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?


From 12 & 13. CUHWC Patterdale Trip

From 12 & 13. CUHWC Patterdale Trip