Sunday, October 18, 2015

Exploring Bonsall: Volcanoes, Caves and Witches.

We arrived in the village of Bonsall at the rather ornate fountain at the Via Gellia end of the village. We were ready for a search for Geocaches, Caves and a search for evidence of volcanoes.

At the village rockery on Yeoman street we searched for the microcache  named Rock Out in Bonsall (code: GC2BGQT). We spent a while looking around and eventually turned over a small stone at the base of the wall, revealing the cache.

We headed out of the village up the steps towards the church. K and L were immediately drawn to the outcrop of limestone, looking for shells and wondering about the origin of the rock.

We had to move quickly through the Churchyard with some ornate memorials. This did n't arouse interest in K and L they were keen to head up past the well, up Ember lane in search of volcanic rock!

Heading up ember lane  there was a certain amount of impatience, the name of the lane seems appropriate as quite high up the road there are dark chunks of rock (some of which can be found in the drystone wall). These chunks are hard ember like chunks spewn from volcanic activity 3.5 million years ago.

Carrying on through the woods at the top of the heights of Abraham we sang songs and found more chunks of volcanic rock.

The view over to High Tor and Riber Castle on our cloudy day.
We worked hard to convince ourselves that our chunk of rock was volcanic. Near the exit to the Masson Mine in the heights of Abraham there are some large chunks of limestone. The nature of the bubbly pockets in this boulder were very different from those rough bubbles  in the volcanic chunk.  The pockets in the limestone boulder were also larger and had the appearance of pockets which had dissolved out of the rock.

One of Louis discoveries, an old boiler.

A quick lunch stop!
We explored Jug Holes wood for the mine workings.

After the excitement of our quick look in the mine we had a spot of lunch. Following the main path back to the village we set off in search for our final hunt.


Situated above the village of Bonsall, the geocache called Bonsall View (codenamed: GC4ECDY) was a small tub encrusted in snails! It was not too difficult to find.

Keisha and Louis enjoyed street dancing when we returned back to the village, they were making up rapping tunes. We heard that somewhere in the village were the witches cottages, we had a good look through the streets, but nothing was found perhaps this was a relief after our adventure.


Information about our walk around Bonsall, there is an excellent route description here

Links on Peak district geology

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunny Stanage Sunday Climb

A posting at the CMC club indicated that there would be weekend celebrations for 30 years of lots of climbing and mountain sports. More importantly it was reported that bubbly would be flowing! We headed off to the Stanage popular end on a sunny sunday of climbing and to join the festivities.

Keisha practiced belaying as I padded up Grotto Slab (Keisha was assisted by Amanda). I took the rope to set up a belay to bring up Keisha and Louis.

Me, at the top of the slab and about to climb the wall at the end of the climb.

Louis was brilliant on Grotto slab, he came up second and gave the route a really good go. The final wall section was quite tricky.

Keisha thoroughly enjoyed her turn on Grotto slab, she practiced her stretching for a route she would climb a little later.
After wander to the Black Hawk area we met the Castle Mountaineering Club. Keisha and Louis were pleased to meet their best friend Scout (pictured above). Paul who was celebrating is smiling in the picture below.

We enjoyed some more routes Keisha did the Bishops stride with Paul and Vanda, it was just as well Keisha had stretched earlier as the stride is a good length, Keisha managed fine. I had a top rope on Black Hawk hell crack, a thoroughly enjoyable route.

We joined Paul in a toast of many happy years climbing, thanks for the bubbly!

I managed to lead a route near the leaning block, I'd hope to take Keisha up flying buttress, however it was rather busy. Leaning buttress was great fun. It was a good club turn out we met up with Charles who came out to join the festivities.