written by Simon Williams (Trip Leader)
The club returned to the Eskdale Centre at Boot for the second trip of Lent Term with 23 people, several of whom were new members. The drive up took longer than it might have done due to an accident on the M6 holding up the minibus for 45 minutes, both cars however avoided this and arrived around 23.30, some damage was also done to the minibus on getting into the car park.
This bunkhouse was previously the home of the Christmas vacation trip many years ago and was most recently visited in Lent Term of 2010, it was functional if a little cold and slightly cramped in the kitchen and bunk rooms.
The weather proved to be cloudy but dry on saturday with fog from around 300m, little or no wind even on the top, and snow from about 300m. One walk visited Scafell where snow and icy conditions forced them to abandon their plan to continue to Scafell pike and instead descend back to the valley via the south ridge of the mountain; the icy conditions however did not prevent another group from completing a round of Bowfell, Esk Pike and Scafell Pike, which despite the lack of views proved an excellent walk.
Several people also went on shorter walks around the valley visiting Harter Fell and Burnmore Tarn, and six people also participated in a navigation course led by a local instructor. Funding for this was secured from the BMC and an application will be made to the Andy Gibson Training Fund to cover the balance in due course. The members on the course seemed to find it interesting and useful, which is a marked improvement on the last such course in November 2011 when the instructor pitched the course at far too low a level and the participants learned very little. A full report of the course will (I assume) be submitted by one of the participants.
About half the trip visited the pub in the village in the evening for a drink and it may be worth noting for future trips that there are four pubs within two miles (two in the village itself) serving a variety of food, with the small size of the kitchen and limited cooking utensils this may be a good alternative to large cooking groups. As it was there was only one cooking group of a decent size and the kitchen proved crowded with lots of people cooking individually.
Unfortunately it rained steadily for almost the entire day on Sunday. Everyone got out eventually, however predominantly on lower-level walks. A large party went to Ilgill Head above Wast Water, one to Devoke Water and another to Muncaster Fell. Peter and Paul braved the weather and made it up Scafell.
The cars and minibus managed to leave early and despite fairly heavy snow around Birmingham arrived home without incident.
Overall a pleasant trip and one that will hopefully encourage several of the new members to come back in future. The only incident that deserves special mention is the damage to the minibus. A collision with a wall when pulling into the bunkhouse resulted in the door handle being smashed and a large dent in the side of the door. The cost of the damage remains to be seen, but as the door may well need replacing this could be considerable.
Simon Williams, Peter Kirkwood, Jane Patrick, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Antonia Cuff, David Pettit, Laura Dempsey, Veera Panova, Phil Brown, Alex Elliot, Nick Gachowicz, Elise Berisma, Brian Vermeire, Wenting Zheng, Lifeng Guo, Henry Miller, Fiona Peterson, Tom Glen, Anne Moindrot, Feyruz Yalcin and Philip Withnall.