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Stair, 18-20 February 2011

The weather for the second weekend trip of term (and the first to be run by the new committee) didn't quite measure up to the standards set by its precursors or successors, with low cloud and drizzly rain being the order of the day. Given the location of the bunkhouse at the entrance to the Newlands Valley, with several good walks available from the door, we confined ourselves to walks in the North-Western Fells; we had parties completing the Newlands Horseshoe, Coledale Horseshoe, and a breakneck-paced double-crossing of the fells to Buttermere and back, which paused only for ice-cream in Buttermere!


Tom Ashton, Simon Bateman, Valerie Brandt, Kirsty Brown, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Michael Draper, Emma Fleetwood, Michael Fordham, Matthew Graham, Mark Jackson, Ian Patrick, Jane Patrick, Alex Pericleous, Ruth Pettit, Becky Shercliff, Jo Smith, Jessie Vahrenkamp, Simon Williams, Andrew Williamson, Tom Wright, David Wyman.

Walk Reports

Newlands Horseshoe (JS)

Jo, Ian, Emma, Ruth, Tom, Mark, Greg and Alex

I'm afraid to say I was bagging today, and even though it wasn't actually raining when everyone got up, given the forecast I made the executive decision to head for Robinson, Hindscarth and Dale Head first, in case the pub proved too tempting halfway through the walk!

Up to just below the summit of Robinson was lovely, with blue sky and a conspicuous lack of predicted gale-force winds. We then ascended into cloud, which stubbornly refused to budge from the tops (at least while we were on them), but it was a good day nevertheless. Beyond Dalehead Tarn we merrily greeted what seemed like a continuous stream of people coming the other way, all enjoying being out despite the general dampness.

As we dropped out of the cloud towards Catbells, the fresh, squeaky snow also disappeared from beneath our feet, and views of Derwent Water and the Newlands Valley opened out before us. An hour well-spent in the Swinside Inn was enough time for the sun to come out and burn the cloud off Robinson and Hindscarth, which looked almost inviting enough for a second round as we returned to Stair.

The Saturday Evening Meal

Michael, Simon B, Andrew, Mark, Jo, Greg

Starter: Feta-cheese-topped bread with watercress and tomato side salad.
Main: Meatballs with cream sauce, cranberries and new potatoes.
Dessert: New York berry cheesecake.

I [MJ] think Michael should probably be elected Cookery Officer.

The Hunting of the Snock (MJ)

Mark, Simon, Jane, Becky, Michael & Jessie

Number of companions I expected to have on my silly bagging walk: 0
Number of companions I actually had: 5
Number of companions who knew what they'd let themselves in for: 4
Number of summits bagged: 1
Number of Wainwrights climbed: 2
Number of decent views obtained (from summits): 0
Number of snocks seen: 0
Number of piles of stones which may or may not have been snock droppings: 1
Number of group members who'd done pretty much the whole walk the day before: 2
Number of knackered-looking hillwalkers met at Rigg Beck: 5
Number of the above who looked like a garden gnome: 1

... And a few stats from yesterday:

Number of group members below the age of 22: 1
Number of summits climbed: 6
Number of teachers on walk: 3
Number of pints consumed: 7
Number of past trips been on by group members: ~219 [at time of writing]
Number of snocks seen: 0

Notable quotes

  • Emma: (on seeing Paul): "I forgot how big men were" [Ian's reaction to this is not recorded]


From 8 & 9. CUHWC Stair Trip

From 8 & 9. CUHWC Stair Trip

From 8 & 9. CUHWC Stair Trip

Mark Jackson