On Friday 15 April, twelve members of the club descended on the Lake District for a weekend of mountain fun, and a couple of social drinks. Leading up to the Friday, the biggest worry was the weather which had been pretty awful with lots of rain and wind, but by the Thursday, the MWIS was giving a pretty decent forecast, and they happened to be spot on – or at least spot on for the mountain time. I don’t think anyone predicted the mental snow storms that hit the area on Saturday evening, but no one cared because all we had to do was make it to the pub!! The accommodation was Gillside Bunkhouse, which turned out to be a great find, although getting told to hit the fuse box with a wooden stick was a we bit disconcerting – but hey, it worked.
Saturday saw the group split into two teams with Jim Jack taken a team and going for Helvellyn and the famous Striding Edge, a Grade I scramble and John taken the other team and heading for Cam Crag Ridge, a Grade II/III scramble. The Cam Crag team piled into Dave’s work van for the drive to the start point whilst the Helvellyn team started out from the front door of the accommodation – no fool that Jim Jack. It was during the drive round to the start that the Cam Crag team found out that Calum can recite the Gruffalo word for word –with appropriate changes in voice and actions (by the way he can also recite Room on the Broom). Both teams had excellent days out enjoying some scrambling with Mary getting some great experience of roped movement over rough terrain and the whole team getting over some Grade III scrambling moves. The Helvellyn team abandoned the decent down Swirral Edge because of a snow slope which looked unstable – a good team call, even if it did mean a longer route to get home, but they enjoyed some great scrambling on a pretty quiet Striding Edge. So both teams where feeling good after good days out on the hill and for a fair few folk this was their first encounter with the Lake District fells. Everyone agreed that they are beautiful, but totally different to Scottish mountains. Oh and by the way, we never did see the Gruffalo.
Sunday saw the hill tops with a dusting of snow. Calum, Heather and Dave headed off to have a crack at Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route and they had a great day for it. Jim L decided to head out solo for a crack at Striding Edge onto Helvellyn. The rest of the group, once again, split into two groups, although both had similar objectives in mind which was to get to Red Tarn and then make some decisions. Once again the weather was good with the sun out, although it was pretty much Baltic in the wind. Jim J had led one group of and Caroline, our newest member, led the other group. All teams had another top day on the hill, with the Scafell Team summiting the highest peak in England, with some tremendous views in all directions. The original objective for Sunday was Pinnacle Ridge but it looked very brooding, cold and icy, so a decent decision to leave it for another day. On the route out, John introduced Beth to the gentle art of tabbing – or moving fast over rough terrain – a great Army tradition!!
So, another great club weekend with lots of adventure and great socialising. We also learnt that Calum knows the Gruffalo and we learnt something about Heather……..but what happened in the Lake District stays in the Lake District 😉