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Seathwaite, New Year 2014

Trip Report

This was the trip of the 12-hr evenings... we played board games, made bread, went to Keswick, drew a lot in the Trip Book and even wrote a new Club song! As for the 25th anniversary Wainwright bagging and general mountainousness, we weren't as successful, for 80-90mph gusts do not lend themselves to walking in straight lines over nobbles on top of high mountains. Nevertheless, in my opinion, the trip was amazing, and due to difficulties in walking above 400-600m of altitude, we got to walk places we'd never walked before (more time was definitely spent collectively as a Club on OL4 than OL6, put it that way).

We woke on the first day to low cloud, so the majority of groups decided to concentrate on lower summits, one group heading to Fleetwith Pike and the other to hunt for snocks on High Snockrigg before heading to Robinson/Hindscarth/Dale Head/High Spy. One slightly more adventurous group got to see the only snow on the trip by heading off to Scafell Pike, bagging a whole load of other things in the process - though perhaps their taking of ice axes was a little enthusiastic. The evening ended in the customary visit to Scafell Hotel for pub grub and this year £4.80 worth of 30p mince pies (served with ice cream and custard shots) courtesy of Paul Cook.

Having read the weather forecast and prepared for the worst, a collective decision was made to take it easy on Sunday. One group headed off to bag the most prestigious Wainwright, Castle Crag, and another went to bag the out of the way Eagle and Sergeant's Crags. The final group headed off to do Catbells, Maiden Moor and High Spy. However, the bad weather never came into true fruition, only starting to produce the promised 80mph gusts at about 14.30 when all groups were heading in from their short planned walks.

Feeling truly chastened by our over-cautious Sunday plans, people enthusiastically planned for Monday hoping to redeem themselves in their own eyes. First off were Stuart Bell and Andy Howell by 8am with ambitious plans for the Langdale Pikes. The rest of us, being slightly sleepier, managed to rouse ourselves for action closer to 10/11am, planning routes for Seathwaite Fell and the Gables. Alas all plans came to ruin... First to turn back were half the Gable group, then the second half of the same group (having battled on determined to bag Base Brown before retreat). Second to return were the Seathwaite Fell adventurers, halted by the wind tunnel of Sty Head which was perfectly orientated to the wind direction. Then came the anxious wait for Stuart and Andy... plans were made to drive to Langdale in the hope to discover their wind-wrecked selves. However, all was well and they too had turned back, and we were all cosy in the hut by 2pm. Mark then decided to announce his intention to do Rosthwaite Fell; no one wishing to join he headed off on his own. Meanwhile, much more enthusiastically, some of us headed off to Keswick.

On Tuesday morning, we prepared for another day of the worst, plans were made to bag Grange Fell and Great Crag. Two groups headed up with a half-hour delay between. The second of these, without the esteemed Mark Jackson, missed both of the Wainwrights but insisted that they bagged other nobbles on the summits, which they named 'Club Crag' - they had agreed amongst themselves that the time and effort required to identify the right nobbles was truly not worth it when a group before them had already done it. Meanwhile Chris Arran enthusiastically did the same route while fell running, Paul Cook ran to Keswick and Sophie ran around the valley. The first group also decided it was necessary to drive to Latrigg to bag that too. It must also be noted that Vicky Ward waved around a route card for Seathwaite Fell for a while but no one signed up to go with her because they decided that it would be a bit silly with the predicted weather (on reflection it probably would have been possible).

The last day dawned and Vicky tried to do Seathwaite Fell again. This time people signed up. In fact everyone did (excluding 4 people who went to Skiddaw instead, but we won't talk about them) — this made her feel much more loved. This day had by far the best weather and everyone agreed that it was a lovely fell, in fact we bagged most nobbles on the fell on the way there and back. On the way back we tried the experimental route of Taylor Gill rather than Stockley Bridge, and although it probably added half an hour due to its slimy scrambly bits, it was well worth it due to the stunning views of the waterfall.

Trip Participants

  • Dave F, Jo S, Antonia C, Matt L, Laurent M (F, Sa)
  • Mark J (Sa, Su, M, T)
  • Stuart B (Su, M, T)
  • Anne N, Sophie D, Chris A, Paul C, Andy H, Alex E, Vicky W, Paul F, Chris B, Michael F (F, Sa, Su, M, T)


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Vicky Ward