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Ennerdale, 8-10 June 2012

For our post-exam trip, CUHWC ventured back to Ennerdale, having had such a successful trip there this time last year. This trip fell after most people’s exams, so was the most popular post-exam trip for some time, comprising 42 people. A minibus and not fewer than seven cars sped away from Cambridge for the weekend. Saturday’s weather was decidedly average, but we managed to explore most of the fells surrounding Ennerdale between us, with one group even fighting their way to the top of Pillar Rock despite the cloudy and damp conditions. We were pleased to awake to much more pleasant weather on Sunday, which only improved as the day went on, leaving most of us wishing we’d chosen to extend the trip – which was even more true when we drove into pouring rain on the east coast. One of the trip’s highlights was a bonfire courtesy of the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre owners Walter and Ellen on Saturday evening. I think it would be safe to say that we left them and a couple of their friends somewhat bemused as we toiled our way through the Song Book’s wonders. At least one Song Book also saw its life taken before it as it wound up in the bonfire. A memorable trip with which to finish the 2011-12 academic year!

Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Ashton, Jo Smith, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Jane Patrick, Michael Fordham, Andrena Ball, Dave Farrow, Doug Hull, Vicky Ward, Bethan Gudgeon, Mark Jackson, Chris Wade, Valentina Assenova, Raphael Dehmel, Larissa Moore, Satinder Gill, Kirsty Brown, Matt Hickford, Alex Pericleous, James Ritchie, Simon Williams, David Mackenzie, Joe Hobbs, Matthew Graham, Becky Howard, Eleri Cousins, Constanze Hammerle, Gareth Ainsworth, Valerie Brandt-Ashton, Philip Withnall, Kate Humphris, Lucy Stone, Stuart Bell, Tom Dobra, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Jacob Abolafia, DJ Strouse & Daniel Bauchhuber.

Reports

Some Highlights from Andrew’s Weekend (AW)

(or 'An Attempt to Avoid Going Back to Revision')

While this trip was indeed after most people’s exams, this was unfortunately not the case for me, falling as it did slap bang in the middle of mine. With only Hazards and Biogeography (no, not the Geography of Biohazards…) remaining, I opted for a weekend away with CUHWC over staying in Cambridge and certainly did not regret my decision, this undoubtedly being one of the best trips I have yet enjoyed with the club, for all of the following reasons:

  • Being in Helen’s car for the journey there and therefore having really quite epic tunes for most of the way – except, perhaps, for that time when tune control was out of my hands and we ended up with classics such as ‘Oops I did it again’. Apparently I had a musical ‘education’ en route.
  • Playing Mr. Brightside full blast as we drove along the quiet forestry track into Ennerdale
  • Reminding Helen that the speed limit was probably 15mph for a reason
  • Reading out a sign on the side of the road that said 'No No' and Helen basically doing an emergency stop as a result
  • Helen’s car passing the 100,000-mile milestone as we sped across the A66 – and documenting evidence of this fact
  • Bethan wanting to stop the car when it reached 100,000 miles
  • Seeing Doug – this doesn’t sound quite so strange if you were in Helen’s car for the journey there
  • Having a productive day working on Saturday, with a distinct feeling that Paul and Larissa were my parents keeping watch over my revision and providing me with much needed tea – though sadly not teeea; the 'ee' I’d save for later
  • Constanze’s epic meal group – complete with meat, fish AND olives
  • Forgetting all about exams on Saturday evening and hitting the brandy straight from the bottle instead – classy
  • Sitting around the bonfire (which was, not in, but close to, the car park) singing songs
  • Mark being aptly referred to as a LAD by the bunkhouse owners and their friends and being forced from the ‘stage’ because he couldn’t play any Ed Sheeran songs, such as the A Team
  • The bunkhouse owners attempting to persuade us all to become members – and telling us of the plusses and minuses of living in such a remote location (and of Twitter)
  • Storming out of the bunkhouse for a 3-hour jaunt to repeat Little Gowder Crag and to have a (questionably well-earned) revision break
  • Vicky’s sweet potato and sweetcorn soup
  • Being in northern company
  • Kate referring to a book as being ‘dove grey’ in colour and telling us lots of stories about her driving instructor Geoff – and probably laughing the most I’ve laughed in weeks as a result
  • Exchanging (Twitter) banter with the bunkhouse owners as we ate our fish and chips in Wetherby
  • Helen’s windscreen becoming really rather messed up

I could probably go on, but I’ll stop now. There were some lowlights too:

  • This being Bethan’s, Doug’s, Matthew’s, Dave M’s, Mark’s (and possibly others’) last trip for sometime – probably. Times change. The club will (probably) survive without them.
  • Those blasted midges
  • The fact I still had two exams left…
  • Mark not being able to play Mr. Brightside or anything of Ed Sheeran’s on the guitar
  • Mark leaving the bonfire at first mention of his book and Facebook fan page

Eleri's Report (EC)

Even though Club members gasped at my midge bites at socials for a week afterwards, Ennerdale was a wonderful weekend. My walk on Saturday was notable mostly for extreme fog, but this was more than made up for by the excellent company - Bethan, Doug, Dave M, Kirsty, Becky and Tom. The next day was a lovely lazy walk around the lake, complete with a very cold dip in the stream. But let's face it — the best part of the weekend (apart from the home-made lemon meringue pie and carrot cake) was the bunkhouse's menagerie. Smoky the cat (possibly not its name, but one Helen gave it), Lisa the dog, Lollypop the sheep, the goose, and the other lambs. For this graduate student doomed to no-pet accommodation for the foreseeable future, it was absolutely heaven...

A Safe Day Out (MJ)

Time Event
00.05 Arrive at bunkhouse, 12 hours after finishing last exam and 7 and a half hours after leaving Cambridge - and 1 hour after the bus begins to go gabongclangjudderthudcrunk
03.00 Bed (apparently drivers are best at staying up late)
07.30 'Wake up'
09.30 Woken by Michael standing over my bed yelling 'JACKSON?! Are you coming or not?'
09.40 Leave bunkhouse. Breakfast in pocket. Drizzle with rocks slippery, so perfect weather for Pillar Rock. Peter left 'my' harness behind having assumed I was still in bed and not coming. Michael talks about education.
11.00 Interlude as we look for Pillar Rock. (It's misty.) Michael talks about education.
11.30 Found Pillar Rock. Rope tied around my waist. Michael climbs the first pitch and squats there like a gnome while we shout at each other. Not sure we can get back down. As the only 'safe' member, I encourage pressing on.
12.30 Joe and Andrena decide they are scared of death after all and head down. (I now respect them a lot more.) Michael swears a lot about belays. Peter and Alex get cold.
13.30 Top out. Michael uses the rope as reins to stop me falling off. (Celebrate final Lakeland 2000er.)
14.00 Everyone is suitably cautious in descent. Roles: downclimber, belayer, foot placement advisor, dead weight. Michael abseils admirably, landing right onto his target (me).
15.00 Joe and Andrena delighted to see us alive. (Also cold.) They decide to go for a walk and enjoy the solitude (of being stuck with lost tourists) and views.
17.00 Remember what the Lakes look like after seven hours in the cloud. Descend over Steeple to the bunkhouse. Michael talks about education.
19.00 Absolute chaos in the kitchen leads to absolute heaven in the cookpot courtesy of Vicky 'Sweet Potato' Ward, Doug 'Fajitas' Hull and Bethan 'Lemon Meringue' Gudgeon. Somehow midges enter the bunkhouse.
23.00 Heat, light and smell of the bonfire attract every midge in Ennerdale. Attempt to sing 'Wild Rover' while slapping my neck in between every line, then retreat inside, when midge density reaches 1000 m-3. Simon burns a song book.
00.00 After embarking on a midge killing spree with a can of 'Mr. Genocide', everyone inside goes to bed. Venture out. Strum a few folk songs with Chris 'Pavarotti' Wade. Things get ugly when the locals request some Ed Sheeran.
01.30 In a move best described by 'Oh Mate', Andrew tells the locals about the HuMPs. 'Are you for real?' says the woman. Time for bed.


Notable Quotes

  • Jane: Bethan, the first thing I heard when I woke up this morning was Doug saying to you: "Don't you have any of your own underwear?"
    • I might suggest that this is the quote of the year; absolutely hilarious [AW]
  • Dave F: Is there a Mrs Muscle? Mr Muscle would be stronger, but Mrs Muscle would be better at cleaning

Photos

Videos

From 21. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 21. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 21. CUHWC Ennerdale Trip