20th January 2019

The original plan was to have a gentle SRT trip down Nettle and into the lower reaches, but with only 3 of us signing up it would've been a pretty short day. So with a last-minute change of plan we met at Giants at the leisurely start time of 11am. There were plenty of other cars already there and as we kitted up more arrived and we plodded off through the snow to the entrance. We made quick progress down Garlands and along the Crabwalk, eventually finding our way down Geology and to the East Canal. The cold dunking we got in the Final Curtain ensured we didn't stay long and we headed back upstream to warm up. Before joining the round trip we had a quick detour to St Valentines Sump and then came across some of the other parties en route towards the Windpipe. We had a quick look at the Oxlow-Giants connection, getting to the first duck, then made a swift exit dropping down into the Crabwalk just before Garlands. Back out into the snow, we had some time to kill before dinner, so went for a quick ramble up Mam Tor before heading to the Cheshire Cheese for food. Good trip.

20th January 2019

The above six brave souls assembled beyond Barber Booth for 9.30 and were off by 9.45. Just before Jacobs Ladder, Phil cut off up the snowy hillside on a ‘path’ (a fell runners route?). After apparently weaving up the hillside in the mist we came to the edge of the path before striking off exactly to the Kinder Low trig.

Crossing to the Downfall ravine we descended the snowy hillside somewhat airily before traversing across the heather to Cluther Rocks and the highest millstone in the Peak. A sandwich, followed by a further traverse and descent to the base of Red Brook, which was then ascended directly in increasingly snowy and icy conditions. (A grade 1 scramble in my guidebook). A walk along the Edge path to the Downfall where the icicles in the overhanging ‘cave’ were identified by some, before Kinder River, Kinder Gates and the Northern Edge beyond Fairbrook. By this time the mist had cleared and we had some superb views of the Snake Inn and Valley.

17th February 2019

The walkers met at 9.30 by Ladybower Reservoir and walked up to Derwent Edge passing various tors enroute including Whinstone Lee Tor and Back Tor, before heading to Lost Lad. The view was clear, with only some haze in the distance. We then walked down the track into the valley to have lunch out of the wind by Abbey Brook, before heading up Poynton Bog and making use of the Open Access land. Coming off the ridge to head down to the Abbey Tip Plantation was the most hazardous part of the day with strong winds and a steep slope down. At the plantation, the group started to split with some opting for the easier and quicker route along the reservoir and others heading back up to Bamford House, contouring for a while before heading down near Fairholmes and spending a short while by Ladybower. For the final up of the day by Grindle Clough to the ridge and the descent back to the cars, followed by chili at the Hut.

The four cavers descended Titan (for Rob & Mike an umpteen descent) and via many further holes and series and intricate rope work and route finding and via the White River Series, they finally exited via Peak Cavern.

16th March 2019

The team set out in wet and windy conditions, but in high spirit. The walk up to the cave entrance provided a number of variable omens, in particular the raging torrent that was the waterfall in Clapham, the outlet by the show cave and the worsening hole in Robs left welly. Quick lunch at the entrance was allowed by the caving Obergruppenführer (Mike) to give time for Sam’s less quick rigging.

The team quickly descended the entrance pitch and made steady progress through to the big pitch. A high degree of composure was displayed by the members of the team who were new to SRT with occasional whooping (possibly to disguise tears) by Ben.

16th March 2019

Ben and I set off from Sheffield after eating a massive plate of noodles in a West Street Chinese Restaurant. Earlier in the evening, walking around the supermarket with Ben, it occurred to me that I have never seen food through the eyes of someone with a dietary condition before; even a self-inflicted one. We needed to forage food for Ben for the weekend. It is easy to imagine that vegetarians are taking over the country but it was remarkably difficult to find anything non-meaty during a hunt through the local Tesco. At least a weekend’s worth of calories had been imbibed by us both in the restaurant, prior to setting off on our journey to North Yorkshire.

17th March 2019

Day two of the caving exploits was undertaken by a leaner caving team; ‘Atkins Caving Team’. The objective was to go underground at Wretched Rabbit and re-emerge at Lancaster Hole and as such the first requirement was to rig Lancaster Hole. Mike bravely dropped down and put the ascent rope in place and was able to confirm with 65% certainty that there was a 95% certainty that the rope was accessible from the bottom chamber. Following on from this, upon discovery that a vital part of the route description was still in the vicinity of the van, the team made a tactical return and then set off in the direction of Wretched Rabbit.

Sam’s primary responsibility was to commit the guidebook picture of the entrance hole to memory, however it became apparent that he had perhaps pinned too much attention to the garish colours of the photographed cavers’ kits to memory rather than more permanent geological land marks. Nonetheless the entrance was located, and the initial descent began.

17th March 2019

Syd and I had a surprisingly good walk on Sunday. Better weather than expected, clear views to a snowy Ingleborough and some interesting limestone features on route. We passed Rowten Pot on our return along the Turbary Road above Kingsdale. We were not troubled by surface water on our route. Whernside was quite snowy when we set out, but most of this had melted away before we got to the summit. It gave a good round above Kingsdale, one to add to the options list for future meets at Clapham. Below shows Syd striding ahead - as he was much of the day! This is the last descent back to the car through the limestone pavements below the Turbary Road. Across the way you can see the track we started out on, before climbing left up Twistleton Scar to follow the long ridge up Whernside.

12th - 14th April 2019

Friday, two climbing cars left early, Jon & Rob climbing at Rhoscolyn and then buying the food, whilst Mike and Sam stopped off on the coast road near  Conway and climbed some sports routes on a limestone crag.  Saturday, Mike and Sam went off to climb Main Wall and Reade’s Route, both of which were in the cold zone! Jon and Rob climbed at Tremadoc. Andy went off by himself and walked over the Nantlle Ridge & Myndd Mawr. Graham and Axel went up Snowdon from the hut and then returned via the Snowdon Ranger path, and then followed the railway more or less, inspecting some quarries. Jason, Martin and Jon Hood went up Yr Allen from the hut and then ascended the long ridge to Snowdon, returning down the Snowdon Ranger path. Geoff arrived at 10 am, having the Friday night only getting back from Norway at 10 pm. He went up Snowdon on the Rhy ddu path, arrived at the summit, and it being so crowded with people queuing up to get to the top, he decided not to even bother to touch the trig point! He descended the long ridge in the direction of Yr Allen, coming across the previous party on their ascent, whereupon some verbal abuse took place, which must have shaken any innocent hill walkers passing by.

On Friday afternoon Graham and Axel arrived at Llyn Crafnant and, combining two of the designated walks they circumnavigated the lake as well as climbing to a viewpoint. On Sunday they walked from the hut round the back of Llyn-y-Gader, returned by the same path, and got to the station in time to get the picture of a train, then ate their lunch in the hut car park and motored home via Bangor. Also on Sunday the climbers went to slate and Dinorwic and climbed in Australia Hole.

12th - 14th April 2019

The 2019 Wales meet was one that I enjoyed greatly. Strangely, the enjoyment seemed inversely proportional to the volume of material for a good story. There were no gruesome experiences underground; no excruciating hikes followed by vertigo fuelled torment. A lovely weekend with good company, large quantities of food and drink and great rock climbing aren’t really the makings of a good yarn. So, with little expectation of entertainment please read on.

I arrived at Rob’s house bang on 10am, Peppit-Mean-Time i.e. 34 minutes late. We packed his bags into my car and set off toward North Wales. I was rather jaded having just returned the previous night from South Wales. It seems rather odd that driving to North Wales from South Wales via Chesterfield is not to go very far out of one’s way in terms of the time. So much of a struggle it is to drive through the middle of Wales that my Welsh friend in Port Talbot has never so much as visited the north of his own country. He has, indeed, missed out on some amazing scenery.

17th - 19th May 2019

12 members and 1 guest attended... there were no survivors!

A "bakers dozen" enjoyed the amenities of this excellent and well situated hut. The weather was cool and mainly cloudy - though dry. Good walking weather with some partial cloud cover on the high tops. The Meet Leaders hid their wives (1 each!) in the Inn on the Lake so as not to be distracted from the tasks in hand.

On Saturday climbing teams went off to Swindale (near Shap) to conquer various routes on Gouther Crag. Ascents included: Fang Buttress, Left Edge, Hindleg Crack, Bloodhound (top rope???!! And Truss Buttress. Climbers included: Sampsons x 2, Peppits x 2, Jon Wi, Syd and Ed Shaw.

Walking parties included Lionel, John S and guest John - The exploration of Grisedale and Glenridding was the objective. Bob G did some mega walk (details not provided at time of going to press.....may have finished off with a swim down the length of  Ullswater - but don't quote me on that).

On Sunday a caving party went off to the Yorkshire Dales, notable ticks included the tight and vicious Pippikin Pot. A walking party of Ed S, Jon Wi and Syd did the Helvellyn horseshoe (on foot).  Lionel, John S and John walked along Ullswater and into Glenridding.  Mike and Rod met up with the hidden spouses and enjoyed valley walk.

The overall impression seemed to be that the Meet went well, the catering seemed to be appreciated and the beer and wine stood the test of time!

17th - 19th May 2019

Rob said he would pick me up at 18:30 and I glanced through my window at Peppit junior rolling into view in Rob’s bright red van, 26 minutes early at 18:34. I frantically stuffed remaining coats and equipment into bags and moved them outside. As I get older, Peppit Mean Time seems to be getting closer to GMT as I get less able to be on time for anything. We set off for petrol at the service station between Calver and Stoney. Mike purchased ‘Driving Beers’, which sounded great; tinged with a foreboding of a hangover for climbing adventures the next day. We drove onward past Kinder Scout. I noticed a sign on a new housing development as we entered the east side of the Manchester conurbation that read: “Kinder Gardens”. A great name, given the location, I thought. 

19th May 2019

With an upcoming trip to do the Ease Gill Traverse planned, Rob and I headed over to the Dales on the way back from Patterdale to tie up a few loose ends in our navigational knowledge and leave some pitches rigged if needed. We parked and changed at Bull Pot Farm and after traipsing across the moor found ourselves at Pippikin Pot around 12. Neither of us had been before, but I was aware that Pippikin had a reputation. I’d warned Rob that it was going to be a bit squeezy, but don’t think he’d really taken it on board as he seemed a bit surprised when he found himself wedged sideways in the first tight section. 6 short pitches with various thrutchy sideways squeezes in between saw us down into the streamway and out via Mistral in just over an hour, helped greatly by the fact it was already rigged. 

13th - 16th June 2019

A lovely well equipped hut in a great location, with a magnificent view. Rick arrived a  day earlier and cycled and wild camped on the Ardgour Penisula. On Thursday evening, he showed off his midge bites, and on Friday morning removed two ticks! The Peppits and Syd arrived at 11.30 pm after a 6 hour non stop drive by Rob.

On Friday, Rob went off by himself and cycled 46 miles off road round Ben Nevis, a mammoth route, involving bike carrying and river fording. The route took him from Kinlochleven and past the intriguing boarded up Mamore Lodge, along Loch Eilde Mor to Luibelt bothy. From there north, then a sharp left turn into the Leanachan Forest, then the West Highland Way from Fort William and back to Kinlochleven. A very tiring and challenging route. Rick enjoyed the flesh pots of Morrisons and then did some gentler cycling, and possibly a distillery or two. The remainder crossed the Corran Ferry and made Garbh Bheinn their goal. Jonathan will provide a vivid account. Rick then spoilt us with haggis in the evening. Saturday brought another day of sunshine and showers. Three went cycling Oban way whilst the others went off to Glencoe and parked next to Blackrock Cottage. The intended grade 3 scramble on Sron na Creise lay across a mile plus of boggy ground then a steep grassy ridge, before one got to the rock, which initially was greasy and mossy. Fortunately Rob brought a rope and equipment and brought up various people up various pitches until the rain began to fall, whereupon Geoff, Jon and David decided to bypass the rock whilst Rob and Jason continued soloing. Syd meanwhile had continued, not to be seen until hometime! On reaching the rocky summit, we found it wasn’t the summit but a pimple on the ridge, the real summit lying on and significantly up. It began to rain heavily, until we made the descent and climb to the second Munro, Meall a Bhuiridh, and then a long and tedious descent to the cars about 7.30. We were all away about 9 on the Sunday. The Peppits and Syd, in an effort to escape the Scottish midges, stopped off at Armathwaite in the Eden valley, near Penrith for a taste of interesting  and picturesque sandstone climbing.

13th - 16th June 2019

The Scottish Meet is always rather special. The pure difficulty of getting there whets the appetite for adventure. The June Meet was based on the exceedingly comfortable and well positioned Rucksack Club Hut at Craigallan on the shore of Loch Linnhe with cracking views of the mountains to the west. Curiously the Hut is practically opposite the MacIntyre Hut (home for previous DPC Meets) on the opposite side of the Loch. This year we were blessed by the presence of Metrosexual Men who Enjoy Cooking (Rick, Jason, Martin and Chris). Rick spread a very sophisticated table with rare and exotic pates and wines to tease the taste buds. Martin, the following night eschewed his customary dead elk replacing it with tenderised goat with a delicious paprika covering. Chris produced a salad of so many ingredients and of such size it required serving in a washing up bowel. In short Master Chef need search no longer.

Saturday saw unexpectedly good weather as we all marched our way up to the top of Garbh Bheinn (2,904 ft) . Straightforward ascent, the way off was down a very lovely steep gully replete with little ash trees and a stream which broadened into beautiful wide valley with a river  (the Abhainn Coire an lubhair for those collecting Gaelic names) flowing over what looked like a marbled flat rocky bed with sunken basins full of rounded stones of different colours. Wasn't terribly long (just 8 miles) but with total ascents of 3,900 ft (none of this metric stuff) a suitably knackering pipe-opener for the older man.

15th June 2019

On the Saturday of the excellent Scottish meet 2019, 3 intrepid souls explored the locality by bicycle. The wonderful National Cycle Route 78 is accessible right outside the door of the Rucksack Club “hut” (in reality a perfectly nice house with a sunroom). NCR 78 runs from Campbeltown to Inverness through some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland and the stretch from the hut to Oban was no exception passing along as it did Loch Linnhe.

Refreshment stops were non existent until we hit the Creagan Inn where coffee, scones, cream and jam were deemed in order. The surface of the NCR overall is excellent. We stopped for a late lunch at a beach some 10 miles short of Oban before 2 of us turned back, just Richard going on. Tea at the Creagan again, a chat with a local cyclist and we were back in time to cook the gala dinner. A ride of some 50 miles in all and a great day out.

21st July 2019

The first recorded time the Club visited Laddow was 1906, and the last was 1988, when Peppit, Goodier, Barnes and Travis climbed. So, 31 years later, two of the four were in the party that toiled in the humid heat up the Pennine Way from Crowden. The party split so much that Crowson was abandoned by the walkers, who was so far behind having elected to keep Peppit senior company. Arrival at the crag caused disguised consternation from the climbers when Crowson announced that he might well climb instead, even though he had nil climbing equipment. Fortunately and fortuitously he changed his mind when he watched Syd climb the first pitch of the Long Climb, and decided instead to drop down from the crag and introduce himself and ‘chat’ to the fell runners who were toiling up from Holme Moss. The marshal, who was obviously a local, said he was pleased to see climbers on the crag, as vegetation was now taking over. Mike observed that it was unusual to climb on such isolated but vegetated and polished rock. We were cursed with the occasional appearance of midges during a hot, humid and sometimes overcast day, but a tally of routes were completed: Tower Face, Priscilla Ridge, Long Climb, Pillar Ridge and Staircase. Peppit senior left at 3 to organise dinner and the last sighting he had of Syd was him wedged across the footpath at the crag top, there being no belays.

21st July 2019

It was decided that the Club should return to Laddow Rocks for the first time since May 1988. Geoff would supervise the climbers, and David would lead the walk. For the walk, given the starting point of Crowden then the obvious choice would be to accompany the climbers to Laddow Rocks and then proceed along the Pennine Way (PW) to Black Hill and then return by an alternative route.

In the event the morning of 21st July saw five climbers and three walkers (David , John E and Jonathan H) gather at the car park near Crowden Youth Hostel. A fourth – Phil C – was undecided whether to walk or climb. All set off together for the first two miles to Laddow Rocks at about 10am. The climbers – being unfamiliar with the route to this little visited but historic crag – following the walkers along a combination of tracks and faint footpaths on the other side of Crowden Brook from the PW. After crossing Crowden Little Brook signs of disagreement on the route became apparent, the climbers (at least all but Geoff) hanging back to discuss route options, before turning back to try an alternative approach. It transpired that this was due not to a lack of confidence in the walk leader (I trust) but to the advice of a local dog walker who said a much better approach was to reverse a little way and then take a lane to reach the PW sooner. The walkers meanwhile followed the planned route across Crowden Great Brook by an old footbridge and then follow a footpath (believed to exist from the map) to climb up to the Pennine Way. A faint path was indeed evident on the ground, except for the final 100ft or so up to the PW, which was achieved by a steep scramble through bracken.

18th August 2019

The annual Hut Maintenance meet lead by Stout (Hut Warden) was attended by the usual “Dad’s Army” of Benton, Brown (Rod), Chatburn, Crowther (TC), Goodier, Griffiths, Johnson and  Peppit (Senior) whose average age is just shy of 80.  We were honoured by the arrival of Travis (Secretary) who joined us for tea. Eastwood sent his apologies who in the week preceding the meet had carried out some stone walling repairs. Crowther is to return to complete the oiling of his beloved bench.  It was heartening to see TC who checked our First Aid Kit which he found was all present and correct. Tony has sadly not enjoyed the best of health of late sadly and we wished him all the best.

Age was no bar to the enthusiasm of the squad who took up arms in the form of saws, screwdrivers, paint brushes, scrubbers and cleaning equipment, mop, brushes, spades, shovels, strimmer, hoover and weed killer Knapsack Sprayer leaving a tidy weed free garden.  A Hut looking like a new pin with an ample store of wood for the stove. Our resident carpenter (Chatburn) has given new life to the coal bunker by replacing the rotten cover with a smart new one and repairing the cutlery drawer which was in danger of becoming a health hazard

The Secretary’s visit was more than just to join us for tea but also to carry out an audit of the Health and Safety Report that has been so meticulously prepared by our former H&S Officer (Clowes). Minor issues apart he gave it the “All Clear”.  Emergency lighting, fire alarm, firefighting equipment, legionnaire check of shower heads and the fire escape were all checked and found to be shipshape and in Bristol fashion.

Over lunch Griffiths unveiled his master plan for attacking the inadequate shower/toilet facilities which was met with warm approval and our recommendation that it be put before the next meeting of the War Cabinet (the DPC Committee Meeting) with a recommendation that, money permitting, it be implemented as soon as possible.

As usual the club owes a big thanks to all who attended for their efforts and hard work

The Meet was rounded off with an excellent meal provided by the Hut Warden’s wife and concluded a very satisfactory day.

12th - 15th September 2019

The words “It’s your job to organise the Presidents Meet,” said with a certain degree of menace, has stalked my Presidency. Clearly Wales, Scotland and England north of the M25 had been well tramped over by DPC Members. The South West was now the preserve of Andy. As a southerner I could only look south. Unfortunately there are not many mountains down south so how to interest the climbers? Then it dawned on me; the Isle of Portland. Not only circled by cliffs of the finest Portland Stone (used on many of the principal London buildings) but adjoining the spectacular Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Would Members be prepared to drive all that way south? What other attractions could I offer? Then it dawned. My culinary skills had been met previously with some derision so what better than to offer a Meet where I was not cooking?

As luck would have it, I knew from previous trips with my diving club of a little bunkhouse on Portland run by a splendid young couple who cooked like angels. Not unnaturally this couple expected some modest reward for their efforts i.e they charged.

12th - 15th September 2019

Rob, Ben and I stopped in a service station before the M1 for ‘dinner’ on the way to Dorset, which was the most eventful event of the journey. Once on the island (or should that be headland?), we took sight of our abode: amongst a slightly desolate scene, on a roundabout, next to “Hump and Dump Skip Hire”.  Fortunately, the place brightened up considerably on the inside and it looked much nicer on the outside in daylight. I had re-discovered on the previous meet how truly special is the range of acoustic torment that can be inflicted by snoring. However, if you stick with the Peppits then they always find a hidden quiet room. Our bunkhouse consisted of several small rooms with two bunks, a basin and a little shower. As the last to arrive, Ben and I found ourselves on the top bunks in one of the rooms, potentially imprisoned with snoring monsters beneath. No International Peppit Sleep Rescue on this occasion! I had a quick look to see if the local Premier Inn was within walking distance. Discovering, it wasn’t, I then went upstairs for some drinks and to plan the climbing for the next day. When we went to bed, sometime after midnight, we were treated to something actually more horrible than the hog-garrotting snoring of the previous meet. A combination of angle grinding from roadworks outside and bunkmates hell-bent on having the window open! The next challenge came at around 3am. The little bunks were devoid of ladders. How should I get off the bunk to visit the loo? The successful method, I discovered, was to swing legs over the bedrail, take hold of Ben’s rail and swing legs in free space like a gymnast on parallel bars. I then opened the bedroom door, let go “BANG!” then exclaimed “Christ! Sorry!”, before I added insult to injury by flushing the loudest loo known to man. The only way back into the bed was to climb the footboard and swing my leg over, bashing it with the side of my knee and following up with considerably more swearing. Could it be that I was to be the worse bunkmate after all my concerns about other people snoring and disturbing my sleep? At about 6.30am I again awoke, not having had my requisite 8 hours, this time to Portland water torture. On and on came the terrible hiss of water ejected at high pressure from a tap. Every minute or so I would open my good eye (I was half way through eye surgery) and see the same sight of my bunkmate running water without the merest hint of any self-cleansing. I couldn’t work out what on earth he was doing. I later discovered that the hot water took an age to come through – obvious, really. Regardless, I couldn’t help reflect that the shower, not two foot behind, would have been a quicker and easier way to eradicate oneself of the previous day’s grime. How lovely it was not to be short sighted in at least one eye and able to use an unfamiliar shower with sight for the first time since before I was a teenager. If you aren’t extremely short sighted, you may not be able to empathise with how amazing that feeling was. Wonders of modern medicine.

20th October 2019

Walkers assembled at Carlswark Cottage and proceeded by car to the little  carpark in Upperdale. We walked up the dale to Cressbrook Mill (long ago converted into flats) and into Water-cum-Jolly Dale. Here there were some signs that the river had recently encroached on the path, but it was easily passable, although pretty muddy in places. The weather got better as time went by, with some sun.At Litton Mill, the party had spread out a bit but we gathered together after crossing  the river on the footbridge to get to the former railway which we followed through Millers Dale Station to the abseiling bridge. Here we watched a young lady in pink pants descend.  We also descended - but not by abseil - to river level and followed the Wye upstream.   We passed the Wormhill Springs, regarding which Geoff remembered he had seen a reference that the DPC had had a dig there in 1936. He pointed out a tree which held an iron ring which the DPC had put.   I took a photo of our group. Then we proceeded over some rough and elevated track which many years ago caused distress to one DPC member, James Horsburgh.  "A bloody obstacle course".  The late Tony would have remembered.The stepping stones in the river were not under water and we carried on through the limestone gorge where Rod commented on certain geological aspects and the climbers in our group viewed, lovingly, I thought, the routes of past achievements.  We came to another footbridge and another photo stop. This time Syd produced the splendid picture with my camera.Having arrived at the foot of Great Rocks Dale, we crossed the river and went up the steep little dale opposite.   We stopped for lunch just below the A6 with a good view down into Great Rocks Dale.  A long train of red trucks went by.  Deutche Bahn? - we wondered.   We enjoyed our lunch - all except Geoff, perhaps.  He said he could not be comfortable sitting on the grass and chose to sit on a sign some way off from the rest of us.

During lunch the weather clouded and rain threatened. We took the path to Chelmorton and called at the Church for a pint. While we were there the rain started - not too heavy, fortunately. Suitably refreshed, we set off over the hill to Taddington and then took the lane across the A6 to the eastern end of Priestcliffe. Then through High Dale to Brushfield and over the top to Monsal Dale Station and back to the cars.A little under 13 miles by my reckoning from the OS map, but various telephones gave other figures. The most inflated 14.8 miles, then another at 14.4, not quite as wild, but later revised to 14.56.    I suppose inflation will always win. Back at the Hut for 5:30pm we were, a little later, provided with a good wholesome meal by Ed M-S.   Thanks Ed.

20th October 2019

The day dawned bright but chilly so the climbing party consisting of Rachel, myself, Rob and Mike decided to have an extra brew as the rock warmed up before we set off for Millstone Edge. I have not climbed here for several years and Rachel was making her first outing there. We parked and strolled to the crag taking a slow meander to the Cioch area but taking the chance to point out some of the classic routes. Mike was first off up April Arete but I had made a false start having forgotten my rock boots in the car (but remembering stove, mugs, coffee, milk, tea bags, my wife's harness and boots and my children's harnesses). A quick trot back to the car and we were off up Close Shave (S 4a). The rock was dry and it was lovely to be climbing with friends in the sunshine.

Gaining the ledge at about half height I was faced with two options, a greenish corner crack where the route should take me or the dry, clean VS 4c arete. I obviously chose the latter with Rachel following after. I had constructed a belay off the fence posts above the former quarry.

The beautiful weather was not to last however and as we contemplated a second route the rain hit, and to steal a cricket expression, stopped play.  Rob, Mike and Rachel headed for The Works in Sheffield while I headed back to the hut to start cooking tea.

With the normal 'last minute' sign ups 14 of us sat down for cottage pie followed by apple crumble.