Lake District 16th-18th October
Our first trip of 15/16! We saw loads of new faces and a few old ones - and all of committee made it (except for the most important President Jessy who was called away on important medicine business to the wilderness of Snowdonia)! There was 26 of us in total, so it was a bit of a squeeze in Ben's Cottage, but we've done it before and we can do it again...
The first day saw us split into 4 groups and head over to Buttermere, where we had fairly balmy and very clear and sunny views! Compared to last year this was a pretty amazing turn of events.
Shane and Jonny led a group over from Braithwaite to Buttermere, Ben P took a group up Scafell Pike, and Ben L and Pete took two groups on a loop around Buttermere itself, although going in different directions. We bumped into each other eventually at the tarn below Haystacks. Some of us were even tempted to go for a swim, but then the wind began to pick up and we fancied the pub even more! Possibly the strangest behaviour I've seen on a scree slope was Ed getting bored of his boots and running up the hill barefoot - he's clearly a secret hobbit...
After reconvening in the pub with pints all round we headed back to the cottage, it took a while though as we got stuck behind a cyclist and when they finally sped away and left us to reclaim the road, we met a road block...after passing a narrow cattlegrid...on a stretch of road with passing places few and far between and a hefty ditch on one side - let it never be said that the Bens can't manoeuvre a big ole minibus - they know what they're doing!
For dinner we had BEAN SUPREME (my first as vice pres - it was quite stressful, but I had a pretty sound team of helpers and in the end all I really had to do was make sure the whole pot of chilli powder didn't fall in the pan...not that this has ever happened before of course). This was served, possibly for the first time ever, with non-burnt rice - so thanks Dom, for achieving something mountaineering has spent years struggling over! Even if you were telling us some dubious tales while you stirred the rice...
We then took over the pub in Penruddock, which was actually pretty busy so we got demoted to the games room upstairs, complete with darts and pool table. Some of us even stayed til closing! Crazy night!!
Everyone was well up for some scrambles on Sunday, so one group did the Sour Milk Gill, another did Ruddy Gill (the person that named it obviously wasn't a fan) and the last group did a walk up the side of Sour Milk and up onto Great Gable. Cast your minds back to last year when we had to give up on Great Gable because of the 80mph rainy gusts that were knocking everyone over! Well this year was definitely an improvement - windy as expected in Windy Gap, but fairly good visibility and not a drop of rain. Amazing!
After two pretty full-on days we had a nice cuppa at the cottage before clearing out and getting back to Notts at a pretty reasonable hour.
The whole weekend was a brilliant success and we all made some new friends and learnt some interesting things about each other! Solid start to another year of mountaineering.
PHOTOS! (Thanks to Katrina and Wei Jing)
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