This was the eleventh consecutive Seathwaite New Year trip, running from 6-11 January. Despite the mist, prolonged rain, gale-force winds and distinct lack of any snow for most of the trip, most people still enjoyed themselves by making up for the weather with lots of socialising during the extended (often 12-hour) evenings. These involved lots of Bananagrams, puzzles, crosswords, reading, games, cooking and beer. And what better location to pass the time than the magnificent High House bunkhouse? We also lined the pockets of the Scafell Hotel’s owners on Saturday evening, when most participants chose to eat (and drink) there. Over the course of the trip, we visited most of the fells surrounding the ideally situated bunkhouse between us. This was almost managed individually in one person’s case, who (intentionally) spent half of his Saturday walking in the dark in order to do so! Those who stayed past the weekend enjoyed a single day of much-appreciated good weather on Monday. Several groups chose to walk to Keswick (often being subsequently transported back by bus or car) during the trip, each taking a different route.
Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Bethan Gudgeon, Laura Burrows, Kirsty Brown, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams, Ruth Pettit, Tom Wright, Tom Ashton, Rob Halbert, Mark Jackson, Michael Fordham, Austen Sanders, Kate Humphris, Greg Chadwick, Stuart Bell, David Pettit, Tom Cole, John Hobbs, Paul Cook, Goody Gibbins, Joe Hobbs & Andrena Ball.
Unfortunately, nobody wrote any walk reports. Perhaps better though is Mark's complete trip report, which does a rather superb job of summing up the experience:
Things that happened (MJ)
- Peter's epic - getting up 4 hours before daylight
- Bananagrams can be used as:
- Pictionary tiles
- Scrabble tiles
- Guitar picks
- Sexual-innuendo tiles
- The education of Kirsty in the use of the word 'head'
- An erudite discussion about the efficacy of the privatisation of education in the tertiary sphere
- Joe & Andrena spending like 10 hours on a number puzzle (to the exclusion of all else)
- An obsession with walking into Keswick
- Kate turning up in a taxi (what next - a limo?)
- Everyone being really lazy and getting up at like 9.30am (amended to 11am later in the trip)
- Interesting combinations of musical instruments - blowy keyboards & accordions (particularly when played by Kirsty) & guitars & harmonicas & Mark smacking the table to try to provide some rhythm
- A feeling of overwhelmingly gloom & pessimism when confronted with the increasingly despondent weather forecasts - and the one good day taking us all by surprise
- The Trip Book going AWOL - and no-one writing anything in the replacement (apart from this entry) [It should be noted the Trip Book was subsequently found.]
- That bloody puzzle about the hats that occupied half the bunkhouse for half a day
- An appalling lack of snow or ice or anything below about 5C
- A pleasing gamut of freshers, who liked puzzles and were organised with their walks
- Kirsty's impressive ale collection - but blink and you might miss it!
- Refugees fleeing south from Scotland with tales of snow, storms, puzzles, and a failed distillery tour
- Andrew being too hungover [that is to say too frustrated with the weather...] to go bagging
- Jane thinking Kim Jong-il was a panda, which ended up becoming a giant cat with sticks admiring the stars. What else?
- Mark: It isn't my fault - I blow aggressively!
- Mark: Kirsty has the tolerance of a mountain ... To be continued ...
- Greg: Let's give her a real good prodding, ja?