Trip Book

Reports, photos and random musings from past trips!

See the Trip Locations page under Club Info for a breakdown of past trips.

Trip Leaderboard

Most recent trip included in statistics: Glen Coe, Easter Vacation 2017

This is the CUHWC Trip Leaderboard, which records statistics relating to members' participation in Club trips using 4 'Boards'.

Notes:

  • 'Official' CUHWC weekend and day trips are counted from the final trip of Michaelmas Term 2003 and the Scottish summer trip is counted from 2005.
  • 'Official' normally means that the trip was advertised to the main mailing list, partly explaining why foreign trips are not counted.
  • These dates are selected because this is as far back as the data currently extends.
  • If your Club membership predates 2004 and you calculate how many trips you went on before then, you can get yourself moved higher up the board by emailing Andrew (agw41) in order that he can enter you at your correct position; otherwise, you'll be ranked on total since Michaelmas 2003 only.
  • These figures are intended to arouse interest and drive friendly competition (i.e., trying to move up the boards), not cliquishness, jealousy or rivalry. Use sensibly!
  • The leaderboard was initially created and updated by Mark Jackson, but since he's now left Cambridge, Andrew Williamson maintains it.

Valerie A celebrates her 50th trip with CUHWC (Capel Curig, Lent 2015). Photo: Yining N.

1. Overall Number of Trips Attended

This is the total number of trips in which an individual has participated. Someone is deemed to have participated in a trip when they were involved in at least one walk on the trip (which, normally, is indicated by the presence of their name on a CUHWC route card). When a person was involved in trips pre-2004, the number in square brackets after their name denotes the number of trips attended before the final trip of Michaelmas Term 2003 (to Ennerdale). Currently active members (i.e., people on Board 2) are in bold.

  • 155 – Toby S [101]
  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • 92 – Paul C [18]
  • 91 – Michael F [2]
  • 90 –
  • 89 –
  • 88 –
  • 87 –
  • 86 –
  • 85 –
  • 84 –
  • 83 –
  • 82 –
  • 81 –
  • 80 –
  • 79 – David P [1]
  • 78 –
  • 77 –
  • 76 –
  • 75 –
  • 74 –
  • 73 –
  • 72 –
  • 71 – James B [69]
  • 70 –
  • 69 –
  • 68 – Tom A
  • 67 –
  • 66 –
  • 65 –
  • 64 –
  • 63 – Ruth P
  • 62 –
  • 61 –
  • 60 – Valerie A
  • 59 –
  • 58 –
  • 57 –
  • 56 – Andrew W
  • 55 – Gordon W [1]
  • 54 –
  • 53 –
  • 52 – Joe H
  • 51 –
  • 50 – Alex P
  • 49 – Simon T
  • 48 – Jo S
  • 47 –
  • 46 – Lucy W [4]
  • 45 –
  • 44 –
  • 43 – Simon W
  • 42 –
  • 41 – Peter B [20], Alex T
  • 40 – Dave F
  • 39 –
  • 38 –
  • 37 – David C, David G
  • 36 –
  • 35 –
  • 34 – Becky H
  • 33 – Mark J
  • 32 – Bethan G
  • 31 – Oliver K
  • 30 – Paul F, Jane P, Philip W
  • 29 – Helen A, Austin D [22]
  • 28 – Kirsty B, Matthew G, Peter K, Tom L
  • 27 – Alison B, Will C, Ian P
  • 26 – Michael A, Greg C, Emma P
  • 25 – Richard S
  • 24 –
  • 23 – Kate B, Chris E, Matt H, Tim S [21]
  • 22 –
  • 21 – Mark W, Marianne W
  • 20 – Andrena B, Jon M, Laurent M
  • 19 – Constanze H, Tom O, Vicky W
  • 18 – David H, Gill J, Inkyu J, Helen P
  • 17 – Robin B, Ben B, Dave M
  • 16 – Jonathon F, Alex K, Camilla P
  • 15 – Josh A, Emily B, Zekang C, Doug H, Adrien L, Hannah R
  • 14 – Rebecca B, Katrina S, Marcus T
  • 13 – Dan A, Phil B, Sumita C, Mohammad D, Caroline H, Rose P
  • 12 – Chris A, Simon B, Lottie B, Eleri C, Monica L, Arion P, Oliver S

2. Number of Trips Attended in the Last Year

These are the figures for the last 14 trips, normally representing the last year's worth. In cases where fewer than 14 trips were run in a year, this covers a period of over a year. This represents more of a rolling snapshot. Try and move up the board rather than down! Current Committee members are in bold.

  • 14 –
  • 13 –
  • 12 –
  • 11 –
  • 10 – David H
  • 9 – Ben B
  • 8 –
  • 7 – Matt A, Paul C, Chris H
  • 6 – Sebastian N, Andrew W
  • 5 – Zekang C, Paul F, Camilla P, Arion P, Marie S
  • 4 – Jens A, Marci G, Ben H, Callan H, Alex H, Callum R, Kaitlynn S

3. Most Trips Attended in a Year

This is the highest position an individual reached on Board 2, indicating the most trips in which an individual participated over a year. (N.B. This technically accounts for only the last 14 trips, so may not necessarily represent a 'year'.) This sort of measures each person's 'maximum keenness' and when they first reached it. Currently active members (i.e., people on Board 2) are in bold.

14

  • Simon T (Nov 08)
  • Andrew W (Sep 11)
  • Mark J (Jan 12)

13

  • David G (Jun 05)
  • Alex T (Jan 07)
  • David C (May 07)
  • Alex P (Feb 09)
  • Jo S (Oct 10)
  • Peter K (Jun 12)

12

  • Michael F (Nov 04)
  • Mark W (Nov 06)
  • Ruth P (Jun 07)
  • David P (Feb 09)
  • Oliver K (Nov 09)
  • Kirsty B (May 11)

11

  • Helen D (Nov 04)
  • Gordon W (Mar 07)
  • Toby S (Apr 07)
  • Joe H (May 10)
  • Jon M (May 10)
  • Tom A (Mar 11)
  • Mohammad D (Jun 11)
  • Paul C (Jan 13)
  • Marcus T (Jan 15)

10

  • Michael A (Nov 04)
  • Chris E (Nov 04)
  • Emily B (Jun 06)
  • Marianne P (Nov 07)
  • Richard S (Nov 07)
  • Lucy W (Feb 08)
  • Bethan G (Mar 12)
  • Andrena B (Mar 13)
  • Tom L (Nov 13)
  • Philip W (Oct 14)
  • Paul F (Nov 14)
  • Alex K (Mar 15)
  • Matt H (Jun 15)
  • Adrien L (Nov 15)
  • Sumita C (Apr 16)
  • David H (Feb 17)

4. Most Consecutive Trips Attended

Getting your name on or moving up this board requires a different kind of dedication, such as not missing day trips. Currently active members (i.e., people on Board 2) are in bold.

  • 56 – James B (1992 – 1998)
  • 29 – Andrew W (Oct 10 – Oct 12)
  • 22 – Austin D (dates unknown), Mark J (Jan 11 – Jun 12)
  • 17 – Simon T (Nov 07 – Jan 09)
  • 12 – David C (Jun 06 – Mar 07)
  • 11 – Jo S (Apr 10 – Feb 11)
  • 10 – David G (Oct 04 – Mar 05), Alex P (Jun 08 – Mar 09)
  • 9 – Peter K (Oct 11 – Mar 12), Sumita C (Apr 15 – Nov 15)
  • 8 – Michael F (Jan – Jun 04), Mark W (Nov 05 – Apr 06), Alex T (Jun 06 – Jan 07 & Nov 07 – Apr 08), Alex P (Oct 09 – Feb 10), Constanze H (Mar – Nov 12)
Author: 
Andrew Williamson

2016-17

Academic year 2016-17

Edale, 16 October 2016


Trip summary

A fresher's perspective on the freshers' day trip...

This was the first trip of the year and being designated mainly for keen freshers saw well over 50 people attend and head, in the pouring rain, cold and dark, towards the North. But these being freshers, there was still an air of optimism regardless.

The bus driver's somewhat interesting choice of route led to the coach getting stuck near a tiny bridge, and so all the poor freshers had to walk several miles to the start point, leaving the bus driver to complete his hundred-point turn, much to the locals' dismay. Luckily it had stopped raining though!

We split into groups based on keenness, and between these covered a large area of the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, including Mam Tor and Kinder Scout. The weather actually became warm(ish), and the sun came out. Things were looking good!

Highlights of the day included the Kinder Downfall (a waterfall basically in the path) and the celebratory pint at a pub in the great village of Hayfield.

With the walking over, we boarded the coach again (in a large car park connected to a nice, wide, bridge-free road) and set off back to Cambridge.

Author: 
Chris H

Eskdale, 28—30 October 2016

For our first weekend trip of Michaelmas, we set off from Cambridge to Boot, a small village within the glacial valley and civil parish of Eskdale. The weather in the Lake District is always unpredictable but we were hoping that we’d see some sunshine. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.

We awoke on Saturday to horrific weather. However, this didn’t dampen our spirits and everyone was keen to make the most of the day and embark on a long and pleasant walk in the hills. Most groups chose to ascend Scafell and Scafell Pike – the highest mountain in England at 978 metres above sea level. Whilst there was low visibility and persistent rain, everyone felt a great sense of achievement at the summit and enjoyed the day overall.

The evening was filled with fun and games, including pumpkin carving and apple bobbing to celebrate Halloween. Some delicious meals, which were prepared collectively, were also enjoyed. It wouldn’t be a CUHWC trip without singing from the infamous songbook… some promising talent was heard! Finally, the majority of hillwalkers made their way to the Boot Inn for a pint.

The wet weather cleared in time for Sunday. The majority of people wanted to go on a relatively shorter walk and there were even some who chose to go fell running! For many, the day involved steep inclines, ridge walking and swimming in a tarn.

After a long drive, we were back in Cambridge ready for Monday lectures. It was a fantastic weekend that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone that came along. CUHWC will have to return to Eskdale in the near future… maybe we’ll see the views from Scafell Pike next time!

Author: 
Arthur G

Caseg Ffraith, 11—13 November 2016

Author: Zekang C

Trip summary

The trip to Caseg Ffraith was the largest trip this term. 42 people managed to get a place in the trip and more people turned up at St. John's on Monday morning who were unsuccessful in receiving places. Maria B showed up at St. John's at 6:00 am, although at another gate!

The weather was not pleasant enough on both days. On Saturday, most people went south to Tryfan. Rose and Andy went east bagging reservoirs and they seemed to have the best weather on Saturday. George went out for a hardcore 47k run (if my memory is correct). On Sunday Rogelio and Felix left early for Snowdon while most groups went north. David, Andy, Ben and I had great fun scrambling to the summit of Tryfan.

The hightlight of the weekend was the Saturday evening. One group failed to have their planned dessert as the club salt was labelled sugar and was added to the apple pudding. But the salty pudding was very tasty and was finished almost instantly. Due to the cold weather, mulled wine was served by Andrew and 34 people shared 12 bottles. CUMC joined us later and there were more than 50 people in the bunkhouse singing. This included the the "Stand" verse of the "Cow Song", which was as always a smash hit. After singing, we spent quite a while playing board games, cards or Bananagrams before sleeping. It was a jolly good evening.

Trip participants

David H (TL), Arion P (TSO), Paul C, Marie S, Rose P, Andrew W, Andy H, Susannah P, Jacques S, Marcel P, Kuba S, Jens A, Maria B, Anna S, Kara F, Michael S, Chun Man C, Ramya G, Hannah W, Tom W, Felix K, Zekang C, Juliette M, Adrien LF, Yuze W, Fedir K, George B, Matthew G, Rogelio L-L, Austin H, Emma H, Sophie M, Antonio R, Miriam G, Morgan S, Scott S, James T, Harriet C, Molly V, Ben H, Eky F, Rory G.

Swaledale, 25—27 November 2016

Author: Andrew W

Trip summary

With a promising weather forecast for the weekend, following a dump of snow over the previous week, trip participants were particularly excited by the prospect of the Club's first visit to the Yorkshire Dales for a few years! And for once we were not disappointed.

Friday evening began for some people with a short walk beneath the stars, which was only somewhat disappointed by the sound of a nearby barking dog, which broke the subliminal peace and tranquility. With the promise of superb conditions on Saturday, most people opted for ambitious walks. Crisp snow on the ground and a clear blue sky matched the forecast pretty nicely. A lot of people explored Gunnerside Gill and other hills close to the bunkhouse. A particularly keen group decided to walk all the way to Tan Hill (~20 km from the bunkhouse), the highest pub in the UK. Even though this resulted in a few people becoming a little tipsy, they all made it back to the bunkhouse in plenty of time for the evening's centrally coordinated CUHWC Christmas dinner, which has now become an annual tradition on this trip. Everyone participated to create a stunning array of dishes, which were nicely complemented by some carol singing (from memory).

On Sunday, the weather was not quite as remarkable, but a lot of people enjoyed climbing Great Shunner Fell or other hills from Reeth.

All in all, quite a trip to round off the calendar year!

Coniston (New Year), 6—10 January 2017

Author: Erin Barnard

This was my first New Year’s trip and having been warned that past trips at this time had been mostly mild and damp, I wasn’t hopeful of fine conditions!

In fact, on arrival it wasn’t looking particularly promising that we would be able to appreciate the bunkhouse’s location. Dense fog was obscuring all the nearby peaks. Having never been to this part of the Lake District before, I was baffled. In which direction is Lake Coniston? Am I really in the Lake District at all? The air of mystery to the trip was intensified due to late arrival of two extra trip attendees not on the list…

On Saturday, in spite of the lingering fog, the conditions were very calm and a large group of us decided to explore the supposedly nearby peaks of Brown Pike and Old Man of Coniston. The contact lens wearers were smug as the glasses wearers struggling with perpetual condensation. I realised, on removing my glasses, that it wasn’t as foggy as I thought and we began to notice patches of blue sky and some cloud inversion. Note at this point that some glasses wearers (cough Ben) hooked their glasses onto their backpack.

However, unfortunately but inevitably, this was not going to continue as we climbed back into the fog. Grateful for the cairns along the ridge we passed Buck Pike and Dow Crag virtually unnoticed and reached the summit of The Old Man of Coniston for a compulsory summit photo. As we descended to Levers Water, Ben noticed his glasses were no longer there. We considered a search but concluded that the Old Man of Coniston could keep the glasses.

On returning to the bunkhouse we appreciated the excellent showers, fine food from Shirley and Paul F and the joys of Sushi Go, a theme that was to continue.

On Sunday, the mist was still there. Ben, Sarah, Paul F and I went for a long but touristy low-level walk while Ranulph, Alex and Paul C went on a Langdale Pikes epic capturing the best of some impressive cloud inversion. The evening saw a comprehensive run-through of the club songbook, with Paul F on guitar and myself on blow-piano, the tubing of which was used continuously in our struggles to light either of the two stoves.

Pretty tired from two relatively long days and unmotivated by the high wind and heavy rain that greeted us, Monday saw a very slow start. After a lethargic breakfast we noticed that we could actually see the mountains outside the bunkhouse! As the rain passed, we all quickly left, the majority of us heading for Wetherlam. Finally we could appreciate the surrounding landscape!

In characteristically high spirits we attempted unsuccessfully to set a cheesecake in a few hours that evening. A Sushi Go tournament was won by Paul F drawing the trip to an end. Much fun was had by all!

Cheviots, 3—5 February 2017

Is there any better way to start the CUHWC 2017 adventure series than a sunny weekend dash up to the Scottish border? An atmospheric and relatively comfortable bunkhouse, good luck with the weather, and wonderful company (as ever!) made the beautiful rolling Cheviots a perfect destination for the first trip of the term.

The drive was long, yes, but not as bad as I’d expected, and with frequent-enough pit stops it was definitely worth it. We arrived quite late on Friday night, but this didn’t stop anyone from attacking the hills the next day in all earnesty. Some people chose to admire the beautiful views from the Pennine Way, some faced the wind on the top of the Cheviot itself, and some ended up walking a lot further than they’d originally planned (a pub stop was enjoyed as a result!). The views and walks were perfect, and with the bunkhouse being hidden away in a quiet valley, it was a world away from the bustle of city life. Legs aching pleasantly, we enjoyed a lovely evening of food and songs, and once it had got late enough, some people grabbed the headtorches and went on a night hike to make the most of being in the middle of a Dark Sky Park. Unfortunately, the clouds didn’t quite reveal the stars this time, but it was a lovely walk nonetheless.

Sunday morning again saw us scaling hill after hill in the sunshine, and we made the most of the day before reluctantly saying goodbye to Scotland and heading back homewards. It was such a peaceful, fun, leg-testing and beautiful weekend, that I’m already forward to the next one.

Author: 
Ilinca Aricescu

Duddon Valley, 24—26 February 2017

The weather forecast wasn't great for this weekend (even by hillwalker standards), the wing mirror of one of the hire vehicles got smashed off on Friday, quite a few people forgot essential bits of kit, and the trip leader was ultimately driven to drink. Despite this, we managed to get 36 hillwalkers to and back from the University of Leeds' Dalehead bunkhouse in Dunnerdale in one piece. Among these people was our new fresher co-president who has probably aged 10 years from the experience.

Saturday morning brought rain and wind as expected, so some people (ex-presidents included) went on either a strenuous walk or run to the pub. The wind kept the rest of us on lower slopes so more or less everyone paid a visit to the pub at some point in the day, even if only to keep us warmer than being in the bunkhouse. Quite a few people also walked over the Hardknott pass to see a Roman fort (which wasn't particularly impressive by all accounts, but made a nice walk anyway).

The Saturday evening group cooking typical of trips was livened up by the lack of enough seats and setting off the fire alarm. There was sadly no singing after food, which was very disappointing.

The weather on Sunday morning seemed to be dry (!!), but once everyone had actually got ready, it started raining again. There was a bit more optimism with walk lengths but most groups ended up doing similar routes so as to avoid walking for long periods in the low cloud. A couple of ex-presidents decided a pub visit was still in order, but most people got back to the bunkhouse in good time so the minibus and cars were able to make fairly early departures (hopefully never to return to this location).

While some referred to the trip as being "shambolic", a more accurate description might be calling it a a bit odd, not least because of how flat the walks ended up being. That said, it was worth leaving Cambridge for: it's less depressing being soaked by rain surrounded by mountains than being soaked by rain surrounded by bricks and optimistic tourists after all.

Author: 
Sarah M

Shropshire, 5 March 2017

Despite, with all the optimism of a new committee, deciding to run three trips within a fortnight, we managed to get a full complement of 24 people off on our day trip to the Stiperstones, in the Shropshire Hills. Those of us who made it were rewarded with gorgeous moorland, dramatic tors, and the full gamut of Spring weather. After torrential rain and a little hydroplaning on the drive, we were welcomed by snow-dusted hills and only mild drizzle, which cleared for most of the day and was even replaced at intervals by sunshine. Only the March mud was a constant.

All walks headed along the main ridge, mostly Northwards (where the various routes encountered clear quartzite outcrops, less clear hill forts, and abandoned mine shafts that extensive scientific experimentation demonstrated to be 'quite deep'), but in one case Southwards (where instead there were good sheep, a haphazard off-path descent through woodland, and Wales). Most then reunited at a 16th century pub that proved to be hard to leave, not least because the 'quick 2km back to the cars' involved as much uphill as the rest of the day. After a 'run' by the trip leader and a quick shuttle service, all cars and people were once more reunited, and only great conversation and the journey back remained. It's not often you start from Cambridge, walk into Wales, and are back within a day.

Author: 
Matt Arran

Rhyd Ddu, 10—12 March 2017

Author: Chris Hewetson

Details to be added later.

Glen Coe, 26—31 March 2017

Trip report

Author: Erin B.

There was much hype before the trip for proper winter conditions (well at least I hope I wasn’t the only one avidly watching the Glencoe ski resort webcams…) and the chance for 10 of the 14-strong party to complete a 2-day winter skills course. Unfortunately, on the early arrival of myself, Andrew, Alex, David and Paul to Crianlarich Youth Hostel on Saturday evening for an extra night’s stay before the official start of the trip, we realised that this wasn’t really going to be the case.

Nevertheless, we were greeted from first light the following morning with clear blue skies for our attempt of Ben Lui. We probably couldn’t moan too much about perfect summer weather conditions in the Highlands minus the midges, even if it was unnervingly warm…

We managed to get the hire car and what seemed like a life’s supply of equipment and food to the bunkhouse that afternoon and were greeted by a bunkhouse in an absolutely stunning location. The Scottish Mountaineering Club’s Lagangarbh hut is located at the base of Buachaille Etive Mòr, providing many photo opportunities for both us and various other tourists, particularly during the beautiful sunsets and early morning sun of the next few days.

On Monday and Tuesday, the 10 of us signed up for the winter skills course set off with leaders Ian and Richard (aka Papa Smurf) for a combination of navigation, scrambling and winter skills where we found odd patches of snow still remaining. This led us on to Beinn a’ Chrùlaiste on Monday and Buachaille Etive Beag on Tuesday. Once again, the weather was stunning! Andrew, David, Paul and Jose bagged the eastern Mamores on Monday and on Tuesday Andrew and Jose took to the Glenfinnan horseshoe whilst Paul and David completed a scramble up Buachaille Etive Mòr.

On Wednesday nearly the whole party took to routes including Bidean nam Bian, Stob Coire nan Lochan and Stob Coire Sgreamhach via the Lost Valley. Unfortunately the weather was a bit of a “ming-fest” compared to the previous three days and we all got particularly damp. Nevertheless, we managed to make good use of the ice axes – especially for posing in photos. Andrew was in typical bagging mode taking Beinn Sgulaird and Beinn Fhionnlaidh.

Spurred on by pub hype, Alex, Bronwen, Seb and I took on Buachaille Etive Mòr via Coire na Tulaich on Thursday in the much better weather than predicted. A combination of swimming, A&E-ing, and running occupied the others. This included the club president running to and from the pub, which led to plans for his impeachment as he had the bunkhouse key… A wild night ensued: venison, haggis, beer, whisky, ginger nut biscuits and nutella, planking, climbing round the kitchen table and the cardboard box game.

Friday was the last official day of the trip, with most of the party leaving after lunch. The weather was as predicted – very wet. Most people didn’t venture from the bunkhouse for too long. David, Bronwen, Bronte and I walked for a while up Lairig Gartain and got soaked through. Bronwen and Bronte then proceeded to swim in the River Coupall outside the bunkhouse. Mad. I suppose we couldn’t get any more wet than we already were. Alex headed up Buachaille Etive Beag.

Andrew, Paul, Alex and I bagged Schiehallion on Saturday morning on our journey back to Cambridge, by far the easiest of the Munros I had climbed that week!

Overall, I absolutely loved this trip. What an amazing group of people to spend a week with and to tick off my first Munros with. A particular highlight was stargazing on Monday night. I’m sure this is a trip that will be repeated, even if now too late in the year for winter skills courses to take place. Thanks to Iain and Richard from Kendal Mountaineering Services for running the altered course for us.

Trip List:

  • David H.
  • Matthew A.
  • Jose G.
  • Paul F.
  • Erin B.
  • Bronwen F.
  • Sebastian P.
  • Prabhvir M.
  • Bronte P.
  • Alex D.
  • Andrew W.
  • David Z.
  • Jilles F.
  • Toby L.

Mystery Trip, 12th-14th May 2017

This years' mystery destination was Solihull Mountaineering Club's Bryn Golau Hut, in South-Eastern Snowdonia. An extended period of sign-ups by e-mail meant there was time for a few far-too-subtle clues, though some members guessed the place before any were even released! (Turns out listing the number of places available's a giveaway if only one hut has 17 bunks).

Nevertheless, knowing where the bunkhouse is wasn't the same as finding it, with one car's passengers going on a night hike across the valley (and apparently becoming the most exciting thing in Dinas Mawddwy) before spotting the right lights for which to aim. Thankfully, a light wind over the weekend meant sufficient electricity generation to keep those lights on, while it wasn't so warm out that the lack of a fridge was disastrous.

Walks on the Saturday were all up Aran Fawddwy, whether by the obvious route or a more circuitous circuit round to the North and back. Unexpectedly glorious sunshine necessitated a stop for water at a farm, while the 'Gin and Tonic' walk didn't, unfortunately, involve its namesake. Instead spirits were saved until the evening, with authentic palinka accompanying a goulash that only its chef insisted wasn't authentic. The other two menus looked so good it was tempting to have all three, though in the end only Wasim went for it and doubled-up his meal.

On the Sunday, a huge number of walks set off, covering Maesglase, the other Dyfi hills, and Aran Fawddwy again. They included photography, slate, and what little bog remained after the dry spell. The forest was verified to smell of jam, while a swim in Llyn Foeldinas as 'actually, warmer than Emma pool'. The pair late back received appropriate remonstrance in the form of the only rain on any walk.

Trip participants: * Matt A * Paul C * Callan H * Camilla P * Wasim B * Fedir K * Yuze W * Adrien L * Juliette M * Ilinca A * Jingyi W * Wong P * Barbara M * Binbin W * Yuqing W * Marci G * Helen G

Author: 
Matt A

2015-16

Academic year 2015–16.

Edale, 18 October 2015

Trip Summary

The trip was a success, with lots of smiling freshers and everyone being back at the pub in Hayfield before 16:30 to enjoy a drink. The weather was a bit pants, but as far as I could tell, everyone seemed to enjoy it all the same.

There were 64 people signed up for the trip, which was in high demand. A variety of walks took the groups from Edale across to Hayfield, each with varying quantities of bog included.

One leader pulled out due to illness, and there was some epic car faff in the morning, but everyone got a good day's walk done in the end.

Trip Participants

Camilla C (Trip Leader), Josh A (Safety Officer), Sarah C, Natthawut A, Tom C, Christiane K, Austin de M, Alastair H, Heidi F, Anjali P, Peter B, Alex S, Alex B, Meilin Y, Ben W, Jiaxi L, Anna W, Ceridwen S, Patrick R, Shi-Fan C, Nina G, Olivia T, Rory L, Daniel F, Jonathan R, William D, Olivia M, Hellen W, Jeson N, Pranav S, Winnie S, Jens A, Leo L, Chris I, Taavi T, Samuel S, Romaric M, Anna S, Johanna F, Ang Kun Joo Michael, Christina R, Thibaud M, Ler Song L, Arion P, Sophie M, Matteo S, Anabel ML, Rosa H, Njoki W, Georgina McC, Charles L, Sumita C, Laurent M, Sophie D, Paul C, Zekang C, Andy H, Paul F, Andrew W, Adrien L, John O, Becky H, Tom H

Photos

Click on the person's name below to follow a link to their full album.

If anybody has any photos of the trip that they would like to share on this page, please contact the Webmaster.

Author: 
Josh A

Caseg Fraith, 30 October–1 November 2015

Trip Summary

Ensconced in the fog, Caseg Fraith was the location of the club’s first trip of Michaelmas 2015. Lots of keen and new club members came and, despite the persistently cloudy weather on Saturday, did a variety of walks in the Carneddau and Glyders, with multiple groups heaving up Tryfan, and one MPV group going off to enjoy Snowdon in the cloud.

There were only four cooking groups for dinner on Saturday night, but a lot of whisky and cake going around! The traditional pumpkin carving took place, with Adrien’s pumpkins craftily chosen to raise eyebrows even before being carved.

Sunday had much nicer weather, without a cloud in the sky (because most of them were on the valley floor, and stayed that way throughout the day and evening). A number of groups went scrambling on Bristly Ridge and enjoyed the views from there.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader), Paul C (Trip Safety Officer), Nebibe V, Sumita C, Grasilda Z, Yanting J, Amelia H, Sarah K, Tom A, Romaric M, Simon W, Greg C, William G, April C, Alex B, Camilla P, Thomas H, John O, Christie N, Alex K, Peter B, Anjali P, Heidi F, Nina G, Olivia M, Rebecca H, Theo AF, Ranulph D, Valerie A, Patrick R, Michael A, Adrien L, Christine M, David S, Arion P, Jorge G, Taavi T, Harriet G, Ben R, Natthawut A

Photos

Click on people’s names below to follow a link to their complete photo album.

Birds on the Glyders (Adrien L)

Author: 
Philip W

Elterwater, 13–15 November

Trip Summary

For the second trip of Michaelmas 2015, the club returned to the Lake District's Elterwater, in Langdale. We were staying in the former YHA hostel - comparative luxury compared to some bunkhouses! After arriving just before midnight on Friday, Matt A and David H got the first (and only dry!) walk of the weekend in, heading up Loughrigg Fell by torchlight.

The weather forecast was pretty horrific for the weekend, but it wasn't raining while routes were being planned on Saturday morning. Josh A was running a navigation course, other groups went onto the Langdale Pikes, the Weatherlam range, or just enjoyed the local area on scenic walks. Predictably, the rain began by the time anyone left the bunkhouse, the rain had set in for the weekend. Everyone had a decent walk though, and the atmosphere in the bunkhouse that night was top notch: we joined Andrew W in celebrating his 50th CUHWC trip, enjoyed mulled wine and/or scotch, and indulged excessively in the usual great food.

Next morning, the river had risen dramatically and started to flood the fields in the bottom of the valley. While we were umming and ahhing about whether to walk or whether to head back to Cambridge, the bunkhouse owner (a MR member) came round to tell us about the awful conditions on the region's roads, with many closed. With the rain continuing to fall, we made the decision to pack up and leave as soon as possible. Three cars left before 10, but returned almost immediately becuase of flooding. A couple more routes were equally impassable, but eventually they made it over Red Bank to Grasmere, and from there the roads were just passable back to Cambridge. The rest of the cars followed once this safe route had been established.

All in all then, a shorter than normal trip, but by no means short of adventure!

Trip Participants

David H (Trip Leader), Josh A (Safety Officer), Thibaud M, Nebibe V, Courtney D, Michelle C, Jiaxi L, Grasilda Z, Juliette M, Valerie A, Paul C, Romaric M, Andrew W, Matt A, Josh H, Mariliis TÖ, Rory L, Mark B, Olivia T, Angelika B, Adrien L, Zhengwei H, Christiane K, Patrick R, Sumita C, Zekang C, Christine K, Matthew G, William G, April C, Natthawut A, Charlotte N, Heidi F, Kirsten VF, Charles L, Andrew TY, Ptolemy J, Ben KM, Jorge G

Photos

Author: 
David H

Holwick, 27–29 November

Trip Summary

For the final trip of 2015, we went to Holwick in the north Pennines, which is quite an unusual destination for the club. The Pennines are known more for their rolling upland moors than their mountains.

Despite the adverts for the trip promising spectacular views and magnificent weather, the Pennines put on a grand performance, completely true to form in their role as upland moors: the entire weekend was a complete washout, with high winds, sustained heavy rain, and hence moderately unpleasant walking conditions.

For some reason, some souls decided it would be a good idea to camp on Friday night. They turned up in the bunkhouse on Saturday morning looking quite bedraggled and swearing they would never do it again.

Despite the conditions, almost everyone went out for a walk on Saturday, being lured out by clear skies in the morning. Most people either headed west onto the moors towards the Warcop range (which was firing on Saturday, so provided a definite end point for the walk); or south along the Pennine Way. One group decided to drive to Dufton and walk around the Pennine Way there. Unfortunately, somehow, they got their MPV stuck in a field part-way there, which curtailed their walk for the day a little.

Every other group on Saturday decided to cut their walks short by an hour or two, and most were back at the bunkhouse by early afternoon. The gas fires in the bunkhouse were beautifully effective, and the place was toasty warm all afternoon.

Saturday night was (for our purposes) Christmas day. We prepared Christmas dinner for all 22 people on the trip, and enjoyed a long evening of eating, talking, singing, and then sharing national anthems (nobody is quite sure why this happened, but it was fun). Some people said before the trip that Christmas dinner was a silly idea, and that it wasn’t possible: the bunkhouse had 9 gas hobs, no ovens, no pots or pans, no crockery and no cutlery. Despite this, we managed a chicken stew, roast vegetables (including the mandatory sprouts), pigs in blankets, and a huge selection of Christmas desserts. A great success.

On Sunday, the weather was just as bad, and yet people still went out for walks. One group headed south along the Pennine way “until it gets too miserable, then turn around”. They turned around just before getting anywhere significant on Crossthwaite Common. Another large group headed to see the castle at Barnard Castle. Another, smaller, group were old men and sat in the pub for most of the day.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader), Josh A (Safety Officer), Tom L (Public House Officer), Evie H, Paul C, Becky H, Romaric M, Patrick R, David H (Assistant Public House Officer), Taavi T, Angelika B, Helen P, Angela G, William G, April C, Carolina C, Michael A, Paul F, Sumita C, Arion P, Alex H, Tom H

Photos

Author: 
Philip W

Seathwaite, 4–8 January

Trip Summary

In contrast to all expectations, the New Year Seathwaite trip was not wet. All three full walking days were dry (though with overnight rain), and it is even reported that Scafell Pike was cloudless for a period. In the absence of any bagging tendencies the walks were generally relaxed, centring mostly around Great Gable, the Corridor route and Glaramara. However several longer treks north and south were attempted by one or two members. Snow fell to below 750m on the evening before the third full day, and we were rewarded with stunning views to Helvellyn and The Langdales. However, ice-axes were not required, except to dig mud from under the car when a tyre blew out driving back.

Statistically, the trip was notable in containing a high proportion of new or recent members to the club – only one participant (the everlasting Paul C) had been to the High House before. Despite one call to mountain rescue it was a very merry gathering, with Ranulph D putting on a continuous vocal solo performance, rendering the club’s song book obsolete.

Trip Participants

Paul C (Leader), Arion P (Safety Officer), William G, April C, Ranulph D, Johanna F, Seb P, Harriet C, Sophie M, Simon T, Anna W

Photos

Author: 
Arion P

Dolgellau, 29–31 January

Trip Summary

The club's trip to Dolgellau (I leave it to the reader to pick their preferred pronunciation) began with nothing short of disaster. For one MPV this disaster struck before the beginning had even begun, in the form of flat tyres, whilst Matt A’s car opted for an imaginative route via the lovely sights of Peterborough, colliding with every obstruction that threatened to stand in their way. A splendid time was being had by Tom's MPV, until the windscreen of which an owl was most unfortunate to-hit,-to-who* the club issues their most sincere and hootfelt apologies.

Eventually all groups arrived within a 2km radius of the bunkbarn, and in a process akin to Brownian motion drove down every narrow road within the vicinity, despite strong discouragement from passive-aggressive signs and unimpressed neighbours. Finally, after some skilful MPV manoeuvres, we beheld before us a block of stables. Visions of curling up in rotten straw were conjured into our weary eyes, and the sight of a nearby hose gave little reassurance as to the hygiene facilities of the establishment. Expectations having been suddenly lowered, it was a pleasure to find the bunkbarn, if small and disjointed, furnished and warm. Tea and custard creams were eagerly consumed before hill-walkers “hit the hay” in a strictly non-literal sense.

The next morning’s analysis of the surrounding area for potential walks lead all but one prospective walk leader to the same conclusion: Cadair Idris. A fantastic decision as it turned out; the views over Snowdonia were spectacular, and the sight of those green rolling hills stretched out before you certainly have an extra something over the mound on Castle Hill. And you could even see the sea! It was really a beautiful day, and the mid-morning sun and clear skies left Cadair clouded only by tales of mystery- legend has it that all who spend the night on its summit leave either mad or a poet. Since we descended before sundown, most hill-walkers escaped these afflictions- except Harriet and Ranulph who were possessed enough to go for a swim in a rather cold lake.

Later in the day the sights of Cadair were exchanged for those of Barmouth, which offered amusements in the form of the “Las Vegas Arcade” and some swimming in the sea. In pursuit of the latter, with admirably undampable enthusiasm, Harriet was unfortunate enough to twist her foot upon a dropping from the legendary Barmouth monster- or such is the most probable explanation. We promptly left these dangerous waters and headed to the pub- the Cross Foxes was rejected on the basis of unreasonable fanciness and naff exterior lighting, and so hill-walkers descended upon a small place in Dolgellau, where a beer and Welsh folk music were much enjoyed by all.

Having previously outlined the successes of the bunkhouse in being more well equipped than your average stable, it is with regret that I report the less forgiving opinions of the Fellows of the Bunkhouse Review Board (FBRBCUHWC) who recommend the establishment for demolition. This is primarily based on kitchen facilities- although it must be pointed out that the number of microwaves was most definitely sufficient. Despite these encumbrances, Saturday evening saw food being created and enjoyed aplenty; particularly noteworthy was Camilla’s apple crumble, accompanied by custard made by Laurent (to whom we extend special congratulations for its impressively low lumpiness), and an enormous bowl of ratatouille. The sugariness of the former, combined with Cadair-induced madness, inspired a vent of philosophical discussion before bedtime.

The outlook for Sunday was drizzlier, windier, and wetter: in a word, more Walesy. Over breakfast the bunkhouse’s oddly shaped bowls inadvertently caused some distress as their contents was spilled over the unsuspecting Valerie in her favourite pink-kitten dressing gown. Some say that her shrieks were heard far out at sea, where the Barmouth monster took fright and fled to more distant lands. Others argue that the beast was driven away by fear of incurring the wrath of the still injured Harriet, but in either case the monster was not to be seen that day. Thus the flocks of hill-walkers who took their walk in the direction of the coast had clear views over the rolling ocean, unobscured by green fire-breathing beasts. Another group opted for a low-level walk in the surrounding area, taking boggy and heathery hills in their stride, refreshed by hailing winds and pelting rain. All returned to the bunkhouse to valiantly tackle the remaining ratatouille and custard creams, except Arion, trip Safety Officer, who finished off his walk with a swim in the raging torrent.

Every possible journey-related problem having been encountered on the way up, by comparison the trip home passed smoothly and without incident. The group parted damper and slightly more dishevelled than when they had arrived on Friday evening, but cheered, and so besides one fatality (the owl), we can declare that the trip to Dolgellau was a complete success.

*No, I’m not compromising this pun by correct use of subjective and objective pronouns.

Trip Participants

Camilla P (Trip Leader), Arion P (Safety Officer), Sam S, Adrien L, Tom A, Laurent M, Matt A, Shirley Z, Alex H, Paul F, Marie S, Taavi T, Charlie F, Ranulph D, Harriet G, Valerie A, Grasilda Z, Nicolas S, Patrick R, Peter T, Tanja S, Jantine B, Susie R

Photos

Author: 
Alex H

Roaches, 7 February

Trip Summary

With the weather forecast looking dubious in the week before the trip, people were nervous. It was a joint trip to the Roaches with CUMC, with some members of CUHWC climbing with them (described by some as ‘a mini freshers meet’). 4 CUMC members came along to climb and walk; 21 CUHWC members came along to walk and climb (minus one who inexplicably dropped out on the morning and hasn’t been heard from since).

The weather held, apart from a couple of showers in the afternoon. The wind was high, but nobody cared. Due to the restricted topography of the Roaches, there were two walk groups with roughly similar routes: along the ridge, potter around at Danebridge at the end, then back through the forest (or vice-versa). People had fun poking around in Lud’s Church, but nobody could work out why it was called a church.

The climbers found a sheltered corner behind the Don Whillans hut, where the wind and (occasional) rain weren’t a problem, and got a lot of pitches done throughout the day. The walkers who tried climbing enjoyed it a lot.

We all went to the Roaches tearoom at the end of the day to chat and sample their fancy coffee. Very civilised.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader, Safety Officer), Paul C, Anabel ML, Tom A, Ed W (CUMC Leader), Yanni D (CUMC), Athene L (CUMC), Daniel B (CUMC), Becky H, Rachel M, Alice M, Chris I, Charles L, Fiona D, Jens A, Georgina M, Jason T, Nina C, Michael A, Nebibe V, Simon C, Carolina C, Ben W, Jeson N

Photos

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If anybody has any photos of the trip that they would like to share on this page, please contact the Webmaster.

Author: 
Philip W

Glenridding, 12–14 February

Trip Summary

Our February trip to Glenridding was, surprisingly, not beset by bad weather. In fact, it was pretty good. The Lakes had snow cover from around 600m upwards, making for beautiful surroundings, but also meaning that anyone who wanted to go up high needed crampons. This meant that, unfortunately, despite the Glenridding bunkhouse being 3km from Helvellyn as the crow flies, only two people on the trip summited it.

On Saturday, most groups decided to head east to Place Fell and the shores of Ullswater, for a low-down walk. A variety of routes were done involving seemingly every combination of walking around the shore of Ullswater, going over the top of Place Fell, and going up over Beda Fell.

One group opted to try the ridge north of Helvellyn, feeling that the 20mph wind forecast would make for a nice ridge walk. They ended up bailing out after battling their way over the rimed-up top of Raise, against 50mph winds in low visibility. Sticks Pass was a welcome retreat. The group cheated and lunched at the bunkhouse, before sheepishly heading out on another walk around Grisedale before anyone noticed.

Another group took some of the highly desirable club crampons up onto the Dodds and practiced with them, somehow coping better with the torrential wind and near-zero visibility. They even claimed to have had fun.

Saturday evening was one for meals of many colours. Valerie produced a lurid pink soup which people claimed was delicious, if ‘a bit spicy’. Camilla went for a more sensitive orange colour stew, described as ‘face burningly hot’. Paul made chips. In order to average out the temperature of her meal, Camilla produced a key lime pie from the fridge for dessert. A discussion about what on earth keys have to do with the pie ensued. (Turns out it’s from Florida Keys.) Valerie decided that her cooking group looked too thin and sober, and force-fed them sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce laced with calvados.

Late night discussions included a group attempt to tackle the Times’ cryptic crossword, and another group putting together a CUHWC version of Monopoly (look for it in the paper trip book). There was no singing.

Sunday came, and people were slow to get up. Josh’s navigation group (who have so far avoided being mentioned, but were present on Saturday too) headed off to Place Fell to find themselves amongst the knobbles up there. Two people headed off to tackle Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, armed with axes and balaclavas. Other groups continued their evaluation of the relative merits of all combinations of walks around Ullswater, Place Fell and Beda Fell.

The weather on Sunday turned out to be even better than on Saturday, with little cloud and low wind. This may be the reason why a number of groups were late back. But it didn’t really matter, because regardless of what time they left the bunkhouse, 3 of the vehicles were destined to get stuck on the A1(M) on the way home due to unforeseen roadworks. Oops.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader), Josh A (Safety Officer), Yanting J, Ben P, Jantine B, Angelika B, Paul C, Tom A, Anthony C, Taavi T, Arion P, Patrick R, Valerie A, Camilla P, Teng Z, Ke-di L, Simon T, Susie R, Paul F, Sophie M, Peter T, Johanna F, Jens A, Nebibe V

Photos

Author: 
Philip W

Penwyllt, 26–28 February

Trip Summary

David H’s first trip as a president was to the South Wales caving Club HQ bunkhouse in Penwyllt, South Wales. The club is not a frequent visitor to the Brecon Beacons, but after this weekend, that seems like a shame. We were spoiled by beautiful sun on both days, although it was still bitterly cold at times. This was run as a joint trip with Cambridge University Caving Club: 21 members of CUHWC came along, with a handful of CUCC members too.

The trip was marked by a tragic outbreak of insanity amongst a number of hillwalking club members, who decided to get up late, walk onto the warm, sunny hill and crawl into a dark, damp hole. By the evening, the insanity appeared to be on the wane, with most deciding that muddy holes were indeed less enjoyable that open moorland: however, a number of club members had not yet fully recovered by next morning and enjoyed a second day of caving.

On the hill, groups on both days headed around the prominent escarpment to the North West. This was quintessentially Brecon, and a straightforwards and dramatic walk. Or run, depending on your preference. Several groups also explored the more rolling ground to the east of the bunkhouse, where there was a good selection of grassy hills/mountains to aim for. David H continued the presidential transport batten forwards by leading a group for miles after mile along a disused tramway, until there was no option but to go up a hill.

All in all, a successful and enjoyable trip – as ever, it was brilliant to meet new CUHWC members, and to catch up with our old faithful. See you all in Cym Dyli!

Trip Particpants

David H (Trip Leader), Arion P (Safety Officer), Tom A, Alistair H, Phil W, Rose P, Aicha W, Paul F, Sumita C, Carolina C, Valerie A, Tanja S, Shoham L, Peter T, Molly V, Harriet C, Jiaxi L, Kuba S, Anabel M, Emily B, Angelika B

Photos

Author: 
David H

Cwm Dyli, 8–13 April

Trip Summary

Neither April nor Snowdonia can be expected to have good weather, so much of the trip was something of a shock. Few things can be more glorious than swimming in sunshine beneath snow-capped peaks, but doing so while avoiding hypothermia is one. Wonderful views were also reported that day from a Moel-hunting expedition, while another group had such a good day they stayed out past sunset.

Of course, mist and rain weren't entirely avoidable, with the Monday more than a little damp, but when you can navigate by following the sound of the Cow Song then hillwalking's not too bad. Snow, too, was an obstacle, putting paid to a first-day Welsh 3000s attempt while making photos from a Crib Goch crossing all the more impressive. New members threw themselves into the trip, scrambling, kicking snow steps, and making beautiful glissades. They even reported enjoying it!

Trip Participants

Rose P., Philip W., Sumita C., Matt A (trip leader), Erin B., Susie R., Johanna F., Anthony K., Ben H., Ben B., Alex H., Simon W., Matt H., Isy G., Adrien L., Juliette M., Kathryn D., Ranulph D., Andy H.

Mystery Trip, 6–8 May

This year's mystery trip created the usual intrigue and suspense: a fair few people had worked out that we were off to Tan Y Garth, Capel Curig, but by no means all!

Given that recent weather in Cambridge has been hot and sunny, it was perhaps a bit disappointing that both days dawned misty and damp: fortunately, both days came good. Of course, there was an outburst freezing wind-blown drizzle on the Glyder before the sun appeared!

Many groups experienced the Glyders in their majesty, while Paul and Camilla went on a monstrous trip into the Carneddau. On Sunday, around half of us went up Moel Siabod, an unexpectedly scrambly ascent which was great fun!

As ever, the walking was only half the story; we had fantastic cooking on Saturday night, the most enthusiastic singing I can remember, and plenty of good fun.

Thanks to everyone who came - see you all again!

Trip List:

1 David H
2 Ben B
3 Thomas A
4 Romaric M
5 Marie S
6 Hanna S
7 Mark B
8 Olivia T
9 Rory L
10 Jake S
11 Paul F
12 Valerie A
13 Camilla P
14 Jens A
15 Rebekah L
16 Grasilda Z
17 William G
18 April C

Author: 
David H

Chiltern Hills Day Trip, 22nd May

Eager for an effort free and environmentally friendly approach to day trips, the President decided that the Easter Term day trip was to be do the Chiltern Hills, and that we would be travelling by train. This meant that there was no obligation to come until you bought your train tickets on the morning - beautiful weather meant that many decided to come at the last minute!

We travelled to either Berkhamsted or Tring, depending on the chosen walk. My group headed through open fields, deer parks and woodland to reach Ivinghoe Beacon, a respectable viewpoint across the Chilterns. We returned by a mediocre pub, but at least there was beer.

Matt A led a walk over towards Wendover Woods, and got a little carried away: they returned after 31.5km! I think we can safely say they earned their Chinese Takeway dinner.

Overall, I think everyone had a pleasent trip, and that the train format is one to be repeated: it minimises work for the committee, is fairly affordable, and means that people can drop in/out of the trip according to their workload and other commitments. The Chilterns may not have the wildness of the Peak District, but they are certainly closer, and the quality of the walking is not to be dismissed!

Patterdale, 3–5 June 2016

This was the traditional post-exams trip to Patterdale in the Lake District.

There were probably no other trip details.

2014-15

Academic year 2014-15

Roybridge (Scotland), 19–27 September 2015

Trip Summary

Author: Ben B

This year's "semi-official" [i.e. Andrew counts it in his leaderboard stats] Scotland trip took us to the Grey Corrie bunkhouse in Roy Bridge, a few miles from Fort William. Andrew took on the gruelling Saturday drive up from Cambridge, with moral support supplied by Sumita, Jantine and Ben. Alex (H) joined the party at Birmingham International Airport, fresh from a wander up the US west coast. Saturday night was spent in the Tulloch Station bunkhouse (whose owners are cursed forever to be occupied in the frying of sausages), before relocating to our more permanent lodgings the next morning.

The Grey Corrie bunkhouse proved very comfortable. The puzzling scarcity of mugs was made up for by the box of boot newspaper – considered such a pleasing innovation that the Bunkhouse Review Board (BRB) representative was persuaded to withhold a rating (in favour of their earlier demolition order).

The first few days' walks were drawn from Andrew's impressive ring-binder of as-yet unbagged Munros, with two (Beinn Teallach and Beinn a'Chaorainn) checked off on Sunday, the first day of walking. The group were joined that day by Tom and Paul, arriving from an even less official Seathwaite trip. Monday saw a notable spike in the intensity, as Andrew, Ben, Alex, Tom and Paul took a trip into the Mamores. The stunning ridge walk included six Munros, plus assorted Tops, leaving Andrew's checklist sated. Meanwhile, Sumita and Jantine set out from the bunkhouse to explore the nearby forest. Their reports of an encounter with a dinosaur are yet to be independently verified, although the scratches they bore on their return appear to corroborate.

Tuesday was the day appointed for our meeting with Ben Nevis. The ascent of the "tourist track" to the halfway lochan proved more technical than expected, with some bold footwork required in negotiating ailing tour groups. From there, Andrew, Tom, Paul and Alex set off to conquer Carn Mor Dearg, before crossing the arête onto Ben Nevis. Andrew was called away on bagging duties at this point, and rejoined the group later in a state of some exhilaration (and exhaustion having decided it wise to run the 1300 m of descent from Ben Nevis to sea level). Ben, Sumita and Jantine continued the arduous ascent of the tourist track. At the summit was observed a most touching marriage proposal, swiftly curtailed by adverse atmospheric conditions (a sandstorm and choking cloud of cement dust). The descent was slowed by the need to offer patronising encouragement and misleading estimations of progress to those on the ascent ("there's a pub at the top, you know"). Andrew described the tourist track as perhaps one of the least interesting walks he had ever done.

Wednesday was spent exploring the high (Andrew: "dull") moorland of the Monadh Liath. ticking off another three Munros. It is a sad reflection on modern life that a bent spoon is no longer sufficient deterrent to stalker stalking. Nevertheless, the refuge we found in the stalkers' hut was very welcome, given the ever-present leporine threat hanging over these hills. The route onwards from our first pair of (admittedly underwhelming) Munros involved a great deal of treacherous bog-hopping, guided only by our navigational wits and a line of steel fence posts stretching the entire length of the ridge. This trek led to the high point of the day: the dramatic summit of Carn Dearg with its shear fall-off into the glen. Then followed a damp and rather cold hike down to the river and thence the road. This had been termed our "rest day" (or perhaps that was just what Andrew led people to believe), but when Paul's GPS told us that we'd walked over 27 km and Andrew's altimeter said we'd managed over 1500 m ascent, it hardly felt so in the end.

Thursday saw an exchange of personnel, with Alex K having arrived the previous day, and Andrew, Sumita and Jantine leaving for home. The weather was rather miserable, with thunderstorms forecast, so we took a drive along the Great Glen to Fort Augustus. After a silent yet fierce battle with selfie-stick wielding tourists, Ben secured the jetty overlooking Loch Ness, from where no monsters were seen that day. After terrorising walkers along the Calendonian Canal, we retired to a tea shop.

Friday and Saturday saw two forays into the Grey Corries. The dramatic landscape and good weather contributed to some very enjoyable hillwalking. Particularly memorable was an exhilarating bouldery descent followed by a clamber up the crushed-quartzite scree of Stob Ban. From the summit, we admired the glorious views out over the boggy wasteland beyond Loch Trieg, turning our backs on the monotonous heights of Ben Nevis.

I believe this trip had something to offer for all those involved. This was for several of the group a first trip to Scotland. For Andrew, it was a continuation of his Scottish conquest, bringing him close to the midway point of Munro Bagging; for Alex K, a spell of post-viva relaxation; and, for Alex H, some welcome mountain nap-time whilst waiting around for the rest of us. For the whole group, it was a chance to explore one of the most dramatic landscapes the UK has to offer. I hope there will be many more such trips to come. Seconded [AW].

Trip Participants

Andrew W, Tom A, Ben B, Paul F, Alex K, Alex H, Sumita C and Jantine B.

Trip Photos

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Stunning views on the Mamores (Andrew W)

The ridge to An Gearanach (Andrew W)

The Mamores from Ben Nevis' SW Top (Andrew W)

"Dull" hills, apparently... (Andrew W)

Tan-y-Grisiau, 25–26 July 2015 (unofficial)

Trip Summary

An unofficial, almost spur-of-the-moment trip to the Lancashire Climbing and Caving Club hut near Blaenau Ffestiniog in mid-Snowdonia. The trip had three club members, plus nine other intern students, in the Cambridge area for the summer months from various European universities.

On Saturday, everyone except Philip walked together, doing a route from the hut up through Cwmorthin quarry, onto the Moelwyns, and then back down through the quarry. Those who hadn’t walked in Wales before were astonished to find the route went off-path. The weather was fantastic: soaring sun and superb visibility. Almost picnic weather!

Philip went off and did an antisocial walk around some disused mine workings by the Manods and Ro Wen.

In the evening, Maxime orchestrated bolognese for everyone, followed by apple crumble and far too much custard. The bunkhouse was a perfect size for 12 to heat the place up and have a good evening discussing everything from chapters of the bible through to the midges of Scotland.

The weather on Sunday was considerably less nice, with intermittent but thorough showers and poor visibility. Several people wisely decided to stay in the bunkhouse and wander around Blaenau instead of going for a walk. Everyone else decided that heading up to Rhosydd would be pleasant. It was wet. A phone got lost, then confirmed lost, then found. People slipped over on wet grass. Feet found bog. Lunch was had by a small tarn on the way back, in a brief break between showers.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader), Maxime C, James H, Alex D, Gal K, Magali P, Julian S, Marie G, Lane B, Aurelie, Nathan

Author: 
Philip W

Rydal, 5–7 June 2015

Trip Summary

For our final trip of the academic year, CUHWC headed to Rydal Hall in the Lake District. The large bunkhouse was ideal for accommodating hillwalkers desperate for a post-exams escape from Cambridge. An adjacent campsite and the shore of Rydal water provided additional space for campers.

On Saturday several groups walked the Fairfield horseshoe which lies directly north of the bunkhouse, whilst others (Phil, Becky, Jane and Simon) assiduously avoided it. The weather looked fair as we set out but as those on the Fairfield horseshoe reached Nab Scar it became apparent that this was going to be a very windy walk. There was little respite round the ridge and several instances of crawling and bottom-shuffling ensued. One member’s glasses were even blown off, providing an unexpected argument in favour of contact lenses. Everyone returned safely however, with the discovery of some of Ambleside’s finest pubs and apple pie shops on the way back to the bunkhouse.

As ever Saturday evening’s meals were delicious and everyone was fed with only a little chaos resulting from three food groups using the galley kitchen. After vast quantities of kitchiri, risotto and beetroot had been consumed the group divided, some to the pub, some to political discussion and others to make all the letters in Bananagrams into a grid about camelids. All this activity left no time for the use of the newly revamped songbooks, to the dismay of some and great joy of others.

Six people spent both days on a scrambling course, learning ropework techniques and gaining confidence on some of the Lake District’s finest scrambles. This group’s longer day on Sunday allowed a few of us to walk the Langdale skyline (taking in one fewer Wainwright than on Saturday, disappointingly for Andrew W). Other groups headed off to satisfy the urge for wild swimming in a gorge scramble and to wander over Loughrigg Fell.

A sunny Sunday in the Lakes felt like an appropriate close to the year’s walking and everyone left enthused about their various summer plans and, hopefully, next year’s trips.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader), Josh A (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Paul C, Matt H, Thomas A, Helen F, Sumita C, Zekang C, Heidi SØ, Benjamin B, Sam L, Camilla P, Andrew W, April C, William G, Jade C, Felix P, Jamie C, Valerie A, Pascal F, Immy C, Daria C, James H, Karol P, Jakub S, James L, David W, Maxime C, Qurrat-ul-A, Fingal L, Simon W, Jane P, Robert H, Matthew A, John O, David H, Tom L, Becky H

Photos

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Elterwater from somewhere on one of Loughrigg’s many knobbles. (Philip W)

Looking towards our final peak, Harrison Stickle, as the weather really improved. (Andrew W)

Author: 
Camilla Penney

Cleveland, 24 May 2015

Trip Summary

For this term’s day trip, CUHWC headed to near Hawnby in the North York Moors. This is only the second time we’ve visited this area; last time was in 2002! There were a number of new members in the group, who all seemed to enjoy themselves, even if they did get sunburned.

After a prompt 07:00 start from Queen’s Road, we arrived at 10:00 and after some route card faff got going a bit before 11:00. There were three groups — a ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ group doing the horseshoe around Bilsdale West Moor, Black Moor, White Gill Head and then Coomb Hill. Predictably, the ‘fast’ group spent a long time trying to catch up with the ‘slow’ group before finally overtaking them. The ‘slow’ group had a wonderful time trying to identify various birds on the moors — after much debating, it was decided that we saw lapwings, curlews and (the more easily identified) red grouse.

The third group (of two) did roughly the same route, but in the opposite direction, and focused on practicing their navigation skills. They saw a lot of dead animals (two sheep, lots of spiders, a hedgehog, several rabbits and several pheasants and other birds) in Thorodale. It was labelled the valley of death, and they warned the other groups not to go there. Nobody on the trip died, which is good because it would have resulted in a lot of paperwork.

All three groups got back to Hawnby in time to stock up on cream teas at the tea shop and pub, before heading off back to Cambridge to get in at about 23:00.

Trip Participants

Philip W (Trip Leader), Paul C (Trip Safety Officer), Tom A, Michael F, Zekang C, Juliette M, Sriram K, Angela G, Adrien L, Sumita C, Carolina C, Simon C, Nebibe V, Jantine B, Dilip K, Amani Z, Qurrat-ul-A, Ben W

Photos

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On the way up Arden Great Moor, looking north. Colourful! (Philip W)

Author: 
Philip Withnall

Rhyd Ddu, 8-10 May 2015

Author: Adrien L

Trip Summary

For this first trip of Easter 2015, CUHWC stayed in the Tan yr Wyddfa hut, in the heart of Snowdonia, at the foot of Snowdon's western side. This trip was much awaited, with an almost record-breaking full sign-up by 6:29AM. As was the case for the previous trip to Cwm Dyli, only one of the 16 trip participants was an undergraduate. A good proportion of relatively new members was observed, with no fewer than six members having been on two trips or fewer before.

The ideal location of the hut enabled a variety of walks for all members. Those wanting to walk up the highest point in Wales for the first time had a great walk to Snowdon, while one of the more experienced hill baggers (Andrew) got the opportunity to bag his last Snowdonian Nuttall, Mynydd Mawr. A navigation course was successfully run on Saturday, with Joe, club member and ML, taking three individuals between Snowdon and Yr Aran to teach them the fundamentals of hillwalking navigation. The Nantlle ridge proved particularly successful, with a group doing most of it on Saturday, coming back to Rhyd Ddu in a loop through the Beddgelert Forest in what turned out to be a long and tiring walk. Unfortunately, low clouds and light rain were endured in the morning, sadly depriving the brave hillwalkers of the stunning view. A second group ventured there on Sunday for a shorter, navigation-practice oriented walk, and experienced even worse weather conditions, with strong winds along the ridge (the low clouds being however ideal for practising navigation!). This trip featured a good number of small-group walks (five route cards for 16 people on Sunday), enabling a couple of members to enjoy relaxed walks, with an afternoon nap reported at the shore of the Llyn y Dywarchen Reservoir, and an (unexpectedly tortuous) walk back in the Beddgelert Forest after a nice train ride from Rhyd Ddu. Despite this relatively inclement May weather, it can be said with high confidence that the participants thoroughly enjoyed their time out in the hills.

The evenings were no less fun, considering the delicious food that was cooked and the impressive amount of singing that took place! The absence of the Song Books revealed that some club members could actually recall the most iconic songs, such as the "Cow Song" and the "Cambridge Hillwalker", while leaving much space for many "unofficial" songs which had a great success. Overall, much fun was had on Saturday night around a vigorous fire in the cosy ambiance of the vast living room.

Trip Participants

Andrew W (Trip Leader), Paul C (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Adrien L, April C, An L, Camilla P, Juliette M, Matt H, Sumita C, Joe H, Tom A, Heidi S, Zekang C, Ben B, Alex H, and James H.

Photos

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Last Nuttall bagged in Snowdonia (Adrien L)

The Nantlle Ridge and Mynydd Mawr from near Rhyd Ddu on a gloomy morning (Andrew W)

Cwm Dyli, 10-15 April 2015

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

For the fifth consecutive year, CUHWC returned to the Pinnacle Club's wonderful Emily Kelly Hut at the base of Snowdon for our Easter Vacation Trip. The majority of people travelled from Cambridge for the trip, with the highest number staying over the weekend, but some members were present for each day of the trip. Of those attending, only one was an undergraduate, contrasting rather starkly with last year's equivalent trip when undergraduates were almost in majority.

We enjoyed a mix of weather, with a couple of days being blessed with stunningly clear skies and another couple seeing a fair amount of cloud and rain. We were nevertheless undeterred. Between us, we visited Snowdon several times using a variety of routes, the peaks of the Glyders, some of the less frequented western Carneddau hills, a couple of valley walks and an attempt on Moel Siabod, which was sadly rained off. There was the standard complement of high-quality evening meals and socialising (not to mention a number of involved discussions on, for example, tax, politics and British politeness).

Taken together, all of the above rendered this yet another memorable trip to Cwm Dyli for CUHWC, even if this year's was less popular than some of the previous trips; we look ahead to our next visit here with a great deal of optimism.

Trip Participants

Andrew W (Trip Leader), Paul C (Trip Safety Officer), Ben More (Mascot), Adrien L, Matt A, Michael F, Will G, April C, Matt H, Camilla P, Sumita C and Ranulph D.

Photos

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The Emily Kelly Hut in Cwm Dyli (Adrien L)

Crib Goch (Matt A)

On Y Lliwedd (Andrew W)

Littondale, 6-8 March 2015

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

Anticipation was suitably high for CUHWC’s first visit to the ‘toy town’ (Presidential communication) that is Halton Gill. Living up to these expectations, the final weekend trip of Lent Term was a true success for the 31 hillwalkers involved (with some additional places filled by CUMC). Nestled in one of the quieter valleys of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and among some of the Yorkshire Dales’ most impressive limestone scenery, Halton Gill Bunk Barn was widely accepted to be some of the best accommodation that CUHWC has been fortunate enough to stay in. Indeed, it even boasted a sauna and (table) games room! We were blessed with dry, if cloudy, weather for the trip and the mild temperatures meant that the only snow remaining was in wall-side drifts.

Taking advantage of the bunkhouse’s proximity to the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and in particular Pen-y-Ghent, the vast majority of trip participants (even, perhaps, all of them?) visited Pen-y-Ghent on Saturday. Various permutations followed from Pen-y-Ghent: one walk included an ascent of the nearby Fountains Fell by following the Pennine Way, one combined this with an ascent of the higher Ingleborough, while others headed northwards or down into Horton-in-Ribblesdale. There was no shortage of longer routes, too, with two groups returning post-sunset, and one of these had completed the Three Peaks over their 13-hour day.

Saturday evening, though lacking any singing, was as always first class if a little delayed with the late returners (and the distraction that was the sauna!). We were treated to an impressive array of meals, even if one group was rather puzzled by their failed attempt at baking brownies.

On Sunday, our walks were shorter (with some even being dangerously like rambling), but we managed to explore the broad ridge of Horse Head Moor to the east of the bunkhouse, the quietness and splendour of the Littondale valley with its inherently impressive geology, and the area surrounding Malham Tarn. A few others drove to the nearby Wharfedale or to the epic Kilnsey Crag.

Overall, the trip was an ideal way to mark the end of term for all of those involved, with the bar set highly for our vacation trip and Easter Term outings.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Josh A (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Valerie A, Tom A, Emily B, David B, Harriet C, Zekang C, Daria C, Ros C, Jamie C, James D, April G, William G, Matt H, Becky H, Andy H, Tina K, Alex K, Philipp K (with CUMC), Sam L, Alexander L (with CUMC), Adrien L, Fingal L, Juliette M, Yining N, Rose P (with CUMC), Helen P, Alex R, Toby S, Kathrin S, Lucie S, Andrew W, Philip W and Steven W.

Photos

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Near Height Laithe, Malham Moor (Andrew W)

An impressive sunset (Philip W)

On the Pennine Way near Pen-y-Ghent (Zekang C)

Ennerdale, 13-15 February 2015

Trip Summary

For the second trip of Lent term, the club headed up to the Low Gillerthewaite Field Centre, located in stunning Ennerdale in the Western Fells, last visited by the club in 2012. This was our first joint trip with our counterparts in the ‘other place’, the Oxford University Walking Club, perhaps our largest ever. More than 50 people attended from both clubs – presenting a small challenge for the Trip Leader and Safety Officer, Tom L and Josh A! Despite a slightly chaotic start in the morning, groups from both clubs headed up onto the north and south aspects of the Ennerdale horseshoe, tackling High Stile, High Crag and Haystacks – said to be Wainwright’s favourite Lakeland fell – while others headed to Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Pillar to the south.

Hillwalkers learnt a lot from their counterparts in the ‘other place’; many found it useful to see the different approaches of the two clubs and learn lessons. Many of the Oxford hillwalkers enjoyed the freedom of our walk approach, allowing walks to be decided upon and lead more flexibly, although perhaps fewer enjoyed the singing of the ‘Cow Song’ into the evening! Some in OUWC were slightly surprised by the pace of some CUHWC walks – with Philip W and Paul C giving two OUWC members a good challenge with a ‘brisk’ walk around the entirety of the 20-mile Ennerdale horseshoe.

Back at the hut on the Saturday night, as always there was an exciting range of meals on offer – even if the small kitchen did pose a bit of a challenge with 52 hungry hillwalkers! Lentil and Cardamon soup was on offer, together with vegetable tapas and homemade chocolate torte. Many enjoyed another clear day on the hills on Sunday, with parties tending to head to the ‘opposite’ side of the horseshoe, or alternatively for a more gentle stroll around Ennerdale Water. Everyone (except for the group lead by the Trip Leader!) returned on time by 3:30, before the lengthy drive back over the Pennines to Wetherby and on to Cambridge.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Josh A (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Valerie A, Tom A, Greg C, Daria C, Tanya C, Paul C, Anthony C, Eleri C, Jamie C, Antonin D, Paul F, Virrup G, Wenting G, Matt H, Alex H, Yanting J, Clementine M, Yining N, Jane P, Heidi S Ø, Kathrin S, Lucie S, George W, Simon W, Philip W and 20 OUWC members.

Photos

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Ice on Innominate Tarn (Philip W)

The view down Ennerdale (Paul F)

Capel Curig, January 2015

An eventful trip to the Tan-y-Garth bunkhouse in Capel Curig. Firstly, sign-up filled the minute immediately preceding 7am, after a serving of pancakes for those who arrived even earlier! By the time the clock ticked 8 o'clock well over 10 reserves were standing around. Quick thinking from the outgoing President, meant the club was able to open up the trip to 10 on the reserve list by booking the nearby Siabod Longhouse. First danger averted.

All of a sudden it was Friday, sitting in an MPV leaving Cambridge on the A14. As the incoming President wrote:

"With no great mishap we were back on the A14
Speeding down the dual carriageway to Kettering
Till out of the blue our tyre punctured
To sit on the hard shoulder was not quite the trip's function
A long phone call and finally a curry arrived
While we rambled dangerously a field that nigh

Perched on our seats on the edge of despair
Yearning to breathe that fresh mountain air."

When we finally made it to Siabod Longhouse, it was gone 4am.

All walks on the Saturday were relatively successful with good winter conditions, though the wind was problematic on higher ridges. Fantastic visibility below cloud level. Sunday was even better with lighter winds and significant sunshine and blue sky, particularly during the middle of the day. Even more winter experience was gained with a walk introducing crampon as-well-as ice axe use on the southern half of the Snowdon horseshoe.

Author: 
Marcus Taylor

Seathwaite, New Year 2015

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

The New Year trip (5–9 January) followed recent tradition and returned to Seathwaite's wonderful High House. We were treated to rather a mix of weather, although there was an almost complete lack of snow. Between us, we managed to explore a number of the hills around the bunkhouse over the trip, including Scafell Pike, the Gables, Kirk Fell, Castle Crag and some of the Central Fells, in addition to the more distant peaks of the Coledale Horseshoe. We battled with the weather on a couple of days, especially when it threatened to cut us off at High House by flooding the approach road; thankfully, this was largely to no avail. Many members regard this trip as the beacon of CUHWC’s evening socialising and this year's trip was no exception to such a title. Overall, it set the bar pretty highly for another year of memories with CUHWC. Further details of the trip, including the threatening 'floods', can be found in the Trip Book.

Trip Participants

Marcus T (Trip Leader), Michael F (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Josh A, Andrew W, David H, Anthony C, Paul F, David W, Adrien L, Jade C, Tom N, Xavier B, Zekang C and Fingal L.

Photos

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Buttermere from Fleetwith Pike (Marcus T)

The NW Fells from Coledale Hause (Andrew W)

Dartmoor, 28-30 November 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

The final trip of Michaelmas 2014 was to Dartmoor and a new bunkhouse for the Club: Powdermills. Continuing the contrast with Michaelmas 2013 in terms of weather, there were some quite stunning conditions on this trip. The trip also featured the second centrally organised CUHWC Christmas Dinner on the Saturday evening.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Rose P (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Matt H, Joe H, Becky H, Tom A, Ben B, Ros C, Malinda M, Philip W, Alex K, Tom H, Alex H, Constanze H, Eleri C, Marcus T, Barbara J, Stan J, Camilla P, Sam L, Josh A, Yining N, Evan K, Simon W, Valerie A and Madeline K.

Photos

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Reflections (Marcus T)

CUHWC Christmas Dinner, Mark II (Philip W)

Stunning weather conditions on Dartmoor (Yining N)

Caseg Ffraith, 14-16 November 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

A firm Club favourite, the ULGMC's Caseg Ffraith Hut saw a group of 40 CUHWC members descend on it for a weekend of fun in mid-November. Just to further reinforce the Club's love of this location, we had weather that was nothing short of stunning on both Saturday and Sunday, meaning between us we thoroughly explored the Glyderau, Carneddau, with groups on each day travelling further afield to the Snowdon range. On Saturday, many groups scrambled on Tryfan, either by the classic North Ridge or Heather Terrace, most then extending their routes onto the Glyderau as documented by many classic photos on the Cantilever. A more ambitious contingent headed across to the Carneddau from there, finishing their route as the sun set. A large group completed the Snowdon Horseshoe. As is becoming traditional in Michaelmas, a successful navigation course was organised by one of the Safety Officers, Andy, on the Saturday, which gave six Club members some more training in planning and leading routes. Since CUMC were staying in a bunkhouse close to ours, there was some joint socialising (and cooking) on Saturday evening, as we got to know each other over a glass of some excellent mulled wine, thanks to the Treasurer's forward planning. Several of our members were also able to 'try out' climbing with CUMC on both days. The fact that climbing resulted in at least one late finish highlighted for some Club members the importance of not permitting climbing on hillwalking trips, though clearly this trip was a suitable opportunity to allow this to happen. On Sunday, most people headed onto the Carneddau, experiencing glorious conditions as they emerged above the clouds, with more than one brocken spectre for good measure. Another set of people scrambled onto Tryfan and the Glyders, and more people headed for Snowdon. All in all, another incredible trip, rekindling CUHWC's love of the Ogwen Valley, perhaps in view of the extreme weather we experienced here this time last year.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Andy H (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Matt H, Michael F, Tom O, Andrew W, Peter K, Tom A, Greg C, Becky H, Jade C, Camilla P, Ben B, Allison P, Lucie S, Adrien L, Antonia C, Alex K, Yingda L, Yining N, Denise H, Aude C, John O, Philip W, Ranulph D, Kerrie Ann K, Jamie C, Josh A, Helen P, Laurent M, Julia J, Clementine M, Will W, Heidi S O, David B, Emily B, Tina K, Valerie A, Kenny T, Carson W, Matthew K and Helen P. Some notable CUHWC members were on the CUMC trip (and thus joined our socialising on Saturday evening): Tom H, Rose P, Paul F and Alexander L.

Photos

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The Carneddau in all their glory (Andrew W)

CUHWC members on the Cantilever (Adrien L)

Scrambling on Tryfan (Heidi S)

Scrambling along exposed Crib Goch (Lucie S)

Moel Siabod from near Snowdon (Yining N)

Tryfan and the Glyderau above the Ogwen Valley (Matt H)

Glenridding, 31 October-2 November 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

Nestled on the slopes of Sheffield Pike in the Lake District, the Bury Jubilee Outdoor Pursuits Centre near Glenridding was the location of the first weekend trip of Michaelmas 2014. This was an(other!) exciting new bunkhouse for the Club, with spaces for 30 people, and somewhere we definitely hope to return to in the future. A decent hoard of newcomers merged with older members to create another memorable start to the year's weekend trips. Making the most of the hut's proximity to Helvellyn, most people chose to climb it on one or both days of the trip. Everyone enjoyed their scrambles to the summit via Striding and Swirral Edges, with extensions from there taking groups northwards along the rolling Dodds or southwards onto the more rugged Fairfield and St. Sunday Crag. A large group headed east towards Place Fell on Sunday, and one group ventured onto the Far Eastern Fells on Saturday, even if their route was cut short due to a fall from a bridge that was "slippery, just like railway sleepers"; thankfully, the incurred injuries were not as bad as they could have been. The trip's weather was certainly a blessing, too, with only the odd passing rain shower to deal with. The kitchen coped well with the many ambitious cooking groups on Saturday evening, and there was the customary pumpkin carving to celebrate Hallowe'en, just about making up for one of the less enthusiastic singing sessions than we've had of late; this left more than one of the trip's participants somewhat disgruntled.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Rose P (Trip Safety Officer), Ben M (Mascot), Matt H, Paul C, Andrew W, David B, Emily B, Tom A, Michael F, Laurent M, Ranulph D, Paul F, Tamas S-T, Charlotte Z, Denise H, Yining N, Karol P, Ben B, Adrien L, Constanze H, Madeline K, Ros C, Marcus T, Valerie A, Alex R, Zekang C, Cammy M, Katrin S, Kenny T and Stefania G. Michael & Helen A made a brief appearance.

Photos

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The stunning Ullswater from Sheffield Pike (Marcus T)

The Far Eastern Fells from near Place Fell (Yining N)

Helvellyn & Striding Edge from Catstye Cam (Andrew W)

Edale, 19 October 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

Our 'silver' (25th) Freshers' Day Trip to Edale in the Peak District wasn't much different to the previous 24 in terms of format, but as the years continue to change, so too do the participants. We welcomed another keen group of newcomers to the Club, and though we didn't quite manage to equal last year's record high of 64, we still had 62 people in attendance, principally thanks to some careful transport planning and Freshers' Squash plugging. A variety of walks took the groups from Edale across to Hayfield, each with varying quantities of bog included. Though the weather wasn't quite as good as it has been in recent years, with some strong gusts buffeting the Kinder Plateau and surrounding ridges in particular, the trip was enjoyed by those who took part, providing the foundations for many people's involvement with the Club, and giving some older members yet another opportunity to tell newcomers about how good it is. As has become traditional, most groups finished with a pint and some food in the pub in Hayfield before the return to Cambridge and the next escape to the hills in a fortnight's time.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Rose P, Andy H (Stuff), Paul C, David H, John O, Josh A, Alex K, Laurent M, Andrew W, Marcus T, Paul F, Philip W, Natthawut A, Nadia A, Amanda C, Helen C, Catherine C-B, Wojciech C, Amanda F, Sarah F, Lorena G-P, Pierre H, Jared H, Lizzi H, Brenda J, J Yanting, Wojciech K, Alisha K, Evan K, Viktor K, Fingal L, Christiane L, Shiqing M, Malinda M, Barbara M, Natalie M, Amiya N, Felix P, Katren R, Gavin R, Nicole S, Morgan S, Beth S, Antonia S, Jean T, Joe W, Nathan W L, Benjamin W, Tina K, Allison P, Camilla P, Lucie S, Carson W, Zekang C, Kathrin S, Alexander L, Ben B, Yining N, David B and Emily B.

Photos

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Sunshine and Showers on The Edge, north of the Kinder Plateau (Andrew W)

2013-14

Academic year 2013-14

25th Anniversary Year activities

The 2013-14 academic year was CUHWC's 25th Anniversary Year. This page provides further details of the activities that took place during this special year. The pages are left more or less in the same state that they were at the end of the year, to provide an interesting record of the year and to give the 30th Anniversary Year (in the 2018-19 academic year) committee some ideas as they begin to plan for that. [AW edit during page migration, February 2017]

Background to the celebrations

In 2014, Cambridge University Hillwalking Club celebrated twenty-five years with its silver anniversary. Members of the club in its early days (and those who have read about how it all started) will know that it came into being rather gradually, and so, rather than pinpoint a specific birthday, we decided to spread the celebrations over an entire academic year, running from October 2013 to September 2014. The main event, as in previous anniversary years, was a black-tie dinner and weekend in the Lake District, in February 2014.

This page and those linked from it are intended to serve as a source of information about the events organised, a starting point for both current members and duffers to get involved in numerous ways, and a place to follow events and share photos as they happened and afterwards. Please take a look around!

Best wishes,

Dave Farrow, Jo Smith and Michael Fordham
The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Year team

Anniversary Dinner and weekend meet — Langdale, 21-23 February 2014

The flagship event of the year, combining a black-tie dinner with opportunities for hillwalking in the heart of the Lake District. We returned to Langdale (High Close) YHA, the location of the Twentieth Anniversary Dinner, with nearly 100 new, existing and old members. The somewhat wet weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the attendees: hills were climbed, a wonderful dinner eaten, vast quantities of alcohol drunk, songs sung, willows stripped, mascots chased and a fantastic time had by all.

Here is a photograph of the group taken just before dinner:

Further group photographs taken by Toby can be found at this link.

Photo albums from some of the event attendees can be found by clicking the following links:

Journal

After some fantastic submissions for the Twentieth Anniversary Journal, the plan was to produce one this time around that was bigger, better and not just run off by the nice reprographics lady at Michael's school.

Members past and present rose to the occasion and produced some wonderful material, which was skilfully assembled and edited by Michael, Sarah and Bethan. The journal was distributed to all who pre-ordered a copy at the Anniversary Dinner in February.

Although we would like to make the journal available online, transforming the material into a suitable format is a large and time-consuming job and so there are currently no plans to do this. However, there are still some hard copies available for purchase at £3 plus postage (free if you can pick it up from Cambridge) so if you would like to see if you can still get one, you can try contacting a member of the organising committee or the current CUHWC committee.

Silver Hills

25 memorable hills from 25 years: your stories published in the Anniversary Journal

Following a great suggestion from Bethan Gudgeon (Social Secretary 2010), we have gathered stories from club members across the years to form a collection of 25 classic "Silver Hills", published with pictures and route descriptions in the Anniversary Journal.

From the best day out in Britain's mountains to memorable scrambles, afternoon strolls, epics, the most exciting hills for kids, they all come with a personal story.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed!

25th Anniversary T-shirt

We have produced a Twenty-fifth Anniversary T-shirt, if nothing else to add another collectable to the growing assortment of CUHWC T-shirts! If you didn't get your hands on one at the Anniversary Dinner, the club is organising a second order - contact the social sec if you'd like one.

Here is the design:

Collective Wainwright bagging

A club-and-duffer effort to summit all 214 Wainwrights within the anniversary year.

Update 4th October 2014

The challenge has been SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED, as you will see from the map linked below! Thanks to all who participated and especially to Joe for keeping the records and keeping us on track. Watch this space for a more detailed write-up of the project (promised by Michael if anyone cares to pester him about it), and in the meantime you can see who did what by hovering over all the green dots on the map.

Tell us what you've done

If you've climbed a Wainwright since the beginning of October 2013, enter it on the database so we can all see who's done what, and how we're doing!

Enter as much detail as possible, and you can of course add your stories and links to photo albums!

Click here to update the list.

See how far we've got!

Click here to see the map.

The red dots will change to green once they've been 'bagged'.

Please note that the map is updated manually. Drop Joe Hobbs (jlh79 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk) an email if you've made changes recently and want the map updated!

Cambridge Garden Party - 14th June 2014

May Week saw a crowd of current and past members enjoying a sunny(ish) Garden Party and punting trip. All the details are below for those who missed it... (The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the event picture still shows the 2010 Garden Party - we'd like to update this, so if you have a good photo of this year's event please send it to the webmaster.)


Remember sipping champagne and enjoying strawberries and cream on a Cambridge college lawn, watching the punts go past? Relive your student days (or at least the sophisticated bits!) by joining fellow hillwalkers from across the years at a summer Garden Party.

Dr James Hickson invites you all to join him and the current club for the CUHWC Garden Party on Saturday 14th June in Pembroke College gardens.

Duffers of all generations are more than welcome - we very much hope you can join us!

Garden Party details

Our fabulous annual Garden Party is coming up to kick off May Week from 2-4pm on Saturday 14 June. Set in the beautiful grounds of Pembroke Fellow’s Garden, this promises to be a special way to celebrate the club’s 25th Anniversary (following on from the memorable Langdale Trip in Lent). The price of a ticket will be £8, with vast quantities of delicious food and plenty of Pimm’s to help you soak up the afternoon sun (we hope!). If there’s anything you’d particularly like to cook or bring along that would be fantastic and we’ll be able to pay your back for the cost of ingredients (see below), or just come along to the most fun that hillwalkers can have whilst in Cambridge!

Contributing Garden Party food

If you're feeling keen, we'd love you to bring along something delicious to share! Once you’ve signed up to attend, head over to the cooking wiki. The idea is that you bring along some of your own food along in a group or as an individual and we’ll pay you back for the cost of the ingredients. Whatever you come up with will be most appreciated, and don’t worry Hillwalkers aren’t fussy! If cooking is not for you, not to worry, we’ll be just as glad to have your company.

Punting details

And if the Garden Party isn’t too much fun for one day, then it will be followed by Overnight Punting with a BBQ, even more drinking and other festivities on Grantchester Meadows. There will be fun flying everywhere in the form of frisbees, sparklers, and all those other things you just didn’t quite get the chance to do during Exam term! We’ll then punt back to Cambridge in the dark. The price for this will be £12 to cover the cost of everything (except the fun – that’s free!).

We’re sure you’d like to come to both, which all in all is a bargain for just £20, but if you’d like to come to one or the other, we’d be delighted to have your company too. Please email the current social secs, Jade & Marcus (cuhwc-social at srcf.net) and either transfer the appropriate amount to the club account (account no: 00572720 // sort code: 30-91-56), or send a cheque, payable to 'CU Hillwalking Club', to John Ockenden's pidgeonhole at Clare Colony, to secure your place by Friday 6th June.

Family-friendly camping meet - summer 2014

May bank holiday saw a number of duffers attend a camping meet at Rydal Hall in the heart of the Lake District (thanks to Niall for organising). We trust everyone had fun! The original details are below, for anyone who wants to know what they missed...


A Lakeland camping trip for everyone, whether you are two years old and will happily spend a whole day exploring a rock pool, or a student with too much energy wanting to tick off several tens of HuMPs in one go.

This will be based at Rydal Hall, from Friday May 23rd 2014. We would expect most people to arrive on Friday 23rd, some on Sat 24th. Some people would leave Sunday or Monday, others stay through to Wednesday or Thursday. (If you wish to stay beyond this you may be asked to move your tent.)

We're provisionally booked on sites C8-12 (see map) and we need to confirm the booking, with a deposit, by mid-November.

If you'd like to come, please let Niall (niall.mackay at york.ac.uk) know, with numbers (adults+children) and which nights you want to stay.

Please also send a deposit (£40 total per family or £20 per person). Contact Niall for bank transfer details or an address to send a cheque to.

You can also book directly with Rydal Hall closer to the time, but are not guaranteed a space near us.

Organising committee

Michael Fordham, Dave Farrow and Jo Smith are three ex-Presidents (2005, 2009 and 2010) still living in Cambridge and regularly turning up the Castle on Thursday evenings to drink beer and talk about the good old days. 2013 President Vicky Ward completes the line-up, providing valuable current-club perspective and advice.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME OF THE BELOW E-MAIL ADDRESSES ARE NOW LIKELY OUTDATED. Contact a member of the current CUHWC committee if you would still like to contact one of the below individuals and they may be able to help. [AW, Feb 2017]

We can be contacted as follows:

General enquiries: cuhwc-anniversary [at] srcf [dot] net

Dave: dsf29 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk
Jo: joannecarolinesmith [at] gmail [dot] com
Michael: maf44 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk

By post: Dave Farrow, Emmanuel College, Cambridge CB2 3AP

Of course, we couldn't do all this alone. We've co-opted a number of (mostly willing) volunteers to help us out with various bits of organisation:

If you'd like to contact any of the above, use the general enquiries email address and we'll make sure it gets passed to the right person.

Glen Coe, 26-30 September 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson (who wasn't on the trip)

Trip Summary

A 'semi-official' trip to Glen Coe, in Scotland, was organised for five days at the end of September. Marcus, Tom, Alex and Josh all travelled by Megabus (whether the standard 'blue-light' or 'Gold' variant), and were joined by Matthew in Edinburgh, who was able to drive a car to their destination. Previous trips to Glen Coe had always involved camping but thanks to some keen research, a couple of new huts (for the Club) were deemed suitable alternatives: the Alex Macintyre Memorial Hut and Blackrock Cottage. The participants explored a number of the impressive peaks and corries surrounding Glen Coe, including Bidean nam Bian, Buachaille Etive Mor ('the Big Shepherd of Etive'), and Creise, which involved some easy, yet still enjoyable, scrambling. During a day of foul weather, a route was also selected onto the Mamores. Largely resulting from the trip's success and the participants' (new-found, though probably anticipated) love of Scotland, a lengthier trip is planned for sometime in summer 2015.

Trip Participants

Marcus T, Thomas L, Alex K, Josh A and Matthew G.

Photos

Click on the name below to follow a link to the complete photo album.

The Little (right) and Big (left) Shepherds of Etive (Buachaille Etive Beag and Mor) (Marcus T)

Patterdale, 6-8 June 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson (who wasn't on the trip)

Trip Summary

The traditional post-exams trip went for a second year running to Patterdale in the Lake District, staying again in the wonderful George Starkey Hut. There was a variety of walks onto the Eastern and Far Eastern Fells as the Club continued its 25th Anniversary Year Wainwright-bagging mission. There was even a tour of the Patterdale Mountain Rescue HQ organised by Becky. An enthusiastic singing session was led by the Trip Leader; sessions such as this one are very much encouraged.

Trip Participants

Joe H (Trip Leader), Paul C (Trip Safety Officer), Matt H, Tom A, Helen P, Katie A, Greg C, Hussam B, Taha S, Laurent M, Jane P, Alex K, Constanze H, Simon W, Chris B, Anne N, Paul F, Karol P, Laura I, Erik W, Vicky W, Rebecca H, Philip W, Immy C, Eleri C, Peter K, Jade C, Sherly L, Helen F and Dilip K.

Photos

Click on the people's names below to follow a link to their complete photo albums.

Sunshine in the Lake District (Philip W)

Jade and Immy heading up towards Helvellyn (Karol P)

The Roaches, 18 May 2014

Author: Andrew Williamson

Trip Summary

In the midst of a term filled for many with the stress of exams or thesis write-up, a group of Cambridge hillwalkers found an oasis of calm in the White Peak area of the Peak District. The Club hadn't visited the Roaches since Easter 2010, so was certainly overdue for a return. And we could not have hoped for a better day for it — clear blue skies and slightly cooler temperatures than the forecasts (>20C) had predicted, with minimal wind. Most people chose circular walks from the Five Clouds car park, involving easy scrambling on the rocks of the Roaches, and many visited Lud's Church, created by a large landslip. The ice-cream van atop the rocky escarpment saw more than a few members of CUHWC over the day, too! One longer linear walking group headed for Buxton over the wild Axe Edge, before catching the bus back in time to join the others for a swift pint in Upper Hulme and return to Cambridge. The trip was a thoroughly enjoyed one, highlighting the importance of running day trips during Easter Term, when many people would find it difficult to escape the Cambridge Bubble for a full-blown weekend trip, but appreciate having the opportunity to do so for a day, and can return feeling all the more refreshed.

Trip Participants

Thomas L (Trip Leader), Andrew W (Trip Safety Officer), Marcus T, David H, Tom A, Valerie A, Philip W, Jade C, Ben M, Charlotte Z, Helen P, Steven W, Eleri C, Matthew C, Teresa K and Maciej S.

Photos

Click on the people's names below to follow a link to their complete photo albums.


Scrambling on the Roaches (Philip W)

Marcus admires the view from Hen Cloud (Andrew W)

The River Dane, close to Three Shire Heads (David H)

Bryn Golau, 2-4 May 2014


Trip Summary

The trip that almost wasn't. I don't want to focus on the negatives, but I feel those absent from the trip must be mentioned. Trip leader 1 - Tom Leach. Driver 1 - Michael Fordham. Driver 2 - Matt Hickford. Fresher 1 - Nameless. Fresher 2 - Nameless. Their absences occured for a variety of reasons. Sore neck. Impending wedding + five weeks' fieldwork. Sprained ankle while packing car. And tragically, 2x culled freshers due to missing drivers. After a few frantic phone calls, we departed Cambridge and some hours later we were all in Bryn Golau on Friday night. Here, we bid farewell to two more of our number - Andrena and Joe had a date with their one-man tent.

[NB - Nameless1 = Taha, Nameless2 = Hussam]

But, perhaps this trip is better remembered as 'The trip that beat the odds'. Although deminished in numbers, a rousing conversation was had that evening (I recall some discussion of religion...), and of course plans were made for the following days. Cadair Idris was on everyone's lips.

I'm afraid I cannot really speak about anyone but Becky on the next day as we awoke rather early and a little too excited. We departed before the others awoke. After walking to Cadair, we briefly spoke to Laurent and Andy's group near the summit of Mynydd Moel before making some anti-social excuses and continuing on our way. We saw no sign of Paul Cook's group who were heading the other direction around the Cadair horseshoe. However, I am told a key swap was successfully executed. Some hours later, having climbed Cyfrwy arete, we retraced our steps arriving back at the bunkhouse some 12hrs after our departure. Here we were welcomed by smiling faces and the smell of cooking food.

That evening we had two unexpected visitors in the form of Duffers Dave and Jo. They had been climing in Snowdonia and came to join us for a day of walking on Sunday. It dawned grey, but pleasent. All parties, having satisfied their Cadair fix, focused their attention on the Aran Range. Located right across from our bunkhouse and extending in a northerly direction with appealing walks of all lengths. It proved a lovely outing for all involved. The only exception was Andy Howell whose tireless action in the name of safety saw him sprain his ankle on Saturday. His day was not wasted, however, as he diligently studied his knots, drank tea and composed rebuttals to the religious discussion of Friday.

Thank-you to Andy our Safety Officer and Paul Cook our stand-in Trip Leader.

Rose (the stood-down Safety Officer)

Trip Participants

Andy H, Paul C, Helen F, Laurent M, Rose P, Tom D, Tamas S-T, Becky H, Alex K, Karol P, Aga W, Mohammed G and Joe H.

Photos

Click on the name below to link to the complete photo album.

The Aran Mountains in all their glory (Karol Pilch)

Author: 
Rose Pearson

Easter Snowdonia Trip, 21-26 March 2014


Trip Summary

On Friday 21st March, many set off from all over the country (not only Cambridge but also York, London, Bristol and Guildford) for one of the most-eagerly awaited trips of the year - the Cwm Dyli Vacation Trip.

Many spent Saturday on the fells surrounding Croesor, near Beddgelert, including Cnicht (the 'Welsh Matterhorn') and Moelwyn Mawr. For most, driving out to Croesor, this was a relatively easy hike offering good views out to the Snowdon range and to the coast at Porthmadog (at last when the cloud and hail cleared), although the rugged industrialized landscape of the slate mines at Blaenau Ffestiniog was also apparent. Phil W and Joe H ambitiously managed to get to the peaks on a lengthy 30km trek from the bunkhouse, adding in a significant amount of boggy moorland to the route of the main party.

Returning to the bunkhouse, members enjoyed a round of Club songs, including the Cow Song lead by the new President (when he hadn't fallen asleep on the sofa) and some lovely cooking by Vicky, Constanze and others. The next day, several made ambitious attempts: a small party attempted the Snowdon Horseshoe, only to be stopped by lack of time and snow conditions, while Tom L and David H attempted a 30km epic of the Carneddau and Glyders, only to be stopped by sheet ice and whiteout just off the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn. Instead, they enjoyed a high-level circuit surrounding Llyn Cowlyd, and were reassured by the generous human spirit with the ease of hitching to and from Capel. An ambitious route completed both the Nantlle Ridge and Moel Hebog group in a single walk. Another evening went by the the sounds of the Club song book, buoyed by the surprising success of 'pasta slop' for dinner.

Those who stayed for the remainder of the trip were granted with some exceptional weather: views from the Nantlle Ridge were unrivalled, stretching out across North Wales into Anglesey, or across the snow-covered slopes of the Snowdon Range from Crib Goch, even if the ridge again posed too much of a challenge due to the winds. Some even braved a quick paddle in Llyn Dinas, or enjoyed (or avoided) the active discussions of the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club 'railway enthusiasts' on the Monday night. Especially notable was the impressive number of undergraduates - on the last Tuesday, seven out of the nine participants were undergraduates, including seven freshers of which four were engineers, perhaps a new record.

Ultimately, an outstanding trip to Snowdonia, setting a high benchmark for next year's visit.

Trip Participants

Tom L, Anthony C, Michael F, Philip W, Constanze H, Andrew W, Antonia C, Toby L, Joe H, David H, Marcus T, Charlotte Z, Paul C, Alex K, Vicky, Matt H, Jamie C, Paul F, Johannes R, Jade C and Josh A.

Photos

Author: 
Tom Leach

Scales (Mystery Trip), 8-10 March 2014


Trip Report

On Friday 8 March, 23 hillwalkers (and 2 film crew) packed up their bags to go to a mystery location. As the majority of people knew where this mystery location was and Phil's clues were "piss easy", we all ended up exactly here we thought we were going: Scales in the Northern Lakes. The bunkhouse was odd, being long with thin walls, rooms leading to the outside, a tiny kitchen and tiny communal area which were unattached but supremely comfy beds.

Waking up the next day the majority of groups headed north to complete various bagging missions in aid of the 25th Anniversary Wainwright Bagging Saga. There were 2 group exceptions to this. The first was one which contained some crazy souls and Ben More who headed north the night before for some bivvying under the stars. The second exception contained the film crew who headed south to find some bog because we knew they would love that. Of the other groups one headed up Blencathra via a very slippery Sharp Edge (rewarding themselves with this excitement before spending the next 20 minutes trying to find the top of Mungrisdale Common and bagging other less exciting things such as Bannerdale Crags and Souther Fell). Another group headed off for that gentle stroll there and back to bag Binsey, another to back the various things to the north such as Great Cockup, which was dealt with with much excitement. With an average walk length of over 27km, it was a very keen day. The weather was suprisingly good if you didn't think too much of the wind. The evening passed with plenty of food whether it be orzo, mystery food ingredients or pub grub.

The next day bagging commenced again... one group headed north-west towards Skiddaw, 2 others headed up to Blencathra. Two large groups headed south, one to do the joyous Central Fells and the other the Helvellyn ridge. The weather was gorgeous.

Overall an exceedingly successful bagging weekend with the number of peaks bagged nearing 30. Well done team.

Trip Participants

Tom H, Peter K, Fiona P, Phil W, Andrew W, Alex K, Simon W, Marcus T, Hussam B, Taha S, John O, Charlotte Z, Joe H, Rebecca H, Valerie A, Jade C, Jane P, Vicky W, Rose P, Michael F, Matt H, Lucy W and Tom A.

Photos

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Langdale (25th Anniversary Dinner), 21-23 February 2014


Trip Report

It happened. Booked months ago, the weekend finally arrived: the twenty-fifth anniversary! Upon universal wish to celebrate our Club’s longevity (or maybe a desperate need to escape Cambridge Week 5), 45 hillwalkers set off from Cambridge to meet up with fellow mountain-loving brethren both old and very, very young. After settling into the sumptuous hostel for the night (pillows AND bedding) everyone woke up to gorgeous-ish weather to plod up some good ole Wainwrights in the slush. One group head out to do Langdale Pikes and then Bowfell/Esk Pike, another to Bowfell and Esk Pike, and others to places to which I was not paying attention to. After a day of fun in the cold (including bum sliding and stumbles into waist-deep snow drifts), we all went back to the hostel to prepare for the night’s festivities. Having first gorged ourselves on the posh not-own-brand biscuits (McVitie's!), we fancied ourselves up for the night ahead! After much cafuffle over dress pins and hair and massive bow tie panics the evening was ready to begin.

Dinner consisted of food... a lot of food... but good food. They were then speeches which included standard hillwalker anecdotes of days gone by and attempts at rhythm. After that there was photos of various Committee position ensembles. The rest of the evening then proceeded to a blur of fancy whisky and ceilidh dancing, but was enjoyed by all.

Next day we awoke to beautiful weather to match many a beautiful head-status. Consequently many did not walk properly but enjoyed pub lunches, strolls with dogs and poetry writing. One notable exception was our new mascot Ben More who went out sillily unprepared and consequently got very lost and muddy. Upon that we all went home tired, happy (I think) and sporting our brand new stash. A memorable occasion to be had once-in-a-degree-time.

Once again, many thanks to the organisers for a great weekend!

More Details

Feel free to have a look at the 25th Anniversary Year section of the website including a page dedicated to the Langdale Anniversary Trip itself.

Photos

Here is a photo taken of the group just before dinner.

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Bryn Brethynau, 31 January-2 February 2014

Despite the weather fully living up to the forecast, 23 brave (foolish) hillwalkers headed to Snowdonia. Proceedings were delayed a bit, mainly due to a wee bit of confusion about where the second MPV was, but eventually we were all under way, with the usual stop at Walsall. By the time we arrived, the rain had nearly stopped.

Saturday morning dawned looking much nicer than the forecast, so (optimistic) plans were made, seeing two groups head to the Glyders to play hide-and-seek with the wind, winding their way across heather terrace, through Bwlch Tryfan then zig-zagging around to Llyn Idwal, or poking their heads out into the wind on the ridge-line. The other two groups opted to stay closer in and lower down, walking from the bunkhouse up to Crimpiau, before deciding to seek shelter in the valley, either circling back through the forest above Capel Curig, or returning along Llyn Cowlyd. Unsurprisingly, the weather deteriorated as soon as anyone left the bunkhouse and those who ventured to high ground found the wind made standing a bit tricky!

After some drying off down the pub, a bag of wood was procured and the trip leader set to work getting the fire lit. The stove in this bunkhouse is generally accepted to be about as much use as huddling around a candle, so we were pleased when it lit first time and seemed to draw rather than smoke out the living area (the wind seemed to help). Lively singing ensued, much to the Junior Treasurer's marked discontent.

Sunday dawned looking a bit nicer, but still windy, and groups made their plans for the day. Moel Siabod proved a popular choice today, with an ascent of the east ridge for those who were more adventurous. Another group headed back to the Glyders for an ascent of Y Gribin in the snow, introducing a number of new members to scrambling in the snow, and negotiating soggy-snow and wind consolidated ice rinks on the summit of Glyder Fawr. The rain held off until we were nearly down Devil's Kitchen, and even then wasn't heavy enough to make a dent on our spirits, only to make the slush even less pleasant and even more slippery!

After a quick cuppa, and an efficient round of cleaning thanks to the many keen pairs of hands, we piled back into the vehicles and set off back for Cambridge, leaving only a faint whiff of wet kit along the A5...

Trip Participants

Paul C, Tom L, Joe H, Tom A, Valerie A, Michael F, Phil W, Sophie D, Paul F, Andrew W, Marcus T, Josh A, Tom D, Jade C, Niall M, Joshua W, Conrad K, Charlotte Z, Anthony C, Steven W, Hussam B and Anne N.

Photos

Author: 
Joe Hobbs

Seathwaite, New Year 2014


Trip Report

This was the trip of the 12-hr evenings... we played board games, made bread, went to Keswick, drew a lot in the Trip Book and even wrote a new Club song! As for the 25th anniversary Wainwright bagging and general mountainousness, we weren't as successful, for 80-90mph gusts do not lend themselves to walking in straight lines over nobbles on top of high mountains. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the trip was amazing, and due to difficulties in walking above 400-600m of altitude, we got to walk places we'd never walked before (more time was definitely spent collectively as a Club on OL4 than OL6, put it that way).

We woke on the first day to low cloud, so the majority of groups decided to concentrate on lower summits, one group heading to Fleetwith Pike and the other to hunt for snocks on High Snockrigg before heading to Robinson/Hindscarth/Dale Head/High Spy. One slightly more adventurous group got to see the only snow on the trip by heading off to Scafell Pike, bagging a whole load of other things in the process - though perhaps their taking of ice axes was a little enthusiastic. The evening ended in the customary visit to Scafell Hotel for pub grub and this year £4.80 worth of 30p mince pies (served with ice cream and custard shots) courtesy of Paul Cook.

Having read the weather forecast and prepared for the worst, a collective decision was made to take it easy on Sunday. One group headed off to bag the most prestigious Wainwright, Castle Crag, and another went to bag the out of the way Eagle and Sergeant's Crags. The final group headed off to do Catbells, Maiden Moor and High Spy. However, the bad weather never came into true fruition, only starting to produce the promised 80mph gusts at about 14.30 when all groups were heading in from their short planned walks.

Feeling truly chastened by our over-cautious Sunday plans, people enthusiastically planned for Monday hoping to redeem themselves in their own eyes. First off were Stuart Bell and Andy Howell by 8am with ambitious plans for the Langdale Pikes. The rest of us, being slightly sleepier, managed to rouse ourselves for action closer to 10/11am, planning routes for Seathwaite Fell and the Gables. Alas all plans came to ruin... First to turn back were half the Gable group, then the second half of the same group (having battled on determined to bag Base Brown before retreat). Second to return were the Seathwaite Fell adventurers, halted by the wind tunnel of Sty Head which was perfectly orientated to the wind direction. Then came the anxious wait for Stuart and Andy... plans were made to drive to Langdale in the hope to discover their wind-wrecked selves. However, all was well and they too had turned back, and we were all cosy in the hut by 2pm. Mark then decided to announce his intention to do Rosthwaite Fell; no one wishing to join he headed off on his own. Meanwhile, much more enthusiastically, some of us headed off to Keswick.

On Tuesday morning, we prepared for another day of the worst, plans were made to bag Grange Fell and Great Crag. Two groups headed up with a half-hour delay between. The second of these, without the esteemed Mark Jackson, missed both of the Wainwrights but insisted that they bagged other nobbles on the summits, which they named 'Club Crag' - they had agreed amongst themselves that the time and effort required to identify the right nobbles was truly not worth it when a group before them had already done it. Meanwhile Chris Arran enthusiastically did the same route while fell running, Paul Cook ran to Keswick and Sophie ran around the valley. The first group also decided it was necessary to drive to Latrigg to bag that too. It must also be noted that Vicky Ward waved around a route card for Seathwaite Fell for a while but no one signed up to go with her because they decided that it would be a bit silly with the predicted weather (on reflection it probably would have been possible).

The last day dawned and Vicky tried to do Seathwaite Fell again. This time people signed up. In fact everyone did (excluding 4 people who went to Skiddaw instead, but we won't talk about them) — this made her feel much more loved. This day had by far the best weather and everyone agreed that it was a lovely fell, in fact we bagged most nobbles on the fell on the way there and back. On the way back we tried the experimental route of Taylor Gill rather than Stockley Bridge, and although it probably added half an hour due to its slimy scrambly bits, it was well worth it due to the stunning views of the waterfall.

Trip Participants

  • Dave F, Jo S, Antonia C, Matt L, Laurent M (F, Sa)
  • Mark J (Sa, Su, M, T)
  • Stuart B (Su, M, T)
  • Anne N, Sophie D, Chris A, Paul C, Andy H, Alex E, Vicky W, Paul F, Chris B, Michael F (F, Sa, Su, M, T)

Photos

If you have photographs of this trip that you would be willing to share on this page, please contact the Webmaster.

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Brecon Beacons, 29 November-1 December 2013

Author: Phil Withnall

This weekend was spent in glorious, un-Welsh weather at the Cwmfforest bunkhouse in the eastern Brecon Beacons. After a slow start due to the MPV and one car leaving Churchill late, everyone got to the bunkhouse without much trouble and proceeded to lay into the biscuits.

On Saturday, all of the groups took to the ridges around Waun Fach, with most routes incorporating a visit to Lord Hereford’s Knob. Some groups even stopped for a rest and to eat on the Knob. The weather remained clear, crisp and sunny all day, giving great views of south Wales. All the groups returned in good time except the Australian contingent, who were bumped into by the safety officer on his way out to phone them, a good hour after dark. They’d had a great (but slow) walk.

Saturday night was a feast. Instead of the normal collection of cooking groups, one big group cooked Christmas dinner for everyone. Predictably, it was ready 1.5 hours late, but was worth waiting for. Roast chicken and pigs in blankets (or stuffed peppers for the vegetarians), plus roast potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, leeks, two different types of stuffing, mash, and Brussels sprouts (and I’ve probably forgotten things). Mulled wine on the side, then liquidy trifle and cake to finish. There were many complaints of being too full afterwards, and a lot of dozing was done. A little less singing was done than normal.

Surprisingly, the Brussels sprouts were the first thing to be finished. This is further proof that hill walkers are abnormal.

On Sunday, people rolled out of bed quite late. Most groups were gone by 09:30 though, leaving only the second fell running group of the weekend behind to go on their crazy way. Most of the walks on Sunday focused on a nearby ruined castle (‘Castell Dinas’) and a series of waterfalls to the north, at the Cwm Pwll-y-wrach nature reserve. The pub group were disappointed to find out that the pub was closed, but couldn’t complain because they’d had fun eating a picnic and taking millions of photos all morning.

Clearing up the bunkhouse took less time than normal, and everyone was back in Cambridge by 21:00 after an uneventful trip back.

Trip Participants

Chris A, Tom A, Paul C, Helen F, Tom O, Matt H, Stefano R, Phil W, Victoire T de M, Madeline K, Chris B, Constanze H, Matthew C, Antonia C, Laurent M, Georgie S, Steven W, Anne N, Alex K, Paul F, Rhianna K, Adrien Van den B, Nael el B, Jonathan H, John O, Daniel F and Valerie A.

Photos

High Moss, 15-17 November 2013

This weekend saw the addition of a new hut to our repertoire – High Moss – and also the possibly earliest sign-up ever with all places taken by 6.55am. The rucksack club hut lies in the peaceful Duddon Valley near the other Seathwaite. As directed by the detailed instructions given, all groups arrived at the hut by midnight having driven right through various dubious fields and a gazillion fences in the dark. Soon everyone settled on the 3-tiered bunks in the rooms upstairs (pillows provided!) to rest their weary heads and prepare for the day ahead.

Despite a grim weather forecast of low cloud and high winds, we woke up to moderate cloud and moderate winds. Six participants set off on a navigation course up the Walna Scar track with Nick from More than Mountains who taught them basic navigation skills and compass work, making them find ring contours and other features. Another group set off to do some scrambling on the Coniston Fells and survived despite injury. Other groups set off further afield to take in Wetherlam. The subsequent evening was a laid-back affair with people either going on night navigation in the worsening weather to Old Man of Coniston or Caw or choosing the cosier option of the fire-warmed snug and odd board games in the bunkhouse.

The following day was much worse than forecast. Much, much, much, much worse. 80% chance of cloud free summits was a definite 100% lie [that's MWIS for you]. No views were ever, ever, ever seen. Nevertheless groups headed out – because that’s what hillwalkers do (although one group gave up on some ‘hard scrambling’)! Two groups headed out to the Coniston Fells yet again, going as far a Wetherlam before evacuating down to Seathwaite Tarn. Other groups went out to Harter Fell. All in all it was a good trip, and much more relaxing than the previous but memorable as any other! To all freshers: I promise we do get good weather trips.

Trip Participants

Peter K, Vicky W, Paul C, Tom L, Rose P, Marcus T, Jack B, Tom O, Tom H, Tom A, Valerie A, Paul F, Alex L, Dave F, Jo S, Joe H, Becky H, Conrad K, Fiona P, Shen G, Julia H, Gareth A and Anthony C.

Photos

If you have photographs of this trip that you would be willing to share on this page, please contact the Webmaster.

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Caseg Ffraith, 1-3 November 2013

On this weekend we returned to a club favourite hut, Caseg Ffraith. Having arrived on Friday evening (please note: the early car leaving at 16.00 arrived after the late car which left at 18.00), we settled in by laying out maps on every flat surface in order to plan the day ahead. Unlike the weather for Edale, the weather forecasts were true and on Saturday we were met with delightful 75mph gusts and whipping hail. However, this did not stop CUHWC venturing out! We had 3 planned routes round the Carnedd horseshoe, 1 up Moel Siabod, 1 somewhere (?), 1 crazy scrambling route around the Glyders and 1 singular bagger (guess who?). Only 1 route, that of the singular bagger, was conducted as planned; this was possibly due to the will-power of said bagger to bag the summit of aim. This person was neither David Pettit nor Peter Kirkwood nor Andrew Williamson. All the others turned back at various points or changed the route. Having arrived back rather earlier than usual all the groups settled down for the night making elaborate meals and supping on mulled wine. Having introduced all the newbies to the Cow Song we all went to bed to the sound of the pitter patter of heavy hail.

The next day, the forecast wasn’t much better but we all headed out anyway because that’s what keen hillwalkers do. We had a group attempt the Carnedd horseshoe (1 person for the second time), some low-level forest walks and 2 scrambling routes up Tryfan and Bristly Ridge. Brightening up around 15.00 it was mutually agreed that it would have been better if we’d come to Snowdonia 48 hours later. Nevertheless, the weekend was enjoyable and ‘character building’ and I personally can’t wait for my next weekend trip!

Trip Participants

Peter K, Greg C, Vicky W, Paul C, Simon W, Jane P, Constanze H, Martin L, Tom L, Phil W, Alex K, David C P, Luz O, Rhianna K, Rose P, Marcus T, Steven W, Jack B, Tom W, Andy H, Tom O, Tom H, Tom A, Tom H, Valerie A, Paul F, John O, Josh A, Alex L, Holly H, Emma R, Teresa K, Chris C, Kerrie T J, Mark J, Christie N, Madeline K, Matt H and Sajan P.

Photos

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Edale, 20 October 2013


Trip Summary

Despite weather forecasts including lightning bolts and big blue raindrops, our good luck with weather for the Edale Freshers' Trip continued for the fourth year running, with clear skies and no rain (albeit a wee bit windy). The trip was one of the largest run by the club in years, with 64 participating (and yet even more on the waiting list...). As usual our walk started at Edale and ended up in a pub in Hayfield with 7 routes for various abilities. The different routes ventured across the dark peat of Kinder Plateau and marvelled at the magnificent rock formations. No one got left behind or seriously injured (except some white clothing which may never look the same again), so all in all this trip was a great start to the academic year!

Trip Participants

Andrew W, Peter K, Vicky Wd, Helen P, Paul C, Dave F, Jo S, Simon W, Jane P, Michael F, David P, Constanze H, Laurent M, Thomas L, Chris A, Phil W, Joe H, Matthew C, Madeline K, Fiona S, Sophie A, Teresa H, Paula K, Max R, Katie W, Alex K, Maeve D T, David C P, Luz O, David P, Johannes R, Emma R, Jakob S, Alistair W, Rhianna K, Anthony C, Jasmine G, Gerard M, Sebastian K, Sam M, Rose P, Louis P, Marcus T, Stefani K, Anna K, Elizabeth B, Christopher H, Dave B, Steven W, Jack B, Michelle C, Seamus B, Erik P, Crystal M, Sally M, Tom W, Y Jie Tan, Sze-Xian L, Evelyn B, Eric W, Ianthe S, Alex L, Tanja S, Anne N, Liz M and Andy H.

Photos

Click on people's names below to follow a link to their complete photo albums.

Kinder Downfall (Andrew W)

The Kinder Plateau (Philip W)

Author: 
Vicky Ward

2012-13

Academic year 2012-13

Patterdale, 7-9 June 2013


Trip Summary

On a weekend when it seemed like summer had finally arrived, CUHWC returned to the George Starkey Hut in Patterdale. The last time we were here, it was unseasonably snowy, so the warmth and the sun this time made quite a change to the scenery! Most trip participants were in the hut, with some people camping nearby. Saturday saw glorious weather, which everyone took full advantage of. Folks on the scrambling course headed up Pinnacle Ridge (though they couldn't have been paying too much attention to their route, because they failed to find it again the next day...), while another group headed for a grade-4 scramble, and a third decided to get their feet (and sometimes their entire bodies) wet by going gill-scrambling! Others opted for less rocky walks of greater and lesser lengths.

On Sunday, the weather was still warm but a bit more overcast. A fair proportion of the group lounged around the bunkhouse for much of the morning drinking tea, before deciding to spend a lazy day on the lake, exploring islands via canoes and rowboats. Some significantly more energetic people awoke early and went swimming in a nearby tarn before heading out on their walks. Indeed, swimming was a popular activity this weekend, with some people diving in to Ullswater and various tarns at least 3 times! The Trip Leader, having thin Californian blood, preferred to just dip her feet in.

Trip Participants

Joe Hobbs, Becky Howard, Tom Leach, Peter Kirkwood, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Paul Fox, Tom Owen, Andrena Ball, Greg Chadwick, Lucy Wright, Daumilas Ardickas, Mike Simpson, Fiona Petersen, Alex Elliott, Tom Dobra, Katherine Bond, Dave Mackenzie, Eleri Cousins (Trip Leader), Reuben Newsome, Laura Imperatori, Pete Florence, Matt Hickford, Jo Smith, Dave Farrow, Partha Patil, Laurent Michaux, Katie Atkinson, Franziska Rupprecht, Paul Brookes, Antonia Cuff, Valerie Ashton and Tom Ashton

Photos

Author: 
Eleri Cousins

Long Mynd, 19 May 2013


Trip Summary

We left from Queen's Road just after 07.00 and after some intrepid journeying up some motorway we arrived at Church Stretton before 10.00. After everyone made use of the 'space-age' facilities (they spoke to you AND the flush was a brick), we started to walk.

We split into 3 groups - 2 walked to the west/east of church stretton before progressing to the east/west (with one group stopping in the middle for Magnums). These walks encompassed such sites as Caer Caradoc, a 'wee' scramble up Gaer Stone and of course Pole Bank and Long Mynd. The other group walked nearly the entire length of Long Mynd admitting that it was 'a bit boring at the top really,' but that they got to meet a very pleasant gliding club.

No one can deny the weather was a bit of a surprise with the sun more than shinning (the author got a BIT burnt). Although the bugs left a little to be desired. Other bits of nature were gorgeous with some groups taking pictures of beautiful cantering horses and another group taking a picture of simultaneously peeing sheep. We all found the waterfall disappointing.

The walks ended in the King's Arm beer garden before heading back to Cambridge for arrival at 21.00 ish. It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip (coming from someone who isn't a big fan of day trips) and was the perfect solution to the Easter Term mindset. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and apparently I hear that the 'back of the minibus' have planned to go to a pub quiz together this week despite not knowing each other before the trip.

I hope to see you all again soon :)

Trip Participants

Vicky Ward, Greg Chadwick, Becky Howard, Matt Hickford, Pete Florence, Haseeb Aneed, Tom Dobra, Aileen Cameron, Martyna Popois, Daniel Unruh, Raphael Sanchez, Katie Atkinson, Elisa de Ranieri, Mike Hastings, Ciara Cicarelli, Aga Wabik and Reuben Newsome (kinda).

Photos

If you have photographs of this trip that you would be willing to share on this page, please contact the Webmaster.

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Rhyd Ddu, 10-12 May 2013


Trip Summary

The trip was a disaster — the Safety Officer was lynched due to forgetting the biscuits and the rioting hillwalkers then torched the bunkhouse (unfortunately, a fire extinguisher wasn't enough to stop it burning to ashes) and then joy-rode the minibus into a tree. In an effort to get home, they then tried to hijack the toy train that passes the bunkhouse before the police turned up and arrested them all. It appears the only thing they'll be bagging soon is categories of prison/lunatic asylum. The club has also been banned from North Wales.

Trip Participants

Joe Hobbs, Becky Howard, Tom Leach, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Owen, Paul Cook, Chris Arran, Brian Vermiere, Katherine Bond, Eleri Cousins, Phil Withnall, Veera Panova, Antonia Cuff, Mark Nikolka and Hannah Stern.

Photos

Author: 
Joe Hobbs

Easter Snowdonia Trip, 29 March-2 April 2013

Trip Summary

The club returned to the Cwm Dyli bunkhouse at the foot of Snowdon for the third successive Easter. The trip was characterized by extraordinary and rare weather conditions. It had snowed heavily across the whole UK in the days leading up to the trip and the general advice was not to risk walking in the mountains. However, all five days of the trip were marked by beautifully clear skies, high cloud and relatively low winds, making it easy to keep warm on summits and ridges despite being slightly below zero. Luckily, most popular routes were passable without crampons and/or ice axes. Those that took the extra equipment could add some variations to routes but the rest of us still had plenty available.

Those who made it to summits and ridges were treated with exquisite and rare views of all of northern Snowdonia covered in snow and ice as well as Anglesey and Holyhead. Short views of snow drifts and weird ice-formations were also everywhere. Those who brought cameras were afforded the opportunity to take some of the best photographs of their lives. Over 1000 photos of the trip are already on facebook and they are nothing less than stunning. Some of them could easily be mistaken for the Alps in summer. I'm sure that everyone who came was aware that they had experienced something very rare and special this trip.

Morale was high for the whole trip and the socialising and catering were as good as ever.

Some of the notable incidents of the trip were:

  • Worst footwear ever: smooth-soled gym-slippers are not a good substitute for walking boots.

  • Worst ever April Fool's joke: screaming "Fire" leading to evacuation and fire extinguisher being primed.

  • Failed attempts at lock-picking after being accidentally locked out of the bunkhouse.

There will never be another trip quite like this again. It was one in a million.

Trip Participants

Mark Jackson, Antonia Cuff, Shane Li, Laurent Michaux, Tom Leach, Chris Arran, Paul Cook, Rebecca Howard, Andrena Ball, Joe Hobbs, Maartje, Adam Majewski, Alex Elliot, Tom Owen, Constanze Hammerle, Marina Romanello, Paul Fox, Fiona Petersen and Eric Harshfield.

Photos

If you have photographs of this trip that you would be willing to share on this page, please contact the Webmaster.

Author: 
Paul Cook

White Peak, 10 March 2013

Trip Summary

We left from Churchill just after 7am in the morning in one minibus and Helen's car. It was a cold morning and snow had fallen and settled overnight in Cambridge. The forecast for the Peak District was -4 to -5 Celsius on the peaks with strong winds, some snow, but good visibility. There were 17 of us in total, not including one person who was originally down to go but unfortunately did not make it there for the departure.

For the first time in my memory (not counting Edale trips) we had a minibus driver provided by the rental company rather than a Club member driving. The driver was very flexible and willing to go along with pretty much whatever we wanted to do, and drove the minibus safely and speedily.

We initially planned to meet Helen's car in a parking spot on the west side of Erwood reservoir. However, when Helen’s car arrived there, they found that the road was icy and difficult to pass in a car, let alone a minibus, so we changed our plans and decided to start instead from the Cat and Fiddle Inn on the A537 at an elevation of 505m.

There was a great deal of strong, very cold wind, and a fair amount of snow around the inn. The bus driver assured us that he was happy if we wanted to leave early, but we continued with our plans and split into two groups: one with 8 people led by Andrew and walking around the Goyt Valley in the anti-clockwise direction, with a nominal length of 15km, and another with 9 people led by Tom and Valerie A and walking the clockwise direction with a nominal length of 18km. Both groups started walking at 11am.

The route of the first walk went from the pub to wild moor, across the north side of the Erwood reservoir, then to up to Cats Tor, followed by Shining Tor and then back to the pub. They arrived back at the pub at around 3.30pm.

The second walk went from the pub, to the summit of Shining Tor, just a short 54m ascent from the inn. The view was magnificent with no clouds or mist. From there we continued to Cats Tor, then to Pym Chair, at which point there started to be less snow on the ground, to Windgather Rocks, then Overton Hall Farm, by which point there was no longer any snow on the ground. We stopped for lunch on a couple of public benches, then walked back through the forest on the west side of the Fernilee Reservoir, crossing between the two reservoirs to ascend the impressive Bunsal Cob at 332m, then across the snow covered Wild Moor to meet up with the road back to the inn. We arrived back at the pub at 5.20pm.

The bus driver went to Bakewell to find a Bakewell Pudding (or possibly a Bakewell Tart), then went “for a drive”, had a roast lunch at the Cat and Fiddle, and listened to a rugby match. He said we were crazy to walk in the weather, and that he thought it was cold enough just walking from the car park to the pub.

We left for home at 5.40pm, stopped at a fish and chip shop in Buxton for dinner, and were back at Churchill around 10pm.

Trip Participants

Tom A, Valerie A, Andrew W, Andrew K, Helen P, Sarah S, Matthew M, Tom H, Mark N, Austen S, Mike S, Irina S, Hyungsun K, Benjamin W, Shane L and Aileen C.

Photos

Author: 
Tom Ashton

Dolgellau, 1-3 March 2013


Trip Summary

This trip took the club to the brand new bunkhouse (or should I say bunk barn?) of Torrent Bunk Barn in Dolgellau. This bunkhouse sported some of the comfiest beds in individually coded rooms, a cosy kitchen and a brilliant fire-pit. After a relatively short drive via the interestingly well-loved minibus (sporting a brand new dodgy handbrake and a door that liked to open occasionally while driving so that you could greet traffic) and a 9-seater van with an amazingly big boot!

The weather on this trip was phenomenal with blue sky and clear summits for all groups on the Saturday and for most on the Sunday. Winter is definitely over (although there was a notable heavy frost both mornings...). On the Saturday the majority of group headed off for the Rhinogs to attempt the ridge from both directions via climbing, scrambling and walking. One group even managed to fit in some casual kite flying! Another group headed off to admire the views and sunbathe on Cadair and the remaining group trekked off from the Bunkhouse to ascend Glaswym. Andrew went somewhere I believe on a 30km walk. The day ended with some gorgeous food – despite the difficulties of a small kitchen lacking an oven: but thanks to the bunkhouse owner’s Granny we managed! Before bed we sang by firelight — a perfect end to a perfect day!

With another promising day ahead one group set off on Sunday morning to watch the sunrise by walking along the estuary and were back to the bunkhouse at 7.30am. There was a large variety of walks on the Sunday with one group heading off to the Rhinogs where it was clear skies all day and two more groups heading off to Cadair Idris (where it was apparently slightly less sunny) to attempt it by scrambling for one and walking for the other. Other groups took walks from the Bunkhouse in the neighbouring area. Andrew went somewhere I believe on a 25km(+) walk.

The weekend ended like many before with a stop on the way home at Dyas for fast-food. Defintely a great weekend!

Trip Participants

Simon Williams, Peter Kirkwood, Jo Smith, Greg Chadwick, Andrena Ball, Laura Dempsey, Fiona Hughes, Marina Romanello, Philip Withnall, Tom Leach, Tom Ashton, Nick Gachowicz, Valerie Ashton, Andrew Williamson, Aileen Cameroon, Jon Peatman, Chris Arran, Vicky Ward, Feyruz Yalcin, Reuben Newsome, Becky Howard, Laurent Michaux, Chantelle Clark, Daumilas Ardickas, Gael Guetard, Shane Li, Nienke Blom, Tuomo Valkonen and Aga Wabik.

Photos

Author: 
Vicky Ward

Eskdale, 8-10 February 2013

Trip Summary

written by Simon Williams (Trip Leader)

The club returned to the Eskdale Centre at Boot for the second trip of Lent Term with 23 people, several of whom were new members. The drive up took longer than it might have done due to an accident on the M6 holding up the minibus for 45 minutes, both cars however avoided this and arrived around 23.30, some damage was also done to the minibus on getting into the car park.

This bunkhouse was previously the home of the Christmas vacation trip many years ago and was most recently visited in Lent Term of 2010, it was functional if a little cold and slightly cramped in the kitchen and bunk rooms.

The weather proved to be cloudy but dry on saturday with fog from around 300m, little or no wind even on the top, and snow from about 300m. One walk visited Scafell where snow and icy conditions forced them to abandon their plan to continue to Scafell pike and instead descend back to the valley via the south ridge of the mountain; the icy conditions however did not prevent another group from completing a round of Bowfell, Esk Pike and Scafell Pike, which despite the lack of views proved an excellent walk.

Several people also went on shorter walks around the valley visiting Harter Fell and Burnmore Tarn, and six people also participated in a navigation course led by a local instructor. Funding for this was secured from the BMC and an application will be made to the Andy Gibson Training Fund to cover the balance in due course. The members on the course seemed to find it interesting and useful, which is a marked improvement on the last such course in November 2011 when the instructor pitched the course at far too low a level and the participants learned very little. A full report of the course will (I assume) be submitted by one of the participants.

About half the trip visited the pub in the village in the evening for a drink and it may be worth noting for future trips that there are four pubs within two miles (two in the village itself) serving a variety of food, with the small size of the kitchen and limited cooking utensils this may be a good alternative to large cooking groups. As it was there was only one cooking group of a decent size and the kitchen proved crowded with lots of people cooking individually.

Unfortunately it rained steadily for almost the entire day on Sunday. Everyone got out eventually, however predominantly on lower-level walks. A large party went to Ilgill Head above Wast Water, one to Devoke Water and another to Muncaster Fell. Peter and Paul braved the weather and made it up Scafell.

The cars and minibus managed to leave early and despite fairly heavy snow around Birmingham arrived home without incident.

Overall a pleasant trip and one that will hopefully encourage several of the new members to come back in future. The only incident that deserves special mention is the damage to the minibus. A collision with a wall when pulling into the bunkhouse resulted in the door handle being smashed and a large dent in the side of the door. The cost of the damage remains to be seen, but as the door may well need replacing this could be considerable.

Trip Participants

Simon Williams, Peter Kirkwood, Jane Patrick, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Antonia Cuff, David Pettit, Laura Dempsey, Veera Panova, Phil Brown, Alex Elliot, Nick Gachowicz, Elise Berisma, Brian Vermeire, Wenting Zheng, Lifeng Guo, Henry Miller, Fiona Peterson, Tom Glen, Anne Moindrot, Feyruz Yalcin and Philip Withnall.

Photos

Selside, 18-20 January 2013

While the rest of the country was struggling to soldier on under a blanket of snow, CUHWC went to the University of Leeds' Selside Centre in the Yorkshire Dales for the weekend. We managed to get there without too much problem, except for one car which ended up arriving at about 01.30. Pushing it free from the track outside the bunkhouse did make for an exciting start to the trip for those who were up late enough to be involved. While the weather wasn't exactly perfect, it was much better than the forecast. One group successfully completed the Three Peaks on Saturday (walk report below), while the rest of the trip participants ticked off each of them individually between them. Sunday saw similar conditions and a similar selection of walks.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Ashton, Andrena Ball, Tom Owen, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Lilia Giugni, Philip Withnall, Thomas Leach, Rebecca Howard, Simon Williams, Jane Patrick, Joe Hobbs, Valerie Ashton, Paul Fox, Alex Elliott, Eleri Cousins, Hannah Lissaman, Thanatad Ruengsuksilp, Feyruz Yalcin, Reuben Newsome & Jonas Frey

Walk Reports

The Three Peaks (not quite) Challenge (PW)

Where we did all three peaks in around 9h40m, in the snow and the dark. We were silly.

Philip, Joe, Andrena, Peter, Becky & Reuben

The first thing to note is that Peter's Nuttall obsession led him to get lost on top of Ingleborough. The rest of the group were mildly concerned. The second thing to note is that Whernside, Ingleborough, and Pen-y-Ghent are all needlessly far apart. We did Whernside first, then Ingleborough, then Pen-y-Ghent. This worked well. The wind on the ridge on Whernside was 30-40mph and made sideways icicles on the fence/wall on the ridge (which we walked on the exposed side of for no good reason) and on our bags.

Pen-y-Ghent with additional Snow-related Capers (HP)

Helen, Eleri, Andrew, Tom O, Alex & Tee

We walked to Pen-y-Ghent via a nice walk alongside the River Ribble, but more important than this were the entertaining distractions along the way, namely:

  • Snow-Angel Production
  • Eleri's snow sheep outline / Eleri floundering in the snow in a most amusing manner
  • The Playing of Pooh Sticks in Horton. Alex had never experienced this before - deprived childhood much?!
  • Snowball fights which never really turned into fights
  • Icicle fun - Tom O: "do you want to hold it? ... Eleri: "yes," and proceeds to describe anatomy while we all titter [*it seems Helen likes this word 'titter' - AW] behind her
  • Snow face impression in deep snow drift and persuading a random walker to place her face in deep snow (and make a snow angel)
  • A deep discussion about why female humans have such enlarged mammary glands, which was repeated twice that day
  • Buying loo paper (as soft as Labradors) from the café in Horton
  • Revolting and leaving Andrew to walk on the road by himself
  • Horse love - lots of horse love! Especially for Tom O

Clapham & Ingleborough (PW)

Philip & Tom L

Route: Selside - Clapham - Ingleton Cave - Gaping Gill - Little Ingleborough - Ingleborough - Selside

Clapham was a gaunt village with some arbitrary tunnels and a noisy church. It has a natural-looking man-made waterfall in the middle because the owner of the manor house felt they needed to compensate for something. (Don't know what - the Tourist Information board didn't go into details.) Gaping Gill and the gorge south-east of it were nice; the latter (whose name I've forgotten) had a large, frozen stream, (not) running down its head, which was cool. Ingleborough was as Ingleborough always is. Windy, windy, windy and stuck in a cloud. Nice views of snowy fields on the way up. Sideways views of Tom being buffeted around the path on the ridge. No views on top. Fun snow drifts though. We then pezzed it down off Ingleborough back to the bunkhouse and demolished lots of biscuits. Tom thinks it's acceptable to dunk custard creams in tea. We don't speak anymore.

Quotes

  • Tom L: We saw a train! That was really exciting. I love trains!
  • Joe: But were they the wrong strong feelings?
  • Peter (on going around the 3 Peaks again the following day in the opposite direction): That's a great idea - why don't we do that tomorrow?

Photos

From 2 & 3. CUHWC Selside TripFrom 2 & 3. CUHWC Selside TripFrom 2 & 3. CUHWC Selside Trip

Seathwaite, New Year 2013

We returned to Seathwaite for our New Year Trip 2013. It was quite cloudy, but people still managed to visit lots of fells between them. As is becoming traditional, we visited the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite for a meal on Saturday night.

Trip Participants

Joe Hobbs, Paul Cook, David Ponting, Jack Day, Greg Chadwick, David Mackenzie, Thomas Winther, Adrian Molder, Laura Burrows, Tom Cole, Lizzy Brickley, Helene Wolleb, Jo Smith, Anna Kendrick, Becky Howard, Tom Leach, Goody Gibbins, Vicky Ward, Laurent Michaux, Tom Owen, Tuomo Valkonen, Paul Fox, Tom Glen, Helen Phillips, Austen Saunders, Katie Atkinson & Andrena Ball

Walk Reports

Buttermere Horsehoe (HP)

Helen, Laurent, Tom, Tom & Jack

  • Dry and clear(ish) in the morning for High Snockrigg (small titter for the name) and Robinson (named after the squash producer?)
  • Diversion to the smallest cairn known to man [sic]
  • A nice yomp along the ridge with a very cute (some may say curvaceous) Labrador
  • Down to Honister - watched a cyclist fall off a bike — had lunch
  • FOG - FOG - FOG - FOG (Brandreth & Grey Knotts)
  • Minor navigational issues
  • Haystacks - still don't know where the summit is! Baa-ed at some sheep.
  • Descended in an unusual direction - Jack acquired a metal bar - sounds like Jacob Marley's ghost
  • Headtorch-related fun & rain & 1st-gear car fun & chavvy music

A Long-ish Walk, much at Low Level (JH)

Joe, Andrena & Paul

We took off after I'd checked that everyone was on a route card, 7 minutes and 14 seconds after the planned time. The pace down the road to Seatoller was speedy and only abated a little as we headed first up Honister Pass, then up Dale Head. As we ascended Dale Head, the weather got worse, with wind and fine rain, so we had a short stop to don waterproofs, gloves, hats & other clothing. The weather was so miserable ... To be continued apparently — perhaps to add suspense

A Good Walk through the Fog to over 900m (LM)

Laurent, Dave M, Tom & Tom

We set off with the larger group towards Glaramara. Not far from the bunkhouse, we encountered a sheep injured on its side. The two vets Helen & Becky sprang into action to resolve the situation. Leaving the vets (& Vicky), we ascended out of the damp valley and picked up the pace, leaving the larger group behind. Many spectacular views of the inside of a cloud were had. We followed the ridge over several summits and sadly didn't see any other walkers or dogs. Passing by patches of snow in the rain on the way up to Great End, the wind picked up even more. Whilst having our lunch break in the shelter at the top of Great End, a guy in a bright green waterproof and with a Leeds accent asked: "is this Scafell?" to which we replied that he and his friend were about 2km away from where they were hoping to be. Apparently they had taken a wrong turn and scrambled up the north side of Great End. We then descended back down towards the warm bunkhouse with them following part of the way. On our return, we learned that the other group had found another sheep caught in a fence. It was therefore an enjoyable and wet walk, and a bad day for the local sheep!

Photos

Moffat (Scottish Southern Uplands), 23-25 November 2012

This was quite a trip! In a first for the club, we ventured into Scotland for a weekend trip (yes, you read that correctly). It was well worth the 7-hour drive each way. We chose to stay in the Well Road Centre in Moffat, lying in the middle of Southern Uplands. It was perhaps the best place the Club has ever stayed in, complete with games room (with basketball and badminton court), table tennis table, piano, pool table and almost enough beds for each of us to have two of them! To call it a bunkhouse would be something of an understatement and terms such as ‘Mansion’ and ‘Palace’ were preferred. Aside from that place, this was a joint Duffers’ and CUHWC members’ trip, so we were joined by 15 older club members. Most people chose to walk on Hart Fell on Saturday, with a couple of groups doing linear walks and including White Coomb too. On Sunday, most people explored the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall, some chose to tick off Grahams (Scottish hills >2000ft high) and others visited Broad Law. Saturday evening even featured the second CUHWC pantomime, Peter Pan, which was stunningly performed, written and directed. It seems like rather a lot happened on this trip — never a bad thing, of course, and this trip will definitely be one of the even more memorable ones.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Greg Chadwick, Tom Ashton, Paul Cook, Michael Fordham, Chris Sidell, Andrena Ball, Tom Owen, Jane Patrick, Constanze, Joe Hobbs, Chris Arran, Lizzy Brickley, Tuomo Valkonen, Simon Williams, Valerie Ashton, Helena Laughton, Lilia Giugni, Kim Moore, Paul Fox, Laurent Michaux, Daumilas Ardickas, Jo Smith, Tom Hadavizadeh, Alex Gabrovsky, Ruth Pettit, Helen Ashdown, Michael Ashdown, Bethan Gudgeon, Doug Hull, Ben Watts, Ben Daniels, David Gruar, Toby Speight, Alison Beresford, Lottie Bell, Peter Bell, Will Carroll & Matthew Graham

Photos

Pantomime

To view the pantomime, you can go here.

From 49 & 50. CUHWC Southern Uplands TripFrom 49 & 50. CUHWC Southern Uplands TripFrom 49 & 50. CUHWC Southern Uplands Trip

Capel Curig, 9-11 November 2012

Trip Summary (written by Vicky, Trip Leader):

The second weekend trip of the academic year was the first trip to Snowdonia this year and the first trip in 30 without our current President Andrew; it saw us staying in the Tan-Y-Garth Bunkhouse at Capel Curig, a new one for the Club. The first day saw a whole battalion of varying weather conditions from sunny, to rainy, to snowy with a light scattering of rainbows. Nevertheless, the majority of the groups ventured up Tryfan by all manner of routes, despite the rather interestingly slippery rocks. No one attempted the jump between Adam and Eve. The other group had baggers; I care little of what they did. In the evening, perhaps to avoid singing, one group went out on a relatively short night hike to set off some fireworks while the others sang along to Paul’s amazing accompaniment which consisted of him (relatively successfully) playing the guitar and blowing keyboard/harmonica simultaneously. The second day had beautiful weather consisting of sun and relatively clear skies for the majority of the day. A group of 12 took the pleasant walk up Moel Siabod, another up Snowdon and the others did something else. In summary the trip was not a disaster despite Andrew’s greatest fears.

Trip Participants:

Vicky Ward, Peter Kirkwood, Joe Hobbs, Jo Smith, Dave Farrow, David Pettit, Tom Ashton, Valerie Ashton, Laura Dempsey, Helene Wolleb, Katie Atkinson, Paul Cook, Jasper van Bruckem, Nienke Blom, Thomas Leach, Phillip Withnall, Phil Brown, Alex Elliot, Constanze, Yuchin Li, Aga Wabik, Carme Culdach, Pablo Hernandez & Josh Jones. Lewis Herbert helped out by driving on the trip, but stayed at an independent location from us.

Trip Reports

Tryfan & Back (JS)

Jo S, Dave, Joe, Laura, Helene, Jasper & Nienke

We drove to Llyn Ogwen and (deliberately) left the key in the bus for Tom to break into and steal later. Then we went up Tryfan's North Ridge. We had a Cannon faff. We found some iced rocks near the top and slipped off a few. We subsequently decided that it was not a day for jumping between Adam & Eve, or indeed for continuing up Bristly Ridge. Instead we traversed to the Glyders ridge, where a lengthy discussion ensued about whether we could be bothered to go up Glyder Fach. Joe eventually decided we couldn't, whereupon the rest of us mutinied and went up it anyway. Then we retraced our steps and continued down the ridge (via two Nuttalls, we were later reliably informed) to Capel Curig. A pretty good day all in all, with sunshine on Tryfan, snow on Glyder Fach and rain to finish Classic Snowdonia.

Tryfan and the Carneddau (TL)

Tom L, Alex, Phil & Phil

Having carefully arranged for the weather to be nice in the morning, we got the minibus to the foot of Tryfan, and had a great scramble up. Mostly clear skies gave great views. The gang was a bit slower near the top as the rocks were covered in a thin layer of frozen rain (or ice, as some people know it). This turned out to be slippery and to cause numbness of the hands. From the top of Tryfan, we descended back to the road, crossed over and went straight back up Pen yr Ole Wen. This was rapid and screeful. The sun was out for much of the ascent, so everyone stripped off (some of) their clothes. Somewhere between Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn, it started snowing. This was not in the plan for the weather. It was quite fun. From there, we continued along to Penywaun-wen, then descended to the east of Ffynnan Llugwy resevoir. From there, we had a long and rapid descent along farm tracks to the A5. This was not so fun. The return to ground level may have been rapid enough to give people the bends. We got back at ~17.00, having only got lost between Capel Curig and the bunkhouse once.

Presidential Concerns

  • This trip has been referred to at least once as 'The Trip Without Andrew' - i.e. the first of that type in 30.

  • Question: How long did it take Andrew (see epitaph here) to text the Trip Leader after the trip had left?

  • Answer: 3 minutes. This exceeded expectations of those on the trip.

  • Bets had been taken:

    • Phil Brown: 5 minutes
    • Joe Hobbs: 15 minutes
    • Vicky Ward: 30 minutes

Notable Quotes

  • Phil: Girls need to get some balls ... Vicky: We can't go to a ball shop you know ... Phil: Disappointing ... Vicky: You want girls to have balls?!
  • Joe: Vicky, your butternut squash is very phallic ... Vicky: You've ruined my butternut squash for me now!

Photos

Dunmail Raise, 26-28 October 2012

Our first weekend trip of the academic year went to the Achille Ratti Climbing Club's Hut at Dunmail Raise. We enjoyed stunning weather for the first day of the trip, with most groups choosing to venture onto the Eastern Fells to make the most of it. Helvellyn was a popular choice. Sadly, the weather was less pleasant on Sunday, but we still enjoyed walks principally visiting the central fells, and most particularly the Helm Crag ridge. There was a good complement of singing on Saturday evening, including a few games. Hopefully we've started the year off as we mean to go on... "If you want..."

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Ashton, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Jane Patrick, Andrena Ball, Tom Owen, Constanze, Dave Farrow, Jo Smith, Eleri Cousins, Tim Newton, Vicky Ward, Becky Howard, Simon Williams, Greg Chadwick, Sung-Geun Hong, Gareth Ainsworth, Hannah Lissaman, Philip Withnall, Thomas Leach, Thomas Hall, Tuomo Valkonen, Nick Gachowicz, Mike Simpson, Phil Brown, Matt Hickford, Lilia Giugni, Kim Moore, Mark Nikolka, Laurent Michaux, Henry Miller, Katie Skeffington, Matthew Dalton, Daumilas Ardickas, Alex Elliott, Michael Fordham, Huiqi Wang, Kalin Vasilev & Ruth Pettit.

Trip Reports (well, sort of...)

IMPs (SW)

Saturday saw the birth of:

IMPs

An IMP is an Insignificant hill of Minimal Prominence. They exist for two reasons. Firstly to form a list of hills that fulfils the objective of classifying every convex surface in the country not already covered by the lists of Munro, Wainwright, Dewey, Nuttall and infinitum. In doing so this list provides the final and ultimate challenge for all those inspired and aroused by the prospect of climbing hills solely for the purpose of list-ticking. The second reason they exist is because geology dictates that the countryside cannot be flat and that some undulations will inevitably exist. Sociology dictates that some person will express a desire to catalogue such undulations to the point of complete flatness and thus the IMPs are the inevitable consequence.

The End of an Era (AW)

Well, there we have it, 29 trips later and sadly the time has come when I’m going to have to conclude my run of consecutive CUHWC trips, which began all the way back on my first Club trip as a meagre fresher to Edale in 2010. It feels distinctly like ‘the end of an era,’ even though in reality that is probably pushing it a bit. After all, I’m not going to be stopping my involvement with the club anytime soon – but I guess things may start to quieten down a bit now, and perhaps will do so most particularly when my Presidency ends in February and impending Finals take over a little more. I’ve enjoyed every single one of those 29 trips regardless of weather, company or number of peaks I managed to bag. It’s going to be weird for me knowing that CUHWC people are away spending a weekend on the hills and I won’t be a part of that. I know it’ll be hard since this wonderful club has come to form such an important part of my Cambridge life. Nevertheless, I should be back on proper form for the Moffat trip and we’ll take it from there. Long may it continue.

Notable Quotes

  • Gareth: We've got a peelerphile here.

Photos

From 48. CUHWC Dunmail Raise TripFrom 48. CUHWC Dunmail Raise Trip

Edale, 14 October 2012

For the third year running, we enjoyed great weather for our Freshers' Day Trip to Edale in the Peak District. The trip was as popular as ever, so 52 of us headed to Edale, where another 8 club members joined us to help lead walks, probably making this one of the largest Edale trips for a while. As usual, we all walked from Edale to Hayfield by a variety of routes, making a thorough exploration of the peat groughs, rock formations and other features of the wild Kinder plateau. Many people chose to conclude the day with a drink in the pub in Hayfield before heading back to Cambridge fully refreshed after a day on the hills.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Vicky Ward, Helen Phillips, Laura Burrows Phil Brown, Goody Gibbins, Tom Ashton, Valerie Brandt-Ashton, Mike Simpson, Dave Farrow, Jo Smith, Simon Williams, Jane Patrick, Michael Fordham, Andrena Ball, David Pettit, Ruth Pettit, Laura Dempsey, Tom Weir, Elise Biersma, Sung Geun Hong, Sam Ashcroft, Sam Lochead, Laura Bellamy, Sam Jackson, Nick Gachowicz, Hannah Rose, Katie Skeffington, Josh Jones, Catherine Gu, Rachel Bingham, Elizabeth Brickley, Daumilas Andickas, Yu Chin Li, Kshitij Sabnis, Laurent Michaux, Thomas Leach, Constanze, Catherine Walker, Tom Hadavizadeh, Yugun Lin, Timothy Tay, Paavo Parmas, Helene Walleb, Michael Masciandoso, David Dunning, Jocelyne Sze, Laura Imperatori, Philip Withnall, David Wallis, Benjamin Wallisch, Lilia Giugni, Olivia Taylor, Fiona Hughes, Holly Gurling, Pierre Clairambault & friend, Nienke Blom & Sara d'Agati.

Photos

From 47. CUHWC Edale Freshers' Day TripFrom 47. CUHWC Edale Freshers' Day Trip

2011-12

Academic year 2011-12.

Ennerdale, 8-10 June 2012

For our post-exam trip, CUHWC ventured back to Ennerdale, having had such a successful trip there this time last year. This trip fell after most people’s exams, so was the most popular post-exam trip for some time, comprising 42 people. A minibus and not fewer than seven cars sped away from Cambridge for the weekend. Saturday’s weather was decidedly average, but we managed to explore most of the fells surrounding Ennerdale between us, with one group even fighting their way to the top of Pillar Rock despite the cloudy and damp conditions. We were pleased to awake to much more pleasant weather on Sunday, which only improved as the day went on, leaving most of us wishing we’d chosen to extend the trip – which was even more true when we drove into pouring rain on the east coast. One of the trip’s highlights was a bonfire courtesy of the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre owners Walter and Ellen on Saturday evening. I think it would be safe to say that we left them and a couple of their friends somewhat bemused as we toiled our way through the Song Book’s wonders. At least one Song Book also saw its life taken before it as it wound up in the bonfire. A memorable trip with which to finish the 2011-12 academic year!

Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Ashton, Jo Smith, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Jane Patrick, Michael Fordham, Andrena Ball, Dave Farrow, Doug Hull, Vicky Ward, Bethan Gudgeon, Mark Jackson, Chris Wade, Valentina Assenova, Raphael Dehmel, Larissa Moore, Satinder Gill, Kirsty Brown, Matt Hickford, Alex Pericleous, James Ritchie, Simon Williams, David Mackenzie, Joe Hobbs, Matthew Graham, Becky Howard, Eleri Cousins, Constanze Hammerle, Gareth Ainsworth, Valerie Brandt-Ashton, Philip Withnall, Kate Humphris, Lucy Stone, Stuart Bell, Tom Dobra, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Jacob Abolafia, DJ Strouse & Daniel Bauchhuber.

Reports

Some Highlights from Andrew’s Weekend (AW)

(or 'An Attempt to Avoid Going Back to Revision')

While this trip was indeed after most people’s exams, this was unfortunately not the case for me, falling as it did slap bang in the middle of mine. With only Hazards and Biogeography (no, not the Geography of Biohazards…) remaining, I opted for a weekend away with CUHWC over staying in Cambridge and certainly did not regret my decision, this undoubtedly being one of the best trips I have yet enjoyed with the club, for all of the following reasons:

  • Being in Helen’s car for the journey there and therefore having really quite epic tunes for most of the way – except, perhaps, for that time when tune control was out of my hands and we ended up with classics such as ‘Oops I did it again’. Apparently I had a musical ‘education’ en route.
  • Playing Mr. Brightside full blast as we drove along the quiet forestry track into Ennerdale
  • Reminding Helen that the speed limit was probably 15mph for a reason
  • Reading out a sign on the side of the road that said 'No No' and Helen basically doing an emergency stop as a result
  • Helen’s car passing the 100,000-mile milestone as we sped across the A66 – and documenting evidence of this fact
  • Bethan wanting to stop the car when it reached 100,000 miles
  • Seeing Doug – this doesn’t sound quite so strange if you were in Helen’s car for the journey there
  • Having a productive day working on Saturday, with a distinct feeling that Paul and Larissa were my parents keeping watch over my revision and providing me with much needed tea – though sadly not teeea; the 'ee' I’d save for later
  • Constanze’s epic meal group – complete with meat, fish AND olives
  • Forgetting all about exams on Saturday evening and hitting the brandy straight from the bottle instead – classy
  • Sitting around the bonfire (which was, not in, but close to, the car park) singing songs
  • Mark being aptly referred to as a LAD by the bunkhouse owners and their friends and being forced from the ‘stage’ because he couldn’t play any Ed Sheeran songs, such as the A Team
  • The bunkhouse owners attempting to persuade us all to become members – and telling us of the plusses and minuses of living in such a remote location (and of Twitter)
  • Storming out of the bunkhouse for a 3-hour jaunt to repeat Little Gowder Crag and to have a (questionably well-earned) revision break
  • Vicky’s sweet potato and sweetcorn soup
  • Being in northern company
  • Kate referring to a book as being ‘dove grey’ in colour and telling us lots of stories about her driving instructor Geoff – and probably laughing the most I’ve laughed in weeks as a result
  • Exchanging (Twitter) banter with the bunkhouse owners as we ate our fish and chips in Wetherby
  • Helen’s windscreen becoming really rather messed up

I could probably go on, but I’ll stop now. There were some lowlights too:

  • This being Bethan’s, Doug’s, Matthew’s, Dave M’s, Mark’s (and possibly others’) last trip for sometime – probably. Times change. The club will (probably) survive without them.
  • Those blasted midges
  • The fact I still had two exams left…
  • Mark not being able to play Mr. Brightside or anything of Ed Sheeran’s on the guitar
  • Mark leaving the bonfire at first mention of his book and Facebook fan page

Eleri's Report (EC)

Even though Club members gasped at my midge bites at socials for a week afterwards, Ennerdale was a wonderful weekend. My walk on Saturday was notable mostly for extreme fog, but this was more than made up for by the excellent company - Bethan, Doug, Dave M, Kirsty, Becky and Tom. The next day was a lovely lazy walk around the lake, complete with a very cold dip in the stream. But let's face it — the best part of the weekend (apart from the home-made lemon meringue pie and carrot cake) was the bunkhouse's menagerie. Smoky the cat (possibly not its name, but one Helen gave it), Lisa the dog, Lollypop the sheep, the goose, and the other lambs. For this graduate student doomed to no-pet accommodation for the foreseeable future, it was absolutely heaven...

A Safe Day Out (MJ)

Time Event
00.05 Arrive at bunkhouse, 12 hours after finishing last exam and 7 and a half hours after leaving Cambridge - and 1 hour after the bus begins to go gabongclangjudderthudcrunk
03.00 Bed (apparently drivers are best at staying up late)
07.30 'Wake up'
09.30 Woken by Michael standing over my bed yelling 'JACKSON?! Are you coming or not?'
09.40 Leave bunkhouse. Breakfast in pocket. Drizzle with rocks slippery, so perfect weather for Pillar Rock. Peter left 'my' harness behind having assumed I was still in bed and not coming. Michael talks about education.
11.00 Interlude as we look for Pillar Rock. (It's misty.) Michael talks about education.
11.30 Found Pillar Rock. Rope tied around my waist. Michael climbs the first pitch and squats there like a gnome while we shout at each other. Not sure we can get back down. As the only 'safe' member, I encourage pressing on.
12.30 Joe and Andrena decide they are scared of death after all and head down. (I now respect them a lot more.) Michael swears a lot about belays. Peter and Alex get cold.
13.30 Top out. Michael uses the rope as reins to stop me falling off. (Celebrate final Lakeland 2000er.)
14.00 Everyone is suitably cautious in descent. Roles: downclimber, belayer, foot placement advisor, dead weight. Michael abseils admirably, landing right onto his target (me).
15.00 Joe and Andrena delighted to see us alive. (Also cold.) They decide to go for a walk and enjoy the solitude (of being stuck with lost tourists) and views.
17.00 Remember what the Lakes look like after seven hours in the cloud. Descend over Steeple to the bunkhouse. Michael talks about education.
19.00 Absolute chaos in the kitchen leads to absolute heaven in the cookpot courtesy of Vicky 'Sweet Potato' Ward, Doug 'Fajitas' Hull and Bethan 'Lemon Meringue' Gudgeon. Somehow midges enter the bunkhouse.
23.00 Heat, light and smell of the bonfire attract every midge in Ennerdale. Attempt to sing 'Wild Rover' while slapping my neck in between every line, then retreat inside, when midge density reaches 1000 m-3. Simon burns a song book.
00.00 After embarking on a midge killing spree with a can of 'Mr. Genocide', everyone inside goes to bed. Venture out. Strum a few folk songs with Chris 'Pavarotti' Wade. Things get ugly when the locals request some Ed Sheeran.
01.30 In a move best described by 'Oh Mate', Andrew tells the locals about the HuMPs. 'Are you for real?' says the woman. Time for bed.


Notable Quotes

  • Jane: Bethan, the first thing I heard when I woke up this morning was Doug saying to you: "Don't you have any of your own underwear?"
    • I might suggest that this is the quote of the year; absolutely hilarious [AW]
  • Dave F: Is there a Mrs Muscle? Mr Muscle would be stronger, but Mrs Muscle would be better at cleaning

Photos

Videos

From 21. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 21. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 21. CUHWC Ennerdale Trip

Deiniolen, 18-20 May 2012

Gloucestershire Mountaineering Club’s Cefn Goch Hut on the outskirts of Deiniolen was the location for CUHWC’s first Easter Term weekend trip. We had mixed weather, with most summits being shrouded in cloud for most of Saturday, but with clearer weather on Sunday. Indeed, when we awoke at the sensible hour of 8am on Sunday morning, most people remarked that we should have been up several hours earlier to make the most of the sunshine! On Saturday, most people walked or scrambled on the Carneddau. Though one ambitious group completed a long walk to take in summits on the both the Glyders ridge and the Snowdon range. On Sunday, most people walked on the Glyders, but one group chose the grade-3 Atlantic Slabs scramble, which received much praise. We enjoyed a decidedly spicy Saturday evening – and not just because of the food… The singing was fantastically enthusiastic and some of the GMC members enjoyed singing along with us.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Jo Smith, Tom Ashton, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Jane Patrick, Bethan Gudgeon, Mark Jackson, Gareth Ainsworth, Artur Fernandes, Andrena Ball, Joe Hobbs, Constanze Hammerle, Simon Williams, Tom Dobra, David Ponting & Feyruz Yalcin.

Walk Reports

A ramble (trying very hard to be a poem) (CH)

Constanze, Jo, Jane, Bethan, Simon, David & Feyruz

We started from Cefn Goch - a bit delayed,
but as you'll see - the walk was well worth the wait.
Jo, our walk leader and minibus driver, showed us true grit,
"We need a parking spot? 2 metres high? I'm sure we'll fit!"
Soon we set off across a field of protesting sheep,
And first the path was not at all steep,
After much further pfaff with food, jacket and map,
The path wound up, and up, and UP!
Along a 'slippery' slope with a vertical waterfall,
We faced an 'epic' scramble - yearned for by all!
Some people (me) needed a hand and looked for the easy way,
Others straddled huge boulders - but no-one went astray.

On top we stopped for a much-craved-for lunch,
Or was it second breakfast, or maybe even third lunch?
Whilst down in the valley we had stepped into bog,
Our constant companion up there was the super-moist fog.
Fog, we agree, is convenient when pfaffing to wee,
But makes it really hard to see.
No record of all the sweets we devoured exists,
Gummy bears, jelly babies, and midget gems all perished in the mists.

On the descent we met some ponies on the run,
And were even touched gently by some stray rays of sun.
In Bethesda our compass led us straight to a pub,
Where we enjoyed OJ, real ale, and found a bathroom to scrub [out of soap!]
We met everyone back at the minibus,
And went back to the hut without too much fuss.

So what can be learnt from having joined this great walk?
Even if it says on the sheet "grade-1 scramble" - DON'T BALK!
You might end up missing out on a good hike,
And that is not something we of CUHWC like!

Photos

From 19 & 20. CUHWC Deiniolen TripFrom 19 & 20. CUHWC Deiniolen Trip

Stiperstones, 6 May 2012

A popular day trip returning to Stiperstones in Shropshire, one of the club's favourite locations. The 20 people in attendance went on three different walks. The summit of Stiperstones was visited by all groups. Two of the groups also included Corndon Hill and Heath Mynd as part of their walks, one of which was a linear affair. We enjoyed good weather, despite all of the recent rain we've been experiencing!

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Wright, Greg Chadwick, Michael Fordham, Helen Phillips, Mark Jackson, Chris Arran, Gareth Ainsworth, Andrés Villar, Denise Laroze, Andy Crosby, Aileen Cameron, Laura Burrows, Feyruz Yalcin, Julian Peat, Alex Jones, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Constanze Hammerle & Tom Hall

MJ's Trip Summary

Some of us managed to jump out of this trip before it even began - persuading
Tom W (late car driver) to drop us of and save us three miles of our (not very)
Intricately planned loop over Corndon Hill, Heath Mynd and Stiperstones (all Marilyns).
Peter, Kerrie and I endured snow (in May), climbing several barbed-wire fences and
Even getting lost and having to scramble up a bank and through a thorny hedge! The
Rocky tors of broken quartzite on the Stiperstones ridge provided possibly the best
Scrambling in England south of the Lakes. Not feeling betrayed at all, Andrew managed
To complete the same route but backwards - all in the name of ticking [and to prove a point]. All the
Other trip participants (eleven of them) also set forth from the encouragingly
Named 'The Bog' onto Stiperstones on a leisurely paced route that included an
Excellent pub lunch, a music festival, a dungeon & a jousting tournament (unless
Something got lost in translation!). And then it was home and back to revision...

Photos

From 18. CUHWC Stiperstones Day TripFrom 18. CUHWC Stiperstones Day Trip

Easter Snowdonia Trip, 23-25 March 2012

A lack of interest in the Easter Vacation Trip to the Emily Kelly Hut, one of CUHWC’s favourites, in Cwm Dyli, Snowdonia led to the trip only being run for the weekend. However most of us were left wishing we had chosen to stay beyond the weekend due to the superb weather conditions we experienced – temperatures of 20C and bright blue skies were more akin to what we’d expect in May than March. We thoroughly explored the Snowdon group between us, with one group even leaving the bunkhouse at 4.20am on Sunday morning to reach Snowdon’s summit (almost) in time for sunrise. Walks also ventured to the Glyders and northern end of the Rhinogs. A thoroughly well enjoyed and memorable trip!

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Mark Jackson, Greg Chadwick, Becky Howard, David Pettit, Bethan Gudgeon, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams, Tom Hall, Madeleine Yates, Chris Wade, Larissa Moore, DJ Strouse, Carolina Cantu, Constanze Hammerle, Paul Cook, Andrena Ball, Chris Arran & Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo.

Walk Reports

Glyders' Ridge Walk

Becky (RH), Andrena, Greg, Chris, Carolina (CC), Madeleine & Tom H

Drive to Llanberis. Slog up Elidir Fawr via Afon Dudodyn in lots of bog (Mark!) - Y Garn - Glyder Fawr - Glyder Fach - walk down on boggy heather-covered hillside. Lots of beautiful sunshine. [RH]

Incredible views, amazing hillwalk (hike), lovely company. Couldn't have been better! Loved it! [CC]

Snowdon Sunrise Ascent (RH)

Becky (RH), Andrena, Greg, Madeleine & Chris

  • 4.20am departure
  • Sunrise on Snowdon
  • Breakfast at Pete's café
  • Sleep by the lake
  • Walk back in the sunshine
  • Skinny dip in the river
  • Ice-cream
  • We saw some sheep walk down the road, through a kissing gate and into a children's playground

Notable Quote(s)

  • Bethan (to Mark): You're like my Grandmother

Photos

From 15 & 16. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Easter Vacation TripFrom 15 & 16. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Easter Vacation TripFrom 15 & 16. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Easter Vacation Trip

Crowden, 11 March 2012

We were treated to glorious weather for our final trip of Lent 2012, which was a day trip to Crowden, an area of the Dark Peak that the club hasn’t visited since Easter Term 2004. This was a popular trip, with 32 CUHWC members descending on Crowden. One group followed the Pennine Way north to Black Hill; a second (comprising no fewer than 17 people!) did a circuit to the south, taking in Bleaklow Head and Higher Shelf Stones. The remaining 8 people chose a linear walk from Crowden, over Bleaklow Head, Higher Shelf Stones and other 'peaks', to finish at the Dog and Partridge Inn. Groughs (and the associated jumps, falls and squelches) featured prominently in the day's walks. Due to a high demand for food, our chosen pub was unable to cater for everyone, so a couple of people went hungry! But, we still enjoyed the warmth and comfort at the end of a wonderful day.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Michael Fordham, Tom Ashton, Rowena Smith, Mohammad Dmour, Paul Cook, David Pettit, Elena Yudovina, Andy Crosby, Stuart Bell, Valentina Assenova, Christie Nel, Hendrik Strauss, Lizzy Brickley, Mark Jackson, Tom Hall, Boris Bukh, Matt Hickford, Gareth Ainsworth, Julian Peat, Nathalie Saurat, Becky Shercliff, Valerie Ashton, Rachel Pomeroy, David Pomeroy, Leen Saif, Goody Gibbins, Jessica Walsh, Andrés Villar, Denise Laroze & Laura Imperatori.

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: Being stupid is not unique to people from the north
  • Andrew: It was nice to walk with normal people on Patterdale - it meant I could talk about marriage and babies
  • Becky S: I'm really tempted to fall flat on my face in a peat grough... this stuff feels like compost!
  • Mark: Andrew and I are atypical in almost every possible way

Photos

From 14. CUHWC Crowden Day TripFrom 14. CUHWC Crowden Day TripFrom 14. CUHWC Crowden Day Trip

Patterdale, 2-4 March 2012

We enjoyed quite a mixture of weather for our Patterdale weekend trip – from sunshine to snow, and most things in between! The George Starkey Hut, undoubtedly one of the best huts the club visits, was the superb location. On Saturday, most groups explored the Helvellyn range, and included at least some degree of scrambling – from the grade-3 Pinnacle Ridge to the lower-grade Striding and Swirral Edges. One group opted for a pleasant linear walk beside Ullswater from Pooley Bridge back to the bunkhouse. We also ran a scrambling course, thanks to BMC and AGTF funding. During the evening, and several glasses of beer, wine, cider and (the rather special single-malt Talisker) whisky later, we enjoyed the most enthusiastic rendition of the Cow Song (along with lots of other favourites) for some time. We awoke to a dusting of snow above around 300m on Sunday and most groups explored the Far Eastern fells, whether because they were (anti-)bagging or because they wanted to play in the snow!

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Jo Smith (sort of), Larissa Moore, Tom Wright, Paul Cook, Michael Fordham, Mark Jackson, Lucy Stone, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Bethan Gudgeon, Jane Patrick, Eleri Cousins, Laura Burrows, Greg Chadwick, Becky Howard, Agnieszka Wabik, Pablo Hernandez, Vicky Ward, Joe Hobbs, Chris Arran, Carme Culduch, Komathi Sundaram, Dave Farrow (sort of), Andrés Villar, Denise Laroze, Katherine Grattage & Matt Heaton.

Walk Reports

Helvellyn via Swirral Edge (BG)

Andrew, Jane, Becky and Bethan

I can't remember the start of it! RAIN. Becky dropped her boiled egg. We nearly got lost. We nearly ended up in Thirlmere. HAILSTONES. Frog. FOG. Jane's jacket worked; Becky's didn't; my double jacket really didn't. SUN. That's about as much as I can remember... Andrew's HUGE pork pie. ROUNDABOUT. Bethan had no boots too. SNOW. Fruit pastilles. Major coat faff. Andrew's green-gunge gloves. Rat/snail poison on Lower Man. Wedding discussion [to be repeated in much more detail on Sunday - Ed]. Cold, fat fingers. Extension and then short cut. That will do.

Scrambling Course (MJ)

Peter, Mark, Kerrie and Lucy

This year's BMC- and AGTF-funded scrambling course was a roaring success, enabling those members stranded in limbo between 'experienced climbers' and 'just hillwalkers' - me, Peter & Kerrie, and Lucy - to learn a little bit about ropework, clove hitches, direct belays, moving together, protection, rope coiling, hand jams, the importance of wearing lots of layers while climbing, just how cold one's hands get while clinging to a rock face in shadow and gusty winds in early March, the life and times of a mountain guide, finding the bottom of a scramble, helmets, loose rock, unexpectedly moving boulders, dropping nuts, and convincing the Cautious Mountain Leaders (TM) that the party going up above us (Joe and Tom) were in fact carrying a rope!

None of us died, despite some close encounters with the intricate and greasy clutches of the crux corner, and the guides were everything we hoped for and more. Here's to more in the future! Thanks to More than Mountains' guides Nick and Ewen for running the course.

Notable Quotes

  • Michael: Is it something to do with cards? Andrew: Or maybe poker?
  • Vicky: If you get me drunk enough, I'll go anywhere
  • Michael: If Stalin were in CUHWC, he'd be a bagger
  • Mark (to Michael): You've slept with more than one German, haven't you?

Photos

From 12 & 13. CUHWC Patterdale TripFrom 12 & 13. CUHWC Patterdale Trip

Dartmoor, 10-12 February 2012

This was CUHWC’s first Dartmoor trip since 2009, and the smallest weekend trip for eight years due to the unavailability of part of the expected accommodation! We chose to stay in a new bunkhouse (housing only 12 people) at Runnage Farm, near Postbridge; this permitted exploration of both the North and South Moors. On Saturday, both walking groups chose to explore the North Moor. One group completed an epic 47km walk to the summits of High Willhays & Yes Tor (along with lots of other ‘peaks’ and tors en route); the other chose a slightly more sensible route to take in some of the tors towards the southern end of North Moor. We were pleased that all (well, most - see below) of the bog was frozen solid and we enjoyed some fabulous weather towards the end of the day. The 47km group were even able to do some stargazing during their return along the road in the dark. On Sunday, again all three groups chose to explore the same area – this time, the slightly more pastoral landscapes north-east of South Moor. Despite lots of (generally negative) preconceptions of Dartmoor, most of the trip participants concluded that it’s well worth a visit every once in a while!

Trip Participants

Bethan Gudgeon, Andrew Williamson, Mark Jackson, Peter Kirkwood, Doug Hull, Tom Ashton, Michael Fordham, Dave Mackenzie, Lucy Stone, James Ritchie, Chris Dawson & Phil Brown.

Walk Reports

The Wonders of Dartmoor (AW)

When Matthew asked the (now ex-)committee what their views were on a trip to Dartmoor, needless to say that my reply (and Mark’s) was one of immense encouragement. Three months later and we set off on what quite frankly promised to be an interesting epic of a day – a walk all the way out to Yes Tor and High Willhays from our bunkhouse near Postbridge. When I said in the committee-wide email that I simply HAD to bag these two peaks, it goes without saying that I was NOT joking. I was surprised to find such enthusiasm amongst the 12 people on the trip – but then maybe, on reflection, that was expected… Mark and Peter, my seemingly permanent walking companions, had been included in numerous pre-trip bagging emails to discuss the best route to actually get there. Phil and Doug are the old-timers (when it comes to Dartmoor), so they were keen – besides Doug always likes to ‘bag’ the longest walk on a trip. Bethan – well, explain that yourself… or at least try… [It was at this point during trip report write-up that I was disrupted by Doug balancing a can of Carlsberg on the wonderful MDF bunkhouse table. It was this same can with which he later tried to ply Bethan – cue a long and fascinating conversation about Bethan’s alcoholism (which had surfaced rather a lot on this trip).] I’m bored of writing now, but I’ll conclude by saying that we did indeed bag the Nuttalls (and Deweys, sub-Deweys and tors) successfully. A truly awesome day, thanks to good weather and company. See the Trip Book for walk statistics, quotes and other assorted wonders.

Noteworthy information (AW et al.)

  • Dartmoor is a bit like Brimham Rocks, but more spread out
  • The bunkhouse would be unsuitable for people of Dave Farrow height
  • Everyone who went on the long (47km) walk was last to go to bed on Saturday evening
  • Everyone who went on the 47km epic subsequently walked the furthest the following day, taking their weekend total to 75km
  • Everyone who was in Michael F's cooking group (except Bethan) agreed once again that Michael should be elected Cookery Officer
  • Everyone on the trip agreed that the club should visit Dartmoor more often (but then maybe that's why they were on the trip)
  • Everyone present concurred that the length of Doug's facial stubble can be reliably compared to the length of Bethan's leg stubble
  • 10 people on the trip were male; two were female
  • A quarter of the trip had already walked extensively in Dartmoor; the other three quarters had never walked there before

Phil's Guide to Crossing the Rough Tor Bog (PB)

Peter: Take a 2km detour. Avoid bog entirely. Lounge languidly in the last rosy rays of the setting sun.

Mark: Take a 2km detour. Avoid bog entirely. Instead have to wade a river that was 'at least 20ft wide' (according to best (i.e. Mark's) estimate)

Doug & Bethan: Attempt edge of bog. Doug becomes entrapped and enraged and storms messily through. Bethan gets left behind, but struggles on regardless.

Andrew & Phil: Cross excitingly bouncy centre. Andrew falls off tussock up to ankles in bog. Phil falls off tussock onto face. Both people's trousers subsequently freeze.

Notable Quotes

Or at least the ones the President found notable; note the emphasis on one participant in particular - MJ

  • Phil (sweeping hand over entire map): Yeah, that's basically all bog
  • Bethan: I went single at one point over the summer
  • Bethan talking about the size of her thighs...
    • Andrew: Bethan, are you pregnant?
    • Doug: Bethan, are your hips expanding?
  • Bethan: Oh, so THAT's why you banged everybody awake, Mark
  • Phil: This entire weekend's walks have been about your bottom, Bethan - this quote definitely got mangled somewhere between mouth and website

Photos

From 9 & 10. CUHWC Dartmoor TripFrom 9 & 10. CUHWC Dartmoor TripFrom 9 & 10. CUHWC Dartmoor Trip

Bryn Golau, 27-29 January 2012

Despite it being a little over 8 months since CUHWC's last voyage to the Aran Mountains, the first weekend trip of Lent Term returned there to permit further discovery of these steep-sided, flat-topped wonders. Bryn Golau – the ‘Light on the Hill’ – was the selected residence, lying halfway up one of these sheer slopes, which, when combined with a munificent helping of winter precipitation [translation from Andrewese - lots of snow] and a night-time influx of Cambridge hillwalkers laden with all manner of hillwalking gear, made access rather difficult. In short: the field to the bunkhouse was damned muddy! Precious few survived the adventure unscathed (which is to say remained in possession of mud-free clothing).

Despite Friday evening’s slips and slides, Saturday dawned bright (for once!) and early, and it didn’t take us long to realise that the day’s weather was set to be nothing short of spectacular: clear skies, superb visibility and a generous dusting of snow above 600m. As often happens during trips to this area, most participants climbed Cadair Idris on Saturday; though one group (of mainly baggers) did make a thorough exploration of the Arans on an ambitious linear walk. The ‘Light on the Hill’ was sadly extinguished on Saturday evening, as a remarkable lack of the wind needed to power the bunkhouse's lighting system meant that we were reduced to cooking, eating and singing by the light of headtorches and the flickering fire.

The forecast for Sunday was less optimistic, but we awoke to cloud-free summits and a notable lack of any of the forecasted rain or snow – which was saved for later in the day. Two groups walked the western Arans from Foel Benddin to Glasgwm, one headed to the higher reaches of Aran Fawddwy, and a fourth chose a valley walk.

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Helen Phillips, Jo Smith, Tom Ashton, Becky Howard, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Denise Laroze, Mark Jackson, Peter Kirkwood, Dave Mackenzie, Vicky Ward, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Andrés Villar, Carme Culduch, Katherine Grattage, Pablo Hernandez, David Pettit & Ruth Pettit.

Walk Reports

Again, a notable lack of walk reports for this trip. To be rectified on a trip soon hopefully!

Notable Quotes

  • Andrew: Nice to meet you Pablo – looks like I'll be sleeping with you ... Vicky: Oh no, you were supposed to be sleeping with me!
  • David P: I was going at a sensible pace – as fast as I could!
  • Peter (on the Old Duffers): They've finished all their bagging, so they actually talk to each other

Photos

From 7 & 8. CUHWC Bryn Golau TripFrom 7 & 8. CUHWC Bryn Golau TripFrom 7 & 8. CUHWC Bryn Golau Trip

Seathwaite, New Year 2012

This was the eleventh consecutive Seathwaite New Year trip, running from 6-11 January. Despite the mist, prolonged rain, gale-force winds and distinct lack of any snow for most of the trip, most people still enjoyed themselves by making up for the weather with lots of socialising during the extended (often 12-hour) evenings. These involved lots of Bananagrams, puzzles, crosswords, reading, games, cooking and beer. And what better location to pass the time than the magnificent High House bunkhouse? We also lined the pockets of the Scafell Hotel’s owners on Saturday evening, when most participants chose to eat (and drink) there. Over the course of the trip, we visited most of the fells surrounding the ideally situated bunkhouse between us. This was almost managed individually in one person’s case, who (intentionally) spent half of his Saturday walking in the dark in order to do so! Those who stayed past the weekend enjoyed a single day of much-appreciated good weather on Monday. Several groups chose to walk to Keswick (often being subsequently transported back by bus or car) during the trip, each taking a different route.

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Bethan Gudgeon, Laura Burrows, Kirsty Brown, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams, Ruth Pettit, Tom Wright, Tom Ashton, Rob Halbert, Mark Jackson, Michael Fordham, Austen Sanders, Kate Humphris, Greg Chadwick, Stuart Bell, David Pettit, Tom Cole, John Hobbs, Paul Cook, Goody Gibbins, Joe Hobbs & Andrena Ball.

Walk Reports

Unfortunately, nobody wrote any walk reports. Perhaps better though is Mark's complete trip report, which does a rather superb job of summing up the experience:

Things that happened (MJ)

  • Peter's epic - getting up 4 hours before daylight
  • Bananagrams can be used as:
    • Pictionary tiles
    • Scrabble tiles
    • Guitar picks
    • Sexual-innuendo tiles
  • The education of Kirsty in the use of the word 'head'
  • An erudite discussion about the efficacy of the privatisation of education in the tertiary sphere
  • Joe & Andrena spending like 10 hours on a number puzzle (to the exclusion of all else)
  • An obsession with walking into Keswick
  • Kate turning up in a taxi (what next - a limo?)
  • Everyone being really lazy and getting up at like 9.30am (amended to 11am later in the trip)
  • Interesting combinations of musical instruments - blowy keyboards & accordions (particularly when played by Kirsty) & guitars & harmonicas & Mark smacking the table to try to provide some rhythm
  • A feeling of overwhelmingly gloom & pessimism when confronted with the increasingly despondent weather forecasts - and the one good day taking us all by surprise
  • The Trip Book going AWOL - and no-one writing anything in the replacement (apart from this entry) [It should be noted the Trip Book was subsequently found.]
  • That bloody puzzle about the hats that occupied half the bunkhouse for half a day
  • An appalling lack of snow or ice or anything below about 5C
  • A pleasing gamut of freshers, who liked puzzles and were organised with their walks
  • Kirsty's impressive ale collection - but blink and you might miss it!
  • Refugees fleeing south from Scotland with tales of snow, storms, puzzles, and a failed distillery tour
  • Andrew being too hungover [that is to say too frustrated with the weather...] to go bagging
  • Jane thinking Kim Jong-il was a panda, which ended up becoming a giant cat with sticks admiring the stars. What else?

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: It isn't my fault - I blow aggressively!
  • Mark: Kirsty has the tolerance of a mountain ... To be continued ...
  • Greg: Let's give her a real good prodding, ja?

Photos

From 2-5. CUHWC Seathwaite New Year TripFrom 2-5. CUHWC Seathwaite New Year TripFrom 2-5. CUHWC Seathwaite New Year Trip

Brecon Beacons, 25-27 November 2011

Croydon Caving Club's Godre Pentre Cottage in Ystradfellte was the site of CUHWC's final Michaelmas 2011 trip. Despite this being only a 17-person trip, we managed to climb all of the 2000-foot hills within 10 miles of the bunkhouse between us... Friday night involved handbrake turns, Dyas diversions, giant bees (& small seas) of Brecon, ginger-nut target practice, and some memorable artwork (perhaps not for the right reason!). The weather was decidedly foul all day Saturday. Nevertheless, two groups headed to the Neuadd Reservoirs: one completed the 'classic' Pen y Fan horseshoe; the other walked back from Pen y Fan over an impressive collection of Nuttalls to the bunkhouse on a linear walk. A couple of people investigated the possibility of climbing at a nearby limestone crag, before abandoning that plan and heading for the local Gunpowder Works. We had generous helpings of spaghetti, banoffee pie, mulled wine and singing on Saturday evening! With the weather dramatically improving on Sunday, one group completed a satisfying horseshoe (involving some Nuttall and Dewey bagging), others visited the Black Mountain, and a third group explored the spectacular waterfalls close to the bunkhouse.

Trip Participants

Ark Man's Jock, Banged One Thug, Cruel Man Poser, Dull Hag Soul, Has Smooth Tan, John's Hobo Bleeps, Is Loony Tearjerker, Just So Red, Know Ribs Try, La Cook-Up, Laid Lawmen In Rows, Led Barn Anal, Red Snarling Traveler, Reject His Aim, Uncle's Toy, War Favored & Worker Poked It.

Notable Quotes

  • Dave: Kirsty's not talking, so it's all OK
  • Mark: I've not got very good mouth-to-biscuit coordination
  • James (to Geographers): You're almost science students... Just ones with no job prospects.
  • Mark: Paul doesn't mind what he does - he's wonderfully amenable

Photos

From 72 & 73. CUHWC Brecon Beacons TripFrom 72 & 73. CUHWC Brecon Beacons TripFrom 72 & 73. CUHWC Brecon Beacons Trip

Caseg Fraith, 11-13 November 2011

This was a popular and vibrant trip, returning to the ULMC’s Caseg Fraith Hut, ideally located at the foot of Tryfan, the Glyderau and the Carneddau; Snowdon and a whole host of other hills are only a short drive away. Most people scrambled (at various grades – whether intentionally or not!) during at least one of the days, which the decidedly-less-inclement weather than of late superbly permitted, and no fewer than three groups walked the southern Carneddau horseshoe. Others made the most of the bunkhouse’s outstanding location and chose to explore areas further afield: one group completed the Snowdon Horseshoe on Saturday; one did a bagging expedition (comprising two walks) on the northern Carneddau; and a couple of people headed to Blaenau Ffestiniog to walk the entire mining-dominated skyline on Sunday. This trip also played host to a valuable navigation-based course for eight trip participants, run (by Mike Laing from Snowdonia Climbing) thanks to generous BMC funding to develop CUHWC’s members’ hillwalking skills. There was also CUHWC’s normal singing fix, complemented by a generous supply of mulled wine throughout the evening. Do peruse the photos listed below – some of them are fabulous, brilliantly highlighting how a weekend of good weather can make trips even more memorable.

Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Tom Ashton, Elena Yudovina, Paul Cook, Tom Wright, Michael Fordham, Lewis Herbert, Niina Hooper, Jon Peatman, Andrena Ball, Aileen Cameron, Bethan Gudgeon, Christie Nel, Laura Burrows, Jessica Walsh, Becky Howard, David Young, Ian Cooper, Dave Mackenzie, Peter Kirkwood, Christopher Arran, Eleri Cousins, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Emma Bulmer, Charlotte Cardus, Vicky Ward, Mark Jackson, Madeleine Yates, Kirsty Brown, Joe Hobbs, Peter Sims, Greg Chadwick, Andres Villar, Breanndan O Conchuir, Thomas Hall, Joshua Bough, Phil Brown & David Pettit.

Walk Reports

Not the most successful weekend on Tryfan (MF)

It's been an interesting weekend on Tryfan. On Saturday, I joined Elena’s group which aimed to do the classic round up Tryfan’s North Ridge, over Bristly Ridge and the Glyders, down the Devil’s Kitchen. All went well to begin with and we made good, fast progress up to the Cannon. Shortly after this, Elena slipped and fell, cutting her head in several places. Several snacks and a crepe bandage later and Elena, to quote one group member, looked like a cross between an Egyptian Mummy and P. Diddy (whoever that is!). Joe and I walked down with Elena to drive her to Bangor A&E. Unfortunately, there was no key available for the bunkhouse, so I had to break in through the bedroom window. I then couldn’t find the minibus key, which had been “safely” placed in a cutlery drawer. Anyway, a thankfully short trip to the hospital later and we were back enjoying food and singing in the bunkhouse. The next day I joined Peter to ascend Tryfan again, this time by Little and North Gullies. The blue skies sadly clouded as we ascended Heather Terrace and we unfortunately missed the start of Little Gully. We pressed on as the climb became gradually harder, requiring some tricky moves on some steps and a couple of airy traverses. We eventually met Joe, Kirsty and Bethan who were more successfully following the route of their Grade-2/3 scramble. Still, we reached the summit uninjured (except for a few scrapes and bruises), the only near miss being Mark’s rucksack, which started sliding down the mountain until it was fortunately stopped. After Tryfan, we continued over Bristly Ridge to a glorious summit of Glyder Fach, ultimately ending a pleasant day back at the bunkhouse.

Snapshots (MJ)

... David Pettit deftly driving up steep lanes at the back of the Carneddau, while certain members of the club were still in bed...
... Slipping on a rock somewhere near Foel-fras and smashing my lunchbox to smithereens...
... Still seas and sunset skies from the last summit in Snowdonia...
... Hearing from a cold Joe outside the dark bunkhouse that Elena was in hospital...
... Becky saving us all a long, cold wait by vaulting in through the bunkhouse window...
... Turbo Mulling Agent - and Turbo Fire-starting Agent (not the same thing)...
... Not realising for several minutes that talking to Bethan & Kirsty was a bit weird with them being in the shower...
... Joe taking things a bit too far by leaping onto the table and reading out Sunday's weather forecast, before launching into the Lumberjack Song...
... Dreaming of falling off Glyder Fach and deciding this was a sensible reason to go scrambling instead of bagging in the morning...
... Joe and Bethan's group(s) turning up and informing us that we were on completely the wrong scramble (see MF's report above), only for it to transpire that they were off route too...
... Joe and Andrena trying to outdo each other by jumping back and forth between Adam and Eve...
... Amazing scrambling on Bristly Ridge - and Kirsty getting her foot stuck in a crack in full view of the rest of the group...
... Sunbathing on a slab...
... Jumping on the Cantilever...
... Everyone with the know-how basically running for the minibus that wasn't freezing cold...
... Attempting to educate the entire minibus on the meaning of the word 'clodpoll'...
... Watching Ice Age 3 at the takeaway - and Paul having a frank exchange of views with the owner about their pizza-production timescale...

Notable quotes

  • Andrena: Maybe Paul will just do it to Greg quietly in the front [of the minibus]
  • Michael: I didn't know your legs could do that Kirsty
  • Mark: Duet - Paul with his mouth, me with my right hand

Photos

From 70 & 71. CUHWC Caseg Fraith TripFrom 70 & 71. CUHWC Caseg Fraith TripFrom 70 & 71. CUHWC Caseg Fraith Trip

Rydal, 28-30 October 2011

The first weekend trip of Michaelmas 2011 went to the generously sized Rydal Hall Youth Centre in the Lake District, an ideal location to explore the Eastern and Southern Fells’ wonders. Saturday’s weather was poor: cloud at about 600m all day, (heavy) rain and cold temperatures. Nevertheless, nobody was deterred: two groups walked the entire southern Langdale skyline from Pike of Blisco to Bowfell (though the groups’ definitions of ‘entire’ differed somewhat…). Others walked the Fairfield Horseshoe. With this being the Halloween trip, there were the usual Halloween-themed activities, along with plenty of punch and singing (complete with the new song book!) too. Sunday’s weather was only marginally better for those that remained in the Eastern Fells. But, for those that returned to Langdale (indeed, of the five that went there on Sunday, four had been there the previous day too), the weather was better and they walked and scrambled with only the odd passing cloud all day. We can but hope for better weather in time for the Caseg Fraith trip.

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Tom Ashton, Jo Smith, Mohammad Dmour, Paul Cook, Tom Wright, Helen Phillips, Sara Reardon, Jane Patrick, Bethan Gudgeon, Peter Kirkwood, Valerie Ashton, Julian Peat, Gareth Ainsworth, Doug Hull, Kirsty Brown, Simon Williams, David Mackenzie, Dave Farrow, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Nathalie Saurat, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Andres Villar, Madeline Yates, Mark Jackson, Gaspard Pelurson, Joe Hobbs, Andrena Ball, Anne Moindrot, Rebecca Howard, Leen Saif, Jessica Walsh & Chloe France.

Walk Reports

Hillwalkers' Rain-induced Sentiments (AB)

Enter a trip during which the Lake District experiences some adverse weather conditions.
The hillwalkers awoke early on Saturday morning. It was observed that a heavy grey cloud was covering the entire area, promising a liberal dousing of heavy grey rain.
‘Never mind,’ thought the baggers, making no changes to their long and meandering route card, and they proceeded to tramp grimly up each and every significant [really?!] elevation.
‘How splendid,’ exclaimed the misanthropes (to themselves in a corner), ‘this will keep the half-term hoards off the mountains,’ and they went off up an obscure valley to enjoy the fog-induced solitude.
‘Typical,’ sighed the old hands as they contemplated yet another circuit of the Fairfield Horseshoe, trailing freshers without even the consolation of a view.
‘Umm… Shame about the rain, but it’s still going to be such FUN!’ enthused the freshers as they set off from the bunkhouse…

Notable Quotes

  • Gaspard: I saw Andrena going into the bathroom, so I followed her

Photos

From 68 & 69. CUHWC Rydal TripFrom 68 & 69. CUHWC Rydal TripFrom 68 & 69. CUHWC Rydal Trip

Edale, 16 October 2011

As is normal for the club, the first trip of the academic year went to Edale in the Dark Peak. A coach of (mostly) new members arrived at Edale to be greeted with drizzle and low clouds. With the promise of improved weather later during the day, nobody was deterred and joined whichever walk took their fancy. The club (or the bagging-obsessed Safety Officer...) decided to run a new walk this year that paid a visit to the actual (seldom-visited) summit of Kinder Scout. This was a popular choice amongst trip participants. Other groups walked along the edges of the plateau, south along the Lose Hill-Brown Knoll ridge or directly across to Hayfield via Edale Cross. Thankfully, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and we finished in warm sunshine. All groups arrived at Hayfield in plenty of time to sample the Royal Hotel's ales (and food) before our return to Cambridge.

Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, David Mackenzie, Joe Hobbs, Kate Humphris, Doug Hull, Mark Jackson, Bethan Gudgeon, Kirsty Brown, Becky Howard, Andrena Ball, Irina Stefan, Laura Bellamy, Josh Bough, Andrés Villar, Matthew Heaton, Kenzie Bok, Tom Hall, Peter Sims, Sheh Nazri, Alexandra Kotwica, Steven Lovelock, Amy White, Margaret Cunniff, Laura Imperatori, Toby Crisford, Celia Laur, Allison Truhlar, Aileen Cameron, Claire Huxley, Greg Doran, Phil Brown, Laura Burrows, Aga Wabik, Charlie Allso, Tahini Mehta, Alex Jones, Vicky Ward, Peter Kirkwood, Ruth Ezra, Simeon Koole, Phillip Ronecker, Lizzy Brickley, Clara Seah, Li Ling Quek & Harriet Burdett.

Jo Smith, Dave Farrow, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams and Tom Wright weren't there, but were about 10 miles away...

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: I was tring to keep my humps out of the trip book

Photos

From 67. CUHWC Edale Day TripFrom 67. CUHWC Edale Day TripFrom 67. CUHWC Edale Day Trip

2010-11

Academic year 2010-2011.

Fort William, 9-10 September 2011

This trip wasn't very successful... Last year's September Scotland trip had seen poor weather. When organising this year's, we were sure the club couldn't have the same again... So much for that! It was so bad (forecasts of over 100mph winds, heavy rain and low cloud for most days) that the trip was actually abandoned by those who had intended to take part in it. Still, two hillwalkers and two drowned rats that happened to be already in Scotland from the week before met in Fort William at the campsite near to Banavie. Half an hour before the trip had begun, they had already decided they were abandoning it! And so plans were made while crowded around a Tourist Information Office computer of how best the escape could be made from rainy Scotland. These four had a meal together in the Grog and Gruel and then drove south on Saturday, climbing Beinn a'Chrulaiste, in pouring rain and strong winds, en route to Glasgow. Ironically the only hill to be climbed on the Fort William trip is located 15 miles south of Fort William! (Still, all four had had some decent(ish) weather on some of the days the week before!) Let's hope that next year's summer trip is more successful.
[AW]

Participants

Andrew Williamson, Mark Jackson, Jo Smith & Dave Farrow.

Mark's Trip Report (MJ)

The first problem with this trip was that nobody was coming. The second problem was the weather.

After the washout of last year’s September trip, certain club members had naively hoped for a change of fortunes this time around – that is, for the percentage of rainy days to be less than 90%... Unfortunately, Scotland had other ideas.

The two pre-trips were moderately successful. I, Phil and Andrew spent a damp few days in Corrour – one of the wildest and most remote places in Britain. The only traces of civilisation were the railway station, youth hostel and a bothy (six miles away) – all of which we made good use of in our quest to stay warm and dry. Determined to get up some hills, we binned the idea of a two-day backpack involving six Munros, and went far to the west to the Staoineag Bothy, where we managed to get up two Munros and a Graham (an attempt on a Corbett was called off because the burns were high and wild). We had better luck with a linear walk the day after Phil left, and then the weather really set in. ‘Drowned rats’ was a not inaccurate description of our condition by the time we met Dave and Jo in Fort Bill. They’d at least had a car in which to drive around looking for sunshine, and had one good climb and a couple of good Munros.

But the forecast was truly dire.

Hurricane Katia’s remnants were on their way, and with 110mph winds on the tops, none of us were going to be getting up anything – least of all our tents. Faced with this, Michael F, Dave M and James called off their plans to come up for the weekend. Dave and Jo were heading home anyway. The campsite was pricey and midge-infested – although I think we would have had to move into a YHA anyway.

David P and Harriet (Burdett) were still planning on coming, but I was fed up. When it comes to a week in Scotland, four does not a crowd make, especially when three of them are crazy baggers and the fourth is on her first club trip. I’d poured enough of my money into the YHA’s coffers at Corrour and still my gear was wet.

We went into an internet café, phoned David, booked train tickets, and for the first time in 22 years, a club trip was completely cancelled because of the weather.

We ended up spending the money we’d saved by not buying train tickets from Corrour (shocking, I know) on a slap-up meal in Fort William. The next day, we squeezed into Dave’s car and drove to Glasgow, stopping briefly in Glencoe to storm up the Corbett of Beinn a’Chrulaiste, in strong winds and heavy rain. The car assumed the properties of a sauna from then on, crammed full of wet gear and wet walkers as it was; and thus the only ‘walk’ of the ‘trip’ took place twenty miles from Fort William and took about one and a half hours.

From Glasgow, we went our separate ways.

I know this has been a long write-up for a short trip, but I did feel the need to justify a once-in-20-years event! It seems that what has been a club staple for nearly two decades may be on its way out. Club members only have limited holidays and our attention is being drawn (quite reasonably) to sunnier climes – Corsica, Kyrgyzstan and an Alps trip or two beckon next summer – between spells of summer jobs etc. I even overheard one comment to the effect of: ‘I would make the effort to go, but if it’s just going to be baggers there…’!

So maybe in, maybe out, but as long as Scotland continues to throw rain, wind, snow and midges at us, perhaps I can bear the loss. There are many decisions I regret, but this was not one of them.

Photos

From 59. CUHWC Fort William TripFrom 59. CUHWC Fort William Trip

La Berade: The Alps, 4-19 July 2011

After visiting the Swiss Alps for the past two years, CUHWC decided to pay some attention to France for a change. The Ecrins proved to be steep, jagged and pretty spectacular, if a little less friendly than the snowy peaks of Arolla. Based in La Bérarde, we dashed out of our tents between thunderstorms for a mixture of walking, climbing and mountaineering routes.
[Adapted from JS's Picasa album description.]

Trip Participants

Jo Smith, Dave Farrow, Doug Hull, Jeremy Leong, James Ritchie, Joe Hobbs, Matthew Graham, Kirsty Brown, Dave Mackenzie & Andrena Ball.

Photos

Ennerdale, 10-12 June 2011

For most people, this trip marked an end-of-exam celebration and so a large group of hillwalkers headed to the remote Ennerdale in the Lake District, where we stayed in Lower Gillerthwaite Field Centre. There were plenty of walking and climbing opportunities nearby, with one group each day choosing to climb Pillar Rock. Other groups opted to walk various versions of the Ennerdale Horseshoe - including one epic walk that walked the entire skyline! There was plenty of merriment on Saturday evening and we even managed to (almost) get through all verses of the Cow Song! Several chose to extend the trip afterwards and backpacked across the Lake District to Windermere.

Participants

Andrew Williamson, Mohammad Dmour, Michael Fordham, Tom Ashton, Tom Wright, Paul Cook, Jon Matthews, Gordon Williams, Helen Phillips, Bethan Gudgeon, Amy Bonsor, Marianne Park, David Pettit, Alex Pericleous, Alison Beresford, Chris Wade, Kirsty Brown, Kate Humphris, Jo Smith, Dave Farrow, Mark Jackson, Greg Chadwick, Joe Hobbs, Anne Moindrot, David Mackenzie, Valerie Brandt, Julia Narees, Alice Turski, Daniel Sigle, Larissa Moore, Carol Cheng, Ruth Pettit & Toby Speight.

Walk Reports

Small Ennerdale Horseshoe (DF)

Jo, Jon, Dave, Amy, Greg & Larissa.

Jon, Amy and Larissa arrived back 30 minutes later after having a tricky traverse while skirting Pillar. We got back very hungry and slightly wet. On descent from Haycock it started raining heavily, so we put full waterproofs on. After walking over Haycock, we found a way down. From Pillar, we continued fast along the ridge (jelly-bean- & fudge-powered), missing Steeple, out west. The 'long' ascent of Pillar was taken steadily, watching many fell runners going the other way. Pillar looks like a nice big remote mountain. Jon, Amy and Larissa were found eating their third lunch after a good descent off Kirk Fell. (Despite other previous reports.) Jon, Amy and Larissa decided to skirt around Kirk Fell and go down the valley, leaving Dave to attempt to catch DP up on Kirk Fell (he was only 45 minutes ahead and going at full speed). Andrew's group met us and complimented our route choice (not realising we had not come from the Gables). We were under half way and thinking we should speed up. Green Gable & Great Gable were skirted around to shorten the day (and because they are always done, and rarely gazed upon from below). Second lunch had just after Haystacks (stacks of people as well), near the tarn. Descent off High Stile and over High Crag done slowly, talking much. First lunch (11.30) was had after ascending High Stile. After getting to within 50m of Red Pike, it was decided not to bag it, and we sensibly continued along the ridge. The day started sunnily and luckily we stayed out of the cloud all day. The route card stated an 08.45 start, so at 09.50 we wandered out of the bunkhouse. The sentences in this report are in reverse order.

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: Just because we like bagging, doesn't mean we like buggering [on the relationship between Mark & Andrew]
  • Alison: I think Fisherfield is further south than I think it is!
  • Helen: I wouldn't walk with [David Pettit], but I would eat (with) him
  • Kirsty: That bag was full of grass... Matthew: Herbs!
  • Tom is hurriedly reversing the minibus into a narrow passing place...
    • Dave M: WAARK! [Minibus stops]
    • Tom: What was that?
    • Dave M: That was a bush...
    • Dave F: I didn't know bushes made that noise...

Photos

From 27 & 28. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 27 & 28. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 27 & 28. CUHWC Ennerdale Trip

Seven Sisters Day Trip, 22 May 2011

It might have been the looming shadow of exams, but there seemed to be a certain reluctance among CUHWC members to break new ground and join the club's first ever trip to the South Downs. In the end it was just five of us who made the short journey to the coast near Eastbourne, for a day out which it would be stretching a point to call "hillwalking", but which proved very enjoyable all the same.

For me and Andrew, the hills' lack of height proved no problem, as our following the creed of Relative Height ensured that the South Downs still held plenty of ticks for us. Being dropped off in Lewes, we tramped the crest of the downs for twenty miles to the amazing 500ft cliffs of Beachy Head, crossing Marilyns and HuMPs on the way - one of which proved an interesting challenge, standing as it did in the middle of a golf course!

Mohammad, Matt and Betsy had a fine walk tramping the full length of the Seven Sisters to Beachy Head with the wind behind them, and we finished up with fish and chips on the seafront in Eastbourne, while Matt, brave (crazy?) soul that he was (is?), took a dip in the English Channel and almost got thrown against a groyne for his trouble.

[MJ]

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Mark Jackson, Mohammad Dmour & Betsy Mortensen.

Trip Statistics (MJ)

  • 10 bemused golfers [upon seeing Andrew and Mark doing what they do best...]
  • 9 hours spent in deepest Sussex
  • 8 actual sisters
  • 7 sisters
  • 6 trig points
  • 5 walkers intrepid explorers
  • 4 HuMPs
  • 3 Marilyns
  • 2 separate walks
  • 1 new frontier for CUHWC!
  • 0 proper hills

Photos

From 26. CUHWC South Downs Day TripFrom 26. CUHWC South Downs Day Trip

Aran Mountains, 13-15 May 2011

As usual, this trip was a small and lively trip, mainly composed of those who have no exams, or have their priorities right!

Participants

Joe Hobbs, Andrew Williamson, Jo Smith, Tom Ashton, Paul Cook, Mark Jackson, Dave Farrow, Ian Kitley, Mohammad Dmour, Kirsty Brown, Jildou Sterkenburgh, Stella Lin, Eleni Charalampous, Simon Taylor, Mohammad Razai, Christian Scheppach, Larissa Moore, Andrena Ball

Sheep Impressions done on this trip (JS)

  • Sheep
  • Drunk Sheep
  • Angry Sheep
  • Suicidal Sheep
  • Suicide Sheep (apparently different)
  • Kamikaze Sheep
  • Pathetic Sheep
  • Rubbish Pathetic Sheep

Things I forgot/didn't bring on this trip (JH)

  • Fleece & soft shell - on hooks in Cambridge
  • Trousers (nearly) - found in bottom of rucksack
  • Hat, gloves & warm clothing in general - thought it would be warm & summery
  • Ketchup (for burgers)
  • Boots - thought it would be dry
  • Good sleeping bag - thought it would be warm
  • Unmouldy tomatoes & onions
  • Brain - last seen in Large Examination Hall, if found, I'd like it back!

The A-Z of Dave, Jo, Joe, Andrena & Kirsty's Saturday (JH)

  • A is for Arete, Cyfrwy
  • B is for Belaying, which Kirsty did, and Andrena did not
  • C is for Cams, which Kirsty christened Colin, Clive and Cameron
  • D is for Dave's Memory - all we had as he forgot the scrambling guide
  • E is for Efficient, which surprisingly is what we were
  • F is for Fleece, which Joe forgot (see above)
  • G is for Guidebook (lack of)
  • H is for Hotwiring, which didn't quite happen to the minibus
  • I is for Incompetent Removal of Nuts - Andrena was guilty of this mainly
  • J is for Jo(e)s, who were making barking noises
  • K is for Kirsty, who was child-knotted into the middle of the rope and liked it
  • L is for Laughter, at Jo getting stuck 1 foot off the ground
  • M is for Moving Together, while the group behind continued pitching
  • N is for Nuts, and associated innuendo
  • O is for Opting Out, of a long walk after getting to the top
  • P is for Punctuality, much to the (dis)pleasure of Paul
  • Q is for Quite Cold, which it was, particularly for the trouserless
  • R is for Rain. Which turned to hail. A lot of hail. Which was painful. Particularly for the trouserless
  • S is for Scrislope (Andrena's spelling), which was the scariest part of the day
  • T is for Trousers - some of us did without
  • U is for Unusually Uneventful
  • V is for Voluminous - everyone's rucksacks except Andrena's
  • W is for Wind, especially while standing on the trig point
  • X is for Xylophone - there were no accidents so no X-rays here!
  • Y is for Yelling, climbing calls over the wind
  • Z is for Zero Fatalities - Mark seemed very surprised!

Magic Jenga (AB)

An observer, upon approaching the Bryn Hafod bunkhouse on the evening of Friday 13th May, might have been surprised at the spectacle enacted before him. Around the perimeter of a cosy sitting room were gathered a curious collection of individuals, exhibiting no particular pattern in age, sex or sobriety, but all possessed of a certain ruggedness of apparel which marked them as members of some brotherhood. The attention of all these disparate individuals was fixed upon two of the brethren engaged in a strange ritual in the centre of the room. A tower of blocks had been constructed, and the two individuals were gleefully engaged in simultaneously removing the bottom layer. When this removal was perfectly timed, the rest of the tower did not topple, as one might expect, but rather settled into an increasingly skewed but still vertical state. This performance drew admiring whoops and applause from the gathered throng which in turn spurred the protagonists on the greater heights. What to make of this curious behaviour, and whether a rational explanation can be supplied, we leave to the reader.

Notable Quotes

  • Simon T: Downhill did my knees, uphill did my everything else; my nose is fine though.
  • Kirsty: Has Mark got one of my men?
  • Dave (to Jo): You've got hold of my sword - you can't do that!
  • Mark: When I say worst in the world, I mean quite bad in England.

"Blessed are the trouserless, for they shall inherit the earth"
Gospel of Mark, 5:5

Photos

From 24 & 25. CUHWC Aran Mountains TripFrom 24 & 25. CUHWC Aran Mountains Trip

Easter Snowdonia Trip, 25-30 March 2011

There could hardly have been a bigger contrast between this year's Easter trip to Cwm Dyli, right at the foot of Snowdon, and the same trip last year - far from wind, cold and rain, we were treated to glorious sunshine and T-shirt-and-shorts temperatures, and heat haze was more of a problem for us than mist. It was hardly the weather for sitting about in the bunkhouse (barring the final day), and between us we managed the Snowdon Horseshoe (three times), the full range of the Glyders (three times), the Nantlle Ridge (twice), a waterfall walk, Moel Hebog, the Moel Eilio group (twice), Moel Hebog, Carnedd y Cribau, Moel Siabod, a Tryfan circuit, Cnicht and the Moelwyns, a dawn ascent of Snowdon, three scrambles of varying degrees of epicness (epicity?), and one rather impromptu walk to Llyn Llydaw and back at 11pm...

...and there were more moments that made this trip what it was. Eleven of us spelling out "CUHWC" on top of the Cantilever... Scarborough Fair echoing on a harp... that midnight visit to a Bangor kebab shop... a lot of Bananagrams... the track outside the bunkhouse playing havoc with big and small cars alike... mountain swims... headtorches lighting up the south face of Lliwedd as the night darkened... banoffee pie... that crazy game where Kirsty got mistaken for a Scottish dog and a harmless grid reference somehow turned into Snowdon being bombed... and the night's dark blue lighting up with the golden fires of dawn as Chris and Simon stood alone on Snowdon's frosty summit to watch the sun rise.

Participants

Bandrena All, Hecky Boward, Gethan Budgeon, Charol Ceng, Wis Chrade, Mave Dackenzie, Pavid Dettit, Houg Dull, Knoliver Evitt, Jillian Games, Cheg Gradwick, Lannah Hewis, Phelen Hillips, Wandrew Illiamson, Pane Jatrick, Leremy Jeong, Woe Jilliams, Hoe Jobbs, Birsty Krown, Marissa Loore, Jark Mackson, Gratthew Maham, Fichael Mordham, Dmohammad Mour, Caul Pook, Bimon Sateman, Wimon Silliams, Om Tashton, Wrom Tight, Toe Zolkien.

Walk Reports

Saturday - Y Lliwedd Scramble, Take I (MF)

Michael, Tom

It was on reading Steve Ashton's "Scrambles in Snowdonia" - it must have been in 2004 - that I decided, one day, to climb y Lliwedd by Bilberry Terrace. In the intervening years I have climbed Snowdon with y Lliwedd many times, but never had the confidence, skill or equipment to take on the route. A few weeks ago, Tom Wright and I completed a snow and ice climbing course in Scotland where we practised leading routes and, on signing up for the Easter Snowdonia trip, I decided to give Bilberry Terrace a go.

Tom and I prepared well. We went and ordered enough kit - rope, nuts, slings, hexes, karabiners - and prayed for good weather. Our prayers were answered. We set off in near-perfect conditions. Although the mist later set in, the day remained dry and calm. We had some difficulty finding the start of the route, including a false start, but eventually we found the line and climbed up to Bilberry Terrace. The terrace itself was an excellent, airy traverse. One or two tricky pitches provided some climbing interest. At the end of the Terrace the route-finding became more complex, and we didn't follow the guidebook line completely. The final pitch was excellent and we emerged onto a sunny ridge a few metres below the summit. We returned to the hut via y Lliwedd's east ridge. Our route today confirmed y Lliwedd as my second favourite Welsh mountain (after Tryfan) and I look forward to trying more routes on its north face.

Sunday - Snowdon Horseshoe (RH)

Becky, Joe W, Bethan, Simon, Kirsty, Jane, Greg (alias Geoff), Dave, Jeremy, Matt

Points to note/remember about the day

  • The two peaks of Y Lliwedd are both taller than each other
  • Jeremy should have worn a helmet when scrambling below Kirsty
  • The pipe is big and green and quite fun to come down
  • Matthew and Jane finally completed the horseshoe (3rd time, 2nd time lucky respectively)
  • The two big groups just behind us before the Crib Goch turn-off all took the wrong turning to Snowdon
  • Joe W and Bethan got told off for talking about falling about off Crib Goch
  • Llyn Llydaw, when viewed from Y Lliwedd, looks like England with no Kent

Monday - Y Lliwedd Scramble, Take II (AB)

Rope 1; Bethan, Kirsty, Doug. Rope 2; Joe H, Andrena, Dave

To be served late at night with whisky and black tea.

Ingredients;

  • two ropes
  • six harnesses
  • insufficient slings
  • rather too many nuts and hexes
  • a bag of jelly babies and a large malt-loaf
  • about 300m of heather-coated rock face
  • six excited hillwalkers with unrealistic expectations.

Time; 10 hours, with 2 hours' preparation and 2 hours' tidying up.

Method;

  • Take the hillwalkers, march them up to the base of the rock face (at the double), and insert them into their harnesses. Set aside for a half hour photo-and-faff break.
  • Combine the slings, nuts and hexes with the harnessed hillwalkers. Add the ropes. Stir gently so as to prevent tangles.
  • Divide in two. Carefully apply the first half to the rock face, ensuring that the hillwalkers are not too close to the heather, since they do not mix well.
  • Continue spreading the hillwalkers over the rock face keeping the two halves a little apart. After about 5 hours, add the malt-loaf, and continue as before.
  • Despite the insufficiency of slings, attempt to smoothly and consistently transfer them from the lower to the higher hillwalkers. This may prove difficult when they are too tightly compressed, or in too much heather.
  • After about 9 1/2 hours, as darkness falls, inject a slight feeling of panic and some head torches.
  • When you run out of rock face, remove ropes, and stuff the hillwalkers with jelly babies. This will speed up the descent.

Tuesday - Nantlle Ridge (Short) (KB)

Joe H, Dave M, Andrena, Kirsty

Leaving the bunkhouse (reluctantly) at 11:30am, we drove to Rhyd Ddu. Having established that the pay and display machine had been (very neatly) vandalised, we set off towards the ridge. The short stretch of bog made some of us regret having decided to wear trainers / boots with so many holes that socks were visible through them. Joe and Dave set off up the hill at quite a pace, with Andrena and Kirsty (just!) behind. Overtaking another group, we were pleased to discover that they were from Oxford. On hearing that we were from Cambridge, they rapidly made excuses for their slower pace, along the lines of "Let's wait for the others - they must be a long way behind and it'd be unfair to get TOO far ahead..." and "Yes, there's no point at all in rushing; after all, that wouldn't be making the most of the day and the views..."

Meanwhile, Joe and Dave increased their pace yet further and we were all at the top within 45 minutes. After a short phone faff (during which we discovered the somewhat disappointing results of the Boat Race... at least Varsity hillwalking would seem to go in our favour at the moment), we continued along the ridge. We spent a fair amount of time playing on some rocks (with the Oxford walkers still small specks in the distance), before running down a grassy section of the ridge and stopping for a spot of lunch. Following lunch, we carried on up to the obelisk (which both Joe and Andrena climbed). At this point, it started spitting with rain and I tentatively suggested that it might be a good idea to turn round if it came on to pour. Everyone else responded surprisingly enthusiastically and we started back immediately (despite the fact that the rain had failed to materialise...)

On the descent, a 'strange man' seemed unnervingly pleased to see me - entertaining the rest of the group. We cut off the ridge early and managed to find our way along some forestry tracks (distinctly absent from our BMC maps - unfortunately nobody had thought to bring an OS...) Having consumed a large proportion of a chocolate cake AND a malt loaf whilst sitting on a stone which read "Death by Yeti", Joe became even more energetic than normal (!) and we got back to the car in next to no time, with only a few short lamb faffs...

Altogether a good day was had by everyone and we were pleased to return for an epic cooking session (chilli, cake and a banoffee pie...)

The whole trip - (Excessive) bagging (of [pointless] hills) (AW)

Andrew and various companions (chiefly Mark)

Successfully arriving by train, we caught the bus to the bunkhouse via Bethesda, arriving by about 6pm. Hours were spent reading and generally being bored while we waited for those driving from Cambridge to arrive. The fire was also successfully lit, thanks to detailed instructions left by the meticulous female bunkhouse owners - what else does one expect?

Saturday saw me climb the Nuttalls (all twelve of them) surrounding Cwm Croesor with the three other Nuttall baggers in the club. The day was filled with (an excessive amount of) talk of Munros, Corbetts, Marilyns etc. We were the first group to return to the bunkhouse, but were soon followed by others.

Sunday saw an ascent of the Nantlle Ridge from Rhyd Ddu with a lower percentage of baggers on the walk. Unfortunately, the last Nuttall on the ridge was un-Nuttall-able, down to time restrictions (DP's fault), and we therefore would need to climb the ridge again. This reduces my efficiency ratio of Nuttall bagging.

Monday involved even more Nuttall bagging, this time taking in all of those along the Glyders ridge with Paul, Larissa and my seemingly-inseparable companion Mark. There was awesome weather again, and this walk was one of the best I had done, even involving a swim (for some), some scrambling, several Glyder kilometres (a near standard measure) and much sarcasm. According to some estimates, the walk was an epic; however, one could question such a contention. An interesting evening involving Mountain Rescue, a run up the Miners' Track and a kebab shop was then had. We had dinner at just after midnight and then slept for about three hours before the final day's walking (for me).

Carol and Helen joined me and Mark for a northern Snowdon horseshoe, which involved an unnecessary amount of faffing - animal faff (horses, sheep, cows, piglets and even seagulls were all involved), photo faff, summit faff and perhaps surprisingly, swing faff in Llanberis. Finishing on Llechog (our 34th Nuttall of the trip), we then descended the ridge to the south of the Llanberis pass. The evening was particularly entertaining, involving several highly amusing games.

We woke early on the final day to find driving rain, so Bethan and I were able to make use of Paul and his car to get a lift to Betws-y-Coed for our train. All in all, a truly fantastic trip, with better-than-expected weather.

Notable quotes

  • Becky: (talking about a photo): "This one's quite good because you can't see anything."
  • Paul: "Dave, your shorts aren't helping - take them off"

Photos

From 14-17. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Vacation TripFrom 14-17. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Vacation TripFrom 14-17. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Vacation Trip

Church Stretton, 13 March 2011

Less than a week after we returned from Swaledale, we were off again, this time on a day trip. As the day dawned bright and sunny above us, we sped down the M5 heading for the little village of Church Stretton, apparently nicknamed the "Zermatt of Shropshire". While this may be stretching the point, the hills of the Long Mynd and Caer Caradoc are surprisingly well formed, and provided us all with some cracking walks, which featured seven people crowding onto the Pole Bank viewfinder, a sheep being rescued from a barbed wire fence, some bouldering and some impressive scrambling on the Caer itself...

Participants

Kirsty Brown, Esme Chapman, Louisa Dinwiddie, Mohammad Dmour, Peter Forbes, Michael Fordham, Bethan Gudgeon, Anna Gurevich, Joe Hobbs, Doug Hull, Mark Jackson, Emily Mynott, Julia Narees, David Pettit, Anitha Thillaisundaram, Jessie Vahrenkamp, Andrew Williamson, Elena Yudovina

Photos

From 12. CUHWC Long Mynd Day TripFrom 12. CUHWC Long Mynd Day TripFrom 12. CUHWC Long Mynd Day Trip

Swaledale, 4-6 March 2011

The third weekend trip of the Lent term broke new ground for the club - while our previous outings to the Yorkshire Dales had always been confined to the Ribble valley, this trip saw us head for darkest Swaledale. The weather stayed dry and (mostly) sunny throughout, allowing us to venture from our base in Reeth onto the wild moors of Rogan's Seat, the delights of Arkengarthdale, the open country of the High Seat ridge, and (after a fairly epic drive) the wonderful curves of the Howgill Fells; there was even a walk along the River Swale on the Sunday! But the excitement was not confined to the walking, with a didgeridoo-accompanied rendition of the Cow Song and the fire alarm going off at two o' clock in the morning...

Participants

Tom Ashton, Valerie Brandt, Alex Broekhof, Kirsty Brown, Paul Cook, Mohammad Dmour, Michael Fordham, Matthew Graham, Owen Graham, Joe Hobbs, Sophie Holmes, Becky Howard, Kate Humphris, Mark Jackson, Dave Mackenzie, David Pettit, Ruth Pettit, Helen Phillips, James Ritchie, Mathias Scharmann, Mike Simpson, Rowena Smith, Oliver Strickson, Jessie Vahrenkamp, Andrew Williamson.

Walk Reports

Marilyn, HuMP and Nuttall bagging (AW)

Andrew, David P, Jessie & Alex

DP arrived early in the morning, having left before dawn in order to get here - he had a band concert the evening before. Mark was intending to come with us, but instead decided it would be an excellent idea to drive 45 minutes to the Howgills... (Next time the club visits the Howgills, they will be driving to Swaledale!)

We left Muker and ascended Kisdon Hill (new Marilyn for me - despite having walked over the hill before, I had not officially visited its summit) and then followed the Pennine Way to Tan Hill (Britain's highest pub, for those unaware of this fact). We expected quite a bog trot for the section to Water Crag (a Nuttall), but we were able to follow a fence to it and on to Rogan's Seat. Then followed the track to the Muker valley, finishing up the quite spectacular Swinner Gill valley, where a careless trip could quite easily have meant death.

We arrived back at the bunkhouse first, soon followed by Matthew's group, who had also ascended Rogan's Seat by a quite different route. The usual tea etc. followed, including an in-depth reading of Mark's book. We decided a club copy was definitely required, and ordered one upon our return to Cambridge.

The Howgills (MJ)

Kate, Mark, Paul, Mohammad, Helen, Owen, Mike, Rowena

It was a remarkable series of coincidences that led to this walk. First up was Mohammad mentioning on the way up that he was thinking of going west towards the Howgills, where the forecast looked better. Once he found out that a reasonable walk there would get us seven Nuttalls, Mohammad was suddenly very keen to drive there! Second up was finding that Kate had not only been to the Howgills about fifty times before, but was very keen to go again. Third was Paul signing up for the walk so that we actually had enough drivers to transport the eight people who ended up joining us. Fourth - and most crucially - was neither driver actually asking me how far it was from Reeth to the Howgills.

Nearly an hour (and one rather nervous I'm-running-out-of-petrol moment from Paul) later, we had decided that the Swaledale roads were awful and that the Howgills had better be worth the drive. Of course they were. The steep grassy slopes, deep V-shaped valleys and unexpected crags - Cautley Crag was definitely a highlight - reminded me far more of the Cheviots or the Southern Uplands than the flat, squelchy moors further east, and we didn't meet a single peat bog all day. As it was me in charge of the walk, we ended up taking quite a meandering route along ridges and across valleys, climbing 1450m and mopping up all the hills I wanted to climb - nine in fact, leading to nine pretty much identical-looking summit photos (it was pretty misty). But overall, as Paul repeatedly pointed out, it was a "cracking day".

The High Shunner Ridge (MJ)

Mark, David, Andrew, Ruth

Having stayed up until nearly one o' clock partaking in singing accompanied by a didgeridoo and having been woken up at half past two by the fire alarm going off in the bunkhouse, it was with some trepidation that I joined the Pettits and Andrew for a walk whose pace was marked on the route card as "AFAP" - apparently this stood for "As Fast As Possible", although I figured it probably stood for "As Fast as Pettit", i.e. even faster. This was also my first introduction to the intricacies of the two-car faff; cars A and B drive to X, car A is then left at X while A's driver C gets into B which is driven by D to Y; the party then walks from Y to X whereupon everyone piles into A and is driven back by C to Y where B is waiting for D to drive away in... crystal clear. Given the state of the Swaledale roads, all this took a long time, which led to us needing to beat Naismith's Rule by an hour in order to complete the walk. I had never walked so fast.

However, the lie of the land was in our favour, as we were walking from the Buttertubs Pass to the summit of the Kirkby Stephen-Keld road, which kept us above 500m for the entire walk. The route was a bit short on paths, but the ground was dry, the sun was out (eventually), the gradients were easy, and the birds were singing, and I was just about able to keep up with the other three as we strolled over Lovely Seat, Great Shunner Fell, Little Fell and High Seat. Finally, I and Andrew opted for the rather easier target of little Tailbridge Hill while the Pettits virtually ran up Nine Standards Rigg (which I and Andrew had already done) - even David commented that the pace had been "rather brisk" towards the end!

Notable quotes

  • Paul: (Friday night): "I'll go on your walk if you take your top off, Mark"

Photos

From 10 & 11. CUHWC Swaledale TripFrom 10 & 11. CUHWC Swaledale Trip

Stair, 18-20 February 2011

The weather for the second weekend trip of term (and the first to be run by the new committee) didn't quite measure up to the standards set by its precursors or successors, with low cloud and drizzly rain being the order of the day. Given the location of the bunkhouse at the entrance to the Newlands Valley, with several good walks available from the door, we confined ourselves to walks in the North-Western Fells; we had parties completing the Newlands Horseshoe, Coledale Horseshoe, and a breakneck-paced double-crossing of the fells to Buttermere and back, which paused only for ice-cream in Buttermere!

Participants

Tom Ashton, Simon Bateman, Valerie Brandt, Kirsty Brown, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Michael Draper, Emma Fleetwood, Michael Fordham, Matthew Graham, Mark Jackson, Ian Patrick, Jane Patrick, Alex Pericleous, Ruth Pettit, Becky Shercliff, Jo Smith, Jessie Vahrenkamp, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson, Tom Wright, David Wyman.

Walk Reports

Newlands Horseshoe (JS)

Jo, Ian, Emma, Ruth, Tom, Mark, Greg and Alex

I'm afraid to say I was bagging today, and even though it wasn't actually raining when everyone got up, given the forecast I made the executive decision to head for Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head first, in case the pub proved too tempting halfway through the walk!

Up to just below the summit of Robinson was lovely, with blue sky and a conspicuous lack of predicted gale-force winds. We then ascended into cloud, which stubbornly refused to budge from the tops (at least while we were on them), but it was a good day nevertheless. Beyond Dalehead Tarn we merrily greeted what seemed like a continuous stream of people coming the other way, all enjoying being out despite the general dampness.

As we dropped out of the cloud towards Catbells, the fresh, squeaky snow also disappeared from beneath our feet, and views of Derwent Water and the Newlands Valley opened out before us. An hour well-spent in the Swinside Inn was enough time for the sun to come out and burn the cloud off Robinson and Hindscarth, which looked almost inviting enough for a second round as we returned to Stair.

The Saturday Evening Meal

Michael, Simon B, Andrew, Mark, Jo, Greg

Starter: Feta-cheese-topped bread with watercress and tomato side salad.
Main: Meatballs with cream sauce, cranberries and new potatoes.
Dessert: New York berry cheesecake.

I [MJ] think Michael should probably be elected Cookery Officer.

The Hunting of the Snock (MJ)

Mark, Simon, Jane, Becky, Michael & Jessie

Number of companions I expected to have on my silly bagging walk: 0
Number of companions I actually had: 5
Number of companions who knew what they'd let themselves in for: 4
Number of summits bagged: 1
Number of Wainwrights climbed: 2
Number of decent views obtained (from summits): 0
Number of snocks seen: 0
Number of piles of stones which may or may not have been snock droppings: 1
Number of group members who'd done pretty much the whole walk the day before: 2
Number of knackered-looking hillwalkers met at Rigg Beck: 5
Number of the above who looked like a garden gnome: 1

... And a few stats from yesterday:

Number of group members below the age of 22: 1
Number of summits climbed: 6
Number of teachers on walk: 3
Number of pints consumed: 7
Number of past trips been on by group members: ~219 [at time of writing]
Number of snocks seen: 0

Notable quotes

  • Emma: (on seeing Paul): "I forgot how big men were" [Ian's reaction to this is not recorded]

Photos

From 8 & 9. CUHWC Stair TripFrom 8 & 9. CUHWC Stair TripFrom 8 & 9. CUHWC Stair Trip

Author: 
Mark Jackson

Capel Curig, 28-30 January 2011

We enjoyed absolutely stunning conditions for the first weekend trip of term to the heart of Snowdonia: cold, clear, dry and perfectly calm. On Saturday, many people took the opportunity to complete the Snowdon Horseshoe, with others reaching the summit via the Pyg Track. On Sunday we branched out to the Glyders and the beach, with one party re-ascending Snowdon from the other side. Some of the photos are fantastic, so do take a look at the links below.

Participants

Jacob Abolafia, Tom Ashton, Simon Bateman, Valerie Brandt, Roger Brass, Lizzy Brickley, Phil Brown, Greg Chadwick, Ameera Chowdhury, Paul Cook, Mohammed Dmour, Dave Farrow, Michael Fordham, Mark Jackson, Ashish Mitter, David Pettit, David Ponting, Juraj Sibik, Jo Smith, Jildou Sterkenburgh, David Trethewey, Gordon Williams, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson, Elena Yudovina.

Walk Reports

Snowdon Horseshoe (AW)

Andrew, DP, Dave, Jo & Paul

This was only my second Snowdonia trip, and the area was growing on me rapidly. It is more Scottish than the Lake District and is therefore preferred. My first trip was Caseg Fraith in October 2010, during which I attempted the Snowdon Horseshoe in its entirety. However, due to bad weather, we were forced to abandon the Crib Goch section. This trip allowed such an impossibility to be rectified, with an ascent in perfect (almost) weather. Walked with Jo, Dave, DP and Paul. After the tremendous arguments that had ensued the previous night, it was good to be on a decent walk. We drove in DP's new Fiesta ('Titanium' model) to Pen-y-pass, from where the walk commenced. The ascent of Crib Goch was relatively straightforward and we arrived upon the ridge, with spectacular views evident all around. The actual Crib Goch ridge was more exposed than I had imagined it to be (despite being told by several family members that it was so!). Anyway, the ridge was followed well and we arrived at Snowdon summit with ease, having taken the full Crib Goch ridge and many photos too. At this point, Dave and Jo descended by the Pyg track, while DP, Paul and I continued to complete the horseshoe. (It is also worth noting that we met Michael's group a short distance from Snowdon's summit, walking with them to it.)

The remaining section of the walk was completed at Pettit Pace. However, Paul led, commenting that it was seemingly impossible to 'get rid' of DP from his tail. (DP, at this stage, noted that the only person who may have partially succeeded [more than others] in doing so was Simon Williams.) We arrived at the last principal summit on the horseshoe, having enjoyed the climb at a fast pace, and were, once again, greeted by quite stunning views. They were the factor that characterised the day as a whole. From here, we descended by the Miners' Track to Pen-y-pass, and waited for Jo and Dave to join up with us once more. While we were waiting, we decided, in aid of warming up, we could climb a small spur on the opposite side of the valley. We also discovered much about DP's new car. Then, returned to the bunkhouse and were inevitably first back. Then spent a pointless time attempting to light the fire. Cooking of the evening's meal also happened (which was not pointless).

Notable quotes

  • Mark: "As far as I'm concerned, it's a vehicle, not a love-child"
  • Tom (to Mohammad): "I'd like to meet your mother"

Photos

From CUHWC Capel Curig, 28-30 January 2011From CUHWC Capel Curig, 28-30 January 2011From CUHWC Capel Curig, 28-30 January 2011

Seathwaite, New Year 2011

6-11 January

For the tenth year running, our New Year Trip returned to High House, at the head of Borrowdale in the heart of the Lakes. Though the weather was a little grey at times, the sun made a valiant effort, resulting in some spectacular views through the glowing clouds. With snow and ice persisting on the tops through the week, our walks were varied in character and took in most of the surrounding fells, including Great Gable, Glaramara and Scafell Pike (not forgetting Base Brown and Seathwaite Fell). On the first day, Dave ran an informal winter skills course for some of those new to winter walking, while the rest of us got some unintended navigation practice in near-whiteout conditions. We whiled away the long evenings in the bunkhouse with (among other things) beer, Bananagrams, pictionary, whisky and a spectacularly frustrating/entertaining game of Therapist (thanks Greg), plus an excellent pub dinner at the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite on Saturday.

Participants

Simon Bateman, Rowan Brackston, Kirsty Brown, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Mohammed Dmour, Dave Farrow, Michael Fordham, Matthew Graham, Alastair Gregory, Bethan Gudgeon, Rob Halbert, Joe Hobbs, Becky Howard, Doug Hull, Gillian James, Oliver Knevitt, Freya Morrisey, Jane Patrick, David Pettit, Ruth Pettit, Becky Shercliff, Mike Simpson, Jo Smith, Rowena Smith, Chris Wade, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson.

Walk Reports

A failed attempt at Scafell Pike (JH)

Joe, Jo

After the tiring journey from Scotland, I rose late and joined the latest-leaving walk with Jo, heading up Scafell Pike via Great End up & the Corridor Route down. We ascended into a complete whiteout, complete with blown ice (not the last time of the week). We decided to turn back at Ill Crag, returning to the bunkhouse via Allen Crags, Glaramara and Thorneythwaite Fell.

Skiddaw in Numbers (DF)

Jo, Dave, Ruth

  • 2 MLs
  • 1 Navigator (different from above)
  • 11 pairs of gloves
  • 17 clothing layers
  • 15 hats, hoods & buffs
  • 3 first aid kits
  • 2 bivi bags
  • 1 emergency shelter (4-6 person)
  • 2 ice axes
  • 1 avalanche probe
  • 1 shovel
  • 9 sandwiches
  • 4 Wainwrights
  • 1 hill worth bagging
  • 2 Wainwright baggers

Bethan's Seathwaite 2011 (BG)

Seeing as no-one else has written up any of their walks so far unless you're counting 'Skiddaw in Numbers', I thought I'd write up all three of my days so far.

Day 1 wasn't the most walking day in the world seeing as I spent the day along with Kirsty and Jane in the bunkhouse doing work... At one point Kirsty stormed out to refresh her brain by marching up to Stockley Bridge and later Jane and I set off walking down the road until we stumbled upon Doug. He'd walked back from Keswick over High Spy in trainers (by accident) because his car has broken down, which had been the eventful event of the day before.

Day 2 was quite a bit more hillwalkery interesting as we set off to thread Napes Needle (Doug, Alastair, Andrew, Joe and I). To cut the description short our thread was a bit frayed... Basically the walk there was nice and we found it pretty easily and the steep snow up to it was also pretty nice. The scramble was however a little too snowy and slippy for us to be able to complete it in a reasonable time. It was a little scary, I'm not used to only one axe now... It was getting down the other side that we decided was stupid so instead the 3 of us that had got up downclimbed. The next eventful, rather stupid on my part, thing to happen was as we got to the top of the scree slope, just after a lunch break, we decided it was time we should put our crampons on. I'd put mine at the bottom of my bag and underneath my dry bag...which I somehow managed to let go of and that was it it was off, 300m down the snowy west scree slope of Great Gable. We therefore split the group and Doug and I descended until Doug found the bag. We then took crampons off as we didn;t want to wreck them and ascended back up until we put crampons on again before ascending to the summit. The view was atmospheric with mist sweeping over and views across to the sea with orange sun. It continued this way as we followed our original route over Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts.

Day 3 - Today even though I got up pretty late, I managed to make the walk along the reverse of what Doug did the other day: High Spy-Maiden Moor-Catbells. This was a nice walk to stay out of the cloud although it was pretty slippy with snowy slush everywhere so I fell over quite a bit, but I wasn't the only one. On the way back along the valley we made the small climb up Castle Crag, which I found out is apparently the smallest Wainwright. That's because we did have two Wainwright completers on the walk (DP and Andrew) among the eight (Simon W, Jane, Greg, Joe, Becky H and I).

Day4 - I plan to go out along the Buttermere ridge on Joe's walk, so I might write that up tomorrow...
Bethan did indeed start off on this walk - but was back in the bunkhouse, dripping wet, by 10am, having abandoned the idea of spending the day in pouring rain in order to do some work (before certain other members of the party had even left the bunkhouse...ahem). Oddly enough, nearly everyone was back by lunchtime that day!

Notable quotes

  • Simon: "The first thing Paul makes is love"
  • Paul (to Dave): "Do you have spatial needs?"
  • Doug: "There's some good pictures of people and Matthew"

Photos

From CUHWC Seathwaite, 6-11 January 2011From CUHWC Seathwaite, 6-11 January 2011From CUHWC Seathwaite, 6-11 January 2011

Coniston, 26-28 November 2010

We found our first snow of the year in the Lake District, waking up on Saturday morning to a substantial dusting. Making the most of the blue skies and fantastic visibility, everyone walked on the Coniston Fells on Saturday. With temperatures well below freezing, we were all glad to return to the cosy YMC Hut in the evening with its coal fire! Even better conditions on Sunday saw some of the group back on the Coniston Fells, while the rest of us explored the wider surrounding area. We even managed to get out of the hills and back on the motorway before the snow set in properly - just!

Participants

Tom Ashton, Valerie Brandt, Kirsty Brown, Paul Cook, Michael Draper, Matthew Graham, Alastair Gregory, Bethan Gudgeon, Joe Hobbs, Doug Hull, Mark Jackson, Dave Mackenzie, Betsy Mortensen, Jane Patrick, James Ritchie, Anshul Sirur, Jo Smith, Lucy Stone, Oliver Strickson, Gordon Williams, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson, Elena Yudovina.

Walk Reports

Our day with 'Instructor Joe' [highly abridged version] (AW)

Andrew, Dave, Jane, Kirsty, Mark & Valerie

Weather = no rain today! Awesome blue skies and snow. Air temp at about -4 but probably -10 with wind chill. Should have been meeting the instructor at the bunkhouse at 8.30am, but he was running late as he had to dig his car out - it had snowed the night before. He did live in Shap, so perhaps had a valuable excuse. Route: Bunkhouse-Coniston-Walna Scar Road-Goat's Water-Goat's Hause-Coniston Old Man-Low Water-Bunkhouse. Returned at ~1600.

See the actual trip book for some highlights of the day...

Last one out, turn out the lights (and lock the door...) (JH)

Joe, Paul, James, Lucy & Anshul

We were the last to leave, shortly after Tom A's group. After setting off along the track, I realised I'd left the map on the table, so I ran back to collect it. On catching up the rest of the group, I then realised we'd missed the turning.

Making our way up Wetherlam, we got talking to a trio of walkers, leaving them to head on towards Swirl How and on to Grey Friar. We stopped here for a spot of lunch, admiring the view towards the Isle of Man.

After lunch, we continues on to the Old Man, meeting one of the trio we'd met on Wetherlam. On asking where his friends were, it transpired that one had broken his arm a few minutes after we'd parted, and his other friend (a doctor) had escorted him off to hospital.

Notable quotes

  • Kirsty (to Joe): "That's a fairly long and weird logic" Jo: "Well that pretty much sums Joe up really doesn't it!"
  • James: "On me they were normal shorts, on Dave they were like Lederhosen"

Photos

From CUHWC Coniston, 26-28 November 2010From CUHWC Coniston, 26-28 November 2010

Mystery Trip (The Cheviots), 12-14 November 2010

The location was certainly a talking point in the run-up to the trip, with about half of the attendees having deciphered the clues before Friday and the other half deliberately keeping it a surprise. As we followed sign after sign to Edinburgh, those still in the dark could have been forgiven for thinking we were going to Scotland - but in fact we stopped just short of the border, finally arriving at Mounthooley YHA bunkhouse in wildest Northumberland some seven hours after leaving Cambridge. This remote base (around 10 miles from Wooler, the nearest town of any size, and reached via a 3-mile private road) proved ideal for exploring the surrounding hills. Enjoying the cold, breezy sunshine and taking a variety of routes, nearly everyone made it up the Cheviot itself on Saturday, and on Sunday we found snow on the high ground - and one group found a WW2 aircraft wreck. We also took advantage of the isolation and clear skies to practise some night navigation - and effect a border crossing or two!

Participants

Tom Ashton, Andrena Ball, Amy Bonsor, Valerie Brandt, Kirsty Brown, Phil Brown, Sarah Carl, Greg Chadwick, Mohammed Dmour, Dave Farrow, Michael Fordham, Joe Galvin, Anna Gurevich, Joe Hobbs, Mark Jackson, Ian Kitley, Jon Matthews, Jo Smith, David Trethewey, Andres Villar, Chris Wade, Gordon Williams, Andrew Williamson.

Walk Reports

Dave's Day (DF)

0800: Get up. Use "experience" to give "advice" to those walking
0900: Start work
1100: Get bored
1200: Eat lunch
1300: Bake brownie
1400: Fall asleep
1500: Others get back
1630: Go for walk
2000: Get back, broken

A Northumbrian Trio (of walks) (JS)

Having never been to the Cheviots before (and due to the club's shocking lack of maps - I blame the President), I didn't have much idea what I'd be doing this weekend. As it turned out, three excellent contrasting walks proved a great introduction to the area - and added up to a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

1. Saturday, 0900-1515
As it was so close, the obvious thing to do was to go up The Cheviot. Hen Hole, followed by direct ascent to the summit plateau and a tramp through the mist to the trig point, added interest. (Nothing like a good bogtrot.) Having descended out of the cloud on the Pennine Way, we enjoyed beautiful sunshine for the rest of our route over Comb Fell, Hedgehope Hill, descent to Langleeford and return to Mounthooley.

Interval: Tea and freshly baked brownies - amazing

2. Saturday, 1630-2000
In preparation for those times we might find ourselves still on the hill at night, we went out to practise navigating in the dark. (The clear night, bright stars and perfect view of the Forth road bridge were a bonus.) After three hours of timing, counting paces, interpreting contours, taking bearings along fences and a detour into Scotland, we were glad to return to the bunkhouse (only an hour late) for dinner!

Interval: Homemade Castle burgers, Irish Snap, Mafia etc...and sleep

3. Sunday
I've never had a proper lazy Sunday on a trip - and rather enjoyed it! (Though stopped short of visiting a teashop.) After drinking lots of tea and waiting till everyone was out of the bunkhouse, I took the trip's resident cripple (Dave) on a short rehabilitation potter* up Black Hag. We were accompanied by Jon and Amy as far as Scotland, where they crossed No-Man's Land; we bid each other adieu and wondered whether we'd meet again...(In case you're wondering, we did - about 2 hours later when everyone returned to the bunkhouse.)

*Only so-called to justify our failure to take a map...and since we'd borrowed a pile of them from next door by that point, the excuse of there not being any was no longer valid. I still blame the President.

Notable Quotes

  • Dave (referring to the stick of celery he was eating): "Good composite material, this."
  • Chris: "Can we have a prostitute?"
  • Jo: Joe, you're far too much like Tigger you know."
  • Joe: The Cow's not a mascot, it's more of a...deity"

Photo links

From CUHWC Cheviots, 12-14 November 2010From CUHWC Cheviots, 12-14 November 2010

Caseg Fraith, 29-31 October 2010

For our first weekend trip of the year, we returned to Caseg Fraith, University of London M.C.'s excellent hut in Snowdonia's Ogwen Valley. After nearly 4 weeks of term, it was more than time to escape Cambridge for the hills - and 43 hillwalkers (a mixture of new members and old hands, plus a couple of duffers) agreed! Taking advantage of the hut's fantastic location, we walked and scrambled on Tryfan, the Glyders and the Carneddau on both days, with some parties driving over to Snowdon on the Saturday. Saturday evening's activities included apple bobbing, some enthusiastic singing (including an inspired performance of Monty Python's 'Lumberjack Song') , and the consumption of copious quantities of 'Rat's Blood' and 'Cat Bile' throughout!

Participants

Tom Ashton, Valerie Brandt, Kirsty Brown, Phil Brown, Jacob Conalty, Paul Cook, Mohammed Dmour, Carmen Dudley, Lim En, Emma Fleetwood, Michael Fordham, Joe Galvin, Matthew Graham, Owen Graham, Bethan Gudgeon, Joe Hobbs, Doug Hull, Mark Jackson, Ian Kitley, Leon Liu, Dave Mackenzie, Sylvain Massip, Jon Matthews, Anne Moindrot, Betsy Mortensen, Guiseppina Pace, Ian Patrick, Jane Patrick, Alex Pericleous, David Pettit, Lucy Richer, Anshul Sirur, Jo Smith, Rowena Smith, Simon Taylor, Hannah Untiedt, Andres Villar, Joel Westberg, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson, Mark Wilson, Tom Wright, Elena Yudovina.

Notable Quotes

  • Joe: "I'm not an alcoholic...but I still need drink"

Photos

Edale, 17 October 2010

Sunday dawned frosty and clear as a coachload of hillwalkers sped up the M1 towards the Peak District. Even the Edale veterans among us had rarely seen the valleys, fields and moors looking so good! Eager to make the most of the day, we quickly split into groups and went our separate ways, mostly heading up onto the hulking mass of Kinder Scout. We enjoyed fantastic views along both north and south edges, and had fun exploring the peat hags and groughs of the plateau. At the end of the day, we reconvened at the Royal Hotel in Hayfield, taking over all the outside tables and spending a fair bit at the bar!

Participants

Jacob Abolafia, Tom Ashton, Joe Beecham, Ben Bonetti, Lizzy Brickley, Kirsty Brown, Phil Brown, Rosie Brownell, Greg Chadwick, Charlotte Chang, Eric Chang, Adam Clark, Stephen Cross, Jamie Dalzell, Tim Davies, Mohammad Dmour, Ori Even Zur, Carlos Ezcurra, Cara Ferrentino, Pascal Firges, Emma Fleetwood, Iain Flint, Peter Forbes, Michael Fordham, Yidong Gong, Julia Graham, Matthew Graham, Alastair Gregory, Bethan Gudgeon, Carlos Hernandez, Joe Hobbs, Martin Hufnagel, Doug Hull, Kaloyan Kapralov, Jeansun Lee, Betsy Mortensen, Ian Patrick, David Pettit, Lucy Richer, James Ritchie, Joe Rogers, Angelica Schiza, Marco Selvi, Becky Shercliff, Kedron Sislbee, Kat Smallwood, Jo Smith, Jildou Sterkenburgh, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Vivek Thacker, Natalie Thompson, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson, Crispian Wilson, Nathan Wilson, Elena Yudovina, +1 anonymous.

Photos

From CUHWC Edale, 17 October 2010

2009-10

Academic year 2009-10.

Glen Shiel, 18-26 September 2010

"September", we (oh, OK, I) thought when planning the trip back in May, "what a lovely time to be in Scotland." Scotland, however, had other ideas - and treated us to the soggiest trip I've been on for quite some time. Luckily, the Highlands are rather wonderful in the rain too - especially when you ignore the weather forecast and go up hills anyway! Which, of course, the dozen or so hardy CUHWC souls on the trip did with aplomb, completing (among other things) the classic ridges on both sides of the glen. Although our boots are only now drying out, the views afforded by sudden gaps in the cloud were well worth a bit of sogginess...

Towards the end of the week the rain cleared, the campsite became less of a bog and those of us remaining enjoyed a fantastic day of scrambling, walking and even sunbathing on The Saddle. With the promise of blue skies stretching into next week, we returned to Cambridge with some reluctance - but at least we were assured that September in Scotland can be very lovely indeed!

Participants

Tom Ashton, Joe Barker, Valerie Brandt, Paul Cook, David Crosse, Gillian James, Oliver Knevitt, Ken Koyanagi, Larissa Moore, Dave Mackenzie, Mary Sheaf, Jo Smith, Toby Speight, Chris Wade.

Walk Reports

Five Sisters, Part I (JB)

Joe and Chris walked up the Five Sisters; they were wet and slippery and largely shrouded in mist, except the 5th Sister who rewarded our perseverance with some exciting views. Joe smiled and nodded a lot, whilst Chris explained maps and bearings. Then we came home for supper. It was still raining.

South Shiel Ridge (DM)

Oliver, Gill, Jo, Joe, Dave, Chris

We committed the night before, so there was no backing out, despite the heavy rain! It stopped raining as we got out of the car, at which point we huddled under the porch of the Cluanie Inn to wait for the others. Thence followed a day of RAIN and MIST. There was the occasional suggestion of a potential view! Being a long walk along a ridge we ascended a total of 7 Munros...with a 30% chance of cloud-free summits we might have expected at least one cloud-free...but perhaps the forecast was unreliable. [But see photos below for proof that this is merely poetic licence... -ed.]

Navigation was generally good if you discount taking the wrong ridge for a couple of k's in the mist, taking us NE instead of West. Righting this error, 3 Munros and 800m of descent later we reached the road, whereupon the singing began to while away the last 5km home along the road...with renditions of all the best songs, including Yellow Submarine, Wild Rover, American Pie etc.

Ciste Dhubh (VB)

Valerie, Tom, Dave, Joe, Chris, Jo, Ken

Today Tom and I went on a walk with all the tired but keen people, and we survived! They were so worn down by the Shiel Ridge walk, that we were actually a good match for their tired, yet keen muscles. On a separate note, Tom thought we were at the top of the first hill, but we were not even close. I think he was deceived by the cairn. The rest of the walk was pretty much non-eventful.

Five Sisters, Part II (JS)

Everybody who hadn't done it yet...except Paul and Larissa (still MIA)

It came as no surprise to anyone that it was raining when we got up - but since this hadn't stopped us so far (and there was really no point waiting for a good day) we persuaded Tom to drop us off in the right place and set off up the hillside.

The Sisters were still (as reported by Joe) wet and slippery, but with added wind, so we spent a rather unpleasant couple of hours having very little idea how far along the ridge we were, until everything cleared suddenly. Amazing how much one can appreciate a small patch of sun on a distant hillside! There was a rainbow too, and for half an hour or so, all was right with the world (very Biblical - unlike the rest of the trip).

It was, however, too much to hope that we would get home in the dry - and stopping to check the latest MWIS forecast in the Kintail Lodge Hotel wasn't very good for morale either. Luckily, Dave proved extremely good at handing out chocolate, so we made it back to camp in high spirits for a most sociable evening of risotto-cooking and Bananagrams (Joe had far too many minxes).

One may check out, but one is not permitted to leave... (TS)

Toby, Jo, Joe, Oliver, Gill, Paul, Larissa, DC, Mary

Despite an absence from these pages (particularly the first page - thanks, Michael), CUHWC's appearance in the Highlands means that my association with the Club is not over. Today I arrived at the campsite to find keen walkers with aspirations of the Forcan Ridge. Though I have done it before, the memory is lost far in the dusty corners of the past (1998, I think). So I joined in, and drove half the group to the start.

The approach is surprisingly easy - lots of height gained in a steady, well-built stalkers' path. Then the scrambling begins. Nice, sun-dried rock in the hands and underfoot, with steadily-expanding vistas, make an enjoyable ascent. All too soon, we were at the top, admiring views of Knoydart, Rum, Eigg, Sleat, the Cuillin, Crowlin Isles, Applecross, Torridon, Cluanie hills, Grey Corries & Ben Nevis, and much much more!

We continued on, down and up again (passing a wee lochan in which Paul didn't swim) to Sgurr na Sgine. A long rest in the sun had to eventually end, and we returned to the cars over Faochag and the long steep descent off its end.

Thanks to everyone for another great day out.

Notable Quotes

  • Joe: "I'm trying to work out a way of getting all my stuff and teeth brushed"
  • Jo: "I'll take that as an invitation to remove my trousers"
  • Valerie: "I want to get myself a Scottish woman!"
  • Joe: "It's the taking count that parts"
  • DC: (after much deliberation) "Well, I think I'd quite like to do the Munro, just in case I find I am bagging..."

Photos

From CUHWC Glen Shiel, 18-25 September 2010From CUHWC Glen Shiel, 18-25 September 2010From CUHWC Glen Shiel, 18-25 September 2010

Alpine Adventures, Summer 2010

CUHWC was well-represented in the Alps this summer, with members participating in two separate trips. The first, in July, was based at Arolla in the Swiss Valais and enjoyed fine weather. Those who joined the party after completing an introductory alpine course were able to test their new skills on a variety of mountaineering routes, and we also enjoyed some walking and valley climbing, plus the odd rest day!

The second group broke new ground by heading to Langenfeld in the Tyrol region of Austria. Some excellent walking, a couple of easy Alpine peaks and a via ferrata ensured that a good time was had by all, despite a rain-enforced evacuation to Germany towards the end of the trip!

Although you'll have to get your hands on the actual trip book to read the reports (and admire the illustrations), I couldn't resist including a few of these...

Notable Quotes

  • Bethan: "Normally I'm talking so I'm not thinking"
  • Bethan (holding a tent peg): "How does this work?"
  • Dave: "Funny miss girly thing on the mountain"
  • DP: "Alison is better at cream bowls than chocolate bowls"

Photos

Alpine Course

Arolla, Switzerland

Langenfeld, Austria

From Arolla, 4-19 July 2010From Arolla, 4-19 July 2010

Garden Party and Punting, 12 June 2010

On the first Saturday of May Week, around 40 hillwalkers descended on Newnham Gardens for the annual CUHWC Garden Party. The Social Secretaries, aided by a willing band of helpers, had organised a fabulous spread of food, including a most impressive 3-D cow cake (complete with appropriate Cow Song verse, which was later sung with gusto). They'd even arranged for some sunshine! Frisbee and acrobatics featured in the afternoon's activities, while Paul trumped everyone by successfully juggling while balancing a guitar on his chin. We also had a group photograph - click on the link to Tom's photos below to see the results, and email him if you'd like a full-size copy!

Some three hours later, it was time to continue the party on the River Cam. Despite the lure of the England-USA World Cup game, a sizeable fleet of punts set off towards Grantchester, arriving in various states of dampness! A bowl of salad was the only notable casualty of the journey. In Grantchester Meadows, Gordon, Marianne, Jon and others did a sterling job with the barbecues, and the singing continued till well past midnight.

Photos

Patterdale, 4-6 June 2010

The final weekend trip of the academic year went to Patterdale in the eastern Lake District. We were based at the George Starkey Hut with a small contingent camping in Glenridding, thanks to the tail end of half-term combined with some glorious weather ensuring that camping space was at a premium. With 38 participants, we managed to scale most of the surrounding fells between us over the weekend - and went sailing, rowing, canoeing, swimming and mountain biking into the bargain. Gordon's rapidly-becoming-traditional Saturday evening barbecue was, predictably, very popular!

Participants

Simon Bateman, Alison Beresford, Amy Bonsor, Rebecca Bowler, Roger Brass, Kirsty Brown, Paul Cook, Carmen Dudley, Dave Farrow, Emma Fleetwood, Michael Fordham, Matthew Graham, Bethan Gudgeon, Rob Halbert, Caroline Hepburn, Joe Hobbs, Kathrin Holtzmann, Gillian James, Oliver Knevitt, Ken Koyanagi, Monica Loomes, Jon Matthews, Patrick McKearney, Anne Moindrot, Ian Patrick, Jane Patrick, Alex Pericleous, David Pettit, Ruth Pettit, David Ponting, Trine Puggaard Petersen, Hannah Robinson, Jo Smith, Simon Taylor, Chris Wade, Georgia Wheeler, Gordon Williams, Tom Wright.

Walk Reports

Up Striding, Down Swirral (MF)

Hannah, Monica, Caroline, Simon, Georgia, Kathrin & Michael

With hot and hazy weather we decided to complete the classic circuit of Helvellyn from Patterdale. We set out from Patterdale, reaching Hole in the Wall in a little over an hour, and then proceeded over Striding Edge. Although the conditions were excellent, allowing us to take a direct route along the ridge, we were joined by large crowds, including a significant number of lawyers on a corporate training event. We took luncheon on Helvellyn, before dividing the group. Michael and Kathrin went over Whiteside and Raise before descending down the Sticks Pass, stopping for a drink at the Traveller's Rest in Glenridding. Everyone else headed down Swirral Edge, allowing Simon to bag Catstycam, before descending for ice cream in Glenridding. All in all, an excellent day's walk.

CUHWCCC - Cambridge University Hill, Water, Cycling & Cake Club (JH)

Dave, Jo, Joe, Bethan, David (Ponting), Tom

What we planned:

  1. Scramble - Pinnacle Ridge onto St. Sunday Crag
  2. Helvellyn - followed by Raise
  3. Bunkhouse - ensure an early return so we were first to the beer!

What we did:

  1. Scramble - as planned (except navigational difficulties)
  2. Fairfield - followed by Hart Crag & Dove Crag
  3. Bethan's house - for cake and to pick up some bikes
  4. Mountain bike - a quick circuit of Rydal Water while Joe walked out
  5. Swim - across Rydal Water & return
  6. Cycle back to Bethan's house - this time Dave ran
  7. Get lift back to Patterdale (from Bethan's mum)
  8. Wait for car to cool down at the top of 'The Struggle'.
  9. Return to bunkhouse (second to last) - luckily there was plenty of beer!

CUHWC - The group that walked up hills!!! (RP)

Emma, Ian, David (Pettit), Ruth, Roger & Alison.
Patterdale-Angletarn Pikes-Rest Dodd-High Street-Thornythwaite Crag-Caudale Moor-PUB-Red Screes-Middle Fell-Dove Crag-Hart Crag-Fairfield-St Sunday Crag-Patterdale

A blissful day in the Lakes (anon.)

Oliver, Gillian, Becca, Chris, Ken, Gordon, Anne, Trine, Simon B

What a day! Blazing sun all day and panoramic views all round... Up to Angletarn Pikes, along to Rest Dodd and High Raise and down to Hallin Fell over Steel Knotts. Back round the lake to finish. Oliver & Gordon had a very refreshing swim in Angle Tarn whilst others looked on jealously!

Sleeping Bagging (DF)

Joe, Jo, Patrick, Dave, David P, Ruth, Alison. (Both Pettits)

Originally "Helvellyn Twice"; was shortened by removing Striding Edge & Raise.
Up Grisedale (far too muggy), up to Helvellyn.
Graduates went bagging.
Undergrads kept to path & went to sleep while waiting.
Down Swirral - overtaking the tourists on the path while we were on the maximisation route.
Back to the bunkhouse.
It was misty on top. There was too much gossip.
Ruth decided she should start dog-walking for £60 per dog. Perfect match, except she doesn't like dogs.
It was a standard simple Hillwalking typically British day.

Notable Quotes

  • Dave: "I don't think there's anyone I'd prefer to have than the keg"
  • Caroline: "I know how to make a banana"
  • Kirsty: "Who wants to lick this?" Jo: "Yes!...what is it?"
  • Joe: "I'll piss, you take the photo"

Photos

From Patterdale, 4-9 June 2010From Patterdale, 4-9 June 2010From Patterdale, 4-9 June 2010

The Roaches, 23 May 2010

For the second day trip in a row we were blessed with perfect weather, as a minibus and car full of hillwalkers (and a dog) headed to The Roaches in the Staffordshire Peak for a day of relief (in both senses!) from Cambridge. While some climbing and swimming featured in the day's activities, the majority of the group went for a sizeable walk, including some scarecrow-spotting and the obligatory mid-afternoon pub stop.

Participants

Tom Ashton, Ilya Berkovich, Amy Bonsor, Valerie Brandt, Kirsty Brown, Adam Delph, Dave Farrow, Joe Hobbs, Madalina Lopez, Marta Machala, Jon Matthews, Patrick McKearney, Angelika Modelska, Clare Mohan, Alex Pericleous, David Pettit, David Ponting, Trine Puggaard Petersen, Jo Smith, Simon Taylor, Tom Wright.

Walk Reports

A short walk...to the crags! (JH)

Jo, Dave, Alex, Joe

We walked the 5 minutes from the minibus, then donned kit and started on our first climb. Three climbs later we stopped for lunch & to take on large quantities of water. After lunch, we moved onto an interesting HVD. I had to turn this into a multi-pitch climb when it became apparent that thew rope drag was too great for me! Unfortunately, my choice of belay ledge turned out to be awful, but luckily Alex didn't fall. The second pitch was less hairy, but Alex's question at the tope (what else are you attached to?) gives an idea of the quality of my belay construction!

Apart from some comedy faffing to remove a cam (and later a nut, inserted to make removing the cam possible), the day proceeded to its conclusion, as always too early! Now I only wish I could write this much about information & control...

Some of us actually went hillwalking of this trip too! (ST)

Everyone else, except the swimmers

We walked over the Roaches, took a slight detour to see an exciting cavern (gorge called Lud's Church of Something. We bravely skipped our first potential pub stop and continued along a river (not actually along it, but just to one side of it). The marked footpath across the river seemed to require a swim, which we declined despite the temptation due to the 27 degree temperature.

Another slight detour later, we headed up Gun (which DP reliably informed us was a Marilyn). The "Other DP" (David Ponting) led us up another "short cut" that turned out to be a dead end. Eventually we made it to the summit, and a short 2.5km yomp along the road took us to a much-appreciated public house. After a swift pint the final few ks back to the bus were pleasantly uneventful.

The most interesting aspect of the walk was the abundance of scare-crows made by the local villagers. The theme generally seemed to be "fairy tales/nursery rhymes" but we also enjoyed the random skiing scene, and "Father Christmas on Holiday". All-in-all it was pretty weird. I blame the in-breeding.

Notable quotes

  • Simon: "I love the smell of MDF in the mornings"

Photos

Rhyd Ddu, 7-9 May 2010

The first weekend trip of exam term is traditionally a small one; the preserve of postgrads, third- and fourth-year engineers and one or two others who've got their priorities right despite exams looming! This year, 15 club members stayed in the cosy cottage of Tan-yr-Wyddfa, owned by the Oread M. C. and sitting right at the western foot of Snowdon in the village of Rhyd Ddu. We were blessed with blue skies, sunshine and a stiff breeze to blow away the cobwebs (or keep us awake, in some cases!) A couple of parties ascended Snowdon, while others made the most of being slightly off the beaten track to explore the Nantlle Ridge, Moel Hebog and Beddgelert Forest. Undeterred by the guidebook description of 'suspect rock', another group scrambled up Sentries' Ridge on Mynydd Mawr. The trip was also notable for being the first this year not to involve an epic journey - here's hoping that trend continues!

Participants

Tom Ashton, Amy Bonsor, Valerie Brandt, Dave Farrow, Emma Fleetwood, Bethan Gudgeon, Caroline Hepburn, Joe Hobbs, Jon Matthews, Ian Patrick, Alex Pericleous, Trine Puggaard Petersen, Christian Scheppach, Jo Smith, Simon Williams.

Walk Reports

Nantlle Ridge take two, faff day take two (BG)

Jo, Dave, Christian, Caroline, Alex, Jon, Joe, Emma, Ian & Bethan decided to walk/scramble the Mynydds, with a lot of faffing and stopping!

  • Layer & car faff; waterproof-sock faff
  • Wind faff (& Layers)
  • Disposable camera faff (x15)
  • Nibbles faff (lots)
  • Scrambling and climbing faff
  • Sleep faff
  • Descent wait faff
  • Caterpillar faff
  • Barbed wire faff
  • Politics (& philosophy) faff

Sentries' Ridge (JH)

Bethan, Joe & Alex: Rhyd Ddu-Sentries' Ridge-Mynydd Mawr-Nant y Betws-Rhyd Ddu

The 'excellent scrambling on suspect rock' turned out to be exciting and not as loose as suggested in the scrambling guide. No rocks were dislodged apart from one rock Bethan dropped on Joe. After Mynydd Mawr, we descended to Nant y Betws and returned along the shore of Llyn Cwellyn (paddling and wading en route) and the pub (to buy an ice cream).

Moel Hebog (AB)

Dave, Jo, Jon, Emma, Ian, Amy, Simon: Moel Lefn-Moel Hebog-Beddgelert Forest-bunkhouse

Half of us did the route anticlockwise and half of us did it clockwise (mainly by turning in circles at the top of Moel Hebog!) Not too many 'faffs' - "it was mainly sleeping and walking" (Jon) - but Jon, Amy and Emma weren't allowed to stay on the top of Moel Hebog and continue sleeping!

Notable Quotes

  • Emma: "We are such old men!"
  • Dave: "Joe and Amy are in the kitchen; they're washing Amy"
  • Caroline: "Joe, are there club washing up gloves?" Jo (angrily): "I don't know, don't ask me, ask the Safety Officer!" Caroline: "I was asking the Safety Officer!"
  • Emma: "That doesn't say 'machine'; there's no 'S' in it!"

Photos

From CUHWC Rhyd Ddu, 7-9 May 2010From CUHWC Rhyd Ddu, 7-9 May 2010

Capel Curig, Easter Trip 2010

19-24 March

As usual, the Easter vacation trip went to Snowdonia, staying in Bryn Brethynau just outside Capel Curig. The weekend was very well-attended, with around half staying on for another few days. Despite the somewhat damp weather, a respectable number of hills were climbed, including Tryfan, the Glyders, the Snowdon Horseshoe and Moel Siabod. This was the inaugural trip of Trip Book 7 - which has begun life in fine style by apparently having wine spilled over it after only two pages! Here's a selection of the more legible bits...

Snowdon Horseshoe

Joe, Doug, Paul, Bethan and Kirsty

After the failed Snowdon attempt on Monday, Tuesday dawned bright and calm and we decided to have a second attempt, this time with Kirsty and Paul too. We set off up the Pyg track and branched off up Crib Goch and continued on to Snowdon, following the railway for the last few hundred metres onto the summit, just in time to get some amazing views before the clag came in. Here we stopped for Bethan, Joe, Doug and Kirsty to stand on the trig point (together) and then for a spot of lunch. Bethan dropped her plum, which bounced off down the mountain - a scary reminder of what might happen to us if we fell! After lunch, we set off to complete the horseshoe, scrambling onto Y Lliwedd before descending onto the Miners' track and returning to the car at Pen Y Pass. Overall, a successful day, completing the Snowdon horseshoe in 5 hours and avoiding getting too wet!

Quotes

  • Joe: "Maybe I'll just screw the sleeping bag..."
  • Doug: "Bethan, watching you is like watching a scary movie but without knowing if it's going to have a happy ending or not!"
  • Paul: "Is Ben The Bear heterosexual?" Kirsty: "Well he's called Ben!!"

Photos

Author: 
Jo Smith

Malvern Hills, 07 March 2010

The final trip of Lent term was a brilliantly sunny Sunday in the Malvern Hills, the club's first ever visit there.

Photos

Photos to be uploaded.

Author: 
Toby Speight

Eskdale, 26-28 Febraury 2010

Towards the end of term, we enjoyed a weekend of fantastic winter conditions in Eskdale in the western Lake District.

Photos

Photos to be uploaded.

Author: 
Toby Speight

Ribblesdale, 12-14 February 2010

February continued this year's wintry theme, with snow on the ground for both weekend trips. Despite this, our visit to Selside in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire saw several groups successfully complete the Three Peaks Challenge (Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in a day).

Photos

Photos to be uploaded.

Author: 
Toby Speight

Cwm Dyli, 22-24 January 2010

The first weekend trip of the new term visited the cosy Pinacle Club hut in Cwm Dyli at the foot of Snowdon.

Photos

Photos to be uploaded.

Author: 
Toby Speight

Seathwaite, New Year Trip 2010

The Christmas vacation trip was again to Seathwaite at the head of Borrowdale in the Lake District.

Photos

Photos to be uploaded.

Author: 
Toby Speight

Yr Hafod, 27-29 November 2009

Author: Mark Jackson

There was a lot of snow for November, most of which fell on the Friday night leaving us to wake up to a winter wonderland.

For further details, see the trip book.

But let it be noted that this trip played host to a (quite possibly) once-in-a-lifetime experience -- the CUHWC Pantomime. Considering that it was dreamt up by Michael Fordham and friends over dinner, and written and rehearsed in less than an hour, the quality of showmanship displayed was truly excellent.

Here is the panto in glorious technicolour for you all to see.

Photos

Dartmoor, 13-15 November 2009

November saw a weekend trip to Dartmoor...

Location: Bachelors Hall in Princetown

Photos

Photos to be uploaded

Author: 
Toby Speight

Dunmail Raise, 30 Oct - 1 Nov 2009

The end of the month saw the first weekend trip of the new year: the somewhat damp Hallowe'en Trip to Dunmail Raise, near Grasmere, in the Lake District.

Photos

David Pettit

Author: 
Toby Speight

Edale, 18 October 2009

The first day trip of the new year was the usual jaunt to Edale in the Peak District for new members.

Author: 
Toby Speight

2008-09


Trips by term lifted from the old club website. An overview of all the trips from the 2008-2009 academic year including those during the vacations.

Author: 
Marcus Taylor (based on original reports by Toby Speight)

Summer 2009



Alps Trip, Summer 2009

In July several members attended an Alpine course in Switzerland, and met up with more club members camping in Saas Grund (near Saas Fee) the following week.

Kinlochleven, Summer 2009

The traditional summer camping trip to Scotland was to Kinlochleven, in north Argyll.

Author: 
Marcus Taylor (based on original reports by Toby Speight)

Easter 2009




Glenridding, 05-07 June 2009

The final trip of term time was to Glenridding in the Lake District. Some of those with no pressing need to return to Cambridge extended the trip into the following week at a nearby campsite.

Bakewell, 17 May 2009

A day trip to Bakewell in the peak district. [I can't find any photos, but I remember people reporting back that it was a wet one!].

This trip is feeling unhappy. If you have any photos from this trip that you would like to share please contact Marcus and he will put a link here and the trip will be happy, once again.

Aran Mountains, 01-03 May 2009

The dreaded exam term was kicked off with a weekend trip to Southern Snowdonia, near Cadair Idris.

This trip is feeling unhappy. If you have any photos from this trip that you would like to share please contact Marcus and he will put a link here and the trip will be happy, once again.

Cwm Dyli, Easter Vacation Trip 2009

The Easter vacation trip visited the cosy hut owned by the Pinnacle Club, right by the foot of Snowdon.

Author: 
Marcus Taylor (based on original reports by Toby Speight)

Lent 2009




Stiperstones, 08 March 2009

No entry found. This was a day trip to Shropshire following the Anniversary Trip.

This trip is feeling unhappy. If you have any photos from this trip that you would like to share please contact Marcus and he will put a link here and the trip will be happy, once again.

Langdale Anniversary Trip, 20-22 February 2009

The celebration of the Club's 20th anniversary at High Close YHA, Langdale.

Capel Curig, 06-08 February 2009

A snowy weekend in Snowdonia.

Teesdale, 23-25 January 2009

Another snowy trip to Teesdale.

Seathwaite, New Year Trip 2009

Again, we went to Seathwaite, in Borrowdale, for the New Year trip.

Author: 
Marcus Taylor (based on original reports by Toby Speight)

Michaelmas 2008




Coniston, 21-23 November 2008

In November, a dry trip to the Coniston Fells in the southern Lake District.

Brecon Beacons, 14-16 November 2008

A week before we had a damp weekend based at Ystradfellte, in the Brecon Beacons.

Caseg Fraith, 31 Oct-02 Nov 2008

Our first snow of the winter was found in Snowdonia.

Edale, 19 October 2008

As always, the new academic year began with a day-trip to Edale.

Author: 
Marcus Taylor (based on original reports by Toby Speight)

High Society

The Club's high-impact-factor, open-access journal High Society is intended to be an annual collection of random musings, photos, quotes and reports from trips over the last year, as well as having the side benefit of giving the previous President something to do after giving up the reins of power.

Click on the links below to download the issues.

Issue Publication date Editor(s) Download link
1 September 2010 Dave Farrow PDF
2 October 2011 Jo Smith PDF
3 October 2013 Andrew Williamson & Matt Graham PDF
4 October 2014 Vicky Ward [Freelinking: File not found]
5 February 2016 Tom Leach [Freelinking: File not found] uncompressed

Unofficial Trip Book Archive

A collection of trip book excerpts from the old club website

The Hillwalking Club Poem

Jane Bryden wrote this as an entry for the CUSU Societies Guide (The May Anthologies Version):

We're a hearty lot of Hillwalkers,
Oh yes we are
Spend a lot of time
Propping up the bar

Yet when we make an escape
From this flat land
We find the hills and climb them
A happy puffing band

At 4pm on Friday
At Churchill we appear
Jump in a minibus
To get to hills far from here

In blizzard or in sunshine
We pose for summit pics
So come and join the club
It's better than the flicks

Author: 
Jane Bryden

An Elusive Candidate [RON] Writes...

Before the 2009 AGM, the President received the following unexpected email:

Dear Sir,

I am writing to give my utmost apologies to you and the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club, as I now find myself unable to attend this year's Annual General Meeting. For many years now I have been unfortunate enough to be otherwise occupied on the day, and was most disappointed to find that I am once again busy this year. My enthusiasm for joining the committee is still boundless, and once again I have been nominated for every committee position. Although I know my absence is a major part in not ever gaining a post, I wish to try a little harder this year by submitting the following speeches. If you could find someone to read them out in an appropriate style, I would be most grateful.

President:
I beg you to vote for me, I've been in the club for ages, look at Dave: a young undergraduate, hardly been to the lakes, and Scottish - we really can't have that. Pity Kate wasn't allowed to stand - that would give me some real competition.

Meets Secretary:
I don't know why I still stand for this, I never get it and there's always someone better than me for the position, I hardly know any drivers, they come and go too quickly for me to keep track. Apart from Toby, everyone knows him.

Junior Treasurer:
Have you ever heard of me getting accounts wrong? I really good at counting: there's around 3 or 4 people standing against me, but I'm definitely the one for the job. I'll allow "Membership Services" all year round.

Social Secretary:
I afraid I'm not that social, I never really speak to that many people, but that's why I want the job - a great chance to meet everyone.

Safety Officer:
I love lugging those huge boxes around and buying excessive amounts of milk. And I've never had an accident on the hill. But maybe that's because I hardly get out these days. Is Tweed still the best jacket to wear?

Membership Secretary:
I've never really understood email, but I'm really keen to learn, not that I have that much time on my hands - there's always another committee I have to stand for...

In addition, could I ask you to vote on my behalf as follows,

President - Dave
Meets Secretary - Joe
Junior Treasurer - Caroline
Social Secretary - Bethan
Safety Officer - Bethan (can I vote for one person twice? I just like the name)
Membership Secretary - Tim

Yours,

Re-Open Nominations
RON

Chocolate Fridge Cake

Ingredients

  • 450g plain chocolate
  • 1/2 packet (225g) digestive biscuits
  • 100g margarine
  • 2 tbsp rum/brandy/whatever
  • (optional) 100g nuts/raisins/similar

Preparation

  1. melt the chocolate and margarine
  2. bash the biscuits
  3. mix it all together and put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours at least
  4. cut up into pieces and store in a tin in the fridge
Author: 
Thomas Wright

Hillwalkers' Self-Analysis Questionnaire

It's long overdue. You know you've been waiting for it. Here at last is the CUHWC Self-Analysis Questionnaire. Now you can find out what type of walker you are...

  1. Why did you join the CU Hillwalking Club?
    1. Because your Mum told you to join some societies
    2. Because you are a failed crag-rat, and got fed up with the CUMC
    3. Because you enjoy collecting train numbers - you call yourself a "railway enthusiast" - and you also do Physics
    4. Because it enables cheap & regular visits to your beloved hills
  2. As what do you see the purpose of hillwalking?
    1. To convince your parents that you're doing something worthwhile in Cambridge
    2. To get you from A to B - B being a rock face, normally
    3. To tick off the mountains in your book
    4. To enjoy the atmosphere of the hills; to get out of Cambridge and to gain spiritual solace
  3. On a walk, what are you wearing?
    1. Jeans, a T-shirt, and Granny's knitted gloves & jumper, as well as your Peter Storm waterproofs
    2. Rohan, Berghaus, Gore-Tex, etc. from head to toe, and axes, rope, crampons - in the middle of summer
    3. Corduroys, an anorak, and your college scarf
    4. Your tatty trackies (which you also wear in Cambridge), weather-worn fleece and faded leather boots - and, of course, your Club T-shirt
  4. How would you describe Sharp Edge on Blencathra?
    1. The most scary thing you've ever done, but even better to talk about afterwards
    2. Disappointing; a Grade I, not even a Diff. - why aren't there more HVS climbs in the Lake District?
    3. A long and difficult way to bag an important Wainwright
    4. A stimulating walk up a fascinating mountain
  5. How do you see Wainwright?
    1. The old bloke who wrote all those books that Mum & Dad have got at home
    2. An author of interesting guidebooks, but he walked on his own, didn't have the right equipment, and worst of all, couldn't even do Broad Stand!
    3. A blinding white light that everyone must follow
    4. A hypocrite, because he, like you, liked to have the hills to himself, but has encouraged all those tourists to your favourite mountains
  6. Which publications do you subscribe to?
    1. Country walking; well you don't really, but Dad does and he sends you articles on good walks you've done
    2. High; because you're a member of the BMC and get gear offers, new routes, and occasionally some hillwalking articles
    3. Motive Power Monthly; because it tells you which trains are out of service and which ones are being introduced
    4. Nothing; you can't capture the essence of the hills on paper (or, for that matter, on film)
  7. When on the hills, how do you prefer to be?
    1. With lots of people; you know walking in too small a group is dangerous, and anyway, you're not sure how to use a map and compass
    2. With one other person - on the other end of your rope
    3. Alone, because that's Wainwright's way
    4. Alone, because you need time to contemplate, dream and sift over life's problems on your own - the hills, after all, are your companions
  8. Why do you visit the top of a mountain?
    1. So that you can take a photo of yourself on the cairn, and show it to all your relations and your friends in College
    2. Because you have to - it's the only way to find the top of Blank Gully
    3. To tick it off in your book
    4. To enjoy the panoramic view (and to explain it to everyone else)
  9. What is enjoyable about the last long horseshoe walk you did?
    1. It was featured in this month's Country Walking
    2. You often encounter a variety of conditions, allowing you to show off all your new gear
    3. You can bag lots of mountains in one go
    4. It offers a ridge walk, airy views, a variety of stunning mountain and valley scenery, and a fulfilling day
  10. How fast do you walk?
    1. Slow; you have practised by walking to lectures, but now your feet are killing you!
    2. Fast; because it's boring until you get to the crags
    3. Fast; because there's lots of other peaks to do
    4. Slow; you want to savour your day out in the hills
  11. On your return from a walk, how do you feel?
    1. Knackered - where's the pub?
    2. Exhilarated; you pioneered a new scramble - HVS, maybe even E1 ...
    3. Knackered - but you did twelve Wainwrights
    4. Exhilarated - as you do after any day in the hills
  12. And finally, when you get back to Cambridge, what do you do?
    1. Phone your parents and tell them what a wonderful trip you had, and promise to send them copies of your photos
    2. Nip into Open Air to see if they had that new bit of gear you saw in Fisher's when you "popped in"
    3. Pore over your Wainwright guides, tick off the summits, and get back to that knotty Physics problem
    4. Get depressed (again), go around to see other like-minded hillwalkers, buy a Club T-shirt, and write wistfully in the Unofficial Trip Book looking toward future trips

The verdict - which category did you answer most often?

a. You are new to hillwalking, but your parents are very keen for you to get involved. You're very enthusiastic but rather naïve on the hills.

b. You are a crag rat! A rock jock! A gear freak! Possibly a Natsci, an engineer, or a geographer, you prefer grappling with rock rather than simple hillwalking, and like to think you are at the "top end" of the club, showing others how it's done, while boosting your ego (it got rather battered in CUMC). You see yourself, in fact, as a "mountaineer" - and one more likely to be found in the gear shop than in the pub.

c. You are a trainspotter! A peak-bagger! A list ticker! Very probably a Natsci (particularly a physicist), your best day out on the hills was when you did 12 boggy Wainwrights on a miserable day to complete your Central Fells.

d. The true hillwalker? You are moody and depressive, but love the lonely escapism of the hills (just as well, since you have no friends); you have no favourite walks. For you, it is just being in the mountains that counts.

(If you enjoyed this, see also Peter Bell's What Type of Club Member Are You?)

Author: 
James Blake

Last Chance for an Epic

or, "From Bad to Worse"

We set off feeling optimistic. The sun was shining and we were in the mood for the first day's climbing of the summer. Much had been said of VS's and VDiff's, but as it was such an inspiring morning, VS it was to be.

The cynics among you may say we were doomed to fail - especially as "we" meant myself (Paulbob) and The Bearded One.

On the way to Cadair, it was so warm that there was discussion of shorts and sunglasses. It was to be short-lived.

Standing below the huge cliff reading the guidebook, I was somewhat awed by the scale and steepness, but the rock looked sound and dry, so we made our choice - Rib & Slab it was to be. We saw Tim & Jane setting off up their route beside us and there were shouts of encouragement. Neither of us turned around to look across to Dolgellau; the block clouds went unnoticed.

Toby drew the short straw and set off to lead the first pitch. In the shadow of the north-facing crag it was much colder than before. Soon I was shivering. It seemed, from below, to take an eternity before Toby had reached the first ledge.

"Climb when you're ready!" came the call. "Thank God," I thought, and with a return cry I set off anxiously up the pitch.

I soon found why my leader had taken so long - the pitch was steep and the rock all either swayed ominously in the wind or came off in my hand. Undeterred, I struggled skyward.

It began to snow. "Odd," I thought, but decided it was just a quick flurry. I reached Toby and saw the next pitch above him; it was even steeper than the last one. Struggling to climb this grade with my rucksack on, my progress was soon halted by the steep slab. My confidence was rapidly disappearing.

Then it began to really snow. It began to settle on the rock. "Bugger this for a game of soldiers," thought I, and retreated to the belay ledge. After a brief review of progress and prospects, we discovered that these were 'bad' and 'worse' respectively.

Down was the best option. One problem - how? There appeared to be nothing at all solid enough to abseil off.

Panic set in. Peering across, I could see a gully I thought we could get down if we could get across to it.

Gingerly we traversed across, using mainly blind faith as protection. Most of the holds succumbed to gravity moments after using them, and everything else seemed to consist of a slippery mixture of mud and grass. I began to pray, but The Bearded One had confidence. We reached the gully, or at least I think we did - I couldn't feel various parts of my anatomy but could only presume they were still attached.

A life-giving chocolate stop and a perilous scree-run saw us safely on terra firma, colder, wetter and much much more scared than two hours previously when we set off in blissful ignorance up the pitch.

Somewhere on the god-forsaken crag I vowed to sell my climbing gear and join the Ramblers Association.

Let that be a lesson to you all.

Author: 
Paul Palfreyman

MWiS: Mountain Withdrawal Syndrome

Symptoms include (listed from mild to severe):

  • Feeling the need to see land that rises above tree top height
  • Annoyance that the tallest thing around is either trees or buildings
  • Needing to socialise with other sufferers
  • Procrastination from work to think about mountains (ie gear research, buying maps/guidebooks)
  • Ignoring work (and social events) in order to go on a weekend trips to mountains
  • Wearing outdoor gear around town (ie Rab jackets, ice axes)
  • Bizarre desire to go indoor climbing
  • Excessive desire to feel cold, get wet, and be blown about all day, every day
  • Not wearing hillwalking gear around town to simulate weather found on a mountain (ie no waterproofs / fleeces)
  • Agreeing to organise other sufferers relief from symptoms or entire year (ie CUHWC President)
  • Organisation / participation in 'crazy' trips during holidays. 'Crazy' is defined as being well beyond current experience, so for some people, scrambling in Snowdonia counts. For long term sufferers that have continually organised 'crazy' trips and survived, winter climbing and unclimbed 6000m peaks may be more (in)appropriate.

Most symptoms are harmless except the most extreme, people suffering to this degree should be very careful about what they agree to do outside term time.

Causes:

  • Normally caused by spending too long in a very flat place.
  • Compounded by the knowledge of having to stay in said flat place for most of the next few years.

Relief:

  • Discussing trips past, present and future with friends (Relief lasts less than 24hrs)
  • Day trip to climbing wall (lasts 3-4 days)
  • Going on weekend trip (lasts 7-10 days)
  • Week long holiday trip (lasts 14-21 days)
  • Entire summer outdoors (lasts 28 days maximum)
  • Permanent relief will only be found by living closer to mountains. Preferable to see them from work and/or bedroom window. Access to them should be available every weekend, with possible evenings access even better. The bigger the mountains the better.

Observations of a Faffologist

Breakfast Faff
Time spent arguing about who's cooking what for breakfast, instead of preparing for the day's trip.

Car Faff
Time spent moving cars or people around which seems sensible and necessary, but leaves you wondering if there wasn't an easier way to do it.

Initial Faff
The time for everyone to put on various boots, gaiters, waterproofs, fleeces, etc. after arriving at the start point.

First Faff
Corollary to 'Initial Faff' where everybody walks a short distance then decided they are too cold/hot/wet/dry and reverses all the decisions made 15 minutes previously. See picture.

Photo Faff
A relay race of people with camera taking multiple similar group or scenery photographs, much to everyone else's annoyance.

Lunch Faff
Another faff takes sufficiently long that the others waiting decide to eat their lunch.

Lunch Faff 2
If people don't finish, this can occur twice.

Map Faff
One or more group members stop to play with maps and compasses, whilst everyone else repeatedly asks 'are we lost?'

Rope Faff
Unpacking your new rope from the backpack and offering to belay/haul/lift/abseil people up or down even the most trivial rock faces or outcrops.

Microfaff
A short term faff which can be completed without stopping the group - e.g. gloves.

Turbofaff
An advanced microfaff which is performed without even stopping yourself.

Uberfaff
A prolonged rest for all manner of gear adjustments, food, tea, etc..

Chain Faff
Where several people decide to faff one after another, causing gratuitous delay.

Terminal Faff
A faff which lasts so long the group decides to head to the nearest pub or tea room instead of completing the route. Common after prolonged life-endangering scrambles.

Fatal Faff
Poorly timed faffing which results in death through falling or exposure.

Cluster Faff
A faff for all the family, where everyone finds something to do.

Chronicler's Faff
Hours spent writing more illegible [somethings] in the trip book.

Author: 
Rob McQueen

Pantheonic Advice: "I don't mean to interfere but..."

A Compendium of Helpful Advice for CUHWC Presidents

Alex Tuck (President 2006-07) to DC (President 2007)

Essential advice contained within.

I don't mean to interfere, but (i) I feel that it's about time I should, and (ii) after spending the morning researching Paramo jackets and Snowdonia scrambles for the trip, and taking part in online competitions to win Nikwax products, I can't seem to bring myself to do any work...

Firstly, you're probably in the middle of booking bunkhouses for next year (and if not, why not?). I think that a trip to Long Sleddale would be in order for the start of Michaelmas. It has superb access (only 6 miles along a single track road). Furthermore, it is home to those well known peaks, "Grey Crag" and "Tarn Crag", with dizzying heights of nearly 700m, which should attract lots of new members (especially those wanting to experience some "proper mountaineering"). It's essential to go somewhere that people have heard of before for the first trip - anywhere too obscure and you risk people thinking our trips are boring. Admittedly, after 10 minutes searching on the map, I haven't managed to find a nearby pub (or bunkhouse) - but I suspect this is just an omission on the Ordnance Survey's part.

For the middle trip of Michaelmas, you need something REALLY good - something to persuade new members that going away every other weekend won't destroy their chances of getting a degree (or to make them think it's worth it). And it has to appeal to regulars, who won't believe you when you tell them that mid-Wales contains the undiscovered Alps of the UK. Also, as this trip's generally smaller than the first trip of Michaelmas, you can afford to go somewhere that doesn't have a massive bunkhouse. And finally, I'd like to stop off at the Stewart R Cunningham Outdoor Centre in Betws-y-Coed, as their new Paramo range should have come in by then. So, I think we should take the opportunity, while there's no café there, to camp on the top of Snowdon. This offers superb walking from the door, with a pleasant stroll from the car park on arrival. Also, we could offer the trip at a reduced fee on the assumption that many new members will be put off by the walk-in and go home (so won't need accommodation, club stores or return transport).

And after these two little gems, the final trip of Michaelmas is going to be tough. In fact - you may as well give up before you start. We don't need another club trip - what we do need, is a club-funded backpacking trip to Wasdale to let ex-presidents and ex-meets secs finish bagging the surrounding fells. While there is a youth hostel nearby, as the trip is going to be pretty small you're probably better off booking a couple of rooms in the nearest five star hotel (no point throwing club money away on unused beds).

Secondly, I feel it only right I should comment on the recent debate about oversubscribed trips. So I thought of an easy way to treble trip capacity - we have three sleeping shifts on each trip! The first is 11pm-7am, and is obviously reserved for drivers. Anyone only wanting to walk until 7am can sleep in the second shift (7am to 3pm), and all baggers/energetic people can go on a longer walk, coming back to sleep from 3pm-11pm before going back out walking again. This offers several advantages over people sleeping standing up or being stacked on top of each other - the main one being that we would be quite legitimate in not breaking any bunkhouse rules.

With all this space available on trips, you could put into action phase III of my plan - a nationwide TV ad campaign to raise awareness of CUHWC. We could expand from our current triangular-based strategy (CUHWC, CUHWC-Oxford and CUHWC-Colorado), putting in hostile takeover bids for all other university walking clubs in the UK! Once we've amassed sufficient numbers, we could then buy up all of the national parks, and charge members of the public a hefty entrance fee, thus funding our walking trips. If you think this is a bit too far-fetched, you could probably omit Northern Ireland.

Anyway, you're probably desperate to put all of these ideas into action now, so I won't keep you much longer. Just to say that if you're thinking of offering Horlicks on club trips, you might also want to reconsider my suggestions of club ice-cream, club chocolate, club Trail mix, club chocolate coated raisins, club freshly ground coffee, and club hens to provide fresh eggs.

See you tomorrow,

Alex

DC (President 2007) to Lucy Wright (President 2007-08)

Dear Lucy…
I don't mean to interfere but
Which fool booked the Plynlimon hut?
It's in mid-Wales, for God's sake,
With nowt there but a bog and a lake.
Ah, sorry - oops. I'd better retract that carefully
As the author of that booking...might just have been me.
Now then, what's going on here?
From my perspective I wish to make it clear
That I expect membership for free,
With complimentary cake and plenty of teeeeaaaaaa.
But on issues of sign-up I have nothing to say
For I know the others will get carried away.
Issues of keenness - relative? absolute?
Are as confusing to me as the ablative absolute.
Though there is one small thing not to be ignored
- that the Club really ought to get a sign-up clipboard.

Oh great Pantheon above, is this a worthy submission
Of coursework for my possible admission?

Lucy Wright (President 2007-08) to Simon Taylor (President 2008-09)

Dear Simon...

I don't mean to interfere but, well, I doo
As I fear for the life of Claudia the coo
She knows many songs, but that's not much use
When she's been left behind in the back of a bus
Bring her back soon, and what do you know?
She may woo our Ben in his new paramo!
Though hope for the offspring is slim, I'm aware,
For who'd want the child of a cow and a bear?

As for advice, I suggest you move fast
In the race to book huts you don't want to be last.
Those Oxford Hillwalkers are lean and mean,
But first they must wade through paperwork reams.
So there is a chance, if you hasten to call
That we may return, perhaps in the fall*,
To that favourite of mine, high up on the fell
Above Coniston, where the miners did dwell.

As president past, some advice I must give
So that the Club may continue to live.
DC had some wisdom which I failed to heed
Though I always intended, I didn't succeed
In providing the Club with more useful gear-
A clipboard for sign-up: what a good idea!
(Perhaps not so vital as I first let on,
But I do hope for entry to the great Pantheon)

I fear now my poem, whose lines fail to scan
Is testing your patience and attention span
So I'll stop there.

Lucy

* Apologies for the Americanism. "Autumn" wouldn't rhyme.

Dave Farrow (President 2009-10) to Jo Smith (President 2010-11)

I don’t mean to interfere but,
Have you ever thought what to do,
with the problem of membership price?
I'm afraid that I don't have a clue
So I can't offer you any advice

You should book the bunkhouses soon,
Because in my year the Michaelmas trips
aligned with a great big full moon
to help avoid any night time slips

Have you made up your mind,
with regard to hillwalking meets,
on mountaineers and pre-signed
duffers, and provision of club sweets?

Good luck for the coming year,

Dave

Jo Smith (President 2010-11) to Matthew Graham (President 2011-12)

I don’t mean to interfere but…
...I confess I've been feeling somewhat guilty this past week
[Besides, writing this is the only way to get into the ultimate clique!]
In case you got the wrong idea, so I'll clarify a bit more -
Though I think you're a sensible chap, one can't be too sure...

I told you at the Annual Dinner what you should do this year.
But weekends in Scotland and abroad are, I fear,
Slightly ambitious, in hindsight. And I don't really recommend
Losing bunkhouse keys (or freshers), or actually being EGM-ed.

As for a club PhD - well, it would be stunning
But to be honest I doubt you'd get any funding
(The BMC grants for club newsletters won't cover the fee).
Instead, why not write an article for High Society?

So anyway, I just wanted to make sure, before I leave you to it,
That you won't take me seriously and actually do it.
Though I do have one real piece of advice, which I hope will help:
You don't have to do all the washing up yourself!

Andrew Williamson (President 2012-13) to Vicky Ward (President 2013-14)

Dear Ms President,
I don’t mean to interfere but…

I have noticed the website’s out of date,
And the minibus crash was far from great.
A course in using Markdown might be sense:
You’ve made more than one typographic offence.
I see we’re going back to the White Peak,
A location that’s questionably unique.
Sadly, there isn’t a lot for me to bag there.
And, on that note, can we go back to Stair?
As Hobcarton End is on my bagging list,
One of the few Nuttalls I carelessly missed.
A holiday trip to the Mournes I’d recommend,
And it’s surely a decision you can defend?
I’d sort this sooner rather than later,
Though it’s not as if I’m Club dictator.
The loss of my title is sad – nothing less –
But I wouldn’t want you under any stress.
So if you need any help, I’m very trusty,
Provided I get a pre-sign for Dolgellau.

Is the above ample for me to be allowed
A place in the revered Pantheonic crowd?

Mr Andrew Williamson
Ex-CUHWC President

Vicky Ward (President 2013-14) to Tom Leach (President 2014-15)

I bet you’d thought I’d forgot
That I’d leave my recommendations to rot
Alas not true
I was just letting my thoughts accrue

let me suggest
The creation of a club crest
Of course in the centre is the cow
For we have existed for quite long now
Longer than many a college
25 years in my knowledge

We should go to Tranearth
For what its worth
“Why” you cry?
“Why should I give it a try?”
Point of principle
We need to prove invincible
For 3 different trips I tried to book
But for all weekends the hut was took
However, other clubs have succeeded
Where we lay defeated
UEA went this year
Surely we are more than their peer?
From now I declare
While we have a bit of cash spare
We should book all Lake District huts
Before this opportunity shuts
So that we hold ultimate position of power
Under which all clubs will cower

So remember remember the fifth of November
Some proposed advice not rot

Some Recollections of an Addict

Foreigners rightly express surprise that the British Isles contain mountains. For sure, we have some moorland hills; anyone who loves the North of England knows the particular gentle yet uncompromising appeal of the Pennines and their offshoots, The damp freshness of a Derbyshire winter morning, looking across from above Whaley Bridge to Rushop Edge; or the awesome experience of tramping through a snowy dawn on Bleaklow - these are unforgettable. In the Lake District there are fells, miniature mountains in a uniquely compact landscape, complete with crags, waterfalls, boulderfields and valleys. Who can deny the allure of Borrowdale in May - or doubt that someone, at least, derives a particular pleasure from running across Kirk Fell in sunny late December, or swimming in Sty Head Tarn in July? On the Scafell massif, there is perhaps a true sense of mountain: there is a profusion of rock, plunging drops, and, in a hard winter, some ice. Yet the summit of Scafell Pike, the highest point in England, can be reached by any lightly-laden fit individual in less than one hour from the safety of a public road. This observation applies equally to all the high summits of North Wales, and of Ireland, without denying the rugged beauty of, say, Snowdon, or Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Undoubtedly it is in Scotland that Britain's mountains are to be found, and what a choice! Here is genuine wilderness by any standards, mountains of character reached only by long days and often nights in the open. I remember looking from the summit of Carn Dearg, the furthest point of a long walk from the A86 near Loch Laggan, towards the massive bulk of the Ben Alder plateau in the empty interior of the Central Highlands, still carrying great swathes of snow in mid-June; how I missed my camera then! And walking along the crest of the long ridge from Mullach na Dheirgain, many miles from civilisation, towards the remote high turrets of the complex peak Sgùrr nan Ceathreamhnan, deep in the hinterland between Glen Affric and Glen Elchaig. And descending from Sgùrr na Lapaich into Glen Strathfarrar amid ancient mighty conifers on the third day of a long horseshoe around Loch Monar.

I cannot omit a recollection of the incomparable Fisherfield Forest, lying between the Torridon giants and the magnificent rock edifice of An Teallach. I have traversed this area three times. On the first occasion I was an exhausted fifteen-year-old, only too glad to be given a rest day high up in Gleann na Muice while stronger members of a forty-strong school party climbed Munros and sunbathed for hours on the summits. Four years later I was a determined Munro bagger, looping all six of them alone with a night at Shenavall bothy and a trackless day of 32km and 2600m, reaching the car at 10.30pm while Northern Scotland's semi-permanent summer sunlight still shone strongly. The views from A' Mhaighdean, claimed by some as the most remote Munro and Britain's best viewpoint, had mad a great impression: westwards the Fionn Loch stretches under steep cliffs into thousands of tiny pools beyond the eye's reach; and to the south, mysterious lochans are locked in between strange ridges. Last April I paid my most recent visit, with company, all lugging very heavy packs full of goodies to eat at the bothy, which nestles under An Teallach's sweeping southern slopes in Strath na Sealga. There is a very fine view up to Beinn Dearg Mhòr, not quite a Munro. We began the day in the traditional manner by wading the river and ascending the steep slopes of Beinn a' Claidheimh. Paul and Ian left me behind on the climb and at the top I decided to take the short-cut direct to A' Mhaighdean with David, who was, unlike myself, happy to profess a lack of fitness. Recent heavy spring snowfalls had transformed the mountains and everywhere there was deep wet snow to struggle through. Watching Paul and Ian romp down towards the bealach, I was stung by the possibility of missing an unmissable day of sun and snow, and I had to do my best to run after them. The three of us zoomed over Sgùrr Ban, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair and Beinn Tarsuinn, using protruding boulders like stepping stones, and sharing the trail-breaking when there were none. Ian led the 400m ascent to A' Mhaighdean at a brutal pace, and at the top it took fully twenty minutes to slow my breathing to something like a normal rate. We relaxed, ate and drank, and absorbed the stupendous scene, That day was a wonderful combination of environment and exercise: from the last peak, Ruadh Stac Mòr, there was an undeclared war to be the first one back to the bothy, some 10km distant. I began to walk very quickly down the stalking track into Gleann na Muice, occasionally jogging. Turning occasionally, I saw Ian lumbering in his plastic boots across short-cuts behind me. In the glen, he turned off the path early; a tactical error! He had disappeared into the bog when I approached the first river crossing. Over my shoulder I was shocked to see Paul surreptitiously jogging to catch me up. There was nothing for it bit to stride straight into the river, which proved to be nearly waist-deep. Fortunately, twenty minutes later I managed to reach the bothy in first place - a little sweet revenge for the day's beginning!

In winter, travelling in the remote Scottish mountains becomes a very serious proposition. The days are short, the nights are very long, and the weather is sometimes atrocious. The terrain is much more challenging: some types of snow make progress very exhausting; distinctly layered and wind-compacted snow is avalanche-prone; and summer's rocky scramble becomes winter's technical mixed climb. In many areas, the high corries collect enough snow and ice to last almost all the way through summer. It is necessary to be fit and well-equipped with appropriate clothing, bivouac gear and food, and competent with ice-axe and crampons. Late March is a good time for an introduction to winter conditions, because the days are longer; December and early January are usually too early for sufficient snow to have accumulated. Recently I experienced, for the first time, a Scottish February. We headed for what could be regarded as the headquarters of the mountains of the British Isles. The Cairngorms occupy an area in the Northeast Highlands approximately 30km square and possess some special geographical features that in combination can produce a truly fearsome environment. Their position in the east of Scotland ensures a more rapid lapse rate (fall-off of temperature with altitude) than obtains in the west, and so since they consist of most of the highest ground in the country, they also have the coldest climate, essentially an arctic one: the next ice-age begins here. The Cairngorms comprise vast plateaux with sudden edges dropping into sheer-walled corries, and so the wind has every chance to reach frightening speeds, and to sculpt large cornices that disguise the dangerous edges. Although Skye and Glen Coe harbour mountains more magnificently Alpine in character, with much more technical rock, they do not experience a Cairngorm winter.

We left the car in the skier's car-park at Coire Cas at 10 o'clock, Sunday morning. There was some blustery rain and some sunshine. We began a relaxed ascent of the ski-slopes, pausing for some desultory practice of ice-axe arrests. From the shelter behind the Ptarmigan restaurant (1800m), where we huddled chewing dates and chocolate in amused view of the skiers cosy inside their ridiculous pink and yellow costumes, we began the final climb to the summit of Cairn Gorm, the fourth highest summit in the range at 1245m. This bitter staggering struggle with the wind did not bode well for the remainder of the day. But at the top, the wind seemed to drop, and the clouds rolled away to reveal the long miles of the central plateau, a whiteness relieved only by the barns (tors) on the summit of Beinn Mheadhoin. We watched Cairn Gorm's automatic weather station whir into action, donned crampons for the hard snows of the plateau, and strolled off to the west. We rated the wind at a fairly constant 50mph. Soon disaster struck: Richard's Karrimat was wrenched from his rucksack and blew away down into Coire Domhain. So dropping rucksack and axe, he charged off after it, while Ian and Paul (yes, those two again) and I enjoyed a break and the great panoramic views. Unfortunately for Richard, our break was extended somewhat when the wind blew his rucksack into the corrie too - another rapid descent and tiring reascent were needed; by this time, the Karrimat had probably reached the Shelter Stone, many hundreds of metres below! At last, we set off towards Ben Macdui. The snow had an awkward crust: you could lever off great sheets of it, but newer be sure whether or not it would hold the next footstep. We wound our slow way across the expanse. Lochans at the head of the Feith Buidhe had totally disappeared under the white. The clouds descended at length, and I led the final km or two in whiteout and a heavy crosswind towards the second highest point in Scotland, 1309m. There was now a choice: either east to the Hutchinson hut in Coire Etchachan, or west to the bothy in the Garbh Choire. Both of these were unknowns: the latter was chosen as an ideal base to climb the remaining 4000ft Munros which top the western plateau. Very numb in the wind, we were glad to lose height rapidly into the Lairig Ghru, the deep glacial trough dividing the central plateau and today's expedition from the western Cairngorms. The descent provided, at least for me, a 500m bum-slide and several bruises! We crossed the Dee, and tramped into the Garbh Choire through deep soft snow, alarmed at last to discover the bothy to be little more than a pile of stones; although, fortunately, they concealed an iron-framed hut about 2m cube. It was enough to admire the moonlit twilight before retiring for a heavy intake of pasta with soup and gruyere, and Cadbury's chocolate break. We were asleep well before 9 o'clock.

The wind had dropped during the night, and we left the bothy with a fine Monday morning feeling. We had our first opportunity to really test crampons, crunching up to Coire an Lochan Uaine: what a superb feeling when the points bite and the steep smooth ascent rolls away cleanly! halting at the lip at 900m, we chose the right-hand arm of the corrie: the northeast ridge of the Angel's Peak, a 4000ft Top of Cairn Toul. The map showed a uniformly steep knife-edge with the summit immediately at the top; this looked too good to miss. The adrenaline came very near the end: there had been an awkward, rocky bulge a little lower, but now came a larger barrier; it was necessary to lean against the rock while traversing to the right on front points, and then to ascend a few feet of very exposed 60° or 70° snow before a curving, lightly corniced ridge led to the summit. Paul followed me through this section without complaint, but absolutely refused to pose for a photo above the cornice. He did, however, call down from the top with news of a spectacular view, and, leaving my rucksack pinned to the slope with my ice-axe, I scampered to the top, only to find the clouds closing in again. Seen, cries could be heard from below: it seemed that Richard was stuck in the tricky section. Gloveless and clutching only my camera, I had to descend to the sack and axe, and after cruelly obtaining a photo of Richard in a desperate position, climbed lower, facing into the slope, hands freezing. After a lot of hesitation and encouragement, we were all at the summit. Cairn Toul itself lazily emerged from the mist to the south; Braeriach to the north remained stubbornly covered. Gradually recovering from the day's first excitement, we walked around the corrie rim to Cairn Toul (1291m), which was again clouded over. Now came Ian's speciality: navigation in cloud for several kilometres across a featureless plateau, with few contours, to a summit, Braeriach, perched on its very edge. This was for me a mindless tramp, automatically treading directly in Ian's footprints, trusting that he wouldn't lead us through a cornice. At one stage, we paused while Richard had the dubious pleasure of a notable first: defecation at 400ft! Finally we ascended the final gentle slope, and simultaneously the clouds lifted; the snow turned gold, and Braeriach's summit (1296m) lay only a few metres away. There appeared colossal views with lighting and cloud structure in rapid and continuous flux. Cairn Toul and the Angel's Peak topped out the huge bowl of Coire an Lochan Uaine; Carn a' Mhaim guarded the Dee's progress down the many miles towards Braemar; Cairn Gorm showed a distant dome; and nearer at hand, the complex ripples and flutings of Braeriach's edge were lit in black and gold by a low southwestern sun. Mountains marched away to the northwest. Reluctantly, as the cloud rolled slowly in again, we made our short way to the east, and, pulling on slippery overtrousers and removing crampons, slid all the way to the base of Coire Bhrocain, very well pleased with a conquest of the second, third, fourth and fifth highest Munros. There remained only one thing more to complete a perfect winter expedition: while Ian and Richard descended 1km to the bothy to retrieve the rest of our gear, at 3pm Paul and I began to dig a snow-cave with our ice-axes in the side of a huge drift near the lip of the corrie. Cliffs towered above, cut through by spectacular snow gullies, and short walks in between bouts of digging revealed Cairn Toul and Ben Macdui lit by the late sun. After two hours, Ian arrived with the snow shovel, and progress speeded. We took turns, on the principle that the coldest man should be allowed to dig. It was 8 o'clock, however, before I was adding the finishing touches in a furious final flurry of action. We were all cold and wet, and only too glad to slide down into the 2m-long trench leading into the drift where two-man bunks had been cut either side. After cooking, a late discovery of some pairs of dry socks in my rucksack made the prospect of sleep immeasurably more attractive. Curling up, fully clothed in sleeping bags and survival bags, we tried to feel warm; moonlight flooded in from outside. In the morning, it was raining. The novelty of a 3200ft bivouac had quite worn off. We set out at once to traverse the Lairig Ghru, halting once to stuff down some dried apricots. After a final pause in the Sinclair hut, there was a rapid soaking march over the Chalamain Gap and a hillside streaming with meltwater, to reach the car at midday. A few yellow and pink skiers were trying to ignore the rain. Flat old Cambridge was reached at midnight.

Author: 
Matt Bramley, 1991

The Alternative Constitution

Michael Fordham's Annual Dinner Speech

Cambridge University Hillwalking Club is a mighty institution,
Though I think the time has come to change the constitution.
So hear these new additions, while you drink your wine,
Though you must excuse the most atrocious rhyme.

The club's membership we first look to,
Especially the subjects that they do.
Engineers and Mathmos, Natscis and Medics,
Might be in the club endemic,
But a few of a different brand,
Can be found to lend a hand.
'What is this?' I hear you say,
'An arts student? In the club today?'
Before you know it they'll be everywhere,
With feet on the fells but their thoughts in the air.

Safety must be of high import,
Lest we get ourselves in court,
But if a group should come back late,
Probably led by Bell and Speight,
The only thing you need to yearn,
Is that at least eighty percent return.
And when they're back you needn't frown,
Provided they don't burn the bunkhouse down.

So now we turn to another thing,
Namely the matter of the songs we sing.
For I Am Cow is now a tradition,
Despite some members' inhibition.
But other words are sung with some elation,
Most frequently under inebriation,
The Gnu song followed by some Queen,
And then those words of Don McLean.

Finally, to sum it up, we need but quickly say,
That when we're gathered, in a hut, on some awful day,
That there is something, quite maddening, for which I can not take the blame,
Oh shit, oh bugger, oh bloody hell: I've gone and lost the game.

Author: 
Michael Fordham

The Hillwalkers' Lexicon

Here is the official definition of hillwalking and scrambling terms, to translate the often confusing and incomprehensible waffle that flows from the mouths of the hillwalkers.

Author: Sarah Hammond (and others).

"It's hard work, this"
This is absolutely knackering.
"I haven't been hillwalking/scrambling for a while"
This is more knackering/frightening than I remember. Should have stayed at home.
"I've found a stream to fill up my water bottle"
I've fallen into the stream/river/tarn.
"This scramble is a bit damp"
There is a small waterfall flowing down the scramble; all the handholds are wet and it's scary.
"It's a bit damp"
It's chucking it down with rain and I'm absolutely soaked.
"This route is a bit interesting"
This is very scary and I'm very scared.
"I want my mum"
Actually, I don't want my mum, because she would be more frightened than I am, more stuck, and fuming that I was doing this anyway. But I do want some help, sympathy and advice.
"I want a double whisky"
I am scared; I want something to calm my nerves. When does the scary bit end?
"Strenuously uphill"
I need an hour's sleep at the top.
"My feet hurt"
I have huge blisters all over my feet, and my heels are glowing so red that they could supply the National Grid for a week.
"What a good view!"
The mist has suddenly cleared; we can see where we are - and there's a huge drop in front of us.

The History of the CU Hillwalking Club

As told by Pete Nellist

Being the last surviving[*] founding member of the Club, it is my duty to put in ink [or in bytes -TMS] the early history of this rabble of social misfits which calls itself a club. Now, being a founder member means that I am exceptionally old, and age screws up the memory so that it becomes harder to... sorry, what was I talking about? Oh yes, this history will be at worst complete fiction, and at best wildly inaccurate - any resemblance between this waffle and the truth is entirely accidental.

[*] by surviving, I mean still left in Cambridge.

The Start

in 1352, the then King, Edward the Unprotected, decreed that "a club be established in Cambridge for the purpose of masochistic pursuits in mountainous territory." And so it came about that the club was set up.

The more astute among you may well doubt this story. You're absolutely right; it's complete rubbish! Actually, what happened is as follows:

At the start of the Michaelmas term 1988 (my first year), a stall was taken at the Freshers' Fair by a young chap called Luke Wilde. He was gathering the names of people interested in starting a hillwalking club, to bridge the gap between the Mountaineering Club (who like to dangle by their fingernails while wearing a loud pair of tights) and the Rambling Club (who often rope up for an expedition to Grantchester). He collected hundreds of names, and then thought about having to pigeonhole them all. Wandering aimlessly around Cambridge was not amongst his hobbies, so he took the easy option and told each college to organise their own clubs on a collegiate basis.

However, apathy took control and nothing happened - except in one particularly happening college, called St. John's, where all the really trendy dudes hang out (guess which college I'm at). A bloke called Simon Theobald was president of the St. John's Mountaineering Club. He started running day trips, mainly to the Peak District. These trips were open to any members of any college, and were extremely popular (one reason was that half the female population of the university was in love with him - he was a particularly happening dude). He started to publicise his trips under the title of the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club (though it didn't actually exist officially).

It was obvious, by the end of the academic year, that the Club was viable, so a decision was made to set it up as an official University Club. Sometime in May 1989, an AGM was held at which the first committee was elected. The committee were Dave Barber (President), Luke Wilde (Meets Secretary), Mo Wilson (Treasurer) and Maria somebody-or-other (Social Secretary - but we never actually saw her again!). The AGM was followed by a punt trip, during which the President ended up in the river. I feel it is very important that these ancient traditions are kept alive (I hope you can swim!) Thus the club started, with trips in much the same manner as they are now.

In February 1990, the committee decided to have an AGM (even though it was only six months since the last one) so that they could all resign. So a new committee was elected, consisting of Mo Wilson (President), Me [Pete Nellist] (Treasurer), and Mark Packer (Social Secretary). A committee of only three people. It was tough, and we worked long & hard (sympathy please), but somehow we pulled through for a whole year until the next group of nutters took over. They were Nick Spedding (President), Mark Roberts (Meets Secretary), Stuart Scott-Goldstone (Treasurer), and Sarah Danes (Social Secretary). And so on to the present day with the crowd we elected earlier this year (1992), so I'm going to shut up!

Pete Nellist, October 1992


Luke Wilde contacted the Webmaster in 1998 with the following:

Being rather sad and bored this evening, I decided to do a search on my name (egotist) to see if there is any other Luke Wilde out there. The first response was Pete Nellist's history of the CUHWC and yes there was a Luke Wilde out there - only it was me. I have such a bad memory (too much alcohol in the intervening years no doubt) I really can't be sure whether that's how it happened or not - although I do recall that Simon had some cash from the college and events started at St. John's before we got going on a Cambridge-wide footing. I certainly recall some sizable trips - coach loads to Derbyshire, three minibuses to North Wales in that first year.

I'm still in contact with Dave Barber, off and on and expecting him to visit me in Geneva in the next few weeks - most of my consulting work is in Geneva, terrible shame being so close to the Alps!

Please pass on my best wishes to the Committee. Glad to see the 'gap' I spotted in the club market is still flourishing.

Luke Wilde

What Type of Club Member Are You?

Having worked your way carefully through the Hillwalker's Self-Analysis Questionnaire, you've determined what kind of hillwalker you are. But one thing remains unresolved: how do you fit into that mighty institution, the Cambridge University Hillwalking Club? What is your future in the Club? Is it time to move on? A few simple questions will help you find the answer...

Any similarity to the possible responses of actual Club members, either active or duffer, is purely coincidental.

  1. It's the beginning of the academic year, and the evening of the Club squash. Do you:
    1. Fail to make it due to a college drinking society initiation that night. A couple of days later, frantically email the President demanding a space on the Edale trip.
    2. Come along dutifully, cheque book in hand, half an hour before the advertised start. When the talk begins, sit in the front row, gaping at the fantastic slide-show of appetite-whetting hillwalking photos. At the end, hang around chatting to everyone else there, until you realise that the only people remaining are all on the committee and trying to clear up around you.
    3. Turn up nervously in your Club T-shirt, hoping that the slide projector won't break. Neck two glasses of wine in your agitation when you realise that the advertised start time has just passed and there are only two freshers arrived, both of whom are sitting staring at you from the front row. Rejoice quietly when another 150 turn up during your speech, and when the treasurer later announces record membership takings.
    4. Arrive with just enough time before the advertised start to grab a glass of wine and a large handful of Doritos. Settle down in the back row, shouting out corrections to the President whenever he makes a factual mistake in his speech. Stand around afterwards telling freshers: "it was a bit different to this in my day..."
  2. What is your favourite Club trip of the year?
    1. Not made it on one yet. You did try to come to Edale, but set your alarm for 6:30pm instead of 6:30am. And the bastards wouldn't give you your money back!
    2. Your first trip, which was to the Lake District. You did a HUGE walk with some people on the committee, the weather was fantastic, and everyone sang songs after the pub! In college, your friends sometimes make you feel like you are a bit odd, but you fitted in perfectly on that trip...
    3. The new year trip, of course. You had an epic on Scafell pike, and sang the Cow Song every night at an annoyingly loud volume, not to mention the complete works of Don McLean and the Gnu song. And that's where you first got asked to be in the committee...
    4. The new year trip. Though it hasn't been quite the same since the Club stopped going to Eskdale... Now how many years ago was that now?
  3. And what's your favourite kind of day out in the hills?
    1. Hills? Dunno! But walking to Grantchester is nice - or walking to one of the more distant colleges (such as Jesus) for formal hall can be enjoyable.
    2. The Langdale Pikes, on the last trip. You passed near there on your Duke of Edinburgh's practice expedition, but it's much more fun without a heavy sack!
    3. Something like the Helvellyn range or Fairfield horseshoe - loads of new Wainwrights to bag!
    4. Hmmm. Tricky one. Well, there was that day you bagged Fellbarrow and Low Fell, thus compleating [sic] the Western Fells... Nah seriously, any day out in the hills is good - especially if it's insanely long!
  4. What do you think of the Club T-shirt?
    1. A bit silly really - you'd never be seen dead in something so unfashionable!
    2. Really cool - all the committee wear them! Shame there were no more left in your size. Ah well, maybe next year they'll do another print run.
    3. A badge of honour - you wear yours practically all the time - to lunch, to the pub, even when you're too busy revising to come to any Club activities...
    4. Quite good. Definitely better than T-shirt marks II and IV. The design is better on T-shirt mark III, you consider; and then there was mark I, which does have nostalgia value, but is sadly too flimsy to actually wear outside any more.
  5. What's your opinion on that great Club tradition, the Cow Song?
    1. Weird! It totally freaked you out when they all sang it after that formal at Fitz. How come they all know the words?
    2. Magnificent! After hearing it sung on your first Club trip, you went home and learned all eighteen official verses off by heart.
    3. Magnificent! No Club trip or evening out would be complete without a slightly off-key, drunken rendition of that legendary composition - sung in accordance with Presidential Proclamation Number One.
    4. Magnificent! Although it's hardly a Club tradition - you well remember the days of B.C. (Before Cow) when there was no Cow Song and the Club had to make do with Bohemian Rhapsody and American Pie - and nobody even knew all the words to that back then!
  6. You browse the club website...
    1. Occasionally - sometimes the front page has useful information on it - such as the dates of forthcoming social events.
    2. Obsessively - ever since joining the club, or possibly even before that, you've used the site to find out as much as possible about all the other keen members of the club (most particularly its venerable committee); to whet your appetite for the hills with the dazzling collection of past trip photos; and of course, to look up all the lyrics to the Cow Song.
    3. Pedantically - constantly checking for incorrect dates and missing information, not to mention glaring omissions from the People in the Club page, and typos in the online copy of the Constitution - whilst proudly noting how many of your own quotes now appear on the site.
    4. Disappointedly - there's hardly ever anything new to read! You've already read and memorised the site's entire content, including such classics as the 1997 Annual Dinner Poem and the report of the October 1992 Snowdonia trip. Why don't the committee ever type up stuff from the trip book any more? They always used to in the old days...
  7. You arrive at Churchill on a Friday evening, at the start of a Club trip. Do you:
    1. Sit on the wall with your friend from college (who also made the mistake of joining the Club), staring down at your "new" Oxfam walking boots, feeling slightly scared by all the strange people you're surrounded by.
    2. Say hello to all the your friends from the last trip, and introduce yourself to as many new people as possible. When the Trip Safety Coordinator gets into a stress about who is going in which car, politely volunteer to help - after all, it could be you in that position next year!
    3. Stand in the middle of the pavement waving aloft the official Trip Clipboard and a couple of lever arch files containing safety information. When a each participant arrives, tick them off in at least four different boxes. If any new members are trying to have a conversation, interrupt them by demanding to take down all their relatives' mobile phone numbers, their blood group, and what they ate for breakfast that morning. When everyone is finally ready to set off, realise that there is one rucksack left on the pavement outside the minibus - the one containing all the Club gear!
    4. Leap out of your car and rush round to talk to all the other drivers, explaining why the route suggested by the Meets Sec isn't any good due to carriageway improvements on the A50 near Stoke. Suggest a more complicated alternative using the M606, A6177 and A650, including portions of the Bingley Relief Road. Revise this completely when you remember that the chippy in Shipley has recently put up its prices for medium-sized portions of Haddock. Finally, tell everyone that the best option is actually the A14, M6, A34 and A4148, with plenty of opportunity for losing freshers at the Morrisons in Walsall. Throw the Safety Coordinator's carefully thought-out Transport Allocation Plan into disarray by refusing point blank to take an entire car-full of mid-Western Americans.
  8. It's a Saturday morning in November and you are on the Snowdonia trip. As usual, the weather is miserable. Do you:
    1. Sign up for a walk on some hill called Crib Goch. Freak out at the top and spend 15 mins clinging to a rock, developing borderline hypothermia, before the group agrees to turn back. Find that the soles of both your "new" Oxfam boots fall off on the way down - this is some consolation, as it at least means that you can spend Sunday sitting in the bunkhouse.
    2. Get persuaded by the committee - who all want to go and do Crib Goch again - to take all the novices on a circuit of the Carneddau. Despite being relatively new to the Club, they say they can trust you because you know the area well, having done it on your Duke of Edinburgh's award last summer.
    3. Get stressed out by the 30 people who've never come on a trip before, all of whom simultaneously demand to borrow waterproof trousers whilst you're trying to eat breakfast. Get even more stressed when the rest of the committee sod off to go up Crib Goch. Find some consolation in sadistically taking the remaining hopelessly under-equipped stragglers up Tryfan North ridge, even though your conscience tells you it isn't really the right thing to do...
    4. Get up late and head straight for the kitchen, fighting your way through hordes of freshers frantically signing disclaimer forms in triplicate. Eat breakfast, put on boots and sack, and find you're the first ready. Discover that the only people down for your epic to the North Glyders are a Greek couple who weren't allowed to sign up for Crib Goch. Go anyway, despite the bad weather, late start and the fact that there is zero chance of returning within a sensible time frame with all group members unharmed.
  9. The Social Secretary sends round a long-awaited email announcing a Formal at Sidney Sussex. You respond by:
    1. Signing up straight away - you haven't bagged Sidney yet - despite the fact that you probably won't know anyone else going.
    2. Signing up straight away - an excellent chance to see your hillwalking friends again, and perhaps even sing the Cow Song or some Queen afterwards - whilst making a personal note not to drink quite so much port this time, or at least to wear a tag round your neck with your address on...
    3. Thanking the Social Sec for all their organisation - hopefully that will quieten down all those people who've been clamouring for an extra social this term!
    4. Composing a three-page critique of the email, pointing out omissions, inaccuracies, and giving separate marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Forget to mention whether or not you are actually planning to go to the Formal, and confuse all the finances by mentally adding the cost of the ticket to your ongoing account with the Club.
  10. Your group is nearing the end of a long, miserable, soaking wet walk in early January. You decide to:
    1. Feign injury for the rest of the trip so you don't have to go out walking again, catching an early lift home if possible. On safe return to Cambridge, thank your lucky stars for your deliverance, and ceremonially burn your Oxfam walking boots and cagoule in the college gardens.
    2. Change into dry clothes as quickly as possible back at the bunkhouse. Find someone willing to drive you into Keswick, so you can spend a fortune in Fishers buying new B1 boots and a decent waterproof jacket - as a replacement for the rubbish gear your parents got you when you were at school - so now you can go out in even worse weather with no problems.
    3. Rally the group around, checking that the new bloke in the cagoule isn't suffering from hypothermia. Panic slightly when you realise that your Master List of Participants' Blood Groups and Relatives' Mobile Phone Numbers has dissolved in the rain. Demonstrate your excellent leadership qualities by guiding your group by the safest possible route back to the bunkhouse, where you heroically save the building from burning down after some fresher puts their wet socks a little too close to the stove.
    4. Insist to your flagging group that, contrary to what your compass and their sense of direction might say, the most direct route back to the bunkhouse in fact lies over the next two Wainwrights (by pure coincidence, not yet bagged by yourself). When night falls and it becomes apparent that only two of your group have a head-torch, confidently lead the way, inch by inch, from a hazy memory of three years earlier, whilst encouraging your group to compose new verses to the Cow Song to keep up morale. On eventual arrival back at the bunkhouse, remind the fuming Safety Officer that you "never were that good at judging distance from a map".
  11. The AGM is coming up, and a minor change to article 15(e) of the constitution has been proposed. Do you:
    1. Ponder whether to go. You're not remotely interested in Club business, but the email did say that there might be free wine!
    2. Look forward to the day with much keenness. Although you'll probably be too shy to say much in the constitutional debates, there's a chance that you might get elected onto the committee for next year...
    3. Spend most of the week compiling sufficiently large quantities of obscure membership statistics for your report to satisfy all but the most nerdy member. Find yourself asking the Social Sec 26 times for reassurance that the Club really is allowed to serve wine in the room booked for the AGM. If any emails should happen to arrive entitled "Constitution", delete from your inbox without reading.
    4. Get into a huge stress about the possible change to your sacred constitution, and spend the week sending at least 1,500 emails in an attempt to rally support to defeat the motion. Towards the end of the week, actually bother to read the details of the proposed change, discovering that it simply aims to make the capitalisation of the word "Safety" consistent throughout the document for obscure legal reasons. At the AGM itself, try to rebuild damaged relations with the outgoing committee, pointing out that you do that every time - adding by way of consolation that you "really are planning to leave Cambridge this year".

The verdict - which category did you answer most often?

a. You are a "social hillwalker" - someone who sees the Club more as a means of bagging different college formal halls than a way of getting to the hills. Most of your hillwalking is done with your parents in the holidays, and if you did come on a trip once, you probably didn't enjoy it much. Maybe you're the person in the Annual Dinner photo whose name no-one quite remembers...

b. You are a keen hillwalker, and a keen Club member too, full of enthusiasm and ready to join in with anything. No doubt you are excellent potential for next year's committee!

c. A stalwart Club member, you have most likely put in some sterling service as a member of the committee (perhaps even as the President). However, you should beware: if you end up doing a higher degree or a job in Cambridge, you might easily find yourself answering (d) to some of the above. You have been warned!

d. It sounds like you've been in the Club for at least half a decade, quite possibly more - you probably have only a hazy recollection of a time when it wasn't a major part of your life, of the days when there was no ready supply of keen freshers to drag out on your epic bagging expeditions. You may occasionally have differences of opinion with more "modernising" members of the committee - but be reassured - in the long run, even they will start answering (d) too.

Author: 
Peter Bell

Why Climbing is Better than Women

THE DEFINITIVE THIRTY REASONS WHY....
Why Climbing is Better than Women :)

  1. A rock climb doesn't complain when you disappear to visit "that cute little E3 down the cliff"
  2. You can normally tell when a rock climb is impossible
  3. You can explore the gullies on a mountain at any time of year
  4. Rock climbs don't get stroppy every 4 weeks
  5. If you don't have the energy to get up anything a rock climb doesn't complain.
  6. Frigid ice climbs are fun ...
  7. The use of ropes is not considered unusual in climbing
  8. On a rock climb if your protection fails you don't have to worry about the repercussions for the next 18 years (in fact you won't be worrying about anything as you'll probably be dead)
  9. You don't have to buy a rock climb flowers ...
  10. ... or chocolates
  11. ... or take it to slushy films
  12. You don't get jealous if someone else climbs on the same cliff as you
  13. Rock climbs don't care if you have a smoke/beer/hot dog after the climb
  14. If, in the heat of the moment, you fall off a rock climb you don't get laughed at by the rock climb's sister/friends/new climber (OK, the new climber may laugh - until he falls off)
  15. Working without lubrication is a definite bonus for rock climbing
  16. Rock climbs don't ask you to shave/get a haircut/grow a beard/dress nicely
  17. Rock climbs don't demand you shower before you get onto them
  18. Rock climbs don't mind if you take a rest halfway up
  19. Rock climbs don't require foreplay
  20. Collapsing exhausted/falling asleep immediately afterwards might be considered a compliment by a rock climb.
  21. A rock climb doesn't complain if you get benighted on the local barmaid (or a climbing route for that matter!)
  22. If a rock climb leaves you dangling on a string you can easily get back to your previous high point without confusion
  23. You don't feel guilty over dumping a rock climb for something easier....
  24. ... and you can always try the hard one later
  25. Rock climbs are honest: they admit they want to kill you
  26. Rock climbs don't give you nasty little rashes (although rope/gravel burn is possible; but not as embarrassing!)
  27. Rock climbs have officially graded difficulty levels which are published in guide books to prevent disasters
  28. Your local crag doesn't dump you when you go abroad to climb something foreign
  29. Rock climbs are rarely the property of any one person who would dismember you for touching his private rock
  30. Rock climbs don't kill you for writing sarcastic articles.

Author has since been tragically killed - in a "climbing" accident (see nos. 29 & 30).