You are here

Bagging Challenge Ceromonial Beginning, 21st October 2018

This was a trip into the wilds fraught with peril and strife, through which our brave leader David Hoyle guided us most brilliantly to success.

Upon arriving at Royston we set out into some fields heading East, the Cambridgeshire County Top firmly within our sights as a vague rise in the distance. Many curious things were seen during this stage of the journey: a gang of angry mamils zoomed past, the fields were full of muddy people with noisy sticks (detectorists) searching for treasure, and a mysterious high-vis being was discovered (Paulius Foxius).

Feeling suitably terrified and awestruck we continued until reaching a gate by a reservoir. This was it. The pinnacle of Cambridge (146m). Continuing in the great explorer tradition we took a series of summit photos: one where the guidebook claimed the summit was, and another at the highest point.

The ridge now stretched out before us heading South-East through some more fields. We knew the scale of the net height gain before us now (a metre) and ploughed on regardless. At one point a small dog came to bark through a fence at Chris and David, who both later admitted being scared, but otherwise the party survived unscathed. Around this point a wild Matt Arran emerged from the bush, having just got off the Eurostar from Paris and joined the troop.

Finally, we summited the Essex County Top (147m) and celebrated by failing to build a human pyramid for a photo. With Bronwen perched rather precariously around five feet above the ground, the system because intrinsically perilous and we all got down again. Post-shambles, the decision was made for a tactical retreat to a pub, owing to a cloud appearing on the horizon. Several miles of rambling low-level hillwalking later we came upon a public house, where we took refuge in the beer garden, with a very pleasant lunch leading to slight inebriation.

With night rapidly approaching and being so far from civilisation, we made a difficult call, and all got in taxis back to Royston. Altogether this was a highly successful outing for Cambridge University Hillwalking Club, with two new county tops bagged, no major disasters and a successful demonstration of an ex-president’s leadership skills in challenging circumstances.