Our traditional fresher's day trip to Edale in the Peak District was momentous this year, in that the coach actually made it to Edale for the first time in 3 years. In 2016, the coach driver insisted on crossing a narrow bridge where it became stuck and was unable to turn the corner. In 2017, a wrong turning and attempted reversal in Castleton resulted in the coach being parked perpendicular across the main road, unable to reverse due to gear failure, inching precariously towards a bakery window and causing a major tail-back in both directions. Both incidents led to committee members shepherding 50 freshers over a mile to reach the designated starting point. Armed with the knowledge of these dangerous routes, under Sarah's firm navigation, the coach successfully reached Edale shortly before midday, having left Cambridge at 7am. Meanwhile, the walk leaders who had travelled up by car whiled away the morning (and the worst of the wet weather) sipping tea in a cafe, and were relieved to find the coach miraculously appearing in the soggy Edale carpark, complete with 43 freshers, only an hour or two behind schedule.
By the time the walks finally set off, the worst of the rain had eased, and a great day out in the Peaks was enjoyed by all. Several routes took in the local County Top of Kinder Scout, which was officially bagged by Ben and Sarah's group (Chris and Bronwen's group having over-enthusiastically walked straight past the summit without noticing). The weather, which had been dire to begin with, steadily improved throughout the day, resulting in a beautiful sunset over the hills as everyone congregated at the well-loved pub in Hayfield. Certain committee members were later to regret their double pint during the long coach journey home. Unfortunately the day's vehicle-related dramas were not over - one of the cars had run out of battery and needed to be jump-started before it could be driven back to Cambridge. While loading up the coach to go home, there was some confusion over numbers as the coach seemed to have gained an extra fresher (eventually it was established that we had miscounted the number of seats, and had not recruited an extra hillwalker). Despite these minor hiccups - perhaps the coach's successful navigation was too good to be true - all 43 freshers made it to Edale and back for a cracking 'taster' day of hillwalking, and a lot of fun was had by all the walk leaders too.
Trip list: Bill C, Rob T, Danny V, Bronwen F, Chris H, Seb P, Anabel M, Cameron R, Patrick T, Shaun S, Rachel R, Ella J, Sarah M, Ben H, Keafe O, Katya K, Kirstie G, Alm A, Sara H, Lucie B, Charles S, Elliot B, Erin S, James A, Caitlin A, Anna M, Laura C, Lucy J, Andrew W, Cayson C, Regina S, Philine H, Afif A, James R, Yujeong H, Bryan F, Vladiscav I, Jule W, Irma F, Hannah T, Tadek W, Caleb S, Evena M, Dayna C, Emma S, Camcuum M, Thomas B, Kian KH, Matthew L, Kayvan M, Francesco M, Joseph E, Luke E, Claudia H, Ellie K, Craig CC