For the final trip of 2015, we went to Holwick in the north Pennines, which is quite an unusual destination for the club. The Pennines are known more for their rolling upland moors than their mountains.
Despite the adverts for the trip promising spectacular views and magnificent weather, the Pennines put on a grand performance, completely true to form in their role as upland moors: the entire weekend was a complete washout, with high winds, sustained heavy rain, and hence moderately unpleasant walking conditions.
For some reason, some souls decided it would be a good idea to camp on Friday night. They turned up in the bunkhouse on Saturday morning looking quite bedraggled and swearing they would never do it again.
Despite the conditions, almost everyone went out for a walk on Saturday, being lured out by clear skies in the morning. Most people either headed west onto the moors towards the Warcop range (which was firing on Saturday, so provided a definite end point for the walk); or south along the Pennine Way. One group decided to drive to Dufton and walk around the Pennine Way there. Unfortunately, somehow, they got their MPV stuck in a field part-way there, which curtailed their walk for the day a little.
Every other group on Saturday decided to cut their walks short by an hour or two, and most were back at the bunkhouse by early afternoon. The gas fires in the bunkhouse were beautifully effective, and the place was toasty warm all afternoon.
Saturday night was (for our purposes) Christmas day. We prepared Christmas dinner for all 22 people on the trip, and enjoyed a long evening of eating, talking, singing, and then sharing national anthems (nobody is quite sure why this happened, but it was fun). Some people said before the trip that Christmas dinner was a silly idea, and that it wasn’t possible: the bunkhouse had 9 gas hobs, no ovens, no pots or pans, no crockery and no cutlery. Despite this, we managed a chicken stew, roast vegetables (including the mandatory sprouts), pigs in blankets, and a huge selection of Christmas desserts. A great success.
On Sunday, the weather was just as bad, and yet people still went out for walks. One group headed south along the Pennine way “until it gets too miserable, then turn around”. They turned around just before getting anywhere significant on Crossthwaite Common. Another large group headed to see the castle at Barnard Castle. Another, smaller, group were old men and sat in the pub for most of the day.
Philip W (Trip Leader), Josh A (Safety Officer), Tom L (Public House Officer), Evie H, Paul C, Becky H, Romaric M, Patrick R, David H (Assistant Public House Officer), Taavi T, Angelika B, Helen P, Angela G, William G, April C, Carolina C, Michael A, Paul F, Sumita C, Arion P, Alex H, Tom H