by Jon Smith
The Peak District has some breath-taking countryside as well as some of the best climbing in Europe. Among its legendary climbing venues are Stanage Edge, near Sheffield and the Roaches, in Staffordshire.
A respectably-sized group of IMC members visited this amazing climbing Mecca during the May Bank Holiday weekend. The weather conditions were perfect to experience its extraordinary gritstone (and some limestone).
The club based itself at the southern end of the Peak District in the village of Two Dales just north of Matlock. It was a perfect place to introduce the club to Peak District quality grit stone climbing
So What constitutes a good, nay the best, meet ever?
Sunshine, good company, quality cooking, excellent affordable accommodation, proper beer, pub less than 50 meters from the house, best rock type in the world, quality three-star routes from legends like Joe Brown and some Period romantic fiction.
We had all of these at the IMC Peak District meet 2018…. But don’t take my word for it. This is how those who were there recalled the experience.
The peak district what an incredible trip it’s hard to pick a highlight as it was all so entertaining. The weather, company, food (well done to the chefs), the cute hut in the picturesque village of the two dales but above all else the spectacular climbing at Stanage. At a push the Sunday wins the prize as the climbing at inverted V/Black slab area was full of 3star climbs and the craic was mighty as everyone feasted on all it had to offer.
First climbing trip to the UK and I was amazed by the quality and quantity of climbing. Spent a day in Black Rocks and a day in Stanage and only managed to dip my toe. I could easily have spent a week in these locations and cannot wait to go back. Climbing on Gritstone was an interesting experience and it pushed my limits of technique and stamina.
Top memory would be the seeing the start of Stanage, but not being able to see the end. I could not believe how much climbing is on this mile-long crag. But I must admit that on our way to Stanage, passing Chatsworth House, nobody in the car could hold their excitement of seeing Mr. Darcy’s (from Pride and Prejudice) house.
As always travelling with IMC is great fun. Cooking together and having the last meal of the day together and then chatting and recalling experiences was a nice end to each day.
Fantastic week-end, made all the better by the incredible weather and superb company. I’d forgotten just how hard grit is when you are not used to it; thank God for the two Fionas Sunday. Also, thanks to Con for leading that impossibly difficult HS 4b on Black rocks, for which I needed serious aid to get up, and Jon didn’t find trivial. Next Easter is already in the diary.
p.s. You might want to mention that the cottage was near and drive to Stanage Edge passed through the Chatsworth estate, which was the model for Pemberly, Mr Darcy’s estate in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice.
The Peak District was such a great weekend! I thought it was brilliant to be climbing with different people and be often together in the same area, in such a picaresque landscape and summery weather. The crags were impressive – particularly Stanage – and at the same time the approach was very convenient – perfect combination! Different style of climbing to what I’m used to, interesting stuff. Few of us also went for a nice cycle along the High Peak Trail on the last day, because I thought it was worth to explore the area a bit more and it was really worth it. Final revelation: I discovered the chef in me! Lol
The Two Fionas
The Fiona’s highlight of the holiday was one particular après-climb clinic. During this we learnt that one could go up grade with the purchase of new shoes. The first available pairs were bought. we are back at VDiff.