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!


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..."


From CUHWC Glen Shiel, 18-25 September 2010

From CUHWC Glen Shiel, 18-25 September 2010

From 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"


Alpine Course

Arolla, Switzerland

Langenfeld, Austria

From Arolla, 4-19 July 2010

From 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.


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!


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"


From Patterdale, 4-9 June 2010

From Patterdale, 4-9 June 2010

From 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.


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"


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!


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!"


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


  • 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!!"


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 to be uploaded.

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 to be uploaded.

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 to be uploaded.

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 to be uploaded.

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 to be uploaded.

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.


Dartmoor, 13-15 November 2009

November saw a weekend trip to Dartmoor...

Location: Bachelors Hall in Princetown


Photos to be uploaded

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.


David Pettit

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.

Toby Speight