September 20-21 2008

The weather gods blessed us with a lovely rain free weekend, and everyone took the opportunity to stretch out and take in some rays. After all, this might be our summer!

Saturday 20th
The climbers: Dave D, Cefyn, Debra and Alan at Birchen
Routes: Cave Gully, Tar's Arête, Tar's Crack, Tar's Wall, Pigtail, Cannonball Wall, Sail Chimney, Monument Chimney- and a few others.
Debra apparently did lots of falling, and was rescued off Monument Chimney!

Peri and Dave E drove down from York on Saturday afternoon. Since they were passing Stanage as the sun set, after a swift change in the carpark they legged it up to the crag, romped up Crack and Corner, and were back down in about 20 minutes.

The walker: Karen
decided to start from Upper Burbage Bridge, which Andrew and I had noticed on our journey down. It was only going to be a 'pootle' down to the Longshaw Estate, a wander round the grounds, an ice-cream and then back to the car. However, the boundary of the White Edge estate looked enticing in the sunshine so I walked along it until it met Froggatt Edge. Having completed Froggatt Edge, I thought I would cut through Hay Wood as I had the Estate map with the footpaths marked. They were not well trodden paths and after half an hour I thought I should have worn the beacon on my head that Andrew had suggested for when I got lost! Eventually after scrambling through brambles I found my way out and returned to the car via Padley Gorge (very pretty), Burbage Bridge and Burbage Banks.

The mountain bikers. "Hope Clover route"- 33km- total ascent 1,365m. Annie, Donal, Pete E, Andrew
Many years ago Annie finished the famous Haggs Farm descent near Hope and moaned that the descent was so rocky she really, really must get a bike with suspension. After taking drink one day, she impulsively bought a lovely little full suspension bike -in red, natch. So, it was a tad surprising to see that Annie had turned up with the same old rigid bike for this particular meet. To complete the retro affect, her pet bike mechanic had fitted "economy" brake blocks- ie they didn't work.

The route started from Hope climbed to Hope Cross, dropped down to the A57 and up to Cockerbrook Farm and down to Gores Farm by Derwent Reservoir where Peter had a Pie Stop. Then on to the refuelling stop at Fairholme, where Donal tried to get Annie's brakes working. Then those technical bits round Haggs Farm that caused Annie so much grief years ago; they hadn't got any better! Pete had a big off in front of an audience but nobody had a camera ready. The claimed 1,365 m ascent began to take its toll going up the track beyond Edge Farm, before rattling down the track to the cars at Hope. Annie admitted that she was totally pooped, and so she should be on such a bike!

Saturday Communal meal: Starter- Cefyn. Main - Andrew, Afters - Karen
Under the influence of the cheap wine in Andrew's coq au vin, Peri reveals that her name means "goblin-tired-cheese" in English…and that 'her' cheese doesn't travel well.

Sunday 21st
Peri as a youngster with some funny looking cheesesAs Sunday dawned and the hut dwellers leapt into action, it was clear that something just wasn't quite right. Things were unusually quiet. Was the glorious weather just too much of a shock to the system? Or were people still suffering the excesses of the night before? Then we realised....Peri still hadn't surfaced. Apparently suffering from some form of Danish bug, Peri was confined to her sleeping bag for the whole day, claiming that even attempting to talk was making her feel sick.

Having made sure that Peri wasn't going to die immediately, we all abandoned her and headed off into the sun

Andrew, Karen, Annie and Peter went for a short walk along Stanage Edge in the glorious sunshine. They were disappointed that the driver of a Landrover Discovery managed to get his vehicle up the rock bands on the Causeway at Stanage. They'd hoped that he would roll it so they could pounce on it like vultures and nick the expensive bits to sell on eBay

Alan K went for a from the western end of Stanage edge along Derwent Edge - "Great views in perfect sunny weather."

And Debra, Cef, and the Daves headed for Froggat Edge, arriving just ahead of the crowds to settle in for the day at the Downhill Racer area. Cef and Debra did Trapeze, but were quickly outdone by Daves E and D eventually succeeding on Trapeze Direct (although not without a lot of swearing from Dave D!). After quite a lot of sitting around in the sun (during which time the Daves probably polished off a few more routes) Debra was persuaded to lead Nursery Slab (stick within your comfort zone.....).

More sitting around in the sun followed (making up for the rest of the lost summer), with the Daves eventually wandering off to Chequers Climb. Dave E led this several times (was this (a) for fun or (b) necessary to sort out the spaghetti of ropes he created on the first, second and third attempts?). In his words:

This is a climb that calls for a sure touch with the double ropes, as you start a long way over on one side of the arete and finish on the other. I don't possess that sure touch. There was considerable fiddling while I clipped and unclipped, stepped over and under ropes trying to extract myself . The final moves are good, and rather brutal, as you haul up over a bulge laybacking on handjams.

Cef (with a lot of "so, are you going to do anything but sit in the sun today" whingeing) eventually managed to force Debra into following him up Gamma, whereupon she got her foot stuck, swore a lot, fiddled about for a while to get it free, then swore all the rest of the way to the top. That was it, only sitting in the sun from then on.....

They finally headed back the hut to finish clearing up and check that Peri had survived - she had.