This months’ meet took us over the border to the Lake District where Fylde Mountaineering Club’s hut was to accommodate The 45 over the weekend. At full capacity the hut was a tad cramped but the ample kitchen and toilet facilities ensured an enjoyable stay. A rota system to the nearby Three Shires Inn also allowed a bit more breathing space.
Jason Bostock, Gerry Weir, Ian Pollock, Ian Millar, Alan Orr, Jim Aire, J. D. Fraser, Raymond Evenden, George Henderson, Susan Henderson, Neil Morrison, Rowena Hepple, Paul McGrandles, Mike Lever
Guests Chris, Mandy, Marie and Donna
Several members drove down on Thursday. Neil and Ian M. had booked into Wasdale Hall Y.H. from where they set off on Friday to claim Scafell Pike and Scafell by Foxes Tarn route.
Raymond and James had booked into the White Horse Inn and Bunkhouse where they elected to dine in. As they were just about to pay the bill and leave for an early night George and Susan made an unexpected appearance. George was elated to hear that the Inn allowed campervans to stay overnight for free and got a round in, and that was it until after all other patrons had left and they were encouraged to leave by the barman sweeping around their table.
The next morning George and Susan took the route from the White Horse Inn up Sharp Edge to Blencathra then on to bag 4 Wainwrights.
Raymond and James headed off to Glenridding to climb Helvellyn. Parking is very limited around the Lakes and they were pleased to find a near vacant car park but something was amiss as Raymond accelerated out of the exit declaring that “They were not getting £8 ( £9 – Ed) a day from him!” then driving back a mile to find a suitable free spot to park, however the path back along Ullswater was very pleasant and Helvellyn was bagged via Striding edge retuning by Swirral edge.
Raymond would like to issue a warning about counterfeit Chinese backpacks at this point after coming across one on this hill. Don’t be tempted. Fakes!
Jason Bostock also made a Friday excursion into the Langdale Fells climbing Swirl How and Wetherlam.
Eventually everybody arrived back at the hut and after some tight parking manoeuvres settled in for the evening. James and Donna heading up for a meal in the Three Shires Inn, being joined shortly after by the two Ians Neil, Alan and Jim. Some entertainment was provided by Alan by showing off his amazing tumbler balancing skills. This group eventually struggled back down the pitch black lane to the hut, the way only illuminated by one torch which luckily Ian P had put in his pocket.
A night of introductions wine, song and magic ensued, subdued slightly because of an occupant in the holiday let next door.
The next morning saw James, Gerry and Ian P. getting dropped off at Stool End up The Band to Bow Fell, Esk Pike, Great End to Scafell Pike returning by Angle Tarn and Russet Gill. This trio hoped that someone had received their message sent from the summit to be picked up at The Old Dungeon Gyll. Sure enough Jim Aire who had dropped them off earlier proved to be their saviour again. After a welcoming ale they were transported back along the white knuckle ride to Little Langdale, Jim cursing every inch of the way as the close proximity of the walls on one side and shrubs on the other put light scratches on his car, not serious damage and practically none earlier when a camper “lent” against him. Yet in another collision a car rattled his wing mirror. It was agreed by all that there was probably more danger in the country lanes than in the hills, with Jim driving at least.
Paul, Raymond, Neil, Ian M, Jason, Rowena, George, Susan, Chris, Mandy, Mike and Marie all opted for Jake’s Rake, a scramble of note. after a little way Magic Marie, feeling a bit delicate from the previous night beat a retreat back to The New Dungeon Gyll. The rest continued to Pavey Arc where Raymond and Rowena cut off for Bow Fell then back to the Old Dungeon Gyll. The rest headed for Harrison Stickle where George and Susan wandered further to collect more Wainwrights . Ian Millar went his own way to Seargent Man, High Raise, Thunacar Knott, Pike of Stickle, Left Crag and Harrison Stickle. Chris and Mandy, I’m reliably informed, took a short detour to do a spot of caving, hopefully a pleasant experience and not too damp.
Jim Aire, Alan and Donna opted for a low-level tour of Lake District Market towns and shops. Donna bought the first round of three coffees and nice biscuits…. never in the club’s history… After wearing the feet off Donna, trailing her through every outdoor shop in the region, and only after our two bargain hunters managed to find matching T shirts and hats, did they let Donna return to her Gin and tonic.
All eventually filtered back to the hut Where Mike and Marie had prepared a delicious selection of curries which were consumed by all. Thanks again M+M. Very much enjoyed and appreciated. You know it’s good when people have it for breakfast the next morning and in Pablo’s case between two slices of toast.
After dinner Ian Pollock noted that the other Ian was not present. Efforts by Ian to contact missing Ian by landline in the Three Shires to the hotels he might have ended up at proved fruitless. Having no other means of communication and all drivers beyond negotiating Death Valley Pass, hope was placed on Ian’s tenacity and survival skills to get back. It was a huge relief to all when a good hour later he eventually arrived. Although none to pleased at his abandonment a short post mortem concluded that lines had been crossed as to which Hotel was to have been the rendezvous point.
All’s well that ends well and the 45 settled down to enjoy a night of socialising.
I don’t quite know if “a night” covers this one as some were still up socialising while others were leaving early next morning. A first I believe.
The New Dungeon Hotel renamed “The Longwaite Inn” in memory of the time Ian Millar stayed there.
After breakfast everyone helped clean up and shut down the hut. Good byes were said and all set of home. Raymond, James, Rowena and Donna heading back to The White Horse Inn to climb Blencathra. Because it was such a clear and sunny day Donna needed little encouragement to tag along. The views will be fantastic the others told her. But shortly into the assent Sods Law kicked in and the conditions worsened. By the time the summit was reached it had totally clagged in, was wet and bitterly cold. It did clear slightly on the descent to give Donna some views but don’t think she was overly impressed, perhaps due to the snot dripping off her frozen nose.
Footnote; Members are reminded that football kit should be brought to meets at their own risk as their memorabilia might not be used for it’s intended purpose by others.
On Sunday, Jason went exploring the Langdale Fells not getting off till near midnight, head torch in full use. Future contender for wooden compass if he doesn’t get his act together.