Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve at Lathkill Dale

After a spell of mild weather around Christmas we had a good hoare frost on New Years eve, time to enjoy a winter wonderland and allow toddlers more correctly pre-schoolers to let off steam.

Lathkill dale is a beautiful dale to explore with wonderfully clear and bluish waters. We decided to walk somewhere that would be suitable with a pram. With this in mind we started our
Lathkill dale walk from Conksbury bridge , there are lots of other pictures at geograph.
OS Map reference 211655.

The gang!

Rising mists over the river Lathkill.

After a most enjoyable walk with much play including chase and hide and seek we the youngsters started to get somewhat tired and looked decidedly cold (despite appropriate layering)! We decided to head for a tea shop.

We chose a suitable corner at the country bookshop at Hassop Near Bakewell. Our objective to contain marauding toddlers! We had an enjoyable cup of tea and hot sausage roll with a good selection of salad dishes. The book shop is always good to browse, they have book festival's in may/june and october/November.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lemon and Lime Cheescake


200g Ginger snap biscuit - (If your name is Barbara Sawyer crush at 3am!)
50g Butter
2x250g Marscapone cheese
40g Icing sugar
2 Limes

For decoration
50g dark chocolate
50g caster sugar
Fruity bits e.g. grapes

  1. Crush biscuits and melt the butte. Crush the mixture into the base of a tin (18cm diameter)
  2. Marscapone,icing sugar, lime zest and juice in a bowl and mix
  3. Spread mixture over biscuit base
  4. Chill for 2 hours
  5. Decorate

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not a Bog Trotting Day on Kinder Scout :-)

The cloughs in the dark peak offer an excellent way up onto the moors. My favourites include.
  • Blackden brook
  • Jaggers clough
  • Wildboar clough
  • Crowden clough
  • Grinds brook clough
some of these offer a mild scramble and a particularly fun in winter when they become iced up.

After a day of fog and mist yesterday the morning looked clear and frosty, excellent walking weather. I decided on a scramble up crowden clough. I Parked near Barber booth at SK107847
From Upper Booth I walked up Crowden Clough, the walk is pleasent on a calm day such as this the peace is broken by the music of the water from the clough. The view of crowden tower
from crowden clough is shown at geograph along with a good collection of views of Kinder at Geograph.

I scrambled up the clough taking care over the icy covered rocks that make for a good scramble in the bed of the clough. I slipped and received a mild sprain to my wrist! This was a reminder of the famous quote of Edward Whymper from his book "Scrambles amongst the alps". The quote is

"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end."

From the top of Crowden Clough I followed the clough and headed onto Kinder scout. The conditions underfoot were perfect with the frozen icy moor removing the need to negotiate some of the boggier peat groughs in a typical bog trotters walk in the Peak district.

It was clear and I did not use a compass bearing my rough North Westerly direction took me to a point just south of Kinder downfall at Grid reference SK082887. I carried onto Kinder Downfall and stopped for a sandwich. I walked along the picturesqe western edge of Kinder Scout stopping briefly at KinderLow. A carried onto Swines back and Jacobs ladder and took the track that to Upper Booth.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Splish splash splosh at water cum jolly

Saturday saw us donning our boots and wellies and winding our waydown to cressbrook mill and cutting through past DJ'S BREWSTOP. Keisha was dressed up in her wellies, well prepared for the overspilling banks of the river wye.
Much fun was had splishing and splashing through the puddles and using the stepping stones. We were diverted up the rocks by Keisha with her constant need to be scrambling up the rock. We then headed back towards dj's brewstop which was unfortunately shut so we headed up to monsal head to the Hobbs cafe for a welcome pot of tea

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Druids Caves at Birchover

Keisha is continuing the theme of searching for Macca Pacca, he is a TV programme character that plays with stones and lives in a cave in the fantasy land of In the Night Garden. Keisha watched a Balamory epsiode about caving which featured the fanastic basaltic rock feature called Fingals cave. This episode resulted in Keisha crawling around darkened rooms in our house with a head torch and pretending to explore a cave.

With her current interests in mind we decided to visit the caves at Rowtor Rocks at Birchover
near Stanton Moor. The rocks have a fascinating history we are most interested in the fun element. Rowtor rocks are just above the Druid Inn at Birchover, an excellent place for quality food.

The rocks are excellent for climbing, scrambling and bouldering. There are caves to crawl through and seats carved out of the stone to sit on. This went down well with Keisha, at first she was uncertain about going through these short caves. I guess she is wisely cautious. After some familiarisation she was in her element!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Playing and Exploring at Birchen Edge

Its a weekend of parties for Keisha but she still keen for adventure this morning we're in search of Macca Pacca's house at Birchen edge. On our walk up to Birchens edge Keisha told me that she had spotted the tombliboos house we also had to be extra quiet so as not to wake them up!

We scramble to the top of the edge and walk along the top towards the monument. We arrived at the the Three ships these are three boulders on the top of the edge inscribed with the names Royal Sovreign, Defiance and Trafalgar. The spelling on the Rock for Royal Sovreign is Soverin.

At the top of Birchen edge is Nelsons monument, restored in 1992 this monument to Lord Nelson was orginally erected in 1810 this was 5 years afterNelsons death at the battle of trafalgar. It took 60 years to construct the London monument to Trafalgar.

The rocks are excellent for bouldering Keisha enjoyed scrambing on them. We scramble to the bottom of the main crag and sat near the foot of Trafalgar wall we have a drink and snack.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Outing for Our New Family, At Cavedale

This was our first outing for a few weeks since the birth of our son. The weather was excellent and we wanted to take a short walk with our new baby and a keen two year old up for adventure.

We decided to visit Castleton and walk through Cavedale. As the name suggests the walk along this fairly short dale takes us along a relatively narrow and steep sided dale. At the top is Peveril castle dating back to 1086.

Its great fun to go out walking with young toddler, you see things with fresh eyes and you have to be inventive and create different games. Keisha invented her own game and decided to play see saws on a fallen tree

To quote Keisha there were many "men with numbers" attempting to run up the dale. This was quite impressive since they'd already run the first twenty miles of the High Peak 40 mile challenge. The women with numbers were also referred to as a man with a number!

The picture above shows a view of Cavedale from quite near the top. We all did quite well to make it up here there was a fair amount of water running along the narrowest and steepest part. Keisha displayed excellent coordnation and scrambled easily up and down this slippery section of the dale. We finished our walk with a cup of tea and a peice of lemon meringue pie at a cafe near the centre of the village of Castleton.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chill out climb at Stanage End

Saturday afternoon at Stanage is not the ideal time to climb at the popular end, particularly during the holiday season. On arrival we were not surprised to find the Popular End predictably busy. We decided to head over to the Hooks Car car park further along the road from the car park at the popular end. From here we headed up towards High Neb, walking further along the edge we found that Crow Chin was packed with a group from an outdoor centre. We carried onto Stanage End.

The normal approach to Stanage End is from the Manchester road (A57). Stanage end offers an excellent variety of climbs the first route was.

Twin Cracks

This was fairly short and a little awkward. The route was led in a traditional V.Dif jamming
style. The second used a layback approach to ascend the final crack this proved to be quite a neat and comfortable approach.

The Ariel

A really good leftward ascending route across the face of the first main slab on Stanage End.

Another Turn

This route ascends the left hand arete of the slab for the first half of the route there is no protection. I guess this adds to the fun! The climbing is very positive, excellent friction that you would expect from Millstone Grit. Higher up the arete has some fairly positive holds that are most welcome.

Prospero's Climb

This is yet another good route! Prosperos climb is on the next slab, if you are facing the corner of the first slab on Stanage end then it is on the right. The best feature on this route is about halfway up at which you have to gain a ledge this can be acheived quite neatly using a mantleshelf move. Or for those with sticky fingers a break higher up is useful for pulling up on.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sherwood Forest Farm Park

We decided to give Sherwood Forest Farm Park a try to today. On arrival, the place didnt really look like it was up to much but it was surprisingly enjoyable and a fantastic experience for toddlers like Keisha. We started the afternoon with a ride on the minature steam railway which we all enjoyed and for a £1 you get a ticket to have as many rides as you like during the day and it was valid for a month which is great value.

There was an opportunity to take part in an interactive animal cuddling session, an area with seating was set aside for the children to hold some guinea pigs and rabbits including some week old babies. Keisha found this really exciting and thoroughly enjoyed stroking and holding them, especially the week old guinea pig which was very vocal and squeaky. We were then invited to do some egg collecting. The toddlers gathered round the hens pens and the cardboard trays were lined up. Keisha proceeded to open up the different doors and collected a dozen eggs in total, she opened one door to find the hen in the process of laying so left that one well alone. It was great also to see that antibacterial rub was in plentiful supply everywhere and easy to access not always the case in places such as these.

There were some outdoor and indoor play areas which we spent some time in and thoroughly enjoyed. There was also a sand area.

We then had a look around the farm, they specialise in rare breeds and the highlight of our day was seeing so many baby piglets. We had lots of fun and here are some of our friends that we met.
Does this anglo-nubian goat remind you of jar jar binks? Keisha enjoyed stroking him, she thought he was very soft.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, the only disappointing bit was having to leave and come home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Epic at Millstone Edge

Millstone edge is an area of old quarries standing above Hathersage. Its my favourite edge as you drive out of Hathersage towards Sheffield it looks impressive. The routes are even better! It's one of the few areas in the Peak District where one gets a mountaineering feel for climbing route. This is due to the length of the routes and the fact that some of the routes are best done as two pitches.

We climbed two routes this evening. The first route was Covent Garden its graded VS4b which seems quite fair the climb is a good quality route to be recommended. Best done in two pitches the final pitch is quite exciting. There is a fairly delicate hold on the top arete which adds to the excitement. Near the top of the second pitch is a fairly wide and flaired horizontal break. Leon used an interesting arrangement of two hex's to place protection in this.

A friend turned up and followed us up Covent Garden by the time we had returned to start our second route, the leader on the first pitch of Covent Garden had difficulties and climbers on the adjacent route Bond Street dropped a rope to bring the leader onto the belay ledge.

As a second climb we tried Lambeth Chimney this is well worth doing for its leftward traverse into a groove near the top of the route this feels quite exposed. The second climbed in what appeared to be a good pair of trainers he was inexperienced by climbed with a lot of energy and seemed to enjoy the route. The third climber up the route breezed it as he is quite experienced. We're quite pleased with our evenings climbing. The sun is setting and our companions on Covent garden have still not started on the second pitch! We derig our belay and Leon moves quickly and sets up a belay at the top of Covent Garden to bring our friends up the top pitch.
We're told that this is not necessary so we derig and return to the bottom of the crag to collect our rucksacks and head off for pint.

Our friends have just started up the route! As it is getting dark we transport our companions rucksacks to the top of Covent Garden. At the top of Covent garden the leader is still half way up the second pitch it is now dark! We lower a torch and offer an additional rope. For the second the route is harder especially given the need to remove some gear some of which was left behind! The view of the street lights below was beautiful. We're lucky we make to the Millstone Inn for last orders and well deserved pint of ale.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Playing at Padley Gorge

Surprise View near Hathersage (Map ref: SK 251800) is an excellent place to start a walk or to go climbing. Today we headed from the car park to Burbage Brook. On the way we found excellent boulders for playing. We played "I'm the king of the castle"and we were encouraged to play buses our youngster telling us to sit astride a boulder.

The walk leads through to the Burbage Brook and this is a popular area for splashing around and playing rock hopping. I couldn't help playing this myself and Keisha soon came along and joine in the fun, she insisted on trying to jump from rock to rock herself.

At this point Burbage brook leads into the Padley gorge as well as being a beautiful walk it contains a number fo features of historic interest including padley chapel. This is where the padley martyrs were arrested. The full story about the Padley martyrs is given in one of the links below.

The Padley Martyrs
Grindelford Walk

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Visit to the Bakewell show

Thursday this week saw us visiting the Bakewell show. We arrived bright and early to beat the crowds, at 0845 the carpark was almost empty and we walked over to the showground. The showground was busy though on arrival. Highlights of the day included a visit to the sand tent, unfortunately this had been placed next to the children's fair ground rides so this caused a massive distraction and little sand castle building took place.
There was a great deal to see, Keisha was fascinated by all the dogs in the various dog shows and there was even a dog pushchair to be seen. She laid a couple of stones on the dry stone wall at the national trust stand.
The favourite was the rabbit tent, we got to see lots of rabbits but our favourite was the rex rabbit who was very soft and silky and we got to stroke it.
A good time was had by all.
of special note was the alpaca stand, the rugs were so soft.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bouldering at Birchen Edge

We've recently completed a fair amount of decorating and reorganizing of two rooms in our house. One of the results of these efforts was the accummulation of some unused items and waste packaging. Today we completed the task by reorganising the garage and taking some of the waste to the refuse site, for recycling! There was a fair amount of satisfaction in completing this job.

I had a quick trip to Birchen edge there is a good selection of routes enabling climbers to improve and maintain their skills. Classic routes like Trafalger wall are great for practising slab climbing. Just to the right of this is an outcrop called Stokers wall, this has a good number of routes for a practise session. I did nine routes on this session, I was unable to complete a couple of the problems and had to reverse off.

The routes on Trafalgar wall are upto 12m in length, use of a rope and appropriate climbing equipment is always advised. The routes on Stokers wall are around 6m in length, again, one should exercise a reasonable level of caution when attempting this. Safety equipment such as a helmet and bouldering mat are advised. Another guideline is that ideally one should be able to reverse any climbing moves.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baslow Edge

The weather is slightly cooler, this evening is good for climbing.
We're trying a few routes quite close to the Curbar Gap

The first two routes we tried are approximately 100m along from the
point where a fence abutts to the crag.

Flake crack was a pleasant route to start on and a crack ripe for either
jamming or laybacking

Left hand flake crack , found this route quite tricky and a little steep
it didn't feel like a V.Dif.

Route1.5 is on a slab further along the crag adjacent to a little quarried
area, the crack has easy moves and good slab climbing. Near the top at
the blank flakes it gets a little tricky and required a more confident approach.

The midges started biting so we soloed a few routes.
This slab has plenty of routes for soloing.

Had a decent pint of Abbot Ale in the Bridge Inn at Calver with the Castle
Mountaineering Club
. Had a good chat with the club members with stories
of treking on the GR5 trail across europe and a group of club members walking the
John Muir Trail .

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Rough Bounds of Knoydart

The Knoydart area of the west highlands is an area that provides an opportunityto visit a remote an inspiring wilderness. However explorations in this area require a significant amount of effort. Possible approaches are a walk in from Kinlochourn and camping or a bothy night at Barrisdale bay. An alternative is to use a foot passenger ferry from Mallaig to Inverie.

For this visit we are exploring the so called rough bounds of Knoydart this name is well deserved. For this visit we stayed at the Invergarry lodge independent hostel. This is well positioned for visits to the ough Bounds of Knoydart approaching from Loch Arkaig, Loch Quoich and visiting Glen Dessary and Kingie.

Thursday Sgurr Mor
After a long drive along the shore road by Loch Arkaig, we approached Sgurr Mor from Glen dessary and walked into glen Kingie before commencing our climb up Sgurr Mor.

View of Sgurr an Fhuarain from Sgurr Mor

Friday Gairich
The weather forecast for this day was prolonged showers and lived up to its promise, consequently the way ahead was very wet under foot. For our visit this was the easiest day and we tramped on determined to make this a reasonable day. There were couple of locations on the upper part of the route that offered some entertaining scrambling.

A view of the dam at Loch Quoich the start of the walk up Gairich.

Saturday Gulvain
For this walk we walked in from a Glen Finlay not far from Glen Finnan.
A view of main summit of Gulvain from its south top.

For the remainder of the visit we stayed at the Wild Goose Youth Hostel at Banavie not far from Fort William.
A rainbow over Neptunes staircase at Banavie near the Wild Goose hostel.

Sunday, the Rough Bounds of Knoydart
This was the longest of our exploits starting from the end of Loch Arkaig we walked along Glen Dessary to this wild region of the highlands. The weather looked uncertain and this added to the excitement of the day. The first peak was Sgurr Nan Coireachan and from here there was an occasional clearing of cloud that enabled us to view the remainder of the traverse, the view of Sgurr na Ciche in the distance was impressive.

View of Garbh Cioch Mhor and Sgurr Na Ciche from the summit of Sgurr nan Coireachan.

Garbh Cioch Mhor and Sgurr Na Ciche
We were very fortunate to get a view from the summit of Sgurr Na Ciche, the cloud cleared from the summit of this peak for a couple of hours.A view into loch Nevis and river Carnach from the summit of Sgurr na Ciche

The desent from Sgurr Na Ciche the Feadan na ciche
The waterfall in the desent gully
Monday Sgurr Nan Coireachan
Our final day started bright and sunny from the Glen Finnan monument this was a fitting end to our walk. After our walk in the wilds of the rough bounds this made a comparably easy day with a well defined path over the complete circuit.

Golden ringed dragonfly found at the start of the ascent of Sgurr Nan Coireachan

View from Sgurr Nan Coireachan to Sgurr Thuilm

The monument to the raising of the standard for the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 at Glenfinnan.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Peak District Paddling Pools.

After a week of rain we appreciated even more the glorious sunshine on our visit to Youlgrave.
This is a village located to the south of Bakewell, its near the top of a hill and is on the south facing side which makes a good place to visit on a sunny day. There is a good car park at the top of the village it's even better because there is playground a must for young children.

Youlgrave is above Bradford dale and is an excellent village for a stop on a White Peak walk.
A short walk from the village in Bradford dale is a swimming area this was an immediate attraction for our daughter who had to skinny dip in the pool. It was quite cold today but allegedly it gets warmer this did not deter our youngster.

We walked back upto the village hall for a cup of tea and ice cream. They are currently fund raising as part of their Youlgrave-Bangbutt link. This village link has existed for over fifteen years. They are currently fund raising to build a new school in this village in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

Useful Links
Information about Youlgrave
Photographs of Youlgrave
Youlgrave-Bangbutt Village Link

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A saturday afternoon in Bakewell

This saturday brought us to Bakewell and to the monthly farmers market where you could purchase some great products of the peak district from buffalo sausages, pies, locally produced honey and cheeses and even have a hot ostrich burger.

Information about farmers markets in the peak district is available at the follwoing web site.
Peak District online

We continued along the river and went to the playground, where a pleasant hour was spent with the little one climbing over the larger climbing apparatus and being very pleased with herself for managing the monkey bars.
We strolled back down to the town taking in an icecream on the way and watched the dancing in the street, it is the international year of dance and there were many demonstrations of different dances taking place. She then decided she wanted to get dressed up in a dance dress, have her face painted and have a hat with flowers and do some dancing.

A fun afternoon was had by one and all.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A mini evening adventure to Baslow edge

We had a plan to go along the top of baslow edge along to the
eagle stone but our daughter had other plans and led us on an entirely different route. We were heading down the path towards baslow village, we then decided to cut across towards the edge following the sheep's clues that they had left in the form of sheeps wool,following their trail led us directly upwards towards the edge and a quick scramble up the rocks to the top.

A short stop to admire the fantastic evening view followed by a stroll back to the car.

Great evening!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Climbing at Stanage Popular End

Climbed with Gordon this evening he appeared to be in a jolly mood the reason for this was simple, it was his birthday.

We climbed three routes, as follows.
Wild West Wind
Garden Wall

Hargreaves Original Route

Wild west wind was OK for a first route and goes up just to the right of Birch tree wall. Garden wall was enjoyable we attempted the direct route over the boulder choke, good fun.

By now the sun was setting it was Gordons lead we decided on hargreaves Original an excellent choice and we both agreed at what an excellent route this was making a fairly sustained series of quite delicate steps up the slab. Whilst belaying Gordon I was asked if we would require breakfast. I requested a couple of pints, it worked out fine we made it to the pub, the Scotsmans pack in Hathersage.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family Holiday in the Lake District

We rented an appartment in a Victorian cottage called Sawrey Knotts at Far Sawrey not far from Hawkshead and the Windermere ferry. It's a peaceful location a great place for children to explore. I was pleased to find some good running routes with a fairly hilly circuit.

One of our first visits was to the South Lakes wild life park below are some pictures of bats.

It is important to mind the crocodiles and it is advisable to take protection if you can't hire crocodile Dundee you'll be fine with a toddler as the picture below illustrates.One of the walking days involved a visit to Coniston. Starting from the Walna scar road car park I walked out to Dow Crag. I scrambled up Easy Terrace on Dow crag although this is a very enjoyable scramble. The less confident walker would do well to heed the davise of Wainwright, "A walker would only attempt this route if chased by a bull". The first part of the route is good scrambling up a well defined groove at the top one arrives at the terrace which goes across B buttress. At this point there is some potential for confusion and it is advisable to take care with route finding a this point. One should proceed if going along a path that continues up at the same angle as the initial rake, after a few steps it is possible to locate a well defined scrambling path that leads straight up the crag in a rather exposed crag. The picture below shows Dow Crag. Although the scramble is of a reasonable length I missed the scrambling so I walked to Goats Hause and then onto Goats Water. From here I ascended an easy scramble up the South ridge of the Old Man of Coniston. Below is a view of Dow crag from the south ridge scramble on the Old Man of Coniston.
The walk was completed by walking along to Swirl Howe and along the Prison band before walking up to the top of Wetherlam. A rough guide to this walk is described at The Wainwright Society website

On the final day of our holiday we visited trotters world animal park near Bassenthwaite, this choice of venue met with the approval our daughter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Higgar Tor

There are some great routes at this impressive feature of the Peak District the striking feature is the leaning block. It's also a great area for weaseling. Amongst the bolders there are many deep clefts and miniature ravines which the "weaseler" can explore.

We attempted four routes as follows
Lokis way (S4a) , this was avery satisying route although the top move was somewhat unprotected and required confidence, there is an easier escape to the left.

Zeus crack (S4a) , this is a rather wide crack requiring jaming of an assortment of body parts, usually ones own, I guess a team effort might make for an interesting attempt! We backed off this route and attempted

Canyon climb (HVD) this was much easier than the previous adjacent route on the other side of the arete. We both climbed this "outside the wide crack" but were aided by a fairly gentle jamming crack.

Our final route of the evening was
Wotans crack (S4a) This route requires the climber to follow a series of cracks up a slab. One should be careful not to place any rocks or walnuts in such a way that they use up a fairly useful
finger jamming crack. The key is to work your feet up by jamming your toes in a lower part of the crack.

We're both keen to return to this crag and we both have a keen eye on
the File (VS 4c) so we're keen to brush up techniques and strength for this classic route on the leaning block. It's probably fair to say that it is well deserving of its grade.

Panoramic view of Higgar Tor [slow but worth the wait!]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunny day in Dovedale

Today saw us all parking at Milldale after a beautiful drive through the white peak taking a detour to Hartington via Pilsbury through a lovely gated road. Parking in the carpark we made our way down to the bridge and to the start of dovedale. We quickly stopped in a sunny spot by the dale water and had a lovely picnic lunch with our little one using Daddy as a convenient seat. We then continued our walk along the trail in the blazing heat. This truly is a beautiful dale with many walks leading off it or you can just walk up to the dove stepping stones and come back again. The little one enjoyed climbing the stiles and found some convenient rocks to explore and climb, very proud that she could do it herself. We then headed back to the car and the air conditioning as it was extremely hot despite sunhats, suntan cream and plenty of water. A perfect day in the peak district

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Exploration at Curbar Edge

After spending the morning decorating a room in our house we decide that it is too nice to work indoors. We went to Curbar gap. Not far along Curbar edge, amongst the debris from old quarrying activities and the odd discarded millstone we found a convenient place to sit and play. This spot looks excellent for a picnic.

Our 2 year old has fun exploring amongst the smaller boulders and we are both amazed at her delicate footwork and the care with which she moves around the rocks. She is not being the over exuberent toddler with grazed knees! She runs most of the way back to the Curbar gap car park and we have an ice cream.

Another good feature of this spot is that I can play too! I brought my rock boots and attempted a few of the good climbing problems that are nearby. My 2 year old spotter is frequently reminding me to be careful!

The following website gives some good information about walks over the Peak District gritstone edges.

Walks over the Eastern Edges.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Climbing at Birchens

The good weather continues and after work this evening I headed for the first time this season to the delights of Birchen Edge. I did nine routes including Trafalgar Wall. The routes on Stokers wall are well worthwhile.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Climbing Meet at Curbar Edge

After a good weekend in the Lake District the continuing good weather made climbing this evening a must. This was the first
CMC evening climbing meet with good weather.

With a good turn out we climbed Polaris, Flying Buttress Right and Owl arete at
Curbar Edge. We finished with some bouldering on the trackside boulder.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Castle Mountaineering Club at Consiton

This weekend was the Castle Mountaineering club trip to Coniston Water in the lake district.
Arriving on the friday night at Coniston Hall campsite
we were encouraged by clear starry skies. A number of us headed out from Consiton along the Walna Scar road and visited Dow Crag on saturday.

Gordon and Craigs route
was good fun. The second pitch was a fairly vague grassy groove slanting to the left
and one must be careful to maintain this line. It's probably the only part of the route that doesn't have signs of wear enabling easier route finding. The route is good fun with an exciting traverse and culminating in a couple of fairly awkward and exposed moves, these ar about 4a in technical difficulty. The route was quite sociable we met a young family climbing as a group of three and offerin wine gums. Our friends had fun with the scramble on easy terrace and a climb up murrays route.

The second day was overcast and with the likelihood of rain we opted for a walk. Once again starting from the Walna Scar road and heading up through the mine workings to Low Water and then on to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston.

We continued towards the col above Goats Water and headed over the summit of Dow crag
before returning to the Walna Scar road and a cup of tea in Coniston. The rain really hammered it down in the afternoon and early evening.

We awoke on the Monday morning to bright blue skies, excellent...
We packed our camping equipment away. We had the intention of climbing at Raven Crag in Langdale but on days such as these it is always wise to arrive early. We were late and feeling somewhat dejected headed back towards Chapel Stile our luck changed as we perused the Langdale climbing guide. We were encouraged once again when we found that there was another Raven Crag at Walthwaite near Chapel Stile. We tried two single pitch routes Enterprize arete and Hardup Wall. Both routes were well worth doing.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stone Circles and Cork Stones at Stanton Moor

It is a over a year since we last visited Stanton Moor on that occasion the quarry protestors were in residence in their ecovillage. This protest action having evaded eviction met with some success and its thanks to this group that we are able to visit this picuresque and intersting area of the Peak District.

We drove through the village of Birchover and parked at the roadside not far from a feature know as the Andle Stone. In the summer this is an excellent place for an evening stroll amongst the colourful purple heathers. Today it is bleak and blustery .

Our first stop on our short walk across the moor as the cork stone on this particular day with the wind whipping around it is not difficult to imagine how this stone acheived its curious shape. The corkstone is shown in the picture on the left, steps in the rock can be seen iron handles have been added to ease an ascent of the stone.

Passing the triangulation pillar on the moor we head north to the nine ladies stone circle or Stanton Moor 2. There are 4 stone circles on Stanton Moorand nine ladies is known as Stanton Moor 2. Near by is a single standing stone known as the King Stone.

Stanton Moor is excellent place to come for a short walk in the summer (or incorporated into a longer walk) As well as exploring and investigating its megalithic features, near to Birchover is the Robin Hoods stride providing an excellent place for bouldering or even weasling. Near to the druid in is the druids cave which is fun to explore. The druid inn is recommended for its good food.

The following links provide good information about Stanton Moor. The wikipedia
links also contain information about the quarrying protests at Stanton Moor.

The following link has useful plan of the site showing the location of the different circles.

The following web site provides details of a walk on Stanton Moor.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Family Holiday to The Isle of Skye

We have just returned from a week long holiday to The Isle of Skye. We stayed at Waterfall View at Milovaig on the North West Coast of Skye near the Waternish area and Dunvegan.
The cottage is described at the following web site.
At this time of year it is not surprising to get a fall of snow particularly when the weather is dominated by air that is moving in from the arctic. This was not a problem as the cottage was particularly comfortable.

Our first day out took us to Trotternish, the picture on the left shows rough weather at the
famous Kilt Rock cliffs. We had lunch at the Flodigarry Country House Hotel and sheltered from the flurries of snow with a most welcome fire and amazing views from the hotel bar.

After a couple of days and in more settled weather we walked up Macleod's Table North that is near to the cottage. We started from Osdale, this is not far from Dun Osdale.

The nearby toy museum at Glendale is well worth a visit providing an opportunity for youngsters to play and the young at heart to enjoy the added benefit of being able to reminisce.

Not far from the cottage is the Neist Point light house with excellent views and interesting rock formations. A run from the cottage is rather like a roller coaster.
The crags at Neist point also offer a number of climbs which are described at

We all visited Elgol on the southern part of the isle and we went on a boat trip to Loch Coruisk in the Cuillin mountains. This is an excellent way to view a variety of wild life including Golden Eagles, Sea Eagles, Seals (see photo left), Basking Sharks, porpoises, Minkie Whales and even Orca.

The boat we used in an excellent way into the Cuillin for general exploration and such things as the Dubh Traverse. This has even been used to rescue people from the infamous bad step on the coastal path from Elgol and Camasunary.

The picture below shows the south ridge of Bla Bheinn, in summer this provides a fairly straightforward walk this was the route I selected for a walk whilst Amanda and Keisha visited the Skye Serpentarium at Broadford . There was a lot of snow on the rdige and this slowed progress up the mountain. On this particulalr day a reached the south top which is 4m lower than the North top. Due to the conditions I made the decision to return down the mountain along the south ridge and not attempt my goal which was the north top. As it was Amanda and Keisha had been patiently waiting for me for just over an hour it would have been rude to keep them waiting any long. Climbing to the North top would have added at least an hour. The mountain will be there another day and I am fascinated by the Bla Bheinn Clach Glas traverse.

Below is a view down the south ridge of Bla Bheinn showing the bay at Camasunary below.

Below is a view up the south ridge to tops of Bla Bheinn

On our final day we visitedWaterstein and we can recommend a visit of the workshops of skye skins

This was an excellent holiday with good friends and their family and enjoyed by all.
The pictures above show us standing on the jetty at Waterstein, the larger macleods table is shown on the right and here posing as a volcano! There is a lot to do and this may even include dining at a 5 star restaurant such as the Three Chimneys at nearby Colbost.

Further photgraphs from our visit are at

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday Easter Egg Hunt - Longshaw Estate

Today saw the sun up and beautiful blue skies, perfect for an easter egg hunt at Longshaw. On arrival at Longshaw Estate Car Park, we had a chance encounter with some friends, perfect Keisha had a little friend to share her easter egg hunt with. We made our way to the Cafe where they were handing out the maps and trail sheet all for the princely sum of £2.00 to include a chocolate egg on return. On the way to the cafe, Mike played the easter bunny strategically placing minature eggs behind rocks and Keisha collected them in a

Chelmorton, Taddington and the River Wye

The past two days of weather have been really good with bright sunshine and clear blue skys, the sort of day that gives extra bounce to your footsteps. Having booked Maundy Thursday off work I'm looking forward to a day out walking. The weather was rather cloudy and rain was forecast.

I've decided to do a walk through Cheedale and to look at some of the villages along the way.
The walk started at Chelmorton the village has a small pub called the Church Inn which looks like a good place to stop for lunch. I walk east across the fields for 1.5 miles to Taddington. Nearby a place named five wells has a megalithic chambered cairn

Heading south from Taddington and going down steeply past Millers dale quarry, which
currently has reduced access due to nesting birds. I finally end up at Millers day railway station. Crossing over one of the many Peak district viaducts the river Wye is far below.

Heading west on the Monsal trail and going past the lime kilns a party of children are heading excitedly towards the Millers Dale viaduct for abseiling. In past years people, with ropes attached would jump of this viaduct. Abseiling from here is now a strictly licensed activity.

At this point I walk down to the river and my excitement increases as I know I'm getting closer to Cheedale. The weather is quite dank and the limestone particularly slippery. But this actually adds to the atmosphere with a light mist and drapery from the trees. It has the feeling of some lost wilderness (this area is a special site of scientific interest).

After some fairly rough walking chee tor and the crags finally enclose you within the dale. This enclosure is so extreme that the crags hangover you. The footpath is forced into the river and the path proceeds along a number of steeping stones.

The way continues along the Monsal trail after a couple of meanders and passing under another three viaducts. The path turns south to go along the Pennine bridelway. Near here there is also a handy access point and car park just off the A6.

The Pennine bridleway continues to the village of Blackwell and then heads south to Chelmorton.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This is the blog used by Mike, Amanda and Keisha Griffiths to record their family outings. We are a family from Chesterfield, Derbyshire. We like to spend much of our time in the Peak District.