17th January:

It all started with some confusion. I had been looking at the wrong programme and Tony had lost his. We got all the information out in a last minute panic, then only to find the Club web site was out of action. However all came through in the end. Sunday morning saw even further excitement due to a fresh fall of snow, however almost everyone got out to Tideswell on time.

At 9.30 we left Tideswell walking down Stancote Lane, then through fields to join the Limestone Way. This then took us into Millersdale and the path down the side of the River Wye. With the fresh snow on the trees and the sun shining, it all seemed very pretty and a slight haze gave a soft light that added to the effect. Plenty of mud and water underfoot kept a bit of reality for us. Further up the Wye, Martin Pierces dog jumped into the river after a thrown stick, and we saw its head in the rapids as he went round the corner and out of sight. However, the dog must have enjoyed itself, because it jumped in again! Pressing on over the stepping stones, both sets in very good order and well clear of the water, we walked into Wye Dale.

17th January:

Six of us made it to the chapel on a snowy Sunday morning and set off into Peak. Ed managed to stack it several times on his way through the Five Arches and The Wolf apparently "touched down", which probably means face-planted in understated Syd-speak. We wallowed, cursed and crawled our way through The Trenches, Liam's Way and into Colostomy before the relief of Egnaro Aven appeared and we climbed down the ladders into the streamway. Kit was put on and Block Hall was ascended (always an impressive place and a fun ropey-dangly trip in it's own right) and we regrouped before squeezing through into The Kingdom. We headed on 'downstream' with the intention of getting to the bottom of The Moosetrap and made it as far as the third pitch before realising some idiot had forgotten to bring any hangers. So around we turned and headed back up (all the while Sam having had his barrel chest trapped in the canyon section leading to the base of the first pitch). We wazzed down the pull-thrus to the Ventilator and back out, making it back to the hut in time for the meal. Thanks to TSG Martyn for making it out from a snowy Sheffield to let us in. (Syd, Rob, Sam, Mike, McBain, Ed)

  • 3rd - Knotlow: First trip of the new year. We originally intending to have a mega wet trip own P8 but thought better of it when we realised just how mega wet it actually was, so decided on a quick trip down Knotlow. You could hear Waterfall Chamber without even lifting the lid on the engine shaft so we headed on down the climbing shaft expecting it to be wet, but probably not quite as wet as it turned out to be. There was a stream casacding down from the 2nd pitch through the workings and we arrived at the head of the waterfall pitch to find the entire floor hidden beneath a deep black lake. We decided to have look anyway, and I bobbed down to discover the coffin level heading to Fourways completely submerged, the passage heading off back under the engine shaft submerged and the whole place generally rather moist. Pointlessly down-prussiced into the water up to my waist before deciding it was pretty silly, the pool must’ve been at least 2m deep. Sam and Rob then descended to take a look for themselves. Pretty impressive (and noisy) down there when it’s wet! (Rob, Sam, Mike)

21st February:

Cavers: I. Lett, S. Goodier, R. Peppit, M. Peppit, E. Sampson

No Report

21st February:

On an overcast but surprisingly dry morning, and not one in keeping with the overnight forecast which promised rain for most of the day, the walkers gathered in Wetton village car park for a 9.30 am start.

After the usual exchange of banter, attention turned to Martin C's stocking feet. He had arrived at the club hut the previous night minus his walking boots. Fortunately Bob G came to the rescue and loaned him a spare pair.

Just after 9.30 am and no Martin Pierce in sight (he had a sore throat during the previous day’s EGM), the party set off. A steady walk past Lett’s pub (the Royal Oak) led quickly to some open fields in a NE direction to Alstonefield. “Why were we heading north and not south?” some muttered. “Was a pub not included?” asked Bob G. “Maybe” the leader reluctantly replied. So Bob suggested the bar in the Ilam Youth Hostel.

  • 4th - Streaks Pot: Digging

  • 14th - Streaks Pot: Digging

  • 20th - Streaks Pot: Digging

  • 21st - Gentlewoman's - Youds: (Ian, Syd, Rob, Ed, Mike)

    25th - Streaks Pot: Digging
  • 2nd - Streaks Pot: Digging

  • 17th - Streaks Pot: Digging

  • 19th - Carlswark: Quick trip into Carslwark before heading to the hut for food and beer. Rob and I scrambled down Eyam Dale shaft and headed off towards Big Dig. Last time we’d been down there we were doing it by candlelight, so the whole place looked quite a bit bigger today. The stream out of Big Dig was flowing and the way on through was quite a deep canal and involved a proper duck through into the section being held up by timber. Never been through when the streams actually been flowing, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see the stream thundering down John Smith passage and it made the whole trip quite sporty. We headed downstream, following the water and popped in to have a look at the gymnasium and the tube at the top. I had a half-hearted go at squeezing myself into it but decided against it, remembering John describing his struggle in getting back out of it. Took a draught though, so probably worth a proper look sometime. Down to Bed Pan sump, then up to Shag’s Sump, then out. Good trip. (Rob, Mike)

19th - 20th March:

R & M Peppit went caving down the Big Dig Series in Carlswark on Saturday afternoon. Food, and a session in the Moon followed. Staying at the hut were Hood, Clowes, Shawcross brothers, Peppit brothers, Walker & Boswell.

Sunday’s weather was better than the forecast, and it was truly sunny and spring like. Consequently, the climbers had an enjoyable day on Froggatt, climbing the classic routes. Syd, Rob & Mike ended the fine day by walking back to the hut via Eyam.

The walkers (with part timer Crowson) walked from the hut and along the Edges to Higgar Tor and Stanage Edge. The Fox House was investigated before an eventual about turn took them back to the hut, arriving last.

The lone leader and cyclist (with a damaged knee) mounted his Brompton and cycled a circular route via Hassop to eventually meet up with climbers briefly on Froggatt, before heading back for his cooking responsibilities, which resulted in a hot chillie.


Birchens was dramatically rained off, but both Burbage and Stanage were wonderful evenings. A Ring Ousel and Short Eared Owl were seen as well as a variety of good, easy and hard routes climbed. Only two members from Sheffield attended their local crags, whilst a family party drove all the way up from Derby and a party from Chesterfield. Come on – find that harness and rock boots, clean off the mould and dirt and come out and enjoy the evening sun next week on Froggatt.

Don’t forget, the evening climbing sessions are not only for the climbers. Why not organise a walk or cycle ride, or at least come to the pub – but check up beforehand.

15th - 17th April:

VP MEET - Low Hall Garth

Attendees (in approximate order of seniority/status and arrival time):

Lionel Stout (President), Ed March-Shawcross, John Eastwood, Syd Goodier, Rob Peppit, Mike Peppit, Ed Sampson , Richard Harris, Richard Shawcross, Jonathon Hood, Martin Clowes (VP)

Executive Summary

This tricky-to-access-by-car hut is still a great DPC venue. Sun predominated over frost, a little snow and hail. The crystal clear air provided great views, walking and climbing in a beautiful area. Vegetarian/pescatorian food offerings were available and the conviviality was such that………ED SAMPSON HAD A PINT AND A HALF OF STOUT, (OMG!).

Last night on Froggatt was a gem of an evening – the best of the year. Only 7 were there – four from Chesterfield, one from Sheffield, a moustachioed Mine Inspector from Taddington who claimed it was the first time for three years, and a guest from Belper. Two apologies were accepted. We expected more in order to witness the President complete his first climb, but the word came through that he wasn’t coming, citing a heavy work load. Disappointment was quelled when it was announced that instead he would buy everybody free drinks in the Grouse. It remains to be seen if this generosity (or bribery) becomes a regular occurrence in order to prevent him from touching grit. What else was memorable? Oh yes, we were the only party on the whole of the crag! Difficult to imagine when it was such a beautiful evening! Next week Gardoms.

What a contrast of two weeks! The crap weather won out and Gardoms was effectively snowed off last week. However, Mike, Rob and Rick headed out to Stoney, of all places, but to Minus 10 Buttress, which is overhanging and thus protected. They completed a HVS pumpy crackline, before the snow beat them to the pub during the abseil. Syd and Geoff meanwhile, spent the evening on the climbing wall at the Foundry in Sheffield. Of the President, there was no sign.

Last night was a gem and the first cuckoo of the year heard. The Plantation area at Stanage was enjoyed by the largest turnout so far. Rob and Mike continued with their collection of classic HVS’s and VS’s, including Millsom’s Minion and Goliaths Groove, whilst Geoff and George likewise were collecting classic Puttrell Diffs and V Diff’s. Ed Samp was soloing about. Syd was later discovered dragging Glyn Roberts up mean Bishop routes, and likewise Andy Tickle and son Alex were seen spread eagled on Fairy Steps in the gloom. A dash down to the cars with a beautiful sunset, and free drinks in the Scotsmans courtesy of John Sampson and Zoe, not seen for some time. Who needs the President…?

For those aging Sheffieldites brought up on 70’s and 80’s grit, MOAC’s and Whillans harnesses and now at home nursing their worn out knees, ankles, legs and hips, Horseshoe Quarry is an enigma, an esoteric and very large ex Tarmac quarry situated half way up Stoney Dale. You must have driven through the Dale on a nice day and wondered what all the cars were parked for – well now you know. Equipped with bolts for sports climbing and on two tiers, steep and tall – not for those just branching out from Birchens diffs!

Ed Samp was there first, waving to us like an enticing mermaid from the Upper Tier, so we scrambled up to join him. He and Mike went off for some hard routes whilst Rob took me up a 4+. Syd and I would climb those all day at the climbing wall, but here it was something different. George and Syd arrived to confirm from their older guide books that it was indeed a HVS 5a in old grades! This was George’s first time here, apart from last winter’s nightime and floodlit SRT practice when bodies were plummeting all over, so with some trepidation he tied onto the rope which was threaded through the lower off and was rightly chuffed when he eventually topped out. Meanwhile, Rob abandoned me and went off with Syd to climb a couple of routes just off a tatty looking via ferrata.

Rick appeared clutching his cracked rib caused by a rough and tumble with his 3 year old, with apologies of not being able to climb, or indeed not for the next few weeks, having looked at the programme. The gloom was appearing gloomier with the mist and the resident Barn Owl was seen just as Ed tried to emulate it by doing a flyer, but ably prevented from decking it by Mike (the BMC bolts are holding then!).

14th - 15th May:

A good weekend was forecast and it was arranged to go down Friday morning, so Mike had time off work, but unfortunately Rob couldn’t make the meet at all. The Syd mobile picked us up then drove to Bradders for Eddie Samp. It was agreed to go to the hut first, as we wanted the best beds, being quite small accommodation. It took  a bit of finding as firstly a little lane was closed but Syd was determined to plough through – but the sign was correct - it was closed. The next little lane turned out to be the wrong lane so a return of a mile or so eventually saw us on the correct little lane.

A trip to Tremadoc was obvious, so Syd and I teamed up for the classic Poor Man’s Peutery, always worth repeating, whilst Mike and Ed had their sights on harder game, Scratch Arete followed by another route which took a little finding. The top of the crag was quite vegetated which unfortunately harboured those little bastard ticks, and quite a few were removed before they managed to do their thing – or perhaps they are still doing it?

14th - 15th May:

Not sure which God Geoff is invoking, but another couple of days of astonishing weather for a DPC Meet; this time in Wales (Croesor) to be exact. Indeed in all my 38 years I have never experienced such glorious weather in Wales.

The Hut is rather beautifully situated overlooking the Cwm Croesor with nothing but deep countryside before the Snowden range on the near horizon to the north. Almost next door to the Hut is the gorgeous house and gardens of Plas Brondanw.

I confess that gardening is not my forte but even I recognise that to carve this type of garden out of a wild Welsh hillside is no mean feat. look for yourself; www.plasbrondanw.com/gardens/

The walking party that fine Saturday included our President, Mike, Martin, Chris G and LOM. With due deliberation, and at no unseemly pace, we ascended Moelwyn Bach stopping at frequent intervals to enjoy the splendid view down onto the coast and beyond. On reaching the summit there was a large party of Welsh people; I found out they were Welsh when Martin asked them where they were from. To our Saxon ears they had sounded distinctly foreign. That embarrassment over we lay down beside a pool on the peak and thought of the meaning of life.

I’m likely to be away for two weeks, and Wildcat this week is likely to be rained off anyway, so I thought I would inform you of the President’s Progress over the sunny Welsh weekend just gone.

The President is a stalwart of meets, and can be relied upon to attend even for the day on a weekend, citing some innocuous reason as a game of Bridge in order to return home early and consequently is now a regular model in many of Hoody’s photos. However, when given tasks he has let himself down on occasions, the latest being the simple task of controlling the Treasurer’s snoring as he was sleeping next to him. Did he heck! Instead he selfishly fell asleep.

It was noticeable that the President attempted to integrate himself with the climbers – outside the hut, at the dinner table and at the pub - but had difficulty in communicating with them, not understanding the climbers speak of 4a, 5b and HVS’s etc. However, give him his due, he did try, but when offered the chance of being taken up a route by Syd, he visibly recoiled.

Mention must be made of that other stalwart of meets, none other than the Judge from Bromley who has now committed himself to a possible trip down Peak in October, with his pal from Bristol, who I might add has already proven himself on Cornish granite.

Curbar next week. Now that’s not too far from Grindleford…

Tuesday: Two weeks, and the God of Grindleford had organised rain so the President could avoid rock. These rites evidently, have been taken place at night on the river bank behind Derwent Close. However, it looks as though he was not successful for tomorrow on Millstone, as the forecast has changed its mind from rain to black cloud. Now, Millstone is not one of the best venues to learn the art of slapping, smearing and jamming and the rock in places can be very loose on top, but it’s not a million miles from the aforementioned Grindleford…

Wednesday: Dark cloud and strong cold wind, the Grindleford Gods were doing their best. Only Rob and Mike ventured out, their objective being Lyons Corner House, a classic HVS. It turned out they were the only ones on the crag, apart from Three Hips who rolled in out of the glooming just as they were topping out, so a retreat from the wind was made to the shorter first bay, where he was taken up some easier routes before darkness forced a retreat to the Millstone Inn.


EDIT Complaint lodged from Three Hips Re Wednesday Climbing 6...

Friday: We were out for a quiet ramble when Three Hips swerved into the Monsal Head car park at speed in his green van, scattering a gaggle of ice cream sucking tourists. I knew he was angry, because his cheeks were rosier than normal. It turned out he had taken offence at the report remark “shorter first bay, where he was taken up some easier routes” on Millstone, the implication being that he was now only capable of VDiffs. I decided not to reply as that was probably what I was implying anyway, but I did agree to obtain the correct facts. So here we go:

George had a VERY tight rope on an E1.

Why the President has finally abandoned rock (before he even touched it)

The President phoned me Tuesday night. I was most surprised, because he has only phoned me before when he wanted something done on the hut; like how to turn the vacuum cleaner on, or how to turn the oven off. So I was even more surprised to find he was quite chatty whilst he talked about the Club’s current controversial subjects - such as health and safety on rambles, floorboarding and fire escapes - in that smooth and silky, John Le Mesurier type voice. I wondered if he actually knew who he was talking to because I was no longer in the loop, a reject from the Committee and no longer receiving personal emails from the Secretary, except to advise him once a year on which victims were doing the next speeches. However, the President then finished saying that after all the ‘stick’ and bantering he had been receiving recently, he had decided to swallow his pride (or fear) and was going to come out climbing on the morrow. This was immensely encouraging and I felt a little embarrassed that I had apparently pushed him into making this decision. He finished by saying “I’ll see you tomorrow on High Tor,” and then put the phone down. I sat there for a few seconds, transfixed with the phone in my hand. Was it just a slip of the tongue, or did the President really mean High Tor, a high, steep and very scary limestone crag in Matlock Bath and not the true venue, High Neb, a more friendly gritstone crag on Stanage? After a few seconds, I decided the President had indeed merely said the wrong name, and promptly forgot all about it.

We went to High Neb tonight and had a good time climbing on the crag, but of the President there was no sign – disappointing, as I had told everybody else he was coming, and they were looking forward to their free drinks in the Scotsmans. However, there was just a little niggle in the back of my mind…

16th - 19th June:

I arrived at the hut on Friday evening, having picked up Goulden and Hood at Perth station. We unloaded some food for the weekend, and then headed for the local bar which overlooked the Ballachulish bridge, where we found four of the less youthful members tucking into a bar meal. Pierce, Grayson and Goodier arrived a little later having nipped up a local hill to stretch their legs after a long train journey – they never made it to the top as the ‘hill’ turned out to be more than expected. We returned to the hut for some late supper and were joined by the Peppit brothers who had driven up after work.

Friday dawned overcast but dry – a relief after a week of rain. Chatburn, Crowther, Harris and Johnson executed their plan of leaving the hut for the 0830hrs Corran ferry. They headed across the Ardnamurchan Peninsular to catch another ferry to Tobermory, on the island of Mull. They were on the lookout for Golden and Sea Eagles whilst travelling around the island.

16th - 19th June:

Twelve members arrived Thursday evening by various means – car, train, local bus, with a 13th member on Friday.

 Friday was dry but with low cloud on the tops. Five walkers (Martin, Bob, Jon, Chris, Jason) went to Kinlochleven and onto the Mamores walking from W to E.

The climbers went to Glencoe and Buachaille Etive Mor and the NE Buttress which was just below the cloud – dry but cold. Mainbrace Crack (150 feet HVS 5a) was ably led by Mike P, followed by Rob and struggled up by Syd with a tight rope on the crux! Shackle Route (280 feet Severe) followed, more easily (!) after an abseil descent from the previous route. Descent again by two abseils.

Tony, Axel, Mike J and Richard had an early start and went to Mull via two ferries, hoping to see the sea eagles – but as luck would haveit – only two Golden Eagles! Tobermory was visited whilst there.

17th July:

The weather forecast a good day and for once delivered a perfect day for a walk on the Kinder area.

The classic Jagger’s Clough was used for the accent to the Kinder Downfall for a very brief butty stop.

It was clear that the party were advanced walkers well suited in ability, if not age, at 81 John Eastwood showed all the characteristics of an extremely fit 40 years old. Phil Crowson was back in training and looking ‘buff’* and Lionel was, well Lionel, I man who has the ability to walk all day long and look better than when he set off 8 hours earlier! Maybe it’s because he’s the President and has special powers, who knows, but it’s a great thing to see.

After some considered thought, a decision was made to execute Phil’s exuberant plan to follow a ‘good line’ to the Snake Inn via the Mushroom on Fairbrook Naze. Given past experience’s, this was considered very carefully...then we went for it.

17th July:

A beautiful sunny day, with however a strong blustery wind. The climbers parked at the cattle grid and walked along to the Far End, with the intention of climbing on the buttresses on way back. Geoff, just recovering from pneumonia, was coaxed up a few  climbs by Syd, whilst Mike and Ed were ticking off the harder routes including the pumpy Surgeon’s Saunter and the steep Brown route of Terrazza Crack on Marble Wall. They all finished at Crow Chin and then descended to the cars on a beautiful afternoon to a select group at the hut and magnificent meal with plenty of seconds. Discussions were made on the merits of the fire escape being made into a sun lounger, but were dashed by the Officers of the party.

21st August:

Faced with the formidable task of restoring the hut to working order after the radical removal of the existing bunkroom floor and it’s replacement to comply with Health & Safety, the ever dependable team of Barnes, Brown (Rod minus Sainsbury)  Chatburn, Clowes (in full chef de decorateur’s uniform), Cotton, Eastwood, Goodier, Harris, Johnson Senior, Peppits Senior Rob and Mike,  and Rob and Stout buckled down to the task.

Whilst most of the team were engaged in carrying out a complete redecoration of the newly reformed bunkroom, bathroom, stairs, living area and kitchen, the tree felling duo of Eastwood and Goodier reduced a disorderly pile of assorted timber into a respectable supply of wood for the stove to see us through winter.  They even had time to prune our ash tree much to the delight of the neighbours whose sunlight had been seriously diminished by it’s ever increasing size.

The DIY skills of the Peppits and Chatburn were put to the test in the reforming of the bunks that had been taken apart to enable the new floor to be constructed.  The rebuilding process took much longer than the taking of it apart as did the decorating of the newly formed ceiling in the living area. This meant that the cleaning, rebuilding and painting process were unfortunately incomplete when at 6.00 pm after hardly a moment’s break, we all retired to the Moon for Tea.  Johnson in his inimitable fashion managed to get the wrong side of Joy the delightful new manageress of the Moon, but notwithstanding this and the undoubtedly slow service about which he had with some justification complained, a good meal was enjoyed by all.

16th – 18th September:

Location – The Rucksack Hut at Beudy Mawr, Llanberis

The Hut was as ever found to be comfortable, well equipped and convenient for Snowdon.  With excellent weather, a good turnout and excellent food provided by the joint leaders a memorable meet was guaranteed. Many happy memories of previous meets at this hut, including impromptu, were recounted. Our southern members, Clowes, Goulden and Hood missed much of the Friday evening merriment having circumnavigated much of Wales to get there.

Given the excellent weather conditions Tryfan and Snowden were inevitable draws, the former scaled/scrambled by Clowes, Hood and Goulden and the latter by Johnson with remarkable ease despite his overtures of “this could be the last time”, Hughes and Stout. The final trio were embarrassed by Rick Shawcross jogging, having hardly broken sweat as they approached the summit after which he went on to complete the remainder of the Snowdon Round to be followed by his feat referred to below.

16th – 18th September:

It wasn't helped that we set off for the drive north from Bristol to Bawdy Mawr for the Presidents Meet very late in the day. The typically execrable service of GWR from London saw to that. However our determination to avoid the stationary queues on the motorways and drive up through central Wales in the dark much assisted. When we arrived, late and suitably knackered at Croesor (site of a previous Meet) we had not only a sense of déjà vu and a sense we had been here before, but also a sense of panic. We had travelled to the wrong Meet. Scrabbling around to first find and then read the Meet Notice we convinced ourselves we had the wrong date too. Old Men and their short term memories eh. No wonder my son refers to me as an oxygen thief.

T’was about 11 pm we rolled up at the Hut. There we were met by the ruddy faces of The President, Mike J, Martin, Syd, the Peppit Boys, Skelly, Brian, Richard……… I say ruddy because the table was covered in empty bottles. Full ones rapidly appeared and in the best Club traditions, we drank too much on the first night. It may be that ( the booze) was the reason Mike J solemnly announced this would be the last time he would be ascending Snowdon. Toasts followed. 

  • 16th - Moorwood Sough – Glebe – Doom: and back (Mike, Rob, Andy T, Syd, Bob G, Michael G, Matt)

  • 26th - White Rake & Merlin: Went to White Rake to check out the new lid and to see if the dig was dry. It was. Then over to Merlin to see if the handline we left the other year was still in place. It wasn't. The Streamway was sumped but we ducked through to Shag's Sump just to get wet then headed out. (Rob, Mike)

16th October:

No Report

16th October:

No Report

  • 3rd - Carlswark - Merlin: Gin Entrance - Rift sump - Round Trip - Merlin - Shag's Sump - Adit (Mike, Rob, McBain Andy, Ed Samp, David)

  • 10th - Knotlow: Down climbing shaft, Waterfall Pitch, through coffin level into Crimbo Pipe, turned round and back out (Mike, Rob, McBain, David)

  • 17th - White Rake: Digging (Mike, Rob, Ed Samp, David)

  • 26th - Gautries, P8 & P7: Aborted trip to Gautries as we couldn't get the entrance passage un-sumped. Quick trip down P8 as far as the first pitch, then down P7 as far as the Wormhole (Rob, Mike, David)

  • 28th - Rob's Rift: Digging

  • 28th - Streaks: Headed down the top entrance on a solo trip to bring out an assortment of stuff we'd left down at Alex Aven last year. Items included: 1 x shovel, 20 x sandbags, 1 x garden hoe, 1 x bucket, 2 x drag trays, 4 x krabs, 1 x trowel and a 40m rope. To cut a long story short, it wasn't easy (Mike)

  • 30th - Rob's Rift: Digging

18th - 20th November:

Glaramara - Lake District

By Crowson: Ok, up a snowy Great End via Cust's Gully, escaped from waterfall under chock stone to exit on head wall. (Crowson Grayson). 

By Bob Grayson: On Saturday Phil and Bob tried to climb up a snow gully on Great Gable.  The snow was like tiny polystyrene balls - we didn’t leave foot prints - it was so powdery that it was like wallowing in fluff.  We failed to make it up the gulley - despite being well equipped with Colonel Haythornthwaite’s ceremonial ice pick - a chock stone blocked our way but we did have a fantastic snow slide on our way back down.  Having walked around the side to the top the snow blew quite hard and Crowson took the opportunity to take off his socks and boots and to announce that a) he was having his heart stopped on the Monday and b) he had severe chest pains.  Fortunately we made it down the valley to a lovely pub in Stonethwaite (the Langstrath Country Inn) which I would recommend.  Sadly too small for the club to hold the AGM there - but well worth a pint or two on the way down.

  • 1st - Jugholes: Quick trip in through the lower adit and out through the top. Down the short climb into the upper series to the bottom then back out. (Mike, Rob, McBain, David, Rachel)

  • 5th - Rob's Rift: Digging

  • 11th - Rob's Rift: Digging

  • 15th - Rob's Rift: Digging

  • 17th - Streaks: Annual Christmas Candle Cave (Mike, Ed, Rob, Sam)

  • 18th - Mystery Mine: Calver (Rob, Sam, Mike, George, McBain, Syd, David, Phil W TSG)

  • 22nd - Rob's Rift: Digging

  • 29th - JH West: Digging


18th December:

Scheduled activity:- to walk from the Club Hut to the Shoulder of Mutton in Bradwell, have a drink or two, and walk back.

The morning was fine with a cool breeze - ideal for walking - and after the traditional coffee and mince pies we got away from the Hut by 10am. We soon split up, some going up the Cliff to Eyam and others following the leader up the lane. We were reunited at the top.

Progressing past the Miners' Arms and then the Youth Hostel on an ever steepening incline, we joined the tarmaced road going west and later made our way along a good overgrown track to Nether Bretton. Here, the footpath to Abney was hidden in the garden of a residence but, fortunately, the resident was in his garden and helpful, when asked. We were soon making the very steep descent into the clough and crossed the brook on a footbridge to go past Cockey Farm into Abney.

We took to Duper Lane - more tarmac- the troops were getting a bit restive over tarmac. They didn't appreciate its good qualities at all. Arrived at the head of Overdale, Pierce, by this time, had lunch on his mind and when we came to a bench at the point where the footpath from Abney Grange came in it was the obvious place to stop. We ate our lunch but didn't tarry there and were soon making the second steep descent of the day- and very muddy this one- into Bradda. There's an old saying:- Tidza tatters, Bradda rappers and Castleton swilltubs. What it means, I am not sure, but I have always taken it to refer to the respective inhabitants.

17th December:

Christmas Candle Cave Part II:

After wriggling our way through the Dynamite Series with nought but candles last year, we decided to go for something a little wetter to make things a bit more interesting. Seeing as we've done Streaks at least 40 times, we guessed we could probably do it with our eyes closed - or at least with only being able to see 1m in front of our face with a candle.

The four of us met at the hut, got changed, compared candle carrying contraptions (Ed won) and got a lift up to the bend in Rob's van. It was difficult enough getting up the hill to the top entrance, I'd gone for the glass jar approach and holding it out in front of you meant all you could see was the candle - and nothing else. It felt a little hairy traversing over the pitch, not really seeing where your feet were going, but once on the handline, the slide down the rift was no problem. Down through the choke, the squeeze and into the streamway - which was flowing but reasonably low, and out through Nervous Breakdown for a quick regroup. The candles were working well, except Sam's, which by now kept going out, meaning he did quite a bit of the section through to Donkey Dong and beyond with no light at all. It was a bit of a squeeze getting Sam's barrel out through the lower entrance and apart from Rob accidentally riding the lid down onto the road - everything went pretty well. Quick change and off to The Moon, where Glyn, Glyn and Glenn (it was just as confusing at the time) joined us for food. (Mike, Rob, Ed, Sam)