Coniston New Year Trip 2018

The trip was run by acting and future president Sarah Martin (unless anyone opposes her promotion from shouting officer) who declared the first act of her presidency to ban all foul weather from hill walking trips. What followed was 4 days of sunshine and clear skies, with conditions winter enough for beautiful views and nice photos but not actually necessitating any gear or experience (fortunate seeing as we started with 10 people and 9 pairs of crampons). The ice axes were put to good use for dramatic photos, juggling and crushing frozen peas. The first day saw the bulk of the party contour around Weatherlam and ascend the ridge up to Swirl How, with a splinter group heading up Weatherlam. We felt very cultured, taking in an art installation in a sheep fold and a memorial to a crashed bomber. Despite concerns over limited daylight, there was still time for a wild paddle in the reservoir on the way back. The evening was complete with surprise cake (no-one was more surprised than Paul) and brutal assessments of Simon's vulnerability. On the Saturday, many took an easier day, one went to look at rocks, one went for a run, one went to Langdale, two went for a walk to Seathwaithe and the rest went (with optional trespassing), guided by Patrick's intensive research, to find a "secret" nuclear bunker. That evening, we indulged in a seven course meal at £3 per person. Sunday was beautiful and nearly everyone went up the Old Man of Coniston, one group maximising use of daylight, walking from sunrise to sunset and making Simon feel vulnerable on grade 1 scrambles up the Bell and the west side of the Old Man. Many returned to Cambridge on Sunday evening and a smaller group stayed up whisky tasting til 2 am; then was left to clear up the bunkhouse on Monday morning (including trying to finish off all the excess food). The last four to leave spent the afternoon messing around in Grizedale forest (not helped by Mary's dodgy navigation) with children's playgrounds, tree climbing and sitting in sculptures.

Participants: Mary M, Tom S, Nicholas B, Cameron R, Patrick T, Bronwen F, Emma B-P, Antonia C, Simon M, Paul C (100th trip!), Sarah M

Mary M