16th - 18th November 2018

What a glorious weekend. The Gods organising the weather could not have done better. Peppit snr, Goodier, Eastwood, Clowes, Hood, Shawcross, Browne, Hughes, Armin and the guest, Vernon (who gave a passionate Senior Triathlete  lecture on the Friday evening) walked to Seathwaite and then the ascent to Styhead Tarn. A steady slog to the summit of Gable followed then lunch in the sun and away from the cool breeze. It was a case of spot and name the mountain, it being such a clear and brilliant day. Green Gable was next, then rather than drop down to the valley bottom, we kept the height and continued on over Brandreth to Honister, then down the road. On Sunday (an equally brilliant day) the party was depleted, many heading for home after the excesses of the Dinner. So Peppit snr, Goodier, Eastwood, Armin and Rachel Walker (who, most commendably, was camping and travelled the distance from Repton after school on the Saturday afternoon) took the cars to Scales and made a very breezy and cool ascent of Sharp Edge, to the magnificent summit of Blencathra. Rachel gave us all an interesting geology lecture of the surrounding countryside over lunch, in a suntrap on the descent.

Griffiths and Brown, having arrived late on Friday night having got lost as a result of motorway closures, made a gentleman’s start on Saturday morning. Plan A: climbing on Shepherds Crag was shelved when on arriving at the crag our intrepid duo noted that a) the temperature was only 6°C, b) the crag wasn’t in the sunshine and c) the café was closed for the winter. So in a burst of decisive decision making they quickly switched to Plan B: Climbing on Raven Crag in Gillercombe,  the crag would be in the sun and the flog up Sour Milk Gill avoided by a cunning approach from the top of Honister. What could possibly go wrong? On arrival, the quantity of gear (enough for an assault on El Cap) was drastically reduced, sandwiches packed and the map checked. At which point a sneaky easterly breeze sprung up and enthusiasm began to wane but the plan finally suffered a killer blow when it was discovered that parking for the day would cost £7.50! Needless to say our thorough organisation meant that in the interest of keeping our sacs light, National Trust membership cards had been discarded (left at home actually). So to Plan C: a low level walk round Buttermere (the lake not just the village) pausing only for a pint in the Fish. Furthermore, we could park the car for nowt at the FRCC hut. In the end we had a great day out reminiscing about climbs past! Sunday and for some reason, the team was feeling less than fresh. To cut another day of dithering short, after driving around Lancaster at least twice, we wound up at Glasson Dock Smokehouse. Lots of brownie points were gained by bringing home the smoked salmon etc. in time for Christmas.

From Bob Grayson: Scafell Pike, Wastwater Hotel (pickled onion, pork scratchings and two pints), Great Gable (where the sun set) then down via Green Gable.  Strong wind pretty much all day and not a cloud in the sky.  I have never seen the lakes so beautiful – the sun reflecting in Wastwater and then setting into the Irish Sea.  Luckily (as neither of us had torches) there was a good moon and we descended for two hours or so in the dark. Missed the AGM completely. Crowson’s lunch was an eight pack of variety children’s cereals and his heart monitor not used.  An excellent day! Not bad pictures either!

The three climbers (Rob, Mike, Matt) decided on Sergeants Crag Slabs on the Saturday, which was their first visit. A selection of starred HVS’s and VS were climbed, and although they were off the crag just about in daylight, it was dark by the time they got to the campsite, and consequently two thirds of them missed the AGM. On the Sunday they required sun! So they drove round to Langdale and Raven Crag in Walthwaite. Where once again a selection of good routes were climbed before the late start down the M6.

From Axel: Friday. Tony C and Graham and Axel met up with Mike Johnson and Richard Harris at Booths supermarket in Windermere.  After refreshment we motored to Grasmere village and parked our cars. Tony stayed in Grasmere while we others walked along the western side of the lake, where we ate our lunch whilst watching a baby seagull and other birds, and then to Rydal. Steep uphill brought us to the old corpse road and back to Grasmere where we found Tony waiting in the car. The weather was fine but overcast. The convoy motored on to GlaraMara, arriving in time for Graham, Tony and Axel to walk up to Seathwaite in the fading light. There were numerous bats flying about and an errant ram in the road. As we were returning to the hotel abright half moon in a clearing sky augered well for the morrow.Saturday. Mike went off on his own and we remaining four with Bryan Benton. Drove to Buttermere and parked at what was to me a record cost of £8 for the day. The sun was low in the sky, but it was a very promising day. Bryan and Tony had set on walking round Buttermere Lake and we others set off ahead for the footbridge across Buttermere Dubbs. But the bridge wasn't there. We had knowingly ignored warning notices and had to backtrack a bit to the marked diversion over Scale Bridge. On our return we met Bryan and Tony and warned them of the situation. A pleasant walk through the woods ensued and then the steep ascent to Scarth Gap in blinding sunshine from time to time. Scarth Gap achieved, we scrambled up Haystacks and there were good views. Going down the other side we paused for lunch in the sun and overlooking Innominate Tarn. Hoping for Wainwright's ghost to appear, we were disappointed, but it was a pleasant lunch spot. There was some discussion as to why Wainwright would choose this spot for the resting place of his ashes but I don't think agreement was reached. We carried on to Warnscale Beck where we had a decision to make: should we follow the beck and return to Buttermere or continue on to the GlaraMara at Seatoller. We agreed on the latter and continued in the sunshine over the high ground before dropping down to the Honister Mine shop where a woman tried to book us in for their via ferrata activity. The remaining descent, by the old road, was in shadow and the views were a bit hazy as we approached Seatoller - the moon in view again. Richard drove back to Buttermere to enable Tony, Brian and Axel's car to be retrieved.Sunday: A brilliant day again. After breakfast, Graham, Richard and Axel set off on the path to Castle Crag. There was plenty of sunshine which overcame the cool of the morning. Photo's were taken and then the descent to the river and return through Rosthwaite. It was cooler in the valley. On our return to GlaraMara, we met up with Tony and Mike who were finishing a coffee having walked up the valley to Seathwaite and back. We ate our sandwiches sitting in front of the Hotel and then left at 12:40 for the drive home. At the time we left, Richard and Mike motored for a final walk from Grange.

The AGM went well, apart from the 3 young climbers and Grayson and Crowson missing all or part of it. The politics of the meeting are best recorded elsewhere, but Axel was welcomed into the Recycling Department and three new members were also welcomed (Rachel Walker, David Armin & Matt Bingley) and a minute’s silence was sadly held for Derek Grayson. The after Dinner speeches were ably performed by Hugh Cotton, Jonathan Hood, Jim Colon and John Eastwood, who had the unenviable task of following three lawyers. Finally, the ever reliable Bob Grayson aided by his stooge, Tony Browne, entertained everyone with French accents and a Brexit sketch.