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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