So at the end of last week I was recovering from not just the cracked ribs but also a stomach bug, the plan for the weekend was to rest and get the adventure bike finished… Until Friday evening when I get a message asking if I was in the Peak District and fancied a morning scramble on Saturday.
I am not a huge fan of the city I live in, Birmingham, but it has fantastic transport route, most places I enjoy are within three hours of me, so I packed the scrambling gear and set off at a leisurely 08:00hrs to Castleton to meet up with Jennifer and Aramis, who would meet me at the lovely Peak Hotel (great pub if you are in the area!) when I arrived slightly late after a detour to Outside, I struggle to go to this area of the Peaks without stopping in! So the plan for the day was to ascend both Elbow Ridge (Diff grade climb) followed by Matterhorn Ridge (Mod grade climb) followed , although technically climbs both of these are normally soloed so that’s what we did.
Elbow Ridge is the first ridge on the right as you go into Winnats Pass from Castleton, the ridge is extremely narrow and quite exposed, but the crux quite early on in the and easy enough to negotiate, we didn’t feel the need for ropes. Jennifer had a “funny” moment to start with but was soon back in the swing of things and we were quickly onto the 40cm wide ridge, all taking different approach’s to tackle the precarious ridge, Aramis using all fours like a monkey, Jennifer straddling it, and me doing anything possible to maintain some semblance of balance on the rocks. Then, after one brief climb you are up to top. Aramis down climbed while Jennifer and I walked the easy way down discovering a small steel door that led into the hillside, I wonder where that goes??
“Hole in the wall”
Next up, Matterhorn Ridge. now that is a fun little route! Easier than Elbow with a small kick it its tail, this is more of a classic scramble in my opinion and great fun! Scrambling done we dumped the (unused) equipment and went for a meander up Mama Tor, a pleasant wander but nothing to write home about apart from the view from the top with a few paragliders hanging over a half frosty, half thawed hills. After a sloppy sliddy decent, it was off to the pub for dinner where it was decided that I would join them for a spot of climbing at the chilly Harborough Rocks.
“A hill for two seasons” view from Mam Tor
So driving over from Brum on Sunday I met the others and we set hand on stone and froze as the mist cleared, the next four hours consisted on trying to warm up, then freezing on the rock all while insuring the horrific noise of the “slightly” imposing factory. Its been a while since I have climbed outdoors and more so leading a trade route, about 8 months when I took a table and damaged an ankle, so getting back to it, even only VDiff was satisfying.
So 6pm Friday, nothing planned…. and then all that, not too shoddy 🙂 What did you do?