The CMC is a long established club, founded in 1966, a club history can be read elsewhere on this website. A group of climbing and walking friends were given the opportunity to lease and develop an unused barn in a remote part of Wales. The club thrived but has deliberately remained relatively small, with no desire to change the original ethos of a group of friends meeting to have a great time in the hills. Lifelong friendships have been made and continue to be made.
We are a small club, with small club benefits - that most people know most people and that anyone will help anyone. Basically very friendly.
Like all organisations changes have been made over the decades, both in the management of the club and the development of the hut, which remains very a comfortable base and is highly rated by our many repeat guests. The committee is made up much like other committees and its job is to promote meets, manage the hut, manage the website and attend to the needs of the membership. Like the membership, the committee is made up of all ages so that the die-hard traddies are balanced by the sports climbers and boulderers. It works quite well, but it is fair to say we are not over organised!
We are too small a club to host big trips to esoteric places, so if you want to go to Baffin Island twice a year you had better look for a larger club, but having said that we do get about quite a lot. It is obvious from the hits on the members' forum that anything involving sea cliffs or foreign ice is very popular, but we also spend much time in the Peak District, Wales and Scotland. We don't use our own hut enough, nor do we go to the Lakes enough, but there is always room for improvement!
From walking to ice climbing the club has people who are prepared to share their knowledge with you, from how to read a map to how to place a ice screw.
Our members range from founder members through to recent recruits covering all ages and skills. We have rock climbers, alpinists, indoor wall climbers, hill walkers, bolt clippers, boulders and some who just like to lift a beer and remember their past achievements. Our membership also includes recent novices. Members also wild camp, ride bikes, ski, paddle kayaks, find old aircraft wrecks, spot birds, fly kites, take photographs and whatever else provides a good day in the mountains, so yes we are inclusive but first we are a mountaineering club.
Times have changed and people often approach climbing today not from the mountains (walking then scrambling) but from indoor walls. We spend a fair time inside ourselves, since wall climbing has many benefits, so we are aware of the issues involved for those who want to transfer outside and we guide their first steps safely. Traditionally the safest way to get into climbing was with an established club, and this is still the case. There is now a plethora of qualified instructors on the market selling technical knowledge, movement skills and mountain safety training and while this is one way to start, it is no substitute for an apprenticeship. They cannot sell experience or spiritual fulfilment. A few hard route ticks and a rack of fancy gear does not make a mountaineer, but hard won experience, the ability to improvise and a mountain sense will. You cannot buy that on a weekend course. Of course, you may just want to do a few hard routes for your pub stories, and have a rack of fancy gear to impress your mates;fair enough, but if that is the case, we are not for you.
For me CMC has provided a sense of history that only enhances my experiences on rock.
Our values, why should you want to know about them? Because, on those occasions when you are pushing the boat out a bit, you need to know that the person at the other end is rooting for you and can sort you out should anything go wrong. Its about competence and trust. So you better know what their values are, unless you are happy to rely on chance. Cragging at Stanage popular is one thing, a remote multi-pitch in worsening weather may be quite another.
If you have got this far then thank you for your attention. If you have got this far and are nodding your head now and then, you might like to get in touch, if only to say 'bravo'. Members normally look for us and they are made very welcome when they do.
Mountaineering comes in many guises, is Stanage a mountain? or the Matterhorn? or the Tissington Trail? I don’t know but as long as people are getting out and enjoying themselves I think we’ve got it right.