19th - 20th March:

Leaders: R Shawcross & B Grayson.

Walking: B Grayson, M Clowes, J Hood, L Stout, M Johnson, P Crowson.

Climbing: G Peppit, S Goodier, E Shawcross, R Peppit, M Peppit with Guests: Rachel Walker, Chris Boswell.

Cycling: R Shawcross

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:

Attendees: G. Peppit, S. Goodier, M. Peppit, E. Sampson, G. Sampson, A. Tickle, L. Stout, M. Johnson, C. Goulden, J. Hood, S. Glasius, M. Clowes.

Leaders: C. Goulden, G. Sampson

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?

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:

Present: A Chatburn, A Crowther, S Goodier, C Goulden, R Grayson, R Harris, J Hood, M Johnson, M Peppit, R Peppit, M Pierce, L Stout, J Vessey.

Leaders: J Vessey & S Goodier

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:

Leader: R. Grinham.

Climbers: M Peppit, G Peppit, S Goodier, E Shawcross.

Cycling: R Shawcross.

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.