The last trip of Michaelmas is always a gamble with the weather, but this time it paid off spectacularly. Heavy traffic leaving Cambridge slowed our journey, but after a minibus stop at a random American-style diner and a smooth journey we arrived to light snow, clearing to leave a sky so clear as to inspire a quick star-spotting night hike. The clear skies held up overnight, resulting in a crisp, bright morning with a light dusting of snow on the uplands: perfect conditions for watching dawn through the huge kitchen windows of the bunkhouse, and for attempts on almost every possible combination of the Three Peaks of Yorkshire. Such stunning conditions meant good walking was almost inevitable, and though the cloud lowered over the course of the day and the melting snow made the ground a little boggier, all those who reached a top got at least a glimpse of a view.
The Saturday night featured the traditional Club Christmas dinner, complete with turkey for 16 (just about defrosted over 24 hours), Seitan for the vegetarians, and over 10 side dishes. Tom and Becky joined us for the evening, and made outstanding contributions to food preparation, though one seat at the table was noticeably empty until Callan, after 11 hours and 30 minutes and the perseverance to turn down a 3 mile lift back to the bunkhouse, finally finished his 3 peaks circuit. Desserts were excellent and plentiful, and cycled round and round the table until noone could eat any more, at which point Ben B's specially-produced Christmas songbook made its appearance and rounded off the night.
Conditions were equally stunning on Sunday morning, with a good number of people up to admire the dawn, though similarly closed in a little over the day. Walks were, in general, more relaxed (including a couple of pub trips), finishing as or before a little rain arrived, and (though it was a shame to leave such an excellent bunkhouse) departure was smooth.
Trip list: * Matt A * Ben B * Paul C * Matt H * Simon M * Callan H * Isy H * Tessa M * Danny V * Ben H * Yaron B * Marci G * Amrei L * Gilad A * Chun H * Brigitta S * Alexander H * Gabor K