of the word ‘FUCK’, ‘FUCKING‘ or any and all derivatives, in connection with his Honour, effective immediately. A plea goes out to all DPC members to politely conform to this honourable request. We thank you for your cooperation in advance!

  • Harborough Rocks

  • Stanage

  • Bowden Doors: Northumberland

  • Corby: Northumberland

  • Wildcat

  • Froggatt

Arran

June 11th - 14th:

Summary:

Another great Scots meet in a “traditional” hut, with excellent weather, few midges, wonderfully accessible scenery, big days on the hill, solid granite, falling climbers/ walkers plus town bikes out mountain road cycling. The meet was notable: more climbers than walkers! Great to see Jason and Ed on the hill.

Wednesday:

Peppits and the tackle master travelled far up North while Clowes (the only London member present = shame!!!), followed established Scots meet routine of travelling South from Inverness in a gross hire car, enabling him to stalk for venison on Speyside. Parties broke the journey near Ardrossan, prior to negotiating the Ferry in the morning.

  • Ravensdale

  • Bamford

  • Beeston Tor

  • Windgather

  • South Slabs: Arran

  • Cir Mhor: Arran

 

July 19th:

Martin Clowes started on his mammoth journey from across London, but broke down – again! Martin: “I blew a head gasket and maybe worse, setting off half asleep at 6am after a late night on the South Bank with Ruth, wrong slotting off the M25, recovering time and speeding along. It’s the first time it’s lost water - a pathetic excuse for not watching the temperature gauge. I am going to fit it with a warning Ambulance bell…..”

Although  billed as a climb/walk/cycle, the cycling part of the meet did not materialise as Richard S had recently had a knee operation and was under instruction to ‘rest it’ – hence he offered to do all the catering, which was readily accepted! However Mike P, did cycle out to the hut for tea, having had a hard and late night finishing off a best man’s speech.

  • Rivelin

  • Stanage

  • High Tor

  • Roaches

  • Millstone

  • Harpur Hill

 

August 16th:

Undaunted by the formidable Task List the ever dependable team of Chatburn, Crowther, Eastwood, Goodier, Johnson Snr, Pierce supplemented by Hugh Cotton and his son-in-law Jim Conlon, the Hut Warden and briefly by Clowes and the Shawcross Brothers (before they disappeared on a marathon cycle trip rounds the Peak District) swung into their well-oiled routine, the wood cutters produced from an ill-assortment of wood, a neat pile of essential fuel the for the stove. The hut has been restored to looking as bright as a pin and some essential decorating was carried out, the front door now painted in evergreen neatly sums up the energy and resilience of those attending the meet.

Axel the “DIY King” restored the cutlery draw to it’s former functional self and the dormitory fire door now closes without inhibition which was but one of the many H&S tasks that were undertaken on the audit of the report scrutinised by the beady eyes of Crowther and Johnson.

  • Higgar Tor

  • Wharncliffe

  • Cratcliffe

  • Froggatt

September 18th-20th:

The Gritstone Club Hut (The Smithy) proved to be an excellent venue with easy roadside access and proximity to good crags and walks. Twelve members, Sainsbury and two guests attended for some or all of the meet and the hut was at capacity (Rob slept in his passion wagon).

The attendance was skewed 9:5 in favour of the rock athletes and they were rewarded with excellent weather for Friday pm and Saturday. On Friday Rob & Ed climbed sport routes on Bram Crag Quarry with a small DPC audience. On Saturday all the climbers went to Castle Rock where several routes on the South Crag were ascended. Sainsbury was taken up his first rock climb by Ed....without the President's permission!  Syd and John Eastwood creamed some Severes and V.Diffs, the President climbed with Mike White and Richard Hardwick (guests), notable ascents included Slab Climb**(S), Gangway **(VD+++) and Kleine Rinne ***(VS). Rumour has it that the President achieved a lifetime ambition by leading Kleine Rinne to the amazement of a DPC audience. Meanwhile Ed Sampson, Geoff & Rob Peppit and Sainsbury enjoyed a range of HVS and S routes.

September 19th:

Lake District, Thirlmere

Following an animated discussion orchestrated  by Johnson over Saturday breakfast, Willan, Johnson and Clowes embarked on a tricky route around the vertiginous slopes adjacent to the Booths supermarket in Keswick and Portiscale café house.

Difficulty was found in resisting the club rules regarding photography and in restraining Johnson in his diversionary hobby of insulting passers-by.

Reaching the apogee of the route (see diagram above), an excellent lunch of Sidney Sandwiches were consumed in full sun, prior to the finale of effort with a couple of pints (of tea) to wash down the excellent home-made tea cake.

  • Watergrove Sough: First trip underground since March(!). Took advantage of the dry weather to have a gander down Watergrove Sough as neither of us had yet been (too wet last time we tried), and fancied an easy warm up to get back into the swing of caving again. Water was nice and low (but cold, very very cold) and we headed upstream to the blockage before turning round and heading back out. Had a quick look downstream and managed to get what felt like a lot further than the ~30m that CoPD says is possible. Would've pushed on further but Rob had headed out and I was getting a bit spooked on my own and it started to feel a bit like being at work, so I bailed. Wonder how far you can actually get? Skipped Eyam, and went to the Rose & Crown instead. (Mike, Rob)

  • Stanage

  • Lawrencefield

  • Burbage North

  • Bram Crag Quarry: Lakes

  • Castle Rock: Lakes

  • Birchens

October 18th:

We completed a 15 mile walk circumnavigating Lathkill Dale from Ashford in the Water. Unfortunately Jim, who was unable to make it, would have brought the average age below 72. I see this as a good thing; 70 is the new 50. Corduroy trousers were worn in the evening by the leader.

***

We met at Ashford in the Water at the allotted time of 9.30 am, a small group of diehards consisting of Martin the leader, Rod the President, Geoff, John E, Glyn and Martin C, both the latter having driven up from the south this morning – and a dull damp morning it was.

October 18th:

Due to Andy T’s ongoing Achilles problem, Syd was ‘elected’ to be the caving organiser, with Rob & Mike subsequently picking the venue – Nettle Pot, with the intention to visit Derbyshire Hall beyond the Flats. (The last DPC visit failing because not enough gear was taken!).

Parking at Oxlow Farm in the layby, Mike, Rob & Syd were the only takers (SRT competent and skinny cavers were requested – Ed.). Caving gear was donned and SRT equipment and ropes sorted before walking up to the Nettle manhole entrance, now equipped with a plaque commemorating the DPC discovery and digging out in 1930-34.

Mike rigged the 160 feet entrance pitch through the Narrows with a couple of re-belays. The 100 feet mainly flat and very muddy crawl along the Flats led to a 30 feet abseil to enter Boulder Passage. Further muddy scrambling amongst the boulders and a traverse across Suicide Pot led to Firbeck Hall with two 15 feet and 30 feet fixed ropes in place for the ascent to the Far Flats. Further flat and muddy crawling led to a final pitch of 40 feet and the small Gour Passage.

  • Nettle: Walked up a hill, went down a 'ole,  got off at The Flats, crawled for a bit, went down a pitch, over another 'ole, up a pitch, up another pitch, crawled along the Far Flats, went down a pitch, wriggled through a tight bit, Syd cut his face, stooped for a bit, went into a nice big chamber, couldn't go any further, turned round, went to the hut, made a mess. A nice muddy trip to Derbyshire Hall. (Rob, Mike, Syd)

  • Carlswark - Dynamite: Wimped out of grovelling to the end of Born Slippy in Streaks for another week, so decided on a late evening trip into Dynamite via Flower Pot. Through Porth Crawl into Clog Passage and into the mine workings beyond, then wriggled through the awkward keyhole shaped passage into the final aven(s). Clocked what must be the top end of the Codeine Connection on the way out, so will have to make a round trip of it next time. (Mike, Rob)

  • Castleton/Eyam: Flying visit to two digs. (Mike)

November 20th - 22nd:

Rick: Peppit M & R, Sampson E, Johnson R, March-Shawcross E and Shawcross R opted for a day out on the Grade 1 scramble of Llech Ddu Spur. Parking up in Gerlan at the eastern edge of Bethesda we head up and crossed Afon Llafar to find the footpath next to private farmland. Gradually following the Afon Llafar up the valley for 3kms we found increasing quantities of snow. As the way levels we were faced by the cliffs of Llech Ddu. A quick conflab and the  route up was located. A scree covered bank lead to the hanging valley of Cwmglas Bach and the scramble started on the left wall of the cwm. The route proved easy progress for most and stunning views were available back to the Menai Straights. As the wind picked up we sought some shelter for lunch perched on various shelves. Progress after lunch was slower for some including an interesting arse slide across an exposed slab. The snow made for a more interesting day and the scramble was enjoyed by all. Topping out led to a period in the stiff wind and sleet. Clouds rolled in as we dropped off the top with the Peppits, Johnson and Sampson making the ridge line before the clagg. The Shawcross brothers (engaged in conversation) missed the ridge line and put Ed's Mac skills to a good test. The clagg remained until the valley floor and some proper snow added to the atmosphere. Once back in the valley the track was retraced to the cars.

  • White Rake: Digging

  • Eyam: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • White Rake: Digging

  • Waterfall Hole: First time down Waterfall Hole. Not sure why it's taken us so long to get round to it! After heavy rain all day yesterday, we found the entrance in the right hand wall and wriggled through the entrance crawls pushing various ropes and ladders in front of us (not sure what was needed, so came prepared). Laddered down the 1st pitch then scrambled through various boulders and another short rift to reach the stream and the cascade down into the roof of Waterfall Chamber. Found the cunning little feet first way down into the next level and arrived at the base of the waterfall. Quite an impressive, wet and noisey place for Stoney! Headed on down through Showerbath Passage and laddered into the bottom of the wonderfully squalled EPS Aven. On the way out we had a look to see if we could find Great Gunn's Rift. Remembering the description, we crawled through the initial dug out rift until it became a flat out crawl then headed up through a cherty slot and up into the rift proper. This can be followed for 5 or so meters before meeting a col and a cross rift where you can then ascend further up the inclined section of the rift, popping out into the base of a drippy aven. Wasn't as big as I was expecting but seemed to fit the description otherwise. Climbed it for about 6m and scrambled up through some boulders in the roof to find yet more boulders and gloop blocking the way on. There looked to be a slight hole up in the jumble but it didn't look particularly inspiring or particularity safe. Seemed to be taking a slight draught though. Scuttled back down to regroup with Rob and headed out. Good trip! (Mike, Rob)

December 20th:

Walk: Barnes Benton, R Brown, Chatburn, Clowes, Conlon, Crowson, Crowther, Eastwood, R Grayson, Harris, Hood, Hughes, M Johnson, G Peppit, Pierce, G Sampson, R Shawcross, guest Matt from Eyam. Crowther and Chatburn did a short walk, then cooked.

Tea: Cotton, D Grayson, Stout, Tickle, L Travis, M Travis, Willan.

All rendezvoused at the hut, with the usual mince pies, coffee and brandy. On schedule we headed up to Eyam, then Sir William Hill, where we said goodbye to Bryan. Dropping down to Abney Clough things went to pieces as the leader (Grayson) who up to then had done a fine job, somehow relinquished his responsibility to Crowson, much to the dismay of many members. Barbed wire fences, high stone walls, rough and pathless ground and knee twisting tussocks all followed as Crowson led the way, oblivious to the curses being shouted at his advancing back. We survived exploring Crowson’s wood, and were thankful to emerge at known ground at Lead Mill Bridge. The party was now split asunder. The Millstone Inn was headed to for and some reprieve was had over a deserved lunch. The official leader announced from the depths of the inn that all were now to find their own way back, as he appeared settled over a 2nd or 3rd round. Small scouting parties then headed southish by different routes, the writer and his small band bypassing the Grouse (where a party were already insitu) to immediately come across another party heading to the same inn. Froggatt Edge followed and a descent to the Chequers and a very muddy field back to the hut in the gathering gloom.

The usual good meal followed, cooked mainly by Crowther with various helpers. The Travis Trophy took place with Crowther winning in the final for the first time, beating Syd, who somehow, once a year, becomes a demon at the arrows!

December 19th:

Christmas Candle Cave:

Cavers: Mike, Rob, McBain, Ed

The night before the Xmas meet, four us laddered down Eyam Dale shaft and headed out via the Dynamite Series through Flower Pot by candlelight. Nobody died, which was good.

December 20th:

Stoney Dale Cave Crawl Part Deux:

Cavers: Goodier, E Sampson, M Peppit, R Peppit, E Shawcross, J Willmott (came & went), Sam Glasius (guest)

This year's cave crawl wasn't really a cave crawl as such, nor was it in Stoney Dale, it was more of cave followed by a walk and it took place between Foolow and Eyam. Our plan was to descend Waterfall Hole then Crock Pot then walk back to the hut via the Miner's Arms for a pint.

We got a lift up in Rob's van and trudged down to the impressive waterfall and headed straight for the muddy bedding entrance of the first cave. Jon didn't get much further than this, took one look at the entrance and walked back to the hut. The rest of us squirmed, squeezed and laddered our way down to the bottom of Waterfall Hole, a great little cave, before heading back to the surface. Back over to the other side of the waterfall, and this time down Crock Pot. Same story really - bit of squeezing, bit of squirming and a bit of laddering  - only with less mud in this one. Back out, we washed off in the waterfall and set off across the fields towards Eyam. McBain was volunteered to go into the Miner's and get a round in, still in his muddy caving gear, and Ian, the Landlord, very kindly obliged by bringing the pints out to us - including a pot of tea for Eddy Samp. Refreshed, we set off back to the hut - another festive cave completed, good trip! 

  • Crock Pot: Back to Waterfall Swallet to have a look down Crock Pot. Now a bit more familiar with the place, we wandered down to the shake hole to find the water much higher than last week; there now a very obvious lake forming in the base of the doline. It was forecast to rain all evening and was already drizzling, so we initially thought twice but decided to have a cautious gander down anyway. Found the entrance up and to the left of the waterfall and headed down through a few crawly and srambley bits to a small slot which dropped down into the Miner’s Rift. We’d brought a ladder and headed off in search of Echo Pitch which we found after a few squeezy bits and a climb up above the pitch head. Following the narrow rift down, it’s quite a surprise to pop out into large, impressive rift chamber at the bottom with an obvious scaff dig in the floor. After furtling around for a bit, we headed back up with the intention of finding North Rift and the enticing sound of the falling water. Scrambled down Flake Pitch then squeezed through the bottom, narrow section of the rift to find where the water cascaded out of the boulder choke before sinking back into it at floor level. Rob stayed above and we found that you could almost squeeze through the choke at Miner’s Rift level down into the rift itself. Intriguing little place. Headed back out to find that the stick we’d jabbed in to mark the water level had washed away and we could visibly see the water rising within the shakehole. Got changed in torrential rain and headed to the Miners.  Another good trip, and quite a contrast to most Stoney caves, there’s no mud and it’s clean! Along with Waterfall Hole, definitely worth doing. (Mike, Rob)

  • Lay-by Pot: We were going to have a look at the holes on the south side of the dale (Hangover Hole etc) but last minute extra recruits meant it was more practical do something we already knew; save us all wandering round the hillside trying to find entrances in the dark.  So the ladder was dropped down the top entrance of Lay-by and we wallowed through tuther end and up the ropes. McBain managed to get himself and his taut buttocks up via the squeezy bypass… just. (Rob, Mike, Jon, McBain & friend Rachel)

  • Carlswark – Dynamite: By Candlelight (Mike, Rob, McBain, Ed)

  • Waterfall Hole & Crock Pot: (Rob, Ed, McBain, Mike, Syd, Sam)