We were all a bit nervous of the MWIS weather prediction for all three days, especially after ten of us drove up in torrential rain and heavy traffic on the Thursday afternoon. However, we all have the right gear and were keen to get onto the hills regardless.
Friday 18th November
Gill, Laurence, Kathy, Peter and Alan W did a superb and scenic 8.8 mile hike up to Stickle Tarn, along the shore and up to Harrison Stickle (736m), across to Pike o’Stickle (709m), meeting Stake Pass at the tarn and back along the Cumbria Way to a well-earned hot chocolate/pint/coffee in the Sticklebarn Pub, where Kent and Dan joined us after doing a very similar route with Andy. We were lucky and the predicted rain arrived later, the couple of drizzle moments were very bearable. Matt and Jess went to Kendal to watch some films and then climbed at Kendal Wall, which Jessica said was very tall! Hut-made and shop bought pizzas were the hut dinners while Andy, Dan and Kent chose to eat at the pub. Dessert was two awesome birthday cakes brought along by Laurence to celebrate Gill’s birthday last weekend. We were sharing the hut with six members from Red Rope Walking and Climbing Club; sharing a slice of birthday cake is an excellent icebreaker! While chatting in the kitchen, the three from Scotland were well impressed with our celebration of Burns during our January meets.
Saturday 19th November
Alan W, Laurence and Gill had film tickets from 4:45pm so a shorter (or lower elevation) hike was needed: They hiked from the hut to the NT campsite, followed the steep trail up to Blea Tarn, continuing to where the trail joined the Wrynose Pass, turned left and left again onto an unnamed steep road under Lingmoor Fell which undulated past Side Pike, where they left the road and re-joined the trail back down through the campsite, continuing back to the hut. It was 8.22 miles and a lovely half day out. After showering they went into Kendal, Alan W saw the Brit Rock film set and Gill & Laurence watched the Air film set. All very inspirational as always. On the way into Kendal town centre they noticed Kent has had a street named after him!
Matt and Jess volunteered at Park Run and then went back to Kendal for more films.
Peter, Kathy, Juan, Stacey and Meredith hiked from the hut to Little Castle How, Easedale Tarn, Easedale, Helm Crag, Gibson Knott, Calf Crag, High Raise. They came back via Sergeant Man and Stickle Tarn with a stop at the New Dungeon Ghyll. It was 13 miles 1200m of up. Andy had a glorious fire going by the time they got back.
Bob and Sophie did a run from the hut to Pavey Ark via Jack’s Rake, Harrison Stickle, Thorn Crag, Loft Crag, Pike o’Stickle, Thunacar Knott, High Raise, Sergeant Man, Blea Rigg, Little Castle How and back to the hut (9.3 miles).
Saturday evening we played a competitive game of mountain related scrabble, which Laurence won due to a superb start using all seven letters with his first turn.
Sunday 20th November
Ourselves and the Red Rope members all worked together to clean the hut. Gill, Laurence, Alan W, Matt and Jess all went back to Kendal to watch more films, the climb set and the mountain set were brilliant. Most went home due to a wet forecast.
Peter and Kathy parked at Rydal and hiked to Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike, Nab Scar and back to Rydal, 8 miles and 900m of up. On High Raise Kathy got her goggles out due to the horizontal hail and apparently uttered a laugh of delight because she loves winter so much.
We’d like to thank our new friends from Red Rope for being sociable and helping to make the weekend.
The drive home was very much like the drive up so we were extremely lucky with the weather window this weekend!