CMC Hut Weekend

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2010-10-30

We could, despite the offer made to other sections, only manage to fill ten of the twelve places booked at this splendid hut, in such a prime location as Patterdale at the southern end of Ullswater, and at such a beautiful time of year. Having travelled across early Friday morning, Graham, Mark and I got established at the Agnes Spencer Memorial Hut before setting out on our first walk of the weekend. The weather was not so good, so we decided to do a relatively low level walk, passing along the flooded road between the George Starky Hut to Side Farm and on along the lake side to Sandwick Bay. The Autumn colours were a sight to behold, but having turned south into Martindale, the weather then started to deteriorate markedly, and we were forced to seek shelter for lunch in a dilapidated farm building. By the time we reached Boredale Haus, the driving rain had found a leak point in the knee of my overtrousers, and one foot was feeling distinctly damp. By then the storm had abated and we made the decent to Patterdale, with the wind at our backs, before seeking refuge in the comfort of the White Lion Inn. On returning to the hut we found that there were SOC members arriving, some having experienced difficulty in finding the location, as well as two CMC ladies, Adele Pennington and her friend Ginny Whittle. The White Lion was paid a second visit after dinner before turning in.

Saturday saw three walks being organised, mine from the top of Kirkstone, and Trevor’s (see his report below) and Bob H’s both from the hut. For my walk, Ian and Graham took Richard, Mark, Helen and me in their cars to the top of Kirkstone Pass, on a rather grim, cold day, and having disembarked were soon off on our way up Red Pike. The weather gradually deteriorated once again as reached the first summit, but we pressed on down to Scandale Pass, then up over Little Dove Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag and down once again before the steady climb to the top of Fairfield. By this time conditions were very poor with an increase in wind speed, and to make matters worse hail biting at our faces. Whilst crossing Fairfield, we also were asked for directions from two couples who seemed a little ‘out of their depth’ on such a day. Hope it wasn’t the same people Trevor met (see Trevor’s report below). We didn’t hang around here and turned north before descending Cofa Pike to Deepdale Haus. There was a brief discussion here as to whether to drop down to Grisedale Tarn and follow the valley route, or continue over St Sunday Crag and, since the moral of our group had improved, now having the wind at our backs, the latter route was agreed by all. St Sunday is a deceptive mountain, with a number of false summits when approaching from the south. The leaks in my over-trousers manifested themselves today and, with wet feet, I was rather pleased to get off the hill and back to the hut. Congratulation to all, especially Helen, on completing a hard walk on what was not the best of days. After dinner we made our way once again to the White Lion, where we were joined by Adele and her friend, and quickly discovered that Adele had reached Everest’s summit, not ONCE, but TWICE, a truly remarkable feat, and a British record. The moral of that story is bide your time in speaking, until you know who you are with!! As I write this report, I am really looking forward to her ‘talk’ at Teesside University on the 18th Nov. in aid of Cleveland Search & Rescue Team. 


Report By Trevor Thurlow on his walk from CMC Hut - Saturday 30th Oct

Setting out on a nice crisp but showery autumn day Bob Blyth and I headed for Fairfield. Our route took us along quiet country roads and field paths until we reached the Hartsop above How Ridge leading initially to the impressive Hart Crag and then Fairfield. As we reached the ridge what had been a pleasant day for walking quickly turned into a battle with the elements as we were first battered by wind and heavy rain, followed by hail stones and finally all embracing low cloud and steady rain. Two rather wet and cold walkers eventually arrived on the summit of Fairfield to be asked by a number of parties how to get off to various destinations. This proved a real challenge, given the conditions and lack of visible reference points, for those who, either didn’t have a compass or, couldn’t use one. Bob and I debated whether to carry on over Cofa Pike and St. Sunday Crag or dropping down to Grisedale Tarn and the low level path back to Patterdale. It was not a long debate – the tops could wait for another day. A steep, loose and muddy path took us down to the tarn and out of the cloud and rain for an enjoyable walk back through the Grisedale Valley to the hut and its drying room.



On Sunday, Trevor headed for home, Bob & Linda, Richard, Helen & Bob B, took the launch from Glenridding to Howtown and walked back along the lake to Side Farm and back to the hut, whilst Ian, having made a commendable last clean-up of the hut, went to meet Tricia R. Graham, and I decided that Mark should no longer remain a ‘3000 footer virgin’ and since the weather appeared more kind, decided to go for Helvellyn via Striding Edge, returning via Swirral Edge, Birkhouse Moor, and Ratner’s Bar in Glenridding. When we had set out, both Graham and I had warned Mark about the possibility of a slip on the rocky edges. Guess who slipped on Striding Edge, and the other one who picked up a nice bruise to his back on the descent of Swirral. No prizes given!!


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