Our February trip to Glenridding was, surprisingly, not beset by bad weather. In fact, it was pretty good. The Lakes had snow cover from around 600m upwards, making for beautiful surroundings, but also meaning that anyone who wanted to go up high needed crampons. This meant that, unfortunately, despite the Glenridding bunkhouse being 3km from Helvellyn as the crow flies, only two people on the trip summited it.
On Saturday, most groups decided to head east to Place Fell and the shores of Ullswater, for a low-down walk. A variety of routes were done involving seemingly every combination of walking around the shore of Ullswater, going over the top of Place Fell, and going up over Beda Fell.
One group opted to try the ridge north of Helvellyn, feeling that the 20mph wind forecast would make for a nice ridge walk. They ended up bailing out after battling their way over the rimed-up top of Raise, against 50mph winds in low visibility. Sticks Pass was a welcome retreat. The group cheated and lunched at the bunkhouse, before sheepishly heading out on another walk around Grisedale before anyone noticed.
Another group took some of the highly desirable club crampons up onto the Dodds and practiced with them, somehow coping better with the torrential wind and near-zero visibility. They even claimed to have had fun.
Saturday evening was one for meals of many colours. Valerie produced a lurid pink soup which people claimed was delicious, if ‘a bit spicy’. Camilla went for a more sensitive orange colour stew, described as ‘face burningly hot’. Paul made chips. In order to average out the temperature of her meal, Camilla produced a key lime pie from the fridge for dessert. A discussion about what on earth keys have to do with the pie ensued. (Turns out it’s from Florida Keys.) Valerie decided that her cooking group looked too thin and sober, and force-fed them sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce laced with calvados.
Late night discussions included a group attempt to tackle the Times’ cryptic crossword, and another group putting together a CUHWC version of Monopoly (look for it in the paper trip book). There was no singing.
Sunday came, and people were slow to get up. Josh’s navigation group (who have so far avoided being mentioned, but were present on Saturday too) headed off to Place Fell to find themselves amongst the knobbles up there. Two people headed off to tackle Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, armed with axes and balaclavas. Other groups continued their evaluation of the relative merits of all combinations of walks around Ullswater, Place Fell and Beda Fell.
The weather on Sunday turned out to be even better than on Saturday, with little cloud and low wind. This may be the reason why a number of groups were late back. But it didn’t really matter, because regardless of what time they left the bunkhouse, 3 of the vehicles were destined to get stuck on the A1(M) on the way home due to unforeseen roadworks. Oops.
Philip W (Trip Leader), Josh A (Safety Officer), Yanting J, Ben P, Jantine B, Angelika B, Paul C, Tom A, Anthony C, Taavi T, Arion P, Patrick R, Valerie A, Camilla P, Teng Z, Ke-di L, Simon T, Susie R, Paul F, Sophie M, Peter T, Johanna F, Jens A, Nebibe V