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Keswick, March 2018

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A lovely trip, with only minor difficulties in transport and accommodation. Friday night was a long drive due to road closures near Manchester and Keswick and some all-important kit (tents and sleeping bags) didn’t arrive in the bunkhouse until 1:30am. The bunkhouse did the job when there was money in the electricity meter and the heating was on. The kitchen and living area felt crowded at times and cosy at others, but they more than sufficed for the cooking of some delicious meals on Saturday night. The checking-out time of 10:30am on Sunday presented a logistical challenge which was eventually surmounted by the ingenuity of our drivers.

The weather on Saturday was better than expected; patchy rain, variable visibility and low to moderate winds were seen in place of much worse predictions. A large group walked around Derwent Water and finished in the pub in Keswick while a smaller group, including me, enjoyed sledging on the remnant snow and paddling in the icy waters of Thirlmere on a different walk. The navigation course only briefly found themselves ‘locationally challenged’ and some solo hillwalkers completed more difficult hikes. As I mentioned, dinner in the bunkhouse was cosy but delicious and eventually gave way to some hearty singing which, despite lacking any instruments, was nevertheless enjoyable.

Sunday was the glorious day promised; blue skies, low winds and sunshine reflecting off the snow-capped peaks were the highlights of the trip. After parting ways in the morning, different groups did different walks. One group did Helvellyn, my group did Blencathra, everyone enjoyed the beautiful views and perfect weather. The drive home, at least for me, was very quick due to the reopening of the roads and the light traffic. As far as I’m aware all groups made it back to Cambridge in good time and in keen anticipation of the next hillwalking trip.

Trip participants: Sarah M (trip leader), Chris H (trip safety officer), Tom S, Mary M, Ben H, Gilad A, Brigitta S, Gabor K, Seb P (nav course leader), Dom C, Marci G, Nicholas B, Tessa M, Maria T, Danny V, Yaron B, Susannah P, Shaun S, Rian L, Bill C, Emily M, Chuhan S

Tom S