Meet report by Chuck

The Indian summer that gave us such sparkling weather in Yorkshire gave way to a very English autumn at the Roaches. Nevertheless the promise of at least one day’s climbing and the lure of a bunkhouse proved attractive and thumping number of MMC members turned up for the weekend.

Friday night and it was freezing, Alistair had arrived at the bunkhouse late, but was pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by a roaring fire and a glass of wine. Conversation flowed as did the wine. Fairly soon it was time for some shut eye, with a big weekend ahead.

Unfortunately Saturday turned out to rather wet.
A keen group led by juan with his boulder mat walked up to the Roaches in the rain to inspect the routes and boulders. After getting thoroughly soaked they decided to escape to the shelter of the Kilnworx climbing wall in Stoke-on-Trent where climbing was distinctly warmer and drier.

Cath had other ideas. She rounded up Sarah & Philip who had also brought wet weather gear and set off on a walk. They had decided to follow the Three Shire Heads to the Roaches circuit which started out quite wet but cleared up at the end rewarding them with lovely views from the Roaches over the Peak district.

Meanwhile Chuck had decided to set off from London mid morning stopping off near Milton Keynes to check out some mountain biking that he had found on a walk a couple of weeks prior. Resulting in a good little sortie, finding several single track trails. He managed to fall off just the once. Chuck seemed to have forest to himself. So when the heavens opened he cut short the exciting track with dropoffs and headed back to car and off to the Peaks to meet the others at the pub.

Nick, Cia, Gosia, Sara and Susana did the touristy thing of visiting the Speedwell Caverns near Castleton which was surprisingly engaging. They then had a restorative pint in the pub while watching the last half of the All Blacks beating the Springboks.

Late afternoon, blue skies lured Juan, Alex, James and Elaine back to the cliffs in an attempt to do some actual rock climbing. But no sooner had they run the ropes out the sun disappeared and with it all daylight! Fortunately they had brought head torches. Juan, James and Alex climbed Valkyrie corner by headlamp before swiftly returning to the pub.

The day was rounded off at the local watering hole for beers and pub nosh, followed by wine and snacks at the bunkhouse in front of the fire.

Sunday dawned and the weather looked promising albeit a bit chilly.
Juan, couldn’t contain himself and just had to set off up the hill before everyone else.
He was found later trying a bouldering problem on the first bit of rock he came across.

By this stage the sun was out and the sky was blue.

Alex managed to entice Juan away and they set off to climb The Sloth HVS one of the roaches classics. Feeling buoyed, Alex battled his way up the devilish Saul’s Crack also HVS. Also keen on a challenge, Juan spotted an unlikely looking E2 : Ruby Tuesday. He found just enough gear to protect the crux moves. They finished the day with the short but sweet Hard Severe – Left hand Route.

Elaine and James did a grand total of one route very slowly on the Sunday. But they had fun so that’s all that matters.

Anna lead her first trad route, thanks to Bea and Sara for their patient tuition.
And then proceeded to despatch boulder problem after boulder problem, the others had not seen a smile that wide since the remake of Alice and wonderland.

Steve and Cath enjoyed several routes, but neither can remember which ones they were.

Chuck, John and Guilia climbed the delightful Maud’s garden and then headed off to do Valkerie. After much discussion after the first pitch it was decided that second pitch could wait another day. After all the first pitch was so good it would be great to have the chance to climb it again. They then headed off to find a hard severe “Left Hand Route” which as enjoyed by all.

John then headed off for a spot of mountain biking in the Roaches hinterland.


And so the vast fleet of MMC cars (we seemed to have almost more cars than members on this meet) played the heads or tails game of M1 vs M40 (M1 won) and the last proper climbing meet of the year drew to a close.

Thanks to everyone for turning up and making it a great weekend.