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

Blue candles on birthday cake

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

Langdale Youth Hostel 1

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:

25th Anniversary Dinner group, Photograph by Toby Speight

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:


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!

Seathwaite, January 2010, Photograph by Matthew Graham

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!

CUHWC Garden Party, June 2010, Photograph by Simon Bateman

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.

Ennerdale, Photograph by Jo Smith

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

The Aran Mountains in all their glory (Karol Pilch)

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.


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.


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.


Here is a photo taken of the group just before dinner. 25th Anniversary Dinner group, Photograph by Toby Speight

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.


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)


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

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.


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.


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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.


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.


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

Kinder Downfall (Andrew W)

The Kinder Plateau (Philip W)

Vicky Ward